The Project A-ko films are a wild, wacky, action-packed part of anime history. Kicking off in 1986, the movies have a style and energy all their own. We’re on our way to getting them brighter and shinier than ever, thanks to a restoration project via notable classic anime getters Discotek.
If you’ve seen it before, you know why we’re hyped. If not, allow us to hype you. Here’s what we love about this classic series of films.
If there’s one thing that’s quintessentially anime, it’s schoolgirls having adventures. If there’s another, it’s top-tier action. Now put the two of those things together… and you have Project A-ko.
Our title heroine is a normal schoolgirl in a lot of ways. The super-strength and super-speed are not those ways. Regardless, A-ko just wants to enjoy a fun school life with the adorable C-ko. But a crush from rival B-ko (the Batman to A-ko’s Superman, as it were) kicks off big schoolyard battles.
And that’s before we figure in the aliens. Because, yes, aliens.
References for Days
While there’s no “right order” to watch anime in, lots of our favorite titles are loaded down with references to our other favorite titles. That means that long-standing fans can enjoy the hat-tips. And Project A-ko is full of those.
Keep your eyes open for references to everything from Macross to Captain Harlock. There’s even a heavy DC Comics Easter egg in there. And the title itself is a reference to Jackie Chan’s Project A — though the only thing the films really have in common is choosing not to change their project names on release.
Sometimes you want a deep plot you can dig into, chew on, and think about later. And sometimes you just want to see things blow up and not think too hard about story. If you’re in the mood for the latter, Project A-ko delivers. There’s story, but it’s certainly not going to distract you from the action.
Even when secondary plot points kick in — C-ko’s true identity in particular — everything serves the action. That’s the big reason why a restored Blu-ray release is so exciting: it’s going to be absolutely gorgeous. Soon, we can watch A-ko and B-ko’s rivalry play out in high-res like never before.
If you need Project A-ko right now, you can watch all four movies on RetroCrush. But don’t forget to keep an eye on Discotek, and pick up their restored edition when it lands!