Geneon // 2003 // 75 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Mitchell Hattaway (Retired) // December 9th, 2004
The Big Fighters Tournament begins.
The battle for control of the world -- or at least whatever it is these kids are fighting for control of -- is about to begin. Two years have passed since the last Big Fighters Tournament, so the rival high schools are gearing up for the next competition. Hakufu, our bubble-headed, big-breasted heroine, has decided she will become Japan's greatest fighter -- but will the dormant power residing within her be enough to help her and the Nanyo Academy prove victorious in the tournament?
This second volume of episodes from the gleefully nonsensical Ikki Tousen anime series contains three installments:
* Episode Five
Hakufu goes to visit Taishiji, who was hospitalized after being stabbed and left for dead by his own allies. When Hakufu discovers Taishiji was attacked because he disobeyed orders and did not kill her during their duel, she tracks down Taishiji's former friends and proceeds to beat the crap out of them. Koukin, Hakufu's cousin, learns he and Hakufu are required to participate in the upcoming Big Fighters Tournament. (For those interested, this episode is book-ended by gratuitous scenes of Hakufu bathing.)
* Episode Six
Hakufu, Koukin, and Gakushu head off to the Big Fighters Tournament. Gakushu is defeated by students from the Yoshu School; Hakufu and Koukin are about to enter the battle when Ryomou arrives and fights for them. (Ryomou's late arrival is a result of her battle with Ryofu the previous night.) Ryomou defeats the Yoshu students, but not before losing her underwear. Koukin and Hakufu take the wounded Gakushu to safety, but are attacked by Kannei, Nanyo Academy's resident psycho. Ryomou advances to the next round, where she faces Kanu, the Seito School's most powerful fighter. (In case you were wondering, after Ryofu defeats and immobilizes Ryomou, she begins schooling her opponent in the Sapphic arts of love.)
* Episode Seven
Ryomou breaks Kanu's arm during their fight, but Kanu still manages to defeat Ryomou. Hakufu, having escaped from Kannei, jumps in and battles Kanu. A mysterious stranger, who has been secretly watching the battle, tells Koukin and Ryomou that Hakufu will one day become a great warrior. (For those keeping score at home, Ryofu initiates yet another young girl into the ways of the love that dare not speak its name.)
As I stated in my review of Ikki Tousen: Legendary Fighter (Volume 1), the best thing about this series is its refusal to take itself seriously (and if it did take itself seriously, it would be borderline offensive). It's patently ridiculous, and it's obvious the creators know this. I thought it was goofy enough when we just had magical earrings, feudal warriors reincarnated as nubile teenage girls, chick fights, and more shots of panties than a Victoria's Secret catalog, but now they go and throw lesbianism into the mix? Oh, baby -- good stuff all around.
As was the case with the previous release, Geneon has done a bang-up job on the technical end. The transfer is absolutely beautiful, with no defects to be found. The stereo sound mix, whether in the English dub or the original Japanese, does its job quite nicely. (A full 5.1 mix of the Japanese track would have been appreciated, but if you apply Pro Logic decoding to the stereo mix, you'll be rewarded with some sweet surround effects.) Extras include clean closing animation, an art gallery, Geneon's ever-present previews, a couple of Easter eggs, and a very brief interview with director Takashi Watanabe. This interview alone is almost worth the price of the disc, as Watanabe (who looks like he could be Eddie Van Halen's older, chubbier brother) reveals what interested him in the series in the first place. (Yes, it's exactly what'd expect to him say.) As for what else is going on in the room while Watanabe is being interviewed -- well, you'll just have to see that for yourself.
Ikki Tousen continues to be an entertaining piece of nonsense. Give it a shot. Court is adjourned.
Review content copyright © 2004 Mitchell Hattaway; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Japanese)
Running Time: 75 Minutes
Release Year: 2003
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Director Interview
* Clean Closing Animation
* Art Gallery
* Easter Eggs
* Official Site
* Volume 1 Review