Created by Robert Mandell
- Episode guide
- Character bios
- Photo gallery
Dindrane’s Anime Warnings:
- Wicked woman!
- Battle of the bands
- Mild violence
Released by: Koch
Rating: All ages.
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Great for a rental or a nostalgia buy; if you have kids, get it.
[ad#longpost]Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, that 1980s childhood favorite, is back and this time on DVD. An entertaining mixture of classic western and science fiction, this show proves that, given a little time and some freedom, an American company can give anime a run for its money. It is hard to do a space Western without being infernally cheeseball, but, for a cartoon, this show gives a decent stab at it.
In this volume, “Supertroopers,” four more episodes bring us adventure and amusement. In “Supertroopers,” the enigmatically named Killbane and his wicked Supertrooper friends have returned to earth to form an army bent on the usual destruction and evil–but one of their own, super-engineered Ranger Shane Gooseman, is on the side of the good guys. In “Galaxy Stranger,” two more Supertroopers are working for a black-hat cattle baron; straight from an episode of Gunsmoke or any other classic western, the Rangers must travel to the planet Nebraska to put an end to these malevolent doings. Third, in “Shoot Out,” the Queen of Tortuna does a Robin Hood and arranges a contest for the “fastest gun in the galaxy” in order to lure the Rangers and capture them. Finally, “Battle for the Bandits” has the Rangers going undercover in a Battle of the Bands, which is another trap of the Queen’s, but not for the Rangers. Just…don’t think too hard about that episode.
The episodes on this volume give us more about the individual personalities of the Rangers; it’s unusual to have real personalities for the characters on animated shows of this sort, especially in the 80s, making this a real breath of fresh air. No, it’s not Tolstoy, but that’s hardly what you want of your episodic entertainment, now is it?
The features include handy episode synopses, character bios, and a nice photo gallery. Used to stripped-down American cartoon releases, you’ll be well pleased with even these few extras. They could have gone the academic route and interviewed film specialists of the Western genre, historians, or even astronomers who could hazard guesses about how “frontier” space will really be, but why make viewers think when what they really want is rowdy Western goodness, only in space? Why not interviews with show creator Robert Mandell, however? Or interviews with members of the show’s cult following, who would love to talk about their beloved show?
The show has been digitally remastered, and it shows. The colors are great, the look sharp, and the sound better than it has ever been. The voice acting might be a little cheesy and over-the-top, but that just adds to the appeal in a way. Koch has done a very respectful job of bringing this piece of nostalgia to the screen for adults, and there’s much to appreciate.
If you enjoy westerns or nostalgia, then you’ll enjoy Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers. It has adventure, the trappings of the Western genre, an evil queen, shootouts, and more. If you remember this one from your childhood, or even if you don’t, it is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon and will keep Gen-Xers, and their kids, entertained for hours.