Anime Programming in the US
Making a Living in Manga in Japan with Felipe Smith
Lost in Translation
Najica is all about being a modern independent woman. During the day, she's the lead perfume maker at the world's largest maker of perfumes. At night, it's a whole different Najica as she gallivants around the world fighting off various terrorist groups. First up for Najica is a little rescue mission. Next, Najica is joined by an unwanted partner while having to track down a sniper set to kill a little girl. From there, its stopping the sale of a satellite armed with a laser and infiltrating a pop idol quartet.
Let the masses rejoice; the panties have arrived! After months of hype, Najica bursts onto the scene fulfilling the hopes and dreams of panty lovers everywhere. ADV takes advantage of the ludicrous overtones of the series, promoting it with some unique promotions. If you haven't gotten the hint yet, Najica is famous for its quantity of panty shots. Just how many different ways can a woman fall to the ground with her undergarments showing? Trying to prove that's not a hypothetical question, Najica the series moves quickly into action. And just when the fans grow tired of the multitude of panty shots, they discover there's actually a very well thought out story beneath the panty-riffic surface.
Helping to launch the first DVD of Najica, ADV created a special Limited Edition containing a pair of white cotton panties. Featuring the Najica logo as well as Najica's weapon of choice, these panties will surely bring joy to everyone, especially the voice actresses of the show as they will likely be asked to sign them at conventions. Trying to draw fans attention away from the panties, the boxset also contains the first DVD featuring the first four episodes of the series. The extras on the DVD are pretty standard, with clean versions of the opening and closing credits, production sketches and the standard array of ADV previews. One special feature is the inclusion of actor commentary from the leads, Kira Vincent-Davis and Monica Rial. Be forewarned, you must watch the commentary after you watch the episodes. Their comments will make much more sense that way.
The English soundtrack for Najica was produced and directed by David Williams at ADV's Industrial Smoke and Mirrors facility. David took it upon himself to personally hype the series by posting wild stories on his web log and throwing out Najica panties at the major conventions this year. Playing the lead of Najica, is Kira Vincent-Davis. Kira fits into the role quite well, leading the cast through the drama and comedy present in the show. Playing second banana is Monica Rial in the part of Lila. While nearly a typical role for Monica, she has the opportunity to run the emotional gambit in a role fitting Costello to Kira's Abbott. Their portrayals play well off of each other, making the English soundtrack quite enjoyable and actually often pulling the viewers attention from the constant fan service'esqe images on screen.
Speaking of images on screen, did I mention the panties? Yes, this show is full of panty shots, upskirt camera angles and a slight lesbian overtone. It's this imagery which will probably turn off many fans from even watching this show. The artwork and animation are both top notch, with plenty of emphasis on the ladies of the show. Throw in a bit of shiny skin, short skirts and you get the idea of where the character designer was headed with this one. On top of that, the action sequences, mechanical designs are very high quality making for an interesting mix of eye-candy. The first sequence of the show, featuring Najica training is the epitome of what this show is about. While she's very pretty to look at, she's also very deadly.
The irony of all this fan service imagery is that there's actually a good story underneath it. Yes, I was as shocked as you are. While falling into the arena of typical spy type stories, Najica manages to pull a lot of wit and satire into the standard spy cliché. Najica is very tongue in cheek with an obvious nod towards James Bond. (If James Bond were to wear a mini-skirt and enjoy panty flashes.) Each episode of the first disk is a self-contained adventure. The first three are very action-oriented, with plenty of gunplay. The last episode is more on the comedic side as the girls are trying to solve the puzzle with a bit of investigation. Mixed in with this is an almost dry sense of humor, with tons of comical scenes played off as straight as possible. All of this allows Najica to create a unique niche for itself.
Despite the heavy fan service, Najica is a solid series with plenty for everyone. A strong mix of action, charm and well-thought out animation produce a very unique story. While most people will want it for its obvious panty appeal, even the more mature among us will enjoy the wit and charm portrayed in each adventure. Najica is simply a lot of fun, and fans will be panting in the aisles waiting for the next release.
Overall (dub) : A
Overall (sub) : A
Story : A
Animation : A
Art : A
Music : A
+ Panties, panties, panties! And a decent story to boot
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