Posted by psgels 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 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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  • ;(
    (Tuesday, Sep 1. 2015 06:25 AM)
    Just watched the new rick and morty episode…
    God was that a good one…
  • reaLjustified
    (Tuesday, Sep 1. 2015 06:21 AM)
    @Mike Lol I took a look at Myum Myum and he reminds me of The Binding of Isaac
  • reaLjustified
    (Tuesday, Sep 1. 2015 06:15 AM)
    @Mike That’s too bad, I also agree that Kubera is probably the best action webtoon out there, I guess second place would have to be Girl the Wilds or Noblesse. But as for Trace, I liked the Trace spin off by Dazzi, it’s not as action oriented and more character driven. So it might be something you might want to try
  • mike
    (Tuesday, Sep 1. 2015 06:07 AM)
    @;( I like them both for that, especially Leez. Plus I do like the writer for having a good sense of humour. I’ve read all of her other work and Myum Myum is really under rated for a manwha.
  • ;(
    (Tuesday, Sep 1. 2015 05:52 AM)
    @Mike:
    Hmmmm I get what you mean… I will say some of the relationships got a lot more exposure lately. Such as Leez and Yuta, Ran and Rana, and a few others. But yeah, it’s still mostly an action\\fantasy comic, so it’s understandable if you’ll still dislike it. I’ll just add though that Yuta and leez’s psychologies are so bizzare that they feel fresh in comperasion to the usual love fairs.
  • mike
    (Tuesday, Sep 1. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @;( That’s one I took a break from reading because I haven’t been very interested in action manga for a while now, I’ve always read josei/shojo for as long as I can remember.
  • ;(
    (Tuesday, Sep 1. 2015 05:39 AM)
    @Mike: if you like action webtoons, I recommend Kubera.
    Got a really detailed story with a lot of mystery and action, and it’s based on Hinduism, which is teh shit!!!
  • mike
    (Tuesday, Sep 1. 2015 05:32 AM)
    @Real I’ve read some of Trace but I don’t like action manwha webtoons because all of the ones I’ve read so far are all average. Like Action Idols, Gamer, RPG, etc.
  • mike
    (Tuesday, Sep 1. 2015 05:31 AM)
    @Real I haven’t read Fox mostly because the translations are too slow. Fluttering Feelings also updated btw.
  • ;(
    (Tuesday, Sep 1. 2015 05:26 AM)
    You know… It’s so sad seeing someone posing as a “troll” care so much it’s actually kinda sad… It’s like I almost feel empathy…

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