The universe of outlaw takes place in the Future Retro Hero story universe of Takehito Ito’s works more specifically the to the stars era.
Outlaw Star is an anime series that takes place in the Future Retro Hero universe. It is a space western/space opera which focuses on the outlaw star team doing various odd jobs in the galaxy and getting caught up in many adventures as they search for a treasure trove called “Galactic Leyline”.
The world of outlaw star itself was very interesting. The manga and the anime have different approaches to its story. The version I have watched is the Bandai legends complete collection which features a completely uncensored version just how it is meant to be seen. The Toonami/cartoon network release had parts of the story altered or cut out.
The main cast is by far one of the most likable teams in anime. Gene Starwind is the captain of the team. He is a notorious womanizer and someone who does the bare minimum in his work as a captain and he is also pretty reckless. Gene is a very compelling character who put his team’s wellbeing placed first. He is determined with a lot of various skills that make him successful. There's also the young Jim Hawking who despite his age, is very mature and handles the business side of Hawking-Starwind enterprises. Jim balances the team with his measured and thoughtful approach to situations.
Aisha Clan is the happy go lucky cat girl who is very unpredictable and very humorous. Aisha is a very strong character and she can easily back up herself whenever challenged. Twilight Suzuka is a mysterious assassin and also one of the more intelligent and cultured member of the team. Each member of the team had very compelling chemistry with one another especially Melfina and Gene. Melfina is by far the most innocent character in the entire story, even more so than someone as young as Jim since Jim is involved in morally grey situations while Melfina has this childlike view of life. Melfina’s character development mainly happened in the final episodes of the show but it was worth the wait.
The dialogue is cheesy by today’s standards of script writing but it is still very entertaining. I also really enjoyed the English and Japanese voice acting.
The show really got it right with the balance between lighthearted comedy and the more serious aspects of the shoe. The animation of the show is entirely hand drawn and even if you watched it today it is still looks great. The scenes look and feel flawless and smooth.
The musical score was really great to hear. The quality of writing in the show fluctuates quite often. The show’s pacing was off at times some parts can go by pretty fast while other parts can go by quite slowly. The action scenes were very well animated and very entertaining to watch.
Many stuff in the show has multiple unresolved plotholes.
The anime ended with this message.
“The adventure never ends we’ll set off on a journey sometime somewhere to the stars again. And the new adventures will begin again”.
It’s a very common pattern I have noticed with certain media Sunrise has worked on be it Cowboy Bebop or Witch Hunter Robin that after the show is done, it never really gets a sequel and there are certain key plot points that aren’t resolved for years. Like Spike’s fate, wheter Robin survived in the ending of Witch Hunter Robin or whether Suzuka had feelings for Gene or not.
There isn’t much character development as they remain true to form during the series. Also, many motivations for characters and parts of their backstories are unexplained like would the Kei pirates be after Suzuka and her family and also why was it that Hilda hated the Kei pirates. Another part left unexplained was how Jim and Gene met.
It is by far one of the best space westerns in anime.
It gets 5 out of 5 stars.
If anything deserves a sequel, it would be this show and Witch Hunter Robin and even Cowboy Bebop. The creators of the series and the production team want to make a sequel but for some reason or the other, this won’t happen soon. The best thing we could all do as fans of Outlaw Star is to buy the official physical media and merchandise of Outlaw Star so that Sunrise, Takehiko Ito and the anime industry get the message that the fans want to see a sequel of this brilliant series.