Konshuu no Renai ~Battle Athletes’ Victory~
August 1, 2006
God its been a long time since I did one of these, hasn’t it ^_^. Actually, I’ve been avoiding it, since I know that eventually I’m going to run out of pairings, or, more importantly, good fanfiction to recommend. If anyone has any pairings that they would like covered, then please leave your mark in the comments box below.
Anyway, on with the show…ahem…article. Battle Athletes’ Victory and its OVA predecessor Battle Athletes are one of the true yuri source anime and a classic to boot. Back in the old days when it wasn’t a rule that all anime should involve a high school cam Battle Athletes, an anime that did not hide its yuri tendencies in subtext, oh no. If you’re going to imply girl/girl loving, then why not go all the way?
This kind of pioneering spirit seems to have been lost today, with heavy “subtext-so-sub-its-almost-not-there” yuri storylines (Marimite being prime example). Are we to believe that these girls who are so touchy feely with each other and who care about each other that much are not also practising for the world tribadism championships behind our backs? Only the appearance of Strawberry Panic can serve to show that the canon yuri relationship has not truly been lost between CG animation, Mikuru’s rather ample cleavage and 5 litres of creme caramel.
My favourite relationship for this series is the first relationship that I fell in love with – Akari, the main character, and Ichino, her best friend and tsukkomi extraordinaire. As if making fun of what I just said above, Ichino and Akari’s relationship starts off very subtext and it almost looks like it is going to end up yet another “Kaorinesque” unrequited damp squib. However, in Episode 10 or so, we get the confession.
For those of you not aware of “the confession“, it is a common anime device that is very rarely used in yuri relationships. The effect when used is always to make the yuri fan’s hopes for the relationship to soar only to be quashed in an instant. The confession in yuri anime usually goes something like this:
A: (thinks) Arg, she’s going away, like forever and ever and ever! If I don’t tell her I love her now then I’ll never see her again!
B: What is it, A-chan? You look funny.
A: (mustering all courage evar) I..I…I Love You!!
B: I love you to, A-chan, you’ll always be my best friend, even when I’m billions of miles away and we’ll never see each other again.
Guess what happens in BAV. Don’t send your answers in on a postcard, there’s no prizes -_-. I’ll give you a clue…It’s not this:
Anyway, Akari goes off to try and become Cosmo Beauty and she meets Kris, the other yuri love interest, carried over from the OVA. Kris is a great character, especially since she owns a cow, but I’ve always found that her advances toward Akari were a bit vulgar and spoiled the potential that the relationship had to offer. However, on the flip side, the relationship is extremely amusing and a good comedy counterpoint to the Akari/Ichino angst-driven relationship of the first half of the series.
And so the final arc of the series sees the two: Kris “I can feel you nside me, Akari” Christopher and Ichino “The tsundere childhood friend love interest” Yanagida face off for Akari’s affections and thankfully, Ichino gets another chance, and for that I actually liked the rather aspartame ending. The basic problem with it that the writers never really sorted out was that Akari probably-isn’t-gay. Oh well; some threesome yurirape will probably sort that out ^_^.
Anyway, fanfiction-wise, for such an old show with multiple canon pairings, there is relatively little english fanfiction written for Battle Athletes. Paradoxically, there are quite a few fictions written for Kris/Ichino hanging by the thin canon thread that competitors must also be clam-jousters. I am not very enamoured by these. A lot of fanfiction also covers the other side characters in Battle Athletes, the best one of which I should mention.
Pariah by Vosburg deals with the relationship between Mylandah and Lahrri, one of the subtextual couples in the show and takes the “future” storyline and executes it with unerring grace.
Another recommendable fanfiction is Revelations in the moonlight, by SailorDoc, the only objectionable feature of which is that it deals with Akari/Kris rather than the far more kawaii Akari/Ichino. Poor Ichino. She really doesn’t get a look in edgeways. And poor Akari, she keeps getting killed off by those violent Ichino/Kris ‘shippers. Akari/Ichino is a pairing I’ve always vowed to get round to writing, but then, my fanfiction sucks, so its probably a good thing I never got round to it.
And so there we have it. Another one of my favourite pairings with only a smattering of fanfiction to prove its existence. Write more people. Write more and better.