Cosmo Warrior Zero
Warrius Zero is a man who lost his family fighting against the machine men. Still, as a peace treaty was signed between the machine men and the human beings, he chose to fight for the Earth and for a future between the human beings and machine men.
After a run in with Space Pirate Harlock, Zero is given his old ship back and a mission to find and capture Harlock.
While I've known about Leiji Matsumoto work for a couple of years now, it's only recently that I've started picking up on his titles. And this series is a prime example on why I love his works as much as I do. It's a relatively new show, but Matsumoto's style is decidedly retro even in its adaptation by character designer Masunaga Keisuke.
While the art is great, the animation -- the CG work in particular -- does falter badly at times. One instance occurs during the few space battles involving the fighters. It looks more like a movement of layers using single animation cels than proper animation, and it detracts some from the overall work.
But, since this title is more about human interaction -- or in some cases, human and machine man interaction -- this doesn't really detract all that much. You'll just notice it, and perhaps even get a little bit annoyed by it. But that should be all.
What I really like about this series is the way the characters are played out against each other. Zero practically IS the Earth's forces' version of Harlock -- quite the opposite of what I expected, given the cover blurb. Seeing the two of them interact is a treat. What this series does that hasn't been done earlier in any Matsumoto works I've seen as of yet is to present the machine's viewpoint as very favorable. Earlier, machine men have solely and almost exclusively been relegated to the role of the instigator -- the antagonist, if you will. This series takes that concept and turns it completely around. Zero's team, being shared almost 50/50 among human beings and machine men makes for some interesting ideas and plot points, not to mention moral lessons.
Another thing I really liked about this series is the way it introduces a lot of the better known characters in the Leijiverse. The appearance of Harlock is obvious enough. It should also come as no surprise that Tochiro is there too, and even the elusive Emeraldas makes an appearance. And not only that, but there is even a short scene with the mysterious and enigmatic Maetel. (This, seeing as Tochiro is present and apparently alive and well, would be BEFORE she met up with Hoshino Tetsuro and took him for a ride on the Galaxy Express 999.)
I guess the bottom line is that this is pretty much a safe buy for the Matsumoto fans among us. You have the usual staple of character types doing what they do best. True, the dialogue gets decidedly corny at times, but you may just chalk that up to the whole Matsumoto charm.
This one comes highly recommended.
Not perfect, and certainly not Matsumoto's BEST work, but there's nothing to be afraid of here. — Stig Høgset
Recommended Audience: Well, the only objectionable thing here would be the violence, though it's not gory. People die in this one, so it's not suitable for younger audiences.
Version(s) Viewed: R1 DVD
Review Status: Full (13/13)
Cosmo Warrior Zero © 2001 Leiji Matsumoto / Project Zero
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