A lot of people consider Project A-ko to be incredibly funny. This is probably due to the fact that it parodies a lot of older anime, something not seen too often. So, I made sure I had a few dozen titles under my belt before I watched it, but I still don't think that was enough.
The story involves three high school girls. A-ko is best friends with C-ko (who would make prison guards cringe), but B-ko wants C-ko all to herself and will do anything to get her way. It sounds straightforward enough except that A-ko possesses incredible strength, B-ko is a mechanical genius (creating all manner of machines and weapons), and an alien party is also interested in C-ko. Uh, right.
Since this anime is supposed to be a parody, it's not supposed to be taken seriously. And you'd better know that going in because everything about it is completely over-the-top (even the title parodies Jackie Chan's Project A). There are loads of gags ranging from outright slapstick to some hidden jokes that are only a couple frames long. However, as funny as this movie tried to be, I wasn't laughing very much. The over-the-top silliness had me rolling my eyes instead of chuckling, and having not seen every anime this title parodied, I'm sure I missed a number of jokes.
The characters were relatively uninteresting for the most part. A-ko was probably the most likable, but she tended to be a little boring. Aside from her incredible strength, she didn't have any distinguishing quirks (well, red hair, I guess). B-ko, the villain, was kind of funny, only because of her deranged persona. However, she tended to get a little annoying after awhile due to her rampant pursuit of C-ko. And then there's C-ko herself. Face it, she's *supposed* to make you cringe, and since I was expecting this, I ended up able to ignore her for the most part.
The presentation was pretty average. Art and animation were nothing terribly striking, but not awful either. The English voice-acting ranged from decent to poor. C-ko sounded incredibly annoying (but she's supposed to be annoying!), A-ko was uninspired, and B-ko wasn't too bad.
If you've only seen a few anime, then definitely be sure to steer clear of this title. It will only serve to confuse, not entertain. On the other hand, if you've seen every anime under the sun, then you might get a few laughs out of this one. There are better comedies available, though.
The Verdict: * * (poor)
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