Is it just me or have recent anime series bled right into each other? They seem to be more of the same. That’s not to say that there haven’t been some stand outs, but the majority have been more of the same. The medium has become saturated with the demand for new content. With this constant barrage of new content, it can become too much. Sometimes it can be nice to go back to our anime roots. For this week’s Otaku Digest we have Outlaw Star.
Maybe it’s not from every anime fans roots, but Outlaw Star is one that I can always remember rushing through my homework for so I could watch it on Toonami.
Take off to Space
I began to realise recently that I have a thing for space anime. There is something fascinating about them; the different stories showing what space could become in the future piques my interest like no other.
Who said dreams do not come true? Gene Starwind looks to the stars with a dream to someday be among them as an outlaw. However, this has not become a reality for him as he resides on the small planet, Sentinel III. He works as a generic jack of all trades with his partner James Hawking. This is until they meet Rachel, a mysterious woman who hires them for a job. Thing do not go to plan when they are attaked by space pirates; it turns out Rachel is actually Hilda, an outlaw. She reveals she is protecting a special person, a young woman named Melfina.
The duo tag along with Hilda and Melfina, changing both their lives. They are set out on an adventure aboard the advanced grappler ship the Outlaw Star. Will they get everything they dreamed of?
Grappling with an Outlaw
I genuinely cannot believe the series is nearly twenty years old. It hold so much nostalgia for me. As mentioned previously, it used to air on Toonami back in the day. It holds a special place for me since it was one of my first adult anime. And an adult anime it most certainly was, banned episode and all! The anime used everything to its advantage, grabbing its sci fi roots and taking it to a whole new level with some fantasy elements.
The story is intense but they managed to incorporate a lot of comedic elements to the mix. This is mainly seen in the interactions between the characters. Gene and James have that big/ little brother relationship going on; James is younger but fronts a lot of the responsibility and Gene, although older, is more immature. Gene is also ‘the muscle’.
These two bickering and working together is the glue that keeps this little group together. There are so many personalities that come into the mix in this anime from small parts to main cast. What is particularly well done in the anime is character development; each receive their own part to develop. Gene learns to be more of a leader as his team expands and the team, although all so different, learn to work together. Whether it is the random new races of people like the Ctarl Ctarl or even the smallest minor character, each have been thought out to a T. The villains in this series are also top notch; not only can you hate their guts but you can also feel empathy for them, just not all the time.
The animation of the series is reminiscent of the time it was released; the hard lined drawing style but the effective use of colours gives this version of space a new life.
Caster shells at the ready, this is a series that any anime fan could enjoy for different reasons. There is something for everyone, but perhaps it’s more appropriate for an older age group.