I had the confused pleasure of initially watching this show when we discussed things at the beginning of the season and I have to tell you, what a long, strange trip it’s been. This show seems to come across as very fan-servicey but I assure you that’s not all there is to Akiba’s Trip. It actually got an interesting flow to it and its a cartoony cartoon at its heart. The art style is very well done and the audio work is very good as well, including having different artists of the show to round out the finale. My biggest complaint is that sometimes the plot rationale of the NSFW content (which I’m ironically writing about on my lunch break) sometimes seems to be very hole filled, but then again this show does not take itself seriously by any means.
So to start off, we have Tamotsu Denkigai who is an otaku who finds himself caught up in the midst of an ancient battle between the denizens of Akibahara, who band together as vigilante groups, and the Bugged Ones. While dying after an encounter with the Bugged Ones, he is then kissed by a woman known as Matome Mayonaka or Mayo for short (I shit you not, and it gets better from there). This kiss of course imbues him with the powers of a High-Level Bugged One and he is able to dispatch them with ease. How you might ask? By stripping them of course! Because reasons. Ok, now I know I get behind Kill la Kill’s rationale of fan service but this right here is a different story. The Bugged Ones, while powerful have the glaring weakness that when stripped and exposed to air, they lose power, with the high levels dying out right. (Note the subtle before and after.)
This leaves Tamotsu in a unique bind where not only can he take his clothes off, he’s also now trapped in Akibahara by way of an ancient binding magic barrier. He then finds himself living in Akibahara with his new partner/master at the home of an eccentric professor that looks like a little Indian girl, Tasujin Ratu. Rounding out the team is Tamotsu’s little sister, Niwaka and the over-the-top, otaku/genius/martial artist/business woman/busty/cosplayer Finnish woman Arisa Ahokainen who can somehow hold her own (mostly) against the Bugged Ones. Together they form the vigilante group, Electric Mayo!
As for the formula of the show, they follow a very predictable route each episode. One of the members of Electric Mayo, usually Tamotsu, will find a new aspect of otaku culture to become obsessed with for the week. This can range from computers and AI, to airsoft, to Yu-Gi-Oh! (one of my personal favorite episodes), to Street Fighter, and scantily clad pop idols. In this, they find and explore their skills at the particular otaku art, and then come face to face with some mad plot that the Bugged Ones concocted to take over Akibahara either through stealing all the rice cookers, eating all the food, or use of murderous computers (ok that one made sense but still). Final, y the Bugged One is defeated and Akibahara can rest easier and enjoy their otaku culture in peace.
The conclusion of the show finds us with Mayo’s sister, Urame Mayonaka, and grandmother, Fukame Mayonaka, being behind the plots and corruption of the government and a massive plot to wipe human negativity out from the streets of Akibahara. With a typical for the show cliche fight Mayo and Tamotsu find themselves as a giant love energy warrior fighting. This episode had so many random twists thrown in it I was almost left dazed, where Urame is somehow accidentally brainwashed into thinking she’s Mayo and performing in the pop idol group with Niwaka and Arisa and the professor giving all of Akibahara “Power Supply Glowsticks” that convert support into physical energy, and is actually outright called the ultimate deus ex machina tool.
So to wrap up, its very obvious 90% of the episodes who the Bugged One is and why they’re the bad guy. Hell, the show even goes about the process of showing you in the intro, WHO they all are. Honestly, I never noticed until after the episode that the previous Bugged One was there. What this leaves me with is a very naive moment where I think back to the days of Power Rangers. It was all so cheesy, and cliche, and scripted but entertaining none the less with a satisfyingly simple premise and that’s where I feel Akiba’s Trip leaves us. Normally I hate this sort of poor story telling but somehow, someway they warp it up into not just a bearable but actually good package. I have yet to play the game but I’m aware its similar but different in plot and tone, barring the stripping. I know I’m looking forward to season two should it drop but also playing the game. Now go out and watch Akiba’s Trip, comment, and leave a like before an otaku/genius/martial artist/businesswoman/busty/cosplayer Finnish woman drops a blimp on your head!