The first two anime series of 2009 have pre-aired online, and if their premises are any indication of the season to come, we’re in for a wild, wild ride. Both Akikan and Maria+Holic can be classified under “romantic comedy” in the anime sense of the term, but they are… quite unique. After all, the classic harem situation has been done to death, and the ravenous anime otakus are always craving something new and exciting to latch onto. So how does Akikan and Maria+Holic distance themselves from the monotony?

“Akikan” basically means “empty can” in Japanese, referring to empty soda cans. So what’s so interesting about an empty can anime? Well, here’s the genius of it - aren’t soda cans the only thing besides people where proper usage entails a puckering motion of the lips, like kissing? I guess a ramen bowl could be lumped into that as well, but there’s so much MSG in the soup anyways, it’s probably better not to drink it…

Anyways, I digress. So people and soda cans are the only two things getting lip service, and to an otaku, probably only the latter - naturally, we have ourselves a newly minted queen of our affections. She tastes good, won’t complain, and won’t ever cheat (sharing sodas, eww) - just make sure to respect her and don’t stick your tongue in places you shouldn’t be - you might get cut.

So basically, Akikan is about a single guy living on his own - one day he buys a melon soda, which upon drinking, turns into a full-featured hottie with a frilly melon-colored dress, carbonated hair ornaments, and a pull tab earring. And the source of her life spirit is the carbonation of the soda, which must be recharged - through kissing. You know, through some awesomely moe chemical reaction, CO2 becomes bicarbonate, etc etc. Another interesting observation… the kanji for “ki” as in “genki” is 気, which just happens to be the same character for “air” or the bubbles in soda. The more you know~

Akikan! episode 1 official TV air date is January 3, so be on the lookout for an HD fansub sometime this week.

What, am I supposed to drink melon soda with my clothes ON?

Anytime you see the name “Maria” in anime, it probably has something to do with the Virgin Mary, which therefore is related to a Catholic school, which of course is only pertinent in anime if it’s an all-girls Catholic school. Some of you might’ve watched the Maria-sama ga Miteru series, perhaps the most intoxicatingly intriguing yuri anime of all time - Maria+Holic is the bastardized, perverse version of it.

So there’s this new transfer student named Kanako, who’s come to the school to find her destined love. Wait, but this is an all-girls school? Ding ding ding. She meets this incredibly hot chick named Maria who’s perfect in every way, save for one teensy dark secret - you guessed it - she’s actually a guy! Anyways, it turns out Maria is just keeping up appearances and is actually a huge bitch bastard ass, and ends up as Kanako’s roommate. I can pretty much see where this is going, but I rarely watch these shows for the plot - it’s all about the delivery. Kanako is one of those psychotically self-conscious girls, and the s/he dominatrix Maria is a great complement to her. There’s a couple other interesting characters, like a maid that cusses every two words, a nekomimi dorm mother, and a gazelle-like ubercool senpai that’s super nice.

Maria+Holic episode 1 airs January 4th - [gg] fansubs seem to be on the project, so look forward to some good HD quality subs.

Some of these captions just write themselves

More anime introductions to come!