Gene Starwind and Jim Hawking make a living on various jobs and bounties. While waiting for their ticket to hit it big time, a mysterious woman named Hilda leaves them with a key to the puzzle of finding a starship of great power, known only as the Outlaw Star. What are these long lost spaceships and what is the Galactic Leyline?
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.
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.
- Animated by studio XEBEC, which means it’s going to have bad production values and unexploited potencial. - Directed by [/u] Hongu Mitsuru, [/u] who never managed to produce an above average show.- Based on the manga by Itou Takehiko. Other works of his that were adapted include the forgettable Lord of Lords Ryu Knight and Angel Links. But guess what; he also wrote the most amazing Zegapain, so he is not a complete mediocrity of a creator. STORY Outlaw Star begins as the most awesome sci-fi action adventure ever conceived before it quickly turns to messy mediocrity of stereotypes and random plots. Which is a shame.The series begins with a setting were the age of exploration repeats in the space of the future, and it accompanied with the usual traits, such as space ships, space pirates, space adventures and … alien catgirls??? Taoist priests??? Geisha swordswomen??? … Ok, this is all a garbled pile of ideas from left and right; no real consistency or uniformity. This is what in effect destroys the setting because it is completely random, without a steady theme, a clear form, or even some sort of balance. One episode can be space races, another can be samurai showdowns, and another a fan service episode in an open bath. I don’t like that. I like my settings to have some sort of constant genres and not random ideas. So in this… um… setting, our lead hero is your average energetic and edgy teenager with fire in his eyes, ready to take on the entire galaxy and prove his worth. He is not like the stereotype of so many teen adventures, because he is actually a ladies man, scoring some every time he feels like it. He also has a kid partner, a boy genius with computers who analyzes and tells him the weaknesses of his opponents. He also pilots a spaceship with robot arms, which has a naked girl as its power source. Wow, all that sound so exciting! And indeed they are… for four episodes.As soon as the fifth episode begins, the amazing premise crumbles and it’s replaced by random anime clichés and episodic adventures. Towards the end there is a sort of big finale for the salvation of the universe or something but by now the script is written by a monkey, so it doesn’t mean anything at all. Man, this was one of the worst disappointments I ever experienced in anime. CHARACTERS This crumbling of the plot works as a chain reaction that ruins the cast as well. In order to make myself clear, I will describe how each character begins and how he/she becomes after a few episodes.Gene: The lead hero. Starts as a cool young man, scoring with each chick he feels like it and laughs at the face of danger. Ends up as an idiot running after girls, being ridiculed all the time, going emo with his father who sacrificed to save him.Jim: The lead’s partner, a boy genius. He starts as the tactician, logistics supervisor and planner of the team. Ends up being a mascot for girls to go wild over him as he blushes and freezes. Melfina: The mysterious bioroid. Starts as a artificial human being with an erased past, as well as the spaceship’s power source. Ends up as a platonic relationship for Gene, a typical damsel in distress and fan service as she is always naked while used as a battery. Suzuka: Powerful swordswoman. Starts as a cold assassin. Ends as fan service for those who like geishas. Aisha: Powerful alien. Starts as a shape shifting exiled princess. Ends up as fan service for those who like catgirls.The villains: Numerous Chinese/Japanese themed cyborgs and taoists who aim to use Melfina’s secret powers to rule the galaxy. They start as threatening and imposing. They end up being cannon fodder with zero depth and characterization. ART / SOUND The chain reaction of the crumbling story affects the production values as well. Although the initial episodes have very good production values for their time, along the way you clearly see quality dropping more and more until in the final episodes becomes very flawed, with lazy drawings, jerky motions, and random battle choreography. The episodic nature of the show also made the world to look completely chaotic and random, taking you out of the mood entirely. The only thing I liked somewhat was the opening theme. VALUE / ENJOYMENT If the quality of the show had remained as good as in the first four episodes, this would have been one of the best anime of al times. But since it didn’t and since there is Cowboy Bebop to do right anything this show did wrong, I say there is very little replay value or enjoyment in this show. There are many who like it but I guess that is only for nostalgic reasons and not because it is an actually good series. On the other hand, if you are looking for braindead entertainment, this will feel a lot better to you than it did for me. After all it is full of nude, violence, guns, nude, swords, spaceships with arms, nude, extreme mission objectives, and… nude.
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