Agent Aika Vol. #2: Final Battle (of 2) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Tuesday, May 08, 2001
Release Date: Tuesday, May 08, 2001



What They Say
From the creator of Project A-ko! Aika’s on vacation and ready to let her hair down. But she’s seduced be a master manipulator intent on revenge. Can Aika fight her way to freedom without losing her heart… and her inhibitions? Frills will fly tonight!

The Review!
So how do you follow-up the fanservice fest that was the first four episodes? You show more panties!

Audio:
For our primary review, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. The audio for the disc is pretty straightforward with a simple 2 channel mix with the majority of the dialogue coming through the center channel and music and ambient effects using the left/right channels. There's not a lot of directionality to the show, but overall it sounded as it should and it works well.

Video:
I didn't have a lot of issue with the video outside of the much dreaded rainbows which were on practically every character, sometimes only along the edges and other times all over them. It's quite distracting when you're trying to watch the panties. The first episode was probably the best of the three on here in terms of the rainbows, while the next two had them more prominently. Other than that, there was hardly any artifacting of any note or pixellation, only a few areas of obvious line noise. Colors looked good without being oversaturated and the black levels looked decent as well.

Packaging:
Keeping the same stylistic look from the first disc works well here, with the main characters strutting their stuff yet not showing any panties. You could almost believe there's a serious show inside! At least until you turn it over and it has a quote of "The most panties we have ever seen!" from Protoculture Addicts. And the pic of the girls showing their panties. Can we mention the panties again?

Menus:
The menu system is fairly typical CPM with some static shots and some animation playing in the background with music/vocals and the list of selections to the left. Submenu access times are pretty fast and things move around without issue. While not the top menu systems out there, CPM's menus continue to be the easiest and fastest to use.

Extras:
There's a good number of extras included here, with the original long running extra of the Special File being broken up into several bits that can be played separately (likely due to some licensing issue). The inclusion of clean openings and endings is great, especially the endings which are just slick looking. There's also the inclusion of the extended music video from the first volume just in case you were in a complete daze after finishing the show.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
So after saving the world from a madman who intended to repopulate the world with his harem, how do you follow that up? You go on vacation!

Aika, Rion, her father and the Michikusa character, a waifish goofy ass boy who serves only one purpose: to be on screen and take time away from panty shots. He does have a few amusing moments, notably when he dances, but he seems to serve no real purpose at all throughout the show. I really have to wonder why they added him.

Anyway, the gang all heads off after a successful salvage job to a beautiful island where they can get some sun and fun. Things aren't going to work out well though, as the women who served under Hargen are still around and they want... vengeance! And that really sums up what these three episodes are about. Through cunning and devious ways, the women who run the Delmos group, even without their leader alive any longer, continue to find ways to try and kill Aika.

While the first four OVA's had something of a plot that moved forward, this one is fairly repetitive but with a few bright moments. Getting the secondary characters of the Delmos women, er, fleshed out a bit more is worthwhile, but things just keep repeating in how they try to get Aika. The end resolution also felt pretty weak.

Don't get me wrong though, the episodes are fairly enjoyable, I had just hoped for a bit more of actual story. I know, after seeing the first four episodes I should know better, but hey, they had some plot to them! Aika Vol. #2 is more of the same with a bit less of the enthusiasm but more of the panties. It's a decent trade-off in the end.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Japanese Music Video,Japanese Special Trailers,Original Clean Credits,Meet the Characters

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.



Mania Grade: B
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: B+
Age Rating: 15 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Central Park Media
MSRP: 29.99
Running time: 75
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Agent Aika