The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Akikan! OVA

Title: Akikan! OVA
Genre: Comedy
Company: Brains Base
Format: 1 OVA
Date: 23 Oct 2009

Synopsis: Following the showdown incident, Melon and the gang are enjoying themselves at a hot spring inn. Hijinks ensue when Kakeru’s horniness, the presence of an unexpected guest and Otoya’s carnal lust all come into play.

The Highlights
Story: None; just plain ol’ hot spring fun.
Hot spring: Setting done to death in so many other harem series.
Humor: Ranges from dead air to borderline funny.
Animation: Uninspired and shoddy, still.
Enjoyment: Ironically more fun to watch than the entire prequel.

The hot spring setting is synonymous with harem and the combination of the two predictably results in plentiful fanservice, worn-out pervert gags and zero storyline. It doesn’t always have to be bad; some hot spring moments can be hilarious if executed well but most of the time, it’s just a scene of perpetually-recycled jokes. Akikan! OVA doesn’t beat around the bush with what it sets out to do; right off the bat its goal is to show naked girls taking a dip while the adolescent guys think of half-baked tactics to pacify their raging hormones. Akikan! OVA‘s timely fanservice is strangely a welcoming feature because, although fanservice is nothing particularly impressive, it’s what the prequel severely lacked and to see it here sets one pondering whether the inclusion of fanservice in the prequel would have made it more watchable.

Protagonist Kakeru starts off in familiar fashion, with his horny demeanor always getting the better of him. His one-liners remain amusing most of the time but sadly, like the prequel, they are usually the only ones that are bringing in the laughter, with many moments of dead air in between them. When Kakeru doesn’t have anything outrageous to say, it’s either a dull moment of Melon’s naïveté – which isn’t interesting to watch anymore – or hackneyed hot spring fanservice. The supporting characters are still playing the same role here, merely complementing Kakeru and Melon and not shining in the limelight even a bit. Even worse, interesting characters such as the eccentric government official Otoya and his kinky assistant Kizaki are pushed aside with minimal showtime, rendering them almost nonexistant in the OVA itself.

Animation studio Brains Base had quite a good run with a number of quality anime series, such as Natsume Yuujinchou and Kure-nai(1,2), before Akikan! came along and the series came under fire particularly for its dreadful animation quality. It’s no different in the OVA too; it still looks uninspired and upon careful inspection, there are a number of scenes that show lazy artwork with minimal animation involved from start to finish. Animation is not an all-important aspect of an anime but Akikan! OVA doesn’t even put in sufficient effort to make it mildly interesting to look at even from the onset.

Despite the mediocrity of Akikan! OVA, there is a redeeming feature about it that the prequel botched: its establishment of an identity. The OVA is more enjoyable than the entire prequel because it doesn’t try to straddle between different identities. This straddling was the prequel’s biggest issue as it attempted to be a fun-filled fanservice anime while also instilling drama, in vain. There’s no drama in the OVA, and that makes it a lot more concise and consistent to watch and enjoy, given how the OVA is merely half an hour long.

Akikan! OVA is however, nothing spectacular; it has many of the characteristics of the prequel, both good and bad. The humor is generally inconsistent, but the good thing is that it cuts out the unnecessary drama that botches the prequel. Plus, the shallow fanservice ironically breathes fresh air into the story as it still makes the OVA a little more interesting to watch. In conclusion, this is just something to help pass merely half an hour for those who wish to know what happens after the prequel. To be honest though, there’s nothing much to be missed if one gives this a pass.

The Rating: 4

Reviewed by: AC

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