Project A-Ko 3

August 30, 2004 on 10:23 pm | In Plastic Little | Comments Off on Project A-Ko 3

This is better. It’s not hilarious, but it’s kind of nice to watch.
Project A-ko 3 is about A-ko taking a job in order to pay off C-ko’s debts over the holidays, or something like that, and falling in love with a biker who actually loves C-ko. Of course, because A-ko loves this guy, Kei, B-ko has to have a piece of him, too. That’s all this is about, but the key is that it doesn’t aim too high.

Firstly, there’s some stunning originality here: for the first time in what seems like forever, the burger place does not in any way look like McDonald’s. The intro is a totally unexpected sepia toned pool tournament which turns out to be both quite stylish and also C-ko’s ultimate fantasy. I suppose there’s got to be something to the girl. There’s also a funny but ultimately pointless mobilisation sequence. It’s more than forgiveable by virtue of its coolness and the sapphic nudity encountered along the way (at this point, you may curse this DVD’s uncappable nature). B-ko’s mission makes some sense, and the treatment of her gang was actually pretty cool this time around. Hayashibara Megumi even gets a couple of grunts out of her role as fat girl Ume.
The true highlight is A-ko’s fashion show, which shows some rare visual creativity.

The production values are significantly better than its predecessor, employing actual colours, and containing an insert song performed by the A-ko, B-ko and C-ko trio. The ED song (which might not be an ED at all, as it was set to footage of from Project A-ko 2) fares less well as it’s an English language song by Bébe. Hot Hot Hurricane and so on. It doesn’t make much sense and isn’t very eighties. The rest of the music was mercifully recycled from Project A-ko or was simply not bad at all.
The translation isn’t perfect, in one major regard that I could see. Firstly it translated “cola” as “coke”. The important part was that it made a joke less funny, translating B-ko’s “My first man” into “My first love“. B-ko is at her most “sexual” in this OVA, which admittedly isn’t very sexual but the strongest admission of her leanings you’re ever likely to find.

After Project A-ko 3 came, unsurprisingly, Project A-ko 4 – but thereafter came Project A-ko the Versus: an alternate reality series about bounty hunters. Yes, this series quite clearly lasted forever. This effort may be light, but at least it’s there.

Plastic Little

April 10, 2004 on 1:35 pm | In Plastic Little | Comments Off on Plastic Little

Now this is what a one shot OVA should be like!

When this came out in Australia all those years ago, it was classified R (NC-17 to you Americans) simply because of all the nudity that was in it. Reading about it, I totally missed the sci-fi aspect and imagined that it was anime about two girls who lived together quietly and had lots of baths and then one of them went crazy and killed some men in dark suits to protect the other.
If you ask me, the anime I created in my mind was actually pretty good. The Japanese film love/JUICE was like that without the violence.

What I ended up with was nothing like my imagination, but it turns out that the real Plastic Little turned out to be enjoyable nonetheless. There’s just something about it. It’s about “Pet Shop Hunters”, who ride their ships through the sea of clouds to find rare animals to sell to collectors. Tita is the seventeen year old captain of this crew, and when she saves the life of Elysse, daughter of a great scientist, the government tries to kill them all.

The plot isn’t important in Plastic Little, it’s the feeling. What a feeling it gives: the energy of the anime industry before there simply stopped being any money to go around.
Urushihara Satoshi’s designs are very attractive, and he is a man who is renowned for his attention to the details of the chest. Character exposition in a giant bath allows for endless pans from chest to face, and everytime a woman gets shot they have to be patched up … so his talents certainly don’t go to waste.
The city in the clouds was a beautiful place, and the atmosphere was just amazing. The ideas of flying ships that were also submarines was cool, and no time was wasted on explaining the world. It was just as it was. The action was well done, and the friendship between Elysse and Tita was warm.
The few moments of humour, and the nosebleeds … it was all worthwhile. The score was also quite good, although the DVD menu played a piece that was unfortunately nowhere in the OVA itself.
The characters were broad but nice … the whole project just gave me a nice feeling.

47 minutes of enjoyment, without any sour aftertaste, Plastic Little is a whole. It’s hard to wax lyrical on such a simple pleasure.

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