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Cosmos Pink Shock

Sometimes it’s nice to put on a show, turn off one’s brain, and just enjoy the ride with whatever is happening on the television screen. This is exactly the sort of experience that Cosmos Pink Shock provides. It’s the story of a love struck teenage girl named Micchi who is zooming across space to find her childhood friend Hiro. There isn’t much depth to the OVA, as it largely acts as a vehicle for hopping from one gag to the next. Ultimately, it’s a combination of poking a bit of fun at popular anime series of the mid 1980s and having a laugh at its own expense, recognizing just how lazy it is being about its own story.

Visually Cosmos Pink Shock is a bit of a mishmash of styles. A lot of what’s present reflects typically popular character and environment designs of the time. The main male character, Gatsby, is right in line with how one would expect a handsome lead to look circa 1986. Some of the more comedic incidental characters have the loose, rounded features common to the archetype. Mech designs are reminiscent of the battloid forms of Vertitech fighters, and many of the spaceships look like something out of Space Battleship Yamato. Given the steady lampooning of other popular anime in this OVA, these design decisions make a lot of sense.

One thing that stands out in all of this is how different the heroine, Micchi, looks in all of this. Her design is a tad unusual and stands out from the rest of the cast. Generally speaking, her form and features adhere to what one would expect from a female character of the time. However, there isn’t as much detail. For instance, her eyes are a milky greenish-blue with no pupils, and her face and hair are more curvy and fluidly animated. On close-ups, there’s a pronounced difference in her character’s design compared to everyone else in the show who are very locked into that traditional 80s anime style.

Since a number of anime are poked fun at, people watching this OVA would do well to bring themselves up to speed on popular series from the mid-80s. It would also help to familiarize one’s self with the fanaticism of Hanshin Tigers fans from that period. Going into Cosmos Pink Shock without knowing those things will cause a lot of its humour to fly right over one’s head. These aren’t the only source of humour in the show, but makes up a lot of it.

As mentioned earlier, the show is light on plot. It focuses on a 17-year-old girl named Micchi piloting an insanely fast spaceship, the Pink Shock, looking for her childhood friend whom she fell in love with. All the while, she’s violating various areas of controlled space, irritating the local authorities in the process. She doesn’t care, though, because there’s nothing that they can do about it since her ship is so fast. However, eventually Micchi does get caught because her impatiences has caused her ship to run out of fuel (she constantly refused to stop and refuel, her drive to find Hiro was so great). Here, she meets Gatsby, a handsome officer in the local military who managed to capture her. The two have a conversation during Micchi’s interrogation where viewers learn why she’s doing what she’s doing. This causes Gatsby to sympathize with the girl and eventually help her escape when she’s due to be executed by firing squad.

So, clearly there isn’t much to the story, but that’s not the point of the show. It’s simply intended to be enjoyed for its humour and references to much more popular series. The writers even joke about how simple their story is during Micchi’s interrogation where she explains how she got her ship. She literally says that she sneaked onboard the space shuttle, “some things happened”, and then she got her crazy fast ship. If that doesn’t scream of the writers saying, “Yeah, we’re not really trying for anything serious here,” it’s hard to imagine what would.

The voice actors in Cosmos Pink Shock were still early in their careers when doing this anime, but would go on to be involved with many popular series. For instance, Gatsby was played by Show Hayami, who was already establishing himself as the voice of Maximillian Jenius in Macross, and would go on to lend his voice to Tokiomi Tousaka in Fate/Zero, Umibouzu in Gintama, and Mitsuhide Akechi in Sengoku Basara, among other roles. Meanwhile, Micchi was played by Rei Sakuma. Cosmos Pink Shock was one of her first acting gigs, but she would land a huge break a few years later when she became the voice of Shampoo in Ranma 1/2, as well as Bakato-san in Anpanman. She would also go on to play Morrigan in the anime adaptation of Darkstalkers, Leona Ozaki in New Dominion Tank Police, and Peorth in Ah! My Goddess!, not to mention a bunch of supporting roles over the years.

Tracking down a copy of Cosmos Pink Show these days is no small feat. It was only released on VHS and even then it was intended for rental outlets. Eventually it was released for home use, but was divided into three 10 minute videos for some reason. As a result of this, it is very hard to find and even if one comes across a tape, there’s no guarantee of the quality given VHS’ tendency to degrade over time. Thankfully, some people have digitized the OVA over the years and it is floating around the internet, but even then the quality is not great.

Nonetheless, what we have is a fun little romp. Those familiar with 80s anime and Japanese pop culture will get a lot more out of Cosmos Pink Show given how much it leans on that stuff for its jokes. Even if one isn’t terribly up to speed, its a relaxing way to spend a half hour. The show went in with no intention of taking itself seriously, and if viewers go in with the same mindset a good time will be had.

- IroIro
March 21, 2019

More Outer Space Anime We've Discussed:

- Martian Successor Nadesico Review
- Maris the Chojo Review
- Outlanders Review
- Bounty Dog Review

Written by:
Takeshi Shudou
Character Design by:
Toshiki Hirano
Yasuo Hasegawa

Cosmos Pink Shock Image 1
VHS Box Art for Cosmos Pink Shock

Cosmos Pink Shock Image 2
The OVA has several characters

Cosmos Pink Shock Image 3
Gatsby, the handsome male lead

Cosmos Pink Shock Image 4
Micchi putting on Hiro's headband