In the not-too-distant future, Graviton City gets leveled by a falling asteroid, killing just about everyone there. Sixteen years later, the city has recovered, using the crater landscape created by the asteroid as a natural layout for the city.
A-ko and C-ko are two seventeen-year-old girls who have just moved into town, and are eager to fit in to their new school, Graviton High. Things go fairly well for the first couple of hours or so (well, aside for the fact that A-ko keeps destroying stuff while rushing to school, and that C-ko is just about the most annoying little brat this side of the universe), until they meet B-ko (the names are purely coincidental; they aren't related or anything), a jealous and spoiled girl who is an expert at designing battle mecha and who, more than anything, wants to be best friends with C-ko (don't ask me why).
So we get a lot of fighting between A and B over C, and lots off stuff gets blown up in the process. However, A and B have to try and set aside their differences when a strange spaceship comes and kidnaps C. It seems that C-ko isn't an ordinary girl, and that A-ko and B-ko aren't the only ones who are after her...
Another anime with an undeserved reputation. Is Project A-ko the funniest thing ever written? Hardly. Is it one of the most over-the-top, brow-furrowing things to ever grace the boob tube? Indeed.
The art and animation are about average: nothing spectacular, but nothing horrid, either. Dubbing is adequate (B-ko's voice is pretty good in the English version), and the soundtrack is actually quite good if you like pop and that sort of thing. The characters are, like the rest of the flick, rather odd. A-ko is actually quite likable (maybe it's the sailor fuku ... nah), B-ko is kinda annoying (with just a little bit of a lesbian bent), and C-ko is, well, what she is.
As for the plot, well ... the flick can be best described as one giant non-sequitur. You'll be scratching your head in puzzlement more times than C-ko cries in this flick (that's a lot, by the way), and exclamations of "Huh?" and "Where the heck did _that_ come from?" will be the norm if you show this at an anime screening. Project A-ko more than exceeds its quota of Unjustified Plot Twists, and doesn't even try to explain a darn thing at the end.
The main problem with this thing is that it doesn't seem to know just what it's trying to accomplish. Many of the jokes end up being only half-executed, and it tries so hard to parody other anime genres that it ends up simply becoming exactly what it's trying to parody (which is bad). Although a few of the running-gags made me smile a bit, for the most part, I ended up staring at the screen with a frown of consternation on my face.
I dunno. There are a lot of people who seem to like this thing a lot, and say that there are lots of bits lasting only three or four frames each that make the flick hilarious (check out who A-ko's parents are at the end!), but I think that's a lot more trouble than it's worth. Go ahead and rent it if you feel so inclined, but that's all I have to say about that.
If you're a sucker for redheaded girls in sailor fuku, add another star. — Raphael See
Recommended Audience: There are enough bystander and red-shirt deaths to push this thing beyond the relatively innocuous PG rating. Lots and lots of cartoon-style violence, and a few brief nude scenes with A-ko and B-ko (no, not like that, you hentai!).
Version(s) Viewed: VHS, English dub
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Project A-ko © 1986 Soeishinsha / Final - Nishijima
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