This anime is a rare piece of genius, across 26 episodes it ranges from light-hearted humour to dark philosophical questioning, with neither ever seeming out of place. The premise is a young man, Gene Starwind, and his friend and business partner Jim Hawking, who run a business best described as a jack-of-all-trades operation, including bounty hunting, bodyguard work, anything that will pay. At the arrival on their planet of Hilda, a mysterious outlaw who frees Melfina, an amnesiac girl, from the clutches of pirates, they get caught up in events far beyond their understanding, and Gene chooses to follow his dream of freedom as an
outlaw, and to solve the mystery of Melfina and the Galactic Leyline that Hilda and the pirates were searching for.
Each of the major charachters were written and portrayed perfectly. Gene, seemingly a selfish and arrogant ass, surprises you again and again with displays of his softer side, especially when it comes to Melfina. Jim, while only 11 often seems more mature than Gene, and tends to be the voice of reason trying to keep Gene's impulsive nature under control, yet despite that still has a lot of growing up to do, and was my favourite charachter in the show. The charachter of Melfina mostly remains undeveloped until the final few episodes, as her lack of knowledge of who she is is essential to the plot, yet it is not a bad thing that for most of the series she remains the nervous and innocent girl who only wants to find out who or what she is, as this brings out a lot of the hidden qualities of Gene and Jim. Finally, Gilliam, the Outlaw Star's computer, who one would expect to just be a functional machine, stands out as a charachter in his own right, showing bonds with Gene, Jim and Melfina that one wouldn't expect from a machine, and sometimes a hint of sarcasm in his voice as he complies with Gene's "brilliant" orders.
The story itself moves at a decent pace, never too fast to keep up, yet in places does have the occaisional filler episode, which either serves to entertain in breaks in the serious plot, or to highlight a certain plot point. While the series would be no worse without them, they were entertaining and enjoyable, and the two that spring to mind both provide background information to the universe that wasn't necessary, but still interesting to know. The universe is a wildly varied setting perfect for such an adventure, with a combination of science fiction technology and ancient eastern mysticism. The technology never gets in the way of the plot, and the mystic powers driving some events keep the show from becoming hardcore science fiction. Combined with Gene's very down to earth way of dealing with the unknown, this mix keeps the plot moving rather than letting it get bogged down in pointless explanation. That's not to say that nothing is explained, everything relevant to the plot is, but in an interesting way that doesn't just becoming a drone of dull facts, technobabble and nonsense that can often be the downfall of science fiction.
Overall, this show is incredibly enjoyable and has something for everyone. It's an adventure of the kind you used to dream of as a kid, yet it also asks what makes us human. It has it's funny moments, and also it's touching moments. It combines human (/alien/bio-mechanoid/machine/etc) drama with awesome space battles and gunfights, and even leaves this fan of explosions and lasers unsure which he enjoyed more. Watch it, you will not be disappointed.
I remember awhile back, I use to come home from school and watch this on Toonami. This and DBZ were the highlights of the few hours I spent watching TV before getting to homework.
I just recently found Outlaw again and decided to rewatch the series again, since it had been years since I watched it last.
It was not as good as I had remembered... it was 10x better! I enjoyed it from beginning to end, and I wasn't bored... once. And if your able to keep my attention for 26 episodes straight, then your doing something right.
I'll start with the story. It was very
enjoyable, and something that pretty much anyone could jump into, anime fan or not. It has a straight forward story but still manages to be deep and meaningful. If I were trying to get someone into anime, this would be the anime I would hand them.
The art was also very good. The animation (particularly the action scenes) flow very nicely and isn't choppy or glitchy at any point. There were a few times that I noticed that Gene was missing some details, but this is easily forgivable and not very noticeable.
The sound was good. The soundtrack wasn't anything memorable, but wasn't bad by any means. Not much to say other than that.
The characters were extremely fun and diverse, which I like in a cast. You got the main protagonist; Gene Starwind, an outlaw and womanizer. You then have Jim Hawking (kid sidekick), Melfina (a bio-android with an unkown propose), Aisha Clanclan (catgirl and comic relief), Suzuka (badass assassin chick), and the best fictional computer ever, Gilliam II. You can't help but fall in love with all these characters as the show goes on.
The villains were all pretty cool, but I wish we could've seen some more development with them. Like Lord Hazanko and his unit The Anten Seven. You really don't see much of them until the last few episodes. The MacDougall brothers were pretty cool (Ron especially since we share somewhat of a resemblance >_>)
Overall, this is one of the best anime's I've ever seen. There's ton's of fun to be had here, and the rewatch value is very high with this one (which is a major plus on my end). If you enjoy Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Blade Runner, and just Sci Fi in general- no, if you just enjoy fun movies in general, I HIGHLY recommend this series. You won't regret it....
On the technical side of things, Outlaw Star has aged incredibly well. While not a fossil by any means, this show is at least old enough to have hand-painted cels instead of being digitally painted like what new fans are used to, giving it a classic texture. Don’t let the aged appearance fool you, though, because the action sequences in Outlaw Star are caster-tastic. There are zero corners cut in the space battles or hand to hand combat and there are often numerous fights per episode to pop your peepers at.
The music is pretty low-key unless there’s a grappler duel a brewin’, but it’s
a fun mix of techno, rock, and a lot of brass to lay down some smack to, though I quickly forgot it in the heated wake of the opening song and a soothing closer written for Melfina to sing throughout the show.
The voicework is nothing real special in either language, I’m afraid, but for a show devoid of serious drama, that’s to be expected. It’s standard typecasting all across the board. Gene is crass, Jim is impetuous, Aisha is manic, Suzuka is femme fatale-ish, the MacDougalls are crazy and evil, and Fred is very very very gay. So you shouldn’t expect the actors to do anything but fill their single notes, and they all do this quite well. The only character that breaks the Toonami-trope barrier into something more complex is actually Hilda, voiced by the cold and commanding Mary McGlynn, and while the outlaw’s role in the story is minimal, her performance is by far one of the most memorable. Okay, her and Fred. But that’s because he’s always preceded by his own theme music. (No, really. He is.)
You know what, I usually deliver the bad news last in these reviews, but forget that, I’m going to start thumbing my nose a few minutes early this time. This is one of the most immature shows you can sit through. I defy you to find an episode that goes five minutes without making a dirty joke or blowing some mutha’s house down.
When I said the characters are all stereotypes, I darn well meant that too. There is a very small attempt made at developing Gene in an episode where he questions the value of his own empty life over that of his passionate assassin’s, and it’s a good one. That is it. Period. Other than that, nobody changes or develops, not counting Melfina because not having a free will and then gaining it isn’t all that exciting. Add to that the story dances about like that game where everyone makes a story by speaking one sentence each and culminates in a deus ex machina so literal that they actually meet god in a machine a la Star Trek V.
So all this clearly detrimental flack ultimately detracts from the show's value a total of ...ZERO. Yeah. None of it matters. Forget all of it.
I once mentioned in a past review that a series can be episodic or stick to a storyline, but it’s a very bad idea for a show to pretend it has a plot and then never get around to it in favor of fun rabbit trails. Okay, I am now nuking those words, addin’ a little ketchup and scarfing them down because this is exactly what Outlaw Star does and it is unbelievably addictive. I wouldn’t recommend this approach most of the time, but this show gets a free pass for being the most wish-fulfilling sci fi title ever. Everything you can love about sci fi is here: space races, space combat, diverse planets, alternate dimensions, weird aliens, hot aliens, aliens of questionable gender, giant robots, bio-androids, human cyborgs, cold sleep beauties, shapeshifting beastmen, lazer gunfights, swordfights, fistfights, paintball, mad scientists, tao magicians, robotic panthers, kung-fu housecats, and a hot springs episode that is actually funny, amongst other episodes featuring a universe’s strongest woman competition, a sunken alien galleon, or a prison where intense gravity is your greatest enemy.
I assure you I have barely scratched the surface.
Here’s the added bonus: it all fits together! Sure, the story is embarrasingly directionless, but the universe of Outlaw Star is immersive with a creative Trek-esque history that is easy to understand through the hokey narration at the top of each episode. Despite being 2-dimensional, every character is lovable and sparks great chemistry with their fellow scoobies. Even Gilliam is a riot throughout. Yes, the computer is fun. Since when was the ship’s computer ever fun?
The villains are silly enough to put Captain Planet’s nemeses to shame, but there are so many of them and they are so deliciously evil that it only ADDS to the already fever-pitched cool factor. Harry MacDougall is by far the most fun for his bipolar attempts at courtship... Simply put, there isn’t one boring millisecond in the entire show, which is tremendously rare and absolutely worth seeing. I can safely say that the most unexciting episode revolves around an evil telepathic cactus who mind controls people into buying bad ice cream. For reasons that should now be obvious, it’s still awesome, and that makes Outlaw Star just plain awesome above all else.
All in all, it does not get much more fun than Outlaw Star. The universe is engrossing, the characters are extreme, and the combo makes for exceptional sci fi that never gets lost in technobabble. That being said, it drops any attempt at plot or development squarely on its rear, but the thrills are so constant that you shouldn’t care much. I highly recommend this to sci fi lovers in particular, but also anyone looking for escapism done right.
*THIS IS A PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT OF MY VIDEO REVIEW WHICH CAN BE FOUND HERE:
What a let down this anime was, don't get me wrong i was really amazed for the first 4 episodes and i had my favorite character already, yeah Hilda, just 4 episodes and she had better development than Gene in all the other 22 eps. and not just that, the episodes were packed with action, interesting plot and a story that could be really great for the next eps. but that wasn't the case and i love 90's anime but the art style on this was bad, getting worse every episode.
The story is interesting for what it could be not for what it is, after
the 4th episode, the story is put aside and it turns to be an episodic anime, where it leads to nowhere and they live to pay their debts by making jobs that aren't interesting not even for Gene, but he does anyways if the sum is high or if he needs money fast, then the story sort of continues 2 eps. in the middle then again episodic, and in the last 3 eps. the story finally gets somewhere and is really good and i thought if every episode was like this, the story could be amazing but it was mediocre.
The art style looked good at the beginning but in every episode the drawing was inconsistent and got worse and the characters face looked different, the animation in the fight scenes were bad, almost always, even for that time there were better animations, and because of this i couldn't like or relate to the characters, a mediocre art style.
The sound was the best of the anime, very good voice acting, great OP song, i wasn't bored because the VA, or the sound overall, there are 2 ED songs which are melodic, they are good, but i didn't felt it was fitting for the anime, the sound effects were good, overall was very good.
Well the characters were normal, nothing special, just Hilda, 4 eps. and she was the best, is a shame what happens to her, she easily could be the MC, I didn't felt Gene was well developed, not even his backround, Jim was kind of interesting, i felt sorry for him in ep. 20 because he never knew what he did, it was sad, Aisha was likeable but annoying too and Suzuka wasn't interesting, she was there because... i don't know, they never got a backround, mediocre character development.
For some reason i enjoyed the anime, i wasn't bored, i think i couldn't handle the animation, the filler episodes weren't bad but didn't add anything to the story, maybe i enjoyed it because the setting was in the space but anyways i got a good enjoyment.
So I started watching Outlaw Star again, and I'm glad I did.
First off I'd say, right away, Outlaw Star does a fantastic job of painting a beautiful world of good vs. evil and those inbetween, the outlaws. The characters are all solid, but I particularly love that the main character is so... human. He's morally complex (and sexually deviant). I find something about his character so... believable, if not relatable. I hate it when characters, main ones in particular, are so pristine or so caught up in idyllic optimism that they just come across as naively romantic. In that sense, I guess I prefer realistic,
flawed characters to symbolic ones.
In fact, I'd say I like how the show deals with sexuality in general. Gene with his harmless, if sleazy, perversions and even with the way it humorously flirts with homosexuality. I find something very "mature" about this and I think it sends a good message, that it's ok and perfectly natural to be sexual, of any orientation. So things like this help give the show a feel of more "realism" because these are real issues that are part of people's lives one way or another.
Secondly, I'd say the show has real style. Particularly I like the way the story is told. The prologue that sets up each ep is always informative and almost profound. It's not always a lead up to what's going to happen in the episode, sometimes it's just insight into the Outlaw Star universe or some insightful message. So this style of storytelling is pervasive throughout the whole series, though usually more subtle.
Once you get through the first half of the series where the background, characters and plot are all being set up, then the show really starts to go beyond the basics and delve into more substance. Themes start to get more pronounced, like how Gene is gradually influenced by his experiences, his memories of Hilda, what he learned from Leifong, and even that run in with the old man. You start to get a sense that Gene starts to really get an idea not only what it means to be an outlaw, but also an idea of who he is, and what he really wants out of life.
There's also Melfina and her excellent supporting role. Her inner conflict of coming to terms with her existence are an integral theme to the story. She's new to the world and trying to figure out all the who's and what's of it, and at the same time, asking the same of herself. And in a story where the question of "what is human" is prevalent, is there any question more human than that? We all ask ourselves the same thing at some point in our lives.
The plot also starts to become more concentrated as the mystery of the Galactic Leyline, the confrontation with the Kei Pirates, and the conflict with the MacDougal brothers all come to a head. The show has almost everything, and the cast has all bases covered. A strong fighter werewolf, a sword wielding assassin, a gun shooting bounty hunter, a tech savvy kid, and a high tech bio android. The only thing this show was missing was a ninja. Also, the soundtrack rocks. So overall, I did enjoy rewatching this series, the ending was climactic and sweet and leaves an impression. Everything was pretty much resolved, with the exception of maybe the MacDougals, but I suppose it's not going too far to leave a little room for the imagination or to fantasize about a sequel/movie.
So I tried to rewatch this once before, but I guess I wasn't in the right mood for it. Rewatching things is tricky. Time and nostalgia work in funny ways, often conflicting with one another. The first time I tried to rewatch it it wasn't really grabbing me. That's the problem with rewatching shows, once it's had a significant effect on you, its difficult to replicate that same sense of awe and mesmerization. But, determined, I tried again. I've successfully managed to get back into the show and started to remember all the subtle nuances that made me fall in love with it the first time around. The rewatch value can vary wildly from person to person, but overall, definitely worth watching at the very least once.
Ahh Sunrise you have made such beautiful and enjoyable series over the years.
You gave us such classics such as Cowboy Bebop, Code Geass, Gundam 00, U.C Gundam and much more and today I will be reviewing an another classic but this time it’s from the 90s. That anime is Outlaw Star.
Hello, everyone, this is Shawn aka PhantomKurata and welcome to my review of Outlaw Star and with that said let’s get started.
The story of Outlaw Star follows Gene Starwing and Jim Hawking who run a small business called Starwing and Hawking enterprises who they do odd jobs.
One day they meet a mysterious woman named Hilda
who wants to use them as bodyguards to receive a certain spaceship later called the Outlaw Star as well as picking up a naked girl in a suitcase also known as Meflina who is an Android who can somehow connect to the spaceship computer and serve as the navigator. From there Gene and his crew will go to a place called the galactic leyline which is the most mysterious place in the entire universe which holds the greatest treasure in all of the existents.
The story of Outlaw Star is great for the most part.
I really liked how Outlaw Star handled its induction. From the very first episode, Outlaw Star does a great job of hooking the viewer.
Also, almost all of the episodes were very enjoyable to watch and they are mostly well written with very few hiccups. The show does a great job at theme exploration such as managing your own crew, dreams to even bonding with your crew.
The show, for the most part, has solid pacing as almost every episode was paced in the way where you don't get bored. However, some of the episodes of Outlaw Star can be a bit slow at times.
One thing that I loved about Outlaw Star was the beach episode. It' was fun, hilarious and entertaining and I wish more anime can have beach episode like that.
If I had any problems with Outlaw Star, in general, it would be the final 2 episodes. The final 2 episodes were kinda rushed and I feel the writing of those 2 episodes is nowhere as good as the rest of the series.
Besides the final 2 episode, the story in Outlaw Star is very good for the most part
The characters in Outlaw Star are great and memorable. Some may say these characters were tropey but in my opinion, these characters have great personalities great, chemistry with each other and some of the characters have good to great development.
I didn’t dislike any character in Outlaw Star, however, there was one character that I wasn’t a fan of.
I personally really liked Gene Starwind.
I really liked his character growth from Gene getting rid of his space sickness as well as learning to become the captain of the ship. I also liked his relationship with Melfina as it was extremely well build up and it makes you believe that they are really made for each other. I also really liked his lack back personality as well being a womanizer where he likes to flirt with girls when he's not being serious. The final thing that I like about Gene is his determination as he likes to take huge risks on deals so he can earn easy money for his business Starwind and Hawking Enterprises.
Gene Starwing is a great example of how to write a good protagonist.
Next up with have Jim.
I personally adore this character. Some people may find him annoying due to him being whiny and bossy at times but for me, he didn’t bother me at all.
He’s a mature, kind and a very smart character that can build anything. I just adored his reactions and chemistry with Gene and the crew,
Even tho Jim was my favorite Outlaw Star character I wished he had more character development. Don’t get me wrong he does develop quite a bit but he didn’t have the same character development of Gene.
Despite his shortcomings, I adored Jim and his one of my favorite kid characters in anime.
Melfina is also a great character that I personally liked. I also really liked her relationship with Gene Starwind as it was well build up from the start and at the end of the series, you start thinking that they are meant for each other.
Suzuka is a character that I adored. I really liked her badass and calm attitude.
Lastly, we have my personal least favorite in Outlaw Star Aisha Clanclan. Don’t get me wrong I still like Aisha but I found her character to be kinda annoying at times due to her voice and at times attitude which kind of ruined my enjoyment for this character quite a bit. Sure she has her badass and funny moments from every now and then but for me, I didn’t enjoy this character as much as the others.
The side characters were good and entraining for what they were especially Hilda who is just amazing.
In short, the characters in Outlaw Star are mostly great and very enjoyable to watch from start to finish.
The visuals in Outlaw Star are great for the most part. I really like the character designs as well as the actual backgrounds. If I had a complaint with the visuals is certain scenes in the show can look a bit rough and oddly drawn at times. It not as bad as Gundam Wing where the visuals on the show were constantly rough. As for the animation, it’s very good. It’s smooth mostly contasint and it doesn’t rely on stock footage.
In short, the visuals were great, especially on Blu-Ray.
The soundtrack for Outlaw Star was amazing.
Most of the tracks were very executed and there’s hardly a track I consider to be dull.
The opening theme Through the Night is personally one of my favorite anime openings all time. It very catchy, upbeat and very exciting to listen.
The first ending theme Hiru no Tsuki is a great ending theme that is very memorable however the second ending theme Tsuki no le wasn’t that memorable and it was out of place for a show like this in my opinion.
Now for dub or sub.
The sub is alright from what I heard but I honestly prefer the dub. Sure the show can be a bit cheesy at times especially in the earlier episodes but like the Slayers it’s very self-aware of its cheesy moments for the most part.
Some of my favorite performance in the dub were Wendee Lee’s as Suzuka who also voiced Christaina from (Gundam 0080 War In The Pocket) Haruhi The Melconlony of Haruhi Suzumiya and Faye Valentine (Cowboy Bebop). Branne Siddall as Jim Hawking who also voiced Tomoki from Digimon Frontier from Kunikada The Melconlony of Haruhi Suzumiya and Tsukasa (.hack//Sign).
Mary Elizabeth McGlynn who voiced Hilda and she also voiced Major in Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex, Cornia li Britannia from Code Geass and Nuriko from Fushigi Yuugi.
Outlaw Star is simply a great and enjoyable series that no one should mess.
It has a great story, very likable and enjoyable characters, great visuals, a great soundtrack and a great dub.
The only minor problems that I have with Outlaw Star are the final 2 episodes were kinda rushed and some of the characters could have more character development.
Besides that Outlaw Star is series that I really adored from start to finish and it has aged well.
It's easily one of my favorite shows from the 90s.
Outlaw Star may not be Cowboy Bebop level of amazing but it holds up well compare some of the other animes from the 90s
Like most anime fans, you probably believe that Japan invented pulp fantasy. After all, the only places that science fiction exist today are in movies, video games, and the memories of people who read Flash Gordon, Lucky Starr, and watched something called Star Wars.
Outlaw Star is based on all of those adventures that people used to read about, back when people tried to masquarade adventure fiction as scientific. A young man, without any direction in life, finds a way to escape to the stars to find adventure. Gene Starwind is the kind of pulp hero that you want to read about, the
American cowboy outlaw, confused about life, with a heart of gold.
The other principle characters are Jim Hawkings and Melfina. Jim is the seragate brother of Gene, who tries to act mature to make up for his scattered and unconcentrated approach to life. Their relationship develops throughout the series and is actually pretty interesting.
Melfina is the magical girl of the series, an android that's tied to the powerful ship, the Outlaw star. She's also an interesting character, whose trials are one part exestential, three parts emotional.
So what is Outlaw Star? At its best, Outlaw Star is a great drama tempered with action. At its worst, it's derivative and incoherent crap. If there was a style rating, it's get a 10. From the very beginnig, there's loud and rhythmy music, distinct and relatively extensive artwork, and cool characters.
Like all great pulp fantasy, it hits you like a shotgun, with as much action, as many themes, and as much sci-fi weirdness that it can. One minute, the series is exploring Gene's loving relationship with his brother, the next they're fighting magic robot pirates in a car chase. (Lucklly, Gene has a magic artifact gun).
So what are the bad parts? Why wouldn't you want to watch a show where a renegade cowboy outlaw fights magic techno pirates, and reptilian police along side samurai warrior women and invincible cat girls? Because there are a lot of elements that are completely pointless. There are whole elements that don't make any sense, themes and relationships that never develop completely. There are whole episodes that are completely pointless (although only two come to mind).
Because it's not terribly ambitious, it's a little bit difficult to rate (which is required here). If you can enjoy the parts that you like, and enjoy a pretty creative, and artistic throwback to pulp fantasy without getting bogged down with the bad parts, it's a pretty excellent anime series. Actually, if you enjoy mindless action, naked cyborg chicks, and killer robots, you can fly like a straight arrow to Bit Torrent. But if you're looking for something either deep or something as generic and stupid as most other anime, you might want to set your sights elsewhere.
It had the unfortunate time of coming out the same time as Cowboy Bebop.
Outlaw star is a great anime, it just had the unfortunate time of coming out the same time as Cowboy Bebop. I hear and read people saying it's a rip off of Cowboy Bebop, but it's not. First the tone of the shows were different. Cowboy Bebop was more of a action/Drama and Outlaw Star was a action/adventure. The animation styles were different. Cowboy bebop was darker in tone while Outlaw Star was lighter in tone. The stories were completely different. Cowboy Bebop was more condensed in broadness of the show, instead
going into details about the characters lives and how they got where they are. Outlaw Star was a adventure, traveling through space searching for the Galactic Lay Line, never going to deep into the characters. Finally the music was different. Cowboy Bebop mixed it's styles from Jazz, rock, classical and Opera. Outlaw Star didn't, just having one style of music.
So to sum things up Outlaw Star isn't a rip off of Cowboy Bebop, they are two completely different shows and are nothing alike except they came out about the same time. Outlaw star is a great anime, but not a classic like Cowboy Bebop for some of the reasons listed above.
Critic’s Log - Earthdate: September 10, 2013. Review #57: Outlaw Star
This is ground control, calling Outlaw Star. Please inform everyone that your crew is going where no man has gone before. Outlaw Star, Liftoff!.
Gene Starwind and his kid partner Jim Hawking run a small business on the backwater planet of Sentinel III. However, all that changes the day that Hilda hires them for a bodyguard job. Now, thrust into a mystery beyond their comprehension, they're on the run from the cops, the pirates, an angry alien, and a mysterious assassin. But they've got one thing going in their favor...they have the Outlaw Star, the galaxy's
most advanced ship. They fly the Outlaw Star in space to discover the mystery within the universe.
To be technical, this is a Sunrise production and the animation is mostly good in this show. The action scenes are fantastic and are nice to look at. But, it is often inconsistent with character designs. Don’t get me wrong, the characters look the same, but the way it’s animated at times is where I’m trying to get my point across. The animation is good for the most part, but it does have some inconsistencies. It may be old school, but there should be nothing wrong with that, right?. Usually referencing other animes may be a stupid move to make, but I think sharing this little observation wouldn’t hurt. Outlaw Star was made in 1998. This was not the only Sci-fi show to be made by Sunrise that year. Cowboy Bebop was made that same year in April of 1998. Now I shall get back on topic. The animation is not perfect, but damn...it’s done pretty well that it’s nice to look at because Outlaw Star is an entertaining show.
The music by Ko Otani is nothing too special I’m afraid, even though this is a late 90’s anime. If there’s an action scene, well… the music compliments the action scenes pretty well. That’s pretty much it. However, if there is a specific tune in the show that is worth noting about. It is the opening theme “Through the Night”. That opening theme is pretty catchy and this may be a fond memory for the American anime fanbase that remember the Cartoon Network block “Toonami”. The majority of 90’s kids probably know Toonami pretty damn well. I was a 90’s kid too and I loved Toonami years ago and still do now since it’s back. Outlaw Star did air on Toonami (albeit with edits being made because of content). I did not watch Outlaw Star because I did not get Cartoon Network on my cable at the time. Back on topic. The music fits, but is not too memorable to say the least. There’s a few good themes here and there but that’s it…
I could say the same with Japanese casting. Shigeru Shibuya is okay as Gene Starwind, Jim Hawking was an interesting voice to hear in the Subbed Version because he is voiced by Rica Matsumoto who often voices Satoshi in Pokemon before and since Outlaw Star. Oh… I forgot to explain. When Pokemon was brought into America. Satoshi was renamed Ash. You probably won’t ever hear Ash’s Japanese voice in the Pokemon releases because the only way to see it is to watch the edited Americanized version. Which in my opinion is still watchable by today’s standards compared to the newer material kids are getting these days. Outlaw Star has Ayako Kawasumi’s debut role where she plays Melfina and she’s pretty good as Melfina. The late Sayuri was great as Twilight Suzuka, and Yuko Miyamura fits the role as Aisha Clanclan. The Japanese cast is decent, so is the English Dub. Robert Buchholz (credited as Robert Wicks in Outlaw Star) is one of the memorable voices in the dub. Brianne Siddall is pretty good as Jim. But Wendee Lee gets the job done with a femme fatale voice that is pretty damn se… I’ll stop right there. So there’s the good voices. There are two voices I felt were off. One being underacted and the other being overacted. Bridget Hoffman (credited as Ruby Marlowe) was the voice of Melfina and I have heard better from her but she does underact a bit as Melfina. I will give her credit that she tried her best with the performance, but all I could say is that Melfina could’ve sounded better at times with the dub. Aisha is played by Lenore Zann (credited as Zan) and she overacts as Aisha in the dub, This is by far the only character in the dub that is hit and miss with the performance. I understand that because she’s a catgirl, they have to give her that feline-like quality to the performance. After comparing both the voices, Miyamura-san fits the role near-perfectly, Ms. Zann does not. She over-exaggerated on the feline quality to the voice. I may be nitpicking about this a bit much, but Aisha is annoying in the dub when the character herself really isn’t too annoying. She just acts on rushed impulses, much like you would expect in a catgirl character, it’s a common trope I guess, but the over-exaggeration in the dub does make the character sound pretty annoying at times. Noteworthy voice actors and voice actresses include Mary Elizabeth McGlynn as “Hot Ice” Hilda, Peter Spellos as Gilliam, John Snyder as Ron MacDougall, and Steve Staley as Harry McDougall.
As far as characters go. Every single character is not terrifically written and I will say that the main characters are at least “two-dimensional” and they at least get some character development in time. Gene is probably one of the most complicated characters in the show even though he’s got the “cool factor” in him. There is a part of him that isn’t seen much in the show but is thrown in nicely to see another side of him. Jim Hawking is a nice kid character and he’s fun to watch whenever he gets embarrassed about *ahem* “adult topics”. Again, kind of a common trope, but it’s still a bit funny. Melfina is interesting as the show progresses. Twilight Suzuka is a femme fatale that’s dead sexy. Aisha is well...a catgirl that lives up to the catgirl trope. As far as antagonists go, The MacDougall Brothers keep the show going but Harry is by far the more fascinating brother of the two. Don’t get me wrong, Ronald McDonald… Uh, I mean Ronald MacDougall is kind of intimidating, but Harry MacDougall was a lot more interesting than his brother. I don’t have a problem with the Kei Pirates or the Anten Seven. If there is a character that I found a bit one-dimensional was Professer Nyugen Khan (or Gwen Kahn). Why? Because he does play a part in the last third of the show, but his motives were a bit of a mystery, but the payoff was not far-fetched or cliched, but it wasn’t really all that thrilling. My problem is that he had a connection with Melfina and sided with the MacDougall Brothers to acheive his goal. The MacDougall Brothers really weren’t painted as the main villians in the show. No, not at all. If there was a potential main villian in the show, it would be KHAAAAAANNNN! Speaking of Khan’s name, did you ever think that the name could be a reference to Star Trek? Here’s a theory of mine that may support this. The main character is named “Gene”. The creator of Star Trek was Gene Roddenberry. Coincidence? I’ll let you be the judge of that. But I will say that the characters are fun to watch and do make the show watchable.
I will say that this show has one major problem. This show contains Outlaws, Bounty Hunters, Bio-androids, a whiz kid, action, comedy, mystery, some fanservice, planets, the universe, The Past and the present, death, a female assassin, a catgirl, Space Pirates, Spaceships, Space battles, Laser gun fights, computers, cyborgs, Space Racing, A mind-controlling cactus, Terrorists, wrestling, a Prison break, a hot springs episode, and a revelation.
You’ll see this in the show, but it all fits into the universe of Outlaw Star, but here’s the problem. The story was off to a pretty decent start, but once the show starts moving after 4 episodes, the show then turns very episodically and almost goes nowhere until near the end. If you love Sci-fi, you probably will love this show because some things to love about Sci-fi is in Outlaw Star. The direction however is mostly bad and Mitsuru Hongo might be to blame about that. Does that mean that you should stop watching it and drop it? No! Absolutely not. If you are looking for something with a good blend of Action and comedy, this is a decent viewing. If Story and characters are more important to you. The characters are likeable but the story has no direction. I think most people agree that Outlaw Star is no Masterpiece, but it is a different viewing experience for some if they are used to plot and characters. I have noticed that this show may have heavily payed tribute to certain cliches or tropes because even the Deus Ex Machina cliche is in this show and there is literally a Deus Ex Machina in Outlaw Star. Even though the story is a mess, this is a ride worth sitting through if you are looking for something that isn’t a Masterpiece, but is a decent viewing. If you think that I’m being a little too judgmental with Outlaw Star now that I’ve said everything I wanted to say, I got two words for you buddy… BITE ME!
Outlaw Star was available by Bandai Entertainment, it was out of print for some time, at the time this review is being posted, Outlaw Star will be available by Funimation eventually since they rescued this anime from being Out of Print. The manga by Takehiko Ito has not been released stateside, The light novels such as “Chapter of the Galactic Dragon Vein" (which was written by Katsuhiko Tiba and illustrated by Takuya Saitou) and "El Dorado Covered With Clouds: Starward Warrior Knight Outlaw Star" (which was written by Sakai Miho and illustrated by Takuya Saitou) were never released stateside. The Outlaw Star spin-off known as Angel Links was available by Bandai Entertainment, like Outlaw Star, it was out of print until Funimation came along and rescued it. It will soon be available by Funimation.
With all that said, Outlaw Star is an action and comedy ride with lots of Sci-fi elements in it. It has some good animation, decent music, and fun characters. It does suffer greatly with the plot as a whole, but if you look past that. Outlaw Star is a decent viewing if you like Science Fiction or if you liked 90’s anime.
I give Outlaw Star a 7 out of 10. It is GOOD!.
Feel free to leave a comment, and I’m signing out for now.
I watched this on Toonami when I was a kid and I used to think this was the best show ever. As I re-watched the first 3 episodes, I was faced with action, adventure, and the introduction of dynamic characters. I should have stopped watching right there. My favorite character was Hilda. After those episodes, I watched believing that the plot was going to come together into something deep and exciting. It didn't. After some lolly-gagging around in space and meeting some cool characters, the protagonists take up boring jobs for far too many episodes. The climax of the show was lackluster. Also, I HATED
how they had their theme song integrated into the show! Once? Maybe. More than two is too much unless it really fits, but, in this case, it just felt super awkward. When one of the characters starts softly singing it (the scene wasn't touching in the least), I couldn't help but to shake my head. If it stuck with being a comedy, I would have loved it, but, it seemed to try too hard at the end to, all of a sudden, become serious and dramatic. I'm not trying to take away anyone else's happiness about this show;just giving the potential watchers a different POV.
This late 90's anime is often seen as the forgotten member of the Space Western Trilogy that also included Trigun and Cowboy Bebop. Although it never gained the fame and fandom of the other 2 series, Outlaw Star was fun, had great characters, had an interesting story, and didn't take itself too seriously. If you have some time to kill, I would recommend cracking open a couple beers or whatever your drink of choice is and watching Outlaw Star.
Outlaw Star chronicles the many adventures of a ship of "Outlaws", which are mercenaries belonging to neither the official guild of space pirates
or the galactic federation. Some episodes are stand alones and have little to do with the rest of the series. Other episodes actually advance the plot. Keep in mind, there IS an overarching plot to this series. The story structure is similar to that of Cowboy Bebop and the American space western Firefly. The main driver of the plot or Macguffin as Hitchcock would say, is a legendary treasure called the Galactic Leyline. The Leyline was built by an ancient alien civilization and acts as a sort of giant library that contains virtually all important knowledge in the universe. Together with his crew of misfits, Gene battles pirates and searches for this ultimate treasure of knowledge. One thing that makes this series a bit different from Cowboy Bebop and Trigun is the emphasis on mankind's interaction with other alien species and civilizations. This was a nice little addition that I found interesting.
The main character is a man named Gene Starwind, who works as a mercenary along with his boy sidekick Jim Hawking. Jim's name seems to be a portmanteau of Jim Hawkins, the young protagonist of Treasure Island and astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. Gene is a rash, arrogant, blockhead kind of character that we all love anyways. Jim is the scientific genius that acts as Gene's guiding force and voice of reason despite being far younger. Other characters include the laconic, deadly assassin Suzuka that kills people with a wooden sword, but will only kill at sunset. As well as the loud and lovably obnoxious Aisha ClanClan from an aggressive race of alien cat people. The last character of the Outlaw Star crew is Melfina, an android built for finding the greatest treasure in the galaxy. Melfina is surprisingly caring and kindhearted for an android and her struggles to find an independent identity and free will create many of the series more touching and memorable moments.
Although Outlaw Star's OST doesn't match up to its contemporaries Cowboy Bebop and Trigun, it still had a fine little soundtrack of its own. The opening theme is called "Through the Night" and will pump you up to go on an adventure with Gene and the crew.
The art of Outlaw Star doesn't look as nice as a modern anime like Psycho Pass, but looks very decent for a 90s anime. I would say the art has aged much more gracefully than many others from its day like Yu Yu Hakusho. The characters all look unique, the space battles are awesome, and the backgrounds in the future cities look well done. I couldn't really ask for much more.
Outlaw Star is a fun series with action, romance, adventure, and even a little science fiction/ philosophy. It offers a little bit of "brain food" in some scenes, but avoids taking itself too seriously. No one could ever accuse Outlaw Star of being pretentious and overly artsy for no reason. Outlaw Star knows exactly what it wants to be and is just happy being itself.
As mentioned above, Outlaw Star gets completely eclipsed in fame and popularity by Cowboy Bebop and Trigun, which both had similar elements and came out at the same time. Does that mean that Outlaw Star is bad and not worth watching? No! Outlaw Star is its own unique experience that may not try to be as artistic as Bebop or as morally deep as Trigun, but succeeds in its own goal of being a fun, fast, space adventure.
The good days of old anime, ahh yes, I remember in my younger times watching many great shows such as this. But not too long ago i bought myself the complete dvd set, and the memories came back. All old-school and mecha fans should give this anime a look as soon as they possibly can, trust me as this is one you will not regret missing out on.
It begins with two out of the three cast members Gene and Jim who run their own shop, but their lives are changed when they encounter Hilda, a pirate that helps to start their journey into space as
they meet many different characters. The story is interesting and stays true to the plot, without any side events or filler taking over.
While there were a few scenes here and there that were not drawn at their best, the artwork overall is good enough to look at.
One of the best soundtracks for an anime that I have ever heard, whether it'd be a peaceful or action packed moment, the soundtrack worked well to that scene. The opening music is very memoriable and to some level, catchy. I preferred the english dub however.
All or most of the characters are likable and have a vast variety in their personality, and rather then overdoing it or not having enough, the character ammount is perfect as well as the characters varying in age rather then your typical 12 year old kids in most shows now-a-days. My favorite would have to of been Aisha, for being the goof of the group and bringing in comedic elements, however there are some such Gwen Khan that may start to bother you.
I was pleased with every one of the episodes as they all kept me intersted enough to move onto the next episode. The unaired twenty third episode was also new and interesting in its own way, it felt like that of a filler episode but is much more preferable then a filler of naruto or bleach. The action was nice but felt as though it had been shortened. But it felt as though some events of the twenty sixth episode left me questioned.
Back then and even now i still enjoy this anime, while this isn't exactly one of those I recommend to someone who is not much of a mecha fan, I am sure almost everyone else will take a liking to Outlaw Star, this series is a must have to own on dvd.
outlaw star, is an excellent watching experience, I'm know for deeply analyzing story's, I try to pull out as much out of scope information as i can, from what I'm watching "meta-story" if you will. outlaw star has always been an anomaly as far as my rubric is concerned, analyzing it just doesn't get me any where. It is just a fun watching experience, not to say it is with out is certain complexity's.
An out right 10 by my standers they are unique while remaining very easy to relate to, the young boy Jim is useful with out being annoying and Gene is
appropriately male rather than being another one of those overly innocent or completely emotionally oblivious leads. unfortunately the rest of the cast isn't given a lot of time to develop with the exception being Aisha who is almost bipolar, but still a fun and genuinely entertaining character.
music, English voice's, sound FX. ^_~b absolutely astounding i haven't herd better voice casting scene, the only competitor being FMA. the music is some of the first anmie music I listened to outside of the show.
it slumps of in an episode or two but it makes up for it by pulling of wonderful fight seance animation at the most dramatically appropriate places. and I'm personally a big fan of the character designs.
this is one of the times where I can say, unique doesn't always mean better. I had never and haven't since seen a story or universe like the one of outlaw star. many of the things it dose are very unique most of them I really liked but upon talking to some of my friends about the show I quickly realized that some of the things such as grappler arms were not as well received among them, it seems most prefer classic mecha. As for the tail being told its self it's it keeps things moving well but I discovered that the story itself wasn't the reason I watched the show everything else really over shadows it, in my opinion.
Arguably one of the flagship anime titles airing on Toonami in the West during the early 2000's, it is surprising that Outlaw Star is not talked about much when discussing adventure stories, especially considering it helped pioneer the space western genre in anime alongside its peers Trigun and Cowboy Bebop. Outlaw Star does not seem to be held in as high esteem as the other two, so I approached the series nearly twenty years after its release to judge its merits.
Firstly, I find it odd that MAL lists the series as having 24 episodes, as it actually has 26. Considering how important the final two
episodes to the overall story, I urge everyone to consider that before starting the series.
The setting is a blend of old western towns, southeast asian slums, and fantastical, pulpy science fiction planetscapes. This future is not shiny and clean, and the various building tops and desert mesas we find the characters in really adds a lot of, well, character to the story. I love the way this world looks lived-in and well-worn. I will try to refrain from making too many comparisons to Trigun and Bebop, but I will say that if you liked those settings, you will like this one.
On paper, the main cast of characters is reminiscent of an RPG or Harem game. Thankfully, the main cast is more fleshed out than I anticipated. The main character Gene Starwind is a remarkably three-dimensional character. Although he puts forth the image of a simple Han Solo export, the moments of quiet contemplation and doubt we are privy to are some of the best moments in the show. He has some real flaws as well, often arrogant, short-tempered, and completely unreasonable to his friends. Far from being a typical harem protagonist, this character was clearly written by a mature hand. The opening narrations at the beginning of each episode add to the underlying melancholy that pervades this series in between the silly episodic plots.
Jim Hawking is a suitable foil to Gene, wise beyond his years and seemingly self-assured with his lot in life. Unlike Gene, who is always searching, Jim is much more practical and rarely seems to experience any flights of fancy. This makes episode 20 all the more poignant, and it is easily the best episode of the series in my opinion, apart from perhaps episode 25.
The other three main characters are not as focused on as Gene and Jim - we don't see their inner worlds as often. Melfina's moments of contemplation, rare though they are, add much needed dimension to the character. Otherwise, she is sadly relegated to the role of McGuffin as the villains persistently chase after her. Aisha is rather annoying at first, but over time I gradually warmed to her and even looked forward to more comedic moments involving her. It's something the viewer has to go with, though. Suzuka was probably the most disappointing of the main characters in my opinion - as I recall, she never really gets a focus episode or significant backstory comparable to the other four. She is given little to do except slash through robotic minions and drink tea, which was highly unsatisfying. She could have made a good foil to Gene with a little extra effort, but as is she felt inconsequential.
I was similarly not so hot on the villains. I did like Ron McDougall. He was threatening, badass, stoic, and had similar powers to Gene, drawing a thematic parallel between them. Harry McDougall was more of a nuisance than a truly worthy foe, although he did do something in the final two episodes that significantly raised him in my esteem. Lord Hazanko and the Anten Seven had ill-defined motivations and characterizations. Hazanko supposedly wants the Galactic Leyline (which is the One Piece of this series - a common goal all of the characters aim for) to take down some emperor somewhere that we never get to meet. Perhaps this is more defined in the manga, which I have not read. It could be interesting if he is only a Raditz-style starter villain and more threatening forces lurk in the shadows. As is I have no feeling on him.
The plot in general is very murky, with the quality of successive episodes being generally uneven. One episode will be an extremely serious confrontation with one of the main antagonists, while the next will be a filler episode about extreme racing. The beginning episodes are very strong, as are the ending episodes, but the middle can be a slog. I like some episodic stories, but it is frustrating to switch between following an ongoing storyline before launching ungracefully into a self-contained episodic story. I wish it was either one or the other. This series does have the distinction of having one of the best hot springs episodes in all of anime, though! It is heavy on both "plot" and actual plot, and it is one of the last episodes in the series as well.
As somewhat of an aside, I really enjoyed the opening song and the second ending song for this show. The opening is an energized 80s rock-inspired track that is very catchy, while both endings are melancholy, slow, peaceful. I like the contrast and I like them musically as well.
All in all, there is a lot of good here for science fiction fans seeking wish fulfillment, and I certainly enjoyed myself. Honestly, there is a little something for everyone here. I would hesitate to call Outlaw Star an all-time classic, but I do wish the series had been picked up for a more streamlined season two. Sadly, this proved highly unpopular in Japan, and I doubt there is not the nostalgia present for a remake. I am interested in reading the manga and will likely do so soon. Check this series out - if you're a 90s archivist like myself you will enjoy the ride.
Outlaw Star - A man named Gene Starwind happens across the fastest ship in the galaxy and claims it as his own. Hilarity and action ensues.
The story, like all aspects of Outlaw Star, is almost great, but somehow comes up drastically short. Everything is there, and you know what's happening, but it's all executed improperly. Part of this is because of the characters (I'll explain later), but it's really because of the directors. You constantly find that dramatic scenes are cut down to size, losing the tense air that's supposed to surround them. Romantic sub-text is established early on, but after that you're supposed
to assume it's there for yourself. In general, the story moves too fast and doesn't flesh out enough to get a hold onto you and compel you to watch.
TL;DR: There's a plot, but it's not something you'll care about.
(By the way, it's like One Piece in space. Except it came about a decade earlier. Just wanted to point that out. : P)
The art is...Sporadic, I guess you would say. At first, it's your standard anime. The character designs have a bit of detail to them, and the animation is fast-paced action spliced in with those long, drawn still shots that save precious, precious money. But after the first few episodes, they introduce Suzuka, one of the main characters. Her design is incredibly bland and empty; she's a blob of white space in the middle of the screen.
One of the episodes near the middle, around 14 or so, has a massive action sequence in it. It was the most horrid animation I've ever seen in anything, it quite literally made me sick. Yet a few episodes later, another action sequence comes up where the animation was on a godly level. Basically, the animation is a complete wildcard.
TL;DR: Good animation only makes you realize how crappy the bad animation is
I watched mainly with the English voice actors through the series, and allow me to tell you: Don't. They may be good, or at least average in the beginning, but they ruin a multitude of episodes. I actually HAD to switch over to Japanese to get through some episodes, but I had to go back to English since I had no idea which character was talking.
The opening them is hilariously retro. It's a good song, but it reminds me of the Duck Tales' opening (best show ever, by the way)
The actual sound effects, I didn't pay too much attention to, except for one. THE GUNSHOT. The gunshot sound effect I speak of isn't necessarily a gun being fired, but in the first half of the series, they mark scene changes with the sound of a gunshot as a picture flashes (white space with a bullet hole). It only takes once to realize how horrible the sound is; it barely even sounds like a real gun. Good thing they will continue to use this. A LOT. Thankfully, they realized how annoying it is at some point in time, and discontinued the practice after a bit.
TL;DR: Go for the subs, "lol 90s" opening, scene changes suck at first.
Ah, characters. The most important aspect of any story. They can ruin a good plot, or save a wretched one. Neither one applies in this situation, since the character and the plot aren't that good.
Ok, ok. Neither aspect is bad, but I found the characters' shallowness irksome and tiring at times. Their personalities are similar to the plot. You know who they are, and you know why they're SUPPOSEDLY doing what their doing, but it just doesn't seem real.
In case that sounded incomprehensible, allow me to try rephrasing.
You have the character Melfina. It's established in episode 2 or 3 that she wants to find out why she was created. So you know that's her motivation. But as the series continues on, she doesn't act like she's being driven by anything. Sure, she SAID she wants to know why, but it's like she said it only to give the plot a reason to progress.
TL;DR Characters are bland and plot oriented, rather than being their own person.
All right, for all the bashing I've done toward Outlaw Star, it IS enjoyable. First of all comes it's ridiculousness. When Gene obtains his ship, and enters into his first fight, you might think it a bit strange that the ship has it's own arms that it fights with. But arms on a space ship could be considered realistic, after all, they would be useful...
Then you realize the ships arms are wielding a handgun and a freaking battle axe. I couldn't help but laugh at the Lagann-esque hilarity of it.
The action sequences are hit or miss, but Gene definitely has his badass moments, the ones where you start smiling because he just made you gay for him.
Character interactions, despite them having little personality, can still crack you up or make you grin using what personality they do have.
TL;DR: It's awesome and hilarious some of the time
The story is a mess and uninteresting, sometimes the art can sicken you because it's terrible, and the characters don't seem like people, but there are enough good bits (which are unmentioned by me) to pull this anime through and make it enjoyable. Somewhat.
But maybe I just missed the point of this anime; maybe I'm looking at it the wrong way. You might like it, but if you're going to try it, make sure you don't have something more highly regarded to watch first.
TL;DR: Go watch Black Lagoon instead. Or anything else. THEN watch Outlaw Star.
I felt compelled to write this review because the first four episodes of Outlaw Star were too brilliant to ignore. The animation is incredible, even when viewed today and compared against modern animation techniques. It's simply movie quality, and that's just based off of technical merit. The art style and environmental mystique is possibly the most mesmerizing I've seen in a science fiction anime. The introductory plot and characterizations present in the first four episodes are similarly brilliant. I was completely captivated by Gene Starwind's naive bravado and his supporting casts' various conflicting personalities and motivations. The plot choice at the end of episode 4
was utterly evocative. It seemed a most spectacular and emotionally riveting endnote to a slamdunk start. I was surely in for an incredible ride. Surely.
-Introduction arc (first 4 episodes): 9.5/10-
Alas, things go downhill very fast in Outlaw Star. The characters continually fail to show any meaningful development in the wake of the series' unwelcome transition to a mostly episodic anime, seemingly devoid of any underlying objective. There are later stray episodes that almost recapture the sublime quality of the the anime's onset, but they fail to catalyze any subsequent consistent stretches of quality.
The storyteller appears to have had nothing substantive left to say after the first arc, and the plot stagnates into nothingness for a very long period thereafter. Gene and friends take on various jobs and none are particularly interesting. The penultimate ending storyline is clustered, over-the-top, illogical, and wholly unsatisfying; a final dissapointing ode to the beguiling narrative of Outlaw Star.
Worse yet, the characters go from intriguing to bewilderingly irrelevant and derivative. The female lead is a very underwhelming take on the "What is human/what is AI?" question. She frankly does not feel realistic as a human girl or an AI, and ends up amounting to nothing more than a recurring damsel for Gene. It's quite discomforting that she never takes exception to Gene's playboy antics when she is clearly in love with him. That dynamic is very conveniently ignored. Aisha is an ejoyable comic relief character, and Jim is moderately interesting in his own right, simply for a single episode later in the series where he undergoes more development than the entire rest of the cast combined. Suzuka was easily the most painful character to watch. She undergoes no development, is never even fleshed out properly in the first place, and is barely used at all, in summary. Last but not least, Gene Starwind - the hero of Outlaw Star. Gene sadly never really changes throughout the duration. He has his flaws and he has his charms, and 26 episodes later... he still these same flaws and charms. Interpret that as you will.
The animation quality decreases significantly as well (the budget allocation was clearly quite front-loaded), but this is less bothersome because the art style never stops being both original and stellar. Its mixture of neo noir, almost Bladerunner-esque urban scifi settings, and vibrant, high contrast colorizations, create a picture perfect scifi landscape that one can only dream of experiencing..
To conclude this review, Outlaw star is insurmountably dissapointing. A breathtaking start leads nowhere. Everyone devolves. The worldbuilding takes a backseat to mundane monotonous questing. Intrigue begets bordeom.
-Outlaw Star, in its entirety: 6/10-
On the merit of its first 4 episodes alone, I ultimately enjoyed watching this anime. Every fan of the medium should experience the introductory arc. Beyond that, I'm not sure I'd recommend anyone sit down and watch it to completion. Do so at your own risk.
Outlaw Star was the show that got me into anime. Sure, I liked Pokemon, but it wasn't until I caught Outlaw Star on Toonami one day that I thought 'Wow, there could be something TO this anime stuff!' It had everything... a ninja, and alien catgirl, guns that shot magic, a spaceship controlled by a naked woman... my teenage mind exploded. Where had these things been my entire life?! XD I bought the DVD immediately.
Both the plot and setting are complex and interesting, with lots of neat ideas, such as the casters, grappler ships, etc. The cast of heroes is diverse and likeable, a bizarro
grab bag of least-likely-heroes that mostly avoid falling into cliche archetypical roles. The cast of villains is diverse, at least, but few of them are ever really developed enough for my liking. Visually, the designs are overall fresh and stylish with good attention to detail. My main complaint with Outlaw Star's story is that while it's ambitious, it might have a little TOO much going on. I would have liked to see better development of the villains and other minor characters, as well as some greatest insight into the pasts of main characters such as Suzuka and Jim. Plus, the series teases us with some ideas that are never fully fleshed out, such as in one episode where a number of different alien races are introduced and then just as quickly forgotten about.
While there is an overaching plot, Outlaw Star is still a mostly episodic series. These types of shows are made and broken by their level of ingenuity, and whether or not they manage to keep things fresh. OS succeeds here. Like Cowboy Bebop, every episode features a different scenario, and the show never feels repetitive or short on ideas.
The animation and art are both excellent for their time. The plot's pacing can be a little clunky at times but once the fireworks begin these concerns are quickly forgotten. The music is great, the first season has my favorite closing theme ever and the rest of the series' music is very fitting and enjoyable.
Overall, I give it an 8. Outlaw Star is an action packed space adventure series with a very high fun factor and more than enough fresh material to help it stand out from the pack.
Maybe it's a bit of the nostalgia hitting, but man do I love this anime. I grew up on it airing on Toonami way back in the day, and honestly I have never been a fan of sci-fi but this just did it so, so well.
The story is stellar (pun intended) with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing and the fabled Galactic Leyline at the end of it to make you wonder just what is there. Going back to watch it as an adult instead of my pre-teen self I do feel that some of the world building is lacking, such as
the introduction of certain alien species without proper context, but I think for its time that was more or less the norm and it doesn't overall subtract from the greatness of the show as much as it just adds a little quirk here and there and leaves room for a much greater world to exist than what we're shown.
The characters are amazing and relatable. Everyone has their own distinct personalities, and it's a bit like a really good D&D party in the sense that they all compliment each other's skills in a battle situation but can also hold their own throughout the combat that takes place in the show.
I would even argue that the animation holds up to today's standards in most ways aside from the odd bit here and there, and most would probably think this was made a lot later than it was all things considered.
Overall, the show is just plain classic. It has a good story, amazing characters you can really get invested in, and animation that has withstood the test of time. Highly worth the watch!
This review is a direct result from watching 12 episodes of the anime, and will likely not be of much use apart from expressing my fairly negative opinons of this anime.
First of all i would like to say that the backgrounds for the story is gene starwind the main character of this anime who starts of as a bounty hunter of some sort with his sidekick james. this then leads on to them taking on oddjobs and becoming bodyguards of hilda, leading to the rescue of melphina and the control of the most advanced ship in the galaxy later
to be known as Outlaw Star. The basis of the storyline is actualy fine, a crew of people searching for the galactic leyline and Genes own vendetta with the macdougall brothers and adventure ensures.
The overall art is fine in this production and may arguably be considered brilliant during the time of when it was produced 1998. this has been taken into consideration, but compared to animes such as Fullmetal Alchemist or Bleach, it falls quite behind. As for the sound of Outlaw star, i really cant say i have too much complaints, and it doesn't really affect the rating overall imo. the OP and ED are fine and they're nice to listen to not much more comment is needed.
NOW as for the character which has directly lead me to drop this anime and give a fairrly negative experience. I cant say i have much sympathy for Gene, he's rash, ignorant, emotional, retarded and sympathetic all at the same time. which makes it MUCH worse, considering i dropped the anime 20 mins of writing this the feelings are quite fresh in my memory, and are till going on as i speak.
When you find a person that is trying to kill you, laughing his head off at you and acting ignorant, i would personally shoot him a couple of times in the leg, kick the crap out of him, hold him at gunpoint, maybe spit on him a few times. get the information and KILL him. but no, our main character is nice, he stands there watching the anti-protoganist hack into Outlaw star, and then push him aside and run out into a long STRAIGHT corridor. this leads to gene chasing him and shooting him once which MISSES. I cannot accept the fact that gene a supposedly great bounty hunter can miss a guy who is apparently 3 metres ahead of him wounded, and then not give chase and finish him off, its crazy.
another retarded character is aishi, she talks a load of bull, and attacks people on the grounds that they know a person she dislikes, this then leads her into many awkward situations which i think is supposed to be funny? but i just think is retarded. she redeemed herself once, but i dont think it was enough.
sorry that i have spent half of this review bitching off gene and aishi, but other than those 2 characters the rest are fine. but because of those 2 the overall experience for me was poor, and i dropped it. if anyone knows me, they know however bad an anime is, i tend to see it through. but gene was just too much for me to handle, and i was close to strangling myself to watch his reactions and decisions.
another negative which is only on personal level is the science included in the anime. considering the age of humankind has reached that level, i was expecting a more advanced means of space technology, my own mind just cannot recognise in 1000 or so years time, humans will still need a space suit from the first ever space walk, corded telephones, poor calculations of planetary gravity pull and speed of movement, and an AI computer that goes "hhmm, o" before saying that that there are missles which are going to it in a couple of seconds.
if you have read to this point im happy you've been brave enough to bear through the ranting, and i hope i haven't wasted too much of your time
if you can bear with gene's attitude or even sympathize with it watch it by all means. and overall its a good anime to watch. just not for me, as i was expecting more of a romance orientated and not a retard fest.
So this was a show I heard some really good things about from one of Professor Otaku’s videos and I thought it would be interesting to watch. I was not disappointed. The show actually had the same feeling as Firefly, a live action series based around a group of mismatched characters all together on a spaceship. It was so awesome to see something that wasn’t a big moe fest with cutesy characters that just want to get into the main characters pants. I’m not saying there aren’t characters that are doing that, but it’s so much more to the story. I know I did this
review once before, but I am redoing it. The reason why, I re-watched the show and there was so much I didn’t remember. That and I think some of my old reviews need a tune up.
The story revolves mostly around the character Gene Starwind; a sort of butch, scruffy guy who isn’t really known for his high class attitude. What I mean by that is he doesn’t have a high class bone in his body. He acts so much like a womanizer around ladies that I am not really sure why I like the character but in a strange way, I do. The character reminds me a lot of Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly in the laid back attitude to everything but when something is about to affect his ship or crew, he takes charge. It’s hard to explain him except maybe that he will also talk with his guns before thinking with his head. He also has a rather strange phobia that I actually have never really seen when talking about space travel. He was scared as a kid about being out in space and yet he always wanted to get a space ship and go into space.
Malfina is much like River Tam. In fact, she even shows up in exactly the same way, in a cold storage suitcase. When talking about her personality, it’s a bit hard as there seems to be dual sides of her in a way. She can be very happy one minute, like a normal girl and then suddenly be wondering exactly why she was born. We never get a lot of info about her and I am guessing the artwork we see at the end of each episode is supposed to be her but they don’t explain it. She is always left in mystery, and I would say even at the end of the show, we never find out exactly what is going on with her. She is normally sweet and the most innocent of the group but one thing sets her different then any of the other characters, she is needed to pilot the ship. She is like a controller, you plug her into the vat of ‘water’ and she makes the ship move.
Jim Hawking (I really believe that his name is a play off of a character from Treasure Island) is a rather crazy computer wizard. I consider him a bit like Edward from Cowboy Bebop but with a much saner mind. I do like this about him as he isn’t always doing some strange wacky thing out of the blue. He keeps Gene’s and his business afloat surprisingly and is very grown up in some ways. In other ways, he still is very innocent when it comes to relationships. When that happens, he actually gets rather shy.
This may be a large space opera and drama show, but it has some fun comedy to it, especially between Gene and Hawkings. The chemistry is actually really cool although we don’t get much of a back story about how they met. I would have loved to learn more about that since we only get a little back story about Gene and what his father did. Other then that, their background is just thrown to the side like everyone else’s background. On one hand I can see how this gives us more room for awesome space battles and cool action fights but on the other hand, I really want to know the background of the characters. They give us history lessons in the beginning of the show that makes no sense half the time, so why not give us character backgrounds or something?
Even though this is a lot like Firefly (Yes, I know it came first), to me, this is actually something different that they put together. Firefly has only human people but in this, they have aliens that can look like frogs to tiger cat girls. Sadly, you don’t seem to see much of these aliens and I would like to learn a bit more about them and their culture. You only see one character most of the time, the cat girl character whose name always escapes me. (I blame the very little background that makes it hard to remember her and all the other minor characters of this show.)The story is pretty slow and they only get underway at about the 9th episode. Even then though, there wasn’t really any filler and were actually building up the plot line. When they do get up and running, it’s more about getting money for the ship. There is a story line that ties the whole thing together though and it makes you want to watch even more.
I do have to ask how there are people that seem to be able to use magic when they are in a really high technology heavy show? They never seem to explain about that in the little historical information given in the beginning of each show (good call to the creators by the way). The historical information does actually help since they don’t really explain it in the actual show much.
The artwork is very good, and has a design that is much different then the style we see now. Sure its cel drawn and was made in the 1990s, but I think it has a bit of character all its own. The show is mostly very dark and almost as though they have a dark filter cast over everything. This gives the show a very apocalyptic or underground feeling which I believe is perfect when talking about Outlaws. Characters have very sharp looking features to where even the eyes look as though they have seen things that really didn’t want to be seen. This is even in the most innocent eyes like Jim and Malfina, they just always have this bit of sadness to them. There really isn’t any time that I see gravity defying hair like what we see in Dragonball Z, but it still has this sort of unkempt look about them which only adds to the characters rough appearance. Backgrounds don’t really show off much, being somewhat generic at times. They do give a good sense of space though when things are a bit claustrophobic.
The English voice acting is actually rather interesting, especially when they have the narrator sometime saying something philosophical. It is hard to understand sometimes, but watching this show a second time has helped me understand what the philosophy is actually supposed to be about. On the other hand, when he is giving the background to the show, you can’t figure out why he is saying it because sometimes it seems irrelevant. Even with a second time watching, I don’t understand that part. When we are talking about the script, we sometimes get a little bit clunky. It’s like they directly translated the script but yet it actually works at times. The voices they picked work pretty well and you could tell they got into the characters. Bob Buchholz is really good as the voice of Gene and has enough of a boyish charm that keeps him young. Something tells me that this was the first voice dub that Ian Hawk did, he was perfect for Jim Hawking, and Emilie Brown is wonderful for Melfina. She has a way of speaking that sounds partly like an android and yet she has a lot of feeling behind her words. The music is really well done, and I love the opening song. The opening artwork is alright, though it just seems a bit odd in how it has been cut. The ending is somewhat alright, though it is a little slow and the thing of stills just seems a little off since it isn’t in an anime style. They are also much more detailed then the actual show.
After re-watching this show, I still love it. Sure it has some flaws, but the story line makes up for it. Overall, it was a pretty solid show and I would of loved for a second season or something to add more info on the characters and help clear up more of the mystery.