Taoist space pirates, giant explosions, revolver/rocket launcher hybrids, giant explosions and a gun that fires magic! Can you tell how excited I am to write this? For all the love I pile on newer stuff like Madoka and Mirai Nikki, Outlaw Star is pure, utter gold. The first ‘real,’ adult anime I watched, this holds a special place in my heart.
The story is all sorts of crazy dressed up like a space western (much like Trigun, another favorite of mine). It’s typical late-nineties, early-2000’s stuff. Two guys on a backwater planet run into a mysterious stranger and get caught up in a massive hunt for unimaginable power, treasure, and knowledge. Despite being a sucker for a good space western, I wouldn’t give Outlaw Star so much love if there wasn’t something special to it.
That’s where the Kei Pirates come in. The Taoist space pirates mentioned earlier bring a sense of strange, almost out of place mysticism to the series. As a kid, the rank-and-file soldiers of the pirates always gave me the creeps. I mean… No human should be so impossibly thin or contort themselves into such bizarre positions. No android should either. I mean… in the first episode, four or five of them become a hovering platform for another villain.
And you simply can’t talk about Outlaw Star without mentioning the caster gun and the special shells it fires. It’s… pretty much how it sounds. A massive, pseudo-ancient handgun, the caster gun flat-out fires spells encased in bullets, which makes a hell of an explosion. Certain shells are even powerful to the point of taking part of Gene’s life away after being fired. It doesn’t get much more badass than that.
All in all, Outlaw Star is a superb example of early 2000/late nineties anime. It’s over the top, gritty, and packed with fights and fanservice. It’s also an excellent twist on the usual space western, what with all the magic and mysticism in there. I honestly don’t think I can think of someone who I wouldn’t recommend Outlaw Star to. If I could sell my kidneys to get this thing relicensed, cleaned up, and published again, I would. And I’m pretty sure I need those to live.
Anyway, thanks for listening to me ramble on like a madman. That is me done for the week, so I will check you fine folks out on Monday. If you have any suggestions for future Looking Back articles, feel free to let me know in the comments or via email or something. If you like what you see, feel free to subscribe to stay updated with what’s going on around here. As always, many thanks for the support and have a good’un.