The first time I ever watched Ikkitousen was a very long time ago.
Probably around 5 years or so.
So I was excited to revisit this anime now that I’ve been moving back into the ecchi space which I had left for a while. Plus I’ve been on such a spree with anime rewatches lately that this felt like a great anime to go back and watch!
And with that… how was Ikkitousen Season 1?
Panties, Fighting & Fate
Ikkitousen is an anime about high schools filled with fighters that don sacred beads. The kicker is that these sacred beads tie their fates to various fighters and political figures from The Romance of the Three Kingdoms. So not only are the high schools fighting each other for the top position in the Tokyo region, but they are also tied to their historical fates.
But overall, it’s an anime that features an abundance of panty shots and fighting, in addition to the overarching story revolving around the Three Kingdoms. You wouldn’t think that adding a whole lot of ecchi content to an action-heavy anime like this would work, but it really does. After the first few episodes you really just get used to the ecchi content.
I wouldn’t say that the ecchi component of this anime adds much of anything to the story itself, but if you like panty shots then it’ll add that layer of enjoyment for you.
If you’re interested in my thoughts on the individual episodes of Ikkitousen you’ll be able to find a list of those posts at the end of this review.
Romance of the Three Kingdoms
One aspect of this anime that really shone for me in this rewatch was the references to The Romance of the Three Kingdoms. In fact, it was during this rewatch, as I never even fully clued in until around episode.. 7? You see, I’d known some names – Dong Zhuo, Lu Bu, Lu Bei, Guan Yu, Sun Quan, Cao Cao, et cetera.. but what never clicked for me was that they use different names in the anime. I never looked into it but it might just be that Japan in general uses different names for those characters, and it’s reflected in this anime as a result.
So it wasn’t until I found a page that shows all of the characters from Ikkitousen and their Chinese names, so to speak. It also has spoilers, so you have to be a bit careful reading through it, but you can easily Ctrl + F to find a specific character and see who they represent from Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The page also has brief explanations as to what the characters were most known for in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, helping you to piece together what their “fate” is in Ikkitousen.
Being able to see that Hakufu is Sun Ce, Ryofu is Lu Bu, Sousou is Cao Cao… things like this ended up making the anime much more enjoyable for me. Especially because their fates are tied to the historical character, but there is room for leeway. So while watching I’d have a clear idea of what someone’s fate was, but not know exactly how it would play out or if they would somehow overcome their fate.
I’d definitely recommend watching the anime in this way, because it was so much more fun to watch Ikkitousen knowing the links to Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
I feel like whenever I write a review for a series that I’ve written posts for every episode I can just keep the overall review spoiler-free, so that’s what I’ll do here as well. So I’ll omit any specific favourite moments or gripes here.
I’d say that Ikkitousen is a solid anime filled with action and fan service. If you just watch it at face value and don’t know anything about Romance of the Three Kingdoms, this might feel like a fairly average anime, which on it’s own isn’t all that bad.
But if you are interested in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Ikkitousen can really become an enjoying show to watch, and not just for the fan service. The historical ties in the anime really do add a layer of intrigue that adds enjoyment to the story.
I’m going to give Ikkitousen a 8 / 10.
There are many aspects to this anime that make it as fun as it is, and this is a journey that has only just begun after the conclusion of the first season!
That’s all for this review.
You can find my episodic posts below.
Until next time,
Thanks for reading!
Other Ikkitousen Posts
- Episode 1 – A Violent, But Ecchi Introduction!
- Episode 2 – Nanyo Academy Fights Back!
- Episode 3 – The Basics of Street Fighting.
- Episode 4 – Totaku Makes His Move
- Episode 5 – Hakufu Takes Down Youshu High
- Episode 6 – The Big Fighters Tournament Begins!
- Episode 7 – Kanu Unchou
- Episode 8 – The Tournament Is Over?
- Episode 9 – Hot Springs Training
- Episode 10 – Fighting Fate
- Episode 11 – Desperate Times
- Episode 12 – Totaku’s Fall
- Episode 13 – Three Kingdoms
- Season 1 Review