A "patapi" is a cute mechanical creature which is like a cyber pet. It can eat, sleep, play, and even help out its owners with some stuff. When Hibari Hanakoganei receives a patapi from a prince in her dreams, she is thrilled and names it "Densuke". When mysterious forces try to steal Densuke, Hibari discovers that Densuke is not just an ordinary patapi. Densuke has magical powers that allows it to transform into a powerful cyber-fighter who looks like Hibari. Hibari's friends also receive similar patapis, and together they form the Cyber Team in Akihabara.
Cyberteam in Akihabara integrates a distinct category of second-tier 90s anime that plays with equal portions of mahou shoujo, slice of life, romance and surprisingly good comedy.
The premise alone should help you leaving realism at the door: Hibari and her friends are proud owners of patapi, glorified tamagochis that became the most popular toy in Japan. Their patapi, however, turn out to be magical/technological transforming/summoning devices that bring the Divas to our world. The Divas are fighters so we obviously get a cast of bad guys (but not too much so) and a plot that lightly encompasses war and a certain magical castle in
the sky. There are some greek mythology references here and there and a little of plot development but that should not be the reason for you to pick this anime.
It's strongest aspect is the self-conscious humour and charming silliness. The cast of main characters come each with their share of absurdity and the patapi are a joy to watch. The best episodes are centred on bizarre premises (like "the curry of love") and take the most unexpected turns. While none of it's "themes" achieve considerable depth, neither the script nor the dialogue are ever too obvious.
And ah, the villains. They dress in funky costumes, summon monsters and fight for the affection of their master, but they all work 9 to 5 and are in fact a caricature of your average 20 - 30s women caught up between the woes of uninspiring professional life and their dreams of happiness and true love. They get a surprising amount of screen time, with episodes where you can see them meeting for drinks after work to talk about their past and why they stick by their Shooting Star-sama.
The big con is that the series suffers from being terribly uneven. It's all great until the 6th or 7th episode, and then it nosedives in terms of animation and script - only bankruptcy can explain that drop in quality. Except for some 2 remarkable villain-focused episodes, I would recommend skipping towards the finale, which is thankfully in the same high standard as the first arch.
I recommend this series for anyone looking for some 90s anime nostalgia - when fan service was humorous and self-aware as opposed to embarrassing and light-hearted plots could still be touching. There is something clever about Cyberteam in Akihabara. Don't be afraid to use an episode guide to enjoy only the best from this anime.
First, let me address the elephant in the room, yes, the ecchi elephant who is charging people for the chance to look up her skirt.
A genre this anime definitely belongs in is "ecchi" category because for a magical girl anime where the main characters are five 12 year old girls there is a surprising amount of fan service including panty flashes, bouncy boobs, and that thing where a girl is taking a bath and the steam covers her nipples and vagina.
Normally, I like fan service as much as the next guy, but, considering these are 12 year
old girls were talking about, this is more uncomfortable then sexy. Seriously, I cringe whenever they do a panty flash.
Besides the ecchi scenes, the other problem I have with this anime is the fights scenes in this anime are terrible. They only ever last about a minute and even then they're choreographed so that heroes and the monsters only exchange two or three attacks before the fights over.
Furthermore, why is there a villain whose power is she shoots lasers out of her nipples?!
I didn't find anything likeable about the five main characters.
Hibari only ever talks about friendship and "the handsome prince of her dreams"; Tsugumi's only character trait is that she's a tomboy; Kamome loves money; Suzume has this redundant way of speaking like she ends all her sentences with "I do indeed"; and Tsubame barely says anything.
However, the thing that really kills me about this anime is the villains. Theses are some of the stupidest and most incompetent villains I've ever seen.
Jun, Miyama, and Hatoko (collectively called "the three crazy ladies") are always trying to steal the girls patapi for their boss, Master Shooting Star, and summon monsters to fight with.
The reason I think they're so stupid, however, is that: first, when they get defeated do they go back to their evil hideout to plan they're next evil plan like other villains? No, they actually have normal lives when they aren't being evil. Jun works at an office, Miyama is a college student, and Hatoko is a pop idol. Second, do they have some cool suit-up sequence for when they transform into their villainous alter egos? No, they just get changed in a locker room.
I really don't know if this is supposed to be a satire about superheroes or maybe it's suppose to create realism, but either way it doesn't work.
The story for the anime was confusing at first and just felt like another monster-of-the-week story, but when everything is explained in the shows later episodes it really does come together and makes sense. There's even a big twist as to who the real villain is and what his plan is.
However, one thing that boggles my mind about this anime is: why is it the girls patapi that transform and not the girls themselves? Wouldn't this be like if in Sailor Moon it was Serena's cat and not Serena who transforms.
I have no idea if this anime was meant to be a parody of magical girl anime or if it was suppose to cater to adults with lolita complexes, but either way it just doesn't work.
The only good thing about this anime is that almost reaches that level bad where it's so bad it's funny, but it even fails at that by actually having a good story.