Harlock: Space Pirate
Underwhelming space opera
Release Date: OUT NOW!
2013 | 15 | Blu- ray 3D/ DVD Director: Shinji Aramaki Cast: Shun Oguri, Harumi Miura, Yu Aoi, Arata Furuta, Maaya Sakamoto
title, space pirate Captain Harlock isn’t the star of this CG anime spectacular. No, it’s his cool pirate ship, an intergalactic Flying Dutchman embossed with a skull, lunging shark- like out of black clouds ( yes, in space). The film’s press notes invoke the grandeur of The Dark Knight, but the style ends up feeling silly, more like the Batman of The Lego Movie.
In anime, Captain Harlock has been a space hero since the ’ 70s, an anarchist buccaneer. In past incarnations he often fought aliens, but in this reboot his beef ’s with humanity – though his agenda’s only fully explained midway through the film. The story opens interestingly, with a youth joining Harlock’s crew who’s actually a spy out to kill the Cap. The spectacle is jolly good; it’s motion- captured realism, with inevitable comparisons to videogame cutscenes, but it has a lurid splendour. There are rippling capes, jewel- eyed aliens and, of course, that pirate ship.
Unfortunately, it soon gets boring. The characters don’t come alive, meaning that by the time we get to the big space battles, there’s nothing to care about. The plot’s almost as silly as Jupiter Ascending, and Harlock’s illogical actions suggest not an anarchist but an idiot. For a better Japanese space opera, see the live- action Space Battleship Yamato.
Extras: Just a Making Of. Andrew Osmond
You should see the state of his back.