Cameo Appearances

One of the most fun diversions the Project A-ko series provides is spotting the joke cameo characters that appear in crowd scenes. They’re mostly brazenly lifted and occasionally palette-swapped from their appearances in other works. Of course everybody does that now but it was unique at the time.

What this article is about though, is the times Project A-ko characters made appearances in other media. It doesn’t happen as often but it’s always noteworthy!

As I’ve gone into on the In-jokes page (I’m gonna be mentioning some of the same stuff here for those in the back of the class), the three principal characters made their first appearance as incidental characters in Urusei Yatsura episode 124. A-ko had a number of lines for a minor character, this was pretty exciting when I first learned about it.

I later found out there were even more cameos- A-ko and B-ko appear in TV commercials in episode 128, and “Project A-ko” is advertised in a newspaper in another episode. I admit I don’t know which one, it’s tempting to watch the whole series from 128 on just to see if there are any more cameos, maybe someday if there’s another lockdown.

The three leads appear with unique hair colors on a viewscreen in Gall Force. I did some cross-referencing of the credits and Hiromi Matsushida, Noriyasu Yamauchi, Toshiyuki Kubooka and Yasuyuke Matsumora all were key animators on both Project A-ko and Gall Force: Eternal Story, which both released in 1986.

A-ko sits in the back row of class in this episode of All-Purpose Cultural Cat-Girl Nuku Nuku. Yuji Moriyama was heavily involved- he directed episodes 1 and 3, he storyboarded episode 4 and he was the Character Designer for the series.

In this episode of 801 T.T.S. Airbats, another Yuji Moriyama joint, a B-ko model appears alongside many other famous characters and vehicles. Can you name them all? You weeb.

The US Fox Network had a short-lived Saturday night block of adult animation called ADHD. There were
some weekly 15 minute shows like Axe Cop and Major Lazer, and there were also a lot of short one-off
or limited series cartoons. This picture of C-ko in the yearbook as “Mary Jo Beth” comes from one such
series, “School Girl Crush”. It parodied many yuri-infused shows like Kill La Kill, Revolutionary Girl Utena, and of course Project A-ko. There were five episodes made and you can still see the series on Youtube, it’s a lot of fun.

We’re getting into some tangential material. This one is more of a spiritual cameo, but a super-strong
redhead named “Reiko” appeared in episode 21 of Shin Cream Lemon, “Dream-Colored Bunny”. She
demonstrates her power by smashing a concrete pipe with her yo-yo, Sukeban Deka-style.

I had this episode of Angry Beavers pointed out to me by one of my members on Gravitonhigh, Meowmeowmeow. The characters are telling stories around the campfire, and this one is in the style of anime. While none of the characters from Project A-ko make an obvious cameo, the makers of this episode definitely watched it. The music even sounds a lot like Explosion from the A-ko soundtrack. EDIT: Because Viacom, this video is blocked in many countries. It works if you change your VPN to Canada.