Movie: As the anime market continues to explode, there are a lot more choices for fans of the genre to pick from. Some of those choices are best suited for children, others for fans of action, and still others for a more adult taste (to name but three). In a recent release from ADV, Najica Blitz Tactics 1, the company manages to combine the spy action of Noir, the android adventures of Pioneer's Heat Guy J, and the panty fetish of Colorful. If you're looking for some light-hearted fun, read on.
The show details the adventures of a woman, Najica Hiragi, who is a wealthy perfumier by day and a secret agent by night. A Humaritt android by the name of Lila joins her as the two take on a series of missions to further the side of good in its war with evil. All in all, it's not an overly serious show although there was a lot of killing going on, and I hope the perverts out there will give the show a chance.
M1: A Magnificent Secret Agent With A Rose In Her Hands:
Najica opens up the series by showing her acumen with a firearm in a practice range. We learn that she gets a rose as a symbol of her assignments. In this episode, she rescues a young gal by the name of Lila from a castle full of gun-toting women in French-maid outfits.
M2: A Pretty Partner With A Gun In Her Hands:
Najica is told that Lila is a Humaritt, an android with super abilities as a trainee. Being a loner, Najica rebels at the idea but follows orders and the two take on a bodyguard mission at an amusement park. Lila's abilities come in handy but her lack of common sense and knowledge hinder her abilities, making it clear why she's in need of the training Najica can provide.
M3: Ugly Relics In The Jet-Black Darkness:
A spy satellite with a powerful laser cannon attached to it is taken over by a criminal mastermind. Najica and Lila are sent in to end the threat. The commentary track here by the lead English vocal cast was amusing.
M4: The Fictitious Star With A Sweet Trap-Like Perfume:
The latest mission is to find out if a member of a pop group is a Humaritt with mind-control capabilities. Determining which one of the four members, if any, are androids falls on Lila but it proves more difficult to determine for the inexperienced android. As the plot thickens, both of our spies seem to need all their resources in order to survive.
Okay, there were more panty shots here, albeit in an anime format, than anything I've seen in adult movies that are part of the reason why ADV rates this as a 17+ suggestion. The spy action isn't as good as Noir, the adult content not exactly graphic enough for some fans and the humor kind of mixed but it was a guilty pleasure to watch. I'm rating it as Recommended although I'll be the first to admit that unless it shows more character development, I'll be lowering the rating in the future (a one trick pony amuses for only a short time). On the down side, Najica's character showed no growth in the four episodes and Lila's robotic mannerisms were the same from the first through the last episode/mission. The anime style itself was a bit simplistic and the use of the music and sound effects not as advanced as Noir but it wasn't bad.
Picture: The picture was presented in 1.33:1 ratio full frame format as originally shot. It was fairly clear with a lack of detail in many scenes and a somewhat faded look to the print. It wasn't great looking but good enough for a guilty pleasure. The dvd transfer was solid enough with only a few artifacts and other visual problems (some patterns shimmered).
Sound: The sound was presented with a choice of either Dolby Digital 5.1 English or 2.0 stereo Japanese with optional English subtitles. I preferred the original tracks for my preliminary viewing but the English tracks had some additional value themselves. In some of the fight sequences, the 5.1 track was better but overall, both had their own flavor.
Extras: The best extra was an audio commentary by Kira Vincent Davis (English vocal performer for Najica) and Monica Rial (English lead for Lila) on one of the episodes. While most of the time they sounded a bit flaky, it was cute to listen to. Maybe in the future, they'll discuss aspects of the show in more detail rather than spend so much time commenting on how the director wears women's panties himself. There were also the usual clean openings and closings, a Japanese promo spot, some production sketches, trailers, and a paper insert.
Final Thoughts: If you're looking for some slightly adult flavored fun and a spy show besides, you might like the antics of Najica and Lila. I don't think there was more than a couple of minutes, if that, where I didn't see some "crotch-cam" or panty shot in full view and my concern is that the show might not have the legs of a more fully rounded anime series. I'll keep you posted, as able, on whether or not the show gets more involved or not but initially at least, I'd be lying if I said it wasn't good enough for my recommendation.