As you can already see from the above picture, this anime is bloody and not for the faint-hearted. Well, it isn’t really that gory, but it has lots of action! I actually started watching this show because of the fantastic looking guys and hopefully some BL, but there were just hints here and there that were pretty much negligible. It’s alright for me though, but if you’re watching this show for BL, please thoroughly lower your expectations! This post is going to focus more on the characters, since they’re all so intriguing.
Togainu no Chi follows Akira and his friends as they survive in Toshima, taking part in a tournament called Igra, where they must fight others to collect dog tags with poker card engravings on them. Gotta catch ’em all. After obtaining a Royal Flush, one can battle II Re, the strongest man in Igra, in which Akira has been tasked to complete.
Akira was actually the undefeated champion fighter by the name of LOST in a street fighting game called Bl@ster. One day he was falsely accused of murder and as a result, was sentenced to life imprisonment. A mysterious woman, by the name of Emma, approached him and offered him a deal: If Akira could participate in Igra and defeat II Re, Akira would be free. Feeling that the deal is better than spending his life meaninglessly in prison, Akira hesitantly decides to go along with it.
And so Akira proceeds to Toshima to take part in Igra. However, to his dismay, or maybe the opposite 😉 , Keisuke, his childhood friend, follows him to Toshima despite knowing about the dangers that he would have to face, so that Akira and himself can be together. Ah, such a passionate lover~ However, Keisuke doesn’t really know how to fight, so he feels like he’s a burden of some sort to Akira, who has to now protect and worry over Keisuke too.
I found Keisuke pretty nice at the first part of the anime due to his overwhelming care and concern for Akira. I kind of pitied him because he wanted to help Akira
but could only stand there and watch him burn, well that’s alright because he liked the way it hurts. The anime did him some justice as compared to the game (if you didn’t know, Togainu no Chi is adapted from a BL game), but I shan’t spoil anything. 🙂
During their journey, they meet a mysterious man dressed in black that goes around killing random Line consumers with his katana. Line, a drug that has been circulating around Toshima, heightens the consumer’s fighting ability. As a result, many fighters participating in Igra turn to Line. Going back to the mysterious man, he kills these consumers but doesn’t bother taking any of their dog tags. He doesn’t wear a dog tag himself, so it must mean that he isn’t taking part in Igra. It is revealed later that the man’s name is Shiki.
Akira soon meets and battles with Shiki. Shiki takes an interest in him due to Akira being stubborn and fearless despite being faced with the strongest man in Igra, unlike many other men who just cower and beg for their lives. As a result, Shiki spares Akira’s life and claims that he would come back to “play” with Akira another time.
This is no doubt, the most popular pairing in Togainu no Chi! I mean, Shiki’s just so hot and all that, so I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves.
While wandering aimlessly in Toshima, Akira and Keisuke come across a Shota, going by the name of Rin. Wait, a Shota in Toshima?! Don’t judge Rin based on his appearances alone, because that small body is swift and is able to defeat many fighters.
Rin then helps Akira and Keisuke in their journey, like showing them the hotel to get their food. Soon after, the three of them becomes friends. Rin is really cheerful, so he brings the atmosphere up in the dark setting of Togainu no Chi. He’s rather playful, so he somehow manages to bring out the cute side of Akira. Akira’s really cold and all that, often showing a pained expression on his face, so with Rin playing with him it’s really cute. 😀 Reminds me of shojo stories where there’ll be this cheerful girl with a tsundere dude. Heehee.
I enjoyed the inclusion of Rin, because Togainu no Chi was really quite dark and Rin’s positive attitude really brightened the show. Plus he’s so cute!
Rin then introduces Akira and Keisuke to a middle-aged man named Motomi, which hangs around Toshima to observe Igra but doesn’t participate in it. Motomi seems to know a great deal about Igra, but he doesn’t really openly reveal these information, and keeps everything mostly to himself. He becomes friends with Akira and Keisuke, after Rin’s introduction. I kind of feel like he’s the fatherly figure around there, especially with Rin’s childishness heehee. Motomi is pretty much friendly and such, but I have to admit, I don’t really go for guys with stubby chins and cigarettes. 😛
Controlling the entire Toshima and holding Igra is a crime organisation called Vischio. Vischio’s manager is a queer man by the name of Arbitro (in which I call “Mummy” due to the drama CDs, which you should check out too). Arbitro has a human “dog” named Kau, who I most probably think is a big masochist that suffers from Stockholm syndrome (spelling out u-k-e if you didn’t realise). However, it pains me to see Kau’s tortured body even if he enjoys it. 😦 Such a poor boy. You’d be better off with me, heehee.
Working for Arbitro and assisting him in regulating Igra, we have Gunji and Kiriwar, who goes around killing Igra participants that violates the rules of the tournament. I love Gunji’s personality, and the fact that he goes around giving names to people. My favourite is Shikitty. 😉 You’ve gotta admit you love it too. It’s really a pity they’re just the minor characters, because they brought much humour and fun to the sadistic killings.
Lastly, we have a mysterious guy that “narrates”, and pops up randomly at the weirdest places, and spouts lines and more lines of philosophical jargon in which 3/4 I do not understand. Well, those verses actually make sense but I guess I didn’t really bother to brainstorm on what their deeper meanings actually were. This man had the same blank facial expression throughout the entire show, I took a great interest in him (not the things he said though), because blank facial expression people always hold the most important secrets. 😉
I actually liked the mysterious guy, because I like philosophical jargon. 😛 I tend to spout verses like those too, just to sound intellectual. As you approach the end of the anime, you’ll uncover more about this man.
That’s pretty much most of the characters you need to know for Togainu no Chi, and what I’ve said here hardly even touches the surfaces of these characters. Though I’d say the character development isn’t very thorough for any particular character but Akira, I’m pretty sure many would watch Togainu no Chi for the characters. I’m a good example! I watched it for Akira, actually. 😀
How should I put this… I didn’t really enjoy Togainu no Chi because of my high expectations, but maybe if I had lower expectations, I would’ve enjoyed it more? But it wasn’t that bad as to make me drop the anime, I just kind of went with the flow. Honestly speaking, most of my enjoyment came from the character’s appearances or my inner mind theatre automatically pairing the boys up. Yaoi or shonen-ai aside, I felt that there could’ve been more intense action, more blood, for an anime that’s under the “action” genre. Nevertheless, Togainu no Chi has brought us so many lovely guys so I can’t deny it’s awesomeness. It has also risen my standards of good-looking guys. Hohoho.
If you enjoyed the anime, you’d most probably want to check out the game, especially if you’re angry that the anime had no yaoi or shonen-ai. The only thing I don’t like about the game is that they didn’t do much justice to Keisuke’s route, gah. Childhood friends are nice, okay? 😦 And I’ve to admit, Akira and Shiki has gotta be the hottest yaoi couple I know, even though I liked Rin a lot too.
Hope you enjoyed this review! I tried my best to squeeze in the best pictures that didn’t spoil anything, because all the guys here are just too good-looking to be true. -drools-