Battle Arena Toshinden
“Battle Arena Toshinden” is a two-volume OVA from 1996, directed by Masami Obari (
“Gowcaizer”), and based on the eponymous video game series.
The last, great, fighting tournament, where warriors came to fight for love, honor, and glory, the Battle Arena Toshinden, remains undecided. During the final match; between hot-shot swordsman, Eiji Shinjo, and underworld Kingpin, Gaia; the treacherous Uranus usurped control of the sub-rosa organization responsible for the tournaments, and then attempted to capture Gaia. But Gaia escaped and went into hiding, while Eiji was left unfulfilled in both his quest to find his brother, the greatest Toshinden champion, Sho, and in truly acquiring the title of top fighter, as his own.
Uranus, seeking to create the greatest fighter and destroy Gaia, has made the ultimate fusion of man and machine: Chaos. And, to ensure that Chaos really is the best, she has also created a cyborg in the guise of Sho Shinjo, in order to lure out the other Toshinden fighters, and learn how to surpass all their super-secret fighting moves and powers. To save his friends, as well as his rivals and competitors, Eiji will have to defeat Chaos, stop Uranus, and prove that a fighter’s true strength lies beyond mere battle data.
“Battle Arena Toshinden” is an anime video game adaptation that does not compromise, change, or adapt any of its characters. The characters are entirely faithful to the original fighting game source material, and almost every character (well, all those that existed in 1996 - even Vermillion!) from the game franchise appears, some for about a second, to do their thing. Character designs are attractive, all of the game’s signature moves are faithfully reproduced, and the fighting animation moves fast. However, because of the sheer number of them, random fighters seem to suddenly appear from nowhere, and the climatic battle that takes place, pitting man against machine, is over before it starts. It’s about as fun as watching someone else play the video game… for an entire hour.