Battle Arena Toshinden box cover


Available on VHS and DVD from U.S. Manga Corps.
60 minutes
Martial Arts
Version I Watched: English dubbed
Objectionable Content: Violence, brief nudity

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Battle Arena Toshinden

Why do I even bother? Battle Arena Toshinden is yet another (say it with me now) pointless fighting-game anime that has no veritable purpose other than to increase the number of pointless fighting-game anime in an already crowded genre.

Like most other anime of its ilk, Toshinden doesn't have much in the way of plot or character development. The plot is so painfully derivative that it barely merits mentioning. A group of bad guys known as "the Organization" decide to make some sort of super android, so they send out prototypes to battle the world's greatest warriors and learn their fighting techniques. Naturally, the world's greatest warriors are the Toshinden fighters. Now, this wouldn't be quite so bad if the Toshinden group were at least a mildly interesting group. However, they're either strictly one-dimensional or tossed into the anime solely for the purpose of a few pointless battle scenes. Oh, and that "mysterious, long-lost brother" cliche just has got to go.

From there on in we get to the action, which could have been this title's saving grace. However, as far as martial arts stuff goes, this title is pure garbage. The battle scenes are just plain ridiculous, usually just involving the characters executing incredibly silly-looking (and poorly drawn) special attacks, most of which involve enough spinning to make me nauseous. And it certainly didn't help listening to the English voice actors crying out the attack names in Japanese. Ick.

Production values are pretty flat, as well. The art and animation weren't overly spectacular, and there is a noticeable lack of artistic detail. The voice-acting was just plain poor, and the dialog equally repugnant (the line, "I guess I'm not much of an actor" has got to be heard to be believed).

Ultimately, Toshinden is another another anime headed for the turkey bin. As far as fighting-game anime go, anything else looks golden (even Tekken, much as it pains me to say it). Don't waste your time nor money.

The Verdict: * (awful)