Yuri Anime: Ikkitousen DVD, Vol. 1 (English)

September 9th, 2004

The most amazing thing about this DVD is that it was a birthday present from my parents. It marks the first time *ever* that I got exactly what I wanted for my birthday – and it only took 39 years. ^_^

Despite the original threat to title this series “Battle Vixens” (and after Tokyopop actually released the manga of said series with this name) the name seem to have survived semi-intact. A step forward for fans everywhere. ^_^ Amazon lists the titles as Ikki Tosen but the DVD itself appears to be spelled correctly, sans space and with “u” – i.e, Ikkitousen

In any case, the packaging is really quite decent. No changes from the Japanese packaging – same reversible cover, Hakufu on one side,  Ryomou on the other. Inserts included a 2-sided mini pencil board, again Hakufu on one side, Ryomou on the other, both artistically naked – *and* a mini-poster of Hakufu and Ryomou. So, honestly, can’t complain there…it was all pretty good get. Four episodes always seems like a bit of a rip-off to me, but given the price and the decent freebies, it’s not *that* bad a deal – I still remember the days when the same price would have netted me two dubbed episodes on a VHS tape, with nothing inside but a market-research card. ^_^

I felt that the translators were a little prudish for this series – after all, its a pretty pervy series and there’s a fair bit of semi-explicit or downright explicit language, cursing, etc. For instance, when we first see Ryomou fight, she shouts, “I’m climaxing!” which is a bit silly. No one says that… And once or twice they miss a really good line by translating it a bit conservatively. I was all ready to trash the use of honorifics again, but by the end of the DVD I realize that basically no one in the beginning really *uses* honorifics much, so they just dropped them altogether for the few uses here and there, which worked fine. It’s sort of a shame, IMHO, because the few uses of honorifics are really quite wonderful, especially Hakufu calling Ryomou, “Mou-chan.” That name alone is worth using the damn honorifics, but…whatever.

Story wise, Ikkitousen remains one of the lamest-ass anime series ever. ^_^ The basic plot is that ancient Chinese fighters from the famous Chinese epic The Romance of the Three Kingdoms have been reborn as Japanese high school students. Go figure. The episodes are filled with such excessive fanservice that only pervs would really enjoy that part. But at the end of every episode, they give you a crumb of a plot, that makes you actually *care* for a second, until the waves of tedious and awkward panty shots wears you down again.

The fights are brutal, but not well choreographed. It’s a lot of “ki” use – so we don’t see much technique, but lots of coughing up blood. Only Ryomou appears to have *any* technique of any kind. (She does what it called “submission fighting,” i.e., she relies on joint locks and choke holds. I’ve done a fair bit of that myself – although in a *completely* different style than hers! No maid outfits. ^_^ I can honestly say that I sympathize with Ryomou quite a bit. Take that as you will.)

There’s no Yuri in the first volume – but I know that we’ll get some later, from the most unlikely character in the series. mind you….

Art – 6
Story – 2, with flashes of 7
Character – 8. They are the only reason to watch this piece of crap. ^_^
Yuri – 0 here, but later volumes it’ll shoot up to 10
Service – 9
Overall – 5

This is a pervy shounen series with little to no redeeming value, but I like it anyway, mostly for Ryomou and later, Ryofu and Chinkyuu. ^_^

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