Outlaw Star



Garyuu's avatar By on Jul 28, 2010

I was really excited going into this show. I was told that it is a lot like Cowboy Bebop, and I loved Cowboy Bebop. After watching it, I can say that it is a lot like it. Just imagine Cowboy Bebop more light hearted. Some might call OS a rip off of Bebop, but remember that Outlaw Star did air before Cowboy Bebop (though it only started three months before).

The story was really fun, and enjoyable. The show was pretty episodic, but each episode tied in to the main story in some way. Some episodes were directly related to the previous episode. This made it really fun to watch. When I started watching the show, I watched the first ten episodes in one night. It was hard to stop. I basically stopped when I realized, that it was 4 AM, and I probably should sleep. The overal plot was pretty good,  but I found that I was more interested in the sub plots in each episode. Some people may wonder if they could skip certain episodes, and the answer is "kind of." Even the most random episode has something that connects to the big story.

One of my favorite things about the show was the characters. They all had strong, and very different personalities. They all had their roll. They were all fun, and they worked well with each other. The main problem I had was character development. Some characters had a lot of backstory revealed, while others had very little. I just wished that they could have dedicated a little time into letting us know more about some of the characters.

The animation was good, but then it was bad. Each episode looked a little different. Maybe they drew hats to see who drew the characters in each episode. One episode, the characters were drawn great, next time the characters looked kind of bad. Even the ships varied. One episode the ship, the Outlaw Star, will look kind of plain, and simple looking. Next episode will have the ship with all these shadows, and nice lighting. Even so, when it was "bad" it was still appealing.

I had the choice of watching the dub or sub, so I decided to give the English dub a chance. It was surprisingly good. I was really surprised. The acting wasn't amazing, but it was casted well. The voices fit the characters, and they were likable. A few characters were plain bad though. Melfina's voice was the main problem. It was very unatural. It just sounded like the actress was doing a voice. It was too too high. Sometimes though her voices sounded too old for the character. I was still able to overlook that. Cowboy Bebop fans who watched the dub might be glad to hear Jet's and Faye's voices in the cast.

I liked the show so much that it got into my top ten list. So if you haven't seen it yet, check it out. Fans of Bebop's style, might enjoy it.

9/10 story
6/10 animation
8/10 sound
9.5/10 characters
8.5/10 overall
Filystyn's avatar By on Aug 24, 2014

Only one thing and i would rated even higher. if you want to show naked man dont cut their dick. Else dont show.

I realy enjojed watching this.

7/10 story
6/10 animation
8/10 sound
8/10 characters
8/10 overall
Xplayer's avatar By on Jun 6, 2011


I’ll get the elephant out of the room right away. There are a lot of similarities between Outlaw Star and Cowboy BeBop. Both are stories about people who travel through space seeking their fortune, with a mix of episodic side stories and a thrilling main plot. However, there are three significant differences between the two shows. Firstly, Cowboy BeBop is much more down to earth and grim in its outlook of the future, while Outlaw Star envisions a glorified version of a classic wild west film as the future of humanity (and various other alien species humanity encounters). Secondly, the characters are very different; there are almost no parallels between the two shows in that regard (well, you might be able to stretch a few, but they’d be no more than longshot connections that one wants to draw rather than legitimately objective evaluations). Finally, Outlaw Star spends more time developing the “main plot,” while Cowboy BeBop’s strength really lies in the episodic side stories and the entertainment value of the show as a whole.

That said, the main plot of Outlaw Star is very entertaining. A young man named Gene Starwind comes into possession of a powerful ship he calls the Outlaw Star and a bio android named Melfina, who acts as the ships navigator. Gene soon finds that the ship is connected to a grand mystery known as the “Galactic Layline,” which he hopes to find, believing that it contains his destined fortune. Along the way, he meets an interesting cast of characters, goes on a variety of adventures, and learns more about the mysteries of the galaxy, and himself.

When the various adventures Gene has begin to converge near the end of the anime, it becomes quite exciting. The battles are fun to watch, and the plot is rather simple to follow. At times it seems too simple, and Outlaw Star overall lacks the philosophical depth of its more highly rated counterpart. Also, the filler episodes, while entertaining, are lacking in originality and sometimes drag the anime down, especially when they are placed right after a very serious episode. Overall though, the anime is a classic example of what makes the medium great, and why the 90s were considered a golden age for Japanese animation.


My feelings about the animation are twofold. On one hand, the animation is not the best I’ve ever seen; it doesn’t include the fluidity of modern CGI nor the depth that computers can provide to certain aspects of an anime’s art. On the other hand, this style of animation that was popular among 90s anime is timeless and classic. Unlike some anime that lacked a decent budget, Outlaw Star rarely spared any expense with its animation (i.e. there weren’t many pointless flashbacks, stills montages etc.) Despite the lack of today’s technology, Outlaw Star provides stellar art that shall stand as part of a distinctive style in anime history.


As I stated in my OP/ED tandems blog, I love the energy that the OP provides contrasted against the mellow sweetness of the ED (okay, I might have used simpler terms like “pure win” but that’s really what I meant). As for the music in between, there wasn’t much that was distinctly memorable, but the music was sufficient (and for those of you keeping score, that’s a definite point for Cowboy BeBop). The voice acting, however, was superior, at least in the English dub. Outlaw Star is one of the few anime where I would recommend watching the dub over the subbed version. This is due to the fact that the varied accents and natural fit of the voice actors creates a smoother performance in English. It’s not that the Japanese version is bad, but the English version is far superior in my opinion.


As I stated above, the characters in Outlaw Star are quite different from Cowboy BeBop’s characters. However, they do follow the same formula of what I like to call “stereotypes with faces,” characters that start as generic cookie cutters of tropes we’ve seen before, but later develop distinctive personalities. If I told you Outlaw Star was an anime about a cocky human, an ultra-smart kid, a catgirl, a female samurai, and a female bio-android that got naked nearly every episode, you’d pull out your rant on “otaku-pandering” and all that. However, Outlaw Star actually bothers to develop these characters with roundness, multifaceted complexities that bring them outside of the box of their initial tropes. While I think that some of the characters could have been developed a little more (e.g. Twilight Suzuka and almost all the bad  guys besides Harry McDougal), I felt everyone received at least sufficient development to the point where the cast that was assembled was thoroughly entertaining to watch.


Outlaw Star is a classic; there is no denying this fact. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good, fun action anime, but isn’t necessarily looking for extremely deep themes. Don’t get me wrong, Outlaw Star has its deep moments, but overall it’s just a fun, enjoyable anime that will likely stand for all time as an epitome of how anime rose to prominence in the West during the 1990s.

8.5/10 story
9/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall
Logicfox's avatar By on Sep 3, 2015

Never in my life will I ever give another solid 10 on an anime for two reasons. One, modern animes are trash compared to the classic ones (Same with Disney movies for that matter). And two, this anime has EVERYTHING a good story needs. This anime has it all, a good story, an interesting hook, good characters, no dull moments, good bad guys, an overall objective from beginning to end, and everything that makes a story enjoyable to watch. Could an anime be better? Perhaps, but since Outlaw Star's release, only very few have come close to matching it's granduer, though none have surpased it. There are simply no bad sides to this anime, so here is what it has that is good:

- Openening music is amazing.

- First episode hook is super inticing (I've yet to seen one as good as this, even Death Note).

- Characters are not perfect, far from actually, but they are awesome none the less.

- Ending music for both seasons is awesome as well.

- Bad guys are cool, very likeable.

- Nobody at any time is overpowered or unbelievable.

- Voice overs in are just as good or if not better in English as they are in Japanese.

- Very episodic but follows an overall goal that is actually reachable (Not One Piece).

- Doesn't wrap up the story in the last 2 episodes (like <insert every anime here>)

- Doesn't kill off every character you like (like <insert hated anime here>)

- Every episode has an objective that gets the characters closer to the final goal

- Every episode is filled with adventure and there is only 1 filler episode!

- Filler episode turns out not to be a filler episode and it is pretty funny.

- No stupid twists (like <insert every anime here>)

- A cat girl (Can't have a good 90's anime without one)

I will say, the ending could have been better, but that's like saying The Matrix could have had a better sequel (It's not exactly easy to follow up a movie like that and it's not exactly easy to have a matching ending to an anime this awesome.) Though, after watching houndres of bad endings, knowning Japanese are horrible at ending stories, I think this one is exceptionally good, even for them.

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
Rbastid's avatar By on Oct 16, 2014

Bounty Hunters, cool music, similar sounding currency, battling space ships. Space isn't big enough for two Cowboys, or maybe it is when it comes to a predecessor of the most popular intergalactic pirate show.

Story - 9/10

Outlaw Star is very much a simple story of a treasure hunt, though how and why they search for it tends to be less than so.

After being hired for an important job, Gene Starwind and Jim Hawking are entrusted with the care of a unique space ship and the special girl that controls it. What starts off as a search to help find this girl, Melfina, information about her past, turns into a battle with pirates and old foes, and a search for a long lost treasure.

While some feel the story was a lot of filler, each episode built towards, and added an important piece, to the final puzzle. The episodes showed that these characters were human and had to deal with typical problems, like trying to run and ship when you can't seem to make any money. Sure they could have cut the series down and just had the gang flying all over the place and getting to the leyline, but then whats the point, if they have the money to do that why do they need more from the leyline? These made the episodes stick out as more real, as opposed to others where the main character can just muster up all the strength to destroy their enemy is a single punch.

For the most part they kept everything straight forward, one plot, one goal. Unfortunately they seemed to have planned ahead of time to have a second season of sorts, because the last episode created a perfect transition to what their next hurdle would be, but instead, like most anime, they ended with a hastily put together ending that tied up a few loose ends, but made you want more.

Animation - 8/10

For the time the animation on the show was extremely nice, and you can see from episode one to episode twenty six it went from nice to top notch. The characters and scenery are very detailed and colored with that mid nineties bleakness we saw used very often. With all they had to create, many space battle ships, different planets with unique land and fun one off characters, no one could fault them for starting off in that average zone and then picking up the look as they became more seasoned.

Two other great parts of the series were the lack of reused scenes. Some shows tend to use the same scene every other episode or throw another here or there with a useless flashback, but I can only remember them doing so just at the end, and it at least made sense. They also stayed away from that late nineties fad I hate with a passion, flash animation. Every series used it from a crappy driving scene or out of place space race, but OS skipped all of that, thankfully.

Sound - 8/10

Though not a ton of music what is there is done pretty well. As much as I hate to do it, and like basically every review before and all those after me will do, you look at Cowboy Bebop as a comparison, and they just blew it out of the water with their soundtrack. OS has a great opening number, and some catchy battle and mood music, but nothing to really build a CD out of, as the two ending themes aren't that great and a terrible match for the anime.

The English voices are as good as it gets in Anime and it's a shocker to see most of the voice cast weren't big name VO artist before and had very small parts after. Each voice was well suited to the character's personality, even the proper englishman, errr Englishbot?, Gilliam.

One point where OS separated itself from other shows was it's cold opening. The scene used was always accompanied by a voice over that set the tone for the show, it really added that little extra something to set them apart.

Characters - 7/10

Despite running 26 episodes, the series kept their cast of characters pretty small. You have the two hero's their three partners and few accomplices on once side, and a small handful of enemies on the other. Even the throw away characters tend to be few and far between.

Looking at the series now one would think the main character of our story, Gene Starwind, is just a typical anime lead man. Handsome, fearless and the best shot in the land, well I guess he is the typical anime lead man, only difference is he was one of the first. Spike Spiegel, Vash the Stampede, and Onizuka all came after Gene when it came to Anime (though Trigun was an earlier Manga) Gene wasn't perfect though, and thats why he had a slightly unlikely sidekick, Jim Hawking. Jim was the brains and logical thinking of their two man operations, what set him apart from other typical anime sidekicks was his age, only 11 years old.

Shockingly when it comes to these two we end up knowing very little about them. Outside of the death of Gene's father at a young age, we know nothing about how he made his way in the world and under what circumstances he and Jim teamed up. A real bummer in the story as their are pretty interesting characters and a deeper backstory would have helped build the show.

Joining Gene and Jim on their search for the Leyline are the bio Android Melfina, the mysterious Samurai Suzuka and the wacko alien Aisha Clanclan. These characters, despite being minor, but import characters, actually get more of a backstory than Gene and Jim. As to not spoil any of the show, I'll leave out the details of those backstories, but as in Melfina's case it's the basis for the whole show and for Suzuka it's a nice little subplot that surprises you in the end.

The villains of our story are interesting, voiced nicely and again drawn to perfection, but they're as deep as a rain puddle. We know the Pirates are after Hilda and the XGP, but they just seem to pop up here and there, and besides the last episode we find out little about them. The more well thought out pair of villains are Harry and Ron MacDougal, two brothers who are partly responsible for Gene's lot in life. They're are Hilda and now intern after Gene, Jim and Melfina. They could have used an episode or two to help build these characters up, as they are pretty interesting and looked as if they'd be the basis of a second season, but outside of a few key points, we're left to make it up for ourselves.

Overall -10/10

Despite some of its flaws I hold Outlaw Star as one of the best anime series of all time. The stories, characters and animation are timeless, and even after seeing it for a fifth time it's entertaining. (which is tough for a series over 10-12 episodes) Though always compared with Cowboy Bebop I feel they run more parallel than they do against each other, as they do start off with some of the same elements, but end up taking different paths.

9/10 story
8/10 animation
8/10 sound
7/10 characters
10/10 overall