COBRA!!!!!!!! – Cobra The Animation: The Psychogun
Sometimes good things come to those who wait. This is one of those times. Cobra (or Space Adventure Cobra) may not be a household name to many anymore, but briefly once upon a time it was. In 1990 Viz Communications released two collected versions of the comic with the amazing American master Marv Wolfman writing the English dialogue. The early days of the 90s also gave us the animated film adaptation being released direct-to-video, during the anime boom in Blockbusters across the country. Shortly after this little boom not much was heard about Buichi Terasawa’s space opera here stateside. We got releases of other Terasawa comics like Midnight Eye Goku and Kabuto, but that’s all folks. Well Space Adventure Cobra, which is huge both in its homeland of Japan and France, kept going strong, and recently a direct-to-DVD animated series titled Cobra The Animation: The Psychogun (based off a manga mini-series of the same name which ran in comic magazine Super Jump) was released in Japan, and now finally here stateside, which we can see for absolutely FREE, streaming at crunchyroll.com!
So how will you know you’ll even like Cobra The Animation: The Psychogun. Well if the answer is yes to one or more of the following, you will love it: 1) Do you miss the machismo action heroes of 80s action films who toted guns, womanized, and smoked a lot?; 2) Do you like epic space opera tales?; 3) Do you like the style and art of many stories from Heavy Metal magazine?; 4) Maybe you just enjoy animation; or lastly, 5) You were a fan of the Space Adventure Cobra comic.
Both the animation and story are great. For those of you who dislike the big-eyes of Japanese animation, great news: there are none here. Buichi Terasawa’s style is very western and so the characters look like they are out of Marvel or Heavy Metal Magazine. Remember in the 80s when the Japanese animated a slew of our shows, including Transformers, G.I. Joe, Jem, etc; Well it’s like that, you can’t even tell. The designs of both characters and the world feel very Aeon Flux for those who need a reference (however the Space Adventure Cobra comic started in 1978 and so pre-date Aeon Flux by a massive chunk of years).
The story is just awesome. Cobra was a wanted man, and so to escape it he has changed his face, and erased part of his memory. He seeks his cash by robbing treasure, bounty hunting, or an array of other things. His ultimate weapon is a super-high-tech concealed laser weapon, the psychogun, in his left hand. While attempting to rob a diamond on Earth, Cobra accidentally gets caught up in a massive brawl for an ancient snail fossil. Now these fossils come from colonized Mars, and it turns out that there is a Martian language encoded on these shells that work as a living history book. The language if deciphered right will not only give us the history of the universe, but also the secret to the power of the energy that can create big-bangs. A variety of different parties with their own agendas, including Crystal Bowie (who is to Cobra as Green Goblin is to Spider-Man), are all after the fossils, and it’s up to Cobra to save the day, and maybe benefit from it along the way.
I highly recommend this adult action animation (you can’t beat the price of watching it for free after all). Even if you’ve never read the comic or seen the other animations, the story is created so anyone can just jump in and enjoy the ride. As mentioned, check it out on www.crunchyroll.com.