Battle Vixens (aka: Ikkitousen) Vol. #01 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: C+

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  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translatin Rating: C-
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 162
  • ISBN: 1-59182-743-4
  • Size: Tall B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Battle Vixens (aka: Ikkitousen) Vol. #01

By Eduardo M. Chavez     August 02, 2004
Release Date: April 01, 2004

Battle Vixens (aka: Ikkitousen) Vol.#01

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Shiozaki Yuji
Translated by:Louie Kawamoto
Adapted by:

What They Say
Ages ago, in The Three Kingdoms era, heroes tried to unite China... and failed. After their defeat, the heroes' spirits came to rest in jewels known as Magatama. Those who possess them fight to become Ikki Tossen: One Warrior with the Power of One Thousand!

Hakufu Sonsaku is a busty, beautiful girl with an irresistible lust - for battle! At her mother's request, Hakufu resists her burning desire to beat people up... until a chance encounter with another Toushi at school leads to an all out brawl. Will their first meeting be Hakufu's first beating?

The Review
Presented in TOKYOPOP's standard tall B6 (aka: digest) GN, this series is in its original right-to-left format. The front cover features new cover art with main character Hakufu in mid kick as an Asian dragon swoops between her legs, perfectly covering the panty shot that was in the original image. Looking at the Wani Books cover, I wonder why TOKYOPOP decided to make this new cover. The original features Hakufu, in her tight fitting school uniform, holding a longsword with a dragon in the background. Both covers look good, but the action image TP went with does not do Shiozaki's character designs justice, since the angle presented does not give a good view of the main character's finer points. TOKYOPOP over uses the dragon theme by having one on the spine as well as the back cover.
Readers should now by now that TOKYOPOP changed the title from Ikkitousen to Battle Vixens so the logo is obviously different. While Gum Comics had the kanji in a stylized choko looking font, while

The art of Battle Vixen's is possibly its strongest point. At times it really was pushing the level of etchi with tight fitting, and short cut clothing. As Shiozaki is known to do, this title features the occasional frontal nudity scene (with areola), often accompanied by the prolonged but detailed action scene. For the most part everything was solid. Backgrounds were very good, and there as is also traditional to Shiozaki's work he does not let up for either his characters or the setting they are in. The layout had a good mix of active and passive panels with some interesting perspective being presented.

As per TOKYOPOP's policy the SFX in this series are not translated. As this is an action title, they will be missed in some of the more tense scenes. I cannot say how good the translation is because the adaptation is difficult to read through. To be completely honest this series is full of high schoolers and punks. There are moments where swearing might make sense and be in context, but the overuse of sexual references can be a little annoying (not to say that they did not come up in the original text, the frequency wasn't as high that's all).

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Life has been pretty dull for years now to Sonsaku Hakufu. Tea ceremony, cardio training, high school and martial arts practice on a sandbag can kill time, but nothing compares to what she really wants... hand-to-hand melee combat. Violent, dangerous but hot and personal fighting is not normally for young ladies, but it is a rush that few things can compare with. Lately, Hakufu cannot get it off of her mind.

Today her wait ends. A local punk, calling himself a toushi (warrior), came calling. Without much introduction, rules or formality a battle started and Hakufu's future as a fighter was set. It seems that toushi only do battle amongst each other, therefore when they clash they are two forces bound by destiny to meet in fighting spirit. According to some, these battles have been going on for hundreds of years, and should continue until those who live for battle move on to the next world. Hakufu was born a toushi, and now that she has stepped on the path the battles that she has lusted for will continue until she either reaches her full potential or dies fighting. And if she does reach her potential, she would have attained the position of "Ikki Tossen" - one with the strength to take on a thousand. But that is way beyond Hakufu's mindset, at this moment.

In its essence the life of a toushi is actually quite rigid. Like the tea ceremony that Hakufu hated so much, there are some rules to the chaos of battle. To find her way on the path of a toushi, Hakufu will have to start fresh, leave her home and learn from battle experience. From this point on she will have to live through battle: battle to train, battle for pleasure and battle to survive.

When talking about Battle Vixens I imagine readers coming from two mindsets - those familiar with original concept and those without much of a clue about Ikki Tossen. If I start to look at this series that way, I can see how the slang and sexual language would make an already sexy series even more likely to sell to certain audiences. Audiences that are familiar with the title will know that the violence is the most important part of this series. Sex is there, and it plays a role in the lives of these teens but violence is what makes this title tick. With violence presented in almost every page of this title, I doubt there really would be much need to reinforce that fact, but it does take the story slightly out of context.

When I read Battle Vixens I pretty much forgot about the Shiozaki version. There were elements to it that are still there, but as he is one of my favorite doujinshi artists (one of the few I collect) I decided to consider this a joint project. As such, I consider it a co-production. Shiozaki doing the art, storyboard, and original concept while Giffen does a rewrite. Therefore, I thought the story was fun but at this point meaningless. There is no character development. There appears to be a plot, but if I didn't read the next volume I would not have found it and the action while entertaining is has too much fan-service. I was disappointed to see Shiozaki do so poorly, when he has done some great fun shorts full of fun etchi characters that mature through adversity or when completely losing reality. But then again this is a co-production so it is not all his doing. The adaptation can be fun, albeit a little trashy. When considering the cast and the audience I thought it should keep some readers motivated (while completely losing another audience).

Pick your version of Battle Vixens. Maybe a compromise will work for you. For me I found myself almost feeling bored. I have seen action manga with much more substance and just as much flash.

Stupid fun.


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