Outlaw Star – episodes 14 to 26

April 18, 2005 on 6:37 pm | In Outlaw Star | Comments Off on Outlaw Star – episodes 14 to 26

Outlaw Star generally maintains a high standard in the last stretch, but does fall into some dangerous territory along the way. Dangerous, arbitrary territory.

The MacDougall brothers, until the halfway point, were the main “villains” of the story. They were menacing and, in the case of Harry, borderline psychotic. This was some good material, but along the way the writers seem to realise that they were making these two characters a little too sympathetic, and need to inject a threat. The brothers’ drama is great, but narratively they are seen as less important.

So along comes the the Anten Seven, Outlaw Star‘s equivalent of Rurouni Kenshin‘s Shinsengumi, Kyotogumi – just about any -gumi, really – and Trigun‘s Gung-Ho Guns. A group of seven warriors, among them a face copier, a straight up gunman, some sort of necromancer, and a mistress of using cats in space, the Anten Seven are also after the Galactic Leyline. For a while, it looks like the Anten Seven are going to infect the show and make it a countdown to inevitability. This, fortunately, does not eventuate.
This storyline does throw something for a loop. One might expect that an “expert with cats in space” would be a funny thing, especially when this deadly assassin is a twelve year old girl. Yet this episode turns out to be one of the more serious in the series, and has a truly unexpected outcome – the height of the storyline.

The final break before the home stretch is the episode titled “Hot Springs Planet Tenrei”. It is exactly as it sounds, and is one of the best fan service and comedy extravaganzas ever. The fan service isn’t ultra servicey, but it goes a long way to producing big laughs while also providing some history of the universe. Not an overall important episode – it was skipped in American TV broadcasts due to the simple issue of Aisha naked – but definitely entertaining to the max.

The final arc builds well, with plenty of drama and laughs. The sole problem is that it becomes extremely arbitrary at the very end, introducing the idea of making Hazanko, leader of the Anten Seven, centre of a big final confrontation piece. The journey had been fine, but this seemed like the wrong way to conclude it: with giant big growing things that should not ultimately have been as important as they were.

Outlaw Star was fun to watch, with one of the most shocking episodes and one of the best fan service episodes ever. The thing that makes this sort of series work is a great crew, and the Outlaw Star definitely had one of those.

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