Battle Vixens (Ikki Tousen)
Box Set

Starring (voice): Masumi Asano, Satoshi Hino and Yuko Kaida
RRP: 39.99
Certificate: 18
Available 06 November 2006

Several fight schools are in conflict with each other. Fights between the schools students are regular and bloody, as they compete to be the best. One girl, Hakufu Sonsaku the reincarnation of the legendary warrior Shou-Haou, seems fated to reunite the schools as they had been in the past. Guided by special jewels, the lives and fates of the students seem to mirror the lives of the stones original owners, whose spirits lay trapped in the comma shaped beads, but will their fate be the same...?

Finally, for all the lovers of Ikki Tousen (Battle Vixens) the box set is in the shops and to my mind, if you like the show, this is most probably the best way to buy it. As previously stated in reviews, the show exists for only one purpose - to put as much animated boobies and panties on your screen as it can and in respect of that one simple goal it achieves its aim without even breaking a sweat. Of course, all this animated titillation has to have a hook to hang it on and in this case it's a dubious story about some old warrior spirits locked up in comma shaped jewels, called Magatama, which both influence and empower their modern day counterparts.

Although, it was not really my cup of tea when I looked at it the first time, I will concede that at least it doesn't give into any pretence. The thick hardy cardboard box is emblazoned with characters dressed in maid's uniforms swirling round a pair of handcuffs. Is it sexist? Well, in a western European culture the answer would have to be yes, but it is unlikely that it would have been viewed as such in its original Japanese cultural setting - more of a bit of fluffy nonsense. Sure, the over endowed girls are a sexual motif, but then we should not be too quick to judge as ours are schoolgirls and nurses.

The box set contains all thirteen episodes, spread over four discs, in 4:3 aspect ratio, audio is either English or Japanese (with subtitles) vanilla stereo. Visually the picture is crystal clear and the animation and character design are good.

Each disc comes with a set of extras. Disc one has a textless opening an art gallery and the outtakes, which I have always felt were funnier than the show itself. I'd love to see a whole show being overdubbed in this irreverent way. Disc two has the textless closing, art gallery, outtakes and a nice interview with the director who makes no bones about the content of the show. Disc three and the extras are getting a bit thin, you still have the excellent outtakes, a promo video, an art gallery and some trailers. The last disc contains TV spots, outtakes, art gallery, trailers and the very dubious photo shoot wherein a bunch of middle aged men take photos up a young woman's skirt who happens to be dressed as a school girl, all in the name of art.

Be warned this is not a show to buy for your kiddies, unless they are teenage boys with a good supply of Kleenex, the show has a fifteen to eighteen certificate. Having watched the shows again maybe I'm softening to its rather odd charms as I found it less offensive than the first time round. The story is still pants (pun intended) but as fluffy nonsense goes I've seen worse.

Charles Packer

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