You Only Raid Temples Twice, Mr. Cobra
The second story arc in Cobra plays out like some sort of bastard child birthed from James Bond and Indiana Jones. Seeing how those are two of my all-time favorite movie series, claiming that I fucking loved this arc is a bit of an understatement.
With the death of the two sisters at the hands of Crystal Boy and his cronies, Cobra is hot on the trail of the final sister. He finds out that she’s with a group of Guild thugs called The Snow Gorillas, so Cobra goes about trying to infiltrate said organization.
Yeah. Snow Gorillas. I’m not sure if that’s a mistranslation or not. Considering the fact that they’re a group of female commandos that operate out of a secret base on a snow planet and conduct raids on transports crossing the planet, “guerilla” may be a more apt translation of the word. Then again, this is Space Adventure Cobra that we’re talking about, so calling a pack of women warriors “gorillas” would be right up there with its attitude towards women.
Cobra goes about his infiltration the same way Bond goes about the same task: He takes the guise of someone looking to do business with the Gorillas; in this case, a member of the Guild looking to deliver them some intel. It’s not unlike seeing Bond schmoozing with Goldfinger at some luxurious country estate or something like that. Cobra gets a tour of the joint, allowing him to feed off of the eye candy that is women in barely any clothing working out and training their murdering skills. And just as it’s standard faire for Bond’s missions to go awry in some way, shit goes wrong when the third sister is exposed to be a government spy looking to take down the Gorillas from within. After her fellow spies are executed in a very SPECTRE-like manner (death by being devoured by robots called piragators), Cobra’s left with no options: he has to expose himself by laying waste to everything with his Psycho Cannon. Cue an extended chase scene, which includes Cobra and his lady friend escaping on jet-propelled skis/snowboards, and you have yourself the first half of almost every damn James Bond flick ever made.
Once they make their escape, Cobra merges photos of the three sisters’ backs (via an awesome computer piano/organ that calculates shit as you play Beethoven) and finds the location of the so-called “Ultimate Weapon” that Crystal Boy wanted. Said weapon is conveniently stashed away on a distant planet inside of an Egyptian-styled pyramid filled with death traps, crumbling architecture, and naked snake women who hunger for human flesh.
While Jones never dealt with snake women, that sounds like the recipe for every single Indiana Jones movie ever told.
Cobra and the leader of the Snow Gorillas work their way through the pyramid’s traps. While they’re competing with one another, trying their best to off the other so they can have the “Weapon” to themselves, the inevitably have to team up once the aforementioned snake woman eats the Gorilla’s cyborg dog in an underwater battle that puts to shame the classic zombie vs shark scene from Zombi 2. The Gorilla chick inevitably uses the situation as a chance to try to off Cobra and the snake woman at the same time, leaving our poor, innocent super man to fend for himself and perform yet another feat of badassness.
And you know how every Jones movie ends with some supernatural force blindsiding everyone, leading to some massive special effects scene of some sort that almost feels out-of-place compared to the comparatively “believable” events beforehand? Face-eating ghosts and glowing rocks and sippy cups that heal you and ET and all that shit. Cobra may have come before all of those Jones movies, save for Raiders, but he already knew the formula. The Gorilla chick finds the weapon, which happens to take the form of an egg with a pulsating, twitching human eye in its center. Turns out that this egg is like some sort of god-like Ditto Pokemon. If it can see another weapon, not only does it copy that weapon, it improves upon it. Cobra just happens to have a sword from the treasure room’s stash, so the eye copies the sword while becoming sharper and more sturdy.
The eye also lets the chick grow to Giganta proportions, so she goes on a Godzilla rampage at the same time. Gotta toss in some other movies so this doesn’t become a complete Bond/Jones rift, you know?
So the gun copies the cannons on a Guild space ship. Then it copies a tank that can burrow into the ground and fight in the sand as if it’s a submarine (Seriously. There’s an entire scene where the two tanks are lurking about under the sand as if it was Hunt for Red October or some shit.). Then Cobra kills that chick, because that’s what Cobras do. The win.
So yeah, within the span of four episodes, Cobra basically formed his own little mini-movie amalgamation, taking the first half of a Bond flick and welding it onto the bottom half of a Jones flick, and makes the whole mess into an awesomely cohesive narrative. And this is only episodes 9-12 of a 31 episode series. Most series never even reach this level of action by the time they hit their final episodes, while Cobra’s already had two brilliant climaxes in the span of the average single-season series.
What in the hell is wrong with you, modern anime, when a series with what I’d have to assume is miniscule compared to most series manages to best you at almost everything. Yeah, the animation’s a little shoddy compared to the shit Bones or IG puts out nowadays, and some people with bad taste might say the art direction is “outdated,” but that’s about it. Why can’t other series have this much stuff in a comparable amount of episodes. It doesn’t even have to be an action series. You can be a drama series or a comedy series and still cram as much stuff into it, but most series go the complete opposite direction and try to put as little as possible into each episode.
Yeah. Cobra rocks.