Hobbies are often a great way of meeting new people, but how could Kakeru Diachi, who collects rare juice cans, have ever suspected that he'd meet a fascinating new girl when he attempted to DRINK her? Naming her Melon, because she's got great melon... soda, Kakeru quickly learns that she's an Akikan—a beautiful girl who's also a special can created to fight other Akikans in a strange experiment to determine what kind of container is better: steel or aluminum!
Will becoming involved in this ridiculously twisted research project gone amuck complicate Kakeru's life incredibly? Of course it will, but because Melon's steel body needs carbon dioxide to breathe, he's now stuck with her since she's too CO2 dependent! And when his wealthy, attractive, best childhood friend Najimi gets HER own aluminum Akikan, the trouble really begins!
#01: "Koisora Recycling (恋空リサイクリング) featuring Melon Soda" by Nomiko #02: "Koisora Recycling featuring Tsubuiri Grape Juice" by Nomiko #03: "Koisora Recycling featuring Ginger Ale (Dry)" by Nomiko #04: "Koisora Recycling featuring Oolong Cha (Tokkyuu)" by Nomiko #05: "Koisora Recycling featuring Nippon Cha (Ryokucha)" by Nomiko #06: "Koisora Recycling featuring Cola!" by Nomiko with k. moriya #07: "Koisora Recycling featuring Energy Drink" by Nomiko with Little Non #08: "Koisora Recycling featuring Oden Kan" by Nomiko #09: "Koisora Recycling featuring Peach Nectar" by Nomiko with Charmmy Queen #10: "Koisora Recycling featuring Afternoon Koucha" by Nomiko
#11: "Koisora Recycling featuring Coffee (Black, Mutou)" by Nomiko #12: "Koisora Recycling featuring Oshiruko" by Nomiko #13: "Koisora Recycling featuring Mikkuchu Juuchu" by Nomiko feat. Miku Hatsune
Like Hollywood, it seems Japan is suffering from a lack of creativity recently. Here we have been brought Akikan!, a story about empty juice cans that turn into girls. Uh what? It certainly is a bizarre concept and I guess it scores some points for being one of a kind in that sense.
The story revolves around your typical anime loser Kakeru. Of course he’s a virgin. Being a pervert is a given. He’s never had a girlfriend, despite having the cutest girl at school practically throwing herself at him on a daily basis. Are you retarded? Blind?
How could you not know!? Anyway back on track, so he buys a can of melon flavored soda, drinks from it and surprise he’s lip locked on a busty girl in his apartment. I know this will sound surprising for anime but they both become extremely embarrassed by this! No way! She’s also a magic powered tsundere! Wow! I’ve never seen that before either! You’re never going to believe what happens next either... she’s going to live with him! Even though he’s only 16 he lives by himself. Does this really happen in Japan!?
While watching this series, if you have seen any other echii romance comedies then you’ve seen the basic plot and characters of Akikan. It’s so similar to a dozen other shows that I almost knew what was going to happen before it actually did. The plot is extremely thin and mostly uninteresting. Akikan suffers from the way it seems to meander around and not settling down on what it wants to be. Is it an action series? Romance? Comedy? It tries to be too many things and ends up being nothing. The biggest problem I had was with the introduction of this mysterious government agency that knows about the can girls and wants them to join this group called Akikan Elect and battle each other until only one is left. By the end of the series it feels like such an unimportant part of the overall story that in hindsight they shouldn’t have ever bothered to mention it in the first place. There are some other bizarre elements that really made no sense as well, such as the inclusion of the witch character Kochikaze. She is very typical of the schizophrenic nature of this show. The ending is typical of what one should come to expect from these kinds of shows. That means nothing is resolved in terms of the character relationships with each other.
All that being said, it’s not completely devoid of humor or enjoyment. Just about anyone will probably enjoy Kakeru's antics and dramatic perversions and overacting. For a while anyway as they eventually get old and overused. I also give the story some credit for not having every female character in the cast be in love with Kakeru.
The characters are a mixed bag. Kakeru is the most animated of them all and entertaining most of the time. Though because of his voice actor the entire time I was reminded, its Lelouch. His personality is almost exactly like Lelouch's silly school persona. He is completely over the top, overly dramatic, and has absolutely no tact once so ever. The various can girls, Melon and Yell are mildly amusing and entertaining. The relationship between Melon and Kakeru reminded me a lot of the one between Keita and Youko in Inukami! Najimi as the childhood friend of Kakeru who is blind to her love is not anymore interesting. The characters who steal the show are really the pair of government workers, Otoya and Kizaki. I found the interaction between them to be pretty funny. Most of the other characters are forgettable.
The animation and art are solid but unspectacular. I enjoyed the character models and all the action scenes were well fairly exciting. The voice cast was stellar, it featured some of the top talent in the industry and a few of my favorites. Unfortunately because of the unoriginality of the story too many of their performances sounded like characters from other anime. Because of this it’s unlikely anyone is going to remember any of them for their roles. The songs from the OP/EN were also not very inspired either.
Overall, Akikan was a show that was mildly entertaining but completely lacking any new ideas or originality. There are definitely better shows out there to watch than this one. But its not a complete disaster. If you don’t mind that it doesn’t bring anything new to the table and is as filling as an empty can of soda, then you might find some enjoyment out of it.
If you like the idea of a show that is entertaining, self-satirical, has 'colorful' characters and manages to save a little room for serious stuff, this could be the show for you.
If you are really into deep, complex characters with intricate winding plot twists and you looove super serious business 24/7, this is probably not the series for you.
The MAL ratings this show gets don't do it justice. Don't get me wrong, it's no masterpiece, but it's not a ~6.5 either. I can't say what people think of it, but my guess is that a lot of people take it too seriously. Most of the
show really isn't meant to be taken seriously, in fact, I would argue that it's an outright satire of the "Hey look I found the perfect girl for me in a garbage can around the corner and I didn't even have to do anything for it" genre. If you didn't take it that way, you probably ~would~ think it was terrible. A lot of the time, it's just making fun of itself and similar series. If that's going to hurt your feelings, or go over your head, don't bother watching.
As a review is "not supposed to be a story summary", I'm going to avoid doing that, and say that simply, the plot is ~not~ what drives this show. The plot is fairly basic, nothing very unique for the most part, though, I will give it credit on the point that it throws in a couple of unexpected serious twists to make things more interesting. In this review I'm going to focus mostly on what I think makes this show - the characters.
What I like about this series is that the male lead is not the typical passive male lead character that you would usually see in this sort of series. (Randomly living with a beautiful girl out of nowhere-type) He's outwardly perverted, often sarcastic, and a 10/10 troll...but at the same time is actually a decent human being, and, yes, can even be serious once in a while. Oh, and he's voiced by Lelouch's VA, which is something you can definitely hear when he goes off on his "speeches". (This is more obvious earlier in the series)
Melon is a pretty typical female lead, a tsundere, gets very indignant about almost everything, and is totally thrown off by Kakeru's antics. As well, being a 'can', she is somewhat naive, and thus even easier for Kakeru to troll almost constantly.
Najimi is a great addition to the cast, (posisbly my favourite) and it's interesting that they managed to make a female character somewhat perverted with it being more amusing than creepy. (The facial expressions she gets are priceless.)
Yell is amusing in her "serious business" approach to almost everything, while at the same time, like Melon, she is very naive about certain things.
These characters get the most screen time while there are a number of other characters I won't be covering who range between mediocre and awesome.
The animation is usually meh, ok, with a couple of episodes being an exception to this rule. (6 and 11, I believe?) The music is pretty average: I wasn't a fan of either OP, though it's kind of neat that the ED is always different. (Miku fans may be pleased to hear that the planned OVA's ED will be 'sung' by Miku)
There are a few lines in this series (Like Kakeru tricking Melon about what "Masturbation and Titty Fucking" mean) that really made me kind of go: "Wait...wait...were the fansubbers screwing with us, or did they really say that?" (He really did say that) So, keep in mind this isn't something you want to show your 10 year-old kid or niece/nephew. BEAR IN MIND that these 'shocker' lines are not constant, so much as exceptional "wait, what??" moments.
For fansubs: I recommend Coalguys for episodes 1-7, and, well... CommieSubs seemed alright for 8-12. (Chihiro does all of them and is so-so, but they aren't my top recommendation.)
Time to state the obvious what surprisingly hasn't been done yet. Akikan! is probably the worst anime of Winter 2009 season. Maybe even the worst series aired during last year. So after this short, engaging summary let's see why it sucks so bad.
Story: Being the strongest point of this series doesn't mean it's good. Just mediocre. Again boy meets gir- pardon, can which turns into girl, they continuously argue with each other but also somehow get along. Later more cans appear and... you've seen synopsis. This story had potential, another romantic comedy but with some possibly interesting additions. Sadly it turns into plain and boring
bundle of really overused cliches.
Animation: Here goes. Most of the time it's just lousy but still rather acceptable. But if there is any thing outstanding about this series it might be animation failures. You might have heard about episode 2. Thinking about it still sends chills down my spine, watching it makes you want to rip out your eyes.
Sound: OP/ED are nothing special, lame and annoying but you can always skip them so no harm. Music isn't even worth mentioning.
Characters: Did I mention mediocrity? Average but weird (this time perverted megalomaniac) high school student - checked, girl with superpowers - checked, childhood friend with crush on the main character - checked... and so on. But wait, there is something more, faggot from government who looks like mentally unstable scientist and lesbian witch classmate... thing. Bunch of lovely characters isn't it? Add poor voices (especially loli with speech defect) and voila - you're wondering all the time when they are finally going to die.
Enjoyment: Is there still anyone who think this anime is enjoyable? Still?! Well, I was trying to warn you but go ahead, waste your time and mood.
Overall: After this rant you probably think I'm biased against this series and exaggerate. But you're wrong. I was trying to keep watching and give it a chance but this anime failed horribly. Surely there are people who enjoy and even like it, that's ok. But let me warn other thousands of nothing expecting potential victims.
Can love between a man and a can bloom? Such profound questions like that will be asked to you as you watch Akikan, perhaps the single worst and most idiotic concept for a TV series ever, and the very moment that question becomes relevant within the series is the moment any drama or tension cannot possibly be taken seriously. Ironic then, that those parts actually end up becoming the most tolerable among these twelve, awful episodes.
Most of it is comedy of the lowest grade that is impossible to unironically enjoy with the occasional can racism that comes with some fighting between different types of cans,
each with a different special power and attacks whose names show how little effort was put into wrapping this thing up toghether (just for reference, one of these cans is melon juice, is conveniently named Melon, and her attacks are surprisingly named "MELON, MELON, MELON!" or other variations of the word melon).
Production values, animation and overall graphic designs of the series are awful and undeserving of something released in 2009 and would probably be mediocre at best if released six or seven years earlier, while the soundtrack offers nothing of value except maybe a shitty but somehow catchy second opening (that conveniently recycles the patchwork of the first opening) and an ending song that isn't necessarily shitty but is sung by shitty vocalists and changes every episode.
The award for the most aggravating presence in the series though goes to our protagonist Daichi, easily worse than any main character you can name, whose lines are more or less all facedesk-worthy throughout the series and never come close to being remotely funny or quirky even among these types of perverted male character stereotypes. The supporting cast isn't much better as they all more or less sport an unfunny/cringeworthy quirk that defines them during comedy parts like our protagonist and react in the dumbest ways during drama parts (even for this type of series).
It's fairly safe to say Akikan is one of the worst anime TV series in existence and should only be watched as a joke or as a challenge, and even then it manages to disappoint by presenting awfully stupid situations that more often than not cannot be enjoyed ironically due to the sheer amount of cringe in the dialogue. Nothing of value is to be found in what could possibly be the lowest point of studio Brains Base and one of the lowest points of animation in general.
There's nothing wrong with frequenting a slightly predictable, stable anime that has some form of boundaries or limitations that you can count on. But we also need something completely unpredictable, something that doesn't make a lick of sense, because we must feed our desires for the strange.