Space Adventure Cobra (1982) IMDb

Categorization

Stylized, moody, even tragic space opera. Very soft SF.

Subject

The far future. A legendary pirate who's keeping a low profile gradually reassumes his old identity and thereby his old enemy, the intergalactic criminal syndicate known as the Guild. It wants control over a powerful dead planet, but most of the living keys to that planet have wills of their own.

Commentary

Everything is designed like a 1960s men's SF magazine cover. Based on a manga from Weekly Shounen Jump, but it feels like seinen; a 2010 anime entry in the franchise is even closer to James Bond's stylized fantasy of male control and wish fulfillment, where all women—even the robots—have the same proportions.

Japanese production animation movie

Television remake:

Space Adventure Cobra (1982) IMDb

Commentary

A few episodes are similar in tone to the movie, but most of the series is a lighter picaresque like Lupin III (1971). The wonderfully stupid finale involves a fleet of robotic Death Stars shaped like naked golden women with nipples of steel, whose undoing is appropriately psychoanalytical: Cobra awakens their egos by typing cogito ergo sum into their command center, and this alone forces them to kill each other. The lack of a budget hurts the imagery, which is the primary draw since the stories make little sense. The series has a cameo (and is humorously misrepresented) in a shitty Swedish comedy: Unmarried Couples: A Comedy That Will Break You Up (1997).

Japanese production animation movie