Gene Starwind and crew are headed to DVD en masse with the pending release of Bandai Entertainment’s Outlaw Star DVD Collection 1.
Longtime fans or those who may be looking to pick up many epsiodes of a series with all the works are in for treat. This 1st set packs 9 episodes (5 on disc 1 – 4+ extras on disc 2) on 2 discs with Japanese and English dubbed audio tracks, and English subtitles, liner notes include “The Technology Of Outlaw Star”, the supplement in this first volume focuses on Gene’s Caster Gun. The disc design is rather creative with the red and black yin yang and a stencilized Gene holding his gun out – the barrel envelopes the center of the dvd.
The DVD menu system is well done, with nice integration of elements. The main menu features a shiny metalic Outlaw Star logo with scenes from the series “glinting” like a reflection of light, very cool. The episode sub menu disolves the main logo menu and the animated background opens up to take on the theme of Melfina’s liquid stasis tank. Episode selections appear in “bubbles” and selecting an episode reveals more bubbles. Extras include: trailers (that appeared on the Wanted 2000 DVD) for Escaflowne, Gundam Wing, Jubei-chan, and Blue Sub. No 6; a character cel / discription gallery, very nice for fans, descriptions of each character are in Japanese; finally a music video style “no-credit opening” of the Outlaw Star OP sequence.
Outlaw Star is based on the original character and story created by Takehito Ito, serialized in Shueisha Ultra Jump. Sunrise adpted the story to this Anime TV series which ran in Japan in 1998. Character designs, speceship / mechanical designs and animation is very high quality for a TV series. The Production I.G. affiliated Xebec studios, responsible for bringing Kia Asamiya’s Nadesico to animation co-produced Outlaw Star. Music is also exceptional, the ending sequence featuring absolutely gorgeous artwork and the song “Tsuki no Ie” by Akino Arai is quite memorable.
The story of the TV series centers on Gene Starwind and his younger partner Jim Hawking’s adventures. Gene is a Jack Of All Trades mercenary adventurer a la Bolt Crank of Eat Man. But where Eat Man’s story is very ironic, drycut, and painted in darker tones (especially in the highly recomended first series), Outlaw Star is more settled and humerous with fast paced action sequences. Gene and Jim have setup a trouble contracting shop on a planet full of Outlaws, they get a call from a shady lady with a request for a bodyguard and some expensive hardware. The two take the job and Gene soon finds out there is more than meets the eye with this job when he is attacked by a band of ninjas and magic wielding taoists. A mysterious girl in a stasis trunk named Melfina is revived and Gene and Jim take off with a pirate girl to space with more sinister interested parties in tow than they even realize.
The Outlaw Star DVD Collection is some serious bang for your buck, with a good chunk of a TV series with 9 episodes, features, neat extras, and an awesome story and characters. Wanna see what this series is really all about in advance of a possible cable TV broadcast? The set is scheduled to hit retailers across the U.S. in October, it has a parental rating of 13UP and a retail pricetag of $44.98.