Outlaw Star: Complete Collection
DVD | Box Set
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Gene Starwind and his partner Jim Hawking run a small business on the backwater planet of Centinel 3. But all that changes the day that Hilda hires them for a bodyguard job. Now, thrust into a mystery they don't fully understand, 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 galaxy's most advanced ship! As seen on Cartoon Network's Toonami! This title from Sunrise, the people behind Cowboy Bebop and Gundam. Genre: Anime Sci-Fi/Action.
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The story follows a hapless duo through their adventures into the unknown, teaming up with a lady samurai, cyborgs, cat people, and a whole other host of characters in an attempt to find an ultra rare space treasure. The animation is gritty and fun, and holds up well today. I especially enjoyed the list of voice actors all of whom really knock it out of the park.
Catchy space jams and melodrama are a staple here, and also expect some fan service and silly situations for our characters to get trapped in. Over all, the feeling is good, and you may even pick up on some elements other sci-fis and animes have borrowed from Outlaw Star.
Indulge a convoluted introduction: Outlaw Star is to Cowboy Bebop, what Darker than Black is to Speed Grapher. Both the series use the same base concept--bounty hunters in space--but ultimately take the idea in a different direction. Whereas Cowboy Bebop was slick, stylish and artsy, Outlaw Star is over-the-top, irreverent, bombastic... and loads of fun.
Gene Starwind and Jim Hawking will take any job... and one assignment brings them into contact with the outlaw, hot-ice Hilde who has stolen an experimental starship, the "outlaw star" from band of pirates and cut-throat thugs. She has also stolen a naked, and beautiful female android named Melfina... and together, the ragtag band soars through space, pursued by dangerous criminals, while in search for the mysterious "galactic leyline".
In this show, however, the McGuffin is only half the interest, since most of the show features absurd episodic plotlines, fast-paced action, and a dozen or so villains. Never has a show so completely embodied the concept of fan-service. There are ninjas, cat-girls, eastern magic, robots, psychics, cross-dressers, monsters... and space-ships with arms (yes, ARMS!).
Thankfully, the animation is more than competent enough to pull off the extravagant and action-packed style. Created in 1998, Outlaw Star features hand-drawn animation rather than the computer-drawn animation of modern Japanese anime, but looks so good that few are ever going to care.
The music, even when it doesn't fit the series (i.e. the ending themes) is always excellent and memorable even long after the show has ended. No matter what language you prefer, the voice acting is competent and impressive enough to carry every scene, with notable accolades going to Jim and Hilde's English voice actors, and Gene's seiyuu in Japanese. I have no complaints in the voice acting, whatsoever.
If there is a flaw to Outlaw Star, it is that the show seems to swirl round the pit of its own absurdity--the series ends with a deus ex machine, but this can almost forgive this issue since it was clearly tongue-in-cheek (never has the god-in-the-machine been so literal). Certainly the show is neither original or particularly deep thematically or in terms of characterization... but what Outlaw Star does have is style and enjoyability... and for this anime, that is more than enough to earn a win.
Content Advisory: Gene entertains the ladies, has a foul mouth and shoots and kills people. Ambiguous nudity (artists don't render distinct detail), blood, language and suggestive situations are all present.
Secondly, this box set - for how old the show is, the quality (both video and audio) is quite good. This is also one of the few animes with a decent English dub that won't make you cringe, but you do have the option of watching with the original Japanese voice actors (and subtitles). The way the discs are divided up is kind of weird: instead of being labelled 1-6, they are separated into three sets of two: Set 1, Disc 1; Set 1, Disc 2; Set 2, Disc 2; etc. It's strange but all of the eps are there and in order, so it's not a problem, just a strange numbering convention. While the box itself isn't one of those newfangled slimpacks, all of the content you want is there - considering how long its been since the series aired and was dubbed, you really can't complain.
Most recent customer reviews
Great anime that I've been watching on VHS till now.