Sometimes you get a show that is fun and captures people’s imagination. These frequently spawn movie spinoffs or revivals. For anime, Space Adventure: Cobra is one of those. It spawned a couple of revivals over time: Cobra The Animation: Psycho-Gun, Cobra the Animation: Time-Drive, and Cobra the Animation. Thankfully, Sentai Filmworks has put all three of these together in one tidy Cobra the Animation package.
The Anime: 3.5/5
Cobra is one of the most deadly space pirates in the business. He has high powered gun arm called the Psycho-Gun. And he likes to smoke cigars and crack jokes all the while flaunting danger and foiling enemies. He travels space stealing valuable artifacts, chasing women, and fighting the leaders of the space pirate guild.
Cobra the Animation: Psycho-Gun
In Cobra the Animation: Psycho-Gun, Cobra befriends scientist Utopia More. She has found the key to unlocking the secrets of the universe putting her in the crosshairs of a pirate guild leader. Cobra finds the union of two things he loves, beautiful women and foiling the pirate guild. This is fun and mostly light fare but does suffer from running a little slow occasionally.
Cobra the Animation: Time-Drive
In Cobra the Animation: Time-Drive, Cobra must venture to save his companion, Lady. Lady is disappearing, so he must look to past events to figure out why. We get a little more background on Lady and Cobra in this one. It felt a little more serious to me and was half as long so the story is a bit simpler and quicker.
Cobra the Animation: TV Series
Cobra the Animation: TV Series is a lot like the OVA series preceding it. Some of the stories are only one episode long. On the other hand, some run as many as four episodes long. As I understand, this series is the one that is most like the old series itself. I found it to be a bit more fun than the OVAs. It ran a little lighter and a little more over the top and cartoonish. And that is a good thing given that it is trying to be a throwback to that style from the 80s. Really makes me wish they had put out the original series. Maybe if this set sells well, they will.
In this revival, jokes are a plenty and the adventure is lively. The romance and intrigue is decent, but not too deep. The humor works for the most part, but I have heard the original is much funnier and better directed. Either way, I still had a great time with the humor in the adventures. Cobra is no wonderful guy, but he sure is fun to watch and root for.
The animation is pretty decent through the OVAs and TV series. It actually reminded me of the 80s and early 90s anime that I grew up on. I will say, there are some pieces of artwork that were a bit of a turn off because they are of the blockier style (specifically some hair), but most was pretty pleasing to me. And it did remind me of the humor of anime series of years past. If you enjoy older anime or even want to experience some of the older sensibilities in anime, this is a good taste of it.
Picture Quality: 3.5/5
The animation isn’t that old, so it is no surprise that it looks pretty good. Granted, this isn’t some big budget Pixar production, but it still obviously had some talent on its side. The lines are mostly sharp and definition is rather clear throughout the transfer. This is quite satisfying for hand drawn animation of less than a decade old.
Audio Quality: 3/5
Cobra the Animation comes with a Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track. The track is a bit limited at 2.0, but it is pretty much what I would expect for an anime series with some entries almost a decade old. No complaints here, really as the action and dialog is always effective. There is just nothing that blows one away.
Special Features and Packaging: 1.5/5
Sentai gives us just the typical extras here: the clean opening and closing from the show and trailers for some of their shows. I really wish there was more to it, but they give just about the same every time. At this point, this doesn’t really mean much to me. For a $80 srp release, they should do better.
The collection comes in a standard three disc case with different artwork for each disc.
All in all, the set is a solid offering of an enjoyable show. I wouldn’t call it a “Cowboy Bebop” or anything like that. But I do hear the original is pretty fantastic. I hope this sells well so that we can get a release of the original show. At the time of writing, the release is almost $50, which is pretty steep for it as anime typically is. I think this is a solid pick up for $35-40 so if you see it around that, definitely pick it up as this is an above average anime series. If you happen to be new to Cobra, I would check to see if Hulu or Crunchy Roll has any episodes and check it out. But I think that this is worth checking out for anyone who likes anime, especially that from the 80s and 90s.
You can pick it up here.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.