by Nicholas Dupree,
How would you rate episode 3 of
Outlaw Star ?
How would you rate episode 4 of
Outlaw Star ?
Well, I figured it was coming. It's never a good sign when a prominent character in the early episodes doesn't get so much as a still-frame in the opening. Still, anticipating it doesn't make losing Hilda any less of a massive bummer, as by this point she'd easily become my favorite character of the group and was by far the most active and important one. In hindsight that's likely on purpose, to make the loss feel all the more tragic even though we've only known her for a few episodes. The flipside of that is now we're left with a decidedly less interesting crew who needs to be developed pronto to fill the void. At least Hilda got to go off in an exceptionally cool way – who needs hidden cyanide capsules when you can go out with a hidden explosive tooth.
I admit I'm skipping over episode 3, but that's mostly because very little actually happens in it. We go through the necessary motions of Gene and co. escaping Blue Heaven by the skin of their teeth, and get briefly introduced to the very loud, very dumb Aisha Clan-Clan. Aisha herself doesn't play much of a factor, other than adding some much needed comedic relief to an overlong and overly stiff spaceship dog fight that doesn't really resolve anything. I'm sure I'll get to know her better as the show continues, and maybe even learn why my friends swear by her as Best Girl, but for now she's little more than a fountain of cat puns attached to a horny 90's character design.
Meanwhile, we finally find out why Hilda stole (kidnapped?) Melfina from the space pirates – she's apparently some kind of test-tube baby designed to be the navigation interface for the XGP15A-II, the ship Hilda also stole from pirates that purportedly just kicks every other spaceship's butt. And speaking of butts, she performs that task by floating naked in an energy tube about 3 feet behind Gene's head, which is gonna have to get distracting after a while. I'm also not too impressed by said spaceship – partly because it's yet to get its slick red paint job from the OP, but mostly because just sticking some robot arms on a spaceship isn't enough to make it cool. Come on guys, Macross had been making Variable Fighters for 15 years by this point, try a little harder.
Other than that there's frankly not much to go on from these episodes. The action is serviceable, but not amazing, and as I said episode 3's chase sequence is just too stiff and static to be entertaining. Despite getting crew roles aboard the newly dubbed Outlaw Star, neither Jim or Melfina get any focus to make them more interesting or memorable. The only significant shift for any of our still living characters is Gene figuring out the MacDougal brothers were responsible for killing his father, but that's mostly to seed future conflict rather than making the current one more interesting. This is all a decent enough origin story for Gene, taking him from small town jack to interstellar outlaw, but I'm left more than a little uncertain about where the show can go from here.
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