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YMMV / Outlaw Star

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  • Adaptation Displacement: The anime is a lot more famous than the manga. A lot of people who watch the show aren't even aware there was a manga.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The OP is pretty catchy, especially:
  • Cult Classic: To about five people in Japan. In America, however... well, see below.
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  • Die for Our Ship: If you ship Mel/Gene, then Harry's an irredeemable villain. If you ship Mel/Harry, then Gene is a unrepentant and sexist womanizer who doesn't deserve her.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: You'd be surprised how many Harry fans there are out there.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Shimi is pretty popular for being in only one episode.
    • Even though she tragically dies at the end of "Cats and Girls and Spaceships", Hanmyo has a large group of fans who had not only loved her cute appearance, but also enjoyed the Ship Tease between her and Jim, personally wanting her to pull a Heel–Face Turn (due to her being a member of the Anten Seven) and become a part of the Outlaw Star crew alongside with him.
  • Evil Is Cool: Ron MacDougal puts the swag in villainy, whether wearing his longcoat, or a snazzy three-piece suit and shades. And he's got the demeanor to sell the image, by being the calm collected one, with good business sense to boot.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • Barely anyone in Japan recognizes Outlaw Star because it tanked in its homeland (ratings and merchandise sales were pathetically low). However, it was an absolute, previously-unprecedented smash hit in America and is still viewed extremely fondly to this day. American anime fans of a certain age, in fact, consider it to be one of the greatest series of the early 2000's, often mentioning it in the same breath as Cowboy Bebop and Trigun. The show is credited, along with DBZ and Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, as one of the shows that defined the Toonami block on Cartoon Network. When [adult swim] re-aired the Toonami edit (much to the disappointment to those who were expecting it to be uncensored and include the banned episode "Hot Springs Planet Tenrei"), it actually outperformed Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory.
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    • To put this in perspective, the man in charge of Bandai Entertainment stated that, prior to the company's shutdown, Outlaw Star ranked up there with Haruhi Suzumiya and Cowboy Bebop as one of the most successful series they ever released in North America. To put this in further perspective, when Funimation announced in early 2014 that they'd rescued this show from its years-long limbo, North American anime fans considered it a Very Big Deal.
    • In 2015, Toonami held a poll to see which previously aired anime fans would like to see on the block again. Outlaw Star came in a close second to Yu Yu Hakusho, and beat out such anime heavyweights as Samurai Champloo and the aforementioned Trigun.
    • The cult-status love American fans have for the anime cannot be overstated. While it usually is overlooked in favor of Bebop or Trigun, the creators of Toonami have said in their Toonami Preflight show how particularly deeply fans of Outlaw Star connect to it compared to the others.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Iron Woobie: One-Shot Character Reiko Ando, who is shown to be sincerely and passionately in love with Fred Luo, even though they are under an Arranged Marriage, but totally unaware of Fred Luo's sexuality meaning he finds her inherently unappealing. To prove herself worthy of his love, she willingly undertakes his challenge to win five consecutive women's fighting tournament championships, in the process of which she bulks herself up and drastically alters her figure which, combined with her reputation, means she will probably struggle to ever find another man who's attracted to her. When she comes close to finally winning, Fred pulls some strings to have the Outlaw Star crew cheat and ensure Reiko loses. And at the episode's end, all she does is give Fred a heartfelt apology for "failing him" and sincerely promise she'll win another five tournaments for him. It really makes you feel sorry for her, knowing she's never going to win Fred's love in return.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Harry MacDougal.
  • Les Yay: Aisha often acts very affectionate towards Suzuka, often teasing her in a friendly way by calling her "Suze". This has led to many fans of the show shipping the two.
  • Magnificent Bastard: In the anime, the Anten Seven assassin Shimi, real name Leilong, challenges hero Gene Starwind to a duel, dressing his pupil as himself to daw Gene's fire before he personally attacks. Nearly killing Gene, Leilong then knocks out Gene's entire crew when they come to face him before seemingly dying with his pistol malfunctioning, though in reality using the opportunity to retire and roam the galaxy.
  • Moe:
    • Melfina is shy, trusting, and vulnerable on several fronts. She knows nothing about her past, or why she was created, which Harry MacDougal and Hazanko both try to take advantage of. And she's the only member of the crew who doesn't know how to fight, as seen when Harry got her alone in episode 17.
    • Hanmyo was a straighter example, due to her age and appearance, along with being accompanied by her two pet cats, Kemi and Matta.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Harry is psychotic, possessive, and just an outright Card-Carrying Villain. He likes to demonstrate these things in ways that frighten Melfina and make the viewer cringe. Especially Episode 17. His behavior their descends from a cartoonish Villainous Crush to acting like an abusive stalker.
    • Near the end of the series Hazanko's mind and body fuse with his spaceship, the result of which is creepy.
  • Too Cool to Live: "Hot Ice" Hilda. She's one of the most badass characters in the series, and on the good guys side. Of course she dies four episodes in.
  • The Power of Love: Harry's fangirls love to claim that his feelings for Melfina are not only genuine but was what ultimately diminished his tendency to go totally ax-crazy. Others argue that his obsession with her just led him to become even more detached from reality until death staring him in the face finally gave him a much needed reality check.
  • Uncanny Valley: The start of the ED is very creepy because of this, with a still drawing of a girl drawn realistically, but with almost BESM proportions. She's staring right at you.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?:
    • The anime is based on a Seinen manga, and yet it ended up airing in a kid-friendly timeslot on Cartoon Network's old Toonami block (the one that aired during the day, not the Saturday late-night line-up that has its anime more-or-less uncut). This is why it was so heavily censored. As you can see here, notable examples included toning down the violence, the language, the smoking, the sexual references (including banning a plot-important Hot Springs Episode that was wall-to-wall female fanservice and toning down Fred Luo's homosexual crush on Gene), as well as changing guns into blasters. Those who watched the Toonami broadcast must have had something of a shock when they saw the DVD's – which are, as stated before, completely uncut.
    • In the UK, the British Board of Film Classification saw fit to rate the series a 12 on DVD. That's equivalent to a PG-13. Yes, even with all the blood in there, uncut. Yes, even with all the swearing in there, uncut. Yes, even with the scene where Aisha is full-frontal nude. UNCUT. The Animation Age Ghetto is a hell of a thing. (It's even more surprising considering that another Sunrise series, Cowboy Bebop, which has a similar level of violence and swearing, is rated a 15 on DVD!)
  • Woolseyism: Crossed with Bowdlerization with Hilda's death. In the uncut version, she activates a micro-explosive hidden in her tooth, taking herself out, along with Soi Lin. In the version aired on Toonami, the bomb is omitted, and Hilda drifting into the star is somehow more poignant — and more realistic than what appears to be a tiny nuclear device in her molars.
  • The Woobie: Melfina, due to her kind-hearted persona.


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