Today, I have completed watching the forty-two episode long Space Pirate Captain Harlock. I can recommend few series to my dear readers as heartily. If you check my Top Fifty Anime Series list, you’ll see that I placed this classic in sixth place–below Wolf’s Rain and above Mardock Scramble. (Soukou no Strain has sadly dropped off the list, leaving Gokudo precariously in last place.) Nothing shakes up a top fifty list like watching acknowledged classics! I heartily recommend Anime Classics Zettai! by Brian Camp and Julie Davis, which fairly represents the best anime OVAs, movies, and series until the year 2007. Who knows? You might find yourself a new favorite.
Briefly, let me explain why Captain Harlock so deeply appeals to me. My dear readers likely know that Japan’s martial arts tradition stands as my first introduction to Japanese culture. I used to study Judo and Aikido and devoured books by and about Morihei Ueshiba, Gichin Funakoshi, Nitobe Inazo, and Miyamoto Musashi. These books express the warrior-philosopher ethos known as Bushido. In recent years, Japan has become much more cosmopolitan, and many anime refer to Bushido comically or treat it as old fashioned or obsolete.
Below are various shows I’ve been watching but have yet to finish. Many of them are quite old with the oldest produced in 1978 and the latest in 2014. Tomorrow or the day after, I propose to finally get around to writing about how I feel about the new season. Let’s get started!
1) Space Pirate Captain Harlock
Many of my dear readers may not understand the appeal of a thirty-seven year old anime. After all, the animation is rougher, the action less fluid, and the characters often downright cartoony–a trait undesirable for many anime fans. Also, the opening song is much more military sounding than in those found in contemporary shows. Perhaps, it is the differences which make it my recent favorite. Captain Harlock is a singular figure. At first, I thought of him as the prototype for Alexander Row of Last Exile, but Captain Harlock is not a Byronic hero. After watching over twenty episodes, Harlock’s personality strikes one as rather similar to Robert E. Lee’s. (An article on that forthcoming. And yes, my reference to General Lee in a prior article was not random.) You’re not going to find a character comparable to one of the South’s greatest heroes in contemporary anime!