Space Adventure Cobra: The Movie
|Space Adventure Cobra: The Movie|
Theatrical film poster
|Hepburn||Supēsu Adobenchā Kobura|
|Directed by||Osamu Dezaki|
|Produced by||Tatsuo Ikeuchi|
by Buichi Terasawa
|Music by||Osamu Shoji|
|Edited by||Masatoshi Tsurubuchi|
Space Adventure Cobra: The Movie, known in Japan as Space Adventure Cobra (Japanese: スペースアドベンチャーコブラ Hepburn: Supēsu Adobenchā Kobura), is a 1982 Japanese animated science fiction film directed by Osamu Dezaki based on Buichi Terasawa's 1978 manga Cobra.
The film opens with the bounty hounter Jane Royal apparently killing a creature and taking its head out. As she boasts in a bar, the self-proclaimed "Cobra" is attracted to her, and starts to follow her. She doubts he is the real Cobra, as it is said he died two years ago and had a special weapon called "Psychogun" in his left arm. When Cobra visits Jane in her home, the creature's head attack them, but is ultimately killed by Jane. She suspects a criminal group called the "Pirate Guild" is the responsible for the attack, as she is on their hit list and earlier left the head to the care of a bounty hunter organization. When the Guild's death squad chases them, Cobra reveals his signature weapon to stop their enemies. After this, the fact is reported to Crystal Bowie, Cobra's archenemy, and Jane reveals she has been looking for Cobra's help.
Cobra and Jane meet Cobra's partner Lady Armaroid, and they board on his starship to go to Sido, a planet where Jane's sister Catherine is imprisoned. Upon arriving in the planet, Jane says Catherine was falsely accused and is in prison because of the Guild, and as such needs Cobra's help to invade it and release her. Cobra enters alone, defeats some enemies, finds Catherine, but he is utimately captured and cryogenized by Bowie. Meanwhile, Jane is deceived and killed by Catherine, who fell in love with Bowie. However, Cobra overcomes the 400-degrees-below-zero temperature because of Jane's love, as Catherine interprets it; he escapes from the prison and get Jane's corpse. When Bowie is close to open fire on them, Lady arrives and rescues Cobra.
After the request of Professor Toporo, a species of intellectual mentor from Jane's home planet Myrus, Cobra releases Jane's body on the space. He is also instructed by the professor to find Jane's another sister Dominique and the "Snow Gorillas". He meets Dominique and she explains that Myrus is a man-made star and that the Guild wants to reign over it to destroy the Seventh Galaxy–Bowie later explains this is a way to demonstrate the Guild's power as they rule over the space, so one galaxy is irrelevant. Bowie finds them, kills Sandra, the Snow Gorillas' leader, and Dominique, who dies in Cobra's hands and asks him to kill Catherine to prevent the Guild to control Myrus. Cobra is able to escape and goes to Myrus, where he confronts Bowie and kills him, releasing Catherine from his control, and now she can be Myrus' queen.
|Cobra||Shigeru Matsuzaki||John Guerrasio (allonym for William Dufris)||Dan Woren|
|Lady Armaroid||Yoshiko Sakakibara||Tamsin Hollo as Andromeda||J.C. Henning (Joan-Carol O'Connell) as Lady|
|Crystal Bowie||Gorō Mutsumi||David McAlister as Lord Necron||Jeff Winkless as Crystal Boy|
|Jane Royal||Akiko Nakamura||Lorelei King as Jane Flower||Barbara Goodson|
|Catherine Royal||Toshiko Fujita||Lorelei King as Catherine Flower||Mari Devon|
|Dominique Royal||Jun Fubuki||Lorelei King as Dominique Flower||Wendee Lee|
|Sandra||Reiko Tajima||Shelley Thompson as Nadia||Catherine Battistone|
|Professor Toporo||Akira Kume||Allan Wenger as Professor Topolov||Kirk Thornton as Professor Topolov|
|Missionary Dakoba||Kenichi Ogata||Allan Wenger||Jeff Winkless|
Production and release
The film is based on Buichi Terasawa's 1978 manga Cobra, specifically on Cobra involvement with the Royal Sisters, and his fight against Crystal Boy, which was the first major arc of manga. It was theatrically released on July 23, 1982, in Japan. In Japan, the film was first released in December 1991 in VHS format. It was released on DVD on June 25, 2001 by Digital Site, and re-released by Happinet on August 29, 2008. Manga Entertainment released the film in British theaters in 1995. The Manga Entertainment version's dub had an alternate soundtrack performed by the pop group Yello. An American dub was created by Carl Macek's Streamline Pictures, and was released in American theaters on August 20, 1995, by Tara, and was later distributed by Urban Vision on VHS format on June 16, 1998. The film was released in the Australasian region by Madman Entertainment on December 5, 2007. On April 8, 2008, Manga Entertainment released it on DVD. On January 3, 2012, Hulu started to host the English dubbed version of the film after an agreement with TMS. Discotek Media released the film in the United States on DVD on August 21, 2012, and on Blu-Ray on December 15, 2015.
Reception and legacy
Otaku USA's Daryl Surat wrote that Cobra is a type of classical pulp series. While declared its protagonist is "part Han Solo and part Sean Connery-era James Bond" who does not fit the modern-day anime hero standard. Surat also said, "when people speak of the 1980s as 'the golden age of anime sci-fi, it's because of things like Space Adventure Cobra". Sandra Scholes of Active Anime commented it reminded "Barbarella, Zardoz and Star Wars all mixed together." Writing in the Fandom Post, Darius Washington thought it was "more like the Derek Flint films" than James Bond and that Cobra's adventures "could be comparable to worlds depicted in Outlaw Star and Bodacious Space Pirates." T. Strife from Anime News Network praised it for staying true to the manga and "holding its own with a modern audience". Strife stated that the series carries a theme of "love as a power beyond compare", which battles with the main character's playboyish air. Overall, Strife said the movie is a masterpiece and classic that is worth viewing to know the medium's foundations. Matthew Sweet's 1991 music video "Girlfriend" used excerpts from the film, and became one of the most-watched videos on MTV.
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