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.
Being titled as "Space Adventure Cobra" in the states, this is the best anime of the Cobra franchise as it balances action, comedy, sci-fi, adventure & overall appeals to a male audience. If you like this anime then you should like every other installment to the Cobra series.
Set in a "Star Wars like" world, Space Cobra begins with our main character Johnson (other times Joe Gillian) goes to a club where they offer "Trip Movies" granting people to be in a dream-like state & experiencing pleasure. Johnson's experience however, causes him to regain his lost memories; discovering he used to be a space pirate named
Cobra. With his memories recovered & the aid of his android partner named Lady, Cobra is tired of his peaceful lifestyle so he decides to pick up the pirate life & go on space adventures in a manly style. Armed with his signature "Psycho Gun", Cobra has a big bounty on his head where his enemies include the Galactic Patrol & The Guild, (a mafia consisted of other space pirates.)
The series tends to be episodic but has a story arc every now & then. The first few episodes being 1-12 is the longest arc as it serves as the introduction to Cobra; displaying what can be expected in the series as a whole. Much of the highlight of Cobra is the creativity being put into the universe & science fiction as it features a wide range of aliens, robots, technology & even sports such as the Rug Ball episodes 16-19. Space Cobra excels in giving action & new content in every episode making it highly rewatchable.
Another good aspect is the animation as the director Osamu Dezaki (Black Jack OVAs, Golgo 13 The Professional, Rose of Versailles) once again delivers his signature directing style with interesting angles & dramatic still shots. I believe this anime granted Dezaki more creative freedom due to the sci-fi content of Cobra as it allowed for various color schemes. In short, The Movie for Cobra & this series have the best stylized animation being a very colorful & eye pleasing anime of the early 80's. Too some this may not seem like a big deal but for the animation it had in 1982, this is an accomplishment as it wasn't until the late 80's & early 90's when anime series began to have a consistent look & multi-color approach to their shows. (Examples include Toei's work in Saint Seiya, Sailor Moon, Fist Of The North Star 2, etc.)
As expected in most episodic animes, if you don't like the main character you won't enjoy the series. Cobra as a character is inspired by the French actor Jean-Paul Benmondo, however Cobra also comes off as a mix of James Bond & Han Solo. Usually being depicted as a woman loving badass, Cobra can behave goofy at times but feels natural much like Lupin & Ryo Saeba. While we don't see an in depth look into his character we do understand what kind of person he is as more episode are watched. By the end of the series we see Cobra as a bit of an anti-hero as he tends to steal & kills various enemies of both genders but upholds chivalry towards certain people who ask for his help. He is often seen as selfish & uncaring, but deep down he has a good heart as seen in episode 26.
Cobra is a manly anime that appeals to those who like to see a space adventure where a manly pirate goes up against robots, aliens,& pirates which also delivers plenty of eye candy with its multicolored universe filled with sexy women. If you enjoyed this series then you should have no problem with watching the additional anime series being "The Psycho Gun, Time Drive & Cobra The Animation 2010". Thankfully, the recommendations list for this series is mostly accurate as the other animes that you may enjoy include the following. (Lupin the 3rd, Dirty Pair, Golgo 13, City Hunter, Goku Midnight Eye etc.) As a final note, Space Adventure Cobra has great opening & closing themes which you will occasionally listen to.
In the first stage we saw one guy named Johnson,he was a normal person who didn't like life. One day Johnson discovers that his real identity is actually the famous pirate Cobra. He changed his face and his own memories to runaway from the Pirate Guild.In short, Space Cobra is Tv show about some random guy who just travels and fights with aliens ("Trip Movie"). Cobra is an anti-hero who always looking for new ways to get rich and popular among women. Cobra is old anime so the art style is not the best, Also the color technique is “old”, but who cares about that?
If you are a fan of anime, about random guy who just travels and fights, this is the anime for you. I hope that my little review shows you a bit of how good this anime series is.
Art style 8/10
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 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).
Overall I'd say Space Cobra is fairly creative and has superb production values. Doesn't have that much substance to it, but it is also one of the most enjoyable shows I've seen in a very long time.
Cobra mostly follows our titular hero and his cyborg partner Lady Armaroid in their adventures traveling space as they cross paths with an intergalactic criminal organization called the Pirate Guild, which he was a former member of. In a way, the series has parallels to Lupin III as Cobra is an anti-hero due to his criminal background, a shameless flirt with the "woman of the day" that accompanies him on his adventures, is deceptively smart despite his smug attitude and is not afraid to kill off members of the Pirate Guild that he crosses paths with. The series also mixes around comedy, adventure and the
occasional dark developments to compliment the title's premise.
However, Cobra does have quite a bit to it that allows it to distinguish itself from the famous anime thief. Unlike Lupin, Cobra isn't completely episodic with its story as there are several arcs scattered throughout the series in which Cobra comes at odds with criminal activity linked to the Pirate Guild. The most notable ones that stick out from this consist of a fairly long arc where Cobra tries discovering the whereabouts of an ultimate weapon connected to triplet sisters, the famous Rug Ball competition and Cobra crossing paths with influential Guild leader Salamander. The series also offers up some rather creative implementations of its sci-fi premise such as Cobra's spaceship able to shift its form, his Psycho Gun, a diverse number of alien and robotic threats confronted by Cobra and the mentioned Rug Ball game. The series is also not as slapstick as Lupin as it has a somewhat more realistic bent to it despite its sci-fi setting.
Still, the show isn't without its imperfections. Like Lupin, Cobra does dabble into a few episodes that feel rather out of place with its setting and premise such as an episode where our lead crosses paths with a trouble-making genie. In addition, the series is a bit on the chauvinist side as mostly every relevant woman in this series is dressed in some kind of revealing attire, often get lusted for by Cobra and other men in the series and we usually get nude shots of them. Episodes also suffer from a fairly repetitive plot structure at points with Cobra gawking with attractive women and not being seriously challenged by most enemy Pirate Guild threats, with only Crystal Boy and Salamander being serious threats to our lead.
Visually, Cobra is rather dated as its animation style is a product of its time with the way character and scenery designs are drawn. However, the makers of the series do surprisingly well with concealing its rather limited animation as it was rather hard for me to notice shortcuts. Also, I did not notice many instances of degradation of character detail during distant camera shots or scenes of heavy movement that took place onscreen
Overall, I'd think of Cobra as a somewhat more serious spin of Lupin III having its own unique pros and cons. It is not as episodic as Lupin and features some nice elements of world building from its sci-fi lacking from the gentleman thief's title. However, Cobra is a bit more chauvinist in its treatment of women and suffers from some of the similar issues Lupin has with its episodic storytelling format. Regardless, Cobra still offers enough to give it its own unique feel and is mostly trying to have fun with the adventures and antics of its titular lead. If you're a fan of 80s anime, Space Adventure Cobra is a memorable title of the era that is worth checking out at least once.
Cobra is one of those any anime lover shouldn’t let go. Full of adventures, funny moments and great plots. Cobra is an adventurer who is always looking for new ways to get rich, no matter how. And also looking for ladies to be with him. He’s accompanied by an android called Lady Armaroid who will save his life more than once. The story is divided in three parts.
Part 1: Cobra finds out that he can get a big treasure draw in the back of the three daughters of the famous adventurer Nelson, but Crystal Boy, his biggest enemy will try to get to it too.
2: Cobra travels to planet Ralou to join a team of a sport called rugball, a mix of football and baseball, to bring down a criminal organization controlling the league.
Part 3: Finally, Cobra will face Salamander, leader of the Guild.
As we advance in the story we’ll know that Cobra has never been that blonde guy wearing the red suit we know, the flashback of the past will reveal us he was already a well-known pirate with plenty of enemies. During his transformation we find out he was a weapon hidden in his left arm and he can control it with his mind.
Cobra is an anime made in the 1980’s so the technique isn’t as good as now, however, it’s really well-made. Also the color technique can be seen as “old”, with not so many details. Even technology will be obsolete for those who watch it for the first time. It has some fan service too, but not like in these days. It’s also remarkable the opening and the end credits, both songs were sang by Yoko Maeno and they’re very attractive.
My recommendation is to watch this anime because you’re going to have a great time and some laughs too.
Sapce Cobra, also known as Space Adventure Cobra is a 1982 sci-fi adventure directed by Osamu Dezaki (Ashita no Joe). It's 31 episodes that ran from October 1982 to May 1983. It's an adaptation of the manga Cobra by Buichi Terasawa that was publishing from 1978 to 1984.
Johnson is your average meek saleryman who hates life and wishes for more excitement. One day Johnson discovers that his real identity is actually the notorious space pirate Cobra. He changed his face and his own memories to escape the Pirate Guild that was chasing him. Cobra has a unique psychogun embedded in his left arm that is
powered by his own will, which he uses to kill his enemies. Having recovered his past, his partner-in-crime Armaroid Lady, and his spaceship, he journeys across the galaxy seeking adventure.
Space Cobra is a mostly episodic anime with a few exceptions. There are two stories in the entire 31 episode run that span multiple episodes. But other than that it's a new adventure every episode. However, this does not mean that only the story arcs are worth it. The episodic episodes are also a lot of fun. Sure, they don't add much to the story of the show, but lets be honest here, you're not watching Space Cobra for the intriguing world or the fantastic characters. You're watching Space Cobra to watch an awesome manly man being awesome, doing cool stuff, blowing stuff up, killing people, getting women, and so on and so forth.
The animation in this show is ok. It's got it's moments where it shines, but it's also got a fair bit of reused animation and stills, but it was not bad enough that it hurt the show all that much. In that same vein though, it could also have been a lot better.
I thought I was not gonna like Space Cobra all that much. Sure, it was fun, but it didn't seem to aim for much more than just being stupid and fanservicy fun. However the last little story arc in particular was really good. I enjoyed it a lot and it made me a lot more invested in the happenings of this world than I thought I would. I can't really say many straight up negative things on this show. What I can say though, is that I wish they would have fleshed out the universe a bit more than what they did, but I don't concider that a huge issue. If you don't like episodic anime or fanservice or even the sheer amount of stupid, you are not gonna enjoy this show. But if that doesn't bother you, you are gonna have a good time watching this show.
Space Adventure Cobra is essentially what happens when you cross James Bond with Star Wars, circa the early 80s for both. Its an episodic adventure series with a handful of story arcs comprised of linking episodes together throughout, following the adventures of a space pirate named Cobra who operates outside the law to do battle with the villainous Pirates Guild, a syndicate of criminals seeking to control the galaxy.
The series is light on depth, character and world building but HUGE on style and adventure. Everything is fairly formulaic, especially if you're familiar with the aforementioned James Bond films, and this series follows these cliches without
much variation. Expect lots of cool but shallow villains, attractive women in danger, and Cobra always coming out on top somehow via cleverness or just being outright unstoppable. There's a tongue in cheek quality to the series, however, and the show certainly knows how to have fun with itself. While Cobra might be an unstoppable superman, he's goofy as hell and not suave or smooth at all, often bungling about his adventures with a laugh. This is what gives Cobra its lasting appeal and staying power, to me. It takes the daring adventure setups of its influences and treats them almost like comedy, giving the whole run a lighthearted touch that makes it fun to watch.
Characters are shallow and often one-shot, only Cobra and Lady Armaroid, his co-pilot companion, appear in any real major capacity in the series aside from a few story arc characters that often end up dead by the end of their arc, and only Cobra ever really sees much action, which is a shame because Lady is badass in her own right. As said earlier, style is all over this series, from the aesthetics to the jazzy soundtrack (especially that opening theme!) and how the series pioneered certain art techniques for dramatic effects, namely the freeze frame matte paintings that hold on an explosion or dramatic pose. Yep, Cobra pioneered that.
All in all while I can't say Cobra is ESSENTIAL viewing for old school space opera classics, if you're into dumb fun adventure and don't really care if something has a strong narrative to hold it together then definitely check Cobra out. If the tropes that inspired Cobra would annoy you and you're looking for something original or in depth, best might want to keep away.
Do not watch Cobra if you want a science fiction show. I'm not kidding. It should say it's sci-fi in the genres list of whatever site you're on but this is actually an extremely lucid fantasy in the guise of a high tech space journey, having the tendency to violate laws of reality in jaw-droppingly dumb ways. There is a race of people that are actually swords, sand that has the right consistency to be both walked on and swam through at the same time, pianos with the power to decode hidden messages in tattoos, a fat magician that can project himself across the cosmos
who enslaves people with a fruit that makes them explode, and the protagonist has the ability to talk and smoke cigarettes while he's underwater. Absolutely none of this is explained. You have to enter it with the assumption that technology can do literally fucking anything in the Cobra universe. It will numb your brain if you're not ready. This is, in a sense, the best thing about the show. There were too many moments where I got confused and just awkwardly laughed it off.
With that out of the way, it's kind of hard to review. Is it good? Yeah, I guess. It's mostly quite formulaic in the one-off stories strewn across the show and you could still enjoy it if you just skipped over those episodes entirely (but don't, you have to see this in all of its mind boggling glory). The main story arcs are pretty fun, though, especially the Rugball arc, which I would say is the high point of the show.
In terms of the visuals, animation is pretty fluid for the 80s. Colors are vomited all over the place. Looks super vibrant and aesthetically pleasing (usually).
The characters are, well, they're there. There is basically no character development to speak of. They do cool stuff sometimes, but you never get to know them. There will be a random acquaintance of Cobra off in some nowhere corner of the galaxy that he'll rely on for help every few episodes, and they're just there, and they'll either disappear or die at some point. The first time you see a character just know there is a 1/10 chance that they are one of Cobra's old friends.
The music is also just kind of there. Is it bad? No. Is it good? Some of it. Mostly the opening. And speaking of the opening, it's just as lucid as the show. In most openings I find that there are symbols, foreshadowing and such all relevant to things that happen or appear in the show but Cobra's opening just mashes together a bunch of shit that doesn't make sense because it looks cool. There's bubbles that fly across the screen and if you pause on them they've got weird decrepit alien fetus things in them, there's a weird piece of grid paper that flies around, an unnecessary emphasis on a transparent copy of Cobra's left eye, and he also dodges some neon circles and triangles just before it ends. Literally none of this has any meaning.
I really don't know what else to say. My head hurts just from reminiscing. Watch Space Cobra if you want, there is nothing quite as wacky apart from maybe bootleg films. peace
Cobra is Harlock giving up space piracy and choosing the ordinary life before a Total Recall trip brings him back as Jean-Paul Belmondo with some Buck Rogers' sex-appeal and gorgeous women around, living as a James Bond (with whom pretty girls ain't got much luck) who'd prefer playing the Arsène Lupin part (more fun). The whole thing running into a space opera Star Wars inspired, but with somehow less ambition for the galaxy, and the evil empire replaced with a powerful space pirate's guild.
Oh! and he has a delta raygun in his left arm, a pretty and reliable cybernetic sidekick, and a cool spaceship. And
he drinks and smokes cigars.
It pretty sums it up.
34 years after its original broadcast, the art and animation can't hide their weaknesses, but the show didn't lose any of its charms or interests. What my intro speech didn't cover, you'll find it at its best in the first arc (episodes 3-12); the mature approach, the humor, the sexiness, the drama, the action, the lines, the atmosphere(s), the characters, the music: everything is up to a brilliant story that drags you into a colorful universe. And luckily, what follows after that is worth watching up to the last episode. Even the few fillers are, at worst, entertaining.
If you never watched Cobra and liked what I've just described you, do not hesitate: first arc. Now!