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ADV Films presents
Najica Blitz Tactics: Vol. 1 (2001)

"To think I was fooled by their innocent appearance."
- Najica Hiiragi (Yumi Touma)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: September 29, 2003

Stars: Yumi Touma, Juri Ihata, Kira Vincent-Davis, Monica Rial
Other Stars: Iemasa Kayumi, Unsyou Ishizuka, Asako Momo, Sanae Kobayashi, Natsuko Kuwatani, Andy McAlvin, Mike Kleinhenz, Mandy Clark, Melissa Williams, Kim Prause
Director: Katsuhiko Nishijima

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (17+ for nudity)
Run Time: 01h:34m:16s
Release Date: August 19, 2003
UPC: 702727062124
Genre: anime

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

Admired by women and sought after by men, Najica Hiiragi is one of the world's leading perfumiers. Her expertise in her field is second to none, and her acute sense of smell has allowed her to build a cosmetic empire. However, she also has a second identity, as with the flush of a single red rose, Najica is ready to undertake her missions as a top secret agent for the CRI intelligence agency. Her proficiency with a firearm is unrivalled, and she is called on for only the most challenging assignments, but her strictly solo operation is about to change when she is assigned a new partner, after being sent to rescue the young girl from the clutches of a rich seductress and her army of machine gun wielding French maids. It turns out that Lila is no ordinary girl, she is actually a Humaritt, an android with incredible adaptive properties, but who is in need of training to pass for completely human. Initially reluctant, Najica accepts her new charge after Lila's abilities are demonstrated in action, but not without a trial period. Together, the pair set off on a series of missions to protect judge's granddaughter from a mob hitman, thwart a conniving collector, and expose the truth about the latest pop phenomenon.

This first disc contains the first four of twelve episodes in the series. There is action and intrigue aplenty, and lots of intense gun battling and high flying martial arts style combat. So far, this could sound like any action girl series, but Najica is from the minds of Studio Fantasia, the company that previously released the fanservice laden Agent Aika, but if you thought you'd seen fanservice before, in the words of Randy Bachman, "B-b-b-baby you just ain't seen nothin' yet." Najica takes the cake for the gratuitous panty shot; in fact, it has been turned into an art form, where almost every conceivable shot is framed to keep sight of cottony briefs or plunging cleavage—to say it's excessive does not even begin to describe it. The stories also lend themselves to exposing as much underwear or bare bottoms as possible, from the maid outfits, to the location of the telltale Humaritt serial number.

So is there anything other than a constant onslaught of panties that makes this worth seeing? Actually, despite its excesses, Najica does manage to hold together as an action adventure show. The writing is decent, the editing tight, and while any underlying plot has yet to be uncovered, the episodes work on their own, with Najica and Lila's interaction being fairly humorous, and their exploits entertaining. Once the panties-in-your-face style becomes less distracting, there is some substance surfacing. Obviously, this is not a show for everyone, and whether it holds together in the long haul is yet to be seen, but the opening volume is at the very least novel, and if the writing doesn't fall apart later on, could prove an interesting series.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Image quality is pretty much flawless. Colors are bright and solid, contrast is excellent (for those cottony whites), and black levels deep and even. There is no noticible aliasing, or excessive grain, and only extremely minor amounts of banding in single color gradations. No complaints here.

Image Transfer Grade: A


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Japaneseyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: Audio is presented in Japanese 2.0 surround, and English 5.1. The Japanese track is solid, with a fairly active soundstage, and several standout directional effects. The English track is more enveloping, and makes good use of the surrounds, primarily in the action sequences. No distortions or other techincal deficiencies were noted.

Audio Transfer Grade: A


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring King of Bandit Jing, Steel Angel Kurumi 2, Noir, Sakura Wars TV, Sorcerer Hunters OVA, Original Dirty Pair: Project Eden
1 Feature/Episode commentary by voice actors Kira Vincent Davis (Najica) and Monica Rial (Lila).
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Clean opening and closing credits
  2. Japanese promo spot
Extras Review: A usual assortment of extras are provided, including clean opening and closing credits, a 01m:41s Japanese promo spot, and a fourteen image production sketch library.

An unadvertised bonus is a commentary track by voice actors Kira Vincent Davis and Monica Rial on the third episode. This is basically the two of them goofing off in the studio, extolling the virtues of underwear, and generally having fun. For those looking for insight into the production it's rather pointless, but does give you some idea of the personalities who make up the roster at ADV's dubbing studio.

The trailer vault (which thankfully uses theme music from the show rather than their well worn stock music) contains previews for King of Bandit Jing, Steel Angel Kurumi 2, Noir, Sakura Wars TV, Sorcerer Hunters OVA andOriginal Dirty Pair: Project Eden.

Disc One is available alone or in a light cardboard box to hold the whole series, which features, what else, a pair of Najica panties.

Extras Grade: C+


Final Comments

If the idea of endless panty shots makes you cringe, you will want to stay far, far away from Najica Blitz Tactics. While its style is excessive, the show still manages to entertain in a traditional spy adventure sense. There appears to be some direction in the overall plot, but what that is isn't apparent yet. The characters are fairly interesting, and if the series can develop some more depth in its story, could be worthwhile. Otherwise, it is still amazing how they can pack as many panty shots into a twenty minute show, and if that's your thing, you're going to love this.


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