Gun Frontier (2002– )

TV Series  -  Animation | Sci-Fi | Western
6.9
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Spaghetti Western Japanese Anime style
20 March 2004 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

One of the best Harlock offerings out there and a very good western besides. After seeing a number of Matsumoto based animes not living up to their potential, this is a great treat.

Ignore the description provided by the US distributor, this is NOT a Captain Harlock Space Pirate sci-fi story! The main characters are apparently distant ancestors of Space Pirate Harlock and his best friend Tochiro who happen to also be best friends. The story is set in the late 1800's in the wild west of the United States, a very strange wild west. The two are on a quest and get shadowed by a mysterious woman and the criminal organization that hired her.

The animation is limited but done well. The design is very good. The scripts as seen through the subtitles are way above average for any anime. The Western themed music (except for the opening and close) is very simple but really fits the atmosphere of the show. The pacing is very close to the great spaghetti westerns of the 1960's. The entire show is a mix of existential philosophy, odd humor and spaghetti western violence. This is a real joy to watch but I recommend watching one episode at a time.

Two notes for anyone thinking of Gun Frontier:

1) This is an adult themed anime and has a lot of hard violence at times. Also there is quite a bit of female nudity. It's that weird Japanese nudity where the women have no nipples and look like store window dummies. It's happens too much in the course of the program. These things and the repeated rape threats on the main female character make this series unsuitable for children.

2) This 13 episode series is part of a larger story so the last episode promises another installment. Hopefully Matsumoto will get chance to finish the story.


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