Hiroko KonishiSakiko TamagawaJapanese
Agent Aika
Medium: TV, series
Year: 1997
Director: Katsuhiko Nishijima
Keywords: anime, boobs, SF
Actor: Atsuko Tanaka, Hiroko Konishi, Jurota Kosugi, Kaneto Shiozawa, Rei Sakuma, Sakiko Tamagawa
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 7 episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=102
Website category: Anime 1990s
Review date: 14 July 2022
It's the most notorious panty shot anime of all time. (In second place is Najica Blitz Tactics, by the same director.) The show actually has a plot and would be a watchable dumb action show if you stripped out the sleaze, but... yeah. Knickers, panties, underwear, nudity for a change, more knickers. This gets old fast, since it's not sexy in any meaningful sense and is simply an action show with a mostly female cast and questionable camera angles.
You'll soon stop noticing them. Oh, look, more underwear. It's like a uniform.
I like the worldbuilding. The world's been trashed by earthquakes and Japan's now mostly underwater. "This ship is currently floating over Tokyo, the old capital of Japan. There, you can see the tip of Tokyo Tower sticking out of the water."
As a result, a new profession has appeared. "Salvagers" go diving for valuables and lost technology, although it looks as if the world's still pretty high-tech. Our heroine, Aika, is one of these salvagers, working for the small, struggling father-daughter company of Gozo and Rion Aida. She's a top agent and the former subject of some highly dodgy experiments, which have given her a transformation sequence and a superpowered alternate version of herself.
The baddies are Rudolf Hagen (a mad scientist who wants to kill mankind and live on the depopulated Earth with himself and his harem), Neena (Hagen's sister and incestuous lover) and their miniskirted female soldiers who for no sensible reason want to help him achieve this goal. When Aika defeats Hagen at the end of ep.4, his army fill up the remaining episodes with a pointless revenge campaign. I got a bit bored and ended up fast-forwarding through the last two episodes, but it's not unwatchable in a sub-007 sort of way. (The music's also occasionally reminiscent of James Bond.)
Is it good? Hell, no. It doesn't even make sense. I don't understand why Aika wants to get to an escape pod in ep.4, for instance, since leaving would have given Hagen a free hand to exterminate mankind. The show's sort of okay if you're looking for a dumb laugh. The incest siblings can be creepy. The main four-parter's not too bad and I only lost interest once Hagen and Neena were gone. There are also two prequel series, incidentally, which I'm not planning to watch: AIKa R-16: Virgin Mission (2007) and AIKa ZERO (2009). I'd heard that Najica Blitz Tactics was quite good, so I tentatively gave that a try and it wasn't. More on that tomorrow.