I love it when I come across an old school OVA that I haven’t seen and turns out to be pretty cool.
Cosmos Pink Shock is very much in the vein of one of my personal favorites: Project A-Ko. The first ten minutes is a fast paced race through several anime parodies– mostly sc-fi mecha stuff that was popular at the time like Macross, Gundam, and Yamato. The main girl, Micchi, hijacks a suped-up space jet and goes on a “rampage” through space for vague-at-first reasons. She ignores the borders of several space empires, pisses off the captains of many space armadas, and ruins the chances of a space robot baseball team breaking their 200+ year losing streak. The references come at you pretty fast, throwing things at you one after another and giving little room for anything to really stick.
The one overt reference that lingers long enough to really stick is when a group of Macross-like bridge bunnies break out into a little song and dance number while going on about the need for culture and humanity in war. It’s an obvious dig on the whole Protoculture thing, but what makes it especially funny is how the oompah beat of the song and the khaki dress attire of the bridge bunnies gives it a (likely unintentional) Space Nazi vibe. Sci-fi anime trafficking in that sort of imagery is nothing new, even in the 80s with the Principality of Zeon and all that, so to see that sort of thing come around full circle to a bunch of space idols is amusing, even if I doubt that was the intent.
The parody eases up a bit after that first initial 10 minute burst. While we do get an extended riff on Captain Harlock with the Captain Gatsby character, with all of his women-hating posturing and angsty showmanship, things more or less settle down in order to tell something resembling a story. Micchi is on a decade+ long journey to find her “boyfriend,” Hiro, who was abducted by a UFO in the middle of a festival when they were four years old. Everyone else forgot Hiro existed after the abduction, including his parents, leaving Micchi all alone in her quest to find him. So she did what comes natural to a four year old kid: she left home and stowed away on the next space shuttle off of Earth in order to find the love of her four year long existence. One thing lead to another and she managed to steal the universe’s fastest space ship in order to make a beeline to the center of the universe where some fabled ancient civilization may exist that Micchi believes is behind Hiro’s abduction.
So that’s the crux of this OVA: ancient aliens kidnapped her best friend when she was four years old, no one believed the story, and she’s made it her life’s journey to prove everyone wrong and get proof that her Close Encounter was real. The catch is that instead of writing books to hawk on late night conspiracy radio, she actually takes to space and does what all of the other loons never do.
That makes Micchi a real conspiracy hero– someone to aspire to more than Zachariah Sitchins and your John Titors. Did they ever steal a rocket and make Dancing Space Nazi Idols mad? I don’t think so.
Some more stuff happens involving possible executions and Gatsby’s sob story about his mom leaving him and his dad. Micchi eventually escapes with the help of Gatsby and the fans of that space robot baseball team she screwed over. Seems those guys decided it was a lot more fun to form a Micchi/Pink Shock fanclub than to be fans of a pathetic sports franchise. I don’t blame them. Idol fandom may be a flash in the pan compared to a centuries-old baseball team, but those idol fandoms burn pretty damn brightly while the last. And since they’re making the fanclub they’ll rake in the cash from all the otaku looking to build their Micchi shrines. They already suckered Gatsby in for a year-long subscription, so they know what they’re doing.
It isn’t the greatest OVA from this era, especially when its closest comparison is something with some staying power like Project A-Ko, but it’s these little touches like the former enemies creating a fanclub and the oddball takes on parodies that make Cosmos Pink Shock worth a watch.
The way the anime was released is a neat little curiosity as well. It was released as three different VHDs that came with the first three issues of a magazine called Anime Vision. Since VHD was all but DOA, and the magazine itself failed after those first three issues, Cosmos Pink Shock died a premature death.
Micchi never did find her Hiro, but she did accomplish more than any other UFO chaser in history, so you gotta give her that. And she amassed a big fanclub to boot.