Before the dark times, before “Teen Titans Go,” Cartoon Network was at its peak back in 1992-2013 with amazing shows including “Samurai Jack,” “Courage The Cowardly Dog,” “Teen Titans,” “Justice League” and my personal favorite, “Ed Edd N Eddy.” Adult Swim, another block for an older audience, aired awesome shows like “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” “The Venture Bros,” “Yu Yu Hakusho” and my favorite anime of all time, “Cowboy Bebop.” A former block known as “Miguzi” aired the 2003 animated “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Totally Spies” and one of my favorite shows growing up is “Code Lyoko.” Toonami is a notable block for introducing anime to an American viewers giving us magnificent shows such as “Sailor Moon,” “Gundam Wing,” “Naruto” and of course the big one known as “Dragon Ball Z.” One anime in particular I remember watching as a kid is “Outlaw Star.” Toonami’s host is TOM voiced by one of my favorite voice actors, Steve Blum.
When I first heard of Outlaw Star, I got back home from school excited to see what’s on Toonami while gathering Oreo’s and Capri-Sun. As I wait patiently, I saw a preview with Peter Cullen’s (Optimus Prime) voice as a preview announcer giving me a glimpse of the show. You cannot forget the words, “Wild West Y2K Style.” I watched a few episodes and I was hooked. Outlaw Star aired on Toonami in 2001. An uncut version aired on Adult Swim in 2002 alongside Yu Yu Hakusho and Cowboy Bebop.
Funimation is currently working on an upcoming “Dragon Ball Super” film slated for a 2022 release. As an anime enthusiast since childhood, I want to share my thoughts on Outlaw Star and introduce some of you why it deserves more attention after it fir
Today’s review doesn’t contain no SPOILERS. I’m giving some of you a chance to see all twenty six episodes.
The Whole Thing
Positive: Voice Actors all did a great job for their respective voiceover performances.
Animation still holds up for an anime back when it first aired on Toonami.
Action Sequences are amazing as they contain space battles, gunplay, swordplay just to name a few.
Humor has some legit funny moments. Particularly from Aisha. She gets Bonus Points for her over-the-top tough boisterous personality.
Chemistry between Gene and his crew serve as the main highlight. There interactions with one another moves the story forward.
Each crew member on the titular ship has a distinctive personality displaying an individual is memorable.
Without giving too much away Character Development involving Gene. He becomes a mature leader and letting go of his psychological trauma linked to his past.
As the series progresses, we learn about Gene’s troubled past.
The uncut version contains swearing, naked scenes and blood. Not on the high level of gore in a Quentin Tarantino film.
Soundtrack is memorable. Hearing the track “Loneliness” brought back Toonami memories. It was used during commercial breaks. Man I miss my childhood.
Every episode opens with The Narrator explaining the show’s mythos.
The MacDougall brothers first names are Harry & Ron. Coincidentally, “Harry Potter And Sorcerer’s Stone” came out on 2001.
Jim Hawking is named after Jim Hawkins from “Treasure Island.”
The ship’s A.I. Gilliam is named after former “Monty Python” member turned filmmaker Terry Gilliam.
Opening Credits has a catchy tune. Makes you wanna go on a space adventure.
Ending Credits also has a catchy tune as well.
Negative: Animation Errors often occur in certain episodes.
Episode 1 – Outlaw World
Rich: Gene & Jim accept a “ customer’s “job offer.”
The “Customer” has an agenda.
Episode 1’s ending kickstarts the entire series.
Poor: No boo boos found.
Episode 2 – World Of Desires
Strong: Gene & Jim form an alliance with Hilda & Melfina as outlaws.
“Sleeping Beauty” is referenced. Disney’s “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” came out in 2001.
Weak: Nothing bad happened.
Episode 3 – Into Burning Space
Hot: Hilda pilots a ship to search for her allies.
The Crew encounter a starcruiser led by a half/tiger and half-human named, Aisha.
A chase scene ensues.
Aisha receives bad news.
Cold: No cons found.
Episode 4 – When The Hot Ice Melts
Stable: The Crew take control of a valuable ship.
A space battle escalates between The Crew & space pirates.
A shocking moment happened.
Unstable: At the 23:10 mark, an animation error not showing Gene’s eyes and lips.
Episode 5 – The Beast Girl Ready To Pounce!
Happy: As a result of her reckless actions, Aisha is demoted. She encounters Gene.
Aisha is so funny. Gotta love her over-the-top personality.
Sad: Nothing found.
Episode 6 – The Beautiful Assassin
Full: Gene reunites with an old friend. Meanwhile, an assassin named, Suzuka hunts down the latter.
Gene and Suzuka have a duel.
Empty: No cons discovered.
Episode 7 – Creeping Evil
Good: Gene & Gilliam undergo maintenance for the Outlaw Star.
Space Pirates attempt to eliminate Gene and his allies.
Suzuka protects The Crew from danger using her skills.
Evil: No issues seen.
Episode 8 – Forced Departure
Yay: An awesome space battle between The Crew and Space Pirates.
Picking up after Episode 7, Gene is severely injured. He needs medical attention.
Nay: An animation error with Gene looking like a Ken doll without a “unit.”
Episode 9 – A Journey Of Adventure! Huh?
Promote: In need for money, Gene accepts a “contract.”
Suzuka gains The Crew’s trust.
Demote: Nothing bad occurred.
Episode 10 – Gathering For The Space Race
Winner: Gene signs up to participate in a space race in order to win a boatload of money and confirm his suspicions of a ship possibly connected to his troubled past.
Gene “reunites” with a familiar face. Which is played for laughs.
Loser: No boo boos spotted.
Episode 11 – Adrift In Space
Float: Picking up where Episode 10 left off, The Crew continue their space race.
Gene makes a crazy decision.
The results of the race are revealed.
Sink: Couldn’t find any flaws.
Episode 12 – Mortal Combat With The El Dorado
Victory: The Crew engage in space combat with The El Dorado.
Aisha brings up a rumor about treasure in The Galactic Leyline.
Gene encounters a familiar face.
Failure: No issues spotted.
Episode 13 – Advance Guards From Another World
Gain: The Crew search for jobs so they can earn money.
I’m totally not making this up. Gene is dressed like Spike Spiegel from “Cowboy Bebop.” Again, my favorite anime aired on Adult Swim.
A cactus plays a prominent role.
Lose: No flaws discovered.
Episode 14 – Final Countdown
First: The Crew must disarm a bomb.
Gene’s wanted poster made me chuckle.
Last: No single flaw found.
Episode 15 – The Seven Emerge
Rise: Gene fights an assassin. It’s pretty intense.
In retaliation of defeating many pirates, The Seven hunt down Gene.
Fall: No cons spotted.
Episode 16 – Demon Of The Water Planet
Angel: The Crew accept a job to retrieve a cargo of valuable material on an underwater planet with help from a Captain Ahab-esque character.
The valuable material are purple crystals. They predate Eridium from the “Borderlands” video game series.
Devil: No boo boos found.
Episode 17 – Between Life And Machine
Living: Gene battles half of the MacDougall Brothers.
Melfina encounters the other MacDougall brother.
Dead: Nope. No flaws.
Episode 18 – The Strongest Women In The Universe
Mighty: Desperate for income, Gene participates in a wrestling match. It’s hilarious to see him disguised as a female wrestler. Aisha also participates.
Aisha’s wrestling outfit predates Ann’s red cat themed outfit from “Persona 5.”
Fatigue: Couldn’t any cons.
Episode 19 – Law And Lawlessness
Noble: The Crew are captured by The Law They interrogate Gene.
A tall space lizard reminds me of Bossk from “Star Wars” but with more spikes.
The Law have information about something important.
Illusive: No boo boos discovered.
Episode 20 – Cats And Girls And Spaceships
Cute: After an intense space battle, The Crew kill some time as the ship is under repair.
Jim becomes friends with a girl.
Jim does an impression of Spike Spiegel’s “BANG” scene from Cowboy Bebop.
A Plot Twist is revealed.
Ugly: At the 18:10 mark, an animation error with Gene looks like he’s squinting his eyes as if he’s staring at the sun.
Episode 21 – Grave Of The Dragon
High: The Crew searches for information about The Galactic Leyline.
The MacDougall Brothers pursue The Crew.
Gene receives an unexpected request.
Low: Nope. No issues shown.
Episode 22 – Gravity Jailbreak
Unlocked: Gene infiltrates a prison with intense gravity so he can find coordinates of the Galactic Leyline.
Gene teams up with an inmate who’s link to the mission.
Locked: No issues shown.
Episode 23 – Hot Springs Planet Tenrei
Hot: The Crew go on a Hot Spring vacation. Pretty much a breather for them to take a break. Except for Gene, he’s looking for magic ammo.
This episode is absolutely hilarious. Especially Gene having a hard time finishing an errand.
We learn about the capabilities of Gene’s gun.
I don’t remember this episode was on Toonami. I think Cartoon Network skipped the episode, due to nudity.
Cold: Nothing terrible occurred.
Episode 24 – Cutting The Galactic Leyline
Clear: After a few episodes build up, The Crew learn the location of The Galactic Leyline. They’re not alone.
A space battle escalates The Stakes. The Crew fight. Their way through difficult obstacles.
Episode 24’s ending, indicates we’re getting near the end of the series.
Cluttered: Nope. Not a single flaw discovered.
Episode 25 – Maze Of Despair
Safe: This episode’s pre-opening credits lacks a narration exploring a specific subject. This time, we see Melfina in flashbacks. What we are about to see, is gonna be one heck of a payoff.
Gene and his crew navigate a maze as they fight their foes.
Suzuka has a personal score to settle.
A few characters meets their fates.
Peril: Nothing awful spotted.
Episode 26 – Return To Space
Free: Final Episode wraps up Gene and his crew’s story arc.
Melfina’s destiny all makes sense.
The Climatic Battle feels like watching a boss fight from “Star Fox 64.” Also a cyberspace fight is pretty trippy resembling an “Æon Flux” episode. I’m referring to the MTV animated series not the lackluster movie with Charlize Theron.
A Post-Credits Scene is shown. Then, a text fades in we might see Gene and his crew someday in the future.
Captured: Nothing found.
The Final Verdict: A-
From my point of view, Outlaw Star is an amazing anime that’ll keep you busy from start to finish. If you have no plans or never seen Outlaw Star, I recommend it by streaming on Hulu. I wanna see a remastered version of the anime on Ultra 4K. I hope follow up is in the works. It’s been 20 Years since it first aired.