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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Spaghetti Western Japanese Anime style

Author: Chung Mo from NYC
20 March 2004

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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Spaghetti Western meets Japanese Animation

7/10
Author: melancholicmoon
3 November 2014

Another Matsumoto gem, but not meant for the general public. It is slow-paced, melancholic, poetic, surreal, and contains a lot of violence, sex and "nudity". The animation is pretty basic, but the dialog is very-well written and there is room for character development.

The way it ended suggested there might be another season, so we're still waiting.

I think you'll only enjoy it if you're used to Spaghetti Westerns, or absolutely adore two of Matsumoto's main characters, Harlock/Albator the pirate and Toshiro the Samurai. Well, what seems to be their ancestors or their previous incarnation in the 19th century West, that is.

I've seen this in French, which apparently is the better dubbed version compared to English, with a more faithful translation.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Good Stuff

Author: Gram from England
22 December 2004

This anime features characters from the Captain Harlock manga series in an unusual setting: the wild west. Tochiro, a Japanese samurai, is seeking to find the remainder of his people who are persecuted in the wild west. In this time, Japanese people are persecuted more than indians and little is understood about them. There's many undertones of racism which keeps a serious streak to the anime.

Tochiro is accompanied by his best friend, Captain Herlock. Gradually, you learn more about how these two met and appreciate the bond they share. This anime has a great humour element mainly found in the wild west setting. Trains are a novelty, towns have their own ridiculous rules and the dynamic duo are alcohols :P There's a lot of nobility and honour and mentioning to things that you don't know much about yet but they all get explained.

Very good, must recommend. Don't expect high quality animation or accurate dubbing though :P

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Let Down

1/10
Author: q256
4 March 2010

The anime style is pretty good for the effect - imo a cheap western, the artistic methods where consitant throughout the 13 episodes.

The storyline gets repetitive quickly with an overall building up to the end only to be dashed to bits. Clothing is optional on all the woman it seemed. The storyline even gets clever in making fun of itself for being cheesy ( mentions the hanging of a character over and over ). Within the episodes storyline seems to drag on here and there. Sorry, if I am going to be buying and watching a 13 episode series I expect at least a bit of closure. A wee biscuit or a continuation which this lacks. I was left with an empty wasted 4+ hours of my life.

The West is Where People Die, Clothing is Optional, The Story Builds Up for Something Great, The phone rings and damn, just like sex - Mom on the phone kills the joy. End of Gun Frontier

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