Ai OrikasaJuri IhataNatsuko KuwataniSanae Kobayashi
Najica Blitz Tactics
Also known as: Najica Dengeki Sakusen
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2001
Director: Katsuhiko Nishijima
Actor: Ai Orikasa, Asako Dodo, Iemasa Kayumi, Juri Ihata, Natsuko Kuwatani, Rei Sakuma, Sanae Kobayashi, Unsho Ishizuka, Yumi Touma
Keywords: anime, rubbish
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes
Website category: Anime early 00s
Review date: 15 July 2022
It's another panty shot anime from the creator of Agent Aika. I'd heard that it was quite good, but that's a lie and no one should waste their time on this nonsense.
Najica is a secret agent who takes on lots of unrelated missions. In other words, each episode is standalone action-based fare that doesn't connect with anything else. It's empty calories. There's shooting, hiding, kicking, punching, etc. but you don't care and you'll have forgotten it all by tomorrow. Najica's missions all involve finding/stopping/etc. female androids called Humaritts, admittedly, which gives the series something that approximates to unity and direction... but the Humaritt thing is a mixed blessing. They're like toasters. They follow their programming. They have no free will and don't even understand the concept of thinking for themselves.
Result: you don't care. There are some episodes that would have had power had their Humaritts been human, but no.
It's a TV series. This is bad for multiple reasons:
(a) it has bullshit TV violence where people don't get hurt. Guns fire air wave bullets that only knock you out, except when they don't. When someone shoots a helicopter with a rocket and turns it into a massive fireball, we immediately see the pilots safety falling in parachutes. That's an impressive reaction speed. I didn't believe in the reality and danger of gunfights. There's a moment in ep.12 where Najica throws her gun at someone's head, because she's given up on shooting bullets at her. It was around halfway that this series's non-fatal injuries started annoying me.
I think the show's default rule is that men can die, but panty shots make you unkillable.
(b) a sloppy lack of reality in other ways. Ep.9 annoyed me. There's a Middle East country with a (female) dictator who sends the army to crush a rebel organisation led by her own sister. The rebels all die or flee... and yet, at the end, we're told that the queen's been overthrown and that the rebels won after all. Eh?
(c) the TV fanservice. Agent Aika was outrageous, but this is just bland panty shots.
(d) I didn't believe in Najica's employers' approach. Ep.10 has a human-Humaritt married couple, most of which I fast-forwarded through because I had a bad feeling about it. I was right. They want to abduct the Humaritt because, uh, reasons. It'll never be seen again. Are they going to destroy it? Keep it alive and use it? If the latter, why not let it stay with its husband? Similarly, I didn't buy the big emotional dilemma in the finale, because I didn't see why its either/or choice needed to be so black-and-white.
Theoretically, there's some good stuff here. The character development and gradually unfolding hidden potential of Humaritts could have been good if they hadn't established so aggressively at the beginning that a Humaritt was just a kitchen appliance with an arse. I liked ep.6, in which a masterless Humaritt's predicament is so horrible that even I felt sorry for her. (I was then annoyed when, as usual, she was handed over to Najica's employers and then never seen again, because that would undercut the mission-of-the-week format.)
I also like the Najica-Lila relationship. (The first Humaritt Najica finds is kept on as her partner in future missions.) Lila's probably the show's only likeable character, paradoxically. She's a Humaritt, yes, but she's got a straight man in Najica and she can be amusingly eccentric.
Basically, though, this is twelve episodes of time-wasting. It's an action-adventure series based on safe violence and very little character work worth your time.