Generic Proto-Moe 1986 Cartoons: Cosmos Pink Shock

A lot of people like to tell me that moe didn’t exist in the 80s, but if you believe that you also have to believe that nerds weren’t desperately lonely and willing to fall in an empty, merchandise-driven mockery of love with one-dimensional…

A lot of people like to tell me that moe didn’t exist in the 80s, but if you believe that you also have to believe that nerds weren’t desperately lonely and willing to fall in an empty, merchandise-driven mockery of love with one-dimensional fictional characters in the 80s. Unfortunately, I have evidence to the contrary: Cosmos Pink Shock.

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Cosmos Pink Shock is technically a parody– as indicated by opening narration from Norio Wakamoto and some robot baseball– but unfortunately, though genre caricatures frolic onscreen at all times, nothing funny ever actually happens. There isn’t a joke here you haven’t seen before, from the panda-faced rocket to the overzealous fan club to the typical pretty-boy character with the typical army-of-squealing-fangirls gag.

And, of course, Cosmos Pink Shock has a perfectly moe heroine: 17-year-old Micchi travels space in a stolen super-rocket in search of her childhood boyfriend Hiroshi, who was abducted by a UFO when they were four. “Hiro-chan” appears for about three seconds in flashback and has no distinguishing features of any kind. Pointlessly and inexplicably devoted for life to a blank-slate audience substitute? This is dictionary-definition moe! At the end she’s saved by her own fan club (okay, I guess that part is decent parody) and the viewer is asked if he, too, will cheer for Micchi– or if, god forbid, Hiro will be the one.

The show gets further bogged down when Micchi is stopped on Jupiter and the jokes just stop coming, opting instead to show us the process by which woman-hating Captain Gatsby (the pretty boy from before) comes to decide that Micchi is the only good woman in space, on account of her bizarre obsession with Hiro-chan. Micchi escapes execution, speeds off in her rocket, and that’s about the end of it. The aimlessness of the material makes sense when you find out that the show originally ran as a serial packaged with an ill-fated anime video magazine. I wouldn’t have bought the next issue either.

Perhaps our bar for parody has just been raised over the years: maybe Family Guy-style Macross gags were total gutbusters in ’86. From where I stand, though, this hardly even qualifies for the genre. Dragon Half had jokes, you know? Cosmos Pink Shock is simply dull and a chore to slog through at 35 minutes. If you’re truly desperate for your 80s OVA dose of lovingly drawn spaceships and robots, or you’re really curious about Kenji Kawai’s first anime soundtrack– or in a worst-case scenatio, you’re an AIC completist– you could watch Cosmos Pink Shock. However, such rash action is not recommended by the experts here at Colony Drop Medical. You could seriously hurt yourself like that.

5 Comments

  1. …Not even for Norio Wakamoto narration?

    I mean, I think I could hurt my brain for Norio Wakamoto.

    Would it be acceptable to hurt myself for Norio Wakamoto?

  2. If you want to do that, you can turn it off after the first five minutes: he disappears after the first bit of narration.

  3. Osamu Tezuka’s Lunn Flies into the Wind was made a year before Cosmos Pink Shock and prefigured the moe phenomenon.I’m just speculating here, but it could be argued that Tezuka invented moe in Lost World in 1948. Or maybe he just articulated it. Moe may have started in the hopeless dreams of girls living in a defeated, invaded country, selling themselves so that their families could eat, and dreaming of a guy who would just protect them and look out for them like a big brother.

  4. I don’t know if you realize it or not, but every time you bash an (extremely) obscure 80s OAV, you re-ignite interest in it. For some people? Ok just me:

    If you’re truly desperate for your 80s OVA dose of lovingly drawn spaceships and robots, or you’re really curious about Kenji Kawai’s first anime soundtrack– or in a worst-case scenatio, you’re an AIC completist– you could watch Cosmos Pink Shock.

    The problem with this comment is that, I may want to watch it, just for the morbid fascination- BUT to watch it, I’d have to find it first! Nada.
    This thing is impossible to find, I know of maybe one odd store in Florida, 650 miles away where I MIGHT find it, but so far, no dice. Ebay. Amazon. The world wide web. Nothing. I found it listed on ANN, and a grand total of 14 people have seen and reviewed. The outlook on me locating a copy for a few bucks looking dim…

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