• What made Outlaw Star so great?
  • What made Outlaw Star so great?

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  1. #1
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    What made Outlaw Star so great?

    Outside of seeing it here and there back in the day, I didn't have the privilege of watching the entire series until a few years ago. As a kid, I have fond memories of watching the likes of Trigun, Cowboy Bebop and Inuyasha on Toonami / Adult Swim, with Trigun, for the longest time, being my favorite show of all time. However, after watching Outlaw Star a few times, I started to doubt whether Trigun was still my favorite. To think that I could watch something as an adult that I enjoyed as much as something highly nostalgic from my adolescence... that's pretty amazing. I imagine many people on this forum feel the same way, so what in, your opinion, makes this show so great? What exactly does it do differently from other anime?

    For me, the biggest thing I can identify is that it takes a very western approach to storytelling. Rather than falling into the usual trap that many animes fall into, that of focusing on grandiose set-pieces and wacky stories, Outlaw Star is about a ragtag group of misfits trying to succeed with all odds against them. If you think about it, many stories in the show are very common and relatable: the crew is always trying to make a buck, get supplies, doing some kind of menial labor, visiting somebody for a favor, just scraping by in general. There are plenty of moments that are magical and dazzling, but by and large, what makes the show so interesting is in its focus on the ordinary.

  2. #2
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    Totally agree with the point about enjoying this show as a kid and an adult, but I would go even further and say that I’ve enjoyed this show at about 4 different ages and on different levels each time. The first two times were when the show aired and then later when I borrowed the DVD set from a friend. The next time I watched the series I was in my early 20’s and out to sea, but here I am now at 30 watching the show again and picking up on different feels and interpretations than the last few times. I feel like the show has just done a really great job of resonating with different emotions at different stages of life.

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    Back when I was a kid it was definitely the world building. Cowboy Bebop also had great world building, but I think I enjoy the Towards Star universe a lot more. The vignettes at the start of each episode not only usually gave you some history and context for the universe, but also acted as a dramatic primer, getting you ready for the adventure ahead. Everything from the character dialogue(i.e the conversation between Jim and Gene during breakfast in the first episode, Swanzo explaining the powers in space, etc) made the world feel lived in and fresh.

    As I've gotten older though, I definitely have to add the art to why it's stood the test of time for me. This show is beautiful on Blu Ray and some of the establishing shots and environments still stun me lol. There are a lot of anime that take place in space but few of them fill it with this much character and color, and I really appreciate that!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontiersman View Post
    I definitely have to add the art to why it's stood the test of time for me.
    Outlaw Star is peak 90s animation. Colorful, vivid and high quality, but not without that handmade aesthetic that gives it a unique charm. I really do wish they continued using cel animation techniques because it's so much better than what we have today. I suppose it's a pipe dream to think that artists would continue laborously hand-drawing everything in the digital age, but very few animes interest me in the way that older animes like OS do, largely because the art just isn't as appealing.

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