The main character, Akira, is falsely accused of commiting murder. The reason? Because someone wants him to play in a life or death game called Igura. He ends up in a place called Toshima, a lawless city, made up of other players and a few other nonplayers. The game rules are simple. It's like playing poker, only the stakes are much higher. The player recieves several tags each representing a playing card. They have to wear one that is always visible or they can be executed. The goal is to challenge II Re aka Shiki, and be in charge of drug line, making you one of the most powerful people, but in order to do that, you have to take cards from other players by fighting them and winning. There must be witnesses and no cowardly attacks are allowed. The opponent doesn't have to be dead, but that's usually how they end up. If a player breaks any rules, people called executioners will come after you and kill you. The executioners are like cops sort of for the game. The city doesn't actually have any cops or hospitals.
Tags can also be used to get necessities. A player can trade in tags they don't need or want for first aid kits, food, water, etc. Tags are basically the currency as well as a players ticket to the top. This ensures that players will actually fight instead of always hide in a neutral zone. They need tags to eat and they have to fight to get the tags so it keeps the game going.
The drug company that a player who defeats II Re gets to be in charge of manufacters a drug called Line. Line enhances latent abilities of humans. It actually makes them sharper and stronger, but it can also change their behavior and feelings as well as kill them. Many of the players use the drug trying to defeat other players.
The main character is Akira. He was an orphan who was adopted but soon left home to live on his own. He participated in a street fighting competition known as [email protected] and was very successful in that. He always had a lost look in his eyes that earned him the nickname Lost.
The second main character is Keisuke. He is from the same orphanage as Akira. He tends to put himself down a lot and apologize. He is always eager to try to help Akira, even though sometimes he can't. He is a weaker person without much fighting ability, but joins Igura in an attempt to help Akira.
Another major character is Rin. He is younger than Akira and Keisuke but rather hyper. He immedeately befriends the two. Rin also used to fight in [email protected], but he fought in group fights, not individual like Akira. However, Rins group was murdered. He is a good fighter and is very helpful to Akira and Keisuke.
Motomi is an information broker. He isn't a player in Igura. Instead he collects and sells information. Rin takes Akira and Keisuke to meet him and from then on Motomi helps them throughout with his intelligence and information.
Overall, the characters are moderately developed. Part of the problem is the series is too short to properly develop the story and characters completely, a common problem in short animes. Still, there is a good mix of characters and we do learn more about them as the series goes. Both main characters go through changes as well. It's not dull, but it could be better developed.
The story has a similar issue. It's not fully developed or finished. There aren't any major lose ends, but I didn't get the feeling that I had a full understanding of the situations and problems. For instance, I don't know what the Civil war was or why the one guy kept talking about colors. I don't fully understand what was happening in the ending either. They sort of started a fight at the end that never got fully explained and never finished. Still, it wasn't a terrible ending. I would have liked to know more about what happened to the characters after Toshima, but it's a short anime so that's life. I should just be glad that this anime actually had an ending and was finished.
The story explores several themes that seem very important. The theme of drug abuse and inferiority issues between friends was well played out. There was also the theme of fighting for power that is rather common. Everything is pretty much serious though. There isn't really any comedy in it. There is a bit of strangeness and possible S&m with the "dog" though. Mostly, the anime sticks to dark and serious themes.
The animation was decent. The color scheme of Toshima definately added to the overall dark feel of the anime. However, I disliked how bright the blood was. It may have just been the website or my computer but it did seem to get that pixilated look sometimes and certain scenes were so dark that it was hard to see what was going on. That happens in a lot of darker animes though.
Overall, I give it a seven. It kept me watching episode after episode, but I do feel that the story and characters could have been developed a bit more and the ending could have been a bit more conclusive.
Even as bad as some things get, there is usually at least one element somewhere that spurs some sort of redeeming quality. Good ideas here, an interesting concept there, perhaps even a single scene that manages to be the high point. However, Togainu no Chi has managed to have almost nothing redeeming whatsoever.
Professional competitor in a street fighting tournament known as [email protected], Akira is spending a usual day when there is a rapping, a tapping upon his chamber door. He soon finds himself pinned to the ground with accusations of murder brought upon him. Despite maintaining his innocence he soon finds himself in a prison cell only to soon be brought a deal by a shady organization. Compete and win in a tournament known as Igra in the area known as Toshima and clear his name, or rot in his cell. Choosing the former he is driven to Toshima where he is soon accompanied by the Uke to his Seme, Keisuke, as well as fellow competitor Rin.
However, while a tournament style setting would make for a few interesting fights with Akira rising through the ranks, the show instead opts for little development in that area until altogether abandoning it in favor of a nonsensical war upon Toshima as well as use of numerous clichés that have already gone dull throughout the action genre. Not only that, but all this is spewed out in one hefty scene throwing far too much upon the viewer rather than the foreshadowing it and sprinkling slight plot details of this throughout the show. The epilogue to the show is another thing entirely, as it is almost contradictory to itself and makes almost no sense given the context.
While the show does have a few moments that almost bring the aspect of the horror of such a bloody tournament, poor directing mars the potential. In fact, many of the problems result from poor direction. Everything from the writing, to the animation, to the plot is unspectacular at best. The few fight scenes that are there are unentertaining as they are usually one sided, forgoing anything resembling tension. Not only does the title suffer from a number of plot holes, but design choices such as the blood, while seemingly stylistic at first, eventually becomes jarring.
As for the characters, they are perhaps one of the biggest problems. Characters are either one dimensional if not completely void of personality, or are far too eccentric in both actions and personality to fit in with the tone the story attempts to go towards.
The music is forgettable, while the animation is perhaps one of the largest problems with the show. Apparently on the budget of a child’s piggy bank, the show cuts every possible corner with the animation. The models are unimpressive, while movement is chipped and at times clunky. It’s clear that the studio was out of money come the final episode where there are so many poor camera angles and cut aways that the climactic fight scene become incomprehensible.
Togainu no Chi is devoid of quality. There’s nothing more that can be said. With dull characters, an atrocious story, and animation so bad that it gets in the way of the viewer’s interpretation of what’s going on at one point it is something to be avoided.
So I've seen many horrible reviews for this anime and despite all the warnings to avoid it and/or at least read the manga I thought I would jump in and then give my opinion on it. Now keep this in mind, I have not read the manga yet (but I plan on it), and I have only glanced at it for the visual comparisons.
At the beginning of the series I was first enthralled by the prospects of Toshima and how the protagonist was going to go there after being falsely accused of murder. However after watching it all the way through Ifound it to be rather vague. Akira was sent to a battleground called Toshima after being falsely accused of murdering his opponent from earlier that day. His mission was to defeat Il Re, but after his friend Keisuke arrives things become a little more complicated. Along the way he learns about Line, a drug with horrible side effects, and the failed project known as ENED. He meets friends along the way, fights the biggest "bad ass" Shiki many times and then goes home. I don't want to say much more because there is some resemblance of a plot, but what I described is the gist of this 12 episode series. Honestly, if they made this into 24 episodes I feel that they probably could have explained the story better. They tried to jam pack civil wars and experimental projects in the last few episodes and I honestly felt a little cheated. There was just too many things introduced and not explained and so many questions unanswered, combined with the crappiest ending I have seen in a while it just made me feel go "meh".
What I enjoyed visually was how the characters all looked different and I could easily tell them apart (even though they tried concealing the identity of one of the characters in an episode, didn't fall for it Togainu no Chi!), however the manga was first debuted in 2006, and the art in the anime reflected the 2006 feel, which made this anime fall short compared to other anime's of this time. The coloring was nice enough and was appropriate for the ambiance of the anime, even in scenes of sunsets and grand mansions the tone remained bleak and grey. Compared to the manga though, the anime seemed to be simplified and prettier. The manga seemed to be nittier and grittier visually, and I was disappointed that this kind of technique didn't appear in the anime; because it might have just completed the dark feel if it had. The animation is a different story though; if it had it's own category I would have given it a 5 our of 10. Some might disagree with me, but the fight scenes were flat, stiff, and uninteresting which by far was one of the most disappointing aspects, considering there are much smoother fight scenes in other anime. And if you want 3 characters in the same frame you better forget about the quality. The ending was piss poor animation wise, with scenes of backgrounds rather than fighting almost made me turn it off. The character consistency was fair, with only a few frames where the characters weren't up to par. Overall, the art was okay.
By far the best part of the anime. The soundtrack makes up for what the Art and Story lack. It doesn't completely blend into the background and get lost, but neither does it overkill and become overbearing. It amplifies any scene in the series, and has actually given me chills before. It was because of the soundtrack that I actually felt anything at certain times. The opening was okay; I judge the opening and closing theme by how often I want to watch it or at least listen to it. I tended to skip over the opening most of the time, but that doesn't mean I didn't occasionally listen to it. The ending theme was different for all 12 episodes which was a much appreciated welcome, because I almost never bother with the ending theme after the first time. If I wasn't so frugal I would buy the soundtrack. The voice acting was fair, the voices fit the characters well and they conveyed the right emotions. However, nothing really stood out or make any type of emotion come out. It was just fair.
I've heard people say that in the manga there was a wide variety of characters, but in the anime it appeared as though there were 2 personality types. The first is the lone wolf/silent type. You would see this in Akira, Shiki, and N. These typical bad boys have all had rough pasts and they like to show it by keeping their distance and pretending that nothing fazes them. Akira went through a little change though, he realized that being a dick makes people sad. Other than that they are your run of the mill "troubled" characters. Another type is the comic relief/tension easing characters, which could be seen in Rin and Keisuke. Even though these young boys have rough pasts too they like to make people happy and not think about themselves! Unfortunately these morale boosting boys get classified as annoying and burdensome. These happy-go-lucky characters always seem to show up at the wrong place at the wrong time, and that was the epitome of Keisuke's character. He wanted to make sure his good buddy Akira was okay so he went to Toshima to participate in this killing game. What's worse is that he can't fight worth shit and he becomes the damsel in distress on occasion. However, and I will admit, Keisuke's character captured my heart. All he wanted was to prove himself to his friend and he did everything that he could to do it. His goal was selfless, and although a little pathetic, I couldn't help but rooting for the little guy. Rin wasn't as annoying but I found myself not really caring if he died or not. None of their background stories were fully touched on so it made these characters rather flat. In the second to last episode it focused on Shiki and I litterally thought "What's the point?", considering it just made me more confused. This series had shonen-ai tendencies, but they were so minuscule that Arbitro, the head haunch-o, seem so off putting that again I almost turned off the series. He seemed to be the only sexually depraved man in the entire series despite having a little boy toy and partaking in frivolous orgies. There were other instances of shonen-ai, but it wasn't as upfront as it was with Arbitro. Overall the characters fit in your typical shonen anime mold, with no particularly outstanding quirks to make them different than the rest.
Now despite what I've said, I didn't hate the series, it's just that nothing stood out. Honestly, everything in this anime has been done better. However if you want something to kill time when you're in a waiting room or wherever, then watch this. I'll give credit where credit is due though, it made me want to read the manga.
Hey there chaps! I'm not usually one to leave a review. But in this case I was so surprised by how well the whole story came together that I had to recommend anyone having doubts about this one to give it an honest try!
I had begun this series expecting your typical action/violence/smooth shounen gratifying ending tropes. I also assumed the artistry would be kind of 3D-ish, which put me off quite a bit (having seen the poster). What brought me to click on the first episode was the promise of some good old BL vibes, and this particular element, though subtle and discreet, was delivered as promised in the shape of a friendship that appears to be one-sided romantic attatchment.
As soon as I'd gotten to episode 4, I started to realise that there was more to this series than meets the naked eye. It gets more and more intriguing as it develops further. As for the tropes, at least I only detected a couple, and they were justified in my opinion. The animation is quite alright, better than I had expected (you may have seen the pattern here by now). I liked the music they used as well. And even though I'm more classical or jazzy in taste, I enjoyed the hard rock or heavy metal or whatever it was (I'm no connossieur in this aspect, I'm afraid lol). The lyrics flow awesomely and describe the events at hand perfectly. As for the ending theme, notice it changes at the end of each episode to fit in with the story taken place.
The character development was good for your average 12 episode series, as much as you can expect for such a short ammount. The main character warmed up to me immediately, and all of the other characters are justified I think. Pay attention to all the elements provided in the beginning, that way you can sort of get a feel of who's who and what's prone to happen. Still, the ending is going to be quite unexpected. Oh and about that, stick till after the credits in the last one. Otherwise you'll miss out in the "real" ending. I didn't watch the ending themes of any of the other episodes and didn't feel that I'd missed out on anything necessary to the story so I don't think they're worth mentioning. Do as you please.
So to sum it up, this series is full of surprises, masculinity, a sort of querky/riddlesome philosophic contemplation, a bit of tear-jerking and above all, entertainment of the sort that made me watch the full twelve episodes in two days straight. I sure hope they make a second season out of it.
Now go watch it, go on!
first thing: this anime is "boys love" environment. There is only like one woman that is super hot, and you only see her two times basically. Just saying that there is some gayish appeal to this anime. Not enough to turn you away, but if you dont like that type of thing, then i wouldnt watch this anime. I was able to bear it. It was just kind of annoying at times. It may be that you enjoy that type of thing, in which case this would be a good anime for you.
Story: The story is kind of unique. I cant really say anything without giving away... but I wasnt satisfied with the story, and i really couldnt say that unless i would have watched the whole thing. Since it is only 12 episodes i managed to get through it, hoping the story would turn out better, but it didnt. It was just ok.
animation: it was ok, but what i would use to describe it = pretty picture slide show. Dont expect smooth cool looking fighting scenes like naruto, one piece, or fooly cooly. (im not saying that you should expect it to be on the same lvl as these. Just saying... that it isnt as much an action anime as it is story.
Characters: the characters are... not people that i admire, or get (although at first, it appears as though they are super cool). Im not the type of person that agrees with the morals of these characters or their logic.... and there is some "poetic" notions in this anime that some of the characters say... and i just dont get what they are saying... or if i do i disagree with them, which makes them look stupid. You cant try to be cool. You just have to be cool... get it? no ? lol w/e
Overall: I recommend this anime to girls and gay guys. Its hard for me to say its a bad anime... its just not my taste. I have to admit, when i first started watching it I was super exited about it, but then it mellowed out, and then when it got close to the end, it started getting better (i thought), but not really.