If approached correctly, Ikki Tousen isn't entirely bad. Make no mistake, Ikki Tousen is brain poison
. I can't stress that enough. But its dedicated to being exploitation schlock
in a way few other shows can match. And lets be honest, if you've put enough serious thought into watching to both read the article and
this review, you've already abdicated any right to judge it. Sit down and enjoy your stupid.
Where to start. Plot. As somebody with a college education and a detailed understanding of Han dynasty Chinese history I can authoritatively state that the plot to Ikki Tousen is pants on head retarded
. Do not keep track of the school affiliations, do not reference to the source material, do not pass go, do not collect $200. Give up. Its about as faithful to the source material as Diao Chan was to Dong Zhuo and under no circumstances should you try to understand it. This is fine except the anime is doggedly committed to pretending it has
a plot, which seems a rather cruel trick to play on uninitiated viewers. I couldn't say if the manga's plot is better since I haven't read it, and I wouldn't trust the mutants who actually did as far as I could throw them.
Its all academic anyhow since the actual purpose of the plot is as a vehicle for the fanservice
. As fanservice goes its honestly more funny than titillating. Watching what contrived plot device they come up with to remove clothing or what camera acrobatics they will employ next to exploit it is probably the most entertaining part of the experience. I'd recommend a drinking game if I weren't so afraid it would cause hundreds of deaths. Moving on, sound. The dub actors know exactly what kind of show they're in and pitch their performances accordingly. Hakufu especially turns in a remarkably felicitous performance playing the queen idiot in a cast that is a veritable Idiot Ball
league. Music is remarkably unremarkable for a series that skews to extremes in every other way.
All in all its really hard to recommend Ikki Tousen on any level, even as So Bad Its Good
. But it might be worth checking out just for its sheer audacity
. That a show this horrendous not only got green lighted but survived for four seasons
earns it a special place in anime infamy. Good viewing and god help you.