Before I go into any details about the anime, I should first make it clear that this show was made specifically for fans of the video game series Hyperdimension Neptunia. If you haven't played any of the games, then chances are you won't be able to fully understand or appreciate this anime. If you have any interest in watching this, then I recommend you play the first game in the series: Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1. To put it simply, Hyperdimension Neptunia is a turn-based RPG (think Final Fantasy or Pokemon) with a very laid-back tone for most of the story, as the game was made for the purpose of cracking jokes at otaku/gamer culture while packing tons of fanservice into the character design. But even with so much focus on ecchi and comedy, the battle system is quite fun and the story did a great job at keeping me hooked to see what came next. Rebirth1 and Rebirth 2 are both available for Playstation Vita and on PC via Steam, but there are also more games available on Vita, PS3, and soon PS4. So what are you waiting for? Go buy that shit!!!
One more note: A majority of the games (and the anime) all take place in separate timelines/universes, so you'll see the same characters appear except with different backstories and different lives. This means that you don't necessarily have to play the games in chronological order or even play an entire game before seeing the anime, but I still feel that the games do a better job at giving you the general idea of the setting and characters than if you were to simply watch the anime first.
Our setting takes place in the world of Gameindustri, which is divided into four countries that are constantly competing for power. Each country is loosely based on the four major video game companies that we know in the real world: Planeptune (Sega), Lowee (Nintendo), Leanbox (XBox), and Lastation (Playstation). In addition, every nation has their own goddess, or "CPU," who represents them politically, and these CPUs continually engage in combat against each other in order to steal the enemy nation's "shares." (Not to be confused with the stock market, these shares are faith energy given to goddesses that the people believe in and side with) However in the first episode, we see that the four nations have forged a peace treaty, and have decided that instead of taking shares by force, they will work diplomatically to obtain the faith of the people.
Our protagonist, Neptune, has been slacking off in her duties as a goddess, opting instead to goof off playing video games with her sister and friends. In order to make up for her declining shares, she decides to start taking lessons from the other nation's goddesses on how to be a better CPU. They seem a little reluctant about it at first, but this process of international cooperation allows the goddesses to become better friends and strengthen their peace, all the while helping their own nations grow and prosper.
Most of the anime has a very slice-of-life feel to it, focusing on the character development of the CPUs who were once enemies, and the CPU candidates who strive to be as good of goddesses as their older sisters. As the show progresses though, we see outside forces working to disrupt the peace and ultimately take down the four nations. This takes place primarily in the last four episodes or so, with the beginning of the series showing a much more lighthearted comedy feel to it.
The animation quality seems to vary depending on the scene/episode, but for the most part I think it looks great. The CPU transformation scenes are straight out of a magical girl anime, but there are some points that I think could have had more effort. (the enemies in the eggplant episode come to mind) The fanservice never disappoints though!
Music and sound are superb, I love the opening theme and all the other familiar Neptunia tunes that get thrown in. The Japanese dub voice actors are fantastic, I was really glad that they were able to use all the same ones from the games. But I'm not particularly fond of English dubs in general, so I can't comment on that since I never watched it.
THE SCORE: ★★★★
My final score for Neptunia the Animation is 4/5 stars, however I want to add a note on that. My personal opinion on this wants to give 5 stars but only because I'm a fanatic for this game series, and I feel like your typical anime fan would only give it 3 or 4 stars. So I'm rounding it down based on that to prevent my personal bias from interfering. Again, this comes back to what I said earlier that if you really want to enjoy this anime, you need to play one of the games first.
For your convenience, here's the Moetube link for the whole series:
And some fanservice: