The title is a pun. Like, oooo, Akiba is going on a trip, but you take away the apostrophe and bump up the ‘s’ and suddenly OOOOOOOOO because their clothes come off.
Move over Nisio Oisin, there’s a new king of puns in town.
Akiba’s Trip is an anime adaptation of a game I’ve never played, but have instead, seen clips of. Of the hack-n-slash genre (Even if just barely. Ha.) your primary goal in the game, making an educated guess from the footage I have seen, is to be a massive sex offender. Ripping the clothes off of woman and men alike, people who were probably just minding their own damn business really.
So given 25 minutes of animation, what can I say about episode 1?
Spoiler alert, I didn’t hate it.
Not to say I loved it. It has a lot of issues in terms of how its presented, primarily in that some of the visual stylings it cribs don’t really hang around for long.
For instance, the episode smash cuts on a fight scene, both the location (Akihabara) and every new character is introduced with a Kill la Kill-esque full screen Kanji splash. But this doesn’t survive past the opening credits, it doesn’t even come back when the episode book ends itself with that same fight scene to reintroduce are main characters, who previously were given the titles Mysterious Boy/Girl respectively.
Actually, this reminds me a lot of Kill la Kill, and not simply because every one is getting naked, but instead of a lot of the visual framing the show is using. From our leads falling down a hole into what looks like a basement, where the protagonist obtains new powers, to this shot, which is not a shot unique to Kill la Kill, I’m certain, but the way it’s shot and framed, makes Main Character Dude look like he’s in the one shot at the end of KlK episode 11, just before Ryuko loses her shit and goes berserk against Nui.
Only KlK is way more interesting with how they frame the shots, playing with shadows and having Nui taking up the entire background to translate Ryuko’s tunnelled rage, where as Main Dude (I swear he has a name, but I just can’t right now) is just sort of in front of some purple smoke, with no real emotion behind it. Yeah it was cool, but it comes off as trying to play up a visual connection and just falling flat.
And maybe I could chalk it up to coincidence, but there’s so many visual cues that just keep me reverting back to that thought. The glowing hair, this one basement shot that is framed almost exactly like the one from episode 2 of KlK and how the episode ends on a stylised frame coloured with exaggerated brush strokes, similar to a lot of the stinger frames used in KlK, it just feels like Gonzo is trying really, really hard to suck Studio Trigger’s dick, which they don’t need to do. Gonzo is a Studio with a long, storied history and they’ve made their bread and butter making some gorgeous looking shows. Hell, in terms of trippy visuals, these are the guys
who created Welcome to the N.H.K. There’s plenty of history of their own for them to crib off of, but instead they looked towards another studio instead.
That said, I did enjoy the show quite a bit. The bookended fight scene looked mostly decent, everyone’s design except Main Dude’s is absolutely gorgeous, even if they fall into some fairly standard tropes (EG The blonde girl has the biggest boobs) the outfits of the 3 waifus introduced so far are both unique and very visualy appealing. Although that’s probably more a compliment to the original character designers for the game than it is Gonzo. Although they did do a great job of translating the 3D models into animation.
What episode 1 does really well though is establish not only the building blocks of its lore, but introduces us to the main cast really effectively and gets us in the know exactly as to why these peeps are stripping creeps to win fights.
Plus we spend about 5 minutes in a Figurine Store, with main dude gushing over a bunch of Sentai figures, before becoming a goddamn Sentai Ranger about 10 minutes later, although with some of the things he says, he was basically a Ranger without the ability to morph, which is fixed in the dying minutes of the episode, and that is pretty NEET.
EDIT: Side Note – So as it is a Crunchyroll Simulcast, there’s already a dub out and boy, it’s pretty okay. The sheer turnaround speed though is a little ridiculous, though.
Are those like the Sokovia Accords? I’m giving this a 7/10, it’s not fantastic, but it’s not mediocre either and it’s certainly not the trash I was expecting it to be. Thanks for that Akiba… OH. Because it’s set in Akihabara. Man, these puns are just so layered.
Akiba’s Trip is available for streaming on Crunchyroll