Holy guacamole! I knew that the Japanese people were strange, but the concept for this one would be a tough sell in anyone’s book. How it flew under the radar (for me) for so long can only be attributed to sheer luck. This is “Akikan” (“Empty Can!), where your fantasies are a mere sip away.
Welcome to the story of high school boy Kazuichi Souda (that’s him getting blown up in the upper right). One day, on his way home from school, he stops by a vending machine and talks to himself about which soda he will get. He eventually settles on a can of melon soda. As he puts said can to his yearning lips, it magically transforms into a human girl, whom he dubs ‘Melon’ (I was hoping he would pronounce it better, like ‘May-lon’. Can you find the green melon-type up there? I’ll wait.) Kazuichi is now Melon’s master, who will to do his bidding. Well, he is a bit of a pervert, but Melon is not going to take any of this nonsense and blows him up with her Melon Bomb frequently (you see it right there in her bubbly little hands).
As it turns out, there are more of these akikan girls about, especially when his lifelong childhood friend and classmate, Najimi Tenkuji, (far left) obtains one (that is Yell, and she came from a sports drink.) Now, at this point it starts to evolve into a version of “Sekerei”. These cans were created as part of the ‘Akikan Elect’, led by the amazingly perverted Hidehiko Otoya, who is head of the Ministry of Commerce. The reason for this fight is to determine what direction this nation will go in determining…..whether steel cans or aluminum cans are superior. The akikans must battle each other until only the strongest type is left standing. Then, the nation will forge ahead with that caliber of can!
Oh, I should mention that little girl in front. Yup, she’s an akikan; Budoko, and she is grape juice. Now, it is very hard to see in this pic, but if you look at Melon’s left ear, you will see an earring. It is more than a mere earring, it does two things. First, it designates if you are steel (left ear) or aluminum (right ear). Second, if I pull on it (and yes, it is shaped like a pull tab), the lady will revert back to a can, to await another sip from her owner and become ‘human’ again.
Our conflict is that Otoya wants the girls to fight and Kazuichi does not, preferring to live in harmony, so much is done to foment distrust. This is never more apparent when Najimi and Kazuichi have feelings for each other and their respective cans resent it. Plus all the high school hi-jinks when the cans go to school and, magically, everyone ends up in the same class! Wow. I did NOT see that coming…….
The ‘real’ plot eventually shows up when a mixed-juice Akikan makes the scene and wants to absorb all of the other akikans to become The Greatest Disciple…..I mean, The Strongest Akikan! How will they do battle against such a powerful foe? What is the strategy to defeat such a stalwart enemy? Did this machine give me my change?
OK, this is really a stupid show. I don’t mean that in a bad sense, like I do with “Piano” or “Fantastic Children”, but it is bizarre and strange to be bizarre and strange. I am disappointed in the artwork. You have these flirty outfits, but the ladies seem rather ‘blah’ in them. I know I rail against fan service that is unnecessary, but you need just a touch more appeal; otherwise, they are really rather drab. Why dress them in such outfits? Plus, the reason for our renegade can to become a renegade can is to beggar incredulity. Really? THAT’S the reason? Yes, that can DOES make your butt look fat!
Now, there is an OVA that appears to occur after the events of the series and it the flirty episode you wanted, as they all go to a hot springs. And I mean ALL of them, even the perverted Otoya who appears to have his way with Kazuichi (how far does it go? That’s up to you, my window-fogging pervert). Overall, it is an odd idea that really wasn’t brought to it conclusion well. It’s not perverted enough or dramatic enough or weird enough in any direction it chooses, so it eventually goes flat, much like a soda left out overnight.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 7 (Very odd they weren’t more moe)
Plot 7 (Faulty execution of a strange idea)
Pacing 7 (Moves along in jolts and fake crises)
Effectiveness 7 (Uncertain as to how to handle the conflicts)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Overall 7 (It needed to be more of what it was hoping to be)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Would you like something to drink?