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  1. #1
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    What Aspects Draw You To Outlaw Star the Most?

    I apologize in advance if this post goes a little long.

    So I was introduced to Outlaw Star in my childhood, when it first aired on Toonami. I was in the fourth grade(ten years old) back in 2011 and I happened to be awake when it aired on Toonami(I didn't have a bed time on Friday nights and I stayed up to watch Dragon Ball Z). I usually kept Cartoon Network tuned in and happened to catch Episode 2. I was hooked immediately as I was suddenly introduced to this fast paced, funny adventure (then jarringly introduced to sadness when I watched Episode 4 in the following weeks). At this point in life I hadn't seen Star Wars yet, I hadn't watched any anime other than Dragon Ball Z and my favorite fictional universe at the time was Middle-Earth. So being introduced to Gene and Jim, seeing the caster in action, watching space pirates use Tao magic had me glued to my TV and became the gateway drug to sci fi for me. I distinctly remember my close-knit group of friends and I had all happened to watch the episode independently. We met up at our after school program the next Monday and gushed about it "Did you see that new Toonami show?!" We were all pretty new to the genre and amazed by what Outlaw Star had to offer in the following weeks. Back then, it was all about the adventure. I loved the characters for sure and though we were familiar with Dragon Ball Z(shared magazines, traded action figures, collected cards) this show was our first introduction to a permanent character death at the time. That meant something to me even as a 10 year-old kid. I fell in love with Beau Billingslea's opening narrations, Aisha was a commonly quoted character in our friend group, we all loved and identified with Jim. Every aspect of that show just worked. Unfortunately, my life experienced a huge shift and shake-up at that point and I never got to finish the show until years later. The memory of Outlaw Star, along with a lot of other memories from that time period, sort of slipped away.

    In high school, I frequented a store called Hastings(not sure if anyone here is familiar with it, I know they had locations in the South but they recently shut down). I got my first job at fifteen and spent a lot of my money at that store. They sold movies, books, comics, memorabilia, cds, tv series' and video games, not to mention it was within walking distance of my house. I walked past the anime display, spotted the DVD box set of Outlaw Star and the memory immediately rushed back to me. Suffice it to say I called an attendant over and had him open that damn display case. I bought the series and immediately went home to watch it. Even during that time, though I'd changed a lot since I was ten, the same aspects of Outlaw Star drew me in. I was addicted to the sense of adventure. That last episode, was bittersweet, to say the least(as the adventure was over and I was teased with a continuation) but I ended up watching it frequently. My best friend at the time was somewhat on the fringes of my elementary school group when we first saw it on Toonami and since he hadn't seen it yet, I had the pleasure of showing it to him. Yet again, we really connected with it and related to each other more through the show, just as my original friend group did.

    I say all that to make the point that while I have and always will love the sense of adventure and the fun characters of Outlaw Star(I'm now sporting two tattoos, one of Gilliam on my chest) there was something about the show that may have connected to me on a different level, seeing as how both times I discovered it shared similarities with each other that hasn't been repeated for me yet.

    So what is it that draws you to Outlaw Star? What made it stand out? If it's your favorite anime, why so?

    Anyways, thanks for reading my abbreviated life story
    "No one's gonna give you a map, you've gotta walk your own path."

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  3. #2
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    Heh, don't worry about it. My reply will no doubt be long too, probably longer. It's actually a very good question. What you wrote about your discovery of Outlaw Star sounds like so much fun. Makes me kinda jealous. There was an overwhelming opinion in my school of anime being "stupid" or "gay", to the extent that I never even heard anybody talking about anime as doing so was social suicide... for some reason. If I had known about the fun I'd have had, I'd have begged my parents to subscribe to Toonami. Alas, none of my school friends were into anime and I simply didn't know what I missed. On the other hand I'm sort of glad I discovered Outlaw Star when I did, but I'll get into that shortly.

    Your reunion with Outlaw Star made me chuckle a little. I think "adventure" is what drew a lot of us in. In my opinion, Outlaw Star was overlooked a lot, because its positive vibes of hope, desire and adventure (while not taking itself too seriously) are exactly what a young person needed in the early 2000s. That's what drew me in too. My first glimpse of Outlaw Star was in 2005. I was a full-time college student but also worked twenty hours a week and had a girlfriend to boot. (Er, that's quite a bad pun.) A friend still managed to drag me to an after-college anime club for half an hour. I didn't know the first thing about anime (aside from stuff like Pokémon which I regarded a cartoon) and wasn't really interested. I believe I saw the second half of the first episode and most of the second. I headed back home thinking "Wow, that was really cool", but that was that.

    Three years later when I signed up to Facebook I noticed that one of my friends had "liked" something familiar. That thing was Outlaw Star. Once I found out its name I downloaded all the episodes that same day. (Even if I wanted to go down the legal route, Outlaw Star never got a UK video release until 2011.) The show blew me away. Probably weeks after I finished it (a total binge-watch) I searched for the old OSN domain (when it was known as OSUK—and I stupidly allowed cybersquatters to swipe it) and eventually acquired it. I know some of this may seem off-topic, but Outlaw Star helped me out a lot. While a lot of other anime from that time had a more negative tone, Outlaw Star's theme of chasing dreams helped get me through some tough years.

    This reply is already long enough so I'm not going to go into deep detail (especially since I've already mentioned this part of my life) about the illness itself, but a few months later in winter 2008 I got epilepsy. At twenty years old I was still quite youthful, but that illness robbed me of what were supposed to be the best years of my life. I lost friends, I lost my girlfriend, I lost my job, I failed university, and my relationship with my family wasn't especially great either. But Outlaw Star already had a positive impact on my life. It all sounds pretty silly, but if it wasn't for Gene Starwind being such an inspiration I'm not sure what I'd have done. He's a realistic guy who I felt I had a lot in common with. He was brash, perverted and sometimes rather moronic like myself admittedly, but deep down he had a big heart. Most importantly he never backed down.

    "If there is the slimmest chance, no matter how small, you have to go for it. Never give up hope. That's what it means to be an outlaw."
    "Have faith in me guys, enjoy the ride—you're in good hands. I can handle this. I can do it!"
    "There are some desires that are big enough to risk your life for. This is one of them. I have to put my life on the line for this!"

    To list a few off the top of my head, and of course who could forget the narrator?

    "A boy has the right to dream. There are endless possibilities stretched out before him. What awaits him down the path, he will then have to choose. The boy doesn't always know. At some point, the boy then becomes an adult and learns what he was able to become. Joy and sadness forever will accompany this. He is confronted with a choice - when this happens, does he bid his past farewell in his heart? Once a boy becomes an adult, he can no longer go back to being a boy. The boy is now a man. Only one thing can be said: A boy has the right to dream, for those endless possibilities are stretched out before him. We must remember, all men were once boys."

    It was in late 2010 that I dedicated more time to OSUK's development and soon after that its forum had sparked a community that's always been a family of sorts to me. Forums aren't what they used to be, but I'll do what I can. It suffices to say that were it not for Outlaw Star my life would be a lot different right now. I was in an incredibly dark place, but the encouragement I found in Outlaw Star's general message and, subsequently, the friendships formed from building a community have made this difficult near-decade far more manageable. That's part of the reason why I still support Outlaw Star the best I can today. It's also a fucking great show.
    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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  5. #3
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    It was the adventure that appealed to me at first (and always, always will on some level). More recently, looking back on much of my twenties, I love the 'Starwind & Hawking' element: Jim and Gene just trying to make ends meet every day, taking what you can get, having to be the 'jack of all trades/master of none' and looking for the next job (as unglamorous as it may be...HOW IS HE SELLING SO MUCH ICE CREAM?!!!) before you've even had a chance to catch your breath from the last one...all the while knowing you can be so much more, just biding your time and waiting for the next 'big break.'

    It's one of the more mundane aspects of the show, I realize, but it's so endearing to me because I've lived that (minus the spaceship/android parts).
    No one's gonna' give you a map. You've gotta' walk your own path.
    - Hilda

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  7. #4
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    What got me into it is the characters. When it comes to any story may it be from movies, anime, games, books or whatever, I feel that characters are paramount. You can have the plot twists, symbolism, and commentary all you want but it's the characters and how they act is what is going to stick with you the most. Ultimately, what drew me to Outlaw Star was it's characters and the way the bounced off each other. Gene Starwind especially drew me in because he reminded me of a lot of movie characters that I was really into at the time like Ash from Army of Darkness, Jack Burton from Big Trouble in Little China and there was even just a smidgen of Indiana Jones. There wasn't a single bad character in the main cast. Sure, some could've been focused on a bit more but all the characters stuck with you in some way, may it be Aisha's boisterous attitude, Melfina's timidity and her existential problem, Suzuka being the most calm and rational of the group and poor, poor Jim trying his damnest to keep Starwind and Hawking afloat and to get Gene to listen to reason. For me, the main crux of the story, is basically a bunch of misfits who end up together through happenstance and develop into something of a dysfunctional family. Some would argue that this was done better in Cowboy Bebop but personally, I had more fun watching their antics than I did with any of the characters in Bebop.

    Another thing that I was drawn to was that the show is a essentially a pulpy, Indiana Jones style treasure hunting story through the lens of the Japanese. It's certainly not something that comes up very often in anime so it was fun to see an anime take on this type of story. The only other show that tried to do a pulp style show that I could think of was The Big O, though that had more in common with Batman and Dick Tracy. Outlaw Star is a story filled with action, drama, comedy and daring do. People often forget how tricky it is to balance those tones, especially comedy and drama but Outlaw Star nails absolutely nails it. When the show was over, I was depressed to see it go because I grew to love these characters so much that I didn't want to end, I wanted it to go on. To this day, I have yet to see any other anime elicit such a response from me and for that, it is my all time favorite anime.

  8. #5
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    I've always loved the imagination and pure sense of adventure the show has.
    It's not overly complicated, but beautiful to behold. And that's something special.
    "Believe in yourself and create your own destiny. Don't fear fate." - Narrator
    avatar by: beautifulhangoverx


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    This was a good idea Mantis.

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  10. #6
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    Thanks for sharing guys!
    "No one's gonna give you a map, you've gotta walk your own path."

  11. #7
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    I came across Anime Abandon's review of the show, and it sounded pretty cool, so I gave it a whirl. I was hooked after the second episode. It's a great sci-fi adventure, and it's kinda something I've always wanted to be a part of deep down.
    A boy has the right to dream. There are endless possibilities stretched out before him....

  12. #8
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    The fact that it's setting is so fleshed out despite it being only like 26 episodes long. Like you know how at the start of every episode the narrator would take a few minutes to talk about something important to the plot of the episode? That's how I always thought the sci-fi and fantasy genres should be. Deep, fleshed out, whatever you want to call it. For an example of something that doesn't follow that personal rule, there's this newer series called Black Clover. It started in about 2016 I think, anyways it's a magic themed series. There are a bunch of different schools of magic, medieval fantasy setting, etc. At the start of every episode(at least for the first half, I admittedly haven't gotten through all of it, watching it at a weekly dub pace), the narrator tells the story of a heroic mage defeating a huge monster and saving the world. Over. And over. It adds nothing to the series, and the series itself has so much potential to be huge and fleshed out, and it's like the creator just doesn't care. I know that it might not be my place to say that as a viewer, but it's what I think.

  13. #9
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    In addition to what everyone else said, I really loved the sense of humour. It's goofy as hell, but it's not overly dramatic or full of over-exaggerated reactions or full of the same jokes reused in almost every anime, and the jokes are almost always hilarious.

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