The ’90s Sci-Fi Anime Space Adventure Epic Series Every Fan Needs To See At Least Once

By Nina Phillips | Published

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If you are a fan of the classic Cowboy Bebop and are looking for something with a similar feel, then the ’90s space adventure series Outlaw Star is worth checking out. This anime series contains many adult themes, high tensions, and amazing characters with ties to Chinese history.

Outlaw Star Is Streaming

Outlaw Star has 26 episodes. It’s based on the manga written and illustrated by Takehiko Ito.

Both the anime and manga focus on an outlaw, Gene Starwind, and his partner, Jim Hawking, as they strive for fame and riches.

Unfortunately, like many people who spend a lot of time dreaming of traveling somewhere else, the two men aren’t making much progress. Their life is filled with repetitive days and working for scraps. Or at least, it’s the same until they get a job as bodyguards.

All Sorts Of Odd Jobs

To get these riches, the partners do all sorts of odd jobs. One job in particular turns out far different than they ever expected, leaving them in charge of an advanced ship, known as the Outlaw Star.

Nishikori Hiroshi (Revolutionary Girl Utena) and Hongou Mitsuru (Ascendance of a Bookworm) worked as episode directors and on the storyboard.

Some of the main cast are played by notable figures such as Shibuya Shigeru (Mobile Suit Gundam SEED), Fujita Toshiko (Digimon Adventure), Miyamura Yuko (Case Closed), and Kashiwakura Tsutmu (Shaman King).

Changes Made For US Version

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The original anime series aired in Japan and was produced by Sunrise Studios. A few years later, Bandai Entertainment earned the rights to an edited version of Outlaw Star, released to North America in 2001.

Because the original was rather graphic, with nudity, profanity, and other adult content, there were quite a few changes made to the US production.

More modern English releases of the anime, such as the one Funimation released in 2017, still contained edits, but far fewer than the original US release.

Successful Manga

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Outlaw Star was a fairly successful manga, having sold over 250,000 copies. When the first volume, was initially released, it was shortly sold out across the country in Japan.

However, the anime didn’t do quite as well. Though the show was still popular, and there were plenty of fans who enjoyed the anime, the pacing was found to be problematic for those looking for more focus and action.

Compared To Cowboy Bebop

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Still, there were more than enough people who liked the show. Currently, on MAL, it has a score of 7.84 and is ranked #891 in popularity.

The anime is often compared to Cowboy Bebop but with a little more comedy and cheesiness thrown in. The characters have a chance to grow, and the story gets more interesting as you go on and try to discover exactly what all the twists and turns are leading up to.

Streaming Outlaw Star

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Outlaw Star is available on Disney+ with the Hulu bundle and Hulu itself. The show is nice and short (while still thankfully being a complete story), and doesn’t take a lot of investment. If you’re a fan of space and stories that will take you on an adventure, then you need to give Outlaw Star a shot.