Posted on 3 January 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews


Matsumoto Leiji: the founder of the space opera genre. While his first work, Space Battleship Yamato, lacked a lot of polish, his next work, Captain Harlock, would feature an improvement in just about every aspect. This is the series that would define epic, and would provide inspiration for the many other space opera anime that would follow. Thank you Live-eviL, for having the patience to fully sub it.

While the set-up of the series is again simple (evil aliens known as the Mazone are attacking the earth, and Captain Harlock is the only one who can stop them with his battleship the Arcadia), this series knows how to use its 40 episodes very well. This isn’t a simple series where the Mazones just keep throwing monster after monster until they eventually die, but every episode serves to flesh out and develop the members of its cast, so that the end of the series closes off with both the good guys and the bad guys feeling complete.

Especially the Mazones and Captain Harlock provide to be more than capable of being the respective villains and hero of this series. While the Mazones are most definitely evil, this series makes them more than villains who are just evil for the sake of being evil. Harlock on the other hand stands far apart from your typical lead character. He’s a character who knows what his duty is, no matter what gets in his way, and after watching, I can really understand why Harlock managed to capture the hearts of many when it first aired.

But yeah, you really need patience in order to watch this. The best parts of this series only really start to shine in the final quarter of this series, and the building-up parts can be really nerve-wrecking at times. Especially the middle part of the series can be tedious to get through, in its attempt to give every major character a sufficient amount of background.

Nevertheless, the result of this build-up is an epic series with a rock-solid final quarter, even though it’s already more than thirty years old at this time. While this is definitely not a series you want to marathon in the beginning, it’s nevertheless a series that has a clear purpose and has found a good use for its forty-two episodes. So it’s nowhere near Tomino or World Masterpiece Theatre levels, but nevertheless it’s among the better series to have aired in the seventies.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 8/10

4 Responses

  1. senerikfred says:

    I remember there being an OVA that came out later, judging from the promo art I saw for it. Will you be reviewing that, too?

  2. Anon says:

    Especially Captain Harlock: Endless Odyssey which is a great OVA series.

  3. senerikfred says:

    Maybe it’s because my first pre-Eva show was Gunbuster, but I’ve developed a serious weakness for older shows now. I finished Harlock a month back and totally loved it. And frick, I didn’t realize there were so many spinoffs.

    I understand not wanting to embark on GE 999 for a while(it’s actually 3 eps LONGER than LoGH), but will you watch any of the spinoffs? I’m going to seek out the apparently good ones myself.

  4. psgels says:

    I’ve actually tried watching Queen Millennia and 999 about half a year ago, and got through about seven episodes of both of them, but they’re a bit one-sided in my opinion. Plus, instead of having the awesome lead character of Captain Harlock, their lead character is played by a rather boring young kid.

    Apart from that, the only other spin-offs I’ve seen from the Leiji-Verse are Galaxy Railways (again not as good as Harlock, but enjoyable) and The Cockpit, a collection of three of his stories about WWII, which I really liked.

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  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 11:11 AM)
    @Bam: I think thats the reason I’m always writing, don’t want to fall out of practice.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 11:01 AM)
    A Change of pace is always good, and often necessary. Remember not to lose momentum though. Squandering one’s potential is all to easy.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 10:54 AM)
    @Bam: I feel that by the start of next year or perhaps latest next March I will be on a writing hiatus possibly after 9999 submissions.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 10:48 AM)
    @Emma: hehe yeah, I used to write quite a lot but just sorta lost it. We had a podcast at school where we texted random facts and different things to students, I wrote the short poems. I have a short story called Tehran Burns that people I know responded rather well to, but I never quite finished.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 10:43 AM)
    @Bam: Thanks, and I see you’ve left me a rather poetic comment at that too.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 10:43 AM)
    Now why would the devil wear white? I wonder …
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 10:42 AM)
    @Emma: I really enjoyed the Decoder of Dreams. That was so cool Emma, thanks for sharing.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 10:37 AM)
    @Bam: He was dressed in loose, baggy white clothes and had fire like hair and fully white eyes, his body was a muscular build.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 10:34 AM)
    now the trickster character got my attention. Are there more satanic correlation or does it end at the red skin?
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 10:32 AM)
    Excellent work Bam that gave me some material to work with: http://emma-hime.deviantart.com/art/Decoder-of-dreams-479784655

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