Ikki Tousen (2003)

Rating: **
Review Date: 12/18/04

Divided into 13 installments

Not at all was I was expecting or hoping for. "Ikki Tousen" is a bizarre retelling of the classic "Romance Of The Three Kingdoms," punctuated with a heavy helping of breast jiggling and panty flashing. There's a massive gang war taking place between high schools all across Japan, and it's up to an air-headed teenage girl named Hakafu to unify the country through brutal force. She has the spirit of Shou Haou inside of her, which unleashes its fury on anyone foolish enough to challenge her. Naturally, EVERYONE wants to challenge her (or at least grope her). While the story has some fascinating elements to it, the filmmakers are quite clear with their intentions: It's a fan service film that rarely takes itself seriously and often pokes fun at itself. While I can truly appreciate a stray panty shot, it quickly loses its appeal when that becomes the primary focus of the work. The other disturbing trend in anime that's gotten completely out of control is the ridiculous focus on HUGE breasts that are in perpetual motion. It's ludicrous and even offensive to me. The fighting sequences are fair, but not overly memorable. The characters are mostly annoying and uninteresting, and Hakafu's dumb blonde act gets old extremely quickly. The series improves as new characters show up and the dramatic tension increases, but in the end it turns out to be hollow and pointless.