It is a harsh and barren wasteland, where the weak aren't allowed to dream. It is also a sacred land for true men, for there is no place a man can feel more alive. This is the Gun Frontier. Sea Pirate Captain Harlock and the errant samurai, Tochiro arrive in the United States on the Western Frontier. Along with a mysterious woman they meet along the way, the two friends challenge sex rings, bandits, and corrupt sheriff. They are searching for a lost clan of Japanese immigrants, and they will tear Gun Frontier from end to end until they find it.
First off I am not into westerns, but this really hooked me right away. A short foreign man who is always getting himself "hung". A cool girl who often gets into situations that she has to strip at gun point. A cowboy who has his friends backs at all costs. The story is really great and it is not your typical anime that you see out there. The art is sub-par, but the goofiness look of some of the characters makes up for this.
What the hell y'all I have been bamboozled! Swindled! Gypped! If you've seen this show and have read my reviews or ever looked at my profile then you know what I'm about to say....this shit is INCOMPLETE! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls this series stops at thirteen episodes with no resolution, conclusion or closure and you are left with one thought in your head “WTF???”. I'm not going to spoil things for those who might still want to watch this title, but as far as I know there is no sequel, there is no OVA, there's probably a manga but who gives a fuck? I'm not gonna read it. So yeah 13 episodes, you watch it, it ends....you double check your playlist to see if maybe video-player skipped an episode, it didn't so you feel like you have been [bleep]-teased! Sorry, Leiji Matsumoto or not, it's gonna get low marks from me!
The art and animation, in relation to the time it was created which is about 10 years ago, isn't that bad. It's was actually very interesting. I'd even say kinda novel....kinda. It's not the type of art or animation that draws you in or tries to make the you, the viewer a part of the experience. No, they definitely wanted the viewer to be behind that 4th wall looking in, as if reading a comic book. I would even go as far as to say this series was more like an “animated comic book” than it was just a standard anime. The outlines were HEAVILY inked, everything appeared cartoonish [yes I know an anime by definition is a cartoon] but what I mean is that the art was not drawn with “realism” as an objective, the art appeared a lot more farcical than you average anime. Even when things appeared to have dimension, it only looked like the placed a cardboard cut-out of a [flat] character in front of a painted cardboard [flat] backdrop. It's not totally original, but it's not a totally played out effect either.
I loved the music of the series, both the OP and ED have songs that I would listen to on a causal basis. My gripe about the music is that it totally doesn't fit the series, at all. That OP song belongs in a much more contemporary anime, still shonen, but has some comedy. Maybe something more along the lines of Full Metal Panic perhaps. The ending song was definitely shojo or what's the term for the more mature female viewers? All I can think of is NANA when I hear it. Neither one of these songs have anything to do with a dusty western parody anime with vulgar language and nudity.
I watched the series in English dub, the big draw for me of course was Steven Blum [Spike Spiegel], everyone else was OK too.
However whenever I think of the story aspect of it, I get pissed off because it's effing INCOMPLETE! I hate incomplete shows, cliffhangers, open-enders or whatever you wanna call it. Again, I'm not going to say how it ends, you can see that for yourself and maybe stuff like this doesn't affect everyone but it's definitely one of my pet peeves. Which is a shame because it really wasn't bad storyline; the idea of searching for Japanese people in the old west or for Oriental treasure was a good idea. I loved how this series tried to take on heavy topics like ignorance, racism and sexism....with humor, albeit a very cynical type of humor.
A lot could be said about the character depictions in this show and maybe it can shed some light at to why anime characters look more like Caucasians than Asians. People can disagree as many times as they want, but in this series, Harlock is confirmed to not be Asian. And tho the name Shinunora, implies she might be Asian but it's proven later on that she is not. She's actually European. And everyone is just flabbergasted that Tochiro has such a “good-looking” sister [Who's drawn the same way as Shinunora and all the other white people. So it's pretty easy to conclude that anyone tall and good-looking isn't perceived as Asian at all but if they are, then they generally pass as “White” which in reality, is hardly possible.....So do the Japanese think of themselves as white or is there some identity crisis or self-loathing going on there? That's kinda all I was getting from looking at these characters...that, and perhaps the fact that Shinunora is ALWAYS naked [which I found very funny] and Tochiro is always loud and annoying [which is not common Japanese behavior].
But ultimately, my verdict is no verdict beyond, meh! It's incomplete!read more
This show reminds me a lot of Trigun. A man on a journey to do something and as he travels, he picks up a bunch of people to be part of his group. Now, unlike Trigun, this is placed on earth and in a time when the west was still young. A man lived with a gun at his side or would end up dead.
The story revolves mainly around Tochiro and Franklin Harlock (the guy that looks like a western version of Captain Harlock… put two and two together) as they travel. At first, all you know of these characters is that they are somehow connected and are a bit miss matched. When we do find out when they met, it feels a little forced although ties Harlock’s past as a pirate with the sword duel on a ship. (Ok, can I not spell this out enough? They took the Space Pirate and put him in a western show.) I would have loved to know a bit more about each character’s passed; we barely get anything about the background of any of them.
When talking about them separate, it’s just a little hard because they play off each other so well. Tochiro always respectful and talks about finding his people. He is a true samurai of old times and never really faulters in how he acts to women and respectable men both. Harlock always ends up saving Tochiro when a blade didn’t come in handy. He’s rather quiet and is pretty much the silent type who doesn’t really go out of his way to do something for his buddy. The two never let anything come between them including a women which can make them a good candidate for a bunch of fan art…
For Simunora, we never learn very much about her and I felt rather confused when she did what she did. The only thing you learn really about Sinunora is that she is French (really… how original… a French woman trying to get into someone’s pants, thanks stereotypes…) and that she might know something about what happen to Tochiro’s people. She tries to get in the middle of them but most of the time they don’t listen. In fact, the time one of them almost got to sleep with her, she pretty much had only teased them and shot them down. It got so bad that I was thinking ‘Just kill her or force her’ just to get her to stop.
As the story goes on, the only character that really grows is Tochiro and that’s not saying much. The only way he grows is that he seems to get a bit better at the sword (like he wasn’t a expert already?). The ending is rather stupid and a big cliffhanger. You are just crying out to be able to see more but it gives you a big middle finger and points to a manga that I don’t think has been translated yet.
The art style is very vintage even if this show is from the 21st Century. I think it is partly a look to the old show ‘Captian Harlock.’ Though Captain Harlock was set in space, this doesn’t have anything really to do with space and the he was only a sea pirate instead of anything more. This is not for little kids. Many times, Sinunora ends up striping for someone or getting her clothing torn off. They do not show much of her privates but you still see a lot of her and it is implied. Now most of the side characters look like strange morphed creatures including Tochiro sometimes and normally it seems that most men look like pigs while women look so beautiful.
The voices, well, they pretty much are good for a low budget film but none of them really stand out to me. It’s sad really but it does happen. The English is a bit better then the Japanese in this case but there isn’t much difference.read more