FUNNY ANIMALS AND MORE
November 20, 2016 posted by Fred Patten

Forgotten Anime #44: “Cosmos Pink Shock” (1986)

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Cosmos Pink Shock, directed by Keisuke Matsumoto and Yasuo Hasegawa. 36 minutes. July 21, 1986.

This OAV had a confusing fate. It was originally produced by AIC and released by Victor Entertainment as a single half-hour (36 minutes with credits) “Anime Vision Comics” VHS OAV in July 1986; for ¥7,800, typical of video prices in Japan at the time, designed for sale to video rental stores rather than to individuals. It was later serialized in three 10-minute episodes on VHD in Victor’s Anime Vision magazine. VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) was a sort-of laser disk competing with laser disks, but using a different technology. It didn’t catch on. Anime Vision magazine lasted for 12 issues from June 1987. Its gimmick was that each issue contained a half-hour VHD disk with animation and live interviews with animators. Cosmos Pink Shock was serialized over three VHDs.

img_0Cosmos Pink Shock was the kind of s-f comedy satirizing then-current (mainly TV) anime that Project A-Ko did much better. It begins in 2206 A.D. at Pluto Space Base #17 with somebody stealing a hyper-rocket with lightspeed drive; so fast that nobody can catch it – not military spaceships, the ships of 23rd-century baseball fans, or “the Highway Patrol”. A baseball game with robot players and newscasters is going on between the Tigers and the Lions (a reference to the real Hanshin Tigers and Seibu Lions), with the Tigers’ fans ecstatic because they are about to end a 210-year losing streak (the real Tigers were going through a long losing streak from 1964 to 2003, interrupted only once in 1985 when they won against the Lions), when the hyper-rocket interrupts the game causing the Tigers to lose again. Infuriated, the Tigers fans join the pursuit in their own spaceships.

The hyper-rocket zooms through a space war between parodies of Gundam (with “New Humanity” for Newtypes) and Space Battleship Yamato. The locale is deliberately confused, with references to “the last time heard in the Solar System”, a “Nebula tens of thousands of light years from Earth”, or maybe from the Andromeda Galaxy, and Jupiter. The hyper-rocket’s “official” name is The Whole Galaxy Is Stupid, but everyone calls it Pink Shock.

pink01The hyper-rocket’s thief is revealed in a fan-service shower scene to be 17-year-old Micchi, an airhead who won’t appear nude to the ship’s computer because she will allow only “he” to see her unclothed. She is accompanied by her teddy bear, a rabbit, and other plush dolls. The ship’s computer warns her that she is about to confront the Jupiter Military Expeditionary Fleet, but she refuses to turn aside. Her catchphrase (in English) is, “Pink Shock, No Stop, Power Up!”

The Jupiter Commander is despondent over their failure to catch the Pink Shock, but super-handsome Captain Yosho Gatsby (a parody of all handsome but romance-spurning space heroes, Captain Harlock in particular), who hates women, says to not worry. His research into the Pink Shock’s travels have revealed to him that it is about to run out of fuel. The Commander gloats that he will execute its stealers, but Gatsby wants to question them about their motive – he is sure that they must all be manly men. He leaves through crowds of women screaming their adoration for “Yosho-sama!”

Aboard the Pink Shock, the computer tells Micchi that they are about to run out of fuel since she refused to stop to gas up, and fall into Jupiter’s gravity field. She wails that now she will never find her Hiro-chan. This is where the first Anime Vision serial episode ended.

pink-shockCaptain Gatsby’s soldiers enter the Pink Shock and find Micchi unconscious. They bring her to Gatsby, where she refuses to talk before she’s had a bath and eaten. The two sedately drink coffee or tea. Gatsby tells her why he hates women, while Micchi explains why she stole the Pink Shock. When she was 4 years old, she and her playmate Hiro-chan agreed to marry when they grew up. But he was kidnapped by a UFO from the midst of a festival (“It used to be quite common to collect research specimens from backwater planets,” Gatsby says), and everyone but her forgot that he ever existed. She ran away from home to search for him. She recently got a clue that he may have been taken to the Sacred Realm at the center of the galaxy; and, fearing that at 17 she was becoming an old woman, she stole the Pink Shock to look for him there. Although Gatsby hates women for their flightiness, he is impressed by Micchi’s loyalty to Hiro-chan for so long.

Gatsby puts this into his report, but the JMEF Commander decides to execute her by firing squad anyway for the Jupiter Military’s prestige. The official announcement gives Micchi’s full name as Mitsuko Hayami of Earth. She is just about to be shot when she is unexpectedly rescued by the Tiger fans, led by “Uncle Tiger” Hideo Hayao. (“We decided that bein’ Micchi’s fans is more fun than tryin’ to break our 210-year losing streak,” he later explains.) But instead of going with the Tigers, Micchi breaks away to get the Pink Shock. She is helped by Captain Gatsby, who has decided that even though he hates women, Micchi’s pure love can help him to find love. Gatsby resigns from the Jupiter Military Expeditionary Fleet and goes into space to protect her in her search for Hiro-chan. After blasting through the JMEF, Micchi and the Pink Shock are last seen flying into the galaxy, followed by her ex-Tiger Fan Club, and by Gatsby who joins the Fan Club.

And that’s all there ever was. Was Cosmos Pink Shock ever released in America? I can’t find any record of it.

Next week: “Forgotten” OAVs #45: OPEN THE DOOR (1986)

4 Comments

  • That was fun, and kinda bittersweet toward the end .. too bad it didn’t get a conclusion.

    I recall seeing VHDs advertised in some import catalogues, way back when … but not owning the player, it made little sense to order the disks!

  • The VHD release was actually first (1984), released as one chunk of 10 minutes per magazine, and the three parts that got completed were later released together as an OAV. The magazine’s failure was the reason for the lack of conclusion.

    • Sucks to tie it in with a magazine then.

  • I have to agree, Project A-Ko is much better. This isn’t a very good anime as it is. It’s incomplete, the plot feels disjoined and the conclusion is unsatisfactory. As Nicholas commented above, this was due to the OVA being originally produced as a means to promoting the VHD format. I can help but feel that the format of release hurt the production. A-Ko is way, way better, which is surprising to me considering that it originally was planned to be an erotic animation. Cosmos Pink Shock doesn’t even have good fanservice, despite being a 1980s OVA where such things are common. According to the Japanese Wikipedia, this was only part 1 of a planned trilogy. It seems that there was going to be more to the story, nine 10-minute entries in total, three entries per part, but the magazine Anime Vision ended and so did the rest of the planned episodes. Even California Crisis, as incomplete as it is, is far more thorough than this one. It’s pretty obvious that this was only meant to be the start of the planned trilogy. Too bad it was attached to Anime Vision, but I guess if JVC hadn’t tried to spread the failed VHD format in the first place, this anime wouldn’t have been created at all. Also, it’s surprising that Kenji Kawai started his composing career with this OVA. On a side note, VHD is made fun of in Pioneer’s 1993 OVA Moldiver, since, by that time, Pioneer’s LaserDisc had handily beaten JVC’s VHD in Japan.

    A comment about VHD. VHD in this context doesn’t stand for Virtual Hard Disk (which is a file format for computers) but for Video High Density (a videodisc format). Despite being the competition of LaserDiscs in the 1980s, VHDs require a stylus to be read, making them closer to vinyl records than optical media. There is a cool video on YouTube titled “Vintage Tech: VHD VideoDisc Player” that shows how they work and I suggest anyone interested in the format to watch it.

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