• Morality in Outlaw Star
  • Morality in Outlaw Star

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  1. #1
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    Morality in Outlaw Star

    Outlaw Star is a great anime. No doubt about that. But maybe there are some elements that are questionable about the show. Fan service and course language are some items that come to mind. Maybe the thought of being an Outlaw, in general, is not a happy-go-lucky thing as the show would have you believe, considering what the crew has to do and go through. What would you say is the most immoral thing about Outlaw Star and do you feel the series is better with it or would have been better without it?

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    I think OLS had a really good overall message of go after your dream and that is something that a lot of people tend to give up on when adulthood creeps in. As for the aspects of the morality in terms of language and fan service mild at best compared to other anime. Damn, shit and the occational bitch wasn't all that bad really. For the fan service, Melfina in the box and tube and the infamous episode 23: Hot Springs Planet Tenrei is mild by today's stanards in anime. At least compare to anime like Agent Aika, Ikkitousen and Highschool of the Dead, OLS is a lightweight in fan service to them.
    We are all insane, we just act normal for the sake of others.

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  4. #3
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    I think that in reality, the tendency of 'immorality' as one might put it just makes Outlaw Star more...well, realistic to me. The concept of one's own moral compass is a major theme in the anime, and it also outlines the fact that 'morality' in one place very well is different from another. If anything, I find part of Outlaw Star's greater purpose is to point out how morality is a vague concept that can vary from person to person and culture to culture. That said....I suppose from my own background, Gene's somewhat frivolous tendencies with alcohol and women are both likely realistic and generally seen as immoral from my background and culture. The general concept of an outlaw is a loose concept of morality at best, though, so that kind of makes sense all on its own, too.
    "I don't know what words I can say
    The wind has a way to talk to me
    Flowers sleep, a silent lullaby
    I pray for reply
    I'm ready"
    -Melfina's Song

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  6. #4
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    This is an excellent quandary, and in short I have to agree with Juneberry: a major theme of OS seems to be following your own moral compass by and large, and via Gene and the crew we see that cast, for the most part, in a positive light. But obviously there's another side to that coin: case in point, Ron and Harry McDougall. It's ambiguous, and I think that's one of the subtle reasons OS is so brilliant and enduring...because life is ambiguous, ambivalent to our choices, and one of the biggest hurdles is not overcoming some obstacle but rather simply choosing in which direction to go (seinen vs. shonen right here, folks).

    I think one of the most "immoral" (such a wonderfully ambiguous word) scenes to me personally was in Episode 15, when Gene and Mel have that awkward moment the night before Gene's big duel. It's a rather uncomfortable scene to watch, and I suppose "immoral" in many regards, but in answer to the original question I wouldn't alter/remove that scene for all the dragonite in the universe. It's beautiful, and one of the contributing factors to OS's status as a true work of art.

    It's very reminiscent of a certain scene in Bladerunner involving an intimate moment between Deckard and Rachel; there too, it's somewhat uncomfortable and to this day leaves audiences at odds with themselves and one another over how they act versus how they're "supposed to" react.

    But back to OS, it's beautiful: Melfina reaches out to Gene for some connection with a fellow "human" while Gene gears up for goin' heels to Jesus...neither really knows why they acted/reacted the way they did, and it's frustrating to both of them for different reasons: Melfina because Gene callously throws "programming" in her face evoking her anxiety over her ongoing existential crisis, and Gene at first sexually frustrated but in reality finally revealing his own anxiety over the upcoming do-or-die situation he's been forced into (notice how calm and cool he acted the entire episode up until that point: the veneer evaporated at that point as his emotions, hormones, and probably the alcohol all culminated to a boiling point).

    His hand had been forced to duel (partially out of his own pride), and we're shown plainly how much the freedom-loving Gene can't stand to have his options limited (I can relate). On an even deeper level, perhaps Gene was frustrated by his own immaturity: as we see during a few awkward moments with Hilda, one of Gene's "go-to" reactions involves sex, be it boasting (dare I say, overcompensating, as all young folk do) or the actual act. As Gene accuses Melfina of being "programmed" like a machine, what else would you call his unconscious reaction to her advancement? For Gene, as a young man trying to put on a tough face, females pretty much still = sex/the prospect of sex, and that sexual tension rears its ugly head several times throughout the series to very humanizing ends.

    It probably bothered Gene afterwards how he snapped at Melfina, and at how much he himself (and all of us) may be "programmed." And again, I know I've rambled a bit and it pretty much goes without saying, but despite how "immoral" this scene was, I wouldn't change it for all the tea in China. Think of how much would be lost. In fact, it is because this scene is "immoral," not in spite of it, that it is so beautiful.
    No one's gonna' give you a map. You've gotta' walk your own path.
    - Hilda

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  8. #5
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    Wow (Who is ) Lobo, very insightful.

    As I have said before, I am a religious person. A part of being religious to me means that you are accountable to Heavenly Father (God) for your thoughts, words, actions, and deeds. So doing good toward others and living in a way that invites good helps keep you moral.

    Being moral, means to have a set of values, standards, or principles, you follow that you are comfortable with. i.e. not killing other people, not stealing, honoring your word, or promise.

    In the sense of Outlaw Star (OLS), it is entertainment for me when I was 11 years old. Jim was 11 and I very much enjoyed the episode when Jim had his 24 hr girlfriend. (Time to get back on topic).

    But beyond that, there was coarse language in OLS. I live in a world of that from movies, music, television, radio, certain books, occupation, acquaintances, and random people I can overhear at public places. Just because I live IN the world, do not mean I am OF the world.

    I did not understand what "Fan service" was until I got older and I found that to be cool and exciting at the time. Now, I enjoy watching things where I need to think through the show (Like Ghost in the Shell). But fan service is fan service. Immoral, for me yeah. Does it reflect the world we live in? Sure. Near a job I work at is a nude bar. I bet that place has HEAPS of fan service lolz.

    The part I rather enjoyed of the show was two things: "The boy has a right to dream" and the Gene not having solid role models (No mother and losing his father).

    The "right to dream" is a simple idea that I got when I was younger and meant a lot to me. I can "dream big" and "make it big" by doing something that will get there. Yet, once I realized what my dreams were, I made a plan and acted on those plans. That to me is a great value or positive moral position.

    As for Gene not having role models. That is a tough part because we dont know much about his childhood, other than photos of him with his father. We do know that when he was 20-21 he was an outlaw, mercenary, and contractor - essentially job hopping from gig gig. He was unsteady with women (meaning he did not have many long term relationships with women which is why when he talk about his dreams about becoming a "pirate hunter", those girls weren't at all interested). I bet that is because he lacked those examples from his parents in childhood. And by Gene not witnessing how relationships function between a man and a woman, he is immature that way (case in point - his interactions with Melfina on multiple occasions).

    OLS does show the human condition of some people not having two parents to raise them. That is the reality for some people. Yet, what can we do to fix, change, or correct the current reality and make it moral? (that is a open and rhetorical question).

    Do my thoughts align with the topic/theme? Let me know if they do or do not and why.

    Thanks!
    "The mighty oak tree was once a tiny nut that stood its ground" - XD

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