English Dub Review: HAKYU HOSHIN ENGI “Battle to the Death”

This is what happens when you think with your dick.

Overview (Possible Spoilers Below)

The pre-credits scene begins when we finally see what’s new with Emperor Chu who was largely absent during the proceedings of the War between the Konron & Kingo, but a large majority of villagers from Yin are less than thrilled with how badly he’s starving & abusing his own people. You’d think Chuu would have a solution, but instead Dakki shows up with one causing him to think with his dick again as usual, but at some level you begin to sympathize with Chuu when he starts going berserk and it’s beyond his control when forced to kill Bunchu’s personal guard who is at the village of “Choka” with super strength against his will. Though why Dakki never bothers to do it herself is never explained. But the real meat of this story, however, is devoted to a series of flashbacks that properly explain the reasons behind Bunchu’s strong convictions on why he’s so damn devoted to the decaying kingdom of Yin.

A good portion of the running time is spent on the episode cutting back and forth between the present and a large flashback where we learn that Bunchu wasn’t always an asshole. But a young dude with a Severus Snape complex full of unrequited feelings for a woman who ended up becoming the 2nd wife to their Emperor at the time, leaving Bunchu friend-zoned to the point that he joined the people of Kingo to become stronger. Eventually, Bunchu returned to Yin after hearing that a war broke out, only to find the Emperor dead, and the queen he once had feelings for dying before his eyes while protecting her child. In an effort to honor her memory, Bunchu decided to stay with the people of Yin as a royal advisor for 4 generations of Yin Emperor’s all the way up to Chuu, but is annoyed by Shinhyokyo when he tries to inject some logic into Bunchu’s argument since the Yin Kingdom is currently destroying itself due to Dakki’s corruptive influence.

When it cuts to the present between these flashbacks, It leads back to the previous episode’s conversation where Fugen tried his damndest to negotiate with Bunchu about the current state of Yin but failed miserably. But Fugen manages to hold his own as he puts up one quite a defense while trying to talk Bunchu down and uses his magical science ball thingy which you’d think would work since it’s capable of making “Nuclear Fusion” but even that fails. Just when things seem bleak for the poor bastard, Taiko comes to Fugen’s rescue, but it’s never explained how he fought off sleeping drug, but the episode ends with both of them now against Bunchu. The post-Credits Scene has Dakki speaking to the unknown figure “Jyoka” about how she doesn’t seem worried about who the possible victor will be in the aftermath of Konron vs Kingo, while Emperor Chuu slowly dies with regret for the series of bad decisions he’s made under Dakki’s influence.

Our Take

This was a very Bunchu-focused episode but I”m glad some of his motivations are now properly fleshed out as we’re seeing a dude whom much like Snape’s questionable actions in the Harry Potter franchise, only did whatever he could to honor a dying woman who couldn’t love him back. As for the present day scenes, It was also refreshing to see Dakki again as we’re now seeing that she’s more of a manipulator behind the scenes, along with what’s become of Emperor Chuu during the proceedings of previous episodes. Every bad choice Chuu ever made since Dakki came into his life is starting to finally take it’s toll on him both emotionally and physically. But I guess that’s what happens when you blindly think with your Dick.

The scenes got the point across without spoiling too much and approached the characters emotions through subtlety & facial expressions, as exemplified with scenes such as Bunchu’s early beginnings and Fugen’s unfaltering resolve to stand his ground against Bunchu. But now that Taiko has rejoined the battle, I’m curious to see what happens next.

Score
8/10

David King

A Self-Styled Punk/Goth/Gamer Otaku with a demented style of humor, who's also an avid fan of specific video games such as Devil May Cry, Bayonetta, Fighting Games and almost anything from SNK. Along with unusual tastes in specific Asian foreign films, Action/Horror comedies, slacker comedies, martial arts films, And also a frequent contributor to the Fighting Game website Fightersgeneration.com

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