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Anime: Theatrical Releases

Theatrical releases

Project A-ko

Released in the late eighties, this film has already become an anime classic. Mix together a schoolgirl rivalry (involving super powers versus high tech weaponry) over a third classmate (the vile C-ko), add in an alien invasion and more anime inside jokes than you can possibly imagine (but which you don't have to get to enjoy the movie), top it off with a gorgeous techno-pop soundtrack, and you have one of the funniest movies ever made. Oddly enough, it's also a bit haunting as well, at least for me, and in spite of the parody the characters (except for C-ko) are as likeable as you'd ever want to meet. Watch for the cameo appearance by Colonel Sanders (!).

A total of three immediately-related sequels, and two more placing the characters in an "alternate universe" setting, have followed. Although not considered up to the standards of the original movie, they are entertaining and the slightly modified character designs for the "Blue Battle" and "Gray Battle" episodes are works of art in themselves.

To my knowledge, there's just one soundtrack album available for Project A-ko, done by Joey Carbone and fellow musicians. There are U.S. and Japanese releases of the soundtrack; both are identical (both songs on the CD are in English in the movie as well as on the CD) and either will do nicely.
Project A-ko (U.S. release) (U.S. Manga USM 1138)
Project A-ko (Japanese release) (Polystar PSCR-5208)

Armitage III: PolyMatrix

This very dark and quite powerful film is actually an amalgamation of four OAV's originally issued separately. Rereleased as a theatrical film, with a newly dubbed soundtrack featuring two well-known American voices (Elizabeth Berkley and Kiefer Sutherland), it has the distinction of being one of the very few Japanese-made productions which Japanese audiences have to watch subtitled.

Armitage III chronicles the attempts of detective Naomi Armitage to discover the serial killer of a series of advanced robots on Mars, rather unwillingly working with a detective from Earth who is running away from some issues of his own. Featuring atmospheric visuals and an eerily haunting soundtrack, this is a film that stays with you and warrants repeated viewing. Warning: this is one of the few titles I'd recommend which contains a high level of graphic and at times shocking violence; in this case the message is a powerful one and the violence essential to the story. (There are also what censorship enthusiasts like to call "adult situations" and a bit of mild nudity as well). A true classic, but definitely not for children or the weak of heart.

See also: The Ranma Movies, About the Slayers Movies


Project A-Ko Copyright Soeishinsa/Final-Nishijima/Pony Canyon. Released in the United States through U.S. Manga Corps * Armitage III: Poly-Matrix Copyright A.I.C./Pioneer LDC

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This page last updated 2/5/2010.