Project A-ko 4: Final
A pendant is unearthed in ancient Babylon, identical to one belonging to a certain Miss Ayumi. A certain Miss Ayumi who is about to get married. And in the meantime, Kei is back, and the A-ko team faces one final challenge before ...
... before what? Who knows? This is Project A-ko. Anything could happen now.
Unlike Raph, I actually kinda liked the first movie. It was silly, fun, and had a whole metric ton of references to all these crazy 80s anime. And when I watched it again, I caught more references, and more references.
I have come to the conclusion that unless you have either been in anime fandom for at least twenty years, or simply played a whole lot of catch-up on 80s series, you are simply not going to get much out of the Project A-ko franchise. It makes too many references to series that are older than most current anime fans.
Fortunately for me, I am not "most current anime fans". I chuckled at the references and sight gags riffing on Minky Momo, Kimagure Orange Road, and Urusei Yatsura, and the silly action / romance / sci-fi plot is simply a vehicle for the jokes.
Odds are that you won't be watching this for the plot. It's a jumble of deus ex machinas that would make a reasonably-sized pantheon break a sweat, but there's simply no way you can (or should) take this seriously. A-ko was never intended as serious cinema, and shouldn't be treated that way.
If you like slightly dated J-pop, the soundtrack to this movie is right down your alley. The audiovisual aspects of this title never left the 80s, and it's another reason why this is best left for older fans.
Final doesn't go overboard with the mecha humor like the second movie, and doesn't go overboard with the romance gag like the third movie, and while it's still not what I'd consider a universally good movie, it is a more solid sequel than the others. It's certainly light-years better than Versus, to be sure; the Project A-ko franchise should simply have been left finalized at Final.
The final installment of the main storyline is the strongest of the lot apart from the original, and that's going to determine whether you'll want to spend your money completing this series. — Carlos Ross
Recommended Audience: Apart from one jokey scene, there really isn't any serious nudity or sex here. Again, fine for teens and up, though as usual, the parade of references isn't going to work for anyone but seasoned anime fans.
Version(s) Viewed: VHS, English dub
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Project A-ko 4: Final © 1989 Soeishinsha / Final-Nishijima / Pony
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