a.k.a. Seihou Bukyou Outlaw Star
Gene Starwind and Jim Hawking run a semi-profitable (and highly shady) business, “Starwind and Hawking Enterprises”. They will do anything… as long as the price is right. One of their business ventures places Gene as bodyguard for a very mysterious woman. The job was going as planned until a small run-in with a pirate group. Everything just seems to go downhill from there…
summary by Kei
Highs: Well animated; fun technological ideas; very good for anime beginners
Lows: A bit predictable; similar to others titles of the same genre
When I saw the previews for this anime, I really didn’t know what to expect. My first thought was, “hrm, another bounty-hunter in space anime.” I was afraid that this fun genre of anime was becoming the “buddy-cop” theme we see in a lot of movies today. After watching the first few episodes, however, it began to grow on me.
I must say, there really aren’t many surprises in this anime for a good while into it, which may leave some people dragging. However, as far as I can tell, this anime is a very good transition for anime beginners. It has quite a lot to offer: action, some romance, comedy, all at different levels and balance compared to the average mainstream anime.
I can honestly say that this anime holds the title for “best filler episode ever” in my mind. Be sure to catch the episode Hot Springs Planet Tenrei. You will laugh until you cannot laugh any longer.
In conclusion, if you are just getting past your Dragonball Z phase of anime viewing, be sure to pick this title up. However, if you’re a season veteran of anime then put it to the side, for now, and get to it when you need a good laugh.
Highs: Fun never stops; opening narrations; beautiful end theme songs
Lows: Largely filler; poor character animation; horrid spaceship designs
Using characters from Ito Takehiko’s manga, Outlaw Star is generally lumped in with Trigun and Cowboy Bebop because all three anime aired in 1998 and involved heavy use of gunplay and outer space. While not bad in its own right, it’s still the worst of the trio.
If nothing else, you will have fun while watching. With a combination of laughs, suspense and a lot of action, there’s something here that will tickle your fancy. The loveable cast always manages to find itself in trouble through varying situations, so there’s never a dull moment. A large part of what creates this atmosphere is the opening narration. Presented at the beginning of most episodes, the narration sets a rather romantic tone, not in a mushy fashion, but one that aims at creating a mood of heroic adventure and glory with a degree of naivety and simplicity. If nothing else, it discloses required information for the episode, as well as revealing bits and pieces about the anime’s universe. The ending theme songs, while deviating from the series’ atmosphere, are still jaw-droppingly beautiful. Sung by Arai Akino (Kirei na Kanjo from Noir, Voices from Macross Plus),Hiru no Tsuki and Tsuki no Ie will put a smile on your face every time you hear them.
My number one issue is that, while a lot of fun, this series is mostly filler. Between planet-hopping, fighting assassins and pirates and learning what it can about the Galactic Leyline, the cast has an overabundance of time. Instead of using this time to expand on key characters, factions in the universe or history, we’re treated to bounty chases. On the visual side of things, there are two problems. First, character designs have a tendency to lose and gain detail, shape and textures from episode to episode. Second, the spaceship designs are, for lack of a better word, uninspired; they’re reminiscent of 1950s sci-fi designs… but not in a good way. I’m sure that kindergarten children would have come up with more imaginative spaceships.
Despite fans crying for a sequel, years have passed without any sign of more to come. It’s such a shame as many would be game for a continuation of this fun-packed universe (the spinoff, Angel Links, is not the answer). Only time will tell. For now, this is still fun by the truckload despite its obvious flaws.