Ah, the rise and fall of ADV. Admittedly, I bought my first anime from the company. They were the name of the game, and they really knew the audience. They scoured the world for the most action packed, violent, and sexy anime ever. Sure, they diversified a little, but you really hit up ADV to titillate your teenage senses. Yes, even in 2003 they never left the core fandom in the dust. Our example for today is…
A Review by Christopher Kinsey
In the future, Al Gore is super correct. 17% of the world's surface is now under water. This has nothing to do with our story whatsoever. Our tale is of Najica Hiiragi, a cosmetics industrialist who can identify over 500 scents. But she lives a double life as a secret agent for, uh... well the same company really. Because when I think of the best of the best when it comes to wet works, I think of the perfume industry. Ultimately background doesn't matter at all, because you have landed smack dab in the land of the panty shots.
The same person who did "Agent Aika" had a hand in making this manga into an anime, and it shows. Just about every shot of a female standing in this series is from the ground up, front or back. Whenever there is an action sequence, the skirts are short and the kicks are high. Of someone falls over, oops, looks like your skirt flipped up. It's sooo pandering and illogical. I remember around the same time they translated an anime called "Burn Up Excess" which featured a "Jiggle Counter" that calculated how many fanservice breast bounces had occurred as you watched. Silly feature for a silly anime, but if they tried that here with panty flashes the counter would have rolled over, then exploded.
For example, take the first action sequence in the first episode. Najica finds herself infiltrating a manor house filled with maids. Of course we get panty shots as we look around the manor, but then Najica is discovered and they all seemingly whip Uzis out of their crotches and go to work. Of course our heroine knocks each and every one out flipping every skirt to the extreme. We tried to count how many panty shots were in that scene alone, and stopped at something to the tune of 53.
OK, so it has a lot of cheesecake. But the story might save it, right? No, a million times no. Ultimately this series is a series of missions Najica undertakes. For the most part each mission is episodic in nature, with the only link being Lila. Lila is a girl Najica rescues in the first episode who is a replicant. OH WAIT! Did I say "replicant"? I meant "humaritt". Humaritts are humanoids grown in vats, gene spliced tailored etc. etc. who can do superhuman feats of body and mind. As soon as Lila is rescued, she's pressed into service as Najica's partner. And of course Najica "Doesn't work with a partner". So much of the series devotes it's time to Lila learning how to behave like a normal human with Najica's tiring help.
Ultimately the episodes break down as follows: Najica and Lila are given the mission. Standard spy-movie stuff. As they go through the mission they find they have to recover another humaritt. Then we're given a glimpse into Najica and Lila having a misunderstanding. It's really over the top with episodes involving spy satellites, Nazis (Well Nazi-sh), and a game of "Spot the humaritt" with an idol singing group. Later on we get a glimpse of why all the humaritts are created (To rule the world? OF COURSE!).
It could have been a fairly average series, but they had to make every scene chock full o' panties. Just about everyone who isn't a main character has practically no definition. Now I know that is a standard animation technique, but this series just abuses the right. It's as if we aren't seeing the person's pubic bone outline they're undeserving of some shading. However, to give this series some credit, they had really good background artists and a pretty fun jazz soundtrack.
But let's get into our example. Episode 9: The Brave Desert Lion with the Goddess
We of course do the opening. A jazzy beat accompanies scene after scene of the lovely ladies doing all kinds of James Bond-esqe wetworks with silhouettes and everything. All in all it's a really nice intro, gets you ready for some hot spy action!
The episode opens with Najica in some sort of brown cadet type uniform with a twist. She's ties up, doused, and smacked around with some sort of cattle prod. But of course this is the flash... forward? I'm unsure what the literary device is, but it's things that are certainly going to happen. Sexy things, being that this is Najica: Panties Tactics. We cut back to Najica's spacious apartment, it's raining, and she's contemplating humaritts while flashing her panties on the couch. She thinks about Lila, and she shows up upside down and outside.
We're treated to some of Najica's attempts to help Lila become less like an automaton. We cut to the desert known as the Gilda empire. Najica and Lila are on their way in while they're voicing over the "Mission". Apparently this country is always in the middle of a civil war between the queen, Metis Gilnande, and the revolutionary leader, Athena Gilnande. It's a mother/daughter showdown. Athena apparently has a humaritt bodyguard/girl Friday (Like every other villain in this series) named Elith. So of course Najica must retrieve the humaritt.
So back in the mission, Najica is stuck in a traffic jam which is caused by the queen's need for a Sunday drive. The queen's motorcade avoids hitting a kid and she's royally pissed (har har) because she got coffee all over her dress. Call out the death squads, eh? So Najica finds herself in a Humvee traveling to the garrison of Athena. They've quickly subdued a few guards, taken the uniforms and infiltrated. Athena and Elith are briefing everyone on the next mission. And of course they're all ladies in short skirts... Like Nazi brownshirts, only sexified. So we continue the infiltration. Subdue guard, panty shot, subdue guard, panty shot, view armory, panty shot. Pretty standard.
Lila finds the humaritt, Elith, taking her humaritt Jell-O bath (Apparently humaritts need some sort of nutrition supplement absorbed into the skin... no one knows why). In any case Elith gets the drop on Lila, but she's taken aback when it's revealed it's know she's a humaritt. So let's cut away to Najica in the rec hall for more panty shots. She salutes Athena, but is recognized right away as a spy, and taken away. So we cut right back to Lila and Elith talking about their masters (Humaritts also imprint, for some reason) and how to basically think for one's self. Well in the middle of all this Elith finally takes Lila down, knocks her out, and shoves her off a cliff.
So we're now at the beginning of the episode. Athena is torturing Najica for information. But just in the nick of time, Elith shows up with the news. The government is launching an offensive. Tanks, aircraft, and troops aplenty are on the way... so Athena calls a briefing, leaving not a single guard with the super spy. Real smart.
Athena is having second thoughts about the resistance. She's got the true grit, but lacks the solid manpower to make a difference. She confides her will to surrender with Elith, who seems devastated. Meanwhile Najica has escaped, and changed into her formal spyware. Lila is waking up on the cliff below, so now we're getting to the endgame.
Elith goes all nuts when the surrender order is given and kills Athena. She then takes over command of the resistance, and will not surrender. But Najica shows up, promptly gets her ass handed to her, but Lila shows up and saves the day by driving a tank through the wall. Pretty standard for the series, really. As it turns out, the rest of the rebels have run off and there's no way to win. But Elith heads out in the single tank to her destiny, kaboosh.
But humaritts are a hearty bunch, and the body is still retrieved, the mission a success, and for no reason they subdue the queen and create a republic. Job well done, Najica goes back to contemplating humaritts and how they function, while Lila stands in the rain again, claiming "I love Najica".
Well there's your hook, you keep watching in the hopes of some good ol' fashioned yuri relationships. Yeah, no... this is just awful. Every episode is like this. Hunt the humaritt, think about how humaritts work, sexy pose, all hell breaks loose, panty shot after panty shot, profit? And don't think I didn't notice all the little scenes that went nowhere and affected nothing. I'm sorry world, but even if you like panty shots, there is too much of a good thing.