The start of a multi-episode story is done rather strongly with a lot of possibility and potential.
What They Say
Cobra is very known space pirate, but decides to change his face and to clear all his memories. He becomes a common guy, with a common job, and a very boring life, but suddenly he starts remembering his true identity and new adventures begin.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
This series has been uneven for the most part though it's had a number of very good fun areas that left me smiling and enjoying it. The manly carefree nature of it and its basic attitudes may not fly well with a lot of today's viewers but there's a certain nostalgia to a different time that makes it appealing because it is different. The show has had some good standalone episodes and a couple of multiple episode stories that went on too long and that's made me hesitant towards another multi episode story, especially one that could likely run the remainder of the series.
This one at least starts off with some good potential and has me engaged right from the start. The plot focuses on a plan to take a place called Shiva Castle back from the Chaos Army, a group who invaded and captured it decades ago. The Chaos Troops are interesting in that they're essentially mental beings encased in spheres that utilize other bodies to get around in. Though they don't know who it is that invited them to this plot, thirteen people arrive in a secret location to gather and make the basic plan to retake the castle. The way they gather is amusing as their packet contains a playing card, all of the spades suit, where everyone has a different one and they opt to use that for names. It's a cute start but everything goes to hell in a handbasket fast when it's discovered there's a spy in the midst and the attempts to get away result in a number of the participants dying.
What complicates it more as Cobra ostensibly takes over as leader of the remaining members of the group (which includes one scantily clad hot woman of course) is that the last member of the group that they were waiting on is the one who knows best how to get into Shiva Castle. So they have to go off in search of him, which is difficult as they're being chased. The best part for me though was the revelation to one of the members of a poster showcasing Cobra being wanted. It's the classic Cobra image though with the long hair and slightly different face, which is a great harkening back to the old property. Realizing that they have Cobra in the midst though makes things more awkward since Cobra has certainly had his share of kills over the years. It's almost like six degrees of separation in knowing someone that Cobra has killed.
While I'm hesitant about any story that's not a standalone with this series, this episode at least starts off pretty strongly and has some neat elements to it. Whittling down the cast of characters from the thirteen at the start was a big plus as it was going to feel far too crowded right from the start, something that made the mountain climbing two parter much less enjoyable. Once this gets rolling past the initial introductions and the action starts, the show moves along at a good clip and brings in a few fun things. I particular liked the interesting husband and wife pairing that are in a single robot body as it presents something outlandish in a retro style. While I'm not fully on board with the story yet, it's so far given me some hope that it could turn out well if they continue it fairly tightly and without anything extraneous.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.