Reviews of Space Adventure Cobra (1982) and related work
- Remake: Space Adventure Cobra (1982)
Space Adventure Cobra (1982)
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.
‣ Space Adventure Cobra (1982)
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).