Anime Vice News

OUTLAW STAR #3 -- Watch & Learn

You can pick all the cherries you want, but you've got to know how to arrange 'em.

How nice of the narrator to take all that time out (a whole prologue, no less) to explain what the word “Outlaw” means. Oh yes, yes... sure... there’s some very rich history behind that word’s usage in the universe of OUTLAW STAR. Except, even with all that back story, the meaning hasn’t been changed too terribly here. It’s sort of akin, I suppose, to some middle-schooler breaking down what the V.I.L.L.A.I.N.S. acronym means in the spy story he wrote for creative writing assignment.

Catchy theme song aside, I’m very rapidly getting the sense that this is another series like TRIGUN where the accolades are all coming from fans who first watched it when they were 15 and still haven’t taken those rose-tinted glasses off. One of you lunatics suggested that COWBOY BEBOP owes a lot to this show. If it does, then this feels like a case of some layabout lending his car to some industrious dude who goes on and drives it off to do something much more worthwhile somewhere.

Another one of you lunatics said that this show could actually be likened to THE AVENGERS flick for how it grouped together a bunch of disparate elements and somehow made them work together in spite of their differences. Seeing it in action, it seems more like a bunch of cool things that have been cherry picked into a proverbial basket with no sense for the arrangement… much like the aforementioned hypothetical creative writing assignment. We’re three episodes in and this show’s got to have to one of the most thinly-sketched mythologies I’ve ever run across in a space opera. Even thinner than those in the chintsy serial matinees that started the whole genre.

That said… the voice actress handling the outer space elf queen was an absolute riot in this episode. The screwball comedy portions where she’s alternating trying to impress her daddy and bristling under his lame rules were genuinely entertaining. And that makes it genuinely a shame that they don’t seem to integrate with the rest of the story.

I’m giving this another episode to impress me. Maaaaaaaaybe two, depending on scheduling. After that point, the prospect of picking SPACE BROTHERS up again seems mighty tempting.

Look up this episode, "Star of Desire” and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

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

AgentJon July 30, 2012 at 12:21 p.m.

It is still rather early, young padawan :P Yes, Outlaw Star isn't deep on a Bebop level, but if you enjoyed Yu Yu on any level, you should be capable of enjoying this. Tell you what, if by episode 7 you haven't found anything you like, then I'll have no issue with you moving on. By then you'll have most all the pieces necessary to know what Outlaw Star is all about.

I'd be interested in hearing your take on the music. The composer is Akino Arai, and other than perhaps Joe Hisashi (Miyazaki's personal composer) and Yoko Kanno (Ghost in the Shell, Cowboy Bebop), she is probably the best in the anime business. I've found the soundtrack to be immensely enjoyable even outside of the context of the show.

Killer_of_trollson July 31, 2012 at 6:25 a.m.

@AgentJ: damn, you are so persuasive, and people rarely have that effect on me . I am going to watch it now, and if I finish 7 an like I'll continue. *goes to get Beats by Dre ear-phones* you said the music was the best part.

Marshal Victoryon July 31, 2012 at 6:25 p.m.

Um who said Cowboy Bebop owes alot to this?Stuff like that gets thrown around way to easy.If some one really thinks that please explain it to me.Cause i can make a case this show owes some to Tenchi Muyo! which came out in September 25, 1992 an Outlaw Star manga came out in September 20, 1996.

Oh an thanks for the reminds on Cowboy Bebop.. need to see about getting a sound track. cd .Also Um weird i was thinking same thing as Tom Pinchuk that this kinda reminded me a little of Trigun to.

zaldaron Aug. 8, 2012 at 8:01 p.m.

@Marshal Victory: That would be me but the context is important here. It was in suggesting a topic of conversation for an animevicepit episode asking about if historical shows that started a genre or way of approaching a genre can still be enjoyed if you watch the better versions of it first. Cowboy bebop is certainly better than outlaw star but the way that show has the bounty hunters as anti-heroes and its world set up has a lot of debt to this show. Much like madokka has debt to earlier magical girl shows...but if you start with madokka your appreciation of something like sailor moon will likely be significantly less..

Marshal Victoryon Aug. 9, 2012 at 11:29 a.m.

@zaldar:Guess it all comes down to the eyes of the beholder.Opinion an all.But back drop an set pieces does not always mean one owes the previous a debt at all.Honestly im stuck on episode 5 of Outlaw Star .I see way more nods in style to Tenchi Muyo!

At least up to this point in the show.From art style to even space ship nature interiors even Tao powers.Not saying Outlaw Star is unwatchable by way means.But i see more connection to Tenchi Muyo! than to Cowboy Bebop.Sure one can make a argument this paved the way for that.But that argument does not mean this is derivative of that.So to speak.

An yes what we see 1st will always color our perspective .If not tint out opinions a bit.But the argument you make one could also say then any space opera owes a debt to Star Wars .Which seems unfair.Because http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Samurai was remade into http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Magnificent_Seven . Their set back drops could not be more different.But one is a adaption of the other.

zaldaron Aug. 12, 2012 at 6:28 p.m.

Ah good points! I haven't seen Tenchi Muyo so I can't say anything about style comparisons there but as this show goes on I think the paved the way for will become more obvious, then again it has been years since I have watched any episodes of this so I am going on remembrance.

Dig Deeper into Outlaw Star

A popular outlaw, sci-fi action, space western. The series is often compared to Cowboy Bebop and was in fact released only 1 year before Cowboy Bebop

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