Ikki Tousen

Ikki Tousen (Japanese一騎当千 HepburnIkkitōsen, lit. “A Mighty Knight who Matches a Thousand Knights”), also known as Battle Vixens in North America, is a manga series written and illustrated by Yuji Shiozaki. Loosely based on the classic Chinese novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the series revolves around an all-out turf war in the Kantō region of Japan where fighters known as Tōshi (闘士, meaning “fighting soldier”) from seven schools battle for supremacy. The story centers on Hakufu Sonsaku, a fighter who transfers to Nanyo Academy, one of the seven schools involved in the turf war.

The manga started serialization in the seinen manga magazine Comic Gum, and the first tankōbon was released in October 2000, with a total of 24 volumes available as of September 25, 2015. The manga was licensed in North America and the United Kingdom by Tokyopop with adaptation from Keith Giffen under the title Battle Vixens, and in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment.

A 13-episode anime adaptation produced by J.C.Staff aired between July and October 2003, on AT-X and other channels. A second anime season produced by Armsaired on AT-X between February and May 2007, spanning twelve episodes. A third anime season, also produced by Arms, aired on AT-X between June and August 2008, spanning twelve episodes and featuring an all-new plotline and characters. A fourth anime season produced by TNK and Arms aired on AT-X and other channels between March and June 2010, spanning 12 episodes and introducing new schools and characters. An anime OVA was announced by Media Factory,[2] and premiered in Japanese theaters on November 12, 2011.

The first anime season was licensed in North America by Geneon Entertainment,[3] but it is now licensed by Funimation after Geneon withdrew from the anime market.[4]The second anime season is licensed in North America by Media Blasters.[5] The third anime season was also licensed by Media Blasters,[6] but it is now licensed by Funimation.[7] The fourth anime season is also licensed by Funimation.

In the Kantō region of Japan, seven high schools take place in a turf war for territorial supremacy: Nanyo Academy, Kyosho Academy, Seito Academy, Yoshu Academy, Rakuyo High School, Gogun High School, and Yoshu Private School. The fighters of each school bear the sacred jewels called magatama, which contains the essence of warriors from the Three Kingdoms era of Ancient China 1800 years ago, as well as their fates.

Hakufu Sonsaku, the descendant of legendary conqueror Sun Ce, is a highly skilled fighter with a strong sense of personality who goes to Nanyo Academy where her cousin Koukin Shuuyu attends under her mother’s request. Her destiny, as with her predecessor, was to conquer all of the schools. But there is a darker and more dangerous side to her fate, one that may change the entire course of history forever.

Anime

A 13-episode anime adaptation of Ikki Tousen produced by J.C.Staff and directed by Takashi Watanabe aired on AT-X from July 30, 2003 and October 22, 2003, with subsequent runs on TV Kanagawa, Mie TV, Chiba TVTV Saitama, and Sun Television. Seven DVD volumes were released by Media Factory between November 22, 2003 and May 25, 2004.[12][13] A DVD box set was later released on January 25, 2008,[14] and a Blu-ray box set was later released on April 27, 2011.[15] The series was licensed in North America by Geneon Entertainment,[3] who released the series on four DVD volumes between August 10, 2004 and March 1, 2005. The English dub was produced by New Generation Pictures in Los Angeles, California. A box set was later released on July 19, 2005 by Geneon. The series is now licensed by Funimation Entertainment after Geneon closed its doors to the North American market,[4] and released a box set of the series on May 26, 2009. The series is also licensed in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment, and in the United Kingdom by MVM Films.

A second season, called Ikki Tousen: Dragon Destiny (一騎当千 Dragon Destiny Ikkitōsen Doragon Desutinī), produced by Arms and directed by Koichi Ohata, aired 12 episodes on AT-X from February 26, 2007 to May 14, 2007, with subsequent broadcasts on Chiba TVKBS KyotoTV KanagawaTokyo MXSun TelevisionTV Aichi, and TV Saitama. Six DVD volumes were released by Media Factory between July 25 and November 22, 2007,[16][17] each volume containing an original video animationcalled Dragon Destiny: Great Battle at the Red Cliffs Hot Springs (Dragon Destiny 赤壁温泉大決戦 Doragon Desutinī: Sekiheki Onsen Dai Kessen), featuring the female cast in a hot spring setting. A DVD boxset was later released on December 22, 2009.[18] The anime is licensed in North America by Media Blasters,[5] who released the series on three DVD volumes between November 24, 2009 and April 20, 2010. Unlike the first season, the English dub for Dragon Destiny was recorded at Headline Studios in Irvington, New York. A box set was later released on August 31, 2010. The anime is also licensed in Australia by Madman Entertainment, as with the first season. However, due to the series’ violent and sexual scenes, the Office of Film and Literature Classification banned Ikki Tousen: Dragon Destiny in New Zealand.

A third season, Ikki Tousen: Great Guardians (一騎当千 Great Guardians Ikkitōsen Gurēto Gādianzu), produced by Arms and directed by Koichi Ohata, aired 12 episodes on AT-X from June 11, 2008 to August 27, 2008, with subsequent broadcasts on Chiba TVTV SaitamaTV AichiTV KanagawaSun Television, and Tokyo MX. The series features an all-new storyline featuring Chokyo, Hakufu’s younger sister and the Japanese counterpart of Xiao Qiao, introducing another Genpou Saji as an antagonist, and the return of a character who previously died in the first series. Six DVD compilation volumes were released by Media Factory between September 25, 2008 and February 25, 2009,[19][20] each volume containing an original video animation called Battle Tour Club: Sexy Cosplay♥Dangerous Jobs♥ (バトルツアークラブ・セクシーコスプレ♥危険なアルバイト♥). A DVD box set was released on March 25, 2010.[21] The series was also licensed by Media Blasters, as with the second season,[6] and was scheduled to be released in a complete box set on March 31, 2012.[22] The series was originally planned to be released in two half-series sets on August 30, 2011 and October 25, 2011, respectively, prior to its rescheduled date. Media Blasters later announced on February 3, 2012 that the North American release of Great Guardians was placed on an indefinite hold.[23] At Anime Expo 2012, Funimation Entertainment announced that they had acquired the licensing rights to Great Guardians.[7] Funimation Entertainment released the DVD box-set of Great Guardians on December 31, 2013. The English dub for the third season was once again produced by New Generation Pictures whom not only recorded the original voice actors in California, but also managed to get several voice actors from Dragon Destinyto record in New York at DuArt Film and Video.

A fourth season, called Ikki Tousen: Xtreme Xecutor (一騎当千 XTREME XECUTOR Ikkitōsen Ekustorīmu Eguzekutā), was announced. Produced by TNK under the directorship of Koichi Ohata, the series aired twelve episodes on AT-X between March 26 and June 11, 2010, with subsequent broadcasts on Chiba TVTV KanagawaTV SaitamaTokyo MXTV Aichi, and Sun Television. The series introduces two new schools, Nanban High School and Ryoshu Academy, and introduces Kentei, the Japanese counterpart of Emperor Xian, as an antagonist. Six DVD and Blu-ray volumes were released by Media Factory between June 25 and November 25, 2010.[24][25] The DVD/BDs contains an original video animation called Ikki Tousen: Xtreme Xecutor – A Dream’s Six Views (一騎当千 XTREME XECUTOR 〜ユメ六景〜). At Anime Expo 2012, Funimation announced that they had also acquired the licensing rights to Xtreme Xecutor alongside Great Guardians.[7] Funimation Entertainmentreleased the DVD box-set of Xtreme Xecutor on March 11, 2014 in North America. As with the third season, the English dub was produced by both New Generation Pictures and DuArt Film and Video in California and New York, respectively.

An original video animation, called Ikki Tousen: Shūgaku Tōshi Keppu-roku (一騎当千 集鍔闘士血風録) was announced by Media Factory, and a promotional video was posted on their YouTube channel.[2] The OVA was released in Japanese theaters on November 12, 2011.[26] It was later released on DVD and Blu-ray on February 22, 2012 by Media Factory.[27] Funimation Entertainment released the DVD box-set of Great Guardians on December 31, 2013.[7] Funimation Entertainment included the OVA as part of their Xtreme Xecutor DVD Box Set in North America.

The opening theme for the first season is “Drivin’ Through The Night” by M.o.v.e, and there are two ending themes, “Let me be with you” by Shela from episodes 1-7, and “Fate” by Masumi Asano (the original voice of Hakufu Sonsaku) for episodes 8-13. The opening theme for Dragon Destiny is “HEART&SOUL” by Mai Kariyuki while the ending theme is “Glass Flower” (硝子の花 Garasu no Hana) by IORI. The opening theme for Great Guardians is “No x limit” by Ami, while the ending theme is “Kage: Shape of Shadow” (影~shape of shadow~) by Rio Asaba. The opening theme for Xtreme Xecutor is “Stargazer” by Yuka Masuda while the ending theme is “Endless Soul: Endless Warrior” (Endless Soul 〜終わりなき戦士 Endless Soul ~Owarinaki Senshi) by Masumi Asano and Aya Endo, the voices of Hakufu Sonsaku and Bachou Mouki, respectively. The opening theme for the OVA is “FATE ~on the way~” by MAI & AMI.

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