Real Space Opera
Marc Ruby? | Warren, MI USA | 09/12/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am not sure exactly what I expected when I picked 'The Harlock Saga' out to watch, other than a popular Japanese anime, but I have to admit that I was unprepared to find myself watching a version of Wagner's 'Ring of the Nibelung' recast as a space adventure in the far future. However, I am a fan of much of Wagner's work. After the initial shock when the opening credits rolled by, I settled into what was an honestly unique experience.Harlock (actually the son of Leiji Matsumoto's original Harlock) is the captain of the Arcadia, a space pirate vessel. Accompanying him are his close friend Tochiro, Chief cook and engineering mate Yattran, and Meeme a mysterious woman who is rumored to be a sorceress of an ancient and fearsome race. The story opens with Tochiro and Harlock's sister Emareldas trying to track down Meeme, who disappeared from the Arcadia unexpectedly. They find a projection of her in the ruins of the asteroid Aclucion, where she warns them that another pirate is about to raid the planet Rhein in order to gain the Rheingold. Harlock races to the planet, but is not in time. Now this intrepid gang must trace the gold across the universe.As they try to prevent the gold from being made into the ring that rules time, Meeme explains that the pirate is Alberich of the Nibelungs, her brother. He wants the ring to challenge Wotan and destroy Valhalla, little caring that this will destroy the universe as well. Of course, the crew of the Arcadia fails again and the ring is made. Now all, good and evil alike, flock to Valhalla where this recasting of Wagner's story reaches its climax as Harlock struggles to avert the Twilight of the Gods. As you can see, the story truly is pure space opera.This is pure fun right out of Flash Gordon, but with classical music. Director Yoshi Takeuchi commits almost every dramatic sin there is, and the English language version compounds this excess into a perfect confection. Be warned, set playback to the Japanese version with subtitles or risk dying from unrelenting over-acting. What you have to keep in mind is that this file was never meant to be either a faithful rendition of Wagner's operas of a perfect redaction of Matsumoto's manga. Rather, it is intended to recreate the style of its sources and provide high entertainment. And that it does exceedingly well.This is a long presentation (about 150 minutes) in six episodes. Unlike some manga adaptations, considerable effort is spent of providing continuity. So there is little confusion to detract from the excellent graphic design, art work, and the great musical score. I found the ending a bit anticlimactic, but not unbearably so. The action during most of the film makes up for that particular weakness. After all, there are only so many planets you can blow up before a certain amount of ennui leaks in. You may just find yourself wishing for a sequel."
A new classic
Cookies | at home | 02/01/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I grew up with Harlock on TV (known as Albator) and I fell in love with the romantic image of a not so heroic space pirate. The Harlock Saga is a great DVD to get the casual fan or the hardcore fan who never bothered to get it. The complex tale is one ripped from the RING opera and at times it shows. For the most part this is a great idea. The world of Harlock is the perfect setting for what takes place and the story of the ring is well told. The animation is great, much better than the old TV show. Any anime fan worth his salt should have it. Classic."
Best anime series I have ever seen!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Harlock takes the cake for me. I love the story line and over all quality of this series and DVD. If you are/were ever a fan of the original Starblazers get this NOW!"
Leiji Matsumoto Classic
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was one of his best works. The dubbing on this was fantastic. I would recommend this title to anyone into sci fi."