on 6 January 2014
First off, although I think everybody here has said it, I have to mention it: the panty shots. The non-stop, gratuitous panty shots. I wouldn't consider myself prudish and do actually enjoy a bit of fanservice in anime (the obligatory hot springs/beach episode that every series seems to have, for instance - or, let's face it, the back-breaking proportions of a good many anime girls' endowments). However, I do find it a bit too much when I'm presented with multiple panty shots in EVERY SINGLE SCENE. Even the little girls. Call it 'lolicon' or what you will, but it feels wrong on so many levels when you keep on being shown nonsensical shots of children's white panties in a way that's supposed to be titallating. For the first five minutes, I found it funny. After an episode, it was wearing thin. After finishing the DVD, it had gotten distinctly irritating. If it hadn't been for some redeeming features, I'd have written the whole series off as single-minded pandering to someone's panty fetish.
Alright, that's my rant over. On with the rest of the review.
Najika Blitz Tactics has a lot of redeeming features, despite what I've just said. The production values are excellent - good quality animation and very few short cuts taken in action sequences. The overall style and atmosphere is obviously aiming for a suave and sophisticated psuedo-sixties era of espionage, which is very nicely aided by a slick, jazzy soundtrack.
The script, whilst not as clunky as it could have been, had trouble keeping up at times with the intricacies of the plot. Whilst the plot could range to being somewhat convoluted and implausible at times (or a lot of the time), the themes that it keeps going back to and the fact that this is homage to those super-spies of the sixties mean that the complications actually fit in with the style. The great casting by ADV also helps elevate both the script and the action, since the actresses make it very clear with every line that they're having fun with the ridiculousness of it.
Overall, I would love to say that this is an anime I could reccommend to others, but the repetitive use of those panty shots brings it down so, so much. I'm afraid that I've given my copy away to a charity shop. For the sheer number of times that they're put in our faces, it's like they can't decide whether they're trying to use them as titallation or if they're wanting to use it in an ironic, running gag kind of way. The sad end result is that it fails at both. It's actually really jarring - considering the style that they've gone for - in an otherwise good series.
There are enough redeeming features that you may well enjoy it, yet it's equally likely that you may be turned off to it like I was. But make up your own mind.
on 30 March 2013
Despite this anime's notorious (and deserved) reputation for pantie obsession it is actually very well drawn, very well told and very funny. This pantie obsession is odd because the original manga, if a little saucy, does not contain anything like such a frequency of graphic gussetry.
Gussetry galore notwithstanding, this anime bears the unusual distinction of (with Volumes 2 & 3) being put away by myself for a second look in the future (90% of the animes I watch, though I enjoy them, are afterwards relegated to bird scarers).
Even if you don't like pantie shots (you see nothing else - just ordinary, everyday, probably M&S, panties) this anime (with Volumes 2 & 3) is still worth the quite modest price I paid for it.