Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Captain Herlock Vol 1-4 - The Complete Box Set|
Actors: Kôichi Yamadera, Tomokazu Seki, Beau Billingslea, Richard Cansino, Fûrin Cha
Directors: Kristi Reed, Rintaro
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
Tadashi enjoyed living like a punk on the Planet of the Rubbish Heap, but then he came home to find his father dead and four possessed corpses standing over his body. As they attack Tadashi, the fearless Captain Herlock, ... more »
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Harlock Is Back...
Matthew Carpenter | Melbourne, Australia | 08/03/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This series is the follow on from the story which goes back to 1978. Don't be fooled into thinking this is the original Harlock, or Herlock as it is now known. This series is the 2002 addition.
A very crisp animation and fleshing out of the story around the iconic character that is Captain Harlock, the Arcadia and the crew of miscreants that almost seem to tag along at times. There are the familiar characters that pop in and out from other series linked to Harlock, such as Queen Emeraldas (Queen Emeraldas, Space Pirate Captain Harlock) who is the mother of Mayu (Tochiro being the father - who we get to know even more about), Maetel (Galaxy Express 999), Meeme and Kei.
Some I know much prefer the 1978 series, which I do too, but this goes a long way in filling some gaps and providing a backdrop that was only hinted at previously.
Just buy it - I did!"
Not the original...
A. E. Rivas Velez | San Juan, PR | 07/28/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As far as I know, this box set contains "Space Pirate Captain Harlock:The Endless Odyssey", one of the many TV series that is related to the famous original. This one was released in 2002. The original 1978 "Captain Harlock", has never been oficially released on DVD. There a re several pirate copies running around, including one with an spanish soundtrack.
This 2002 series is interesting, the animation is solid (as always), and the story is well written. I think Matsumoto (original comic book writer) was very much involved in the production, and Rintaro (original director) directed some of the episodes."
The Empty Odyssey
Aion | England | 05/03/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Captain Harlock/Herlock (Herlock from this point onwards) is a name I'd heard a couple of times before seeing an auction for The Endless Odyssey appear on eBay.co.uk. A popular series from the late 70's that's had many sequels and spin-offs (including this 2002 series), it was hard to resist trying to get my hands on a part of the Herlock saga.
I ended up winning a copy of the sealed box set for £10.26. This, as you might imagine, made me very happy...until the item arrived wrapped in only brown paper, receiving some damage as a result.
The box set itself is very pleasing on the eye: The cover of the box set shows Captain Herlock (in the shadows) standing in front of the moon, the back of the box has the age old pirates skull and crossed bones on it, the top has an image of Herlock's weapons and the spine has a nice looking image of Tadashi, Herlock and Kei. All in all, a nice collector's piece.
Owing this rare collection is made even better due to volume 4 coming with an additional DVD packed with an anime rarity; extras. The most pleasing of the extras are the episode 1 & 13 storyboards that were synced together with audio of the actual anime episodes - it was nice to see how the episodes developed from that stage to being actual animated episodes. The other notable extras are the interviews with director Taro Rin (poor video quality) and Captain Herlock creator Leiji Matsumoto.
...I think it's time to get on with reviewing the actual anime now.
The series starts without explaining anything in detail. It's revealed that Herlock and his pirate crew parted ways sometime prior to the story of The Endless Odyssey, Herlock taking his ship (Arcadia) and vanishing into thin air. The old crew split up after this; some still pirating on other ships, some living a more relaxing life and most in prison.
Of course, the crew soon join back together to fight a new evil, the evil in question being known as Noo. Simply put, Noo is fear itself and it uses fear to takeover the minds of humans, using their bodies as hosts or simply making them kill each other. Noo once ruled the universe (before the laws of physics kicked in), its rule ending when it was sealed away in another dimension; a dimension described as hell by the few who've seen it and lived.
The above 2 paragraphs pretty much tell you all you need to know: Herlock's crew join back together to save the world from an evil that wishes to destroy it. Although the Noo stuff is very confusing at times, it's far from deep and can be quite boring to sit through. The story also progresses at borderline slow pace, leaving you with the feeling that very little happens during most of the episodes.
If I'm being honest, this isn't a series to watch for story: It's a series to watch if you've watched the older series or wish to see what Captain Herlock is all about. There are parts of the story (the last episode in particular) where references are made to what happened in the past and characters who died in the past, without any explanation being given... This series was obviously made with older fans in mind; not new ones.
In a nutshell: You won't be pleased if you're looking for an original, fast paced and/or thrilling story to get your teeth into.
Captain Herlock is a famous character in the world of anime/manga - seeing his character was the main reason I watched this series. So, you can imagine how disappointed I was when it became clear I'd learn nothing about his character in this series, with nothing of his past being shown and there being no attempt at character development. If I want to know anything about him outside of the fact he's emotionless and likes saying "Join my ship if you wish to become a man." I'll have to try to watch the older series he's featured in.
Since Herlock had (presumably) already been developed fully before this series, Tadashi, a young guy who loves fighting on a planet nicknamed the planet of the rubbish heaps played a key role in the story. His father gets killed during the first episode and, after an invitation from Herlock, he ends up joining the crew of the Arcadia in order to get revenge on the supposed killer of his father: Noo. I didn't really like him and, as a result, his development from thug to...err, less of a thug over the course of the story didn't do much for me. I did like how his story ended after Herlock explained the reasoning behind him inviting him on-board his ship at the end of the series, though.
The only other crew member of the Arcadia worth mentioning is one who appears naked (breasts, nipples and arse) right at the start of the first episode - Kei. She was on the Arcadia in the past, has a crush on Herlock and is the only attractive female lifeform shown in this series...that's pretty much all you need to know about her. Outside of her playing a role in developing Tadashi's character after she saves him and going out of control shortly after, she could've not appeared in the series and there wouldn't have been any real issue, which is something I could say about the vast majority of the cast.
Aside from Tadashi, the ONE character who gets developed to a certain extent (and the last worthy of being mentioned) is Yukihito Ilita, the man who's in charge of hunting Herlock at the start. He encountered Herlock when he was much younger and has been determined to catch him ever since. The course of events change once Noo make their move, with Ilita ending up in the middle of a space war the Noo created using fear as their weapon, forcing him to evacuate his ship. After this, he starts to question if his choices in life have been wrong, if it was ok for him alone to survive...that sort of thing. All in all, although one of the more likeable thanks to his development, his character (like so many in this series) could've been removed without too much damage being done to the story.
It's a shame that Herlock and his crew weren't fleshed out at all in this series. With there being no other Herlock series released on DVD outside of Japan as far as I know, not many are familiar with Herlock and it's pretty safe to say that those people would've liked to learn more about the crew. That said, I suppose it wasn't made with people outside of Japan in mind.
Equally disappointingly, the attempted Tadashi/Ilita character development was rather badly done. It's safe to say both characters were used to avoid there being no character development whatsoever and the attempt at mixing developing characters with non-developing characters didn't really work very well. Tadashi did nothing for me and Ilita also did very little, the main reason being that neither character was truly important to the overall plot.
Usually in this situation I'd give 6/10, but I think it's a little unfair when I don't know if Herlock, Kei and the other characters have been fully developed in older series. I think 7/10 is more fair in this situation.
The art looks fine, the character design of the main characters being pretty good. It was pretty consistent throughout and there were no problems worth mentioning.
I must admit to finding the animation side rather disappointing, though. Like the story, everything seemed to move too slowly, the movements of the Arcadia in particular seeming way too sluggish during space battles. I was also disappointed by the general lack of action throughout, Herlock not getting into any fast-paced fights, mostly simply shooting his gun and that being that. I expected a lot of action in a series like this, but all I got was sluggish spaceship battles and one-shot kills.
The OP demonstrated the slowness of the series very well. The OP of a series with action is supposed to get you pumped up, yet I found myself skipping the Herlock OP before finishing watching it for the first time due to boredom...
Simply put, the art looked good enough but the sluggish animation let it down.
Although I haven't heard any Herlock music outside of The Endless Odyssey, I'm willing to bet music from an old Herlock series was used here in order to make it more enjoyable for older fans. The soundtrack seriously sounded like something from the 70's.
Whatever the reason, I didn't like the soundtrack very much. Aside from one or two tracks, the music combined with the slow pacing to make the series even more boring during the uninteresting parts.
The OP and ED themes were as unmemorable as the animation they played together with.
The voice acting was up to the usual Japanese standard. There were no performances that stuck in my mind as being bad or brilliant. Herlock's deep and emotionless voice fitted his character well.
Captain Herlock is aimed at fans of the older series, so you'll probably walk away disappointed if you expect something amazing from this. Only watch it if you want to see part of a famous anime/manga series or if you're a fan of the Herlock saga."