animefringe september 2003 / feature
Animefringe Coverage:
Najica Blitz Tactics - 007 With Panties

Panties...lots and lots of panties. Najica is so chock-full of those luxurious female undergarments that ADV had to throw in a pair with their limited edition. And who can complain? Najica is from the same director that brought us the panty-fest Agent Aika and the timeless classic Project A-Ko. Yet, behind the fan service is a Bond-esque action series that Noir fans surely will want to check out.

A wealthy cosmetics designer by day and a skilled secret agent by night, Najica Hiiragi once did everything solo and she was the best at what she did. But one fateful mission, she stormed a secluded mansion with a rose on her chest and the objective of rescuing a poor girl about to be subjected to her new mistress's hardcore fantasies. All the maids were packing weapons and a clean pair of undies, and Najica blazed her way through them (not killing a single one, mind you) until she found her target and successfully brought her back to safety.

And that's when Najica's perfect life got complicated.

You see, this little pigtailed girl she rescued has been assigned to be her new partner! And if that were not enough, Lila is not exactly human either. She's a type of android known as a humaritt. A fact that, while not immediately helpful in the short term, does become very helpful when the duo is ordered by the CRI Intelligence Organization to start tracking down and subduing other humaritts. Though whole-heartedly against the idea of having a partner at first, it is the sniper case in episode two that proves to Najica, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the two can actually work together and make a good team.

When not hunting down womanizing satellite dealers and stalking pop-idols, Najica is actively involved in trying to discover an elusive new fragrance to be used as "Sunday" in CRI Cosmetics' days-of-the-week collection. If we take a look at the fact that the days of the week panties from the 70s lacked a "Sunday pair," then perhaps it's almost fitting that Najica would be driving her nose batty trying to uncover the ultimate perfume that a woman could both end and start their week with.

And what does Lila do for fun? She just sort of sits in a tub of purple water. True, not much of a life, but at least she knows how to cook and she's great at darts.

All things considered, Najica does seem to have some similarities with Katsuhiko Nishijima's Agent Aika, such as having the setting be a world partially flooded and the secret agent formula. Still, Najica sets itself apart from that previous work by having likeable characters and cases that are tied up in a single episode.

Sure, the fan service element might get people to give Najica a try, but it is this show's action and drama that leaves the viewer hankering for the next installment. The music might also have a hand in that, as it has a jazzy flavor that brings back memories of the Gunsmith Cats opening theme and select tracks from Cowboy Bebop.

Rounding out the package is an English dub by two of ADV's brightest stars, Kira Vincent Davis and Monica Rial, whose work on Steel Angel Kurumi helped to make that series one of the most unforgettable dubs of last year. The first volume comes complete with one of the most outrageous and fun to listen to audio commentaries since the drunken 'who'd you lay' commentary antics of Dude Where's My Car? Amazingly enough, these lovely ladies do make a good point...why are women wasting their money on all this colored Victoria's Secret underwear when guys only want white?

Is Najica the greatest embodiment of the male (and maybe female) fantasy ever envisioned? Okay, maybe not...but it's got panties and that's always a good thing.