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.