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a.k.a. Strength of a Thousand

a.k.a. Ikki Tosen

Genre: Action
Company: GENCO/J.C. Staff
Format: 13 episodes
Dates: 7/30/2003 to 10/22/2003

Kantou is where seven high schools duke it out to prove their strength. Each fighter possesses a Madatama, a special jewel that holds the fate of warriors from the Sangokushi period whose spirits were sealed within long ago. Recently, Sonsaku Hakufu moved to Japan and transferred to Nanyou Campus, eager to participate in the coming battles. She is destined to unite the schools as her counterpart united seven countries many years ago… but there are those who wish to fight their historic destiny and Sonsaku.

summary by Eek


Reviewed: 04/21/2004 by
Grade: 54% av-Eek

Highs: Based on Chinese history

Lows: Fan service overdose; enormous cast is thin at best; bland fights

Ikkitousen is a series that definitely falls into the category commonly referred to as “guilty pleasure”. Simply put, it is memorable because it is mindless fun, but beyond that, it possesses very few qualities that have any value.

The one and only thing that prevents Ikkitousen from being horrible is that it is strongly based on Chinese history; more specifically, history covered by the novel “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”. The last words spoken in every episode closely tie in a certain character’s actions with his or her part in actual history, and this weaves together a story about victory, defeat, friendship and betrayal. The result of this historical tie-in creates something quite interesting, dealing with fighting against and accepting fate.

However, I doubt that even China has as many panties as are shown in Ikkitousen. It is strange that almost every female fighter gets her shirt ripped off, yet the tatters manage a strategic placement to cover up the nipples. While it is relieving to find a series where some characters act on their libido, there are simply far too many characters. It is not so bad that no one receives some background, but the sheer number of them prevents anyone from receiving very much of it. While a good touch that many of the historic Chinese heroes are included, there are still quite a few that are thrown in because of the connection to history and not because they are important to the plot. The fights are what primarily drive this series, yet they are merely mundane. While not poorly animated or drawn, the fights lack that needed kick, like in Hajime no Ippo where smoke and shockwaves are added to give the fights that extra boost. Instead, we are given raw street fighting; a degree of realism is always a good touch, though I never found myself drawn into the fights or in awe of a character’s moves.

For those people who want straight Chinese history, I suggest checking out the anime Romance of the Three Kingdoms. And for anyone up for a guilty pleasure, Ikkitousen can satisfy your needs… for panties and cheesy fights.


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