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machetecat



Joined: 06 Jan 2010
Posts: 384

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 4:13 pm Reply with quote
DUDE, project A-Ko was one of the first anime I'd seen subbed. A friend of mine and I rented the VHS during a sleep-over, and we ended up watching it twice. HILARIOUS.

Unfortunately, I saw the dubbed version back when FUNimation tried those movie marathons on their channel. I'm usually a huge fan of dubs, but this one was just BAD. I totally need to get this DVD, though. Such an awesome movie.
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ljaesch



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 296
Location: Enumclaw, WA

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 4:22 pm Reply with quote
Project A-Ko is a movie I've heard a lot about over the years on the TRULY OUTRAGEOUS! JEM mailing list, since Samantha Newark (the speaking voice for Jem) was one of the singers. Sadly, though, it's a movie I haven't had a chance to see myself yet. Now that it's been released on DVD, I'll need to see if I can get a hold of it.
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FaytLein



Joined: 21 Jun 2008
Posts: 1260
Location: Williamsburg, VA

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 4:59 pm Reply with quote
If I remember correctly (its been a while since I've seen A-ko), most of the English dialogue was just made up on the fly. A-ko didn't seem to be a absurdist comedy to me in the original Japanese, it seemed to rely more on sight gags (the female Kenshiro? B-ko's plots to off A-ko?)

Regardless, A-ko and Dragon Half are probably my two favorite crazy anime titles of all time. But the second half of A-ko? Ehhh, not so much.
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GeorgeC



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 232

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 5:10 pm Reply with quote
This would be the THIRD time Project A-Ko has been released on DVD in the US. The first two releases were by the now-defunct, bankrupted CPM/US Manga Corps.

Technically, DVD release one in the US was by Image and it was reportedly one of the worst first-generation anime DVD releases in the US at the time. The second DVD release, direct from CPM who knew they had to do PR damage control with the anime community in the US, had the remastered video. They followed that DVD release up with the remainder of the A-Ko movies and OVAs on DVD.

The movies were definitely the best A-Ko anime with the first one far and away the best one, period. I liked it so much that I got the pop soundtrack and a few anime storyboard/character artwork books, too. One of the better-documented anime features in my small collection, too.

Project A-Ko is a film I would get on Blu ray IF it had just subtitles. The dub alone (passable but otherwise "bleh") wouldn't be worth getting a foreign release for....(!) As secondary as the dialogue may be if you know the basic story, it's still boring to sit through a lot of anime without subs. THIS might be one of those films where you wouldn't necessarily need subs.

******

I know DiscoTek had announced they were looking into releasing this film. Is Eastern Star a label of DiscoTek or a different company?
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SoloButterfly



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 237
Location: Masaki Residence

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 5:11 pm Reply with quote
I'll have to rewatch A-ko I guess because I don't remember liking it much, it was just average. I do remember loving the 80s synth soundtrack and songs though!
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GeorgeC



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 232

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 5:27 pm Reply with quote
The basic premise of A-Ko is absurdist and you have ecchi relationships between the main characters..... Outright, there are heavy implications of sexual tensions between the main three girls in the film. That is subplot (if you want to grace it by calling it that) written out in the later films of the A-Ko series. I think the reason for the "ecchi" in the film has to do with its origins as a possible Cream Lemon OVA project. A-Ko developed its own life and went elsewhere. The first A-ko movie was shown theatrically in France. Heck, they had the French teaser trailer on the original CPM VHS and LD releases of Project A-Ko!

http://en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​Project_A-​ko

What A-Ko does well --- besides showcasing some very good animation talent at in the middle of the Golden Age of Anime (late 1970s-early 1990s) -- is parody and skewer a LOT of classic anime of its era and earlier, too. The Captain Harlock, Fist of the North Star, and Macross parodies are obvious. If you blink, though, you'll miss seeing Lum and Ataru Moroboshi (or Mendou(?), Urusei Yatsura) in a cameo, too.

This latter part may be where the film doesn't hold up for newbies ==> anybody where anime begins with Dragonball Z. For the rest of us, there's a treasure trove of hidden characters and Easter eggs in the film.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 12233

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 5:28 pm Reply with quote
Project A-ko used to be one of the few early anime VHS on Blockbuster Videos in the early 90's, and then later on TV on the annual animation festival on the Sci-Fi Channel.

And oh, ya forgot to mention that A-ko is the daughter of Superman and Wonder Woman. Ah, Cream Lemon, you read like a fanfic. Laughing
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erinfinnegan
ANN Columnist


Joined: 31 Jan 2005
Posts: 598

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 5:56 pm Reply with quote
GeorgeC wrote:
The first A-ko movie was shown theatrically in France. Heck, they had the French teaser trailer on the original CPM VHS and LD releases of Project A-Ko!

The French trailer is on this DVD, too.

enurtsol wrote:
And oh, ya forgot to mention that A-ko is the daughter of Superman and Wonder Woman. Ah, Cream Lemon, you read like a fanfic. Laughing

Is that a spoiler? I didn't mention it in case it's a spoiler. I do like that the commentary says they just threw that detail in towards the end.
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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Posts: 2391

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 6:01 pm Reply with quote
The Girl Who Leapt Through Space: Amazing how misleading the title is huh? When I first saw it advertised, I was about to believe it was related to Leapt Through Time but then I noticed the cover art looked way too bubbly and silly, so I was right to change my mind. Regardless, from what you told me, it sounds as stupid as Fractale (I've only watched the first episode of the latter and I'm not sure what to make of it). Pass.

Steins;Gate: At first it sounds like it was going to be a sci-fi title, but your summary of it leads me to believe otherwise. An otaku TV series with time travel as its main premise. Yeah, can't say that's very interesting. Your suggestion to have Urasawa work on it might make it as psychological and frightening as Chaos;Head though. Pass.

Project A-Ko: Oh hell yes! One of the major highlights of my early anime exposure! I could go on and on about how much I loved this show, but I'll try to keep it small.

First of all, I taped the show when it aired on the old Sci-Fi Channel (back when it didn't suck) and to this day I still miraculously have the tape despite all the moving I've done over the years, and in good condition. I'm surprised it withstood all that punishment being jostled around in those boxes X3

Second, I care not for what others say but the English dub is just hands down hilarious. Not only is it well acted, it's what they say that still gets me in the funny bone. I especially must give much credit to Denica Fairman as B-Ko, her voice is very sexy to me (though I wonder what she's doing now since Venus Wars was the only other anime I remember her voicing in; further research told me that she was in the 1996 dub of X, but I don't remember that one too well). Stacey Gregg only voiced A-Ko this one time and I've never heard her voice again. She was awesome too. I bet if she had kept on voicing in anime, she'd improve greatly and become a regular favorite for voice acting roles.

Regarding the music, I figured those were American singers anyway for the theme songs because they certainly sounded like it to me. I didn't realize one of them went on to voice for Jem and the Holograms (and yes despite being a boy, I watched that show too). That's actually news to me. And I know this has been mentioned many times, but aren't A-Ko's parents Superman and Wonder Woman in the first movie? They really went with that?

I also noticed a bit of commentary about the other A-Ko movies. I only have the subtitled VHS of Project A-Ko 4 Final, which at the time was one of my first exposures to Japanese voices and I had to admit the girls were so loud to my young ears. After I grew up and watched it a few more times, I got used to it and realized the jokes and gags were a touch funnier than I remember. I have yet to watch the other movies but mark my words fellow nostalgic anime fans: I will.


Last edited by belvadeer on Mon May 23, 2011 6:21 pm; edited 2 times in total
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ljaesch



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 296
Location: Enumclaw, WA

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 6:06 pm Reply with quote
belvadeer wrote:
I didn't realize one of them went on to sing for Jem and the Holograms.


Actually, Samantha Newark did the SPEAKING voice for Jem. The woman who did the singing voice for Jem is named Britta Phillips (and she has gone on to be in such bands as The Belltower, Ultrababyfat, and Dean & Britta). And it was Samantha Newark who did the singing in Project A-Ko, not Britta Phillips.

The reason there were two different women to do the speaking and singing voices is because the spoken dialogue was recorded in Los Angeles, and the music and singing voices were recorded in New York.
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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Posts: 2391

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 6:21 pm Reply with quote
ljaesch wrote:
Actually, Samantha Newark did the SPEAKING voice for Jem. The woman who did the singing voice for Jem is named Britta Phillips (and she has gone on to be in such bands as The Belltower, Ultrababyfat, and Dean & Britta). And it was Samantha Newark who did the singing in Project A-Ko, not Britta Phillips.

The reason there were two different women to do the speaking and singing voices is because the spoken dialogue was recorded in Los Angeles, and the music and singing voices were recorded in New York.


That should have been voice, not sing. My typo.
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Past



Joined: 14 Feb 2006
Posts: 3161
Location: China

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 6:22 pm Reply with quote
ljaesch wrote:
The reason there were two different women to do the speaking and singing voices is because the spoken dialogue was recorded in Los Angeles, and the music and singing voices were recorded in New York.
Hmm, quite interesting. I saw a performance of Cats: the Musical on Broadway (NY) back in the early 90's. One of the actresses in the cast had a voice who sounded exactly like the girl who sung the A-Ko theme song(s). May have been the same girl, maybe a coincidence but I still can't get it out of my head that it was her. Now you mentioning the music was recorded in NY makes it less unlikely.

Project A-Ko is one of my favorite anime movies, second only to Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. It's silliness and great animation give it endless re-watchability (I've probably watched it well over 10 times by now). Also there is a dub version out there, I think the very first dub they did of it, that is rather well done. It's the one where Cathy Weseluck did the voice of C-Ko (she's not credited for the first A-Ko movie because of the subsequent dubs and the sequels which did not have as many remakes).


Last edited by Past on Mon May 23, 2011 6:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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machetecat



Joined: 06 Jan 2010
Posts: 384

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 6:26 pm Reply with quote
erinfinnegan wrote:

Is that a spoiler? I didn't mention it in case it's a spoiler. I do like that the commentary says they just threw that detail in towards the end.
I don't think it's a spoiler so much as a really random easter egg they threw in there for laughs.
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Sea Lion



Joined: 07 Apr 2009
Posts: 307

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 6:37 pm Reply with quote
I'm gonna have to get The Girl Who Leapt Through Space, if just for the early Rush reference in Erin's review.

"I guess that's why they call me ... They call me the working man!"
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AkiraKaneda



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 7:30 pm Reply with quote
Just as a side-note...

It really is worth seeing Project A-Ko 3, if you can get your hands on it without too much trouble and cash. It's sweet and fun. The second and forth ones are just OK, and Project AKo Vs. is just awful.
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