You all saw the subheading, and I know you all rolled your eyes, but hear me out: I think Agent Aika, known simply as AIKa in Japan, is more than simple fanservice. There is a good plot there. And not just Aika’s PLOT and literal plot armor. The action scenes are great. And I don’t just mean what happens in the bedroom. I recently went back to watch the original 1997 OVA to see just how well it holds up, and while watching it, I realized there was more to it than simply panty shots.
If you’re still unconvinced, let’s break this down like Aika breaks down sexy goons in scandalously short skirts.
I will never not use that “plot” double entendre, especially when it comes to Agent Aika, but I digress.
The first episode perfectly sets up the plot for the storyline and just how many girls we’ll see. The story begins in 2036, and a tour guide explains the state of the world. Seconds into the first episode, we get an upskirt shot with the tour guide’s panties. Twenty years ago, a worldwide cataclysm submerged 95 percent of the world’s landmass beneath the sea, and it’s noted that Japan was hit particularly hard. Tokyo Tower, mostly submerged in the water, now stands at an angle, with only one observation deck above water, and is still seeing use as a marine radio navigation beacon tower.
A new industry rose from the ruins of the world: salvagers, those who dive into the ocean to explore lost cities and recover useful technology or artifacts. Whole companies were founded, taking on contracts at personal risk to delve deep into the sea. One such company is K2, a business owned and operated by Gozo Aida. He runs it in the old ways: the lowest price for the best service. This doesn’t help their business, but Gozo is a man of principles. He Rion Aida’s father, and the titular Aika Sumeragi’s father figure, as he took her in after her parents died during the cataclysm that rocked the world.
The story begins in earnest with Aika and Rion during a typical salvage. The fanservice continues as the scene is darkened, and silhouettes imply that one girl engages in oral fun with another. The lights come on, and it’s a two-seater submarine, and both women are dressed in bikinis. It’s a standard dive, even with a brief run-in with a rival salvager, Gust. Their next job takes them to a parking garage, where they meet Black Delmo agents, skilled ladies in short skirts. Aika leaves them all in a heap, in a battle with plenty of panty shots. Neena Hagen arrives to pick them up and warn the salvagers off the job. Aika shows no fear in the face of a scary lady with a gun and doesn’t flinch when Neena opens fire to shoot the car behind her.
Aika, and Rion as a stowaway, continue with the mission to collect data on Lagu, a new and dangerous type of energy. That same energy shuts down mechanical objects like jets, forcing a dogfight to end quickly. Aika’s gold Ultranate bustier activates, transforming her into Shivie Aika, tanning her skin, giving her blue hair, and removing her clothes. The Ultranate produces tentacles that manually restart the jet, enabling a safe landing. Unfortunately, Aika is drained of energy and reverts to her regular form, making it easy for Rudolf Hagen to capture her.
Here, the true nature of Lagu and the cataclysm that impacted the earth is revealed. Rudolf plans to use it to destroy humanity and remake it as the sire to future generations with his army of women. He tries to sway Aika to his side as another pretty woman for him to enjoy.
Their battle sets the pace for the first major arc of the OVA, and the fanservice is matched by the incredible fights.
Salvagers and Maniacal Scientists
Beyond the gratuitous panty shots and outright nudity, the characters are fully fleshed out. Aika is coolly calculating and absolutely loyal to Gozo and Rion. She’s comfortable using her womanly features. But when she reverted to normal, leaving her in only a bustier, she then tried to cover herself. However, she overcame that and demolished Neena, who had her dead-to-rights with a gun. She’s an incredibly skilled fighter with a knack for mechanics.
Aika’s Ultranate bustier affords her superpowers, which she uses creatively. The tendrils are incredibly strong, able to block bullets with no effort. It also seems to have its own mind and will act to protect Aika, even when she would rather it stay dormant.
Rion, Gozo’s daughter, wants to be like Aika. She’s skilled and quick-witted, but she wants to make more money and thinks that Gozo’s adherence to the old business ways is keeping them in debt.
To outwit Rudolf, who is infatuated with her, Aika pretends to give herself to him. He gets handsy with her and doesn’t bother with consent in that area. He’s also in an intimate relationship with his own sister. Neena is loyal to him and has a brothercon, making her violently jealous of Aika, believing she’s “leading her brother on.”
Gust looks like a one-note character with no value whatsoever. But he genuinely cares about Aika, and he’s a competent fighter, able to take on numerous Delmo agents. He’s also a gentleman who never hits women in the face during tense fights.
There are other characters, all of whom are fun to watch.
Animation and Fanservice
Fanservice is a majority part of Agent Aika. Most people know the series from random lewd GIFs or clips.
I love a good action anime, don't you? Sauce is Agent Aika.
— J-LIST (@jlist) December 13, 2022
Agent Aika walked so Prison School could run.
Good morning! You really should do some exercises to get your day started off right!
Anime is Prison School. pic.twitter.com/1wFbw306hp
— J-LIST (@jlist) December 13, 2022
The animation still holds up incredibly well. The details are impeccable, as seen with the panty shots themselves, they’re not just sheets of white, but one can make out some feminine details. This attention to detail lessens when the girl loses her panties, like when Rion is completely naked and standing such that she might show something. Still, we get to see her chest perfectly fine.
There are so many examples of fanservice, so it’s better to watch the series to see them all. You won’t have to wait long, as you can see the tour guide’s panties in the first few seconds of the first episode.
Additionally, the ending theme does a slow pan on girls in their underwear and bra. Different girls per episode. Studio Fantasia was ahead of its time. The characters go out of their way to show off panties, unlike the girls of IYAPAN, and Aika and the other lovely maidens won’t give you a disgusted look. But if that happens to be your thing, IYAPAN – I Want You to Make a Disgusted Face and Show Me Your Underwear has you covered at the J-List shop.
As many nude ladies as there are, there are only two confirmed yuri couples: the White Delmo Commander with her adjutant and Miyu Shiratori with ETAI. I expected (hoped) for Aika and Rion to get together. Rion seemed taken with Aika and everything. That’s not to say Gust wasn’t cool and would make for a good partner for Aika, but yuri is culture.
A Conclusion Drawn on White (Panties)
Agent Aika is known and famous for its fanservice. Most people know of the series from the cool GIFs and clips that show up. To say it’s all shallow fanservice does the series a disservice. The fight scenes are top-tier, the characters have depth, and the premise, a post-apocalyptic setting with advanced technology, is worth it.
I’d say the ratio of fanservice to plot is about 60 percent against 40 percent. Let’s not kid ourselves, Rion couldn’t open the drawer with her clothes, and the one Delmo locker she opened had spicy lingerie that even a Delmo agent said was too much. That was all because the fanservice plot demanded it. It’s the same reason every woman wears a short skirt, and Neena walks around in a black bra and panties. It’s a shame we couldn’t see Rion crawl through the ventilation shaft nude. So, it’s mostly fanservice, but to say it’s all fanservice is to gloss over an incredible storyline. Katsuhiko Nishijima is a good director.
So yes, you can tell people you watch Agent Aika for the plot. Now go and check out all of the AIKa series. There are quite a few out there.
What do you think of Agent Aika? Do you agree with my conclusions, or do you think it’s all just pure fanservice with “plot” sprinkled throughout, so it’s not just borderline hentai? Have you seen the series before, or are you only familiar with the GIFs? Let us know in the comments below.