September 09, 2015

Why I love Aika ZERO and Studio Fantasia

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I've been talking about how simple fan service isn't enough for a show to interest me, which is why for instance I stopped watching Bikini Warriors.

But Aika ZERO pretty much is all, and only, fan service. Such story and characterization as there is, is (intentionally) a joke. It's not a comedy, but it isn't really serious either.

Fan Service/Action shows generally have fights and ecchi scenes and tend to keep them segregated. But in Aika ZERO the point of the fight scenes is to provide plentiful opportunities for fan service.

So what's the attraction, besides all the fan service? It's camp. The fan service is so common, and so over the top, that it becomes ludicrous. You begin to wonder, as you're watching, what they could do next that would exceed what's come before -- and they keep doing that.

AND... panties. Lots of panties. Closeups of panties. Zoom shots into panties. Microscope view of panties (almost). There is so much panchira that it becomes funny.

It seems like the director was trying to see how close he could come to doing hentai without crossing the line and requiring censorship. (The only censorship is "Barbie doll anatomy" in a few nude scenes. If the FFN had been any more explicit there would have had to be pixellation.)

Preposterous camera angles. The camera is low and the hemlines are high.

No blood. Lots of gunplay but the guns are loaded with "mercy bullets" (of which there is no such thing) so no one ever gets hurt. Even in the hand-to-hand fights the worst that can happen is people get knocked out. Now in reality some of the moves Aika uses would be fatal, but this is fantasy.

No Men. Well, there's one, and he's a bishie, but he doesn't get involved in the action. And Aika's boss is in it, but he doesn't either.

Aika is the only sane person in the midst of all this madness. She isn't a Mary Sue but she's really good at what she's doing and I can comfortably root for her (and her guns and her panties).

And the show doesn't overstay its welcome. It's only three episodes and that was just right.

The only other show I can think of which approaches the kind of fan service that's in this one is the Strike Witches franchise. The first series was made by Gonzo who had the same general kind of attitude about fan service as Studio Fantasia. However, Gonzo bit the big one (and then came back from the dead, but it ain't the same). So now Studio Fantasia is all we got, except that they aren't healthy and spend nearly all their time doing contract work for other studios. They don't seem to be able to come up with enough money to do their own shows any more. Sad, really.

Anyway, I've got some examples of the fan service NSFW NSFW NSFW below the fold. Including 14 big flash files, so it'll be slow to load.


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She's not dead, just knocked out.

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I could make some snide comments about the next two, but I'll resist the urge except to say that not even Gonzo would do this.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Cheesecake at 08:00 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 543 words, total size 5 kb.

1 Freezing was a female combat anime with a ton of wardrobe malfunctions.  It was a more 'serious' anime with a fair amount of gore which made the persistent fan service tiresome and discordant after a while.

The Freezing anime was made from a popular manga that had little or none fan service.  The fans of the manga were pretty pissed with what they did with the anime. 

Posted by: homer1357 at September 10, 2015 07:57 AM (+iKZT)

2 I didn't watch that one because "dead girls".

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 10, 2015 10:49 AM (+rSRq)

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