12 May 2007 | ChungMo
Captain Harlock SSX - Prequel to the 1978 series
The legendary space opera universe of Matsumoto is continued here. However this series is set before the events depicted in the 1978 series, "Captain Harlock; Space Pirate" but after the events depicted in the movie "Arcadia of my Youth" which was released the same year as this series. Like the movie, the Earth and all of mankind thru-out the universe is under the oppression of the Illumidas aliens.
After a very quick opening where Harlock and his best friend Tochiro, the genius engineer, steal the Arcadia from the Illumidas. They head for the Pleiades and along the way pick up an orphan teenager who becomes the ship's chef. They are continually pursued by the Illumidas and the human collaborators.
First off, the series holds true to the stylistic standard set by the original series that was directed by Rin Taro. But that said, the direction is more conservative without the directorial experiments and flourishes that Rin Taro would do. The theme music is nothing special, very typical of Japanese shows of the time, but the background music is good and supports the story. There is one concession to make the show more child friendly by having the ship's raven talk. The raven was always sad and crying in the original series and never uttered a word. The animation is much better in this series.
Unfortunately, as with other Matsumoto Harlock stories, there is a considerable bit of inconsistency with the original series. The first being the design of the ship Arcadia. It looks substantially different. Also the first mate is an alien woman with much resemblance (and the same name) to Mime, the captain's blue alien confidant in the original series.
Regardless, the series holds true to what made the first series great. Character driven space opera with a lot of philosophy.