Tuesday 17 June 2014

He'll be your captain

I finally got hold of Space Pirate Captain Harlock, which is that movie that I was talking about at some earlier stage (December of last year). This is to date the most recent of the Captain Harlock things that has been made (that I know of).

If you're into this sort of scene, which you may well be, it would be worth knowing that this is most in line with Harlock Saga (ハーロック・サーガ ニーベルングの指環, or Harlock Saga: The Ring of the Nibelung). But, at the some time it really isn't in line with it.

Harlock stories are constructed anew from familiar parts. That's how they're made.

A lot of the more important Harlock mythology is at least touched upon in this one. It always is. That is how it works. Yattaran, Kei, Miime are all there, but they've definitely taken more notes from Harlock Saga than any of the other iterations.

If a lot of this is kind of nonsense to you, it might mean more to you to say that this Space Pirate Captain Harlock is stand-up-straight, epic, pulp, space-mythology at its best.

There are a number pretty full on space battles, tragic heroes, questions of morality, people with scarred faces, and there is a deep disregard for the accurate depiction of a number of sciencey things. It's basically a super melodramatic space adventure in an impossible future, with the gothicocity turned way up to eleven. In a good way.

This is the high-fantasy of science fiction, and it's pretty incredible.

If the Germans had written operas about space pirates, this is where you'd have boarded, but with more singing, and in German.

If you know much at all about German opera, you would know that this is not the first time in this post that it's come up.

This has been pretty well timed for me. I've been dwelling lately upon my relationship with space voyages, and the voyagers who voyage such voyages. Which, for a change, is actually relevant to things that are going on for me at the moment, which has legitimised the dwelling. Not that I wouldn't've dwelt regardless, but I would've initiated what happens next with some alternative variety of preamble.

Star Trek comes last.

Well, not last, but it isn't first. When I think about people and or things making their way across the endless night, there are a fair number of cartoons, TV shows, and books that come to my mind first and foremost.

They got there first. That's all there is to it. Robotech (Super Dimension Fortress Macross), Star Blazers (Space Battleship Yamato), Captain Future, Ulysses 31, Space Pirate Captain Harlock, and Vehicle Force Voltron were sewn deep long before I saw my first Star Trek anything.

I really like Star Trek, but it isn't the first impulse that I get when this stuff comes up. That's just the way I was trained.

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