DVD Box Set Review: Star Blazers: The Comet Empire – By Mike Wilson

“A cry for help, a desperate plight, makes the Star Force reunite, As we rush to meet our fate the Comet Empire awaits….”

Time to start your countdown to blast off for more adventure…this time our destination is, once again, the universe of the Star Blazers. If you didn’t see the article on the first series you can click here and check it out. And if you’re like “Funk Dat, Get on with it ” I’ll give you a quick synopsis.

Check it out though…In the First series, The Quest for Iscandar, the earth and humanity were facing doom. In the year 2199 The Evil Gamilon Empire bombed the planet with highly radioactive “Planet Bombs.” the Gamilon leader, desslok, was determined to wipe out mankind. Hope comes in the way of Queen Starsha of Iscandar. She provides humanity with the technology to build a Wave Motion Engine capable of carrying a ship to her world where she will give them the Cosmo DNA, a machine that can restore the Earth. A group of Star Blazers called the Star Force, led by veteran Captain Abraham Avatar board the new ship named The Argo and undertake the perilous journey. They succeed and along their journey confront and practically destroy the Gamilon race.

The 2nd season takes place in the year 2201.Earth has been saved and humanity is flourishing and rebuilding. Derek Wildstar now commands the Argo (Captain Avatar died in the last series) and is on patrol with a brand new crew in the far reaches of the solar system. But an unknown danger lurks….a mysterious UFO fires on the Argo as it returns to Earth. Damaged the Argo approaches home, where Wildstar has a minor confrontation with the new earth Flagship, the Andromeda, commanded by Captain Gideon. Once on Earth, Wildstar again sees a mysterious UFO over the city when a blackout occurs. In reality the UFO belongs to the evil Prince Zordar and the Comet Empire, a new race that wants for nothing but conquest….and planet Earth is their new target. A strange message from Space begs the Star Force to travel to the distant world of Telezart, to speak with Trelaina, the ruler of that world. Trelaina says she has vital information to help the arthlings, but no one in the Earth Defense Force will believe it. Wildstar then reunites with his old Star force comrades, Mark Venture, Sandor, Nova, etc….and commandeers the Argo. The Earth Defense Force lists them as mutineers at first, but when the Star Force rescue a group of Space Marines on planet Brumas, the existence of the Comet Empire is verified. Now the Star Force has a new mission to save the Earth….find out what Trelaina knows and return to Earth to add to its defense. But one thing the Star force doesn’t realize at first is this….their old enemy Desslok of Gamilon still lives…and he’s allied with the Comet Empire to destroy them!

For the first half of Series II, it almost seems as a retread of series one. The Star force once again goes off to unknown space to reach a mysterious planet. Like series one a beautiful female awaits them there with something vital that they need to save the Earth. Though there are battles and dangers on the way, it seems a little like ‘been there done that” to anyone familiar with the series. Don’t despair though, Trelaina is quite different than Queen Starsha, and the Comet Empire are far more dangerous than the Gamilons. Things pick up in the last half of the series when The Star Force and the entire earth Defense Fleet draw a line at Jupiter to either fight off the Comet empire or die.

Considering how old this series is, the animation is well done even by today’s standards. If you’ve seen the first series you’ll note how the characters have changed a little bit….Wildstar is still a hot tempered cowboy, but he’s become a bit wiser and not as quick to leap into the flames as he once was. Sandor very much takes up the role as First Officer of the Argo, and is more than just the “egghead” of the group this time around. And Venture gets more to do than just fly the ship, as he and Trelaina fall in love, and he becomes heartbroken at her (apparent) demise. Even Desslok gets a chance for development. Will his desire to avenge Gamilon turn him into a friend or foe or a little bit of both in the endgame. I suggest you get ahold of the series and find out for yourself. It doesn’t come cheap, but if you have a local video store that carries all six disks of the series its surely worth the rental fee.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Yes….details and descriptions of the characters, the Earth Defense Fleet, the Gamilon fleet and the Comet Empire fleet.

WHO’S GONNA WANT IT: Anime fans might want to look back into yesteryear and give this a gander. Of course, people that saw this show when they were kids might want to walk down memory lane also. It’s safe enough for kids, though there are some deaths in the series. (Some were not shown, and edited out by US censors, just like series one.)

CAN I BUY IT: You can probably find it at a local video shop, or you can order it online.