Jun 11, 2015
sizest300 (All reviews)
To me, 1978 is a special year in anime. We got so many good anime; I just have to watch them all. Of course, when someone says there is an anime about space pirates and by Leiji Matsumoto (Yamato series), shut up and take my money. It was also directed by Rin Taro, whom has directed many shows from Astro Boy Brave in Space to the 1999 X Movie. Basically, his stuff is a coin flip. Luckily this anime did not disappoint.

Set in 2977, this is a world where technology does most of the work like in The Jetsons, and humans have become so lazy and relaxed like in Disney’s Wall-E. However, when a foreign “blue” alien invading race is bent on conquering Earth for their own reasons (sounds familiar), there stands only one man and his crew... Captain Harlock with his “strange” crew on the massive battleship Arcadia.

Much like in Yamato, the alien invader is incredibly interesting. However, unlike in Yamato, the characters are also fairly interesting with some development and decent enough back stories. However, when it came to deep explanations, deep back stories, deep anything, this is where the anime lacked the most. The viewer always felt like some episodes that became “destroy the alien ship of week” could have easily been replaced with more explanations towards almost anything or just left out completely. This was a real shame, but still manages to not take too much away from the action and story progression. One example of this is Harlock’s closest companion, the alien Miime. We are shown in one episode of Miime’s total backstory that tries to explain everything. It feels rushed and you want more. This is how the anime works. You will get answers, but they are extremely simplistic and are never touched on again.

The artwork, writing, story, and more are very similar to Yamato with some improvement, but there is no problem there and to be expected in Matsumoto’s work. Be prepared. This show has multiple side stories, a sequel that came out 20 years later, and a 2013 movie. This is a slower paced 42 episode anime. There are the occasional deep-gripping moments which were a real surprise, and had me fall in love with the show more. All-in-all, give the Space Pirate a try and if the first six or so episodes don’t convince you, then maybe it just isn’t for you.