Finally, we’ve reached the end of the road for Ikkitousen. It’s been a long journey, but it’s now over, and I think we should all celebrate. What’s that? You’re saying we shouldn’t be celebrating just yet? Why not? Oh wait. Don’t tell me…
Synopsis: The newest installment in the Ikkitousen franchise.
The very first thing you see in Ikkitousen: Western Wolves is a girl peeing herself (which actually happens a lot over the course of the series), so you just know it’s going to be good. 😛
Not really, there just isn’t much of a story this time around, which is to be expected considering this is only three episodes. The gist of it is, some new girl from yet another school has stolen the sacred beads from Hakufu and Sousou, and she’s looking to do the same to Gentoku, so the crews from Nanyo, Kyosho, and Seito team up and set off to retrieve the beads. That’s about it.
Three episodes isn’t anywhere near enough time for any meaningful story to develop, so everything feels really rushed as a result. In true Ikkitousen fashion, even with this only being three episodes, the creators still found enough time to squeeze in some fanservice-heavy filler, but it’s not like the actual storyline was going anywhere anyway, so I don’t even mind this time around. A few new villains are introduced, but we learn practically nothing about them, so I was mostly indifferent about nearly all of them. I get that there’s only so much you can do in three episodes, but I thought that this was almost boring at times (not to mention meaningless), and that should never be the case for a series like Ikkitousen.
Lastly, what’s up with Chuubou? We see some girl get rescued from some bullies by Chouhi, and this same girl also crosses paths with Hakufu later on, but it was later alluded that that girl is actually Chuubou. Earlier in the series, we established that Chuubou, supposedly Hakufu’s sister, wasn’t actually Hakufu’s sister but someone named Shoukyou, so this new girl is the real Chuubou? Or did Arms just pretend Chuubou/Shoukyou didn’t exist prior to this OVA and completely rewrite her as actually being Hakufu’s sister? It’s kinda confusing, but Hakufu does seem to remember her from somewhere, so maybe this girl really is Hakufu’s little sister.
All in all, the story in Western Wolves really only served as a bridge to the next Ikkitousen season/OVA (yippee… :P), and by Ikkitousen standards, I don’t think it lived up to mindless fun or excitement of past seasons. People who watch this probably won’t care too much about the story, but it definitely could’ve been better.
Only some of the characters have worthwhile roles this time around, while others remain wallflowers that are there just to be there. I thought it was kind of cool that Chouhi had a more meaningful role in this OVA, and we got a glimpse at some of her potential. She’s always been the third wheel to Gentoku and Kan’u, so a little of the spotlight should do her some good. Gentoku and Kan’u don’t fare as well, so while Kan’u does at least get a decent amount of screen time (even though she barely fights), it’s not really with Gentoku, so very little yuri sparks fly between them.
Hakufu lost her sacred bead to Himiko, so she doesn’t do much either, and as crazy as it sounds, Koukin almost plays an equally important role as Hakufu. Also, he suffers the most humiliating/enjoyable attack anyone can have happen to them… a flying crotch to the face. He only got a bloody nose out of it. What a trooper! 😀
Mou throws exactly one strike the entire OVA (in addition to choking Koukin), and Shiryuu, Koumei, and Sousou barely appear at all, so fans of their will be disappointed. At least we get a good look at a brand-new character, and I think she ended up being pretty interesting.
I’m talking about Takezou, who is supposed to be stronger than Toutaku, Sousou, or anyone else. Even Kan’u knows she’s in over her head when she stands up to Takezou, but it was her unique look and odd personality that endeared me to her. There are another couple of characters that show up in this OVA, Douma and who appears to be the main antagonist, Himiko, but I just didn’t care too much about either. All three should play bigger roles in the next installment, so the jury’s still out.
What I hoped for most in this OVA was more Kan’u and more Gentoku x Kan’u, and while I’m somewhat content with the amount of Kan’u-related scenes we got, the absence of any notable Gentoku x Kanu scenes was a major disappointment, and as such, yuri fans will probably be disappointed by what Western Wolves has to offer them. The only other thing that comes to mind is this new Chuubou nearly being sexually assaulted by those female bullies at school, so try to do a little better next time, Arms.
Compared to past seasons of Ikkitousen there wasn’t as much fighting this time around, so even though this OVA was released nine years after Xtreme Xecutor, I didn’t really notice a major jump in the quality of the visuals. At this point, the people who are still into Ikkitousen have to be watching for the fanservice, and I think this OVA is probably good enough in that regard to keep their eyes glued to the
boobs screen. You’d get a lot more with a full season, but as it is now, I don’t think that many people will complain about the number of boobs shown this time around. And as for the music, it’s pretty much just as decent yet forgettable as ever, so I don’t know what else to say about it. 😛
So the good news is that Ikkitousen is finally finished, but the bad news is that Ikkitousen is only finished… for now. With the way things ended, there’s going to have to be more Ikkitousen on the way, and I’m not really too pumped about that. Western Wolves was lacking quite a bit of what’s made Ikkitousen enjoyable for me, but if all you care about is fanservice and fighting, chances are you’ll still find this latest OVA pretty enjoyable anyway.