Outlanders (Japan 1986)

Rating: ***

Johji Manabe's masterpiece "Outlanders" is adapted for anime. An invasion force comes to Earth to rid it of its human parasites and in the process, princess Kahm decides to piss off her father (the Emperor) by taking a human male as a husband. Naturally, she and her loyal friends become enemies of the state and are chased to the far reaches of the empire. Unfortunately, this adaptation is incredibly condensed and only hits the highlights of the original, without all of the heavy drama and deep political issues raised by the manga. Still, it's well animated and fairly entertaining. The dubbing is fair, but just a little flat.

Notes On The 20th Anniversary DVD Version: Central Park Media has finally delivered this minor classic as it was always intended - with subtitles! The original Japanese voices are delightful to listen to, and Kahm sounds remarkably like Lum from "Urusei Yatsura." The translation is much more subtle, and the relationship between Kahm and Tetsuya is more charming and playful. The biggest difference is that Progress's "treason" isn't acknowledged by anyone (questioning whether there was any treason to begin with), and Geobaldi's secret counter-attack is never explained, forcing the viewer to come up with their own conclusions as to what the hell happens at the end of the film. All in all very enjoyable, and a nice reminder of what old school 80's anime had to offer.