who is this guy harlock anyway?in the beginning....space pirate captain harlockmy youth in arcadiaendless road ssxcosmowarrior zero | hunt for young harlockharlock saga | the ring of the nibelungenendless odysseyguest appearancescharactersshipstrouserscomms station

It's not what you know, it's who you know
So... which Harlock were you thinking of?

| Captain Harlock
If you’ve made it this far, you’ll know that there have been many versions of Harlock to date, all of which display subtle differences that are dependent upon Harlock's immediate circumstances.

In all incarnations Harlock oozes the essence of kakkō-ii — good looking and cool. He is a solitary and unpredictable beast, lean-limbed, melancholy, morose, self-destructive, sombre, distanced. Harlock keeps his thoughts and feelings close to his heart, which makes it hard for the viewer to tell what his thoughts and feelings actually are, and we are left to judge them from his actions. In his later incarnations (which are generally representations of his earlier phases of life, if that makes any sense) he’s more open, his feelings are more transparent. He has a level of playfulness about him, and a fair amount of contemptuousness; he’s not taking people or life quite so seriously.

Harlock as a personality is a man shaped by the events of his life. Like us he is formed from happiness and adversity and it is therefore difficult to define his character, since it so much depends on each individual incarnation. He has several variations on his basic personality, variations that depend upon the stages and circumstances of his life — his age, his experiences, the people around him, his place in the universe. He also has personality traits that are ever with him and remain immutable, no matter the circumstances — his stoicism, his honour, his clarity of thought. Other things, such as his preference for silence over speech, appear to be a development of his later years, for in younger versions he is far more talkative.

In Cosmowarrior Harlock is angry, snappish and quick to proffer opinions. In Young Harlock he’s happy and garrulous, relaxed and carefree. In Space Pirate he’s reserved, less talkative, stoic, but prone to a secretive snigger. My Youth in Arcadia brings a defeated man, but one determined to struggle to the end. And in Endless Odyssey we find a Harlock quietly resigned to his lonely fate. You can only do so much with what you’re given, and while Harlock forever remains true to his honour and his beliefs, his life, his experience, and the death that follows close behind him, has shaped him.


One of the original themes of Harlock was the notion that he was ‘looking for a place to die.’ Some might believe this indicates innate suicidal tendencies (and perhaps it does), but it is also indicative of his knowledge that life is preordained, that there is a time and place for him to die and he’s just biding his time until it arrives. It could also indicate that he is simply waiting for the right cause for which to lay down his life, and when the time comes he won’t hesitate to do so. He’s a questioning man, given to long periods of contemplation, though he never laments his situation, never rails against the unfeeling universe that is slowly driving him to despair. He knows there is no fighting fate (or karma, or destiny), so he merely continues on. Harlock is also a consummate conserver of physical energy and motion — he doesn’t act unless he absolutely has to, though when the need arises he is capable of lightning fast reflex. Similarly, he rarely expresses extremes of emotion, which make his rare displays unexpected and startling.

Harlock has only once had a love interest — the doomed Maya from My Youth in Arcadia. And while it did seem that they must have loved each other, their onscreen relationship was hardly demonstrative. Harlock has had no other love interests that we are aware of (well, except for that naked babe that launched herself passionately at him in Space Pirate, but that was rather one-sided). Miimé is not in a sexual relationship with him, and while Kei might like her captain more than a little, their relationship develops no further. Harlock’s attitude towards the women on his ship is somewhat protective and brotherly, and while he cares a great deal for them he never once takes advantage of them. The situation with Miimé is somewhat special, but Miimé views Harlock as a benefactor, her saviour, and she is fiercely protective of him as a consequence.

The Harlock of My Youth in Arcadia originated in Heiligenstadt, Germany, which is apparently the seat of the Harlock lineage. However the Harlock in every other incarnation has never stated his birth origins, just as he has never stated his first name. While the Heiligenstadt Harlocks, at least during the two world wars of the twentieth century, were giving their sons the first name ‘Phantom,’ I think we can say with some confidence that in the thousand years since then (the Harlock universe is placed in the 2970s), the old ‘Phantom’ as a first name would have worn pretty thin (we’d be up to Phantom F. Harlock the 33rd if it hadn’t). Similarly, Frank (or Franklin) Harlock in Gun Frontier is a one-off (... or... is it?), so it is reasonable to assume that ‘our’ Harlock may possess a given name that has yet to be revealed.

The origin of Harlock's facial scar has never, to my knowledge, been revealed. In instances where we are treated to glimpses of parts of Harlock unclothed, we are shown that most of his body is also heavily scarred — his arms, legs and torso, although a topless Harlock in Space Pirate is still unblemished. Despite the suppositions of well-meaning fans, Harlock's facial scar is not a birthmark, a brand, nor a rite of passage. Likely it is the result of youth and folly and not moving quite fast enough. Harlock is not invincible — he occasionally gets cut, shot and injured; his tattered cloak, scars and missing eye attest to that. For Harlock though, the acquisition of injuries and scars are meaningful. Vivid reminders of ongoing battles, and what it means to be a true man.

The story behind the loss of Harlock's right eye has only been shown to us once, during My Youth in Arcadia, when he is shot by a laser rifle. It isn't hard to imagine the burn from a laser rifle leaving a substantial scar, which may account for the large eyepatch Harlock wears, and the hair that conceals that side of his face. And since there are several animated versions of Harlock with two good eyes, we can suppose only that the loss of his right eye will always occur sometime in his twenties and, despite the events of My Youth in Arcadia, we can never be sure of the exact nature and circumstances of its loss.

In terms of age, Harlock incarnates at various stages of his life. In Young Harlock he is officially stated to be 23 years of age. In Space Pirate he is 28. Endless Odyssey takes place some five years after Space Pirate so he must be in his early thirties. My Youth has him in his early twenties again, and SSX puts him not long after that. So… Harlock is in his twenties or thirties. Let’s leave it at that.

Harlock is the last great dreamer, adrift in an endless sea of stars and searching for his final resting place. Romantic at his very core, Harlock is holding out for the renaissance of planet Earth, and for the great cycle of life to begin again...

 

| Ōyama Tochirō
Tochirō’s favourite phrase is ‘don’t worry,’ which pretty much sums up his approach to life. Where Harlock is the great internaliser, Tochirō is his laid back and un-phased antithesis. The physical, but not necessarily psychological, opposite to Harlock, Tochirō represents all that is good in the world.

This is a man who is happy no matter what his circumstance (and he’s been in some pretty tragic ones), ready to help anybody and incredibly lovable. He and Harlock form a lasting partnership in all their incarnations, a relationship that is closer to love than mere friendship. Tochirō’s death affects Harlock deeply, and it seems he will never recover from the loss.

Hyper-intelligent, Tochirō single-handedly constructs the Arcadia and most of the devices on it. Consequently the Arcadia is renowned across the galaxy for its abilities and invincibility, the mere sight of the great vessel being enough to make knees tremble. After (or is that during?) his death, Tochirō manages to transfer his personality or psyche (or soul or self) into the Arcadia’s main computer, which gives the Arcadia an unnatural sentience. It also ensures that Harlock can continue his travels with ‘Tochirō,’ though obviously the tenor of their relationship is irrevocably altered.


Tochirō is Japanese in origin, short and compact, generally garbed in a concealing cloak and broad-brimmed hat. Don’t let the cloak fool you into thinking he’s dumpy under there — Tochirō is surprisingly trim and athletic and an accomplished swordsman. Tochirō is also an adventurer and relatively fearless. He’s a noble upholder of the samurai code, clops about in geta (traditional wooden sandals), wields a katana with lightning speed and accuracy, and sees the humour in almost every situation. There is just no getting Tochirō down, a trait that serves Harlock well given Harlock’s tendency towards melancholy.

In some incarnations Tochirō develops an unlikely intimate relationship with Emeraldas (see below), and in the Space Pirate (and also, we think, the Endless Odyssey) universe this relationship results in a daughter, Mayu. After Tochirō’s death and Emeraldas' abscondment, Harlock is left, literally, holding the baby, thanks to Tochirō’s wish that Mayu be brought up on Earth. Tochirō’s undying hopes for the Earth are matched only by Harlock’s, which is another reason why the pair bond so well.

No mere sidekick, despite his appearance, Tochirō is a huge personality and a strong protagonist in all the stories he appears in. He is jovial and garrulous, good-natured, self-effacing and humorous. He’s also ridiculously honest, usually to his own detriment. You can’t help but love such a large personality. Tochirō is doomed to die, however, no matter which version of Harlock you’re watching. That Harlock misses Tochirō is plainly and plaintively obvious — the Harlock universe with Tochirō in it is a much happier and genki place than the Harlock universe without him.

The Captain Harlock story is really about men, and what passes between them. Tochirō is Harlock’s ‘shin yū,’ his best and most dearest friend, for whom Harlock would make any sacrifice. That Tochirō passes away in most Harlock stories does not alter this story of friendship. Tochirō is the sole driving force in Harlock’s life, whether he’s living or not.

 

| Emeraldas
As mysterious as Harlock in origin, Emeraldas is his feminine equivalent. Similarly scarred, she too prefers to wander the infinite ocean of space alone, shunning society and even the company of friends for much of the time. Her ship is the Queen Emeraldas, of unknown (or unnamed) alien origin, able to operate without a crew and apparently indestructible.

Emeraldas is beautiful but sombre, given to long silences and downcast expression. She smiles little, and possesses a seriousness that can be alienating for the viewer. However she is a loyal compatriot, self-sacrificing, and as protective of those she loves as she is of her moral code.

In some animated incarnations Emeraldas and Tochirō share a love affair (Cosmowarrior, Young Harlock, Harlock Saga, Queen Emeraldas), and in at least one instance, Space Pirate, they produce a daughter together. In that universe, Tochirō’s subsequent death seemingly unhinges Emeraldas, and she departs alone for the inky void of space, leaving her daughter in Harlock’s care. Given her protective streak this behaviour is somewhat unexplainable, but then grief can make people do some strange things.

[However, at this stage it must be made clear that the woman with whom Tochirō shared a love affair in the animated version of Space Pirate was clearly called Emerada, though she appears to be identical to Emeraldas (apart from missing the facial scar). As we have learnt, in Matsumoto-world we cannot take anything for granted and it is indeed possible that, in this particular instance, Emerada is not Emeraldas. That said, in the manga version of Space Pirate Harlock clearly states that Emeraldas was Tochirō's love, and every other appearance of Emeraldas since 1978 has seen her involved with Tochirō in an intimate fashion. Since Tochirō and Emeraldas clearly develop a relationship in other incarnations, it may be safe to assume that Emerada and Emeraldas are indeed one and the same, that perhaps Emerada was a proto-Emeraldas, or that her name was changed for the Space Pirate animation. The decision is up to you.]

 
In the Ginga Tetsudō 999 television series a short history — from Emeraldas' own mouth — outlines a strong but tragically doomed friendship with Maeter; yet the Maetel Legend story posits that Emeraldas and Maeter were sisters. To further complicate things, in the 1998 Queen Emeraldas OAV, Emeraldas states, again with her own mouth, that she and Maeter are twins. Neither of these may be the reality... and yet they both may. Similarly, while the story behind Emeraldas' facial scar is revealed in My Youth in Arcadia, when it is inflicted on a helpless Emeraldas by a shot from an Irumidas lasergun, in the 1998 Queen Emeraldas series she gains her scar during a foolishly unguarded moment while attempting to save Tochirō. (It is the fact that we have at least two different versions of Emeraldas' scar that leads one to believe that Harlock may have obtained his own scar differently in different incarnations. Ah, the unpredictable whimsy of Matsumoto-sensei!)Emeraldas’ motives are less clear than Harlock’s. Like Harlock, she has not turned to piracy for material gain, but for far more noble motives. Driven by conscience and injustice, she does proceed from a different point than Harlock, but is always working towards the same goal.

Emeraldas the loner makes appearances in her own 1979 mini-series, a four-episode OAV from 1998, and makes guest appearances in Ginga Tetsudō 999, Space Pirate Captain Harlock, SSX, My Youth in Arcadia, Cosmowarrior Zero and Hunt for Young Harlock, as well as Harlock Saga.

| Daiba Tadashi
How do I describe thee, Daiba Tadashi? Let me count the ways...


In both Space Pirate and Endless Odyssey, Tadashi’s father, Professor Daiba, has been murdered, and Tadashi has been the unfortunate soul to discover the body. As if this would not already be messing with his head, very shortly afterwards a mysterious space pirate appears and issues Tadashi an invitation: ‘If you want to become a real man, board my ship.’ Tadashi, who has already had his young life irrevocably altered by the death of his only remaining parent, must now make a further life-altering decision.

That Tadashi chooses a pirate's life is not unexplainable. With his father dead, he is without family and aimless in the world. Harlock’s world will hardly provide him with the family environment he so desperately needs, but it will provide a focus for Tadashi. And a purpose — that being to hunt down his father’s murderer and avenge his death. Tadashi is obviously not thinking of what will happen once he’s past the retribution phase — living as a pirate is a dangerous thing to do, and there really is no going back once that decision is made. But recklessness is what defines Tadashi, and it appears to be Harlock’s job to refine that recklessness and channel it into something more constructive.

There is a tendency to assume that Harlock will fulfil the role of father in Tadashi’s life, which is far from the reality. Harlock does not have, at any point or in any incarnation, enough emotional energy invested in Tadashi to fill that role. Harlock likes Tadashi and is tolerant and patient, guiding if and when needed, yet he remains distant and remote from the tumult that Tadashi spews forth at every opportunity. More than once the audience has probably wished that Harlock would slap Tadashi down for his disrespectful behaviour, but he stoicly manages to refrain from doing so (okay, well, there was that one time when he did…). Similarly, Tadashi is not a younger version of the good captain, although Miimé once expressed the opinion that had Tadashi been left alone, as Harlock was, he would have become like Harlock. However, it is clear that Tadashi’s personality is diametrically opposed Harlock’s, which makes it difficult for them to develop and sustain a relationship. The Tadashi of Endless Odyssey has difficulty establishing relationships with any of the other characters onboard the Arcadia since his anger constantly hinders his interpersonal skills. Even at his worst Harlock was never that angry and has always been cool, collected and controlled. He may wish to impart some of those skills to Tadashi, but it does seem, at times, to be somewhat of a lost cause.

Tadashi is forever questioning and accusing Harlock, berating him for his inaction, railing against Harlock’s apparently passive nature (misunderstanding patience for passivity), doubting the crew’s abilities. To his credit Harlock ignores this behaviour (although with the occasional amused smirk behind Tadashi’s back) and responds to the whirlwind of accusation that is Tadashi with his usual demeanour of indifference. And let’s face it — if the forces of evil can’t get a reaction out of Harlock, aint nothing little Tadashi can do that will.

Tadashi is young, brash, angry, impatient, edgy and tense. At least this is how he is in Endless Odyssey (where he must be in his late teens). In Space Pirate he is young (his age here is cited as 14), brash, angry, impatient, edgy and tense, but he’s also sad and lonely, eventually transforming into a far less angry person and becoming, finally, a valued member of the Arcadia crew. In Harlock Saga he’s vain and proud and just plain ineffectual, provided for decorative purposes only (though this author does not consider the animated version of Harlock Saga a valid component of the extended Harlock story and fully intends to ignore it).

| Yuki Kei
Kei makes appearances in Space Pirate, SSX, Ginga Tetsudō and Endless Odyssey. She is 16 when she first boards the Arcadia, being rescued by Harlock during a raid on a government vessel. Mature for her years, she chooses to become a member of Harlock’s crew, becoming indispensable in a very short period.

Quick-minded and highly intelligent, Kei spends most of her time on the bridge. She interacts well with the bridge crew, though little is seen of her outside this environment. In Endless Odyssey she is shown as having a vessel and crew of her own, demonstrating her maturity (in her early twenties by now) and capabilities for command. However, as soon as Harlock requires it, she quickly gives up any effort at captaincy and reverts to her Arcadia crewmember status. Career comes last — that’s how much she loves her captain.

Exactly quite how much Kei loves her captain is never quite revealed. She can be caught out giving him long and longing glances, but quite what that means is difficult for the audience to pigeonhole. The most obvious conclusion would be that she has a crush on Harlock, and while that is not beyond the realm of possibility (in fact, it is highly possible given the circumstances — adolescent girl, handsome saviour...) Kei is smart enough to comprehend the reality of the situation. Harlock is a loner and isolated from all emotional engagement. He is also her captain and she his crew. Further, Harlock’s attitude towards Kei is patently one of benefactor and protector. His attitude is brotherly; he cares for her, he wants to help her and keep her safe. Their relationship will never be more than what Harlock is willing and able to provide, and it is almost certain that Kei knows that.

| Miimé
The lone survivor of an alien race from the planet Jura, in the only backstory available (Space Pirate), Miimé was found by Harlock on her devastated planet in his younger days. Miimé has devoted (given, sacrificed) her life to Harlock as repayment, and has been his constant companion ever since.

Miimé's devotion runs to protection in all manners — shielding Harlock from the intrusions of the crew, warning him of impending dangers, soothing him with her music, pouring his wine, and hell, there might even be a backrub in amongst all that. She spends an inordinate amount of time in his quarters, but there is apparently no hanky panky of any kind taking place. They’re simply two loners who have found each other, and who look out for each other.

Blue and willowy, Miimé seemingly does not have a mouth and generally subsists on alcohol. She is possessed of a level of psychic and a modicum of precognitive abilities, her eyes (and at times her entire body) glowing yellow when she is using those abilities. Endless Odyssey also displays her psychic-kinetic talents, when she taps into the Arcadia’s computer using only her mind.

Miimé is a calming influence on the Arcadia, and upon Harlock, and he is assured she will follow him into the jaws of death without ever needing to be asked. The strength of Miimé's relationship with Harlock is that she will die for him — she will die to protect him, she will die for him, she will die with him. By being saved by Harlock her life is so inextricably intertwined and bound to his that the moment he stops breathing, Miimé will. And Miimé's promise is not reserved for Harlock alone, as her protection, loyalty and sacrifice extends to the Arcadia and all its crew.

Miimé came into Harlock's life at a point when, by his own admission, he was alone and lonely. As the years passed and as Harlock changed, he came to appreciate and rely on, and be eternally grateful for, Miimé's great devotion. And as Miimé has been Harlock's companion through all the great upheavals in his life, she has been the one to note the changes wrought in him. In the Space Pirate manga, it is Miimé who supports Harlock in his moments of doubt and anguish, it is Miimé who laments that 'Harlock doesn't laugh anymore.' It is Miimé who has guarded Harlock since the death of Tochirō, and she has sadly catalogued the changes she sees in Harlock, since she alone has been forced to observe his slow spiral into depression, and the disappearance of the lively and cheerful Harlock she once knew.

| Mayu
Daughter of Emeraldas and Tochirō, Mayu is a pivotal piece of the original animated Space Pirate story, given that Harlock is tied to Earth by his promise to raise Mayu according to her father’s wishes. Mayu is seven and lives in an orphanage on Earth (as opposed to the sake-soaked interior of the Arcadia), becoming a not-unexpected pawn in the game between the Earth authorities and Harlock.

Mayu has inherited her mother’s seriousness of expression (and apparently none of her father’s humour), and of necessity is wise beyond her years. She dotes upon Harlock, and he upon her, and their relationship is unexpectedly warm and touching.

Given the above, Mayu makes an appearance in Endless Odyssey that is difficult to explain. Kei meets Mayu in the netherworld that her psyche is taken to by the Nuu. This netherworld is a place where the dead dwell, a limbo of sorts, and Kei (who knew Mayu in Space Pirate) does appear to recognise Mayu, and Mayu appears to recognise Kei, giving her a message for Harlock. Harlock himself encounters Mayu, again in that place where the dead dwell, and where he meets Tochirō one final time. As Mayu slumbers upon the porch of Tochirō’s dwelling, Harlock pauses to stare intently at the sleeping child, his thoughts unfathomable. Tochirō notices his gaze and tells him gently ‘don’t worry.’ This scene seems to imply that in this particular timeline Mayu must be dead (since she dwells in this limbo), and as she hasn't aged a day since we last saw her, that Harlock must have failed in his efforts to protect and raise her. This is the only inference able to be made of this situation, and the fact that Harlock has indeed left the Earth again, apparently having no reason to loiter about there anymore. We can only wonder at the circumstances of Mayu’s death, and how his failure must have affected Harlock.


| Yattaran
First and foremost, Yattaran is not Tochirō. Regardless of stature and spectacles, Yattaran is an entirely different beast.

Harlock’s first mate on board the Arcadia both pre- and post-Tochirō’s death, Yattaran’s technical abilities come close to Tochirō’s, but otherwise he is in no way similar.

Yattaran is a unique and somewhat eccentric personality. He is obsessed with plastic models, reproductions of war machines (aircraft, tanks and boats) from WW2, and spends all his spare time (and a lot of his work time, much to Tadashi’s chagrin) constructing and playing with his creations.

Yattaran brings his hobby onto the bridge from time to time (tearing exuberantly across the command, waving a plane in the air and making engine noises), though mostly he restricts his games to his quarters or the bath. Oft times he in-builds explosives into his ‘toys’, and they become useful weapons in times of danger.
 
For the most part, Harlock is benignly tolerant of this behaviour. Yattaran is indispensable as a crewmember, clever and resourceful when the need arises. He also doesn’t question his captain, no matter how dire the situation or how unpredictable his captain can be. Yattaran trusts Harlock implicitly, and the trust is returned by Harlock. This stable state of affairs has not always been the case in their relationship, however. The original Space Pirate manga showed a Harlock who was slightly afraid of Yattaran's grumpy mood swings, yet Cosmowarrior reveals a Harlock who can get a bit tetchy with Yattaran’s whining and face-making. By the time Endless Odyssey comes around, Yattaran has gained an unexpected level of maturity, and is a lot less noisy than we are used to (I guess a spell on Panopticon will do that to you...). Yattaran's relationship with his captain changes dependent upon circumstances (and age), but they retain their faith in each other, regardless.
 
| Mii-Kun
‘Master Miaow,’ as 'Mii-kun' roughly translates to, is the ships cat, and has free run of the Arcadia.

Alternately owned by either Doctor Zero, Harlock or Tochirō (again, depends what series you are watching), Mii-kun is a little cutie who is forever into mischief and thievery. Whoever his owner might be though, Harlock has a special fondness for him and will always look out for him.

Mii-kun (or variations thereof) makes appearances in many of Matsumoto’s manga and anime, and it is no secret that Matsumoto is a cat lover. During early production of Uchū Senkan Yamato, Matsumoto’s beloved cat passed away, and the loss affected him profoundly. He has stated that the cat was his room mate and his best friend, his family, and Matsumoto’s sentiment is fully realised many years later in Hunt for Young Harlock. When the boarding house from hell is collapsing into a time-space rift, Harlock risks his life to save Mii-kun and Tori-san, explaining to Zero (who can't believe Harlock is about to die for his pets) that the animals are his and Tochirō’s family. Aww. Gotta love a cat-loving pirate.

| Tori-San
‘Mister Bird,’ while being attached firmly to Harlock’s side, is generally Tochirō’s pet, although he did belong to both Tochirō and Harlock in Hunt for Young Harlock, and to Zoru's family in My Youth in Arcadia.

Whoever Tori-san once belonged to, Harlock takes care of him now, and Tori-san really needs taking care of. Emotional and prone to bouts of tears, Tori-san is a melancholy creature whose previous owners have all passed away, and Tori-san is ever bereft on account of it. While he does have some amusing moments (like Mii-kun he is prone to thievery and can be awkwardly clumsy at times), Tori-san is forever wailing over some poor dead or dying soul. Highly intelligent and seeming to understand language and obey complex commands, it is difficult to gauge the extent of Tori-san’s comprehension. He does, however, remain loyal to Harlock, and Harlock has a soft and tender spot for the bird.


| Dr Zero
Another of Matsumoto’s shorter characters, Doctor Zero is defined by his laid-back manner and his penchant for saying just what he’s thinking. While doctors are useful on board a ship that is ever flying into danger, Doctor Zero doesn’t often get to do much medico-ing, usually channelling his science background into more analytical work The rest of the time he positions himself laconically on the bridge to observe the action, and insert a droll comment here and there.

Zero often slops about the Arcadia barefoot or in slippers, and has a penchant for saké in large bottles (he can often be seen tussling with Miimé for them), and by rights should be permanently sozzled and paralytic. He must be quite immune to its effects by now, however, as he rarely appears to become hideously drunk. Doctor Zero owns Mii-kun in some incarnations, and the little cat often sits in his pocket or on his shoulder.

 

| The Arcadia Crew
The crew of the Arcadia is a rotating beast, with crewmembers coming and going as either Harlock's need arises, or as the crewmembers themselves find their places aboard the Arcadia or off her.


Aboard the Arcadia all proceeds according to the individual's free will, with Harlock making very few demands and asking very little of his crew in return for the sanctum to be found on his ship, and it is precisely this attitude that produces such fierce loyalty among his crew. There are members we meet regularly, such as Yattaran and Masu-san (the cook), Dr Zero, Kei and Maji (the engineer), although they, like others, have had either predecessors or later replacements, or been absent for periods of time.

Since Harlock can apparently manage on board Arcadia for long periods without a crew, it begs the question of why he needs one. Harlock does seem to like his crew and he certainly appreciates their value, but he doesn't keep them around for company since he shutters himself away from others both physically and psychologically. And given that Harlock has put his crew off the ship more than once, without adequate explanation, it must make being an Arcadia crewmember quite a tenuous career move. Does Harlock gather a crew as part of his perceived social responsibility? Does he do it to give people a purpose in life, or is it that they simply perform a periodical maintenance function? No doubt Harlock will, at some point, decide to abandon the crew-thing permanently, and at that point he will sail into the dark and we will never see him again.

 
 
 

Line art on this page is the creation of the unsurpassed Komatsubara Kazuo, who produced production art and promotional material for the original animated versions of 'Space Pirate Captain Harlock' and 'My Youth in Arcadia.'

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