Project A-ko

July 31, 2015 at 11:43 pm (8 Heads, Project A-ko) (, , , , , , )

Project A-ko – 1986 – Japan

Project A-ko’s opening replicates the premise of the anime series Macross (1982). An alien spaceship crashes into the futuristic Graviton City, turning it to a crater. A decade later, the city is rebuilt as a sprawling suburban utopia. All of this is mostly unrelated to Project A-ko’s plot.

At Graviton High, schoolgirls A-ko and B-ko fight over the friendship of another girl named C-ko. A-ko is a girl with inexplicable superhuman strength. B-ko is an evil genius who builds giant robots. And C-ko might be an alien princess. A-ko and B-ko battle each other with martial arts and sci-fi weapons. Meanwhile, aliens invade and unleash a horde of spaceships and spider robots. A massive battle ensues. A-ko and B-ko must rescue C-ko and brawl their way out.

Project A-ko is a series of wacky and destructive fight scenes crammed with references to other anime. Macross is imitated most obviously, followed by Fist of the North Star (1983). Project A-ko joyfully indulges in anime’s many clichés. Images of schoolgirls accidentally flashing their knickers are gratuitous. The characters yell every line of their dialogue. Giant robots are everywhere (including high school gym class). And there is an undercurrent of female homosexuality. Also, Colonel Sanders (of Kentucky Fried Chicken Fame), or his doppelganger, makes an appearance.

Project A-ko’s many excesses are complimented by wonderfully dynamic animation. Girls get punched through walls, buildings get leveled, and spaceships get vaporized, all in incredible detail. The soundtrack of sugary, energetic, English-language music is also very fitting.

Rating: 8/10 Shrunken Heads. The 2011 DVD release of Project A-ko has an unforgettably weird and candid “making of” featurette. Watch it!

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