The original Sci-Fi adventure series that created a generation of anime fans-and still stands at the head of the pack-is finally available on DVD! The star blazers series 1 DVD collection contains the entire 26-episode ser... more »ies on 6 DVDs, each in its own package and loaded with bonuses, from deleted scenes to music tracks to brand new image galleries. Relive all the drama and excitement as the star force launches for the first time in the space battleship Argo on their epic 148,000 light year quest for Iscandar! Standing against them is Desslock and the might of the Gamilon Empire... and the fate of Earth hangs in the balance!« less
"I bought these disks with some trepidation. I was about ten years old when Star Blazers seared across my conciousness. I loved the show deeply at that time. I finally decided to go ahead and splurge on the DVD's, nervous that I was wasting my money on a half-remembered show that would no longer be impressive to a 30-year old.I was wrong. Wonderfully wrong.Sure, the animation is crude. You can actually see marks and debris on the glass plates used for the animation. Sure, some parts are cheesy. Sure, some of the violence was mitigated for the American version. Sure the science varies from wonderfully accurate to ludicrous. But this is still an amazing series -- one of the best pieces of sci-fi to ever reach the small screen. I watched the last ten episodes in one night.In brief, this DVD covers the first season of the Americanized version of the classic Japanese anime series Space Battleship Yamato (itself an expansion of a movie). Earth is under attack by the mysterious Gamilons, who are bombarding the planet with lethal radiation bombs. The planet has one year of life left. But a call from a distant planet in the Magellanic Clouds promises a cure to the radiation and provides them with new technology to make the journey. The star blazers board the resurrected battleship Yamato (rechristened Argo for the American version) and make a desperate trip to save the human race.I guess the reason this had such appeal to me as a kid and I still love it is that it never talks down. The characters develop over 26 episodes into fully realized characters. Complex plotlines (Wildstar's loss of his family, Avatar's sickeness, Wildstar's and Nova's budding romance) develop gently. Characters have a realistic chance of being killed (many die). It turns out the Gamilons have reason of their own for invading Earth -- they're not just evil monsters. And the finale - a desperate battle in the Magellanic Clouds, the arrival at Iscandar, the return to Earth -- is stunning.This series combines action with drama. One particularly good episode shows the crew bidding their last farewells to Earth as they leave the solar system. Another simply details their homesickness. These episodes exists side by side with a 3-part battle at Pluto, a massive confrontation halfway along the journey and two awesome battles at the conclusion of the journey.The DVD's come with plenty of interesting extras -- a history of Gamilon, a tour of the Argo, etc. But that's gravy.If you've never seen Star Blazers before, you might want to rent the series or buy one disk before making a big financial commitment. If, like me, you have vague but happy memories of the show, go ahead and splurge. You won't be sorry."
Make Mine Manga!
Jeffrey A. Veyera | Matthews, NC United States | 05/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you were being packed off to school on innumerable mornings in the late 70s/early 80s, chances are you woke up extra early some mornings to the rousing tones of the "Star Blazers" theme:"We're off to outer space,
Leaving Mother Earth,
To save the human race
Our Star Blazers!"The half-hour cartoons which ensued were nothing short of miraculous to kids weaned on Looney Tunes: furiously intense little snippets of a small band of heroes in a tricked-out World War Two battleship in a desperate struggle against evil aliens. This was no "G.I. Joe," folks---the stakes were high, and people got hurt. The captain of the Argo spent much of the trip battling radiation poisoning, the heroes were invariably placed in precarious situations and occasionally were lost. While the Star Force won most of the battles, these victories were dearly bought; many episodes ended with the ship limping along leaving enormous smoke trails in its wake. Now "Star Blazers" has finally arrived on DVD. I started watching the first episode, and wound up sitting in front of the TV oblivious to everything around me until I watched all 6 DVDs (about 12 hrs in all). Despite a transfer showing no improvement over the muddy images which danced across my 13" color screen all those years ago, this series STILL has the power to hook the unwary. In addition to the 26 first series episodes, the DVD edition also includes a ton of nifty special features providing a wealth of background information. My particular favorite is the interactive mission map detailing the Argo's entire journey to Iscandar and back with episode-specific summaries of key events. I've seen a lot of Japanese manga since "Star Blazers" first bombarded my eyeballs, but slick production and hard-boiled storylines pale in comparison to the ominous warning at the end of each episode: "Hurry, Star Force! Earth has only 256 days left!" Buy this set. Consider it Cosmo-DNA for the soul."
Great Anime - Super Storyline - Great Color !
turtlex | PA USA | 06/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
This is it, people, the Starblazers Series One set. It's the "Quest for Iscandar" storyline and its just as fun to watch now as it was when you were a kid.Starblazers was a very popular series when shown in the United States in the 1970's. It's very colorfully drawn and importantly, it has a good story to tell. Basically, the story is this - Earth is attacked and only has one year until it will be destroyed unless the Star Force can fly to a distant planet (Iscandar) and retrieve the machine necessary to removing deadly radiation. Its just the kind of stuff you want to worry about when you're a kid watching cartoons, right? That's the wonderful thing about anime. It doesn't write "down" to its audience. It's as much adult entertainment as it is for the kids.And this is a special series, because it also has the coolest opening title song ever - its impossible to get out of your head - and I know you're looking for the lyrics so here you go - sing along with the DVDs.We're off to outer space, we're leaving Mother Earth
To save the human race. Our Star Blazers.
Searching for a distant star, heading off to Iscandar
Leaving all we love behind, who knows what dangers we'll find?
We must be strong and brave, our home we've got to save.
If we don't, in just one year, Mother Earth will disappear
Fighting with the Gamalons, we won't stop until we've won
Then we'll return, and when we arrive
The Earth will survive with our Star Blazers. I highly recommend this set. Its a must have for any Anime fan.Regards,
Star Blazers deserves better! A more technical review.
Eric | Massachusetts | 04/08/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Star Blazers, ah the memories of rushing home from school in the early 80's to catch the next adventure of the Star Force's journey to Iscandar. Knowing the opening and closing themes word for word and even being able to recite the narrator's form intro at the start of every episode (In the year 2199, Earth is under severe attack from the mysterious planet Gamilon...)
So why only the 3 star review? Voyager Entertainment Inc.'s (VEI) horrible handing of the series they unfortunately have the rights to... When they initially acquired the rights from Kidmark they cleaned up the picture and made it more watchable. That was a good thing, for 1994... But for a 2001 DVD release it's unacceptable... Especially for what they charge.
In 1995 I collected VEI's VHS release of this series in the 13 individual volumes (2 eps per volume). What I didn't like about them (I'll use volume 1 as an example) was that they would use the opening theme, show episode 1, then it would just roll into episode 2, and then the ending theme. Back then VEI also offered a more economical 6 volume box set. In doing so some of the opening recaps were cut as they would string 5 episodes together almost like a movie. Example; volume 1 of the box set would go; opening theme, episode 1,2,3,4,5, ending theme. This six volume VHS box set is important in this review because it is THIS very set that VEI "shoveled" onto DVD. Yes, they used the old VHS box set masters for this DVD release. There was actually more on the individually sold 2-episode volumes that they released 12 years ago on VHS! Now, on the DVD it seems like you can choose an individual episode and watch it that way (with opening and ending themes). Nope, if you choose episode 1 it will automatically go to episode 2 without opening and ending themes. The going theme for VEI (other than VHS masters shovelware) seems to be treating each VOLUME (whether it has 2 episodes or 5) as one whole smashed together episode. Now? Each disc is treated the same way, as one episode. Very sloppy and very disappointing.
I would've also liked to have seen the commercial bumpers and the "Stay tuned for scenes to the next Star Blazers!" in Derek Wildstar's voice. Not vital but goes with the nostalgia that makes this series so special to us fans. They did this for Robotech and the Transformers. Why not Star Blazers?
The extras are nice but be aware that a lot of the last names for a lot of the characters were made up years after the show was off the air. Names like "Nova Forrester, Dashell Jordan, Abraham Avatar." These characters among others never had last names in the series as we saw it on TV years ago. It was just "Nova, Dash, Captain Avatar, Eager, Conroy, etc." I'm not bashing the invented names but just be aware that they were made up by fans that did a comic for VEI back in 1995-96. On the deleted scene of the sinking of the original battleship Yamato, the scene that was used here is from the Space Battleship Yamato movie and NOT the TV series which was a longer scene.
I see a lot of reviews saying they would've prefered to have the original Japanese episodes on here as well. I couldn't agree more... But the fact is, VEI only owns the rights to Star Blazers NOT the original Japanese TV series. They have the rights to distribute the Yamato films but not the TV series. The other problem is that Star Blazers was heavily edited for time and violence. The episodes would not be compatible for a dual language track. Our best bet for seeing Yamato TV with English subtitles other than illegal bootlegs is for a domestic anime company like AnimEigo or ADV to get the licensing rights. And for Star Blazers to get the proper remastering it deserves? A good anime company would have to buy it from VEI. Unfortunately I just don't see that happening. They've had the rights for 14 years now and still can't get it right.
We're Off to Outer Space!
Bryan Weber | San Angelo, TX | 04/27/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was tempted to give this a five star review, but that was probably just nostalgia. I grew up watching Star Blazers. It was my first exposure to anime (not that I knew what anime was back then).
Watching it again for the first time in nearly twenty years, I found myself still enjoying the story. It's human drama and an epic war story that spans the stars.
So why not a higher rating. Simplicity. These days, I do know what anime is, and I've had opportunity to see the original Space Battleship Yamato that this was translated from.
The deleted scenes are restored as extras on the discs. But the original japanese dialogue is not, and in some places the translation was kiddie-fied to make it more saturday morning friendly here in the U.S.
Still a great series, and a must if you're a fan of Leiji Matsumoto's epic form of storytelling."