I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from an anime with a name like Hot Space Cowboys.
Honestly I was expecting a terribly written story around super gratuitous sex scenes — basically the animated version of gay porn.
I was wrong.
Originally released as Legend of the Blue Wolves — a much better title, honestly — the film is set in 2199 and tells the story of Jonathan, a trainee to the Earth Defense Force and Leonard, his more experienced bunk mate as they fight alien invaders known only as “Apocalypse” who are trying to destroy the known universe.
Their commanding officer however, wants Jonathan to himself and will do anything to get him, even though his advances are completely unwarranted and unwanted. Jonathan takes what he wants he doesn’t even ask, timely and relevant story points, considering the film originally aired in 1996.
Released by Critical Mass video, the erotic/ boys love story has been called an animated porn with plot, which is actually isn’t far from an accurate description. The story however is well crafted, compelling, and the sex scenes (strangely) are actually important to what’s going on.
It deals with rape, an abuse of power, and the dangers of having a madman in charge and what happens when good people are forced to live in the shadows instead of being allowed to be who they truly are.
It’s dark, twisted, and sexy as fuck.
It’s a space odyssey as well as a coming out/coming into your self sort of story. Again, despite the fact that it came out 20 years before #METOO, the films villain, has quite a few similarities to Harvey Weinstein and Donald Trump, if you ignore the fact that the animated villain actually enlisted to fight for his planet — but he’s still a pig.
Though there is a “to be continued…” at the end of the film, although no follow up film was ever made. It was a common thread (especially in the 1990s) with Yaoi [Japanese themed boys love stories]. It would be interesting to see what could happen if the story could be retold, today. My only beef with the entire experience is that it ended abruptly and we’re left hanging; literally and figuratively.
You can buy the DVD directly from Rightstuff anime here: Be advised it is 18+ only.
Watch a preview below.