Sunday, August 26, 2012

ANI-MOVIES, *Space Adventure Cobra

Here’s an old one to look for as it finally was released in the U.S. on DVD. Space Adventure Cobra was originally a manga that ran from the late-70s to mid-80s by Buichi Terasawa(who also did Goku: Midnight Eye). This was later given four different manga sequals, an outrageous TV series from the 80s, two recent OVA series, and a brand new TV series that just came out this year. But one of the most memorable incarnations was this full-length anime motion picture. It came out prior to the TV series, so it was the first anime based on the manga, and was directed by Osamu Dezaki who later went on to do the TV series too. Dezaki had prior to this directed Astro Boy and Lupin The 3rd, and since then: Might Orbots, Bionic Six, Visionaries, Black Jack, Air, and Golgo 13. His brilliant direction makes this movie visually ahead of its time.

In what seems plot with Flash Gordon in the Star Wars universe, Cobra is a space pirate who faked his own death two years ago, and had some serious plastic surgery in order to hide from the galactic mafia known as The Guild. Cobra reveals his identity to the sexy bounty hunter Jane, who has been searching for him. Jane is one princess triplets of a wandering planet., and has to rescue her sister Catherine from a floating prision on another world. She sets off in Cobra’s ship along with his android babe Lady, and Cobra manages to break into the prision, but is captures by the Guild lieutenant, the cybernetic Crystal Boy. Jane finds Catherine, who is under Crystal Boy’s control, and kills Jane. Cobra escapes, and then goes to find Jane’s other sister Dominique on an ice planet. Dominique is the head of a group of all-women freedom fighters who are constantly at war with the Guild. Crystal Boy and his cronies show up and waste most of the snow amazons, with Dominique getting killed in the process. Despite losing both of the sisters he cared for, Cobra warps to the wandering planet to stop Crystal Boy from using Catherine to control it. Cobra finally defeats Crystal Boy, and Catherine then leads the planet away for another century.

Osamu Dezaki really went the extra routre in this movie to make it as visually seductive as possible. The 3D-like effects and backgrounds make for hell of a rush. There is some unbelievably great action and chase scenes, plus some fine fan-service for the early 80s. Fans of Heavy Metal will totally dig this flick!

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