Ikkitousen poster


In Ikkitousen, the Kanto region of Japan is locked in the middle of a turf war between seven different high schools. Among the students of these schools are a select few who are in possession of sacred beads. These magatama harbor the souls of warriors who fought during the Three Kingdoms Era of Chinese history. Not only are these students blessed with abilities that draw from the souls they are tied to, but they are also blessed, or maybe cursed, with the fates of these warriors from the past. One of these students is Hakufu Sonsaku; a young, caring, dim-witted girl who has recently transferred into Nanyo Academy and will be living with her cousin, Koukin Shuyu. Hakufu’s arrival creates an almost immediate sense of tension due to her power as a fighter and the possibility that she may be the one who carries the spirit of the Chinese warlord, Sun Ce. The most powerful fighters at Nanyo, known as “The Big Four” are shaken by her presence and determined to stop Hakufu from achieving the goal given to her by her mother: to conquer those who challenge her and unite the seven schools.

Ranking 1231

User Count9385
Favorites Count20
Start Date30th Jul 2003
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank1231
Rating Rank9821
Age RatingR
Age Rating GuideMild Nudity


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I often consider "Ikkitousen" as a crappier version of "Tenjou Tenge" - they are two of the most popular fan-service filled fighting anime around. But the resemblance ends at this point. While "Tenjou Tenge" upsets the trend of ecchi fightin anime by actually being GOOD (yep, you heard me correctly), "Ikkitousen" came off as a more typical offering of this type by letting the fanservice get in the way of everything else. In fact, "Ikkitousen" is so overflowing with fanservice that it's probably the closest an anime can get to being hentai without actually becoming a hentai.The concept behind Ikkitousen is rather bizarre. Basically, people who were involved in the Three Kingdoms era (one of the most illustrious periods from ancient Chinese history) are being reincarnated as school girls from different schools. These girls all have a lust for battle (predictably), and so the battles from the Three Kingdoms era gets played out between these people from rival schools (each school is supposed to represent a Kingdom I think). It's like an anime about delinquents with a peculiar twist, and with all the characters being girls (in order to provide fanservice, of course). By now, you've probably fallen off your chair laughing at this utterly ridiculous concept, but you might be surprised to know it didn't turn out to be a complete disaster... but not for the reason you might think. The reason had to less to do with competent story development and more to do with the fact that, between all the ecchi and fighting, there's not really much room left for "Ikkitousen" to expand on its farcical ideas. It's content to mostly sit back and give the occasional two-sentence narrative of how a current event is a parallel to what went on in the Three Kingdoms era. Though I'm vaguely aware of some parts of the Three Kingdom's history, I won't pretend I'm an expert, not by any stretch of the imagination. Armed with my primitive knowledge, the barebone armchair narrative helped me to understand... virtually nothing at all. Of course, it doesn't help that they're referring to those famous historical figures by their names translated into Japanese, but still, I can just imagine how lost someone would feel coming into this anime with little or no knowledge about that part of Chinese history. On the other hand, not developing the storyline can probably be considered to be a blessing in disguise. The concept is absurd enough as it is, god knows how it could have turned out if they actually tried to work something from it. As it stands, the anime ditched most of the story in favour of the ecchi and action. Though there are some intriguing personalities thrown in the mix (well, intriguing by the standard of an ecchi anime at least), they suffer somewhat from the lack of cohesion in the story, as it's hard to figure out what their motivations are at times. The action sequences are quite awesome in places, especially when you compare it against other anime of similar genre (such as "Variable Geo") and see how sucky they tend to be. However, the fanservice factor is just a plain nuisance. Its presence is so strong that it tramples over everything else that's going on, and is often distracting at the most inappropriate moments. It really needs to take a leaf out of "Tenjou Tenge"'s book and see how to provide fanservice without disupting the viewer from other aspects such as action and story. And while it's at it, it may as well learn a thing or two about proper plot development too!Other than a handful of great fights, this anime has very little else to offer. If you're after an anime of this particular genre, I would point you in the direction of "Tenjou Tenge"... unless it's eichi that's primarily what you're searching for.

Ikkitousen is an early 2000s anime directed by  Takashi Watanabe, It is notorious for being anecchi with over the top fan service from start to finish as highlighted inseveral high profile reviews. However is there more to it than that? Is itworth watching if you’re not just looking for fan service? Ignoring the fan service for the time being, the plot to Ikkitousenis certainly an interesting premise: The central theme is a question of is itpossible to avoid one’s fate, or are we ultimately powerless to do anythingother than follow it? The stage this question is played out on again is uniqueand interesting, the anime revolves around famous characters from the ThreeKingdoms era being reincarnated inside the bodies of high school childrenfighting in an underground war between their respective schools. Thesecharacters constantly are trying to alter their fate, though they rarelysucceed. While this may sound very silly, it is actually a good basestory against which the anime is played out and when the story focuses on thisaspect it is very interesting and provides a wide range of characters all withcompeting motives. Unfortunately the story isn’t developed to its fullpotential through the series both through a lack of in depth exposition and alack of meaningful character development. There are moments when the seriestries to make you care about the characters, particularly in the last twoepisodes, but it isn’t consistent enough to have any real impact. The animation is generally good throughout the serieswithout ever being outstanding at any time, with a nice aesthetic that worksfor the setting. The fight scenes in particular have real weigh to them, doinga very good job of making the punches and kicks have impact. It does fall intothe trap of much earlier anime of rarely animating the entire fight, often justshowing the move then cutting to the result, but all in all it is a strength ofIkkitousen. There isn’t really a sound track to speak of, but in the briefmoments where there is music it fits the action well. It must be noted that thedub is actually surprisingly good, and I’d recommend watching Ikkitousen dubbedinstead of subbed. The fan service is the elephant in the room, and there is noway of getting around it. Fan service is everywhere in Ikkitousen, from theopening credits to the short sections either side of the advert break. There israrely a minute that goes by without a panty or cleavage shot, and the firstpunch of every fight almost always rips off the majority of the girls’clothing.  The fan service is full on in Ikkitousenwith heavily over emphasized female anatomy showing through the panty shots andit ramps up as the series goes on moving from your standard panty shots toextensive periods of full frontal nudity and soft core pornography in theseries. The fan service doesn’t feel sexy in any way, and occasionally crossesthe line particularly with a rape scene in one episode. In short if fan servicein anyway bothers you, don’t bother watching Ikkitousen.

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