Reviewed by: Dallas Marshall
Released by: TokyoPop
Publishing Country: USA
Author: Yuji Shiozaki
Age Rating: 16+
Page Count: 168
A young girl named Hakufu Sonsaku has a burning desire to beat people up but her mother has forbidden it. After a chance encounter with a Toushi at school, Hakufu's mother asks her to leave home and go to Tokyo, where she can develop her abilities as a Toushi, and fight to her heart's content.
Can you say girl fight? That is exactly was Battle Vixens has to offer, overly developed high school girls fight each other for supremacy. It's every guys wet dream and I have to admit that as a guy Battle Vixens is a guilty pleasure but as a reviewer, it offers nothing.
Battle Vixens is basically a skimpy (In more ways than one) retelling of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. But instead of Chinese kingdoms vying for ruler ship, you have three high schools duking it out to see who will rule the school, and instead of powerful kings you have bouncing well endowed high school girls fighting and ready to tear each other apart... Clothes and all.
Yep, that is about it in the realm of plot and it has all be done before and apparently, it works because fanboys still flock to buy the manga as well as the anime that it has spawned, Ikki Tousen. Let me give Battle Vixens some credit though because visually it is an aesthetically pleasant manga to read. Not only with the fan service, but also in the artwork itself which is detailed and yet smooth in its own right. Battle Vixens gives off a sense of rough-cut beauty in its own way along with character design that is strong but at the same time still being able to hold on to the pleasantries of traditional big eyes (and other big things) in traditional manga all without making it all seem childish.
Aside from all of that the manga is just not very good, I was left scratching my head at the English translation because it made me wonder if it the translator really knew what they were doing because the manga had a lot of Urban style slang thrown which made it all seem crass and unnecessary.
The manga was rated 16+ which in reality should have been given a mature rating because there was just WAY too many things that would warrant it unacceptable for anyone younger than seventeen years old.
Character wise, the story is weak as well, the girls as attractive as they may be to male readers are merely there for the jiggle factor and to provide some dirty viewing fun for the guys, but they have little to no personality or anything about them that would make anyone care. As for the male characters, you might as well have not even have them there in the first place because they even more flat than the girls, no pun intended.
All in all Battle Vixens in merely an exercise in fanservice, giving nothing back to the reader but a eyeful of panty shots, cleavage and exploding clothing. Visually it is something but it is a whole lot of nothing when it comes to the things that DO matter in manga; Plot, characters, and a more interesting premise than chick fights.