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DVD Review

DVD cover

Space Adventure Cobra


Starring (voice): Nachi Nozawa, Yoshiko Sakakibara, Gara Takashima and Kiyoshi Kobayashi
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 04 August 2008

When their planet's population is destroyed the only surviving triplets Jane, Dominique and Catherine can only save their world when all three unite with the man they love. When one sister falls in love they all do. Jane has left all thoughts of this behind and become a bounty hunter when she accidentally meets the notorious Cobra in a bar, but instead of handing him in for the reward she joins forces with him to rescue her sister, Dominique, who is being held by Crystal Boy…

Space Adventure Cobra (1982, 1 hr 39 min) is an anime movie directed by Osamu Dezaki, from the original science fiction manga by Buichi Terasawa. The plot is pretty much pure nonsense. It’s fair to say that it has much in common with Barbarella: some nice set pieces, a liberal sprinkling of nudity and nice sound track by the Swiss band Yello. The manga also spawned a TV series, which ran for thirty-one episodes, and a number of console games.

The film is a child of its times. The print looks clear, with no obvious damage, but the limited animation style is very much of the eighties. Although it is reminiscent of many a Saturday afternoon show the animation remains superior to a lot of the shows that were around back then. There are some attempts to play with the format, including psychedelic moments and split screen scenes making the film an interesting bridge between the older form of anime and the new form that is more familiar to a modern audience.

The dialogue will either make you howl with laughter or make you cringe. Cobra is a horny bloke with apparently only one thing on his mind, as is the villain Crystal Boy - that is when he’s not practising his pantomime evil laugh. Being the eighties, the girls are all looking for love and are happy to be quite accommodating in their quest. The voice actors do a decent job, both in the dub and the original Japanese, but really some of the dialogue is just dire.

The show's audio track is either English stereo, Japanese 5.1 or Japanese 5.1 with subtitles. The disc contains no extras, just a bunch of very poor quality trailers, one of which looks like it has been taken from a bootleg VHS copy.


Charles Packer

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