Partly out of curiosity due to how influential it supposedly is to Mechafetish’s anime consumption (most of the shows I’ve watched over the last 3 years were suggested to me by that guy), and partly due to my academic compulsion to consume everything suspiciously important (anything made in the 80s is suspiciously important) I watched Project A-Ko last weekend.
Let me get this out of the way: This movie is awesome. It will probably entertain you. It’s very funny. The production values are stunningly high and the animation can be gorgeous.
Now that I’ve made that plain, I can proceed in telling you how much I hate this anime.
I feel should expound on the elements that I did find amazing. And I will. The core of my hatred is not based on how bad the show is, but how much I wish many of the anime that I like were made with this much effort and funding and quality of execution. I feel like Project A-ko is disposable entertainment and I wanted it to be more. It’s made too well. It’s elements are too good.
While it’s throwaway nature is not it’s fault, and should not detract from the fun anyone will likely have in watching this title, I have this irrational wish for it to be not as good as it actually is. It puts a lot of shows I like to shame – shows that I have deep-seated feelings for, or shows that I want to like but found some elements lacking that Project A-Ko has in spades.
The images above don’t even begin to represent how good the anime looks live. I just put them there to give you a sense of the movie.
For example, the A-Ko v. Mecha scenes are superior to anything that can be seen in the 1st 5 episodes of Casshern Sins right now. It maybe unfair from a budget standpoint (one is a movie, the other a tv series), but there is over 20 years separating the two and I wish Casshern’s fights while stylized to look dirty in its fashion could look much better with this kind of detail.
Another example: the battles over Graviton city involving fighter craft and powered-humanoids have the kind of awesomeness comparable to Macross: Do You Remember Love. To me it looks better than those in Char’s Counterattack and the remastered Zeta Gundam movies. To me this just feels wrong. Gundam should be better than this.
The capital ship of Capt. CHARLOCK is a combination of the Arcadia, Yamato, and God knows what else. But the thing about how Project A-Ko sends up a homage, is how they do it BETTER than the original. That capital ship and its invasion into the Earth’s atmosphere is breathtaking.
The girl-on-girl fight scenes between A-Ko and the Akigayama 23 is superior in both choreography, animation epicness (and tasteful fanservice) than anything in Ikkitousen or perhaps even in the Dragon Ball Z movies. It is TRULY EPIC. I couldn’t believe I was watching anything from 1986. I realize that this fight leads to a battle full of win and mayhem that lasts until the rest of the movie. It’s got to be pushing 20 minutes of action without pause and without fail.
I’m sure there is a massive FAIL in my logic. I feel that I shouldn’t be making a post like this at all. After all, what am I trying to accomplish? I don’t care whether you end up liking this or not. This is not a review. But why can’t I just take this approach:
I’ve found a gem of an anime title from the ’80s with production values that just has to be seen to be believed. You will laugh! You will delightedly groan at the hilarious intentional stupidity. You will be given a treat of epic battles involving high tech craft, capital ships, and mecha. You will be in a yuri fanservice fest. MOAR PANTSU THAN 7 SEASONS OF RANMA 1/2 (just wait for it). It’ll be very difficult to dislike this anime. EPIC LULZ FOR ALL.
But I didn’t. And I hate this anime. Double FAIL for me because I actually watched it again before I finished writing this. It’s more awesome the second time around.