The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Outlaw Star

Title: Outlaw Star
Genre: Action
Company: Sunrise
Format: 26 episodes
Dates: 8 Jan 1998 – 25 Jun 1998

Synopsis: Gene Starwind and Jim Hawking are the founders of the “Starwind and Hawking Enterprises”. They’ll do anything for the right price, and they mean anything. When one of their jobs lands them with a free ship, a cyborg, and the ultimate mystery of finding the Galactic Leyline, will they be up to the task of solving it? Maybe, but they’ll have to survive K-Pirates, samurai assassins, and half-tiger half-human women. This is going to be tougher than they thought.

The Highlights
Characters: Quirky and loveable.
Great opening theme.
Genres: Mixes them well.
Story: Interesting, but often quite predictable.

I watched Outlaw Star a bit after watching another anime about bounty hunters in space, called Cowboy Bebop. I was expecting to see many similarities between the two, but despite a few exceptions the two are completely different. In fact, I can safely say two shows, essentially about the same thing, have never been so different. Outlaw Star is much more than a generic carbon copy of Bebop and shame on anyone who says any different. Outlaw Star proves that it can stand on its own two feet and easily go head-to-head with some of the anime giants out there.

One of the great qualities of Outlaw Star is the amazing draw it has to new fans of anime. It’s really easy to get into and is great for fans just getting over the Dragonball Z hump of anime viewing. This likeability comes straight from Outlaw Star’s cast of original quirky characters. From the braniac Jim Hawking, to the silent but deadly samurai girl, Suzuka, everybody will find someone to love. Another reason this show has such great appeal to newer anime viewers is stellar music. The opening song, “Through the Night”, kicks things off with a bang. It gets your blood pumping and heat racing. By the time the show actually starts, you’re already excited about it! However, Outlaw Star isn’t just about getting people into anime. It has a lot to offer to the more seasoned veterans as well.

Be it romance or comedy, action or drama, Outlaw Star has it all. And it blends them all together very well. Far too many times in the modern anime world do we see anime with romance or comedy just thrown in the mix to try and fill up space or add a certain touch here and there. However, most of this falls flat on its face. But in the case of Outlaw Star, these genres blend seamlessly together to create quite the animated tapestry. I, for one, applaud Outlaw Star for flying high where oh so many more have fallen to the ground in utter disgrace.

The plot of Outlaw Star is deep. It is essentially a mystery story more than anything else. It asks many questions throughout the show. However, it seems that some of these questions were a bit too easy to answer on our own. I often found myself making predictions about the plot mid-way through the show and having those predictions come true later on. Although the story is interesting and fun, it is essentially a mystery story and with no mystery; one is left wondering, “What’s the point?”

To be quite blunt, Outlaw Star is a great show. If you are just finishing up the Dragonball Z series and are looking for your next favorite anime series, or if you are an old vet just looking for some fond memories, look no further. Outlaw Star won’t disappoint.

The Rating: 9

Reviewed by: DarkKanti

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