Tonight I bring you a show that isn’t known about in most circles. The animation quality and stories created a hard-hitting sci-fi drama that could be safe for kids (by 80’s standards) but still be as violent as a western set in outer space needed to be.For those who do know about it, many will find positive things to say about it. It was a show that may have been ahead of its time. This is the pilot episode for Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers.
Granted, the dialog was a bit stiff at times, but it was action packed, well animated by famed Japanese animation studio Tokyo Movie Shinsha, also known as TMS Entertainment. Even in the days that anime wasn’t a big deal, TMS was often called upon by US companies to animate their shows. They deserve their reputation, as their artwork and animation is fantastic.
The use of computer animation to represent computer layouts was rather inspired for the day. It’s animation. Computer effects weren’t overly used, like today where they’ll be used to animate machines (mecha in some animes, but also the vehicles for the remake Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon for example) rather than take the time to do it by hand. Computer animation combined with traditional 2D animation even with “cel-shaded” coloring styles, often stands out, especially if the CG is terrible. (Check out the 90’s Spider-Man cartoon. Talk about phoning it in.)
Storywise, I chose both episodes to set up the situation. Killing was often frowned upon in kids shows, but this may actually be to Galaxy Rangers‘s benefit. Killing people is bad enough, but stealing their life essences in order to create spies for your armies? That’s downright evil. I know there are people (adults) who make a big deal about the lack of death in kids shows of this type, but when you can work around it and actually make worse villains, you’ve proven that limitations aren’t always that limiting.
Outside of the aforementioned dialog issues (which wasn’t the majority of the time, but there are moments), the voice acting is very good, not just for the 80’s but by today’s standards. The theme is also rocking with a bit of country twang to show it’s a western set in space. The whole series is up on Hulu right now, and the show is available on DVD in a two–volume set, so if you’re an old fan wanting to relive your memories, a new fan wanting to try something different, or you didn’t really follow it as a kid, but now you’re curious to see how adult you will look at it (points to self), it’s worth checking out.