In my heart, I believe this to be a great movie, for its time. The 1982 animation was acceptable, but doesn't compare to Queen Emeraldas Or Harlock Saga.
Now, on with the praise. I have grown up with Captain Harlock, under the guise of Albator (which is the French name) up here in Canada, and though I didn't see much of the series back then, Harlock stayed in the back of my mind to this day.
I own Arcadia of My Youth, and love it. Its story is very straight forward, and easy to follow. Essentially, it is to fight for your dreams and survive to enjoy them, no matter the cost.
I find the characters to be believable, such as Maya (Harlock's only love, and the Voice of Free Arcadia), because of her fragile nature and her devotion to try to save Earth from its catastrophic fate. Emeraldas a free-spirited, space-trader and Harlock's old friend, who crosses Harlock's path after she crash lands on Earth attempting a difficult passage in space. Tochiro, Harlock's new friend, a master engineer and kind of the comic relief in this movie, but not to the point of distraction. And then there is Harlock, which I identify with, because of his strong, silent presence. He is willing to do everything in his power to help his friends, just so long as they try to help themselves as well. He lives by his own personal code of honor, which echoes my own..."upon my honor, to do my duty."
He turns his back on Earth, because they decide to side with the invaders, The Illumidus, instead of fighting for its freedom, and Earth's government doesn't want any rogue elements such as Harlock's group. Harlock and company are exiled from Earth, which Harlock couldn't care less, because he doesn't want to cling to something that is dead anyway.
This movie is meant as an introduction to the characters of the Harlock series and try to make some sense of the convoluted mess that is the Matsumoto Universe, and I find it succeeds in this undertaking.
I feel this movie is worth seeing, if only to see how it all began, due to the fact that the Harlock series characters are enjoying some renewed interested in the past couple of years with the release of the Queen Emeraldas OVA and Harlock Saga OVA.
"I Live in freedom, under my flag."
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