Akikan, a show about girls popping of soda cans. Talk about hating it from the very description.
The trick is to know how to translate the symbolisms in these shows. They usually cloak their real meaning with silly premises to make the anime accessible to a wider audience. In this case we have magical girls who for some lame reason are trapped inside soda cans. The one who drinks one of those, frees the girl, who for some reason vows to be his servant. The lead male so happens to be collecting cans and one of them contains the lead girl. So… collections? Beautiful girls appearing out of nowhere and immediately becoming your servants? Is it me or is this like telling us to have a huge collection of figurines and sucking them daily in hopes of one of them coming to life and becoming our sex toy?
Anyways, every time someone drinks one of those cans, the girl is released and gives you a wet kiss … just like that. Yum, let’s go buy a million cans and keep kissing them, shall we?
Well, harems in general try to throw beautiful girls on the laps of sexless idiots and this show ranks amongst the most ridiculous excuses ever conceived. It even goes further by having those Akikan soda chicks to fight each other in a tournament in order for the most powerful to be the victor. Why? Just because; don’t try to reason with it.
Crapful premise aside, there actually is a story going on somewhere between those retarded moments. Half of the episodes are basically introducing the Akikans, getting to know them, and finally getting to see them fight. The other half are as expected brainless ecchi humor. But honestly, for a harem show that has a beginning, a climax and a somewhat ending, I am willing to give the Story the base score.
Now about the cast. All the characters are basically stereotypes, but for a harem show the scriptwriters tried to flesh them out at some points; something rarely seen in the genre. The lead had this traumatic encounter with terrorists, each Akikan has different fascination over her master and main rival. The end result is still quite sloppy but at least they tried. There is a whole episode dedicated to show them doing everyday simple things, with zero fan service or retarded action. For a 12 episode show based on ecchi, that needed balls to do. By the end of the show, all the main characters are not following the norm anymore and somewhat escape their mold.
Heck, the main male is actually quite bold and offensive when it comes to doing naughty things. He still chickens out the last moment and gets beaten and trashed by ravaged girls but still is not the typical super lame eunuch archetype. Plus it’s that thing with the terrorists and the murders, lol, what the heck was that? Stretch it a bit and everyone gets a somewhat similar immersion. Nothing major or ground breaking but it is there.
Still, all secondary characters are just present as superficial fill in for comedy. Gays and gigolos and busty lesbians, and spunky kawai lolis, and a bunch of other cardboard stereotypes are there only for flavor. Not that it would be better without them but they are terribly uninteresting, outside of ecchi humor.
Not the greatest cast ever seen in a harem but still more that cardboards. I give it a 6. It could be more without the retarded excuses for fruit battles and kissing to replenish magic energy.
The animation is pleasing without being exceptional. The amount of details and colors is rather standard for its age and even sloppy at many points, with some signs of deformity. The show has the courtesy to not go for a million pantsu shots per second or clothes made of paper. Fan service is mostly based on kisses, falling on someone, or just wearing swimsuits. Nothing too bold and offensive to the point of degrading the girls… too much.
Also, the characters are occasionally shown to make silly gestures and body poses that pass as innovation in a way. It makes the jokes better and the cast more likable by simply making them look lively. I give the animation a 7 just for that.
It still is poor if you try to compare it with high budgeted shows. The fighting scenes for example have really lame choreography and even feel sluggish. Seriously, what is there to expect from duals were the attacks have names like Melon Bomb or Sour Grape? Also, most special effects used are simplistic computer filters.
The music part needs its time to be likable. At first the squeaky voiced girls and the terrible OP and ED songs are making your teeth cringe. But after the more serious moments kick in, you get to listen to them from a more serious angle. Also, that dreadful ending song has several variations in the second half, with are far more likable than your first impression. Again, these minor details are what make the acoustic part more likable. Sound gets a 7.
And despite the rather positive take I have on a harem show, I still say it has little replay value. It’s not like you can’t get the same story elsewhere with more interesting presentation or better colorful characters (even Fate/Stay Night does a better job). But I will admit that for a harem specimen, it is half-good.