With the incredible success of Dragon Ball Z, Cartoon Network began securing the rights to more anime. They tried a wide range of shows like Hamtaro and Gundam Wing. I really have no idea what was up with Hamtaro, but one of the shows more in line with the demographic was Outlaw Star.
Gene Starwind and his associate, 11 year old Jim Hawking, travel the universe looking for odd jobs to pay the bills. Eventually they stumble upon a highly advanced ship, the XGP15A-II, and a bio-android named Melfina, the only being capable of using the ship. The crew, while on the run from a few other intergalactic pirates and assassins, learn of the Galatic Leyline, a place that supposedly contains immense treasure and knowledge. During their travels, their crew grows with the addition of assassin Twilight Suzuka and alien-strong-cat-person Aisha Clanclan. The series focuses on the crew adventuring, taking work when the can find it while searching for the Leyline.
My fondest memory of the show is the opening credits. I’m a sucker for good openings credits for a show. If the song snatches my attention, I usually end up favoring the show. Anime uses current pop or rock songs for their opening or ending credits. Even long running shows like Naruto or Bleach change up their opening every so often. This is usually how I discover new Japanese music. Asian Kung-Fu Generation, Maximum the Hormone, and Scandal are all bands I’ve discovered this way. With Outlaw Star, I found Through the Night by Masahiko Arimachi.
Like with many Japanese shows broadcasted on for younger American audiences, Outlaw Star came with some edits. Anyone familiar with Goku’s infamous blue boxers knows what I’m talking about. For the most part, the edits weren’t bad, and didn’t come at the cost of the story. Save perhaps for episode 23, which was a little too sexual for Cartoon Network. I watched the show as it aired, and a shortly after on unedited DVD and didn’t have any problems between the two versions (fanboy outrage aside).
To be honest, it’s been about 8 years since I’ve last watched the show. It only aired for two years on Cartoon Network, and briefly again at midnight before being pulled. I went through all of my anime in 2005 (I was in transition), and that was the last time I’ve seen it. I definitely want to watch the show again to see how it holds up. Seeing the spaceships battle with giant robot arms was a little hokey, but all in good fun. Other than the music, I love the character design, particularly Gene. He reminds me of X-Men’s Gambit, hitting the same strides of inexplicable cool that I can’t quite quantify.
I can’t recommend this as strongly as I do Cowboy Bebop, or even Trigun, but considering that lack of quality anime for last decade, you can’t go wrong with Outlaw Star. As I write this I realized the last three anime’s I’ve written about were Space Westerns.
Just looking at the images, what do you think of the character design? Seen it before? Comment below!
Always double check the publish time.