Anime Meta-Review


Agent Aika


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-4 of 4
  • type: OAV
  • grade: weird
  • form: sub
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

Otherwise known as the `Panty Shot' series. Supposedly the director, for reasons completely unclear to me, decided to intentionally see how many panty shots and fan service could be put into a single series. The answer, unsuprisingly, was way too much. While i'm not unattracted to scantily clad femmes this goes beyond fan service and into the realm of irritation. In addition while I knew the reputation of this film I didn't realise that both the frequency, duration and explicitness of the fan service went quite so far. When an attractive woman gets knocked unconscious (and they do make up the majority of the cast) you can be very certain where the camera will be pointing. In addition this extends to a lot of sexually suggestive scenes (and other things, such as non-traditional relationships and power games (I am being very politic here)). The degree to which this affects you will determine whether you need to read the rest of the review. If you are tolerant or appreciative of extreme fan service then continue, otherwise I would probably advise against this film. There is simply way too much of this aspect for you to overlook it.

Which is a bit of a shame, because the underlying series doesn't look too bad. Certainly the origin, and even the seed for the fan service concept, is fairly obvious. This is a sort of adrenaline driven `spy' movie in the tradition of the more physical bond movies. However in this everyone is a femme fatale. The story begins with a boat tour through what turns out to be Tokyo. It seems there was an epic disaster some time ago and much of the world is now flooded. The capable Aika, and some other characters, make a living as salvagers. Although in Aika's case it seems like her past was even more exotic. Since times are hard for the company Aika signs up for a high reward, high risk job. Before you know it she, and some friends, are involved in something much more epic and dangerous than they could have dreamed. Indeed, it seems that another evil genius, with an army of amply proportioned, minimally dressed and heavily armed babes has a plan to take over the world.

It's all very glossy, artificial and over the top but it is quite enjoyable. Certainly the production has the skill to develop characters, a certain momentum to the story and a sense of mystery and danger. All the requirements for a glossy `spy' story. And the atmospheric (albeit familiar) male villain seems sufficient to support the story, as well as go some way to explaining the nature of his crew. Some of the staging, and technical design, is suprisingly detailed and good. It also has a sometimes quite entertaining sense of humor. This is supported by really attractive and watchable action scenes. In other words it is actually quite a skillful and enjoyable piece of long as you can cope with the excessive attention towards fan service. The conclusion is skillful and satisfying, very fitting to the whole `super-spy' feel the anime acheives.

In some ways it is interesting though. In this movie every character we see, bar a handful of males, is a very attractive woman. Admittedly they are attractive in an anime, rather than a realistic, way. Even so it is amazing how un-erotic the fan service is, because its presentation is so artificial and obviously staged. Still, as mentioned, the quality of the animation is fairly high. This is especially true for some of the technical design, vehicles and the action. Indeed a couple of the fights, while perhaps not totally smooth, are very impressive in how physically inventive they are. This combines with the skill in staging and technical design to give some interesting fights in unusual environments. It helps that Aika (and the self proclaimed male hero) are very physically capable, and that there is a never ending stream of `babes' for them to fight. The voices are competent and reasonable (I saw subbed), and the music is catchy and cheerful, with some definite `bond' sounds running through it.

What do you expect a review to say about this? Well, even so, Akemi's AnimeWorld says it in a fairly amusing fashion. Although calling this a `panty shot' movie doesn't capture the full range of service available. The review is worth a read even if you have no interest in the anime. The review also mentions that this aspect is not drawn from the manga. Also check out their reader reviews for some more (quite long and lucid) comments. Interestingly both Lord Carnage and Herself the elf seem to be able to cope with the fan service. The short review is quite positive and also gives a picture to give you a good visual idea of how explicit the series is. In the smaller picture you might notice women in black outfits. This is the villains `crew' and there are lot of them in uniforms about that subtle.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:14 WST 2009