Romance of the Three KingdomsWITHPANTY SHOTS! But seriously...The souls of the greatest warriors, generals, and strategists of the era of Chinese history immortalized in Romance of the Three Kingdoms have continued on beyond their deaths, sealed within magatama beads handed down from generation to generation. For 1,800 years, the gems have dominated the destiny of their holders - the "Toushi", or "Fighters" - increasing their bloodlust and fighting skills while forcing them to re-enact the lives and deaths of their counterparts.Now, the newest generation of Fighters has gathered around seven high schools in the Kanto region around Tokyo, re-enacting the battles as something in between a semi-organized street fighting tournament and an all-out gang war. And at Nanyou Academy (read: Nanyang and eventually the Wu kingdom), Idiot Heroine Sonsaku Hakufu has arrived.And she has no clue about anything in the last two paragraphs. All Sonsaku knows is that she likes to fight, and her mom not only gave her a necklace with a pretty magatama, but also told her to make a good impression by beating up fifty Fighters on her first day. She definitely doesn't know that she's the "reincarnation" of Sun Ce, the ruler of Wu known as the "Little Conqueror (Shou Haoh)" - the one who it's said might have united the Three Kingdoms himself if not for his untimely death.Ikki Tousen (Roughly "Strength of a Thousand") is an ongoing (18 volumes and counting) manga series by Shiozaki Yuji that has been adapted into four anime seasons to date, as well as a Fighting Game. The Tokyopop English release of the manga, called Battle Vixens, is notorious for its Macekred translation (similar to CMX's version of Tenjho Tenge). There was also a controversy about several panels from early in the series that seemed to be traced from Oh! Great's Tenjho Tenge manga. The whole thing originated as story-less PVC figurines in the very late 1990s.Interestingly, the second through fourth seasons were directed by, of all people, KoichiOhata.Compare Koihime†Musou, another series of Romance of the Three KingdomsGender Flip spoof.This series is now available on Hulu. It is, however, rated TV-MA, and thus, you need an account to view it. And has a character sheet.
Annoying Arrows: Subverted in Ryoumou's fight with Ten'i, as the arrows nearly end up killing Ryoumou, who probably only survives because of Chouun's interference and the fact that she woke up her dragon.
Art Evolution: This was the series Yuji Shiozaki polished his artstyle drastically, he improved so much that the first Ikkitousen Volumes just can't compare to recent ones. The anime though, still kept mimicking his earlier style, thus remaining unchanged through all seasons.
Ascended Extra: The first season gives Ukitsu (Yu Ji) more scenes and more interaction with Hakufu, who she's destined to kill.
Bathtub Bonding: Hakufu does it with Koukin in season one and in Great Guardians with Chuubou.
Beach Episode: In Great Guardians (ep 05), going through all the motions.
Beauty Is Never Tarnished: So averted, since the girls and the guys get beaten up real hard. As you see, not only their clothes get ripped. Heck, in the manga, poor Ten'i is so brutally mauled that she loses an arm.
Because Destiny Says So: Its never really explained why people keep passing on those damn magatama beads and consigning their loved ones to brief and violent lives.
Big Damn Heroes: Dragon Destiny has at least three. First, Chou'un intervenes in Ryoumou's fight with Ten'i. Later, Kan'u rescues Ryuubi from Gakushin (Yue Ji) and Chuukou (Xu Chu) as she joins the final battle. And in the end, Hakufu pulls the last one during Sousou and Ryuubi's fight.
Clothing Damage: The female characters' clothing seems to disintegrate at the drop of a hat. Somehow averted by Chou'un (Zhao Yun), who practically is the only female who never had her clothes torn in a fair fight (the only time her clothes was torn was due to an interruption), this possibly being a symbol of her Lady of War status.
Coitus Uninterruptus: In Dragon Destiny, Kaku Bunwa (Jie Xu) and Kakuka Houkou (Guo Jia) discuss strategy... while doing the nasty.
Combat Pragmatist: Bachou Mouki, who in the first episode of XX finds nothing wrong with shots to the groin and using pastries to pad her chest, then turning right around and using the filling of said pastries to blind her enemies while she kicks the crap out of them.
Cooldown Hug: Used by Chuukou, on Sousou. And by Sousou himself, on Myousai (Great Guardians only)
Depraved Bisexual: Ryofu Housen (Lu Bu) skirts the line, especially in the first season of the anime. She rapes Ryoumou after rendering her helpless during a fight (only in the anime, in the manga Ryofu just gropes her), has had sex with Saji and Toutaku, even claiming at some point that Saji raped her in Battle Vixens and is also Schoolgirl Lesbians with her best friend, Chinkyuu (Chen Gong). The last relationship actually counts as Pet the Dog.
Dojikko: Ryuubi, again. And according to Hakufu, Ryoumou also is one of them when the two work as waitreses.
The Dragon: Ryofu (Lu Bu) is introduced as one for Toutaku (Dong Zhuo). (She betrays him later, though)
Dub Text: Battle Vixens features several examples, such as the subplot about Saji raping Ryofu, Kan'u and Ukitsu showing interest in Koukin, and making Ryuubi into a Transparently Closeted homophobe constantly worrying about Kan'u lusting after her.
Ecchi: Read the rest of the page and it should be obvious.
Evil Cripple: Shiba'i (Sima Yi) is one of the more ruthless strategists in the series and she's confined to a wheelchair. It was all fake, though: she can walk, but uses her supposed disability as Obfuscating Stupidity
Evil Redhead: Toutaku, Sousou after his "awakening" (and even more so in the manga)
Eye Catch: In season 1, it's Hakafu kicking into the camera for the "going to commercial" eyecatch, and her skirt lifting for the "back from commercial" eyecatch. Both eyecatches feature a karaoke snippet of the OP, "Driving Through the Night". In seasons 2-4, it's a still image of a character, often in revealing attire, set to a brief rock music cue.
Facial Markings: Koushaji has a small flower-shaped one on her left cheekbone
Fan Disservice: Koushaji has a pantyshot-laden battle against Sousou (Cao Cao), which she loses. She then gets killed by having her head crushed against a wall by Sousou, who went absolutely APESHIT after she injured Kakouton's eye with a throwing needle.
Genre Savvy: The characters are all aware of Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and even try to use that knowledge to their advantage. Yes, even Hakufu breaks out the Cliff Notes when things get serious on her.
Gentle Giant: Gakushuu (Yue Jiu); he even has a sweet tooth. Also Kouchuu Kanshou, who blushes intensely when he touches Kan'u and Chuhi's clothes which he had to wash per instructions of his master.
Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Kanshou and Chouhi, Kaku and Kakuka. In a platonic sense, Gakushuu and either Hakufu or Ryoumou.
Huge Schoolgirl: Kyouchu Chuukou. In the manga, she was even bullied for her huge size by the boys in her and Sousou's ex judo club. And the first time Sousou's dragon ever appeared, it was to protect Chuukou from said sempais when he thought they tried to rape her.
I Have Your Wife: In Episode 12 of the first series, Toutaku tells Hakufu to kill Ryoufu. When she refuses, he grabs her teammate Ryoumou and forces her to fight. Later, Gakushuu and Koukin are captured and held hostage to force Hakufu to fight Saji. And in Dragon Destiny, Kan'u surrenders herself to Kyoushou when Ryuubi, Chouhi, Koumei and Kanshou are threatened by practically all the Kyoushou fighters.
I Just Want to Be Normal: Ryuubi tells Chouhi and Kan'u that, even when she knows she's the reincarnation of Liu Bei, she'd rather live normally like she always has.
Subverted: Koukin tries this on Hakufu, who's being used by Toutaku as his Soul Jar. He fails and she brutally beats him up, but then Ukitsu appears and is the one who hits Hakufu'sBerserk Button and lets her get free of Toutaku's grip.
Played straight: When Ukitsu and Hakufu fight and Hakufu is dominated by her Superpowered Evil Side, Koukin tries again despite Ukitsu's warnings. This time, he succeeds.
And again, in Great Guardians: Not only the returned Sousou de-brainwashed Myousai like this (plus Cooldown Hug) and Saji did the same to Ryoufu, who then returned the favor by de-brainwashing Ryoumou... Hakufu's "sister" Chuubou gets her Crowning Moment of Awesome by doing this to none other than the Big Bad, the *real* Saji Genpou, convincing her to abandon her evil ways and stop fighting.
Ill Girl: Ryoufu has a fatal illness and knows her days are numbered. Whereas Teifu is a Crippled and Blind Boy, and Kakuka is an Ill Boy in the manga.
In Name Only: For kicks, show the anime to anybody with even a mild interest in Chinese literature, and watch them vomit blood.
Lazy Artist: It came with Yuji's improving of his artstyle, there are times he blatantly copy-and-pastes his panels more than once, they're small panels with no background featuring some character being shocked, surprised, being emotionally strucken by something & etc.
Likes Older Women: Kakouton (Xiahou Dun) is mistaken as being like this, much to his embarrassment.
Little Miss Badass: Ten'i is a damn dangerous Archer who wears a Gothic Lolita dress when she fights. Also, the true Saji Genpou, a Chess Master girl who's a powerful magic user.
Mind Probe: Gakushin (Yue Jin) can use her kiss to dive in the minds and memories of her victims. When she uses this power on Kan'u in Dragon Destiny, it does NOT go well; not only she discovers Kan'u's Les Yay crush on Ryuubi, but also has a bloody vision involving Sousou's past self that causes her a huge Freak Out.
Moment Killer: Koumei pulls this at least twice towards Kan'u when she wants to be with Ryuubi.
Naughty Nurse Outfit: In the first series, Genpou Saji fondles the nurse (who wears such an outfit) while in his hospital bed.
Nice Girl - You'll be hard pressed to find anyone who is as sweet, nice and kind-hearted as Hakufu; She is able to forgive anything short of rape and befriend anybody, complete with cute-nicknames and regular hugs, when the fight is over.
Nosebleed: Koukin gets one when he walks in on Chuubou and Hakufu bathing together.
Oneesama: Chuubou refers to Hakufu (who doesn't fit the personality at all) as such and Koukin as "onii-sama" (he comments he can easily get used to it).
Pet the Dog: Ryofu softens quite a bit around her old friend (and girlfriend) Chinkyuu.
Potty Failure: Several of the girls pee their panties during fights, and some of them actually consider it an achievement to make their opponent wet herself (however some arguably that this is a case of Orgasmic Combat). This actually became a plot point at one time as Tanfuko could tell his plan to weaken Kan’u was working because of the liquid coming down between her legs
At least one time a fighter lost control her bladder was probably fear based, the assassin that attacked Sousou and blinded his best friend Kakouton, wet herself after Sousou's Super Powered Evil Side took over.
Pretty Freeloaders: Hakufu and Goei (for Koukin). At least Goei handles the housework and the cooking, so...
In Dragon Destiny it was revealed that another character, Ten'i, had been gang raped at her old school by a sadistic Alpha Bitch and her Girl Posse. They pretty much used this trope to justify their actions
The Real Remington Steele: A BIG Revelation of Great Guardians is based on this. The "Saji" we know is actually Ouin (Wang Yun) Shishi, which we already knew. But what the audience was NOT told is that the big bad of Great Guardians is the Fighter with the real magatama of Zuo Ci, a Little Miss Badass young woman who is the true Saji Genpou, whom the "other" Saji might be in love with.
Schoolgirl Lesbians: Ryofu and Chinkyuu. In the beginning of the third season, Kan'u thinks like this, Covert Pervert style, towards Ryuubi (who's oblivious). Until almost the end, where she reciprocates Kan'u's feelings.
Screening The Call: In the manga, Goei tried to keep Hakufu from picking fights to save her from her fate as a Fighter. In the anime, she goes as far as actually telling Kakouton how to defeat Hakufu in the tournament. It didn't work in any of these cases.
Shout Out: Goei likes to proclaim herself to be 17 years old... exactly the habit of her seiyuu Kikuko Inoue.
Shown Their Work: One of the DVD extras for the first season shows a "reference photos" session, wherein the anime staff managed to recruit an actual schoolgirl to do a bunch of panty-flashing high kicks.
Skinship Grope: Hakufu seems to like groping Ryomou quite a bit. Same goes to Koumei, when she bathes with Ryuubi.
Soul Jar: The ones with the dragons inside. Also, in the first season Toutaku transfers his soul to Hakufu's body as he dies, to settle his score with Saji.
Theme Naming: All of the characters have the same names as the Japanese reading of their counterparts from Three Kingdoms. To be exact, their surnames are the full, real names of their Chinese counterparts, and their given names are the courtesy names of their Chinese counterparts. (See Chinese Names for the issue of "real names" and "courtesy names.")
Too Long; Didn't Dub — Because all translations insist on using the direct Japanese equivalents of the characters' actual Chinese names, most of the international audience don't even know it's based on Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and those who do have an incredibly hard time following along trying to keep track of who everyone's supposed to be. The official subtitles in particular is a mess in this regard, clearly translated by someone who went into the series not having a clue what all these weird names tossed around are supposed to be. Literally the only non-Japanese name in the entire series written the way an English-speaker would recognize is "China".
Likewise, official English descriptions of the series claims that main character "Sonsaku", whom the entire non-Japanese-speaking world knows as "Sun Ce", is the "reincarnation of a person named "Sho Haou". Which is borderline "Blind Idiot" Translation.
Wuxia: Smutty fanservice notwithstanding, the story does bear elements of the feroicious passion plays of honor, romance and tragedy that is staple of the genre. In particular, Yasuhara Takanashi's hot-blooded soundtrack for Dragon Destiny, Great Guardians and Xtreme Xecutor captures the heart stirring heroism of films like Once Upon A Time In China just right.
Yamato Nadeshiko: Hakufu's "sister" Sonken Chuubou (Sun Quan) or to be exact, Shoukyou (Xiao Qiao). Parodied in Dragon Destiny where the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue has Chou'un trying her hand at ikebana and failing miserably, as she uses the scissors like a katana.