Leiji Matsumoto is infamous for having a loose devotion to continuity. The "Leijiverse" consisting of Captain Harlock, Maetel, the Space Battleship Yamato, and the Galaxy Express 999 is less of a chronological timeline than it is a theatrical company that he employs for whatever stories spring to mind. One of the most unique of these melodramas is Gun Frontier.
A 13 episode strong series, Gun Frontier employs Harlock and the diminutive Tochiro as a pair of Wild West gunslingers. Pulled from space, they wander the frontier righting wrongs and being haunted by their tragic pasts as only Matsumoto characters can. Tochiro is one of the last survivors of the massacre of Samuari Town, part of a Japanese diaspora still hunted down by the shadowy organization that destroyed their idyllic life. Accompanying him is the sharpshooter Franklin Harlock Jr., a former sea-captain turned outlaw. They are joined by a typical, Maetel-like Matsumoto waif named Sinunora who is inevitably more than what she seems.
The distinction enjoyed by Gun Frontier is that, despite the tragic histories, it is a full-on buddy comedy. It would not be inaccurate to say that it actually has more in common with a series like Trigun than with Space Pirate Captain Harlock. Tochiro even lucks out by having Harlock as his sidekick this time... Though a lecherous, drunken dwarf, he is definitely something dangerous in a small package.
Matsumoto's common affectations are self-satirized. Each episode begins with a ponderous narration, only this time played up for laughs by being as pretentiously rough and manly as possible ("Gun Frontier... A harsh and barren wasteland where the weak aren't even allowed to dream... It is the holy ground for true men... Men whose souls endure their pain and weep in this unforgiving land... And yet there is no place where a man can feel more alive... This is Gun Frontier." or "This is a land where men die at the hands of other men... where shots are fired with fierce resolve... and where bullets land without any remorse... This land is Gun Frontier."). Humorous situations afflict the duo, and one episode has probably one of the more ridiculous sex scenes aired on television.
Gun Frontier is available on Hulu, but for those not in the United States, the English dub of episodes 1, 6, 7 and 8 are available on YouTube courtesy of Gong.