After a thousand years of expansion, humans became involved in an alien war that would be decided by a contest of physical strength. Though the alien race was physically superior to humans, mankind prevailed, ushering humans into a new era of physical fitness and competitions. In the present, Akari Kanzaki has entered the training facility University Satellite in hopes of becoming the latest Cosmic Beauty, a title reserved for only the most physically fit. Join Akari as she faces fierce rivals and tough competitions in an effort to become the best of all the Battle Athletes!
It is the year 2356 AD, 189 years after a shockwave from a distant supernova decimated the Earth. Since that fateful day, humanity has begun training for a final mission to protect the planet from the inevitable oncoming 2nd shockwave - a mission whose failure means the annihilation of mankind. For Katase and her friends, their training at the foundation Stellvia is just the beginning of an adventure that could lead to saving the world, or seeing its end...
Battle Athletes and Stellvia both center around a young girl who is admitted into an academy. While one is a sports academy and one is a flight academy, they are both set in space and the competition level is very high.
Misaki Suzuhara is a young girl who traveled to Tokyo to live with a relative, but ended up becoming involved in the greatest game of all time: Angelic Layer! In this fast-paced competition, players customize dolls and fight them in arenas of all sizes, hoping to gain experience and perhaps win the greatest tournament of them all! With new friends to meet and new enemies to defeat, the best time of Misaki's life seems to be just beginning. Join Misaki as she struggles to be the best, even in the face of overwhelming odds...
Mao is an aspiring young chef trying to live up to the legacy left by his mother - a nationally-recognized, culinary genius. Leaving his home as the successful winner of a successor cook-off, the inspirational boy travels the length and breadth of China to expand his sizzling repertoire. In addition to meeting a wide range of personalities with varying gourmet skills, Mao must use every skill his mother left him to become a legendary chef in his own right.
Both shows feature older animation techniques, but the focus remains firmly on story. The struggle of the main protagonist in both Battle Athletes and CMB is very similar - you know that they are going to overcome their adversaries, but you'll have a whale of a time watching them do it :)
Sora is a sixteen year old girl who has travelled to the US to join the Kaleido Stage, one of the greatest circuses in existence. However, as luck would have it, she arrives to the audition late, which almost costs her the chance of a lifetime. Fortunately, she manages to join the Kaleido Stage anyways due to the compassion of Kalos, the owner of the troupe. With the help of her friends and Fool, the perverted spirit of the stage who has the ability to predict the future, Sora will overcome trials and tribulations and she struggles to become the Kaleido Star.
If you love to see the fight of the underdog, even though you know good will prevail in the end then these two shows are perfect for you. Not completely family friendly, there are the occasional naughty jokes that will suit them to teens and older, however both Kaleido and Battle Athletes are shows that can be enjoyed by a wide audience.