Guide to the Battle of Red Cliffs (Ikki Tousen)

Have you ever wanted to understand the Battle of Red Cliffs (the Ikki Tousen one in Yokohama, not the real one) in all of its complexity?  Have you ever wanted maps detailing  locations and positions?  Have you ever wished someone kept track of every fighter’s movements as they did whatever it is they were doing over this 30+ chapter arc?

No???  Oops, you should have told me earlier.

The first thing that must be understood is that the battle takes place within the confines of the city of Yokohama, specifically in the West and Central Wards.  Everything happens in Yokohama as it exists today, and all of the maps below are absolutely real.   My understanding is that as the battle begins, of the 5 Hyakuhekitou, 1 is in Shuuyu Koukin’s house, 3 are in the hands of Kyoshou, and the last one is somewhere in Yokohama.  The Gyokuji is also in Yokohama [though there’s more to this than meets the eye, see below].

Here’s a general map of the area,  a very large city (you can click on this map to make it bigger, as with all the maps in this post):

YOKOHAMA

#1 marks Yokohama Station, but as we will see the course of the battle is really south of this center.  The #2 island is where Chou’un and Kan’u have their epic battle, and is where Kyoshou Academy sets up its forces initially.  #3 is Yokohama’s Chinatown, where a lot of the action takes place.  And speaking of the action, let’s get started!

I. Arguably the opening salvo is Chou’un Shiryuu’s solitary march to “light the fuse of battle” against Kyoshou and sow confusion in the ranks.  This occurs at the end of volume 13.

Here’s a map of her march:

Chou'un's March

Kyoshou has brought its forces to #4, the Red Brick Warehouse area where the last Hyakuhekitou sword is said to be located.  As you can see, the warehouse is on an island.  Rather than attacking straight up front, Chou’un decides to go through #1 Sakuragicho Station and the #2 Steam Train Tracks.  Kyoshou has placed 53 men at Sakuragicho to forestall such a sneak attack, plus 15 men at the Tracks.  Chou’un defeats all 68 men and then beats two more at the #3 Waterway Park.  She goes to the Warehouse area and easily takes the Hyakuhekitou that Soujin has just found.

II. Chapters 89-91

The action shifts to Chinatown.

To the south of the Red Brick Warehouse, Ryomou arrives at #1 Nihon Odori Station.  There she meets with Ryuubi, Chouhi, Gakushuu and Roshuku.  The Seito-Nanyou alliance hears that Kyoushou’s people have fled from Chou’un’s attack (as expected) and are headed toward #3 Kantei-byo Temple with Koukin in tow.  The five decide to go to the temple but are stopped at #2 Genbu Gate by a Kyoshou mob.  Gakushuu holds off the mob while the rest look for a way around.

Chouhi suggests that the group go by #4 Yokohama Stadium and toward #5 Empei Gate, with the intention of heading north from there to the temple.  About this time back at the warehouse Chou’un and Kan’u begin to fight each other.

III. Chapters 92-97

Kyoshou’s Choukou Shungai is waiting for the group near the stadium, and he has a Hyakuhekitou.  Chouhi stays behind to battle Choukou and the other move ahead.  Chouhi ends up being saved by Taishiji.

A mob from Kyoushou arrives at the Shuuyu household in order to seize the Hyakuhekitou there.  Rikuson defends the perimeter.

IV. Chapters 98

Shokatsuryou Koumei and Houtou Shigen begin a boat ride from Torishima Island to Yokohama.

V. Chapter 99

Against almost everyone’s wishes, Sousou breaks out from Kyoushou Academy (in Yokosuka) and takes a taxi north to Yokohama with Kyocho, reaching a point 10 km from Yokohama before the road conditions prevent them from going any further.  To the west, Mount Fuji erupts in response to Sousou’s coming!

VI. Chapters 100-102

Kaku and Gakushin (with Koukin) arrive at their destination, which turns out to be Yokohama International Academy, right next door to the Kantei-byo Temple.  Bashoku Youjou, who has been following them, notes this and concludes the Gyokuji must be inside the Hokuji Pagoda within academy grounds.  Before she can report to the Seito-Nanyou alliance, Kannei shows up.

Sonsaku wakes up from her sleep (after being healed by Shokatsukin Shiyu) and helps Rikuson clear the Shuuyu home grounds of Kyoshou men.

Ryomou, Roshuku and Ryuubi pass by the Empei Gate and arrive in the Yokohama International Academy/Kantei-byo Temple area.  They find Kannei who has killed several Kyoshou men and wounded Bashoku.  Kannei is wearing Ryofu Housen’s magatama and has gone berserk.  Ryomou battles Kannei and tells Roshuku and Ryuubi to move on ahead into the pagoda.

Dr. Kada Genka gives up his life to save the ailing Shokatsukin (who herself has been drained by contact with Sonsaku).

Ryomou is about to be crushed by Kannei when Kakouen Myousai arrives at the scene.

VII. Chapters 103-105

Myousai is about to be crushed by Kannei when Taishiji arrives.  Taishiji and Ryomou finally defeat Kannei.

After arriving at the pagoda, Koukin breaks free and defeats the guards accompanying Kaku and Gakushin.  Koukin beats Gakushin and then Gyuukin.  Koukin demands that Kaku take him to the Gyokuji.

Chouryou is waiting at the top of the stairs of the pagoda, which surprises Kaku because she was trying to keep her plan of action secret from Shiba’i’s faction.  Chouryou accuses Koukin of being a mastermind even above Koumei but he refuses to fight him.  When Roshuku and Ryuubi finally reach the top of the pagoda, it becomes clear Chouryou’s target is Ryuubi.

In the meantime Taishiji arrives at a hospital carrying both the people he saved and the people he wounded in battle.

VIII. Chapter 106-107

Koukin and Roshuku battle Chouryou in order to protect Ryuubi.  Chouryou tells Ryuubi to jump off the tower and sacrifice herself, and he will let her friends go.  Kaku pleads to Chouryou that it would be better to capture all of them alive but he ignores her.  Ryuubi jumps.

While on the boat, Koumei explains to Houtou that the true Gyokuji will respond to Ryuubi’s dragon as the rightful heir to the throne.  There is a Gyokuji in the pagoda, but it is false.  The real Gyokuji will be revealed by way of a Pillar of Light near Yokohama Bay when Ryuubi awakens.  According to Koumei it was Shuuyu Koukin who first realized this.  In order to trigger a shock powerful enough to awaken Ryuubi, Koumei arranged for Kan’u and Chou’un to fight and for Kan’u to be killed.  Koukin tried to persuade Kan’u not to go through with it and assured her he would find another way to get the Gyokuji, but Kan’u refused to listen.

Chou’un’s battle with Kan’u as the latter dies.  Ryuubi’s dragon awakens as she falls from the pagoda tower.

IX. Chapter 108-109

#1 Sonsaku arrives in Yokohoma on Kakouton’s motorbike as #2 Sousou and Kyocho enter the city on foot and #3 Koumei’s boat begins its approach toward the bay.  Everyone sees the * Pillar of Light in Yokohama Bay.

Ryuubi, possessed by the dragon, heads toward Genbu Gate where Gakushuu has fought off over thirty men and now lies exhausted on the ground.  She is about to attack him when Taishiji shows up.

Everyone at the pagoda decides to chase her, believing she will go to the Gyokuji that has now appeared.  They arrive at the scene of Ryuubi and Taishiji’s battle.  Ryuubi abandons the battle just when Taishiji is on his last legs, seemingly more interested in going toward the Gyokuji.  Chouryou takes advantage of Ryuubi’s turned back and attacks her.  Lightning strikes him before he can reach her.  She takes his sword but suddenly Sousou appears and strikes her with immense force.

X. Chapters 110-112

Ryuubi uses lightning to strike Sousou but he recovers easily.  Instead of attacking her, he embraces her, struck by her charismatic presence! (as Cao Cao was by Liu Bei long ago).

Kakouton and Sonsaku have arrived at the pier, and Sonsaku’s Hyakuhekitou begins to glow and resonate with the Gyokuji.  When she handles the sword she has a vision.  She sees Cao Cao killing babies on the aftermath of a battle, and realizes that all of the blood that he shed 1,800 years ago has created a vicious chain of magatamas that fight each other.  Sonsaku’s mission is to end the chain of violence that Cao Cao precipitated.

XII. Chapter 113-115

The evil in Sousou awakens, he grabs Ryuubi by the head and tosses her toward Roshuku who is rushing to help.  He beats Koukin with one punch and begins to walk toward Kaku, who tries to remind him of her service to him.  She extends her right hand as a instinctive reaction and he slices three of her fingers.  Sousou walks toward Ryuubi and Roshuku, but Kyocho grabs him from behind and begs him to stop.  Sousou thrusts his fist back straight through Kyocho’s chest.

Meanwhile Sonsaku, now aware of her mission, decides to use her water ki to ride on a wave from #1 her current location to #2 Sousou and Ryuubi’s location.  She enters Chinatown through the #3 Choyomon Gate and arrives at her destination along with Kakouton at the same time that Kyocho slumps to the ground [whether she rode the water or just ran is unclear].

At the Red Brick Warehouse area, Jokou is trying to save Chou’un’s life.  Rikuson arrives, bringing Shokatsukin who is willing to help.  Shokatsukin is able to heal Chou’un and then starts to work on Kan’u because even though her ki may be dead her magatama is still alive.

Sonsaku tries to give CPR to Koukin, who is wounded and half-drowned from her water ki.  She then turns to Sousou.  As Kakouton, Chouryou, Koukin and Roshuku watch on, she pleads with Sousou to stop the fighting.  He ignores her words and attacks.

XIII. Chapters 116-117

Shokatsukin uses up all of her remaining ki to revive Kan’u.  The healer dies and her healing power is transferred to Taishiji, who tries to heal the wounded in the main battle area.  He restores Kaku’s fingers and works on healing Kyocho.

Sonsaku begins to get the upper hand against Sousou.  Chouryou is worried, but Kakouton tells him that Sousou’s real opponent is not Sonsaku but the Demon King (Cao Cao).  Sonsaku hears a voice telling her that she must defeat Sousou now to break the vicious cycle of the magatamas.  Sonsaku believes she can overcome even this fate so she stops fighting and reaches out to Sousou one more time.

XIV. Chapters 118-120

As the Pillar of Light grows stronger, Shiba’i arrives by limo.  She has two Hyakuhekitou with her, and she begins a royal dragon-summoning ceremony.

[Look at the appendix for the difficulties involved in Shiba’i speech]

Shiba’i’s Hyakuhekitou begin to shine.  So does one near Kakouton and Chouryou and the one by Soujin in the Red Brick Warehouse.  A pillar of light emerges from each sword to match the larger one in the bay.

The good in Sousou tries to resurface but Cao Cao takes control once again.  The possessed Sousou sings a poem Cao Cao wrote before the Battle of Red Cliffs.  Sousou knocks Sonsaku down, and she hears a voice from a mysterious hovering girl, telling her she has been waiting to be rescued from Cao Cao/Sousou a long time.  Koukin, Taishiji, Gakushuu, Kakouton and Roshuku try to restrain Sousou and protect Sonsaku.  Sousou tosses them away in seconds.  When Koukin wonders if it is hopeless, the same hovering girl appears before him and encourages him.

It starts to rain, as Sonsaku begins to recover [with the girl’s help?]

And that’s pretty much all so far.  I’m sure I’ve made some mistakes along the way, though I hope overall it’s a fair guide.

APPENDIX: SHIBA’I’S SPEECH IN CHAPTER 118

According to Shiba’i, the sacred treasures of power were transferred to Japan.  Therefore, there are 4 places of importance here: the Three Kingdoms of Wei, Wu and Shu, and Japan.  So we get this map:

There are four points clearly marked, one for each country.  According to Shiba’i these points are about to align again around the Battle of Red Cliffs in Yokohama.  These are her identifications:

Red Brick Warehouse → Wei

Chinatown → Shu

Here → Wu

Pillar of Light → Japan

Wei forces set themselves up at Red Brick so that makes sense.  It’s not clear to me why Chinatown, where the Big Three (Ryuubi, Sousou, Sonsaku) are currently fighting at, should be associated with Shu.  And it isn’t at all clear where Shiba’i is at the moment, though obviously she is very near the water.  The Pillar of Light shows up in many pictures and it looks to be in somewhat different locations each time but the most likely location  seems to be the red circle shown on this map:

Now if one superimposes Shiba’i’s map over the Yokohama area, and uses the Yokohama locations for Wei and Shu as a guideline, the best one can will arrive it is this:

Wei and Shu are aligned with Red Brick and Chinatown.  Wu is on that long pier, which could very well fit Shiba’i’s location, but the Pillar is way too far toward the sea.  Shiba’i did say the alignment was “about” to occur, so it could be that the Pillar is going to start moving toward the sea or the main fighters will move elsewhere and shift the alignment but I don’t think that’s right.  The whole thing is off…

P.S. The Yokohama map is from [here].

Anyway, if you have any questions or comments go right ahead 😀

~ by Haloed Bane on December 23, 2010.

11 Responses to “Guide to the Battle of Red Cliffs (Ikki Tousen)”

  1. I’m not really qualified to comment, but I do think it’s kinda awesome and frightening that this can be thought out in such impressive detail . . .

    • You’re telling me!

      When you read the manga very often the place names are not mentioned, but you can spot signs and famous buildings and you can reconstruct it from there. I don’t know where in Japan the author is from, but he knows Yokohama very well. Back in the day I used to visit precisely this spot of the city often, otherwise I don’t think I would have dared try to do this.

      Thanks for the comment, it’s good to hear from you.

  2. can i know where can i read the manga? could only find a source that is updated till 115

  3. Oh wow… This is very impressive, but you must have spent so much time writing and making screenshots 😦 I hope you had fun in the process.

  4. whoa this is quite amazing must have taken quite a while.
    i believe there’s a raw for 121 but im not sure

    • It did take a long time!!

      I’ve read the raw for 121, but I’ll wait a few more chapters before updating it. Not much happens in 121.

  5. any more ikki tousen chapter updates?

  6. Well, I this is up to date as far as ch. 120. I have seen and read chapter 121, but that’s it. This was months ago so I imagine the manga must be up to ch. 125 or so but I haven’t been able to find those. If you how I can read them let me know 🙂

  7. So Kanu didn’t actually die? I mean start dead is what I mean.

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