Koutetsu Sangokushi

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"Koutetsu Sangokushi" ("Steel Romance of the Three Kingdoms") is a 25-episode TV series from 2007. For those who don’t know, Romance of the Three Kingdoms is one of the great masterworks of Asian literature. Almost all forms of past and current Asian storytelling in some way reference the characters, lessons, and/or situations featured in Romance of the Three Kingdoms. While most adaptations of this story follow the Kingdom of Shu / Shoku, this loose adaptation follows Wu / Go.

In a quasi-mythological 2nd-3rd Century China, three kingdoms will vie for supremacy, Go, Gi, and Shoku (Wu, Wei, and Shu in the more commonly used Chinese). Loyally following the wishes of his teacher, the great military strategist Shoukatsuryou Komei (Zhuge Liang), Rikuson Hakugen (Lu Xun) offers his service to Sonsaku Hakufu (Sun Ce) the King of Go and current holder of the "Sovereign’s Seal", a glowing talisman kept in a small golden box, which embodies power, and calls to the ambitions and dreams of the kingdoms. All three powers wish to possess the seal, as ownership would guarantee dominance over the other two. But, as Rikuson will find out, for those whom the seal does not choose itself, its ultimate power is a corrupting force, which eats away at the humanity of those who possess it, as well as those who seek its ownership.

A very interesting series full of "big scenes", where characters have to decide where and with whom their true feelings of love and loyalty lie, and just how far they will go in acting on those choices. The large cast is voiced by a who’s who of the top voice actors in Japan. Unfortunately, as might be expected of an Ancient Chinese military drama, the roles are all men. Two of the characters, Komei (Zhuge Liang) and Sonken (Sun Quan), are essentially feminized, taking on the roles of polar opposite female archetypes: “Manipulative Mother/Dragon Lady” and “Princess to Protect/Kindhearted Nurturer”, respectively. And many of the character designs are done up as either big macho-men or drag queens. This may bring in the yaoi fans, but somewhat creeps me out. Still, the look of the show was striking and beautiful in many parts, especially for a cartoon made today.


 Koutetsu 01

 Koutetsu 02

 Koutetsu 03

 Koutetsu 04
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Curator: guyvariii
Gallery Created: 1/21/2004

Presentation 8.60/10   Collection 9.09/10   Overall 8.66/10   Votes 63 votes
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