Anime Review: “Outlaw Star” – Epic Sci-Fi Saga

Written by Alex Bowman July 31, 2014

Outlaw Star

The very first anime series that I reviewed for this site was “Cowboy Bebop” and, for those of you who have never heard of that show, here’s what you need to do: Sit down and binge watch it because you are missing out on a true work of art. I hold “Cowboy Bebop” on a special little pedestal that establishes my opinion on how sci-fi in anime needs to address and explore that theme in new and creative ways. So, when I stumbled upon “Outlaw Star” and was told it’s very similar to “Cowboy Bebop” I was skeptical; however, I wanted to give it a chance to see what the fuss was about. Is it worth viewing? Let’s find out.

 

The series focuses on a future set in outer space where a rare material called “dragonite” has changed the way we view interstellar travel. This new mode of travel makes creating and traversing between space colonies a breeze but, like with any new frontier, comes with your typical band of pirates, rogues, bandits and any other dip-shit with a weird hairdo looking to make a quick buck. Enter Gene Starwind and his 11-year-old business associate James “Jim” Hawking. Hawking stumbles upon an android girl, named Melfina, who can interface with one of the galaxies most sought after ships. They soon decide to set off on an adventure for the Galactic Leyline along with the help of contract killer “Twilight” Suzuka and Aisha Clanclan of the Ctarl-Ctarl alien race.

Outlaw Star

Outlaw Space

This show is advertised mainly as a space opera and it sure feels like it at times. The entire series manages to tell a really interesting and engaging plot that over-arcs every episode yet it still finds the time to be episodic with individual adventures. The writing for the show is a very nice blend of action, humor, romance and fantasy; it just looks and feels like a smorgasbord of all the things I like about sci-fi. In fact, one of the things that drew me in to this series originally was just how fresh it felt. You may also draw a lot of similarities to Joss Whedon’s “Firefly” which you may or may not like. The animation is also top-notch and really comes alive during the incredible fight scenes and galactic dogfights. “Outlaw Star” carves a really nice niche in the sci-fi genre by creating a really fun and entertaining method of aerial dogfights that really compliments the look and feel of this world. It may look goofy at first but, as the series progresses, you will really start to get into it when the stakes are raised.

Outlaw Star

Into Burning Space

The characters of “Outlaw Star” really stick out the most to me. Each one is portrayed in very entertaining ways and work well off of one another in ways that don’t become stagnant or stale. Gene and Jim are perfect foils for one another and each one has a back-story that may seem cliched, but fits with the development of their characters as they progress through the show. Melfina will remind you a lot of River Tam; in fact, both characters are revealed in pretty much the same way which makes me pretty suspicious of our King of the Nerds. Suzuka is essentially the female version of Wolverine and is guaranteed to leave a very huge mark on fans of the “chicks with weapons” trope. By far, the one who steals the scene the most is Aisha. Her personality really highlights the comedic elements of the show while also establishing her character as this hopeless, bumbling warrior who just wants to be taken seriously despite her feline appearance and lack of intelligence. Any sci-fi story involving a spaceship is nothing without a colorful and memorable crew which “Outlaw Star” definitely has in spades.

Outlaw Star

Cats and Girls and Spaceships

“Outlaw Star” is one of those rare gems that has a lot going for it despite initial appearances. The writing for this show is a perfect blend that compliments the main sc-fi focus very nicely without taking too much away. The characters are all entertaining in their own ways and are the buoys keeping this show afloat in the vast sea of anime. The story is massive and epic to the point of keeping you interested in what is going to happen next which is perfect for binge watching. The entire series has a unique concept that has a plethora of style and heart. This is one anime that deserves its place among the stars.

My Rating: 8/10

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