Note: This review is part of the "Nine Hells" event. This is for Day II (The Circle of Lust) and contains very mild spoilers.
Ikki Tousen is a 13-episode action-ecchi series loosely based on a manga series localized as "Battle Vixens". This is about the groups of schools being in a fighting turf war. One particular fighter by the name of Hakufu Sonsaku appears joining the fights for fun, but there are some strings being pulled by not only her own school, but other schools for the chance to kill her. There is also a dangerous power within Hakufu that proves to be extremely dangerous, even for herself.
Although this happens to be loosely based on another tale (in this case, it's The Romance of the Three Kingdoms), this story at hand isn't doing it or itself any justice. It didn't even have a direction until around the halfway point, with some breaks within one of the of the "obligatory" ecchi episodes, and even then, it's sloppier than a poorly cooked cheeseburger and paced weirdly. There is a twist that did cover some of the bases for the major events involving Hakufu and most of the warring schools, and while some of it was entertaining, it mostly felt like it got thrown together within the last minute of production. Although that it did have an ending that was at least a tad decent, it still ends up feeling as if it were a sort of an open end for it involving one more sleazy battle for the road.
The lot of them happen to be absolutely nothing to pen home about and in addition to just be either one-noters, predatory scumbags or mostly fanservice fuel in case of the gals. However, aside of some of the key gals that got fleshed out over time (in more ways than one), even that's saying a tad much than they deserve for everybody in the show, including the following notable characters.
Hakufu as a character was as the show brought her to be: really stupid. Even though she was funny at a few times and was also interesting due to her dragon power hidden within her soul and the lore behind it, she was seriously nothing else to pen about as she was hardly ever developed throughout the show. Koukin also turned out a bit promising at first, but despite being one of the few non-predatory guys of the show, he wasn't much of anything else but wasted potential (for what little that he had) throughout the show aside of an errand boy to Hakufu. One more person of neutral merit turned out to be Shimei, whom just turn out to be nothing else but a friend to Hakufu, aside of being a villain to her before defecting. Saji also was somehow involved with a twist in the show, but despite it explaining a lot of the fighting shenanigans over most of the episodes, it still didn't serve much to him, aside of already being one of the predatory characters. Ryofu also fits that same bill as the previous character, except in the case of her heel-face turn against her faction instead of the late-episode twist and while it did prove useful, she's still on the iffy side as far as characters come. Finally, while Totaku did turn out to be a ferocious villain with some crafty moves to boot for some episodes, he wasn't even that good as a character due to still being a one-noter even with the small piece of a background that he got.
Pros and Cons
The art style's actually on the good side of "a'ight", even for an anime that was made in 2003 and the animation department turned out to be in the same department, but to a point. Some of the background music themes and the opening sequence theme turned out to sound good. There's a lot of battles as advertised, so that's a plus for those just purely looking for that and the concept for this versioning on "The Romance of the Three Kingdoms" happens to be a very good one, despite the very sloppy story.
First off, the ending sequence theme sucks so much, it hurts. It sounds out of place for a show like this and it also ruins the end of the show every time and it goes double for the one time that it's used as background music. This show isn't for those that like a huge amount of fanservice (there are implied sex scenes, lot of panty shots and exploding clothes for those that are into that) and in the case of that, not only that even the fanservice is inconsistent, (They don't show any nipples until the hot spring episode onwards.) there happens to be an amount of molestation and other non-consensual events about here, which is guaranteed to drive off some viewers. About the battles earlier, a lot of them felt shoehorned into the show more than almost anything and in case of the animation's point where it becomes more bad than good, they are way more focused on the fanservice parts than the other parts since an amount of scenes felt stiff as a pole.
English Dub and Sub Comparison/Evaluation
Yes, this show had a English dub, and it was terrible beyond belief. While some voices did somehow fit the characters like Gyakushu's, Ukitsu's and Totaku's, others felt forced or out of place and the biggest example of that is Hakufu's English voice for sounding like she's mid-pubescent when she's actually in her older teens. At least all of the Japanese dub's voices (Hakufu included) sounded better in the case of the subbed version, which ends up being the better bet here. While the sub's translation had no problems of note, there is also just one notable goof in the dub's translation where Hakufu thought Shimei had pink eye instead of a sty for the subbed translation. Those are two different eye conditions.
Seriously, although this happened to be the very first ecchi anime that I came across in my early years as an anime viewer alongside the second season, which was a tad more fun at the time, (Before asking, this sold enough for four anime seasons.) this show was and is still socket wrench ratchet, especially after re-watching it for this review. This delinquent is fitting for the Absolute Terror rating due to the many pitfalls that it has alongside the saggy plot. Those that are just in it for pure fanservice and nothing else are fine for watching this to a point, but as for everybody else, there are far better battle-ecchi anime in one season than this thing on it's best episode. The Circle of Lust has been cleared and it will only get extremely harrowing from here as this event goes on.
Current Situation: I wanted another excuse to use Enterprise as an avatar again.
My least favorite anime that I completed, also the opening song is more annoying in my opinion. I think the main problem is they take them self too seriously while also having lot of stupid stuff in it, that it makes the serious part hilarious and the comedic scene annoying. Granted the second season was an improvement since the plot did not felt like total BS and instead partially BS.Season 3 and 4 was actually enjoyable surprisingly enough.
Old Man Dream: ...later titles in the Macross franchise can finally come stateside with all involved parties finally coming to a truce over how to handle things with the Macross trademark and all later anime in the franchise associated with it.
Apr 9, 2021 10:26:05 GMT
Taka: I see. A global release will benefit it. Gundam did pretty good. The only few franchises that are only popular in Japan but not popular in the west - Yokai Watch comes to mind.
Apr 10, 2021 1:55:16 GMT
Master Menos: F for Respects. DMX did all his work while suffering from a drug addiction, and I almost never knew until a point. I hope his next life treats him far better.
Apr 10, 2021 15:30:45 GMT
HungryWorld: Sorry for taking so long for the things i have to do, have been suffering from some health issues (including mental health deterioration). Anyways hope i can be a bit more active here soon enough once i am properly patched up again.
Apr 27, 2021 17:45:38 GMT
Taka: No worries, health, family, school, and work take priorities first.
Apr 28, 2021 7:41:52 GMT