When the mechanoids invaded Earth, Captain Warrius Zero could do nothing but watch as his family was slaughtered in front of him. Years later, the Earth is under their rule and humans are forced to live with machines. Zero is given command of a mechanoid and human crew to find and kill the rebel Captain Harlock, but can they really hunt down the legendary pirate?
summary by Ender
Highs: Matsumoto style and characters
Lows: Terrible animation; filler episodes; faltering story
I’m a big Matsumoto Leiji fan, but I can tell you that his stories have always been hit or miss, either classics or flops. This series, I can assure you, is not one of the classics.
It is nice to see the Matsumoto style is still going on strong into the 21st century: big battleships, diminutive geniuses, grizzled warriors, mysteriously thin women and stories that span galaxies. I cannot tell you how nice it feels to see old characters like Harlock and Emeraldas sharing the screen with new ones like Zero and his crew. Too bad they couldn’t have been in a better story than this one. The whole series seems to be Space Battleship Yamato done in half the time. We’re introduced to so many old ideas (big ship with big cannon) that they don’t seem to hold together anymore. And all the new ideas (the mechanoid and human crew) are so suppressed that they don’t warrant any interest from the viewer.
Now, I’ve always been a fan of Matsumoto’s art style and I can understand it being considered too old school for many, but that doesn’t mean the animators shouldn’t have put some effort into animating it. I look at old episodes of Galaxy Express and they had better animation than this show. Ships seem to slide easily over animation frames, the same scene is shown over and over again in the same episode, motions continuously jerk around… I expected better than this. Couple this with possibly the two worst filler episodes in anime history (which for some reason were tacked on at the end of the series) and you’ve got a recipe for disappointment.
For fans of Matsumoto Leiji, I advise you all to look elsewhere. It’s a shame really; I was looking forward to seeing Zero and his crew become part of the Leijiverse. Hopefully, over time, this story will go into the hands of a more capable animation company. In the meantime, Cosmowarrior is one ship that should stay in the dock.
Cosmowarrior Zero can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.