Ikki Tousen: Dragon Destiny
Japanese teenagers, infected with the spirits of ancient Chinese warriors and/or dragons, continue to scheme, murder, and destroy property in a world where not only police, but adults in general, are not seen (except various martial arts masters.) Who will come out on top?
OK, you can look at the THEM review of the original series, but I'll spell it out for you here as well: this series shamelessly panders to the male otaku. Almost all the young women in the series have enormous breasts, wear "school uniform" skirts short enough to constantly show off panties, and get into fights in which the first thing that happens is almost all their clothes get ripped off, leaving them in panties and with more-or-less exposed breasts. Ryomou is probably my favorite among the lady "fighters", but I rather doubt that that maid outfit she often wears is there for HER convenience.
In short, we're in that world which exists only in male fantasies, The Fanservice Zone.
If that was all this series had going for it, we could skip it entirely, but the weird thing about the Ikki Tousen series is that they are also equipped with labyrinthine plots involving complex interactions and emotions as the teenagers channel various individuals of the Chinese Three Kingdoms Era.
And to my mind Dragon Destiny is that rarity of rarities, a sequel better than the original. The colors are darker and richer, and this time the supernatural elements are much more important than in the first series.
A good sequel shouldn't just retread the terrain it's covered before, and that was the first thing that impressed me here. Hakufu doesn't put in an appearance in the flesh until near the end of the third episode; instead we start with the fighters of Seito High. One, Kan'u, we've met in the Tournament sequence in Season One; now we also meet the perky Chouhi and my favorite, Gentoku, who's supposed to be the "leader" of the Seito fighters but doesn't want to fight at all, but would rather be reading books. She might resemble Hakufu in some ways (cup size, rather ditzy personality), but her pacifism makes her an interesting contrast to Hakufu's aggressiveness. Well, there IS another way she does resemble Hakufu, by the way, but I won't give away that secret.
Then there's the group from Kyoushou High, several of whom we also met in Season One. It may be recalled that Kaku, the scheming opportunist from Season One, in the end wound up at Kyoushou after her sadistic master was killed, and her presence in your camp is almost always an indication that Something Is Wrong With You. What's wrong with Kyoushou? It's a problem with Sousou, Kyoushou's leader. You may recall he was the guy who was almost always horizontal in the First Series? No more. It seems the ancient Chinese warlord sharing HIS soul was... not very nice. And he's getting much feistier.
So the respective bunches from Seito, Kyoushou, and Nanyou (Hakufu's crew) are the main protagonists, but there's also another rival school or so to take down, and Kyoushou seems to have a huge number of fighters on its string, so it becomes a little difficult to keep track of who's working for whom. Still, I loved most of the Seito ladies, and was happy to see Ryomou again. (By the way, they finally reveal why she wears the eyepatch.)
And there was this lovely little moment at the end of the show where two people who have been left out in the cold by events greet each other, neither of them really over everything that's happened to them. A very nice, and even thoughtful, little ending.
A rare anime sequel better than the original. — Allen Moody
Recommended Audience: Just about every female in this thing is naked at some point (if you look at the short OVAs that are included, even the minors are nude.) And the answer to the asterisked question above? Kaku is on top. The box says 16+, and that's exactly right. More to the point: males 16-25 or so will give this the full 4 stars I did (maybe more!). Persons younger than 16 have no business looking at this, and persons in any other demographic won't have the slightest interest in it. (I'm a lot older than 25, but I still understand how they THINK. A good show to watch when one is between girlfriends...)
Version(s) Viewed: R1 DVD
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Ikki Tousen: Dragon Destiny © 2007 Yuji Shiozaki - Wani Books / Ikkitousen DD Partners
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