"Earth - The not too distant future.....A City is miraculously reborn just sixteen years after being completely destroyed by a giant meteor. Our story begins in the prestigious Graviton High School for Girls as the teacher, Miss Ayumi, introduces two new students - A-ko and her dizzy sidekick C-ko."
"A-ko is a lively seventeen-year-old, no different from any other... except that within her diminutive frame lies superhuman strength. The trouble begins when B-ko, the spoiled, brilliant daughter of a business tycoon, decides she wants C-ko for herself. And what B-ko wants, B-ko gets. Unless A-ko is standing in the way."
"Meanwhile, a monstrous alien spaceship plies its way towards Earth. What is the connection between the girls and the alien ship? Who is the mysterious "D"? What dark past fuels B-ko's rage? Why is C-ko such a space-case?"
"Project A-ko is a witty, fast-paced parody that will keep you in stiches."
Director: Katsuhiko Nishijima Screenplay: Yuji Moriyama, Katsuhiko Nishijima, Tomoko Kawasaki Copyright: Soeishinsha/Final-Nishijima Language Format: English Language Running time: 86 mins Certificate: 15 Label: Manga Video Catalogue no: MANV 1002 Price: £12.99 Release date: 1992
This anime movie was reputedly made by its creators 'just for fun' and proved very popular. Several sequels have been made. The story is set in the near future. A-ko, B-ko and C-ko are three 17 year old Japanese schoolgirls. However, A-Ko is the strongest girl in the world, B-ko the brainiest, and C-ko the cutest. An alien invasion is imminent, and Spy D lurks in the shrubbery. Meanwhile the girls go to school, and A-Ko and B-Ko fight over who is going to be C-Ko's best chum.
Later the fighting becomes wilder and wilder, involving giant robots, spaceships etc. As you will have deduced, this is not serious SF, but the characterisation is excellent (it turns out that almost everybody in the movie is female), the girls are all cute, the mecha are great and it's exciting and very, very funny.
The video is presented in the original widescreen format (with black bands at the top and bottom of the TV picture). The songs, as in the Japanese and U.S subtitled versions, are in English. This was a Japanese film about Japanese schoolgirls, and the dialogue, though competently dubbed, robs the movie of much of its inimitably Japanese character. American voices don't sound right. The translation used is necessarily equivalent rather than exact: in Japanese, names are given a suffix denoting the status and relationship of the speakers, so that when C-ko addresses A- ko as A-ko-chan, we know that they are close friends from kindergarten. Likewise, Miss Ayumi is really Ayumi-Sensei, or 'honoured teacher Ayumi'. The booze that the space-captain drinks is, of course, sake. And so on. Of course, you won't have seen the original and you may wonder why I quibble. A worthwhile buy in any version. [Geoff Cowie]