The threat grows larger and more personal as the Queen of the Mazone takes the stage.
What They Say:
2977 A.D. Mankind has developed the technology to head into space. They've created robots to cultivate foodstuffs on other planets and live in an age of unprecedented gluttony. Mankind receives all its food from the government and is kept in check by the government’s use of hypnotic signals emitted from the television. So even high-ranking government officials have tossed their duties to the road and live a life of horse-racing and other indulgences.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Watching Captain Harlock, which is over thirty years old as of this writing, can definitely be difficult sometimes simply because of its age. It's not the animation but the science and facts that get in the way of enjoying its nature, at least until you can remind yourself that you're watching a space opera in the classic sense. I still have problems at times reading science fiction novels from the 50's and 60's, so it's not too much of a surprise that some of this will be awkward at times, such as... well, when the Earth splits in two. But let's not focus on that too much...
In episodes six through ten, there aren't a whole lot of serious changes to the show but some new information start does showing up and quite possibly the overall villain as well. Though I certainly wouldn't put it past the show for the Queen of the Mazone to be a ruse of some sort. Harlock continues to be the only one to really treat the threat of the Mazone seriously and works to keep them from achieving whatever various goals they have for their domination of Earth. The government tends to still have its very laid back attitude, which is baffling to be sure, as even the military is far more interested in capturing or killing Harlock than dealing with the real threat. Humanity this far gone doesn't seem too realistic in some ways, yet there's that edge of truth to all of it as well.
Life on board the Arcadia isn't given too much of a nod here, but there are some small moments that are brought up throughout it that does help to liven it up a bit and give some of them more background. Miime, the most mysterious of those on the ship that we've seen, has a brief origin piece given where we learn that she's the sole survivor from her planet, though the reasons of what happened are very unclear, only that everyone died and Harlock found her on the planet. Her detached nature has potential in itself, but placing her as the last of her kind – possibly – adds a little more to her. It also provides a strong connection between her and Harlock as Harlock has a very unusual nature to him for a human of this age and he's able to draw all sorts to his side.
Not too surprisingly, Tadachi has some more growth here, though not of the good kind, as he continues to be the character through which we see a lot of the show. With the deaths he's had to witness, he wants nothing more than for the Mazone to die and to exact revenge on Queen Lafresia as she's introduced herself through various dignitaries and other loyalists who have gotten close to Harlock and the Arcadia. What makes him even more intent is the discovery that a significant number of Mazone have infiltrated Earth and are working through numerous ancient places and ruins seeking something that will aid them in their domination. The icing on the cake for young Tadachi is the discovery that the Mazone are essentially a seaweed of sort given form, which explains the way they burn up so easily. But his vengeance is starting to consume him and Harlock deals with it in a very classic way that's so endearing to a leading male of his type.
Captain Harlock offers up some teasing moments, little discoveries and progression areas that flesh out the larger story a bit. By and large though it's an uneven set of episodes as you have the Arcadia flying all over the place, checking in far too often with Mayu and playing in such flight of fancy science that it can make you cringe even if you are able to distance itself because of its age and origins. There is a lot to like here though, a the teases do work as we get an idea as to the Mazone and the scope of their empire, span of time and the way they're moving among us. Harlock is still aloof for the most part, but his humanity – more so than many others on Earth – shines through in a strong and powerful way. Captain Harlock is engaging again, though its uneven nature is jarring at times as audiences have changed greatly since 1978.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.