Reviews of Space Adventure Cobra (1982) and related work

Space Adventure Cobra (1982Moving picture, 99 minutes)

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.

Stylized, moody, even tragic space opera. Very soft SF. Everything is designed like a 1960s men’s SF magazine cover. Based on a manga from Weekly Shōnen 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.

moving picture Japanese production animation fiction

Space Adventure Cobra (1982Moving picture)

TV series. 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. Their 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.

References here: Unmarried Couples: A Comedy That Will Break You Up (1997).

moving picture remake Japanese production animation fiction series