Friday, November 23, 2001

Outlaw Star (Seihou Bukyou Outlaw Star)

Genre: Action / Comedy / Space Adventure
Parental Guidance Recommended
1998 Katsuhiko Chiba, Sotsu Eizu, Sunrise Inc., TV Tokyo, Xebec

Outlaw Star DVDs
Outlaw Star Manga
Outlaw Star Toys & Accessories
Outlaw Star Music

Cover Description:
Gene and Jim are mercenaries that will do anything if the pay is right. However, when a pirate hires them to help her find the secret key to a hidden spaceship, things go awry. First of all, the 'key' is a female android! Gene and Jim decide to 'liberate' the ship and its key. Now the pirates are on their tail, and the flight is going to be more than a little bumpy.

(26 Episodes)

Through the night. >>> by skysenshi
I'm not a fan of Cowboy / Western themes, but Outlaw Star made a great deal of impact for me. It's not just the art, which is of course very well done. It's more because of the humor and the distinctiveness of the characters' personalities.

Gene is a tough guy with a scarred body and an equally scarred past. Gene, however, is not your typical tough guy who has no care for the world. He is in fact the worst kind of sex maniac whose craving for women always gets him into the silliest kinds of trouble. Jim is his 11-year old braniac partner who, unlike most bratty anime figures, is adorable in his cute combination of innocence and arrogance. Three females make up the rest of the Outlaw Star crew: Suzuka the assassin, Aisha the brawny Ctarl Ctarl, and Melfina the bio-android. Once in a while the crew meets up with Fred Luo, a clever bishounen with the biggest crush on Gene (and sometimes on Jim).

The space battle scenes between ships are also something to behold, especially as the Outlaw Star is a grappler machine with arms that could crush the heaviest of metal. This makes Outlaw Star all the more unique in its use of high-tech gadgets and machineries blended with the most unusual set of characters ever created.

Both the original version and the English dubbed version are well done. The voice acting of the English dub match well with their Japanese counterparts save for Aisha, whose cute "kitteny" accent in the Japanese version is reduced to an ugly guttural sound in the English adaptation. Despite this slight flaw, the story more than makes up for it, having simple twists and a feel-good ending. If you loved Cowboy Bebop, you might want to take a look at this title and see more action and adventure. I finished all 26 episodes in one night. Maybe you would, too.

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 9; Story 7; Characters 9; Sounds 7

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