• Memories of Outlaw Star
  • Memories of Outlaw Star

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  1. #1
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    Memories of Outlaw Star

    Since a fair number of us grew up either watching the series on Toonami, Cartoon Network, or CNX, it'd be nice to have a thread to share any childhood memories we have of Outlaw Star. I know I have a fair few, so hopefully you guys do as well.

    - My earliest memory of Outlaw Star... I wouldn't have been any older than 6 years old at the time. It was sometime in December, we still had the Christmas decorations up, and I vividly remember listening to Jim yell 'Gene Starwind, you scumbag!', so this would have been the first episode. I remember being surprised at how much swearing and nudity there was in the series, especially as a boy who was used to watching DBZ, Pokemon and Sailor Moon. There was something very defiant and rebellious about Outlaw Star-- this wasn't an ordinary cartoon, I couldn't help but fall in love with it. When asked at school to write about what we wanted to be when we grew up, I wrote about how I wanted to be an Outlaw.

    - I remember eagerly sitting down to watch my favorite show, only to be greeted by jazz music and some bushy-haired weirdo instead. The TV guide lied to me, damn it! I ended up holding feelings of resentment against Cowboy Bebop after this.

    - I remember seeing Gene with short hair and thinking 'he looks weird.' It wasn't apparant to me that was the final episode at the time, in fact it was only after watching the series properly on DVD that Gene's buzzcut was put into context.

    - I vividly remember watching the Tenrei episode, and just as you got a close-up of Aisha's breasts... I heard my mother opening the door. I quickly threw my blanket over the screen. Yeah, Outlaw Star was always something I felt a bit 'dirty' about watching, like a kid skimming through the adult magazine section. I knew I was too young to be watching it, but that just made it even more awesome.

    - I taped the prison escape episode on VHS to show my friend, 'hell hole' became a regular part of my vocabulary after that, despite the narrator only saying it once or twice.

    - I remember staying up 'late' (it was for him) with a friend who was much younger than me just so I could show him Outlaw Star, but when it got to it, it was the episode where Harry goes after Melfina with a bouqet of roses. He left shortly after that, not the best first impression I suppose.

    - The last time I remember seeing the series on TV... I was up at 1AM for some reason, and I remember watching the stand-off at the Leyline. IIRC, Outlaw Star was usually broadcasted at either 7 or 8PM here in the UK, but at this point (as far as I knew) they weren't showing it anymore, so it was a surprise to see it being aired so late at night. In my mind Toonami died when they replaced all of the anime with shit like Batman Beyond and Justice League, I didn't bother tuning in after that.

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  3. #2
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    My earliest memory is, like for a lot of folks, was on Toonami. I used to watch it all the time. At first, it was mainly to catch reruns of Voltron, a show that I used to love as a kid. It would come one just as I came back from school so I considered it perfect timing. I was watching it and then it started to introduce more anime like the Tenchi series and then, of course, Outlaw Star. At first, it didn't really make much of an impression from the commercials I've seen. I watched a few episodes out of order and what I've seen intrigued me. I read online that a lot of the show was censored so I decided to purchase the DVDs. Man, the DVDs were expensive. They were like 40 bucks a set and they weren't even special editions! I was thinking "This better be worth it".

    And boy it was worth it! I fell in love with the show, but more importantly, it's characters. I especially like Gene because, at the time, he reminded me a bit of Ash from the Evil Dead movies, though he wasn't quite as much of an imbecile. Then seeing the characters interact with each other was truly what made the show for me. Jim being the more level headed one, Suzuka with her zen like qualities and incredible fighting skills made her, in my opinion, better than a lot of other female heroes in entertainment. Aisha was a riot, being an prideful, yet obnoxious idiot but could be counted on in a fight and Melfina...it broke my younger self's heart everytime she started to cry. The song she sings is still one of the most hauntingly beautiful things I've heard. Normally, I would have a specific favorite character or a character I disliked, but everyone on the show was great to watch. The big joys was seeing them turn into a bit of a dysfunctional family. When I finally bought my final DVD copy and wrapped up the final episode, it depressed me. I didn't want it to end. I wanted it to go on. To this day, I never had an anime make me feel this way. It's an anime that's been a huge part of my teenage years and a show that still holds up today. I remember back in high school, I was telling an old classmate of mine about how different the uncensored version was. Curious, he wanted to borrow it and I lent it to him. There was a forum that he and I used to visit way back then and he made a thread just how surprised he was by all the mature content in the uncut version, so that was pretty cool.

    I actually introduce Outlaw Star to a friend of mine. It was his first time watching it. When Hilda finally bit the dust, my friend wanted to go smoke. Now, prior to watching that episode, he just got done with his cigarette. I asked him "Didn't you just smoke not too long ago?". He replied that he needed another one because he was so mad and upset that Hilda died! Leave it to one of the shows big moments to make someone really light one up.

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  5. #3
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    I know exactly what you mean about feeling depressed, Starwind. After finally watching the series 'properly' on DVD, after I finished the final episode, it left me feeling very hollow. It wasn't the finale itself, but rather the feeling that the adventure was finally over. Not just for Gene and co., but my decade-long journey with it as well. I guess there was something bittersweet about it, but like you said I didn't want it to end. I used to dream up my own Outlaw Star episodes, and even used to pretend that I was Gene while playing an N64 game called Armorines: Project S.W.A.R.M. It might sound strange in hindsight, but I still associate that game with Outlaw Star for that reason.

    Man, that's a great story about your friend being affected by Hilda's death. My friends' responses to Outlaw Star were usually little more than a shrug for some reason, not anime fans I guess. It must have been cool to get that kind of response.

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    I watched OLS when it first aired on Toonami back in 2001 when I was 16. By that point I was already into anime like the Tenchi series, Robotech, Ruin Explorers and Sorcerer Hunters and others. I used to record the Toonami and [as] episodes, but most the tapes didn't survive due to me recording over them since I had the tapes and DVDs. OLS had the perfect balance of humor and action. Also, the characters great in spite the fact they never delve deeply into there past. Sometimes a little mystery is good at times and leaving it to your imagination. I originally bought the VHS tapes to find the unaired hot springs episode until unfortunately my VCR ate the tape and forced me to buy the DVDs. I introduce OLS to a couple of my friends back in high school and they became anime fans themselves. My favorite episode to this is "The Beast Girl, Ready to Pounce!" and that made Aisha my favorite anime character of all time.
    We are all insane, we just act normal for the sake of others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hari View Post
    I know exactly what you mean about feeling depressed, Starwind. After finally watching the series 'properly' on DVD, after I finished the final episode, it left me feeling very hollow. It wasn't the finale itself, but rather the feeling that the adventure was finally over. Not just for Gene and co., but my decade-long journey with it as well. I guess there was something bittersweet about it, but like you said I didn't want it to end. I used to dream up my own Outlaw Star episodes, and even used to pretend that I was Gene while playing an N64 game called Armorines: Project S.W.A.R.M. It might sound strange in hindsight, but I still associate that game with Outlaw Star for that reason.

    Man, that's a great story about your friend being affected by Hilda's death. My friends' responses to Outlaw Star were usually little more than a shrug for some reason, not anime fans I guess. It must have been cool to get that kind of response.
    Yeah, it's always sad when a show that great ends. The upside is the memories that we take away from it and meeting fellow fans who had similar experinces, just like most of the folks on this very board! It's also sad that it never got a follow up, but looking at the propose follow ups like Sword of Wind, perhaps that's a good thing. It was cool seeing my friends reaction to it. It also helps when alcohol was involved so maybe that might've been your friends problem right there >_>. Getting serious again, he overall really liked it and even thought Gene Starwind was a breath of fresh air when it came to anime leads, especially since we just came off from watching To Love Ru (Not to rehash too much from our discussion in the "Where did the Gene Starwinds go" thread.)

    Your experience playing Armorines sounds like me a little bit when I was playing Resident Evil: Outbreak File# 2. I liked playing the cop because his voice actor is Bob Bucholz, Gene Starwind's voice actor! It was fun imagining Gene Starwind fighting hordes of undead creatures.

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    Oh, I almost forgot about the time slot mix up during there first run. Once in awhile they accidentally aired the adult swim version of OLS during the kid friendly Toonami time slot. So funny that some kids heard Jim say "What the Hell is going on" and "dammit" when they got home from school.
    We are all insane, we just act normal for the sake of others.

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  13. #7
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    Oh man Hari, great thread!

    And yes, I too held a lot of resentment for Cowboy Bebop when it replaced our beloved OLS on Toonami.

    Smug meanie britches...

    When I got really into Outlaw Star I was around 8-9 years old and quite naive.
    I used to think it was some great secret that Gene and Mel share a kiss near the end, or that Hilda was in her underwear early on.
    It was so scandalous to me, and remember, this was the censored daytime version!

    Years later, long after OLS ended it's daytime Toonami run and I had become bitter toward the block because of it, I bought the special edition box set for myself as a Christmas present.
    Fifty smackeroons, I was quite proud.
    It was the first major Crimbus present I ever bought and wrapped for myself to be honest.


    It almost broke my brain to realize that I could buy DVDs for the Toonami shows I so desperately missed.
    I was ecstatic when I found this on the shelf of an FYE (for an exorbitant price mind you):

    So finding Outlaw Star was the Holy Grail to me.

    I don't know how many times I've watched those DVDs now...
    And Lord only knows how many friends I've made watch them with me.
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    This was a good idea Mantis.

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  15. #8
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    This thread was a great read. In some sense I'm jealous that you all got to watch the show during your childhoods. On the other hand, if I went back in time and made my parents get cable TV, while there's a chance I'd have seen Outlaw Star and undoubtedly loved it to bits, that love might have waned just enough for me to never end up making Outlaw Star UK/Nexus. My memories aren't as exciting since I was seventeen when I first saw it...

    By the time I went to college I had already subscribed to the ignorant belief that anime is a waste of time from back in secondary school. I suppose there's also the fact I simply wasn't introduced to it. Sure, as a young boy I watched Pokémon, Digimon and Zoids, but I didn't even know they were anime. To me they were just cartoons that were fun to watch passively—not religiously. I made a friend who was a bit of an oddball, kinda like Gwen Khan. He practically dragged me to an anime club and I certainly did not have high expectations. As I told the friend, I had to leave to go to work in about ten minutes, but they were watching Outlaw Star. It was the car chase during the first episode, and it seemed incredible—so much so that I almost forgot to leave for work on time. Alas, I didn't like the college, dropped out of it (though went to another the next year which I loved) and lost contact with the friend. So we never talked and I hadn't learned OLS's name either.

    Moving on just a few years. I was nearly twenty years old and at my next college. I also had an ex-girlfriend who I shared a mutual friend with. I believe this guy posted about Outlaw Star at some point in Q2-Q3 2008. The car chase had practically burned into my mind, as well as the "Power" track and Gene/Hilda (despite not knowing their names), so when I saw the video (I think) he posted, immediately that came rushing back to me. I demanded information on this show and he told me about Outlaw Star. Admittedly I did pirate the show as at that time there wasn't an official UK DVD. The quality was cruddy but I didn't care. Within the next few days I'd finished the series. Within the next few weeks I'd begun plans to expand my fandom. Within the next few months I'd hosted Outlaw Star UK. (Though not by that name.) That last one wasn't so easy. A company had already registered the domain. The boss wanted me to work for him in place of an ill colleague on some Flash content for another website. After doing that he gave me the domain and free web hosting.

    So that went a bit off-topic. I can remember having a bug or something when I first watched Outlaw Star so I was in bed for a couple of days. By the end of watching it I was convinced it's even better than sliced bread! The final episode really stuck with me and felt like such a fulfilling ending, which is probably why I often say it's my favourite. There's not really that much else to say. I know my girlfriend of the time probably wanted me to shut up about it. But she was an awful girlfriend because she didn't want to watch the full set with me! (Right?! ) I think childhood memories are more often vivid, but when you enter adulthood you tend to remember more about the big picture and less about the minor details. I'm racking my brains here. If something comes to mind I'll post it!
    Gene: "Have faith in me guys, enjoy the ride—you're in good hands. I can handle this. I can do it!"
    Jim: "How do you know?"
    Gene: "I don't!"
    Jim: "I knew it."
    Gene: "That's okay. There's a first time for everything!"

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  17. #9
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    Well my response wont be so long. I only watched this series once through and likely missed some of the episodes which is why I am going to get back in to it. I just remember Aisha being a complete pig in that restaurant and eating everything. I believe I was 12 at the time of watching it and I thought that scene was hilarious. I know there are other memories that will come back to me as I watch it.

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