The beautiful thing about comedy is that it’s subjective. It’s an extremely wide topic where there’re a multitude of ways to go about it, with the main goal being getting those watching or listening to laugh at the end. So, how does one go about making the ridiculous plot of stripping off peoples’ clothes entertaining? Well, by shoving in references of course.
Akihabara, the place of hopes and dreams is threatened by an unseen threat. Bugged ones, creatures who lurk in the dark, seek to take over the otaku capital and rule over it by their own laws and values. In order to beat them, one must expose the people they inhabit to light. Which means, strip the person to their undergarments. But never fear, the team consisting of three teenagers and a middle schooler known as Electric Mayonnaise is here! Oh god, we’re still screwed aren’t we?
Based on a game series with the same name, Akiba’s Trip The Animation takes the gameplay elements of fighting the enemies by stripping them in the Akihabara setting and nothing else. The entire series is made with completely new characters and features a storyline entirely of one-off episodic adventures that each feature a theme pertaining to either one part of Otaku culture with varying degrees of comedic success. Each episode acts like its own zany and wacky adventure where the characters always end up fighting a Bugged One as the episode’s “Final Boss” before returning back to their normal lives and back to the status quo of the series.
Comedy comes in the form of exaggeration and quickly timed jokes that snap in and out as fast as they come. Due to the show’s fast-paced nature, the show never sits on one joke for too long, and keeps going along with the series’s momentum to make sure keep the audience engaged to the end. Though the jokes can be hit or miss both depending on what you’re a fan of (since they cover quite a wide variety of topics), and due to how blunt and not subtle everything is, the show is very consistent on how it wants to do things and doesn’t falter on what it wants to deliver.
And that’s…all there is. Packed full of references (both real world and from other series’), Akiba’s Trip The Animation is quite simply a sporadic episodic story that uses the exact same storyline for each episode with the only variation being how the story is set up, what each episode’s theme is, and what kind of boss they’re fighting in the end. There honestly isn’t much to say.
+/- Episodic storyline (depends on your taste)
+/- Blunt, fast-paced comedy (depends on your taste)
Development is very slim for the characters in Akiba’s Strip, as the fast-paced comedic nature of the series makes it very difficult for any meaningful development to happen to any of its characters.
Electric Mayonnaise, the titular group of the series, consists of 3 (technically 5?) members. Mayonaka Matome is a Bugged One who fights to save Akihabara from those that want to take the district for themselves, Tamotsu Denkigai is an otaku turned Bugged One who’s more than happy to defend Akihabara and save it from potential doom, and Ahokainen Arisa is a blonde foreigner who’s basically a Mary Sue, capable of doing…almost everything (somehow) while cosplaying at every chance she has. In short, what you see is what you get, as their characters barely change throughout the entire series. If anything, you get to learn more about their personalities and what they’ve done, but beyond that, there’s nothing much to say. The other two characters that are technically part of Electric Mayonnaise are Denkigai Niwaka, Tamotsu’s little sister, and the professor, who’s this tiny girl with a large labcoat on a segeway. Likewise, what you see is what you get, and like the main trio, are characters that barely change in the series.
The Bugged Ones that act as villains in the series are quite simple. They all want to take over Akihabara in some strange yet convoluted manner. They act more like the episode’s final boss that our main characters must fight at the episode’s climax more than anything, and have very little beyond their characters beyond their motivation to rule Akiba.
There’re quite a number of side characters in this show, spanning shokeepers in Akiba, to random characters that get featured in the series once or twice that all add one or two things to the series, culminating to the spastic feel that is this show. They’re not really all that important, but they help spice what’s already there.
+ Defined, entertaining characters
– Entire cast is one note
Produced by Gonzo, Akiba’s Trip boasts a colorful, erratic, and wild artsyle that further compliments the comedy of the series. Everything from the characters’ movements to the the backgrounds and settings is done in a distracting yet entertaining way that compliments the fast paced nature of the series. Though the show isn’t always consistent in this manner. The background audience for a large majority of the scenes are white figures with smiley faces rather than handdrawn characters, so in this regard, while it fits to the outlandish nature that this show boasts, has hit or miss qualities.
Fanservice is actually quite common in this show, which isn’t very surprising when the show is about stripping people naked to save a district in Japan. Though they’re blatant with it, fanservice doesn’t actually come all that often, and when it’s done, it’s not so overglorified that it detracts from the show, though that does happen on occasion.
What I think where the art really exceeds expectations is in some of the real life references that they were able to execute in this show. First off, they got real life sponsors to make cameos. Not only that, but in one episode, they were able to get real footage from Street Fighter V of all things in their show. Now these might not be too difficult to obtain, but the fact that the show was able to get some stuff from real life into the show was in my eyes, pretty cool, especially since most anime that do something like this make their own parody versions to avoid copyright and other legal problems.
+ Colorful and crazy art to fit the show
+ They legit got Capcom to let them use Street Fighter footage in an episode
– Laziness in some aspects of the art
As far as sound goes, Akiba’s Trip’s OP has a high energy beat reflective of that to the series it comes from. Complete with idol singing and a clear fast beat, the OP is, while isn’t all that memorable when not put on repeat, is a nice, fast song to listen to. EDs in Akiba’s Trip vary, as roughly each episode has its own ED with the main draw of all of them being the fact that they’re all idol songs. Similarly, not as memorable as they could be, but still nice listens.
If you ask me, I’ll tell you that Akiba’s Trip is a stupid, pointless show that has no value aside from being brainless entertainment. And that’s precisely why I love it. The show to an extent is self-aware of its own merits and it owns up to them, enhancing its dumb and energetic self to create a fun to watch show that despite not being serious in the slightest, can still be enjoyable. I liked it, and more important than anything, I enjoyed and had fun with it.
Did I like this anime?
Oh far too much. The fact that the show was self-aware of its own stupidity made it that much easier to enjoy its random episodes. In particular, the episode where they talk about card games (I think it was episode 8) was the episode that resonated with me the most. Not only that, but I like Mayonaka as a character.
What didn’t I like about this anime?
Honestly, there wasn’t really much to hate for me. I wouldn’t call this one of my favorite series, but I had so much fun watching this show that I really had no reason to dislike it at all for any reason.
Would I recommend this anime?
If you’re into stupid, brainless, and sporadic comedy shows like me, then Akiba Strip is a pretty good pick. Its episodic nature and completely non-serious demeanor makes this show a fun venture to watch. Though same with all comedy, it is subjective to a specific audience, so if you’re not a fan of in your face humor, then this is probably not the show for you.