Cobra – The Psycho Gun #01 — How Creative…

September 4th, 2008


Yet another godawful 80s remake. Where have I seen something like this before?


Is it just me or has the number of decent OVAs been on a steady decline lately? Animation quality for them seems to be hitting the crapper and there are just very few of them in general. The only even really notable ones that I can think of from the last year or so are Symphonia, Dokuro, Biyori, Muder Princess, Mnemosyne, and… sifr? Ew… sifr. The list of ones that are actually decent is… well… you won’t be needing to take off your mittens to count that on your fingers.

Luckily, here comes Cobra to… affirm absolutely everything that is wrong with the situation and send me into a rant about the godawfulness of this recent 80s revival nonsense. This is the start of a massive reboot of the 1980s Cobra franchise, and honestly… I don’t think that they could have done a worse job of it. You can literally count the number of frames they use. Of course, it’s not too hard when they show the same still for a full 20 seconds in the opening segment. Isn’t this an OVA? Isn’t there supposed to be a budget here? Why did I just spend nearly half a minute… which if we take a moment to do the math comes out to 2.5% of the episode, staring at the exact same picture? Assuming it took them 30 days to do all the art of the show, that one frame represents a full day’s worth of work. Of course, the math works out a lot more favorably in Madhouse’s favor if you assume it was thrown together over a weekend and then rubberstamped as yet another in the latest of half-assed remakes and tossed out the door.

I guess if you love old things and think that Golgo 13 and Fist of the North Start are the pinnacle of animation, then you’ll probably be able to get past the absolutely horrible animation, dated art, and antiquated character design, and get to enjoy the poorly drawn women in space thongs with metal hair welded to their head, rippling man abs, and the good old fashion 80s nonsensical sexism and racism. Damn those space banditos and evil space Samurai (or is that supposed to be an Egyptian?)… keeping their feral women on leashes to menace the hero. Why are they always getting in the way? The art’s brighter and crisper, but a lot more than that has changed in the nearly 25 years it’s been since this show first existed. I’m not sure it’d have been particularly impressive back then, and it’s certainly doesn’t threaten to even approach middling quality for a normal series, let alone an OVA.

Cobra OP


No, piss off. I want nothing more to do with you, you horrible horrible show.

Posted in Anime | 27 Comments »

27 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • egress63 says:

    Boy, someone is really angry about this OVA! lol.

  • Man, I remember watching this piece of crap when I was a kid… And all the signs so far point at this remake being more of the exact same crap…

    At least friends of mine told me that the Gaiking remake was decent…

  • Gearhead says:

    Ah Buchi.

    I still find it hard to believe the original artist for this series got their start drawing shoujo comics.

  • DiGiKerot says:

    Putting aside the fact that I like S.ifr, Hellsing Ultimate is still running, and that’s been pretty good thus far (whether or not it remains so under Madhouse is something yet to be seen, though). There was Freedom relatively recently as well.

  • shadow says:

    Yeah good serie, I need to watch a serie as cobra but as female as heroine and with good enemies and action, no the models with guns ( noir madlax and her clons ) with enemies stupids and poor action.

  • Reikalover says:

    Satelight is animating Hellsing Ultimate, not Madhouse.
    Also, what animation company produced this crappy OVA? It seems to be Artland quality xD.

  • DiGiKerot says:

    Reikalover > “Satelight is animating Hellsing Ultimate, not Madhouse.”

    Satelight animated the first four episodes of Ultimate, but production has shifted over to Madhouse as of the fifth episode.

  • AGear2Ax says:

    What the…? Retro? Remakes? 80s? No way. I remember this show was a great show, but for today, there’re better shows than this piece of ****.

  • Reikalover says:

    DiGiKerot, wow, did not know that, thanks… It’s highly unusual producers shift animation houses like that, I’m curious to know why…

  • Gil says:

    I’ve seen the arcade game……

  • Daryl Surat says:

    I find it completely and utterly hypocritical on your part that you slam Cobra, Golgo 13, Fist of the North *Star* (not “start”), and all that other so-called “godawful 80s revival nonsense” for being nonsensically sexist and racist when two of the main shows you’re enthusiastically following are Ikkitousen and Zero no Tsukaima. Before you get set to type up your defense of that: stop.

    Look, it’s simple: for the last several years, for every single anime season (spring and fall) fans with tastes such as yours have *at least* ten different shows they can watch which are potentially of interest to them. You have enough shows you are following at any given time such that there are new episodes for you to watch of SOMETHING for every day of the week that cater to your interests. Look at your sidebar. You are currently watching TWELVE shows. Shows that are all brand new and coming out in Japan right now.

    Lucky for you. Because it’s slim pickings for fans like me on this side of the fence, who don’t care about moe, schoolgirls, and all that. As it turns out, they practically don’t make new stuff for fans like me anymore. Which is to say, the number of shows I can watch that are brand new and coming out in Japan right now is typically around zero. “Thank God” is what you’re probably thinking right now in response to that, but is it just too much for me to ask that someone throw ME a freaking bone here every once in a while too? Does it really hurt you in any way if that’s done? Are you going to be starving for new anime to watch otherwise? Even if the decision for a studio to make an anime title “for me” would mean that’s one fewer title “for you,” thus making the trend of remaking old anime detrimental to your interests because it’s actively depriving you of something, guess what? You would still have ELEVEN other shows to watch compared to my one!

    Consider this. It has been approximately ten years between each successive Golgo 13 anime. Literally speaking, without exaggeration, one Golgo 13 anime gets made PER DECADE. There hasn’t been Cobra anything for over TWO decades. Yet despite that, it’s just too much for you, it just GETS YOUR GOAT, that this one Cobra OAV exists? Dude, it’s not even fansubbed! In fact, there’s a pretty good chance that no group will even bother to fansub it at all! Golgo 13 fansubs have stopped for the last two months since the group doing them decided to concentrate more on Natsume Yuujinchou.

    Understand that if YOU don’t like a show, there’s about 40 shows coming out that are targeted to guys like you that you can watch instead. Almost all of the anime being made these days is bending over backwards to cater to what you and most of the commenters are interested in. But if I don’t like Penguin Girl or Mission-E or what have you, my options as far as new anime is concerned are virtually nonexistent aside from the remakes of the older stuff.

    You object to Cobra because it’s “nonsense” and “everything that is wrong with the situation” because the animation quality and character designs aren’t to your liking. That’s entirely subjective of course, but if you’re this incensed that the creators dared–DARED–to have you look at the same picture for a whopping 20 seconds, how does it make you feel when you watch those Miyazaki movies with held cel shots? Why, those have theatrical budgets! Is there simply no excuse for holding a shot for an extended period of time? Or do you suppose it’s possible that directors just might do that sort of thing for the sake of emphasis?

  • TLO says:

    Dude, you are the worst scum of all and are completely wrong about Cobra. Just stick to watching your shitty moe shows and let the small percentage of us watch the things we like. Hell, if you didn’t like it, there is no need for you to even spread your opinion of it. Especially when looking at your track record of anime.

  • Aroduc says:

    Man, Golgo 13 and Cobra wish they had the kind of budget that Zero and IkkiTousen have. Hell, even Kaiji and Akagi were barnburners compared to them.

    And honestly, what kind of argument is “we need to appreciate every little scrap thrown our way?” You want old school done well, look at the Lupin specials. There’s nothing wrong with them at all and they’re thoroughly enjoyable, well, aside from the poor pacing and direction of Green vs Red, but I digress…

    Time and quality inevitably march onward and upward. If you made a new Star Trek today with the same cheesy awful effects as the first series (or Doctor Who or insert-your-own-science-fiction-show-from-the-80s-here), there’s no mistaking that it’d be dropped in the completely cheeseball category even if it tried to be completely serious. Adult Swim has been making a fortune off of exploiting that form of comedy. Lack of production values shouldn’t be confused with a lack of quality, but let’s not pretend that a lack of production values plus a classic name is an automatic rubber stamp of quality either.

  • Daryl Surat says:

    “And honestly, what kind of argument is ‘we need to appreciate every little scrap thrown our way?'”

    Not the argument I was putting forth. That’s what kind of argument it is.

  • Max Dunn says:

    In the wake of far more proper responses to your rant I’ll nitpick a bit.

    You make a point of gouging this show on it’s art style. I’m sorry but weren’t you just talking about how it was a remake of an 80’s franchise? If you’re going to take a set of characters and situations and completely retool them to look and be basically nothing like the originals, why not just make a new series. We don’t need another BGC 2040.

    I personally, like 80’s style anime. I like the thick lines, the sharp color contrasts and the general buffness of the people. Heaven forbid the dude punching that robot in half have any muscles. I get tired of shows that look like the animators spent 5 hours in illustrator per frame only to be about some 10 yr old playing the piano while her brother/father/mother/cat looks on in pregnant anticipation.

    You’ve posted these screenshots but by and large they don’t really look “crudely drawn” – Especially when it becomes appearent that you’ve taken still frames out of motion shots where any studio would cut the design back a smidge to save cost.

    “Dated art and antiquated character design,” I disagree but that’s the minority I live in. People see something like this and say “This looks old. Therefore it must be bad.” and lose their shit. Too bad they didn’t put in some 10 yr old eh?

  • namelessLoli says:

    “Too bad they didn’t put in some 10 yr old eh?”
    Of course. 10 year olds make everything good.

    On a serious note, I thought that the majority of Aroduc’s complaint was with the way it doesn’t look like the kind of higher quality that you’d expect from an OVA. Not liking the art style is subjective to the person, but being poorly animated is a completely valid point. No OVA, of all things, should have an excuse for being very poorly animated.

    I also think that calling this show sexist and racist is absolutely correct. Even the shows like Ikkitousen and Zero no Tsukaima don’t have the mentality of “all non-Americans are evil and women are blatantly inferior to men”. That said, I don’t see why that’s a point to be taking offense to, looking at the original that this is based on and the era it was made in.

    Honestly though, I don’t see why anyone should be taking offense to his review anyway. All he basically said was that the show looked sub-par and not relevant to his interests, so he wasn’t going to cover it. Does him not covering an anime you like offend you so much as to rage at him for it? I find that absolutely hilarious.

  • AGear2Ax says:

    A remake for fans maybe, but this OVA could be better for nowadays.

  • Robert Kelly says:

    “Antiquated character design?”

    “Dated art?”

    “poorly drawn women in space thongs”

    So basically if the women have big eyes and boobs or look like they’re 15 when they’re supposed to be 24, that’s supposed to be “with it”, “modern” and a good thing right?

  • Aroduc says:

    I think it should probably start with hair that looks like hair, instead of a metal wig welded onto their scalp. Then we move onto debating other aesthetic choices.

  • Ray P. says:

    Look at this debate, you people.

    I like to think of Aroduc as some sort of (hilarious) angry masochist.

    At least, that’s all I can conjure up after watching him review the third season of ZnT week after week after week despite how bad it is, or keeping up with Birdy despite not particularly enjoying it.

    Can’t you see he just needs a hug? ;_;

  • Anon says:

    He needs a swift kick to the nuts.

  • AGear2Ax says:

    Aroduc is one of the few objective bloggers, he writes good reviews. The only sin he did in this post was to forget putting a warning label like this: “You only will enjoy 100% this if you’re a fan of Cobra”. Yeah, and don’t try to deny it, unless you’re a fan or you’re curious, you will spend time seeing this. It’s like if somebody just say that the upcoming game Rockman 9 it’s a total crap for today showing us a good emulation of the NES and oh boy, that “somebody” will get eaten by the rage of the rockman fans, since the truth is that those gems will be only enjoyed by fans, the creators and the curious ones who wants to taste something different. The average people will just only ignoring this. BTW Cobra is good, but it’s sad that this is the OVA for its reboot, c’mon this would be better than this.

  • Aroduc says:

    Objectivity is for wusses. ^^ Subjectivity is where it’s at.

  • Sheba says:

    Yes, Cobra is sexist, not more sexist than “our girls are useless” Naruto or Bleach, hell, it’s not more sexist than most of harem anime we get hurled in our faces.

    And truly, Cobra can only be appreciated by those willing to devote a bit of their time and energy to appreciate the more retro aesthetics, or the old frogs like me who had grown up while watching Cobra and Hokuto no Ken. For people like me, these shows have a flair that no series today can brag to have, hell not even the supposed epitome of badass named Gurenn Lagann can brag to have the same brand of badass that Cobra and Hokuto no Ken delivered in the past.

    On a more sad note for the fans, it is likely one of these shows bound to be ignored by subbers.

    PS: To people nerd raging over Aroduc. The shows he is covering should have clued you in over what to expect from him. At least he doesn’t rave over how a show that should remain unnamed is much more better than sliced bread, and that people who doesn’t like this show are worthless morons with no hope for redemption.

  • Johnny says:

    @Aroduc: I’m sorry you feel that way.

    I enjoyed this episode and look forward to the rest.

    I’ve been watching anime for about 8 years solidly and well its becoming harder for me to find something to enjoy out of all the remakes and series aimed at the new generation. It was a suprise to find this even sparked any sort of interest for me.

  • […] trail was rather short. I went from my referral page to this post on ani-nouto, and from there to this post on Tenka Seiha. You can completely ignore the latter post as it’s not worth reading, but […]

  • Jonathan Kent says:

    I came across this site by accident. Apparently the latest post was nearly a year ago, but I was tempted to say a word anyways :-)

    Everyone has their own opinions about what is good or not. And we can’t really blame someone for feeling strongly ,either in support or against, a particular anime. On my part, I actually like this anime. Not because I’m a fan, but I do recall seeing it a long time ago as I was growing up, and to me, this remake was both an improvement and visually appealing even without comparing it to the original.

    I guess I’m also like some of the previous posters who can’t stomach infantile or juvenile heroes with their juvenile issues and insecurities. Which is not to say I don’t tolerate vulnerabilities in main characters, its just that Japanese anime these days seems to be obsessed with teen hero stereotype / teen issues. Enough already I say.

    I only have the market to blame as obviously, production houses only make things that they perceive will succeed in the market.

    I really don’t understand how this OVA can be seen as substandard. I rather like the character design. The art and animation itself isn’t bad either. Far from it. I miss these kinds of character design. They are definitely old school, in the sense that they are more realistic in appearance then most of today’s overly cartoony design. But that’s just my opinion I guess.

    I for one continue to hope that we will have more remakes of classic shows, even if only to add a little more variety to today’s generic anime. Speaking of remakes, the City Hunter remake Angel Heart was pretty good too. I hope that anime studios would also consider those of us who belong to the more “niche” segment of the market, and continue to provide us with revitalization of old favorites.

    Peace y’all