Outlaw Star is underrated.
Seihō Bukyō Outlaw Star (lit. “Outlaw Star: Starward Warrior Knight), or simply Outlaw Star is Sunrise Studio 10’s 1998 anime adaption of the manga series of the same name by mangaka Takehiko Itō. Outlaw Star aired in the West in three years later in early 2001 on the Cartoon Network’s dedicated anime and action block, Toonami, alongside other anime series such as Sailor Moon S, Dragon Ball Z (Cell Saga), Tenchi Muyo, and so forth. While not as massively popular and successful as the series mentioned, Outlaw Star devolved a cult following in North America, which stands strong even today – nearly 16 years since its original North American airing.
What’s Outlaw Star premise and why do I consider it underrated?
Outlaw Star follows bounty hunters Gene Starwind and his business partner the child genius Jim Hawking as the two make ends meet by taking up odd jobs, chasing bounties on criminals across the galaxy, and wanting to achieve their ultimate goal: discovering the legendary omnipresent data repository – The Galactic Leyline. During their adventure, the two add to their motley crew Aisha Clan Clan, military officer and ambassador to the Ctarl-Ctarl military, the beautiful assassin Twilight Suzuka, and the mysterious bio-android Melfina.
What makes Outlaw Star underrated is how underappreciated the narrative themes explored in the show; confronting fears and questioning one’s existence being two of the main key narrative themes.
At the tage of 15, Gene helplessly witnessed the murdered of his father at by space pirates. He narrowly escaped with the help of his father (who threw him into an escape pod moments before their ship exploded). Such a horrific event would devolved into a phobia of space exploration in Gene. It wouldn’t be until five years later when Gene meet up with fellow bounty hunter, “Hot Ice” Hilda, who would inspired him to get over his fears for his dream to find the Galatic Leyline (and to protect Melfina).
‘You gonna just keep running away?’
-Ice Hot Hilda to Gene
As an artificially creation, Melfina questions her existence and her reason of her creation. Resulting from her unnatural creation, Melfina views the world with a lens of innocence and naivety, allowing her to give a straight forward opinions and viewpoints in the world she lives in.
As the series progress, Melfina comes to terms with her existence and overtime discover her purpose in life.
“Who am I? Why was I made? Who made me? And what did they make me for?”
And that’s what I can remember from her personality and character developments as I haven’t watch Outlaw Star in years. I do plan on watching the entire again in the future, so I can give you guys a much better run down of the series later on. In the meantime I would recommend you to watch the series if you love space opera such as Cowboy Bebop. While the story pacing is tedious in terms of not getting to the point and the show visuals are outdated compared to most shows from that area, Outlaw Star is nonetheless a great watch. Please check it out!