Harlock: Space Pirate
“They’ve taken our freedom, our home, and our future. I am Captain Harlock, and I command the crew of the pirate ship Arcadia. The time has come for all mankind to take a stand…” – Captain Harlock
Determined to keep the malevolent Gaia Coalition from ruling the universe, a mysterious loner cruises the skies and boldly attacks enemy spaceships.
Genre: Adventure | Sci-Fi
Step aside Luffy, the triple OG Harlock is back! I remember when I was younger watching space pirate so when Netflix posted that they had the new CGI film, I had to see it. Now this CGI film came out in 2013 and for some strange reason, it slipped under my radar. Shame on me. Anyways, Harlock is reborn and looks amazing but, is this movie all looks or something special under the surface?
First thing I should state is this movie is a sort of origin story of Harlock. It is perfectly designed that both people who have watched Harlock before will enjoy it and those who never have heard of him will still enjoy it. From manga, anime and now a big budget CGI film, Harlock still retains the same features of its previous incarnations, both in good and bad.
Now this movie actually has a duality of main characters. While yes one can definitely see Harlock as the main character of his own movie, there is a new character named Yama that also has a strong presence in the movie. At first, you seem to think he is just the viewer’s perspective in learning of Harlock and the universe but as time moves on, there is more going on under the surface.
The duality of both of these characters create the main theme of this movie and the conflicting ideology which pushes forward the plot. This tug of war match of ideals can sometimes be annoying at it seems Yama seems to jump the fence over and over again throughout the film. It’s not that Yama is annoying as a character but, it seemed like he could easily be persuaded to change his beliefs based on what was most convenient for his survival. Speaking of themes, the themes in this movie aren’t really anything new. Expect concepts of faith, truth, humanity, redemption, and atonement.
Now I believe this needs to be said. While the story and plot may seem okay and a little bit predictable, the visuals is what will keep you invested in this movie. THIS MOVIE IS GORGEOUS! By far one of the most life like and stunning CGI films I have seen in a while. From seeing Harlock in action to seeing the Arcadia activate its dark matter drive, you can’t help but smile during every scene of grandeur and visual beauty. The battle scenes are epic with rich sound effects, music, and fluid animation. I still can’t get the sound of the laser firing out of my head. PEWWWWWWWWW! While Harlock’s ship the Arcadia is well designed and well thought out, it seemed the Gaia Coalition’s forces seemed a tad too bland and really uninspired. Then again, when you become cannon fodder for most of the movie, I can understand why their design wasn’t a priority.
While not one of the strongest anime films I’ve seen, Harlock Space Pirate is definitely visually amazing and entertaining regardless of a somewhat sub-par plot. I enjoyed the lore presented in the movie and the amazing redesign of Harlock and his universe. This movie is a lot like a fine girl that catches your eye. It’s too damn gorgeous to take your eyes off of. If you’re looking for an epic sci-fi space Star Wars type of movie to watch then yes, watch Harlock Space Pirate.