1638This original anime series of Captain Harlock from the 70s was my first direct contact with Leiji Matsumoto‘s work. Before watching it I was certainly intrigued by glimpses at the well-known creator’s unique style, but couldn’t really figure out which series from his very large and interconnected body of work was the best point to get started.

What ultimately led me to Space Pirate Captain Harlock was the composer of its music – Seiji Yokoyama – whose work I loved from the anime Saint Seiya and I was actively looking for another production that used his talents. I can right away reveal that I wasn’t disappointed by his work here either – a sometimes epic and sometimes nostalgic soundtrack perfect for illustrating the times of great battles, of great heroes and the vastness, beauty, but also loneliness and sadness of space. (more…)

zeroBeing a big fan of the original Captain Harlock TV series from the 70s I looked forward to the new breed of Leji Matsumoto‘s productions. Unfortunately I was mostly disappointed in the way they treated the well known characters and in the quality of storytelling in general. Cosmo Warrior Zero is one of the very few to be actually true to the origins and at the same time presenting some fresh, interesting ideas.

For Harlock fans the very premise is a treat already. We follow Captain Warrius Zero who is a sworn enemy of Captain Harlock and promises to give everything he’s got to hunt down the legendary pirate. The conflict is grounded in the different ways the two men perceive where their honor and duties lie, so it won’t be settled just by the revelation they both have good intentions and qualities they respect a lot. (more…)