published in Empire No.82, Sydney
A staple genre in anime could be described as ‘anarchic slapstick’. Project A-Ko is a prime example, bursting at the seams with absurd head-whacking violence, hysterical fire-power and detonations, and riotous destruction of buildings and institutions. And as per the vaudevillian origins of slapstick, the Project A-Ko’s characters are set in stone as to their purpose and function. A crazy para-lesbian love triangle frames all situations: A-Ko seems to be the daughter of Clark Kent and Louis Lane (I kid you not) whose best friend at school is C-Ko, who in fact is an alien princess. And B-Ko is the beautiful brainiac daughter of a rich industrialist who has given his daughter unlimited money and resources. But the only thing she wants in life is to date (yes) C-Ko, and to do this she wages daily battle with A-Ko, who has mysteriously sworn to protect C-Ko from anyone and anything. Really, it’s like a cross between Last year in Marienbad and The 3 Stooges in Otaku-land. And depending on your patience, it can wear very thin, or it can get even funnier through its bludgeoning repetition. This 3-DVD collection assembles the movie-length productions, the follow-up movie (comprised of 3 OVA episodes), plus the final 2-part OVA, all featuring the trio’s unending battles across a terrain of Jap-pop parodied references.