When I came across this my first thought was: "oh great! Some medieval adventure with Eastern traits full of hot guys and eventually tons of tasty slashing!" Yes, I think like this most of the time. And usually I'm never disappointed. The only exception is Koutetsu Sangokushi.
At first, I thought the story would be interesting. You know, reader, most of BL and slashable anime stories are not very interesting. So when I read the premise of this anime I was glad. It announced an adventure full of political drama and some magic here and there. However, it all seemed half-baked, incomplete, created by an incompetent
with too many ideas without any solid base. The premise was interesting, but the story telling was dreadful. Dragging such a story for 25 episodes, adding some forced encounters, rushed sollutions for random cliffhangers and a unoriginal central elements to the party, was one of the most boring - not to say horrible - experiences of anime watching.
Then I thought the character designs looked good. They look good. That's the greatest part about this anime. The characters are gorgeous. When they are still. A Flash amateur could do better than this, in terms of animation. Random utilization of CG elements that took away any beauty left to the backgrounds and horrible sloppy animation. Repeating frames all the time, trying to make awesome action scenes with a low budget and low talent... It did not work well.
Finally, I thought that the characters themselves could save it. An anime filled with beautiful man, frolicking around the whole anime, nothing can be better than this! Except, of course, when we absolutely need to have all the stereotypes for "hot" inserted randomly and without reason here and there. The development was nule for most characters and, when it existed, it was unoriginal.
Music was only memorable for being misused.
In the end, it was a terrible experience and it let my expectations and hopes for the future down. It is the anime made for the average fangirl that is happy just by seeing hot guys running in something very similar - but not quite - to a plot. Unfortunately, I'm not the average fangirl anymore.
Kouetsu Sangokushi is a historical anime, based on a Chinese tale, the Romance of the three kingdoms. The most of the story takes place at the lands of Go (one of the three kingdoms; Go, Gi and Shoku).
In the second scene, we come to know Rikuson, a son of a noble, ancient family, and his master, the beautiful Koumei. They are watching a battle, the Go army against the Gi army. Even the army of Gi is much more bigger, Rikuson thinks that Go will win, because he can feel some kind of strange power. This power comes from the Sovereigns Seal, an
ancient treasure that was saved by Rikuson's ancestors for ages. The Sovereigns Seal gives incredible power to it's user, but Go's king, Sonsaku killed Rikuson's father and stole the Seal, and now, it's in the hands of humans who uses it to destroy each other.
Koumei asks Rikuson to go after the Sovereigns Seal, and that's the part where the story begins.
The story has some smaller parts, each part is about a war between Gi and Go, or we can follow the way of Rikuson and his five comrades (Ryoutou, Ryomou, Taishiji, Shoukatsukin and Kannei) on their way to become the strongest fighters of Go.
After the first part, the smaller fights end and begins a new, much more bigger war against the newly risen kingdom, Shoku that's ruled by a young, immature boy, Ryuubi. Ryuubi wants to turn the whole world to a huge garden full with flowers. And he will find a very powerful helper.
The character design of the story is absolutely fine. There can be a little problem with the gender of some characters, for example Sonken, the new ruler of Go, or Ryuubi. They rather look like girls, and not boys. Ryuubi has pink hair with a little blue bow, and both of them dresses like a woman. But except this kind of things, it's all right. (My personal opinion is that at the beginning Koumei isn't beautiful, but that's subjective.)
Though the art was good, sometimes I had the feeling that I was watching the Japanese cartoon version of the Powerangers. But the landscapes are mostly well-made.
The background music is nothing special, goes well with the whole serial. A bit boring after a longer time. I can't say a thing about the opening or the endings songs, I've never listened them.
Finally, my personal thoughts... Maybe you could have troubles with it's boy-boy things. It's shounen-ai, so it's not a big surprise that they get close to each other, but if you have problems with it, Koutetsu Sangokushi is not for you. Anyway during the episodes there is not even a kiss. And there aren't any girls.
I think the story is a bit stupid and sloppy. There are too much flowers, too much crying and dying. But not a bad one. I wish you a good experience.
I know I've been saying this a lot lately, not just in person to person conversation, but on forums with other anime fans in various sights, the quality of anime and story-telling in anime is sinking at an absurd, and a show like Koutetsu Sangokushi is stark evidence that not only are a lot of these shows really bad, but they're getting worse.
Now, I after finishing this, I really tried to sit back and decipher what really makes this such an intolerable show, and how I managed to sit through this. One reason was just to see what the author was going to
pull out of his ass for an ending so I can grade this as a whole, and in retrospect, I didn't think I needed to. That being said, I can take the four worst elements (there are many more than that) from Sangokushi and apply them to what's wrong with a lot of other recently produced anime.
1. The Plot
My biggest pet peeve with this show is it's inablity to connect character's motives to the story. From the beginning, you can pretty much tell where the direction is going with Rikuson and Koumei, but the road to get there is marred with poor outlining and reason to care. I'm not sure how a formula so basic gets done so badly. Nothing happens for episodes at a time, and when it seems like something's happening, you're not really moved by what transpires. There's supposed to be a war going on, but you could never tell, as there's surprisingly little focus on the fact that three kingdoms are fighting for some oracle that could turn the tide in their favor, but most of the focus is on one kingdom, and more time is devoted to flowery language (pardon the pun) about feelings. It's paint-by-numbers in the most uninteresting way, and you get lulled into a state of complete blandness. Take a note, potential authors; stories about war should not be about the war itself, but rather a pissy, whiny brat whose sad that his master won't comb his hair. It's hard to believe this is categorized as action.
2. The Characters
These are the most generic group of pretty boys you may ever see. Even the three characters out of the six protagonists that I like are paper thin in terms of personality and chemistry (Kannei, Ryoutou, and Kin). Rikuson, the lead "hero" is a total failure as far as personalities to care about. He's one-demonsional, uninteresting, and overall pretty unlikable. The villains aren't any better, as they are all stock, undeveloped stereotypes with cliched grasps for power that failed to make the cut for Sengoku Basara 3. Relationships amongst the cast goes nowhere as the six leads are supposed to bond under the tides of war with even less subtle shonen-ai tendencies that don't even qualify as comedy or entertaining titillation. As a guy whose seen better shonen-ai based comedy, this one leaves me feeling empty, even though Ryoutou is adorable.
3. The Animation
When Clutch Cargo and Go Bots is kicking your ass in the animation department, you need to get out of the business. Was this made on a budget of $45.98? The "action scenes" in this show are just baaaaaaaad! There isn't a single fluid fight in all of Koutetsu Sangokushi that isn't accompanied by the distractingly awful CGI power-up effects that make it hard to see what a character is doing. It looks like someone just learned how to make animated, colored smoke and ran with it for 25 episodes. Attach this to the same routine, sword clashing tests of strength, and you have the most mundane, insipid battles in the history of animation to take place on your screen. Card duels in Yu-Gi-Oh have more motion and visual techniques!
My, God, is this show is soooo boring. I could probably forgive the bad animation, the run-of-the-mill plot, and the bland characters if it was just a little bit entertaining. But there are just streches where people talk, and talk, and talk, and the subject matter is 50% consisted of feelings, and 50% plants. I am not kidding. For an anime based on a war between three kingdoms, there is a hell of a lot of talk about posies, peonies, and lilies. None of this dialouge goes anywhere and it never stops. So many scenes take place on a balcony, or a bridge over moonlight as two people just talk about nothing.
OVERALL: I would rather fly head first through a windshield at 75 mph and have my face sanded off by the pavement than to watch this show ever again. I'd rather be hung by driving meat hooks into my index finger nails and have grade schoolers whack me in the groin with bats than to recommend this show to anyone. It's the epitome of what a lot of these half-assed anime TV series are full of, and it drives me crazy. Long-winded, slow-moving, boring shows that never shut up and tell a decent three arc story, thinking that drawn out, pseudo-philisophical discussions between two piles of balsa wood peppered with language written by someone who failed drama school for overused metaphors qualifies as entertainment don't impress me.
OVERALL SCORE: 4 out of 10
PROS: The music and opening theme is the only highlight
CONS: Everything else
The person who should of died, actually die. I cried still, but i think i would've cried more if Koumei died. His fate would've been just to sad. Mind u, its still sad how he has to live now without Rikuson.
In all honesty tho i love bishies/shounen-ai/fantasy the way it was pieced together wasn't good.
The series was fun to watch and served as good entertainment but i found myself cringing from certain moments because of the other clicheness or plain stupidity shown by the characters.
Too much POINTLESS deaths, POINTLESS struggles and RETARDED characters (Ryuubi, like
who the fuck makes everything flowers and burns down villages to do it?--worst ruler EVER)
None of the characters had common sense. They had no depth, they just looked pretty. Utter retards, seriously.
I'd also like to point out that i always liked Koumei, and from the beginning i knew he would end up misunderstood. That he was doing w/e he was doing for a greater cause.
The only thing I didn't like about this Anime was less character development. I really liked Sonken and Ryoutou. But seriously, they were the only ones I liked. It's sad. I wanted to like the characters EXCEPT Rikuson and Ryuubi. Rikuson was TOO angsty and Ryuubi was WAY TOO GIRLY! UGH! I had to skip. I usually DO NOT skip. ME! But I did like the story. It would've been a great friendship story and Anime all the way through if the characters were done differently. It did make me stay with it. There had to be something that attracted me. Right?!