2009 TV Series (episodes 1-13). Director: Takashi Watanabe. 325 minutes. DVD, bilingual, $49.98. Distributor: Funimation
Hakufu isn’t just any street fighter. She’s one badass cutie in a short skirt that would make Paris Hilton blush. Her goal: to become king of the hill as she unites seven rival schools. Her inspiration: a jewel infused with the spirit of an ancient warrior. Oh yes, Hakufu has a destiny. And she’s ready to fight for it, even if her skirt and top gets torn away in the process!
Okay kids, ecchi is the word of the day. This is not the normal fighting scenario. Yes, excellent technique, pure jutsu, is performed with every footstep. But the punch or kick is not the only thing that strikes hard. Panties and bras are just as deadly in this anime! Hakufu and her friends are not afraid to flash a little ass as they kick their way to the top.
Sounds good? Indeed. But, let’s keep this 18 years and older. Ikki Tousen doesn’t just revel in pugilistic elegance and titillation. Sexual acts, even if only alluded to, run rampant. More importantly, sexual humiliation amongst female combatants is also implied.
Disturbing? A little. But this type of subjugation appears as early as the Latin poetry of Catullus. Sex is good. But issues of power and dominance are often lurking in the background; it’s the thing unsaid. In that context, let’s just call Ikki Tousen fetishistic.
Overall, this is about the last woman standing. It’s entertaining, titillating, and even a little awkward. Ikki Tousen is like your first time. You enjoy it, but you feel a little weird. Either way, it’s memorable.