Posted on 28 March 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Cobra The Animation




Cobra’s premise at first seems one doomed for failure. In a world where all girls walk around in ridiculously revealing clothing, an invincible superman walks around and pretty much succeeds at everything he tries. Characters should be flawed, but Cobra is one of those guys who is perfect in every single way. Noramlly this would lead to rather boring television, but the creativity that has been put in the stories, along with Cobra’s charisma make this into a surprisingly enjoyable series.

The adventures, and the different places that this series shows make for a perfect light-hearted watch. The stories are nearly all well told and while they may not make too much sense at times, they’re well paced and built up and manage to draw you into its atmosphere.

I probably like this show even better than the original Cobra series of 1982. While that one was more of an action-series that focused on killing bad guys, the 2010 Cobra puts a lot more focus on adventures and exploration and instead of Cobra killing hordes of bad guys, it’s much more about his interatcion with the side-characters that happen to be tagging along with him.

On top of that, this series can boast the best soundtrack of shows that premiered in the past Winter-season. Yoshihiro Ike is a brilliant composer, and here again he delivers an exciting and perfectly fitting soundtrack to accompany the series. The graphics all look solid, but the animation itself is sub-par.

The arcs that this series decided to show differ a bit in quality. The mountain climbing arc is by far the best, while the two longest arcs at the beginning and end tend to drag on for a bit too long than necessary, and their plot twist may be a bit too non-sensical than what’s good for this series.

Cobra isn’t a series you want to go to for depth or realism at all. The stories are all very simple and the characters are all more charicatures than that they resemble actual people. But here’s the thing: it knows what it is, and it does this well. Cobra the Animation was very obviously made by passionate fans of the original Cobra 1982-series, who wanted to do the source material as much justice as possible. And you know what? They succeeded.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Rather cheesy at times, but knows how to draw you in.
Characters: 7/10 – Caricatures, Cobra is god-moded, but they all have their own charisma.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Animation isn’t impressive, but the graphics are. Plus a fantastic soundtrack.
Setting: 8/10 – The Cobra-universe is full of interesting places and settings.
Posted on with categories: Cobra The Animation



Hmm, I’m not sure whether I actually get the plan of the major villain in this one. It’s a bit weird. First she invites thirteen people to help her retake Shiva’s castle from the Chaos Troopers, which was already in the hands of the Chaos Troopers anyway. Out of these thirteen people, she invites a bunch of other Chaos Troopers as well. She then immediately kills those Chaos Troopers off, revealing her own fatal weakness by stating how you can recognize one. Honestly, I don’t get it. Also, how did she know that Cobra had been to Shiva’s castle before?

Overall, my favourite arcs of this series were the short ones: the ones who just took up one or two episodes. This really isn’t the type of series that should drag on for long with elaborate story-lines, instead it should be a quick-fire series. This final arc… it could have been done in about half the time as well.

Nevertheless, I also pretty much enjoyed this episode for what it was. I’m still hoping for Osamu Dezaki’s next series, but in the meantime this was a nice enough substitution. As an adventure series, it did pretty much what it should have.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Posted on 21 March 2010 with categories: Cobra The Animation



So this was the build-up before the finale. Nothing remarkable is really to say about it, but it wasn’t bad either, and still solid Cobra-esque entertainment.

Overall, I really had my doubts when I found out that Osamu Dezaki wasn’t involved in the production of this series, and it really shows: despite a few shots, this series really went with its own direction in its attempt to pay homage to the Cobra manga. And you know what, it worked? As an adaptation of a very old manga, this series did just about everything it should have done.

But guaranteed, I am still dying for more Osamu Dezaki. It would be awesome if we could get another series like Ultraviolet: Code044 which really allowed this guy’s style to shine at its best. Nevertheless, looking back to this series it really has been fun. And it finally showed that fan-service can be more than just showing under-aged teen-aged girls. Sure, the characterization is as far from realistic as possible, but that’s part of this series’ charms.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 14 March 2010 with categories: Cobra The Animation



This episode was pretty much everything that is Cobra in a nutshell: evil organizations, fighting bad guys, stealth, jails, exotic locations, gunfights, treasure hunts, bloodsport, hot chicks (FOR ONCE not teenagers), charismatic crooks. And of course the psychogun. The infiltration of the base of the slave market just screamed Cobra, and it’s interesting that this episode was so enjoyable, while completely staying true to itself.

A neat idea in this episode was that machine that would display the aura of the people fighting in the arena. It’s a nice subversion to the Dragonball Z-esque spontaneous auras that you often see in a lot of fantasy shows. Having it actually explained a bit makes it look actually cool.

Shiva’s castle also brings back a theme that has been used in many stories throughout the entire Cobra 2010 series: greed. Here we again have an array of side-characters, lusting for a supposedly awesome treasure. Now, the question is Cobra’s role in all of this. Why is he doing it? What event in his past has to do with all of this?
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 7 March 2010 with categories: Cobra The Animation



So this is going to be the final arc that closes off this series, spanning the final four episodes. So far, I must admit that I’m intrigued: here this series comes and gathers 13 people for a mission… only to kill off more than half of them throughout this episode without any information whatsoever as to who they were.

The remaining ones are actually pretty similar to the group that was there at the mountain climbing arc: we have the token chick and assassin combined into one, then there’s the guy who bears a grudge against Cobra and the siblings are also there, although this time they’re less friendly with each other. The Geronimo of this story will probably be the King.

Despite the similarities, it wasn’t a boring episode at all. One of the reasons for that was of course the unpredictable bloodbath that occurred in this episode, but this arc also has a lot more time to get interesting, compared to the mountain-climbing arc that was just two episodes. There’s also that matter of who it was that called everyone, as none of the people who made it alive seems like a good candidate. The siblings are just too stupid for that, the bird wouldn’t call everyone together without knowing about Cobra, the woman would not have invited Chaos Troopers, and Cobra would have been a lot more careful with choosing who he wants to work together with, if something would cause him to have to find back-up for some reason.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 5 March 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Cobra The Animation



Here’s a quick review. I think that my biggest issue with Cobra is that I unfortunately happened to watch one of the worst Cobra episodes as my introduction to the franchise (the first episode of the Psychogun), and because of that I was reluctant to check out Time Drive. Still, I’m glad I did, because especially that first episode stands out to me as one of the best Cobra episodes I’ve seen.

The main problem with Cobra has always been that he God-moded himself through any sort of problem that he ran into. This OVA shows a unique side of his character, though. It’s not just the fact that we get to see a younger Cobra, but also the older Cobra is much more interesting than he usually is. Not to mention the huge amount of ideas that the creators managed to put in just thirty minutes. It’s an excellent adventure.

The second episode is a bit of a step back. Nowhere near bad or anything, but it lacks the punch and the amount of creativity of the first episode, plus the transitions move a bit awkwardly at times. Nevertheless, it’s a nice conclusion to that excellent first episode.

Storytelling: 8/10 – A bit rough around the edges but packs a great sense of adventure, which is exactly what

this series should be.

Characters: 8/10 – In two episodes, it showed more variety to the characters than the 40 TV-episodes that I’ve seen so

far.

Production-Values: 7/10 – Hmm, lacks the excellent animation of Cobra 1982 or the eye candy of Cobra 2010, and it’s

supposed to be an OVA. Though Yoshihiro Ike kicks ass as usual.

Setting: 9/10 – So. Many. Neat. Ideas.

Just one side-note: what is it with Japanese confusing “dive” with “drive”? First Real Drive, and now this. When characters are clearly diving into

something metaphorical… why call it that way?

Posted on 27 February 2010 with categories: Cobra The Animation



Well, this is just the last series I expected to just get better and better with every episode. Don’t ask me why, but even though this series started out as a guilty pleasure, I’m genuinely enjoying it now. This episode again: the characters were very simple, but the ideas and the storytelling, along with Yoshihiro Ike’s soundtrack again turned this into an enjoyable episode. I’m a big fan of adventure series, but I often find them lacking in the creativity department. This show has exactly that.

And I have to praise this series: it’s one of the few ones that you can see has a ton of fun, making its own stuff up. Rugball was one of the highlights of Cobra 1982, and here it again comes with a great premise: in a free fall of 30000 feet, participants have to assemble their own vehicles, just in time before plummeting to their death and finish a race at high speed. I love the idea behind it.

One thing that I also appreciate is that ever since that first arc, the entire mentality of this series has changed. While at first, it had the “Cobra and the girl get a happy end”-mentality, instead, the series changed to the “only Cobra is awesome enough to have the happy end”. This makes the females in this series much less useless than they once were. Instead, they’re often the main villains, rather than damsels in distress. In this episode I again feared for Panela to fall into the same trap, but guess what? She died!

But seriously though, there’s no denying that this series is flawed, but nevertheless this series knows exactly what it is, and it’s been using that to its advantage and made this an excellent adaptation. Compare that to Hanamaru Youchien, for example, where the creators can’t seem to realize that they’re animating a show about a kindergarten. Or Letter Bee, in which the creators were building up to a great story that they never had the plans for to animate. In my view, there were too many series this season that failed to capture their essences. Cobra The Animation, however, succeeded in that.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 21 February 2010 with categories: Cobra The Animation



It’s strange: Cobra 1982 and 2010 are animated from the same manga, and yet their focus is completely different. Cobra 1982 interpreted “adventure” as “killing bad guys”, while Cobra 2010 interprets “adventure” as meeting interesting people and settings. I think that that’s why I consider the latter to be superior: killing of bad guys for 33 episodes does get old, even though a few of them stand out as original. Especially considering that to get to these interesting people, Cobra first has to kill of hordes of nameless minions and goons. Cobra 2010 leaves the goons for what they are, and therefore is much more able to focus on the creativity.

What also changed is that this series adds a bit of depth to the characters that Cobra meets. It’s small, but because of that I’m much more interested in these people. These people are overcome by greed, so much that they forget to think rationally. It’s been the same for three arcs now, but it actually says much more about them than the umpth minion of the Pirate Guild who want to kill Cobra. I think that the “why” in Cobra 1982 got ignored too often, and that allowed it to get stale. Plus, Cobra 2010 has space cars. How awesome is that?

One thing I liked in this episode was how well the conclusion was handled, and especially how powerful the soundtrack was at that time. That’s another thing at which I consider Cobra 2010 to be superior: its soundtrack is ten times better than the original.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 13 February 2010 with categories: Cobra The Animation



Okay, so with this I’ve seen Cobra 1982 and seven of the episodes of Cobra 2010. I’m going to finish watching this series, but after that I’m not planning to return to this series because of its shallow nature: after this, I get the feeling that the more I watch, the older and less fun this series gets. Still, it’s been fun, and this arc was without a doubt my favourite.

The creators… they did great justice to the Cobra franchise, I have to give them that. This was a shallow adventure, but it was a shallow adventure like it should be: it’s got characters with convictions, central themes (belief), it’s creative and isn’t afraid to go with the stupid in order to avoid the predictable. I like that. The final twist, in which it turned out that the only reason Cobra came along with the mountain climbing was because Lady just “happened” to be on the plane that the gold was in. It makes no sense, but it’s one of those plot twists of which I have to praise the creators to actually go with it. A problem I have with a lot of light-hearted series is that they tend to play it too safe. That tends to get rather boring.

Also, this episode showed a quick but effective way to flesh out a relatively big cast sufficiently. The chemistry between the group is very good, and interestingly Cobra isn’t entirely the good guy here, because he pretty much killed a guy himself. Instead, Geronimo was a charming good guy, and the balance of honest people to ones who tried to cheat their ways to the top was healthy.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 7 February 2010 with categories: Cobra The Animation



Yeah, I think that this is my favourite episode of the new Cobra so far. While its premise is… unrealistic to say the least, it lacks the stupidity that plagued the previous number of episodes, and instead aims to deliver a cast of interesting characters. All with their own backgrounds and motives. At this point there still are a few redundant characters (that con man for example didn’t seem to have done anything), but overall it was a pretty enjoyable episode, and for once with this show it’s not for the wrong reasons.

But this episode did not lose the main focus of this series: space adventures. In fact, I would have preferred a bit of less time on the adventures, and more to the background of these characters. Although I do admit that that bodyguard also was very interesting, even though he was just random cannon fodder. The fact that he could not see the mountain, which only appears for those who believe in him says a lot about him, though.

While I like adventure series done right, in the end Cobra isn’t one of them. It suffers in its characterization: aside from Cobra none of the characters are really that interesting. However, the next episode actually might break that trend. Still, I’m somehow enjoying it so far into the series. Plus, shows in which you can punch an angry shark and knock it out and where con men walk around with Mickey Mouse-haircuts deserve points for creativity.
Rating: * (Good)

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  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:21 AM)
    All thats left now is macross 7.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:20 AM)
    However this one begged to go on for more than just five episodes, come on now and it had the franchises penchant for weak villains. It doesn’t get me as emotional as do you remember love does, the characters of Macross plus were more likeable. Still its a step above Macross II and I at least had fun with it on an action level.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:17 AM)
    Thats Macross zero completed then, it was great to see the background arc/plot for this franchise, the pace is tight and the action is arguably the most immersive, well done of the Macross universe along with Frontier.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:33 AM)
    While Tatami Galaxy and Ping Pong were definitely sharp I felt that Kemonozume and Kaiba were more inventive.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:30 AM)
    Aye,it was the visual style of the film being so different from the norm that drew me in. Still out of Yuaasa’s stuff I found myself more taken with tatami galaxy.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:22 AM)
    I think creatively the anime industry has plateaued a bit by now, where we see more derivative stuff and there has a formed an almost universal “anime style” which hinders non-traditional voyeurism.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:18 AM)
    I love the tonal whiplash that the story goes thru and the then-impressive-and-new visuals. Both 4°C and Hifana take queues from the Kansai art and the underground graffiti styles that prospered in Japan after the 70’s. Parallel to the postmodern movement in the Western world, the new wave was more expressive than fine and you see its heavy influence on the manga and anime industry.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:14 AM)
    @Bam: It is at the last stretch on the film where it is at its strongest visually in my opinion.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:10 AM)
    @Bam: For only 100 minutes it did a decent enough job on its protaganist in any case.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:02 AM)
    Mindgame is amazing. It is as unorthodox as they come but not really pretentious. It’s pretty humble and does have an actual message and proper story arc, so it’s definitely not just random for random’s sake. The industry needs more Yuasa.

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