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: 7.841 (scored by 1489 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: Cobra the Animation: The Psycho-Gun
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.
ANIME MINOR JEWELS SERIES
Full lit of the review series can be found on this page, 3rd post from bottom:
This series is James Bond in Space. Quite ridiculous as far as realism goes but has that "I'm too cool for school" attitude. The way I see it, Space Adventure Cobra was back then, what date sims are today. For some reason, all retro sci-fi series pictured the far future as a vast harem of skimpy clothed women the all-mighty lead captain must fight and save from ugly aliens, so he can have sex with them. Well, this erotic/ romantic picture gave place to more serious and realistic forms of sci-fi, while the erotism was replaced by fancy erogames and romance was replaced with mild arlekin stories for middle-aged housewives. Hm, time changes everything. Anyways…
[Oh, Cobra, what a big laser you got!]
Well, being a retro-flavored series, means it doesn’t take itself seriously. Just find an excuse for the lead to save some chick, explain the situation in kindergarten-level sci-fi and throw in some funky showdowns with weird supernatural aliens and you have yourself a formula any toddler or 40 year old would like. Think of it like a film-noir, where the detective is a cool looking, aloof, half-funny, unrivaled space pirate, taking dangerous missions just for the fun of the adventure… or just so he can have fun with the various femme-fatals running around half-naked around the universe.
The structure of the plot is separated into individual story arcs/mission. Like some James Bond clone, Cobra will be relaxing in his spaceship before someone (usually a chick) asks him to find something or save someone by ruthless pirates and planetary tyrants. So, Cobra will use his super-special-awesome Psycho Gun ™ to blast through armies of identical mook underlings and have a standoff with their leader, who so much happens to have some queer power. Usually Cobra’s robot companion (no surprisingly, also a mechanical chick) gives him info and ways to defeat him, save the day and have a nice off-screen sexual evening with some beauty… sometimes even with a lot of beauties at the same time, hehehe!
That’s pretty much it. There is no overall objective purpose, no real plot continuity and the initial scenario is just teasing. It is pretty generic and predictable, although not repetitive all the times. The characters all come by some really lame stereotypes and frankly speaking, you should like them for being exactly the stereotypes they are.
[Hey babe, wanna ride my spaceship?]
Down to it, this anime does not have much of a story or memorable characters. It plays along that lost retro feeling of oldies like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers. It is only good as a nostalgic trip back to time where space was full of air, aliens had one eye and women had no shame to walk around wearing barely enough to hide their boobs and ass.
In similar tradition, animation and sound have high values for such a series. Although not super by today’s standards, they have exactly what this sort of series needs. Funky spaceships, weird alien worlds, a Psycho Gun and lots of bare skin. Almost like an American b-movie, it has lots of action, many explosions and corny dialogues that never make you think what the hell you are watching and just absorb you to a silly yet enjoyable fantasy. As usual, the villains won’t be able to hit a target two meters next to them, yet Cobra can use his super laser which can bend its rays anyway he likes to kill a dozen mooks hiding in different places and behind steel walls with one shot while safely hiding behind a wooden wall, which is impregnable to their machineguns. Yes, the battles are THAT fair. And no, no bold sex scenes and yet not that lame harem kind of humor with chickenshit boys and tsundere girls. Cobra is wild and offensive and slaps a bitch when she doesn’t listen to him… And she loves it and wants to have sex with him. Hooray for Phallocracy!
As you can probably guess with all I am writing so far, this series is not meant for women as it depicts them quite frail, defenseless and objects of desire… Just like in real life. (kidding of course)
If you ever want to enjoy it, switch off your sense of morality and let common sense take a walk while submerging to world where the lead can outrun laser beams, never misses himself and spreads more pheromones than a dozen Axe for Men canisters. Have fun! read more
Both Main Characters are very confident and cocky. One Outs is about baseball and Cobra is really not about that, but there is an arc where Cobra plays a sport similar to baseball called Rugball. That arc reminds me of One Outs due to the tactics and strategies used. I am watching Cobra series at the moment and the Rugball arc has me hooked just like One Outs did when I watched that series.
Opening Theme"Cobra" by Yoko Maeno
Ending Theme"Secret Desire" by Yoko Maeno
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