|Forum Home > A-ko Discussion > 21 years with A-ko|
I recently started wondering exactly how long ago I saw Project A-ko, recalling that the Sci-Fi channel aired it on the last Thursday of May. I remember that because school let out the next week and I spent all summer watching the tape I made of the movie when it reran on a Memorial Day marathon. There is actually a website that had schedules as far back 1995 for SciFi, and since in May of that year they aired the Vs Battles movie, all the clues point to May 26, 1994 as being the day that I and legions of other North American fans were introduced to A-ko.
So, 21 years! That's a long time. As I look back, the movie had a undeniable impact on me, not just its content but in everything else I was exposed to in my quest to find more of this stuff. Ralph Bakshi was the host of 94's anime week, and he tantalizingly stated in his commercial bumps that there were five more movies in this series. I called and bothered every video store in the phone book trying to find more A-ko, or anything else from Japan ("Japanese cartoons? We got a couple Speed Racers and a Voltron, I think"). When I did find a store that had anime, I would keep coming back until I had seen them all (and some of those early releases are pretty rough). I pored over any scifi and animation magazines I could find at the newsstand to see who was selling this stuff, and when I got a lead I requested all the catalogs as I could get. These were pre-internet days, at least for me, so legwork and luck were essential. I got my official VHS copy that Christmas from the Right Stuf catalog, and breathed a heavy sigh of relief my box didn't have the mortifying "CONTAINS NUDITY" disclaimer I had seen on the sub version. This way I wouldn't mind sharing it with my friends and family!- mostly to their polite indifference. To this day most people I lend it to return it to me six months later unwatched. But I digress.
A-ko was not exactly my gateway drug- I had seen and liked Robot Carnival and Vampire Hunter D the previous year and had actually grown up on Speed Racer and Voltron- but it was the movie that made me actively seek out anime. I suspect the same was true for many others, that demand suddenly exploded, because in short order a veritable flood began with Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon, Ronin Warriors and even stuff like Samurai Pizza Cats running on American TV. Well, without further ado I'm off to celebrate my A-koversary, with my trusty DVD and a cold beverage of the mixed variety.
EDIT: It was as enjoyable as ever. I even paid attention during the space parts. Great explosions! I also love all the detailed debris in these scenes, like the bits of pavement the spider-ships gouge up when they walk.
Lombaak ecree oplom ah-plee ozona aa'aa~!