Vintage: September 17, 2009 – present
Status: Ongoing ****RATED MATURE - suitable for 18 years of age and older. The following anime contains elements of a mature nature, including, but not limited to, excessive violence, graphic depictions of gore, partial or full nudity. Viewer discretion is advised.*****
Set at ISIS, the International Secret Intelligence Service (cf. SIS, ASIS, CSIS, NZSIS) in New York City, suave but incredibly self-centered master spy Sterling Archer deals with global espionage; his domineering, hypersexual mother/boss, Malory Archer; his ex-girlfriend (and fellow ISIS agent), Lana Kane; and his other ISIS co-workers (including fellow agent Ray Gillette, accountant Cyril Figgis, Human Resources representative Pam Poovey, secretary Cheryl Tunt, and Applied Research head Doctor Krieger); as well as a less-than-masculine code name, "Duchess".
The show has an unusual style and ambiguous time setting, in which technologies/clothing styles and historical backdrops of different decades coincide. The characters wear 1960s clothing and hair styles and several episodes feature references to the Soviet Union as a current nation and to Fidel Castro as the current leader of Cuba. Similarly, the second episode of the series shows a very young Sterling receiving a letter from Mallory about Operation Ajax, which occurred in 1953, placing the date of Archer's birth in the mid to late-1940s, meaning the show probably occurs sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s (though the same episode includes a reference to Dane Cook, who was not a well-known figure until the 2000s). Woodhouse's involvement in World War I also implies the show is not set in modern times (the last surviving World War I combat veteran died at age 110 only months after an episode depicting Woodhouse and several other members of his specific squadron as still living). The technological sophistication within the series varies, with characters using computers that are dated (e.g. reel-to-reel mainframe systems, dot-matrix printers and punchcards), but also cell phones, GPS devices, and laser gunsights. In addition, modern day insults are prevalent (such as "suck it", "screw you", and "douche bag"). This ambiguity is explicitly recognized in the season 3 episode Lo Scandalo. (Mallory: "What year do you think this is?" Archer: "I, uh, yeah. Exactly. Good question.") Adam Reed was asked about the conflicting style, and concluded, "I just think it's ill-defined."