The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Akikan!

Title: Akikan!
Genre: Comedy
Company: Brains Base
Format: 12 episodes
Date: 3 Jan 2009 – 28 Mar 2009

Synopsis: Sixteen-year old Dachi Kakeru is a hormone-raging high school student who never had a girlfriend. He buys an ordinary can of melon soda and to his surprise, his first sip of the can becomes his first kiss. The can transform into a feisty girl, whom Daichi names “Melon”. Melon turns out to be part of “Akikan”, a government project that involves drink cans that turn into girls.

The Highlights
Story: Interest level ranges from hilarious to awfully tasteless.
Episode 5: The point where everything turns dead serious, for no reason.
Characters: Just too bland for their own good, except for the gay dude.
Hilarious: Hilarious at first, but gets tiresome pretty quickly.
Final episode: Shoddy animation, half-baked ending… bah!

Cans that transform into hot girls, a clandestine government project that involves these girls fighting to be the superior can type, and on top of that, no boobs or panties whatsoever. Sounds bad enough, doesn’t it? Actually, it gets worse as Akikan! progresses from being hilarious to downright cheesy towards the end. I shall not pull any punch when I say that this series is a big mess with its kooky characters, ridiculous storyline and a plot that is no different from Swiss cheese.

Akikan! starts off pretty well, with the protagonist Kakeru giving some great one-liners and moments of over-the-top hilarity. Furthermore, there are some good moments along the way with Kakeru’s twisted adult humour and Melon’s naïveté proving to be a winning factor of the series. The thing is – like any winning formula – it gets very wearisome if it gets recycled in every episode, and what makes it worse is that it’s the main motif of the series’ brand of humor. The supporting characters do not help out one bit either; they only appear when the situation needs them to, and get pushed aside once they have their share of the limelight. At least homosexual government official Otoya is the most interesting among the forgettable supporting cast, as his appetite for pretty boys proves to be entertaining throughout the series.

If the bland characters and tiresome humor do not seem bad enough, the erratic storyline is another aspect of Akikan! that puzzles me time and time again. The storyline ranges from hysterical to downright dull, where it inclines more often to the latter. Furthermore, it employs the highly stereotypical situation that is as follows: Daichi quarrels with Melon, Melon gets upset and runs off, Daichi displays his bravado in saving Melon from any pickle imaginable, Daichi and Melon reconcile. It gets terribly noticeable even before the halfway mark of the series, where the only difference that sets each situation apart is how the supporting characters butt in just to make it a little more interesting.

The worst thing about Akikan! is perhaps that it has an identity crisis. It is apparently a comedy series, but it becomes obviously conspicuous that serious drama is littered all over – particularly in episode 5 – for no good reason. In fact, the drama element becomes so frequent that it begs the question: is Akikan! a comedy series that has a number of drama elements, or a drama series that is loaded with comedic moments? To add to the mess, the overall content is ironic itself because for a fanservice anime that has its share of sexual humor, it is usually stingy on the bouncing boobs and jiggling butts.

I was hoping that Akikan! would be an enjoyable series full of fanservice, but to my dismay, what I get eventually was the opposite. Akikan! turns out to be series that does not know what it wants to be, made up of character tropes and a half-baked cheesy storyline, with its final episode being the icing on the cake. If I were to give a metaphor to generalize what Akikan! is all about, it is a can of soda that is past its expiry date: it may look good on the outside at first, but one realizes how bad it gets once it is opened. Like one would do with such a can, I’d say this series deserves to be thrown away.

The Rating: 3
3/10

Reviewed by: AC

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