Anime Vice News

OUTLAW STAR #1 -- Watch & Learn

All hail traditional animation!

Here’s another "new classic" you lunatics have recommended rather insistently. As this is what I’ll watch and learn from while I take a (permanent?) break from YU YU HAKUSHO, it's kind-of confirmed to me that I’m removed from a rather significant portion of American anime fans because my interest in this stuff wasn’t shaped significantly by Toonami. Indeed, I’d never actually heard of this series until I interviewed Richie Branson about the rap he spun about it on his last EP.

Watching this without any attachments of nostalgia, I’ve got to say that hand-drawn animation objectively looks better to me than the sort of toonin’ with all the digital intermediaries you see everywhere today. Yeah, maybe this is one good example that persisted whilst dozens of poorer examples were forgotten, but I still think this harder path forces the animators to make much more purposeful choices about lighting, framing, detail and assorted on-screen storytelling techniques. There’s something more… weighty about the flat color palette, as well.

As for the story, though? Well, the argument for “Older is better” isn’t as strong.

This tale of space pirates and space bounty hunters (not sure which one these good guys are, actually) definitely smells of the “This ain’t your daddy’s cartoon” red-sticker-on-the-VHS-cover days of anime in America. It’s the sort of thinly-drawn, heavy-on-the-archetypes yarn that makes for a perfectly passable adventure - - if not necessarily an original one. Indeed, watching this makes me want to read up on exactly who the first space pirate in pop fiction was, because I’d be really curious to find where everybody’s taking these tropes from. I doubt it was Captain Harlock, I doubt it was Cobra, and I doubt it was Han Solo... but Gene's got a a little from all of them.

Yeah, I don’t know - - we had a shakedown with some cyborgs in a space bar, and that led to this motely pair of roustabouts taking on another space bounty before getting interrupted by a bunch of space pirates. The action’s suitably kickass, but there’s not a lot to differentiate it from other material of its era, so far.

I suppose I’ll just have to stick around for a few episodes to find out what’s so beguiled people about this?

Look up this episode, "Outlaw World” and decide for yourself.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

rubberluffyon July 24, 2012 at 1:08 p.m.

While a lot of people really love Outlaw Star, like my best friend, I just really like it. But when it comes to coolest gun and coolest ship, OS really comes out ahead. Gene's Caster is fucking cool as hell (if a little deus ex machina-ish at times) and their titular ship is definitely a fictional ship favorite of mine.

I say you stick with it.

Lurkeroon July 24, 2012 at 7:17 p.m.

I wasn't too fond of Outlaw Star when it started airing on Toonami. But if you are going to go with Toonami Shows, Tom, you better be careful. Pretty soon people will start asking for Zoids and Ronin Warriors. I wouldn't mind if you did shows like G Gundam and Rurouni Kenshin though.

Marshal Victoryon July 24, 2012 at 9:28 p.m.

1st go on this series did not grab me.Ill try again .

@Lurkero: i agree Rurouni Kenshin retro review would be good. But not the Samurai X version .Hmm couldnt find entry for http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=871

Armor Hunter Mellowlink (OAV) which was a spin off of Armored Trooper Votoms (TV) if your gona go back for hand drawn animation with half decent stories least look in the fist of northstar era/style.

Edit:

just watched 1st full episode. An i think what i seen before was a poorly edited version.The art style remins me of cross tween appleseed manga and Tenchi Muyo .Not bad at all .

Sonata moderator on July 25, 2012 at 1 a.m.
I can't fully remember Outlaw Star, but I still remember Gene was awesomeXD
AgentJon July 25, 2012 at 7:25 p.m.

You're doing Outlaw Star?

OOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHH YEAAHAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Dig Deeper into Outlaw Star

Gene Starwind and Jim Hawking have a business that will basically do anything for the right price. Things soon change when they open a suitcase and find the bioroid Melfina.

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