Kinji is a junior at a high school for mercenaries. He just wants to be normal, but his secret condition-he turns into an ace killer when he's turned on by the female form-triggers a fiery transfer student's unrelenting desire to make him her partner.
A mash-up of magical girl, harem comedy, fan service, and murderous-moppet elements, Aria the Scarlet Ammo (2011) began as a series of light novels written by Chugaku Akamatsu and illustrated by Kobuichi. Kinji Toyama is in his second year at a Tokyo high school that trains students to become Butei, or armed detectives. He'd like to transfer to a normal school, as he's not much of a gumshoe unless he's sexually aroused--then "Hysteria Savant Syndrome" transforms him into an alternate persona who's as suave as he is deadly. When he encounters ace student and loudmouth Aria, Kinji gets drawn into a complex plot that involves a mysterious killer who's targeting Butei. Kinji asks, "Is it too much to ask for a normal, ordinary life?" and the answer is obviously yes. More girls from the student body pursue him and the inevitable clashes occur. Riko is supposedly a descendant of Poe's Arsène Lupin, which makes her a rival to Aria, whose great-grandfather was Sherlock Holmes. (Another student claims descent from Joan of Arc.) Aria is as demanding as Haruhi Suzumiya and as loud as Kaname in Full Metal Panic, but she lacks the charm of those outspoken heroines. Although Kinji is likable enough when he's not being shoved into someone's cleavage, he comes across as a wimp when he lets Aria bully him. The cast shoots off enough ammunition to fill a small warehouse, swings swords, throws knives, sets piano-wire snares, and unleashes various unexplained magical techniques. But a villain who attacks a busload of high school students with an Uzi and tries to crash a hijacked airliner must play better in Japan than it does in the United States. (Rated TV 14: violence, violence against woman, risqué humor, nudity, alcohol, tobacco and drug use, potentially offensive religious imagery) --Charles Solomon
(1. La Bambina, 2. Aria the Quadra, 3. First Mission, 4. Butei Killer, 5. Butei Character, Section 1, 6. The Shrine Maiden of Hotogi, 7. Caged Bird, 8. Durandel, 9. Honey Trap, 10. Special Training, 11. Infiltration, 12. Vlad, 13. The Butei Come and Train at a Hot Spring)