Synonyms: Space Adventure Cobra
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 7, 1982 to May 19, 1983
24 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.831 (scored by 1619 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
SynopsisThe series is adapted from the beginning of eight volumes of Terasawa's magnum opus, broadly covering three "chapters."
The first is the quest for the "Supreme Weapon." Cobra, his nemesis Lord Necron and other affiliates of the Guild search for a fabulous treasure left by the adventurer Nelson who tattooed the treasure map on the backs of his three daughters.
The second, and by general consent most successful part of the series shifts the emphasis from space opera to the sporting arena. Cobra travels to the planet Ralou where the national sport is rugball. Cobra joins the sport's premier team in a bid to uncover the Guild's drug trafficking operations.
The third saga which closes the series details the hero's confrontation with the Guild's supreme ruler, enigmatic both of name and personality, Salamandar.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Space Adventure Cobra
Alternative version: Space Adventure Cobra, Space Adventure Cobra Pilot
Sequel: SSJMaster vs. Xinil - A story of epic battles! Season 2
Characters & Voice Actors
I am putting the conclusion first for those who do not care about details: this is a typically solid '80s series, one more focused on fun and action than fleshing out deep character qualities. It has a lot of foibles, but nothing that should keep you from skipping the series if you like action and adventure focused anime.
This series is kind of like what you would get if you took Space Captain Harlock, but if instead of going the route of incredibly self-serious and subdued it went for of goofy and flamboyant. You can see the difference really starkly comparing the flashbacks, where Cobra has long hair, talks much more seriously, and the music becomes more dramatic, with the less serious present where Cobra looks goofy.
I first became excited by this series when Cobra was thinking really hard about his past, and then suddenly the art zoomed into a box like 1/12th the size of the screen with his face, resembling a mirror I guess, and then this randomly propagated five times in a diagonal line. I became even more excited when the first climactic battle scene had soft jazz playing, which was surreal and hilarious. It is the little details like this that make the series great if you watch out for them, and it is refreshing to have a series where the humor relies on wit instead of events like random school chase scenes (Code Geass) or how much food someone eats (too many anime to even try to single one out).
As you can see from the summary, the series has three really nice arcs, with some shorter one shots and the like at times too, which gives you three different thoughtful stories. Fans of anime that really ramp up just how incredibly evil and malicious the enemy empire is might be disappointed here, since the main foe (The Guild) is, for the most part, more of an entity that Cobra is constantly annoyed by rather than a big bad that is so evil it must be taken down at any cost.
Regarding character, Cobra is unfortunately a little too much of your typically invincible hero. You never feel any urgency of a possible loss for Cobra, and indeed none ever comes. I do like how this series approaches the morals of the characters. The girls are sexual instead of sexually indignant all but once, taking compliments in stride even if they turn Cobra down. Although Cobra tries to generally save people, he certainly has no qualms about killing them. I think this is the first time I have seen or read anything like this that the hero does not constantly puzzle the moral quandary of whether or not a bad guy should die.
One rather large character problem is that Cobra's sidekick, Lady, basically has no reason to be there. Lady either sits around waiting to rescue him when he finishes kicking ass, or she gets captured, giving Cobra motivation to kick someone's ass. This is probably not a series to watch if you become upset by subtle/overt chauvinism (whichever you would decide this series has).
The voice acting is around the high quality level of any well funded '80s series. The music is never bad, but the main climactic theme is overused. The music is probably most exciting in any club scene, where the anime rather charmingly struggles to futurize '80s club life.
The art is not the best art ever, but it is rather consistent. Rather amusing is that before commercial breaks and at the end of episodes the art becomes bolder and sketchier to try to strike an emphatic capturing of the boldness that the audience should be feeling...when often it is not really there.
As a kid, did you ever dream of having a tv show about some random dude who simply travels through space and picks fights with aliens and other space pirates? Something that doesn't require much thought, but is loads of fun to watch?
If so, you're in luck… since that show exists and it's called Space Cobra.
*Story & Characters*
Space Cobra's story takes place (where else?) in the space! It's never really explained how humanity got there and there isn't much of a sense of world building, it's just random 80's sci-fi that is pretty laughable by today's standards. It contains silly mechanics that make no sense, loads of improbable physics and even some magic… But!! What's great about it, is that the sci-fi itself doesn't really matter in Cobra's case, since it's all about the action and the adventure while the sci-fi and space setting are just the dressing to make the adventure more epic. It could've easily taken place on earth, but space is cooler. So Unlike 80s titles like Bubblegum Crisis that took their sci-fi a tad too seriously and as a result, didn't really stand the test of time (especially after Ghost in the Shell came along), Space Cobra managed to dodge this bullet (as he always does, lol) and is therefore, far more accessible and could easily be enjoyed to this day.
The story itself is separated in to several arcs and a few stand alone episodes that have little to no relation to each other (meaning it's pretty episodic). They consist of Cobra taking up missions, fighting pirates or other alien creatures. They also end up involving (in one way or another) sexy chicks that wear skimpy outfits that Cobra ends up either having "fun" with, saving or fighting against.
It is fast paced, has tons of action and it does give off a sense of adventure and discovering new and exotic locations. There's even a nice climax arc near the end that was quite fitting and I was thankful that they didn't just insert some random arc there. So at least it leaves you with nice last impressions.
The characters consist of Cobra and his female android called Lady (yep, that's her name). Cobra is supposed to be a real role model for all men out there (I guess). He's overpowered, doesn't take crap from nobody and he's a womanizer through and through. He also doesn't think twice about sending his enemies to their deaths, which is nice. But the downside is that he hardly flinches when innocent people get killed as well.
Lady is an android who's supposed to be the strong waifu figure that takes care of Cobra and attempts to keep him in check. There doesn't seem to be much chemistry between them, since she's not around that often and they behave sort of like a married couple that have been together for 90 years or something.
Aside from them, the characters are either one dimensional villains, sexy women with little variety in personality, or ex-villains who usually end up dead rather quickly.
That's about it for this section, let's move on to this anime's strengths.
*Art & Sound*
The art style is very nice and surprisingly detailed. It actually looks a lot more like a western cartoon and not so much like an anime which means that it is very nice and stylish. It kinda reminds me of the movie 'Heavy Metal'.
The animation is great for its time and there's a ton of action, most of which has nice choreography, decent looking explosions and brutal violence in which people get killed at the drop of a hat (not much blood though).
As for the character designs, the female figures here look ahead of their time in terms of being sexy and a lot of the alien and spaceship designs look pretty cool as well. The only design I didn't like is Cobra himself who looks like a goofy 80s clown, but I can forgive him for that since the rest looks great. In addition, since this is a Space adventure there's also a lot of variety in terms of locations which all look very nice.
Visually, Space Cobra has to be among the best as far tv anime from the 80s go. I was very impressed with it.
In terms of soundtrack, there are some memorable tunes and the opening and ending songs aren't that bad either, but are pretty skipable 80s pop songs. Sound effects and voice acting are pretty dated by today's standards, but nothing really sounds out of place or too awkward, despite the corny script (I think so anyway, I don't speak Japanese).
The overall production values are great.
Space Cobra is the definition of dumb fun. I can’t give it a higher score, since technically it doesn't have much of a story, the characters are very one-note and the whole thing is as simple as it gets. But trust me when I say that it does a great deal with what it has and it's among the most enjoyable anime I've ever had the pleasure of watching.
So just sit back and enjoy the ride.
Both are science fiction animes featuring a humorous blond guy dressed in red, with an arm that can be turned into a very powerful gun that everyone is after for one reason or another as the main character.
Ablonde outlaw dressed all in red with a gun hidden in his arm and an easy smile. He is a Legend, pursued by other outlaws looking to make names for themselves by outgunning a desperado of his caliber, but every person that he encounters underestimates him because he seems "too goofy" to be THE LEGEND. Space Adventure Cobra's DNA is all over the space western genre, but nowhere more obviously than in Trigun.
Opening Theme"Cobra" by Yoko Maeno
Ending Theme"Secret Desire" by Yoko Maeno
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