Star Blazers: The Bolar Wars
A stray missile from a confrontation between the Galman empire and the Bolar Federation crashes into the sun, turning it into a time bomb of radiation. The Star Force once again sets off into space, this time on a quest to look for a new world for the human race.
Along the way, they run into old friends, new loves and new enemies. Still, the Star Force knows that they don't have much time. The human race once again depends on their mission.
Those of you who have seen the two first shows of the Starblazers lineup will notice some differences with this show. While the Earth is once again in danger, the threat this time is more of an immediate crisis. Yes, there are still wars going on, to which the Argo will be forced to take part in, but the Argo -- and the Star Force, naturally -- seems to play second fiddle in the affairs of the machinery of war.
This actually works for The Bolar empire, as it once again lends the series a certain freshness plotwise. Much to my surprise, I also found out that The Bolar wars isn't as much a sequel to The Comet empire as a sequel to the motion picture Yamato - the new voyage, at least if the flashbacks from said movie is any indication, flashbacks that marked the welcome return of Desslok, one of Starblazer's more interesting characters.
In other news, I'm sure you wouldn't be all that surprised if I told you that -- like the two other series -- The Bolar wars introduces yet another slender, willowy goddess-type character, this time in the shape of Mariposa. She is the descendant... I think... of queen Guardiana, who is a figure of worship for several subjects of the Bolar federation and another subplot of The Bolar wars, though one I will not be spoiling here.
The Bolar wars was originally meant to last a full 52 episodes, interestingly enough. In a sense, I was glad it ended up at 25, though you can probably chalk that up to me watching all three series back to back. I can't really say I grew tired of the show, but 52 episodes might have ended up being a bit much for me to go through at the time. A bigger concern was the change in cast for the dub -- which was unavoidable, given the time it took for Voyager to pick up the show for release. Nevertheless, this wouldn't have been as big a deal if the new cast could improve the somewhat wooden acting in the initial shows. While the dub isn't exactly inferior to the original cast, it's not really better either. I guess the viewer just have to get used to new voices on old characters.
In the end, I'd still give this show my recommendation. Change in dub aside, the show just never wanes in overall quality, storywise or characterwise. It's still as old-school as ever, which will turn away a lot of people, but the things that pulled you towards the two prequels -- or any of the movies, for that matter -- will pull you into this one as well. You might take caution in watching them back to back like I did, but outside of that, I see no reason why the third entry in the Starblazers' saga would disappoint.
(Again; if old-school isn't your thing, remove a star or two.) — Stig Høgset
Recommended Audience: As with the two prequels, there are warfare, redshirt death and general violence. That goes for the general lack of fanservice as well.
Version(s) Viewed: R1 DVD, Dub
Review Status: Full (25/25)
Star Blazers: The Bolar Wars © 1980 Yomiuri TV/Academy Productions
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