What’s the show? Akiba’s Trip: The Animation (2017).
Gee, thanks I couldn’t tell it was an animation seeing as this is an anime review… Listen, adding ‘The Animation’ to a title is just something they do when an anime is based on a video game, to differentiate it I suppose.
Oh I see, well who’s Akiba and what’s his trip about? Ahahaha, I sometimes forget how much of a ‘normie’ you are…
What? What’d I say that’s so damn funny? Akiba’s a place, it’s short for otaku nirvana Akihabara.
Oh…okay. So how can a place have a trip? Listen, it’s a pun title with a double meaning. It’s supposed to be read as AKIBASTRIP. So it can be read as Akiba Strip.
Because…? Because the game and by extension the show is about monsters taken host in human bodies that can only be defeated by exposing as much skin as possible on the host’s body, so by stripping them.
—I’d feign surprise but by this point I’m just glad you haven’t brought up lolicons or siscons, you’re not going to bring up lolicons or siscons are you??? Relax, relax, believe it or not this kind of an innocent show, all things considered.
I think you and I have a different opinion on what qualifies as ‘innocent’. No really, it’s very goofy and light-hearted, it feels like a Saturday morning cartoon from the West except for the fact that it’s set in Akihabara… the fan-service is pretty moderate – by anime standards that is. I mean yes, there’s lots of people being stripped down to their undergarments but it doesn’t linger or put outrageous detail into it, it’s handled surprisingly tastefully and to be honest after the first few episodes isn’t really what the show chooses to focus on.
Well what happens during an average episode? Take your pick! I mean this show is wildly varied, each episode has its own standalone plot and standalone villain and usually parodies some aspect of Akihabara culture or anime or video game, but not in a way that’s alienating or oblique, it somehow makes Akihabara accessible and even quaint compared to how it is in reality.
Isn’t that kind of dishonest? Pfft, I mean maybe, but this is a comedy, it’s not trying to faithfully depict Akihabara, episodes go from subjects as low key as arcade tournaments, competitive eating and building computers to real life kung fu battles, brainwashing maid/butler cafes and dropping a nuclear bomb on Akihabara!
Yeah that does sound kind of silly. And that’s this show’s strongest point, when it gives in to its silliness its an absolute blast, but unfortunately it falls into the trap of thinking its deeper than it is one too many times. Even for an Akiba devotee such as myself some of the later episodes are way more complicated or backstory heavy than they need to be.
So who are the characters? We should probably talk about them for a hot second, yeah? Mmm, there’s our Akiba obsessed otaku protagonist Tamotsu, who depending on the episode is into pretty much anything. He’s a good guy, he sacrifices his life to save a cute girl named Matome, who he only just met! Except this cute girl turns out to be a ‘bugged one’, the ‘bugged one’s’ are the bad monsters that infect people, but she’s a good one, who’s devoted her life to fighting them! In order to save his life from his fatal wounds, she kisses him, turning him into a ‘bugged one’ like her. Together, and with the help of a busty, blonde Finnish otaku named Arisa, and Tamotsu’s kid sister Niwaka they form the vigilante group ‘Electric Mayonnaise’ and commit to protecting Akihabara from whatever evil decides to beset it!
I—I have so many questions… Go ahead!
Okay, wait, ‘Electric Mayonnaise’? The main girl’s full name is Matome Mayonaka, so her friends call her ‘Mayo’ for short. I guess the electric part is because it sounds cool. *sunglasses emoji*
Right, and what’s this about a busty blonde Finnish otaku? Sounds like someone’s fan-fic leaked onto your anime… Yeah, her character’s kind of like the comic relief, which in a show that’s basically all comedy (+ random bursts of sci-fi/supernatural action) is certainly saying something! She’s a cosplayer too, so expect her to be in a different outfit every episode, some provocative, some ridiculous.
Fair enough… you seem lost.
I’m just trying to wrap my head around what kind of show this is, that’s all. It’s unique, that’s not to say it’s something you need to rush out and watch, its got pacing issues, some episodes will appeal to some subsets of the otaku community more than others, and sometimes it’s just plain dumb. But it’s certainly worth a watch if you are into anime and the surrounding culture.
And if I’m not? I know you’re not, so just sit in the corner and be quiet, this review’s almost over.
Anything else? Oh probably important, full disclosure and all that, but I did watch this show in the English dub. Don’t know if that makes a difference to this review, don’t think it should, the references were all distinctly Japanese, it’s not like certain other dubs that felt the need to throw in American references wherever they possibly could! But that may have contributed to the Saturday morning cartoon ~vibe~ I felt.
Ahem… final score and recommendation? It’s flawed, but still ultimately a fun and funny show. If for some reason you’ve avoided it because you think it’s going to be some perverted, ecchi heavy show it’s really not despite the conceit. If I had kids I’d have no problem letting them watch this right along every other Saturday morning cartoon. Though that’s probably a good reason I’ll never be a parent… 78 out of 100.