Ahh, Japan. You're built on a diet of raw fish, have a love of whaling and a seemingly unhealthy obsession with panties, but we love you anyways for your endless good ideas about anime. Unfortunately, it seems you've reached the bottom of the intellectual barrel and served up Akikan, a title whose name is as bizarre as the content is scummy.
Now, 'scum' may seem harsh, but cursory glance over the synopsis alludes to the tripe that lies within. Kakeru is a dislikeable and generally perverted youth who spends his days fantasising about finding a sexy girlfriend that he can get frisky with. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself locking lips with a mysterious beauty after taking a swig from a can of melon soda; or "her juice", a phrase that is filled with innuendo and used frequently throughout the series. Throw in a cliche childhood friend, and a nod to Bible Black with a highly oversexed witch, and Akikan's one unique selling point becomes moot. Roughly six minutes into episode 1, I realised just how bad the storyline was going to be.
Numerous canned beverages suddenly spring to busty life and battle it out to decide if steel or aluminum cans are the best in a desperately cobbled together plot. I shit you not. Akikan's ridiculous nature smears itself across your face frequently, such as Melon throwing giant exploding cataloupes at the sports drink, Yell's, light saber. Meanwhile, the previously mentioned witch has a compulsive disorder in which she needs to grope her naive friend, offering the yuri fanboys a distinctly unsatisfying spectacle that is more cringe than fap worthy.
As the dead dog drags itself to an unwelcome finale, episode 10 introducesy unnecessary filler; Melon and Yell perform house work, while the younger Budoku plays dress-up with stuffed toys for a completely unknown reason. Maybe I dozed off for a week, as the next episodes jump ahead in time to the introduction of Miku, a very weak mixed drink and the story's final boss. This “plot” part of the show is quickly wrapped up in forty minutes, leaving an extremely bitter aftertaste because of a lacklustre attempt to bring more panties to the viewer. Then again, why should I expect more when this is all Akikan has attempted (unsuccessfully) to offer?
One of the things that amused me the most (in a bad way) was Akikan’s animation. The wide character outlines - which appear to have been drawn with crayons - give the impression of an artistic team overflowing with ham-fistedness. Equally amusing is the interesting attempt at lip-synching; apparently having a characters mouth open and close in a way similar to a goldfish holds the key to realism. With mismatched eyes, distorted facial features and limbs without bones, the series' visual attributes does not fare well. To be honest, when a title earns a headline of “Epic Fail Anime” on Sankaku because of its animation skills (or lack thereof), then you know you are most definitely on to a loser.
Even having numerous ending tracks and a couple of opening tunes could not save what will probably become my most detested soundtrack of 2010. Jumping between overly sweetened fangirl style hits to a horrific sounding electronic Hatsune Miku, the lyrics are just as mind-numbing as the rest of the show. At least Akikan can be praised for its consistency.
Somehow, the delectable sounding Jun Fukuyama was railroaded into playing the detestable Kakeru - personally speaking, I think it was blackmail. Although he manages to pull off a sterling performance, the likability of the character combined with a script written by inmates on day release from the funny farm means this will not be one of his most memorable outings. Also worthy of a mention is the inexcusably un-evil protagonist, Miku. Where they dragged this seiyuu up from, I have no idea, but her maniacal laugh acts more like a sandpaper rubdown than a means to instill fear in her adversaries.
With Kakeru coming across as a dislikeable idiot, it is difficult to see why he would have numerous females throwing themselves at his feet... unless they are short on smarts. And judging from the apparent intelligence shown by Melon and childhood friend, Najimi, that most definitely seems to be the case. As each characters' deficiencies bubble to the surface, the distinct lack of development highlights the fact that there is a severe void in the personality department.
Out of the shallow roll call, only the yaoi obsessed Otoya shows occasional moments of potential. With his perverted moments infrequently filling the screen, it was a breath of fresh air for a running joke to not be wrung completely dry. Sadly, the leader of the Department for Economy has very little screen time, and the viewer must instead remain content with the vacuous bubbleheads that call themselves the “main cast”.
From a young age, I have always been taught that “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”. So in conclusion,
*A tumbleweed blows by...*
Kakeru Daichi is an openly perverted sixteen-year-old boy who has never had a girlfriend. One night, after a refreshing shower, the boy decides to have a drink and opens up a can of melon soda; but his first sip turns into his first kiss as the can suddenly transforms into a cute girl! After his initial hesitance to acknowledge her existence, Kakeru - as her new owner - names the girl Melon and allows her to stay. Melon, as it turns out, is part of a government project in which aluminium and steel 'Akikans' fight each other to determine which is the superior type of can. Completely against the idea, Kakeru insists that Melon will not fight. Though with the appearance of Budoko, a grape juice Akikan; and Yell, a sports-drink Akikan; it seems that they won’t be able to avoid the battles forever.
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As a not-so-closet perv, I love watching anything involving panty-shots, handfuls of cleavage and an innuendo fuelled plot. Although most of my reviews will err on the risque, I also love the obscure, the twisted and things that make you think - drop me a line if you want to discuss any of them!