Dream (Level 20)

Long due for a pic change. All hail Prince Devitt! :D
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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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A treat for Lupin III fans. Discotek just announced on their Facebook pagethat they will be releasing the Lupin film, Castle of Cagliostro later this year on DVD and follow up with a Blu-Ray release either later this year or in early 2015. The release will include both of the English dubs made by Streamline Pictures and Manga Entertainment, as well as the original Japanese audio and intro.

Castle of Cagliostro was the second film to be made based on Monkey Punch's famous international thief character in 1979 and is famous for marking the first animated film to be directed by future founder of Studio Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaki. In this movie, Lupin tries to uncover the origins of a counterfeit money ring that brings him to the fictional country of Cagliostro where he tries to rescue a girl named Clarisse from being wedded to the villainous Count Cagliostro, who is connected to the mentioned counterfeit ring.

The movie was first brought to America by Streamline Pictures in 1991 with a New York City theatrical release and released to home video in October 1992. Manga Entertainment later obtained licensing rights to the movie in 2000 as they made a new English dub for it and released it on DVD.

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At Sunday's Dengeki Game Festival in Japan, the original cast and staff of Durarara announced that they will be working on a new anime season that will take place six months after the events of the original 2010 series. A broadcast date was not announced and much of the main staff from the original series will return to make the new season. Instead of Brain's Base though, the animation for the series will be done by Shura.

Durarara was adapted from the popular novel series written by Ryohgo Narita focusing on the paranormal and criminal happenings that took place with the young locals of Tokyo's Ikebukuro neighborhood. Outside of the anime, several video game and manga series were also spawned from the title's popularity. The 2010 anime series is currently licensed in America by Aniplex of America, while the manga is available for print in the country by Yen Press.

Source: Anime News Network

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If you're a Toradora fan, this should be good news for you. NIS America, the American licensor for the series, is planning a re-release of the series that will contain an English dub. This will mark the first series that NIS America released an English dub for since they started releasing anime in America in 2010. Here is who will be voicing the major characters of the series:

The series will be released in Premium and Standard Blu-Ray/ DVD combo sets on July 1 with the new English dub. The Premium Edition will be priced at $129.99 and include all 25 episodes of the series, an OVA and a hardcover book. Bonus features will include clean opening and closing sequences, four mini-episodes, bonus clips and TV promos. The Standard Edition will be sold in two sets for $59.99 each for Blu-Ray/ DVD combo sets and $44.99 just for DVD sets.

Toradora was one of the first anime titles to be licensed by NIS America. It is a romantic comedy based on the popular light novel series by Yuyuko Takemiya and Yasu that focuses on two social outcasts, Taiga and Ryuji, who help one another out to try starting up romantic relationships with their close friends.

Here is a trailer for Toradora's English dub release:

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R-15 was a 12-episode ecchi/ harem comedy TV anime that originally aired in Japan from July 10 to September 25 of 2011 and was animated by AIC. The series was based on the light novel series written by Hiroyuki Fushimi from July 2009 to August 2012. The series was aired in an edited format for TV broadcast and released unedited for its video release. It is available for legal streaming via Crunchyroll.

The Plot

Our lead swimming in lingerie and other random stuff.
Our lead swimming in lingerie and other random stuff.

Inspiration Academy Private High School is a school for gifted high school geniuses that is attended by Taketo Akutagawa, who is known to write erotic novels. Considered a pervert by many among his class, Taketo aims to be the top student of the school and attempts to befriend several students among the school's female student body.

Notable Characters (from left to right)

  • Taketo Akutagawa- The main lead of the series. An erotic writer who is unpopular among many in the school as he often has nosebleeds from having lewd fantasies about those among the school's female student body that he uses as inspiration in writing his novels.
  • Fukune Narukawa- A shy clarinetist who is the first girl that Taketo befriends. She struggles to meet up to the high standards set up for her by her father.
  • Raika Meiki- A photographer for the academy newspaper who regularly tags along with Taketo to use him as a model for her work and tends to take photos of him during his embarrassing predicaments.
  • Kurumi Kuroki- The chief of the academy newspaper club normally protected by a pair of bodyguards.
  • Utae Sonokoe- A popular pop idol who is one of the few in the academy to not mind Taketo's erotic writing.
  • Ran Musen- A computer programmer whose proficiency is such that she can hack government satellites and computers. She is the most hateful of Taketo's erotic writing within the academy.
  • Tsukuru Kagaku- An inventor known to make machines and devices that malfunction, usually at Taketo's inconvenience.
  • Ritsu Enshu- Taketo's close friend and a mathematician. When aroused, Taketo normally has him recite pi to calm down.
  • Botan Beni- An avant-garde artist known for painting people's bodies and using other students for her canvases.

Why It Sucks

R-15 is yet another ecchi title with a premise that is a thinly-veiled excuse to show off perverted content involving our male lead and several girls he gets acquainted with at Inspiration Academy throughout the show's run.

Makes one wonder why they even bother airing this on TV.
Makes one wonder why they even bother airing this on TV.

The characters are all two-dimensional archetypes you would find out of high-school-themed and harem titles, many of whom hardly getting much in the way of fleshing out. The plot is mostly centered on Taketo becoming acquainted with a different archetypal girl, earning their trust and using whatever situation each girl is in as inspiration for his erotic novels. Also, perverted content is mostly the norm in this turd with lewd fantasies, revealing attire, undressed moments, innuendo gags, panty shots and compromising situations being shown at many points throughout this series.

Of particular note with this show is the way it censored its content for its TV broadcast. Beams of light are used to cover up any questionable content visually shown. However, there are points where this censorship gets quite overboard and even inconsistent as there are points undressed states like panty and lingerie shots are either censored or not at all, even if said shots weren't gratuitous or bordering on showing outright nudity.

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