Loosely based on the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, modern day Japan sees a similar struggle for power between different rival schools with the three strongest being; Kyosho Academy led by Sousou Moutoku, Nanyo Academy by Sonsaku Hakufu and Ryuubi Gentoku from Seito High School. Together these three tousei, each with their own mangatama, fight for the honour of becoming ikki tousen and fulfilling their fated destiny through battle and conquest.
Before reading the review of Ikkitousen Dragon Destiny (DD), please go watch the 1st season first as this is a direct sequel to the story of Ikkitousen.
I have to write this down before I forget again. I always question myself whenever I watch an episode of Ikkitousen. “What happen to the school staffs (you know, teachers, caretakers, principles, etc)?” I don’t ever recall seeing them in any school…let me know if you find them anywhere in the series.
Next up are some useful reference for watching this fan-service heavy anime.
The entire DD basically circle around the two themes above. If you know some background history on
them, you'll not be as confused.
Those who have read my review for the original Ikkitousen will have to bare with me here for a bit as I'll be repeating the same usual stuff again like "IF YOU HAVE NO INTEREST IN CHINESE HISTORY (though rather twisted if you ask me), AND IF YOU ARE JUST TRYING TO DIG OUT SOME HEAVY FAN SERVICING ANIME, THEN THIS IS NOT FOR YOU!"
Finally, let us move on to the review of this wonder show.
Continuing from where we left off in Ikkitousen, the showdown between the Three Kingdoms has finally arrived. The story eventually lead us to a new Battle of Chibi...nothing too original, just ripped out of the real Romance of the Three Kingdom. And according to history, the Battle of Chibi is really the beginning of the Three Kingdom...not quite the same as in DD.
Great advances over the original Ikkitousen, though there's still room for improvement. Overall it wouldn't kill your eyes watching it.
Both the OP and ED are quite catchy, no complains here. Maybe it lacks some good music in between, that's about it.
Okay….this is perhaps the one thing I really hate about Dragon Destiny (though the first season didn't do such a good job either), it is this….WHY ARE THEY MAKING HONOURABLE HISTORIC FIGURES ACT LIKE BLOOD THIRSTY MONSTERS!?!?!? I am particularly disappointed with how they portrait Sousou (aka Cao Cao) in DD. In the actual Romance of the Three Kingdom, he’s a very wise leader. Not some blood sucker who goes around killing his own men.
Also, similar to the first season, they've once again attempted to include too many characters. This results in many of them being killed right after they are introduced (I find this just plain stupid...you see this guy's name up 10 seconds ago, then you see him lying on the ground).
Again what I said about the 1st season applies to DD as well. I don't recommend Ikkitousen to people looking for fan service. It is better for you to watch hentai. Seriously, there are more than enough scenes in DD that are on par to hentai. However I do recommend this to fellows who might want to see how the story of Romance of the Three Kingdom can be turned into in a modern day Japan. Overall, I enjoyed the anime and had no regret watching it.
Guilty pleasure is truly the only way to explain this awful, yet enjoyable train-wreak of, well, a franchise really. Certainly not a series to watch if you are unable to leave a large portion of moral proprietary at the door. Based on The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, in this instalment, we are introduced to a slew of new characters to add to the old, with a large focus on the students of Seito.
Story - As always, any series in the Ikkitousen franchise always struggles a little with small things like plot. It does have the potential to be interesting, and they certainly do it
well enough to keep me interested in spite of its many, many flaws, but there is a vast difference between something being enjoyable and something being good. This falls in the enjoyable category.
Art - So the very first thing that needs to be mentioned when looking at DD's art is the fanservice, which plays such a large part in the entire franchise that it deserves its own casting credit. Ikkitousen has fanservice and buckets of it. Its excessive, and intrusive and will ultimately be a make-or-break factor in trying to get through it. There will be exploding clothes, upskirt shots and fetishes left, right and centre. Consider yourself forewarned, although chances are if your considering watching this then you've already seen the first and know what to expect anyway.
The artwork is quite impressive, with some character designs receiving an update. Most notably is Kan'u, who instantly becomes a much more impressive character with the hidden eye. Backgrounds are mostly standard and unremarkable in a passable way.
Sound - The OP is not quite as tragic as the first series, but remains a long way from being good. The soundtrack is fitting, with appropriate scoring for slower scenes and faster paced tracks for action. There is a particular piano based piece that is particularly poignant a succeeds in heightening emotion at the appropriate times. ED is a cookie-cutter ballad.
Character - Less focus on Nanyo and more on Seito definitely works in making the series more enjoyable for me. The character interactions within the Seito group introduce something lacking in the first instalment. However, the bad guys in DD are perhaps not as one-mindedly insane, they are also not quite as effective as before.
Enjoyment and Overall - Of the series watched thus far (which includes Great Guardians), DD remains my favourite. A better balance of action and slower scenes, and a better cast. Ikkitousen DD will never be accused of being a good anime, and will certainly never win any awards for anything more than "Series with the most blatant fanservice ever to exist", but it is entertaining, which is something that can be hard to find.
So, I like fanservice. Ikkitousen has a lot of fanservice. But oh my god, it is absolutely not worth it.
This season, and most of the series, is a nightmare. The art in season 1 is terrible, but this season takes a significant leap forward. The plot is also so poor. In the end, you find yourself wondering what the point of all their bullshit is, other than simply being compelled via destiny. That is not a plot you grow attached to. The characters are not diverse at all and their names are completely bland and hard to memorize. There are scenes where two characters refer
to the same person, by completely different names within the same 10 seconds. This absolutely boiled my blood. This mixture of characters that are difficult to distinguish and a uninspiring plot crushes the story and leaves you caring for nothing. I'm sorry, but do not waste your time here. Actually, if you want a decent Ikkitousen experience, proceed to season 3.
It's almost a pity that this is a sequel to Ikkitousen and not a standalone series, because fans of the orginal tend to hate this one and people who may not have liked the original could like this one a lot.
A note to people who saw the first series: This series is more plot driven, Sonsaku and the Nanyo gang are not the primary focus, and this series made a lot of changes to bring it more in line with the manga, so many things will seem odd.
STORY: The storyline, while not strictly canon with the manga and detached from the original series, is quite
good if one knows about Romance of the Three Kingdoms. In Japan, RoTK is like King Arthur is in Western culture; so many subtle nuances would be lost on many viewers. Many events, such a Kakouton's decision regarding Kanu's servitude and Shuuyu's animosity towards Koumei, are clever nods to events in the original story.
One thing people should realize is different right away, is that Ki blasts are normal in the manga and they were readded for this series. So no, they didn't decide to ripoff the DBZ fighting genre.
ART: Nothing blew me away with beauty, but it was solid. The characters didn't always wear the same clothes and the environments changed often.
SOUND: The music for this series was frankly amazing. Few soundtracks I've heard lately have this much energy and quality.
CHARACTER: There was some drift in roles not just between the two series, but also from the manga on the new characters. Ryubi's character was comically homophobic but also had "urges" in that direction in the Manga; in this series she's pretty boring. This series focuses a lot on Kanu and on Kakouton who is a lot more serious in this series compared to the first. His angst at seeing his long time friends die or slowly degenerate into evil is very concerning. His state at the end of the series does not leave a dry eye. Kanu's role is well written and I dare say that she brings dignity to a rare kind of heroine. She in love with Ryubi, but rather than focus on her lesbianism it's more focused on her unquestioning devotion and her attraction is a sidenote that isn't dwelled upon.
ENJOYMENT: This series would have benefitted from a stronger commitment from the studio and more episodes to tell the story. It also could have used more humor and a touch of the old pervert magic that makes the manga and first series much easier on the eyes. However, it's a strong story that ends on a satisfying note.
OVERALL: I enjoyed the series. It's much easier to follow than the first, the intrigues are much deeper, and the characters are deeper. Even Sonsaku develops more character depth in this series. Also Koukin is not a total wuss in this one. Anyhow, this series is worth seeing if you are a fan of either the manga or the 3 kingdoms story. If you are looking for more of what was in the first series, you should probably pass.