Ikki Tousen: Xtreme Xecutor was pretty much a zombie flick- with scads of over-the-top service like the previous seasons.
Even though I knew that Ikki Tousen is a service-action show loosely based on the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, before watching it, I expected it to be lighthearted action, like...well...Koihime Musou, or Kämpfer. I didn't expect the body count that piled up by the end of the first season. (Like Ryofu blowing some random guy's heart out of his chest before suicide-attacking Toutaku. And *sniff* Chinkyuu.) I liked the second season a little better, because I preferred the Nanyou-Seitou-Kyoushou dynamic over Rakuyou vs. Nanyou. I tried one episode of season 3 before going, “Screw this,” and moving on to Xtreme Xecutor. (While, admittedly, hoping that season 4 would bring some overt Kan'u/Ryuubi without sacrificing Kan'u's kakkoii-ness, a la Great Guardians.
First, some superfluous character exposition. (Because I've never reviewed this series before.) Ryuubi, Seito's head, is a mild-mannered book-nerd who's willing to do anything to prevent her subordinates from getting hurt- although she causes devastation to her school at one point in season 2 by losing control of the dragon living inside of her. Sousou, Kyoushou's head, commands respect by being there for his team and, of course, having a crazy-ass dragon inside of him, although his own personality is overshadowed- especially in season 2- by his dragon and the despotic spirit of Cao Cao residing within him. Hakufu's a vivacious meathead who commands respect through her power (which she never abuses) and sheer bravura. Amusingly, she's the only school head who can completely control her dragon, even though she's easily the least intelligent. ("Under imperial decree, I'm here to execute you." "Ummmmm.... *pondering* What does 'execute' mean?") My favorite characters from each of the three main schools/kingdoms are Kan'u (the baddest mother****er in the entire series; she had me when she fought and beat Ryoumou in season one right after Ryoumou broke her arm), Ryoumou (she's thoroughly badass, also; Hakufu is strong, but she lacks badassery), and Kakouton (not sure why, I just like him). Additionally- my favorite Rakuyou character will always be Chinkyuu. And my favorite Nanban character is definitely Mouyu, who has the same seiyuu as Satou Sei.
The fourth season brings in newcomer Bachou Mouki, who wants revenge on Sou Sou for killing her brother. Even though she's supposed to be part of Ryuubi's faction, she asks Hakufu to train her to be a stronger fighter. (I love how unruffled Ryuubi is at Bachou’s decision not to fight under her.) One of the stupidest/best scenes later on is where Bachou knows how to head-butt a giant snake because it’s moving exactly like the training machine that Hakufu made. (Very Karate Kid.) The main plot involves a fake fighting tournament that’s held to trap most of the strongest fighters on an island so that the heads of Nanban can more easily kill Hakufu, Ryuubi, and Sousou on the mainland, and the main villain can make Ryoumou and Kan’u fight until they spill enough fighter-blood to raise a zombie army. lol
My favorite episode was the final one. It made my little
Even though it is butchering a classic novel and chock full of plot holes (“This is present day Japan, right? Where are the police? Why did Kan'u turn purple when she was possesed? Does anybody care?”), this series actually has fairly likeable characters, a stupid-fun storyline, and well-choreographed fights. The most well-known downside (or upside, depending on your point of view) is the barrage of fan service. The only things that really made me want to punch the screen were the service involving Ten'i and that one god-awful still-image of Koumei. Otherwise, nothing out of the ordinary for this show.
It's kind of entertaining to contrast how Ikki Tousen and Koihime Musou both, erm, interpret RotTK, while watching each one.
Story: C- (A stupid-fun action story, muddled by panty shots and exploding shirts.)
Overall: C+ (B for episode 12. Mwahaha.)