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Ikki Tousen was a 13-episode ecchi-action anime animated by JC Staff and aired on Japanese TV from July 30 to October 22 of 2003. The series is based on the ongoing seinen manga series created by Yuji Shiozaki since October 2000 and the anime was followed-up with several additional TV and OVA seasons from 2007 to 2010. The series was originally licensed by Geneon in 2004 for American video distribution before the company's closure in 2007. Funimation currently has rights to distribute the series.

The Plot

The least you could do is get flustered or aroused, big guy.
The least you could do is get flustered or aroused, big guy.

Seven schools are at war with one another to gain dominance over the Kanto region of Japan with each of the students for them being skilled fighters and their fates being influenced by mysterious jewels that contain the spirits and destinies of warriors within the Chinese novel series, Romance of the Three Kingdoms. A teenage girl named Sonsaku Hakufu returns to the region, being destined to unite the schools under her leadership. However, her destiny carries a possible dark side to it that she must learn to struggle with as she becomes involved in the war between the schools.

Notable Characters (from left to right)

  • Sonsaku Hakufu- The female lead of the series. With her body containing a dragon of one of the Three Great Rulers, she is destined to unite the seven warring schools under her control. Yet despite her great power, her idiotic personality and novice fighting skills lead her in many instances to be overcome by a school's more skilled fighters, leading to her dragon's sadistic personality to manifest itself to inflict harm upon anyone in her vicinity.
  • Koukin Shuuyu- Hakufu's cousin at Nanyo Academy who serves as her guardian against enemy fighters.
  • Shimei Ryomou- A third-year Nanyo student who specializes in submission wrestling. She has a taciturn and serious personality, normally wearing an eye patch and a French maid outfit in battle.
  • Housen Ryofu- A bisexual and promiscuous fighter from Rakuyo High School often engaging in sexual acts, having relationships with Nanyo fighter Saji and her childhood friend Koudai.
  • Chuuei Toutaku- One of the major antagonists of the series. The evil and cruel leader of Rakuyo who attempts to kill Hakufu through use of his cohorts.
  • Ukitsu- A powerful fighter from Gogun High School who observes Hakufu's actions throughout much of the show and desires to have a match with her.

Why It Sucks

Ikki Tousen was the anime title that popularized the whole ecchi-action genre that would be employed for later TV anime titles like Queen's Blade and Maken-Ki. Basically, these types of titles involve a tournament, brawling school students or some other gimmick getting employed as a very thin excuse to feature revealing shots and perverted shenanigans that involve those involved with a title's female cast.

Is there any real reason why you even wear a maid outfit if you aren't even a real maid?
Is there any real reason why you even wear a maid outfit if you aren't even a real maid?

For Ikki Tousen, its gimmick involves the mentioned fighters of high schools having a connection to a random warrior brought up from Romance of the Three Kingdoms. This is brought up frequently by some of the characters in the show and a narrator explaining an event from the novel involving the mentioned historical character in a flimsy attempt to make it seem relevant as a plot element. Yet compared to the rich plot and characterization that Three Kingdoms provided, Ikki Tousen is rather barebones in whatever offering it has for a plot and all the characters don't have much to them beyond being one-dimensional archetypes that you would see from enough conventional anime titles.

Setting aside its horrible ploting and characterization, Ikki Tousen's major selling points of seeing T&A with its female cast and fight scenes are also quite unappealing in their own right. Like any ecchi title, the scenes involving female characters showing off panty shots, naked skin or being involved in perverted hijinks are overdone and not too appealing to visually see thanks to the title's subpar artwork. Some of said hijinks can even get demeaning at points as female characters occasionally get raped or molested. Not even the actions scenes are appealing as animation shortcuts are employed quite frequently with jump shots, speed stripes and still shots.

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