Usually when I see otaku characters in anime, they’re usually the best friend of the main character or some other background person. Maiden Japan’s Battle Programmer Shirase: Complete Collection is here to change all of that as the main character is a hardcore otaku and hacker that brings the intrigue and laughs of being both.
Enter Akira Shirase, a computer programmer/hacker that’s always down for helping others solve their computer woes, when he’s not leeching off his niece for a place to stay for free and indulging in his otaku fantasies. You’d think he could easily make tons of money using his expert hacking skills, but he instead does work for more computer equipment or cool stuff to add to his magazine and toy collection.
It doesn’t take long for Akira’s biggest challenge to come along, as there’s someone going around on the internet trying to take it down and messing up people’s lives in the process. Of course Shirase isn’t going to take this lying down, as he’ll have to pull out all of his tricks to stop this from happening and keep his family and friends safe, as Battle Programmer Shirase.
Originally released in 2003, I had a nice feeling of nostalgia going through this series, as I remember when it was released back then but never had a chance to check it out. It has that classic “coming out of the late 90s” look and feel to it while still looking fairly modern. It was fun seeing how Akira goes about his life day to day dealing with other people’s problems while also being pretty laid back and enjoying his otaku side, which is where the real fun is.
The Blu-ray looks and sounds great, as this is the best the show has ever been presented. It would’ve been nice to have had some special features outside of a clean opening and closing, but the main series will keep you entertained for sure.
If you’re a fellow otaku and computer whiz, you’ll want to pick up the Battle Programmer Shirase: Complete Collection and join in the fun. A nice cast of characters, especially Akira and his niece, help keep things fun while the more serious stuff will keep you in front of your monitor until the end.