Ah, Akihabara. Otaku center of the world. Filled to the brim with anime, manga, video games, computer goods, maid cafés, and vampires.
Akiba's Trip The Animation feels like a love letter to Akiba and every nerdy interest you can think of. Is it a masterful work of writing? No. Is it thought provoking? No. Is it enjoyable? I'd like to think so. Isn't that why we watch anime? To enjoy ourselves?
The premise is quite simple. Akiba has been overrun by vampires known as "Bugged Ones" and the only way to defeat them is to strip them of their clothes and expose them to sunlight. Depending
on your tolerance for fan service there's your indication as to whether or not you should bother starting the show. However, for those coming in because they're thinking the show will have the same amount of fan service as Prison School for example, you'll be disappointed as the fan service is quite minimal considering the premise of the show.
The show's strongest asset in my eyes is how much heart it feels went into the show. As previously mentioned the show is a love letter to Akiba and every nerdy interest you can think of. Computers, card games, audiophiles, Street Fighter, wrestling, and more. Every episode is an affectionate parody of these subcultures and is both the show's biggest strength and weakness. If you're familiar with what they happen to be parodying that episode you will enjoy yourself immensely, but if not, you might feel like you're being left out of the joke. This results in each episode being quite hit or miss. Not every episode will be a hit, but when they are, my God do they hit.
This love and passion for these interests leads to a payoff when it comes to the show's comedy. The accuracy of the wrestling tropes. A person's descent into becoming an audiophile. How a card game looks for people who know what's going on vs people who don't know a thing about the game. They know what will make people who enjoy these interests laugh and they make good use of that knowledge. The show knows how stupid it is and revels in by going completely over the top whenever possible. It's not afraid to poke fun at itself either by occasionally referencing various characteristics of the show itself. It's all comedic gold.
The characters aren't particularly complex and developed, but would you expect anything different? That's not to say they’re walking tropes however. Tamotsu escapes being a bland nerd MC and Arisa shows off her loyalty when faced with an important decision. It's not much, but it's something. But frankly in a show like this the development and complexity of the characters isn't important. What is important however is how likable they are. The group is full of energy and enthusiasm when the times are good, and when push comes to shove they'll go out of their way to show how much they care about each other.
Could I talk about the art or the sound? Sure, probably. But frankly they're not remarkably good or bad enough to justifying writing about and I don't see a point in telling you something is completely average just for the sake of padding out the amount of words in this review.
For me Akiba's Trip has been the surprise of the season and was a complete joy to watch. The show knew what it wanted to achieve and passed with flying colours. It's goofy, it's fun, it's energetic, it's hilarious, it's Akiba's Trip.