Reviewed by: Jeremy
Released by: Geneon
Age Rating: 17+
Region: 1 - North America
Volume 1 of 4
Length: 100 minutes
English 2.0 Stereo
Japanese 2.0 Stereo
Hakufu Sonsaku has begun her first day at Nanyo Academy in Kanto, and already she’s become incredibly popular. Not just because she’s super-cute and has a well-developed chest (or "booby bombs" as the running gag goes). Around 1,800 years ago in China’s Three Kingdoms Era, ancient warriors tried to unite the land and died in the attempt. The souls of these warriors were placed within magatama jewels, which were then passed down through the generations, giving the power and fate of the souls within to those who possess them. These beads are now in the possession of the students of seven Kanto schools, who are fighting one another for dominance of the area. And Hakufu, who can’t seem to grasp what’s going on, may be the reincarnation of the Sho Haou, the greatest warrior of that era, making her a target for elimination on the orders of the mysterious villain, Totaku.
This series seems to be the latest in a trend that’s been popping up lately, that of a martial arts-comedy featuring attractive characters, most notably females ones with big chests. Naturally, there’s lots of fan service to be found, especially during fights where Hakufu gets her clothes destroyed (miraculously, her undergarments manage to stay intact, and everything else manages to stay just short of full-out nudity, despite some of the sexual tension and innuendo). And given that just about everyone’s out to kill poor Hakufu, there’s lots of fights. Luckily, these fights are drawn and animated very well, and are even kept rather to Earth, focusing on more realistic martial arts instead of "special techniques" that would fit more in "Dragonball".
Thankfully, there’s other things to draw fans to this series. There’s plenty of comedy, especially with Hakufu’s all but bungling through everything but somehow managing to get it all figured out in the end. Some may be less than a little pleased that Hakufu’s actions make her come across as an airheaded bimbo, but others may figure that’s part of the series’ charm. There’s also plenty of intrigue to be had, not only with the nature of Hakufu’s power, but also the "politics" between the schools. It almost plays out like street gangs fighting for turf, especially the way how most of the schools are under Totaku’s control with severe punishments for disobedience. Of course, the fact that there are those willing to disobey Totaku means that there are some decent folks among those out to get Hakufu, even if they don’t look like it at first.
"Ikki Tousen" may not look like it at first, but it does seem to be worth checking out. There does seem to be some indication that things could get interesting later on. It does offer plenty of cheap laughs at any rate, and no shortage of people getting beat up.