A catastrophic earthquake has left Tokyo, and most of the Earth for that matter, under the sea. Aika is a salvager who retrieves various remains from the watery ruins. When Aika accepts the dangerous mission of locating and obtaining the mysterious Lagu, she discovers that she's not the only one after it.
I have to say in all the shows I have watched up to this point; Agent Aika succeeds in being probably the most dreadful one to date. As has been stated in some of the other reviews I have seen for this show, you can find plenty of unintentional comedy gold in this show. But even that can’t save this from being a completely uninspired waste of time.
This is where I usually write about the story. Except in Agent Aika, the director decided to skip such trivial matters and focus on what is really important. Namely panty shots, boobs, tentacle inspired
action, camel toe, and nudity. Yes it’s true; I challenge anyone to find ONE shot in any episode that contains a female character that does not show a panty shot. Yes there really is that many. I didn’t even bother to count them. I would imagine if you strung all these shots together they would take up at least 80% of each episode. And it’s not like this is something that offends me, but all of these things from the pantsu to the nudity are done in such a tacky and exploitative manner that really that’s the plot of this series. Panties and how many we can show in one episode. All of the action revolves around panties or ripping off clothes. Everyone falls in the same way; face down ass up exposing themselves. It’s so pathetic that it actually becomes a bit humorous after awhile.
Supposedly this show is about the main characters being salvagers. In 3 hours of show I think they spent less than 60 seconds actually "salvaging". The director didn’t have time for more than that, must show more panties! Nothing the main characters do is adequately explained. Aika has strange mysterious super powers which involve her becoming naked and wielding tentacles. We are given a name for this power but honestly I forgot what it was 5 minutes after they told me. There are lots of gun fights, classic military vehicles battles, and martial arts action but these are just tools to de-cloth the heroes and villains or show their underwear.
I know I have spent a lot of this review talking about underwear. Well that’s because that’s what this anime is about. The biggest problem is it even fails and this. If you’re going to show me 200 pairs of panties per episode then at least show me some different kinds! Apparently in the world of Agent Aika everyone shops at the same store and buys the same style and color panty. You can tell that a man was in charge of all of this too because any woman knows you don’t wear white panties under a black miniskirt. Note to the director: mix in a little color, some blacks, pinks, reds, or blues. The animation continuality also sucked. Characters would be wearing one outfit and the next episode in a scene that is supposed to be taking place immediately following events from the previous episode they would be wearing different clothes. We also were treated to panty shots from people who were not even wearing panties 30 seconds previously! In the one scene I saw a main put on something other than plain old white when she exposed herself 5 minutes later guess what? Yep standard white! Come on if you’re going to do something at least do it right!
Maybe the only thing worse than the story though is the characters. Aika gives us perhaps the most uninteresting cast in the history of anime. The characters have zero personality, we learn nothing of their pasts, and they just conform to whatever stereotype they were put in. Aika as the hero is completely uninteresting besides her physical measurements. Rion plays the sidekick and she is probably the only genuinely interesting character in the show. Almost all of the "intentional" comedy flows through her. All the other supporting characters are ridiculously shallow and boring. Some are downright stupid. Namely the idiotic girly man they introduce halfway through the show whose sole purpose seemed to be getting beat up by Rion or cross dressing or saying other creepy lines while talking through a puppet.
The villains are also a train wreck. There are two story arcs. The first involves a creepy purple haired lipstick wearing bishounen who at least has an evil plan that makes a bit of sense. Of course he has a creepy sister who is obviously involved in an incestuous relationship with him. Later we have underlings from the previous villain who have probably the stupidest motivation ever. None of them are the slightest bit interesting either, but at least they are all girls so we get to see their boobs and panties.
The only thing Aika does right is the artwork. Despite my problems with continuality and the boring panty designs the characters all look really good. Especially given this shows age and some of the garbage that came out of its era. At least all the naked girls look good, that’s something I guess. The audio is pretty mediocre. The OP/EN songs are not inspired but the voice acting is ok in parts.
In the end I can’t recommend this show to anyone. If you like tits and ass there are better shows out there than this you can get your fill from. Go watch Ikkitousen instead, at least that has a few interesting characters and a rudimentary plot. You would be more usefully occupied spending the time you would use watching this show to surf the internet for porn than in watching this crap. Stay far away.
Depending on your point of view, it's either a catastrophal train-wreck of an anime series or actually so damn bad it's absolutely hilarious again.
It is apparently trying to be an ecchi light-hearted action-comedy, but it puts it on so thick that it can only count as a parody of that genre.
If it excels at anything , it's how the producers managed to cram so very many panty shots into it: Girls in other series wear t-shirts and sweaters that reach farther down than the skirts of the characters in this series. It also helps that the villain's
underlings are all female and wear the same skimpy uniforms. And if all else fails, there's still frog's perspective.
I actually got so captivated by the sheer amount that I started counting them...
By the end of the first episode I had reached 140 and stopped counting. With an episode length of roughly 30 minute that makes about 4.6 panties on screen every minute.
That almost deserves credit... but that's not all! Aside from the general stereotypical stupidity of the plot (Some sort of catastrophe has destroyed the planet a little and made the water rise, so now special divers called Salvagers dive up valuable sunk junk but you'd barely even notice that if it wouldn't be mentioned occassionally) it's plot has some very precious highlights of mental retardation:
The main Villain, Hagen, is an effeminate man who actually wants to destroy the world with the power of a mysterious substance called Lagu only so that he can repopulate it with the offspring of - yes, you might have guessed - himself and every member of the all-female crew of his spaceship/submarine/headquarters.
Which sadly, seems to include his own sister.
(Although details are shaky. They're both test tube children as far as got)
But alas, that's not yet the deepest deep of this really awful plot, the main part hasn't even been mentioned yet: The heroine is in possession of a sentient artifact created by science (could as well be magic) that gives her super powers (and also transforms her into an tanned, sexier version of herself with long blue hair and a white bikini).
It has the form of a golden bustier.
And of course, Hagen, who eventually crushes on the name-giving heroine of the series, eventually makes his own super-powered panty to give his sister.
Add to that wacky hi-jinx of various useless side characters like Aika's stupid meganekko-sidekick, a manly salvager who yells "Bip-Bop-Balooba!" while fighting in rhytm, a mysterious (also female) secret agent that inflitrates Hagen's group and is as inept as all the others and you have a piece of truely outstandingly stupid piece of Animated Entertainment.
I kept thinking constantly: "They're.. they're not actually serious, are they?"
I make no bones about Agent Aika being my all-time favorite anime guilty pleasure and how much I just plain LOVE this show. Beyond the paper-thin rip-off of the plot from Moonraker, this show is all about hot looking, long legged girls in ridiculously short skirts and high heels for as far as the eye can see, not to mention the almost endless number of panty shots and the imaginative camera angles used to display same (Just for fun, I actually tried counting all the panty shots during one viewing and lost count after around 250!). To call Aika outrageous would be an understatement, this
show isn't enlightening, emotionally gripping or even intelligent, but for sheer fun on an amazing scale, Aika fills the prescription!
Today, the man regarded as the "master" of anime spoofs is Imaishi Hiroyuki. His works Gurren Lagann, Panty and Stocking, and Kill La Kill (despite how much I personally hate them) are widely beloved by otaku in both Japan and the US. Who was his predecessor though? In the 1980s, the lord of the spoof was named Katsuhiko Nishijima. Mr. Nishijima created the anime Project A-ko, which despite a rather cool reception by today's otaku, was absolutely beloved back in 1986. A-ko perfectly skewered all the anime cliches and tropes from the early 1980s and late 1970s. A-ko also made fun of animation techniques and
featured many inside jokes for animators and anime staff workers. Back in its day, A-ko was THE definitive anime spoof. Unfortunately for Nishijima, he wasn't able to build on his early success. He took some time off to direct hentai and came back in the 1990s to try spoof and "satirize" echii anime by recycling his old formula of lampshading cliches and going way over the top. However, audience tastes had changed and despite a decent reception in Japan, his next work Agent Aika was largely despised in the US. Here is a look at a shitty anime that may have gotten a much better reception if it had only come out at a different time.
Plot and characters: 1/10
Much like his final attempt at directing, the absolutely disastrous Najika Blitz Tactics, Nishijima completely threw plot and character development out the window to focus on one thing: Panty shots. Agent Aika manages to have over 300 panty shots in a run time of about 2 hours. BRILLIANT! Much like Hiroyuki, Nishijima believed that the definition of a good spoof was simply going "full retard" and beating tired tropes to death for the sake of comedy. The basic story is that Aika is a secret agent tasked with recovering a powerful artifact called the Lagu. She must find it before an extremely cheesy villain uses it to wipe out all of humanity, except himself and 100 beautiful women, and make Earth his own giant harem. All of the echii cliches are here in full force and the characters are the most cardboard stereotypes possible. The problem with simply abusing cliches in a shallow and repetitive manner is that it isn't "brilliant" spoofing. It is simply a shitty anime that is self aware of its own badness. Unless the audience has VERY low standards, that really shouldn't be considered good enough to warrant praise!
Even for the 1990s, the animation and art in Agent Aika really isn't very good. Occasionally the goofy animation actually works with the comedy, but mostly it just looks ugly and lazy.
As horrible as this anime is, I actually find it a bit easier to enjoy than the likes of Kill La Kill because it doesn't have annoying fanboys screaming in my ear how bloody clever it is! The fact that it is simply, unapologetic-ally SHIT makes it easier to laugh at!
Although Japan actually liked this piece of shit and gave it enough fanfare to warrant multiple sequels, America stood strong and said "NO!" to this low quality style of spoofing. If only Panty and Stocking and Kill la Kill had come out in the 1990s when they would have been quickly discarded and bashed just like Aika. Of course, I'm sure Mr. Nishijima wishes he had released this bullshit in the 2010s when it would have received a MUCH warmer reception in the West. My point is that there was once a time when we Americans could recognize that complete idiocy that happens to be self aware was NOT the same as a brilliant and clever spoof. We can reach that level of criticism again!