Star Blazers: The Comet Empire
Peace has reigned on Earth for a while now, and the Earth Defense Force has been upgraded quite extensively after the Earth was saved from radioactive decay at the hands of the Gamilon empire. But danger is yet again approaching in the form of a giant, white comet.
Answering the cry from help from another mysterious source, the Star Force yet again set out into the unknown.
You gotta hand it to Starblazers. The next series, while including many well-recognized traits and elements from the first show, still manages to look somewhat fresh and original. Well, for its time, that is.
An immediate improvement would be the art quality. Or perhaps I should say transfer quality. The art and animation is just about the same -- naturally, given the fact that it's a direct sequel. However, the nicks and scratches that seemed to plague the first series is nowhere to be seen in the second. Make no mistake. This is, like the first series, an old show. And there's no way that you won't notice. People who've been watching Crest of the Stars or Stellvia isn't very likely to be impressed by the visuals no matter which way you look at it. That's just the way it is when a show is close to 30 years old.
As soon as you accept this, however, you'll discover the "diamond in the rough", so to speak. This will ring especially true for the people who watched and enjoyed Starblazers: The Quest for Iscandar. Not only do all the regulars return, we even get introduced to a few new members of the team; the roughhouse space marine Sergeant Knox and his somewhat rowdy team. Also, the roster for the villains presents us with the Comet empire, lead by the villanious prince Zordar, who, while ruthless enough, sure knows how to throw wicked parties (Apparently, the comet empire has no king). Desslok even makes a welcome, not to mention vengeful, return, apparently hellbent on taking his revenge on the Star Force -- the Argo first and foremost.
But, of course, what would a Matsumoto title be without the mysterious, golden-haired goddess among them? The first series had Starsha, the ruler of a dying world. And this time, the salvation comes in the form of Trelaina, who seems to be Starsha's twin in everything but blood. Like Starsha, she seems to live in solitary confinement on her own planet. And also, like Starsha, she is seen as the savior of the Earth.
The first Starblazers was all about travelling into unknown frontiers, overcoming obstacles and fighting to save the Earth. In that way, Starblazers: The Comet Empire really is no different. What makes it worth watching, though, is the way the characters are played against each other, coupled with the admittedly slightly predictable but still enjoyable twists in the story. There are still some surprises to be had until you reach the end of the series, and even though The Comet Empire tend to get a tad more farfetched than Quest for Iscandar at times, it's a worthy successor.
(Remove a star or two depending on your distaste for old-school animation.) — Stig Høgset
Recommended Audience: Like with the first series, there are redskirt deaths due to warfare. The few duels to be found are pretty much light on violence and blood. And the same goes for fanservice -- or rather, the lack of it.
Version(s) Viewed: R1 DVD, Dub
Review Status: Full (26/26)
Star Blazers: The Comet Empire © 1978 Yomiuri TV/Academy Productions
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