I never saw the original Harlock series growing up, I was all about Battle of the Planets and Starblazers (when I could find it), but every now and again I would come across an image of this pirate captain, scarred face, patch on his right eye, black cloak billowing, with an enormous skull and crossbones on his chest. I would think, that’s cool! But in a world before the internet, tracking these things down tended to be a little difficult.
So outside of some general awareness of the character and his skull-prowed starship, the Arcadia, I came into this updated computer generated version blind.
Man spread out across the universe, looking for life and colonizing worlds, but eventually, they began to long for a return to their home, and despite the fact that the human race was on the decline, there would be far too many people repopulating Earth. War broke out, but when a peace is brokered by the Gaia Communion, one man, using his dark-matter-powered starship, Arcadia, is determined to fight them, and allow the last remaining members of humanity return home.
Or is he? It seems Harlock has a plan that may in fact destroy everything.
Thrown into this, on opposing sides are two brothers, Ezra, representative of the Gaia Communion, who aboard the Orpheus, is determined to stop Harlock, and Logan, the newest member of Harlock’s eclectic crew, including hacker and string man Yullian, the alien, Mimay, and the lovely (if too brazenly turned into a sex object, even given a zero-g shower sequence) Kei.
The film looks great, its epic, fun, full of characterization for its three leads, the rest become stock characters, but it’s still enjoyable.
I love the way the Arcadia cones out of IN-skip, their version of warp drive, it’s all smoke and lightning, and the ship bursts forth from it. Set against a galactic backdrop, that tends to look pretty awesome, each and every time.
There are space battles, confrontations, betrayals, and revelations.
And while all of the story may not work all the time, the time travel idea is nice, and the reveals about the characters are cool, the battles are brilliant as the Arcadia slips around the Gaia ships – I love the way their beams are one long coherent beam of light as they all fire at one another. Those sequences are probably my favorite in the film.
In the end, Logan has to face off against his brother, and assume a new mantle and title, and the adventures continue.
I really like what they did with it, and it just makes me more eager to hunt down the live action version of the Space Battleship Yamato… Has anyone seen it?