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Manga / Outlanders

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Outlanders (アウトランダーズ, Autorandāzu) is a Manga written by Johji Manabe, best described as a Space Opera with a strong dose of Science Fantasy, an Action Girlfriend and a whole heaping load of Fanservice. It tells the story of the alien Princess Kahm and Tokyo News Photographer Tetsuya Wakatsuki as they try to save the earth from the invading forces of the interstellar Santovasku Empire. Oh, and Kahm's father is the emperor. The Santovasku (referred to as Saint Evascureze in the OVA) use giant techno-organic spaceships, or "Biomechs," and they utilize both their advanced technology as well as their mastery of sorcery in their assault on Earth.

The manga was distributed by Dark Horse Comics in the United States prior to the expiration of their license on the property. The Dark Horse version was translated by Toren Smith of Studio Proteus. There is also an Outlanders OVA, produced by AIC on behalf of Tatsunoko Production and is not listed on Tatsunoko's web site. In 2005, Central Park Media released a remastered version of the OVA with new voice actors. A poll was conducted to select said actors, with fans selecting who they wished to voice the characters.

Manabe would later revisit the Outlanders universe with the one-shot manga, The Key of Graciale. Although it is not a direct prequel to his earlier Outlanders manga in terms of plot, Princess Kahm does return as heroine complete with her band of trusted servants in tow.

The OVA condenses roughly the first half of the series into a single self-contained episode less than an hour in length; all but the main story elements, in addition to most of the non-essential characters, are subsequently dispensed with.

This should not be confused with the Outlanders novel series by Mark Ellis, spun off from the Deathlands series of post-apocalyptic novels.

Outlanders provides examples of:

  • Creator Cameo: Johji Manabe himself voiced a background character in the Japanese dub of the OVA. He also drew chibi versions of himself as extras in the manga.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Sick of Geobaldi calling him a monkey, Tetsuya uses Kahm's sword to attack him, only to be slashed to ribbons. Kahm is forced to employ a secret healing technique to save him afterward. The incident is not mentioned again.
  • Expy: A green-haired alien princess with horns and a bikini comes to Earth with her father's invasion fleet, and then decides on a whim to marry a Japanese boy after he sees her topless. If that's not familiar enough, she's named Kaamu (instead of Ramu) in Japanese. The major difference is Urusei Yatsura plays the whole alien invasion angle for comedy, and it's all but forgotten by the end of chapter two.
  • Five Rounds Rapid: Early in the OVA, Kahm lands her ship on Earth while being attacked by the military, presumably the JSDF. Her ship wipes the floor with them. After personally slaughtering a whole squad with only her sword and Chain Mail Bikini, she bumps into Tetsuya taking pictures of the action. Cue plot and no further mention of the destruction.
  • Gag Dub: Central Park Media's dub, released in 2005, wasn't afraid of tossing in some groan-worthy one-liners for the heck of it. Memorable lines include Tetsuya begging for one final chance at sleeping with Kahm as he's dragged away by guards, a soldier asking for permission to die, the line "banana-eating retard", and a soldier saying (after being stabbed through the mouth) "Oh man, now I'm freakin dead!".
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Princess Kahm briefly forgets Tetsuya and tries to kill him (again), due to the magic of the Santrov Emperor.
  • Magic Kiss: Kahm gives Tetsuya the ability to understand her alien language with a kiss, which she says is a simple spell. Though later they cast an area-effect version of the spell, probably so Kahm didn't have kiss the entire Nuba tribe.
  • Meaningful Name: Geobaldi, is named after Italian folk hero and revolutionary warrior Giuseppe Garibaldi. Guess who he ends up fighting for? His Number Two is Gari, of course.
  • Shipper on Deck: Raika, the German girl from the manga. She sneaks aboard Kahm's flagship to try to kill her, and ends up coming out of hiding after listening to the Emperor offer to leave Earth alone if Tetsuya leaves Kahm — just to deliver a Shut Up, Hannibal!. She immediately starts working on arranging the wedding ceremonies.
  • That's No Moon: In the manga, Earth's moon is revealed to be an ancient space battleship.
  • Throw-Away Country: Subverted in the manga; Japan is completely destroyed by the end of the first storyline (although all significant characters escaped). Earth is destroyed about two-thirds through the series.