Unfortunately I have only seen parts of Mugen Kidō, and those were a very long time ago.
Hence this missive will be short and sweet, based upon the dim memory of ages past. Given the recent ‘Harlock Project’ however,
it should only be a matter of time before we will all be able to relive the glory days of Captain Harlock, and I shall update this page then.
Mugen Kidō [Endless Road], was apparently made to satisfy the clamouring of Harlock fans, who
had previously been treated to the wondrous Space Pirate Captain Harlock and the all-too-brief My Youth in Arcadia, and were left
wanting more. It was also designed to slide along on the coat-tails of Ginga Tetsudō 999, which was enjoying an
unexpected and long-lived popularity. Mugen Kidō was a lovingly crafted visual ode to our great Captain, but what it was not was an attempt to explain any
of the lingering mysteries left over from the earlier two Harlock productions. It was simply another story in the grand Harlock
mythos, another ‘what if’ for us to play endless mind games with, all the while being tantalised by intimate glimpses into the
unfathomable Harlock psyche.
Mugen Kidō posits yet another twist on the origin of the Arcadia, another slant on the
Tochirō/Harlock relationship, yet another version of the Tochirō/Emeraldas situation (which actually isn’t much of a
situation this time around), and a slew of other and even more alternate offerings on what we had come to consider as reality (insofar as an animated
science fiction feature can ever be considered a reality). The purpose it truly served was perhaps to once and for all cement (in
case the events of My Youth in Arcadia hadn’t convinced people already) the notion that in Matsumoto-territory there is no
reality. There are only variations on a theme (for more about this
click here) and all the galaxy is but a stage. Matsumoto merely
moves the players around.
In artistic and visual style similar to Ginga Tetsudō 999, Mugen Kidō did in fact include
story elements from 999, and was therefore, in the eyes of viewers, forging a somewhat
tenuous link between the Captain Harlock universe and the 999 phenomenon (and 999 was a phenomenon, no doubt about that). There
were cameos by 999’s ubiquitous machine men, a grainy glimpse of Maeter, and yet another death scene for Tochirō (whose best ever
death scene did in fact take place within the Ginga Tetsudō milieu and not in any of the Harlock franchises). While Matsumoto
fans might wish with all their hearts that all his worlds are connected, that in fact it is one single unified universe that the
characters of Space Pirate Captain Harlock, Ginga Tetsudō, Uchū Senkan Yamato, Queen Millennia et al are all inhabiting, they’ll
be sadly disappointed. Mugen Kidō was merely a brief foray into
cross-over territory. (For more about cross-over territory, please see Guest Appearances.)