Animation: Excellent
Depth: Weak
Design: Fair
Characters: Weak
Story: Weak

Type: movie

Vintage: 1982


» action
» sci-fi


In the farthest reaches of space, you can never go too far.
Verdict: Reviews @ Archen's Anime Page
Cobra The Animation

Space Adventure Cobra

Summary: >

Cobra got himself entangled with the most powerful force in the galaxy: the space mafia guild. Cobra can't take the heat, so he decides to lay low. Jane is also sought by the guild, and seeks out Cobra - the only one who's ever manged to evade them.

Jane finds Cobra and falls in love with him. This happens a lot to Cobra, but this woman is one of three survivors of a lost planet. If all three sisters unite with the man they love, the planet will be revived. The space mafia guild won't let this happen easily.

Thoughts: >

A bit of history. Space Adventure Cobra was released in 1982, and often overlooked by domestic anime distributors. Then came a music video by Mathew Sweet featuring content from this movie. You probably don't know who he is, but at the time he was popular enough for his video Girlfriend to get airplay on MTV (back when they played music videos). It's a good video even if his floating disembodied head transposed in parts is kinda creepy, so check it out. It turns out Space Adventure Cobra has plenty of cool material to be cut together for a music video, but as an anime itself doesn't fair so well.

Space Adventure Cobra is very 80s, but not in a good way. Cobra is a guy who's supposed to be "smooth" but doesn't quite pull it off in a realistic way. He takes a wild romp throughout the galaxy shagging every girl in sight, but doesn't seem to have any redeeming features that make him appealing to the women, or the audience. It's fantasy fulfillment, but oriented towards an ideal most of us probably don't care for much. Even so, I can't fault the motives of this guy. He's seeking survivors of planet that happen to be three hot female triplets. What guy WOULDN'T give that a shot? Unfortunately it's cheap, because one "falls in love" with Cobra... just because. The other two are psychically linked so the also automatically fall in love with Cobra. It's like a bang one get two free sort of deal. It's seriously no deeper than that. Like the universe was just waiting for the right chance to promote "free love" and Cobra happened to be there.

The animation is the main reason I'd tell anyone to watch it. There's a high level of artistry in the way the presentation is done. It's really great stuff, with funky music to accompany it. The character designs are pretty dated, but that's to be expected. The bigger problem is putting up with unlikable characters for a plot that's dumb. Yeah that's my rundown of the story: it's dumb.

In order to appreciate this one, you'll want to be a classic anime fan. Space Adventure Cobra has plenty of 80s cheesiness, but lacks the charm many titles of that era have. Is it worth the watch just for the animation? Actually, it might be. There are many classic titles with very good animation, but few break into the level of being true art. I think this one squeaks into that category. It's visually impressive, good material for a music video, but not so good for an anime collection. Not recommended for most people.

Quote: >

Cover: Hyper-dimensional Multiplane Animation. Experience 3D depth with your naked eyes!

Screen Caps: >

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reviewed by archen in 1999