Anime Vice News

SPACE PIRATE CAPTAIN HARLOCK #1 - - Special Review

Has anybody ever actually seen the captain smile?

I simply can’t do a bit on GALAXY EXPRESS 999 without making it a Matsumoto double-feature. I already feel pretty frustrated about forgetting to mention CAPTAIN HARLOCK during the Vice Pit Sam and I did about our anime “secret origins.” Back in my earliest TV viewing days, I was watching just as many re-runs of this as my beloved DORAEMON. The sensory memory’s so pointed, in fact, that I’m getting the unmistakable taste of after-school chicken fingers in my mouth while re-visiting this on Hulu.

To bring up another missed opportunity on a past Vice Pit - - when we were discussing COWBOY BEBOP, OUTLAW STAR, Han Solo and all their space pirate progenitors, it would’ve been worthwhile to comment on how few of the lasting space pirate characters in fiction have ever fulfilled their sobriquet as literally as the good captain, here. Indeed, I’m watching this pilot and wondering why there isn’t an anchor on Harlock’s space ship to tether it to asteroids - - because that certainly wouldn’t be any more absurd than all the other anachronistic flourishes on the thing.

Actually, after revisiting LUPIN III, COBRA, GOLGO 13 and other manly anime shows of this era puts into focus a very distinct dichotomy that many of them had. So often, you have these hyper-masculine, supreme badasses who maintained their overwrought honor codes in the face of the most colorfully-ridiculous situations. Here, it’s Harlock honoring a vow he made by intentionally flying into place where authority figures are immediately going to pounce on him for breaking the terms of his exile - - and it’s all while he’s riding on a pirate ship with sails, masts and everything that's totally irrelevant to space travel.

It’s not about the suspension of disbelief here, all right? It’s about the tone. The show isn’t any more ridiculous than DORAEMON, but it now seems far stranger for how it handles that ridiculousness so dourly. I definitely didn’t find any of this to be odd when I was a kid…

Watch this episode, "The Jolly Roger That Flutters Through Space” here and decide for yourself.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

sickVisionz moderator on Oct. 29, 2012 at 2:20 p.m.

I started watching this about a week or two ago and immediately fell in love. I'd love to see you go further into the series as it gets fairly dark once they begin to explain the origins of the crew members.

Dig Deeper into Space Pirate Captain Harlock

A Franchise created by Leiji Matsumoto about the Legendary Pirate Harlock.

Edit/View the Wiki
Hit the Forums (3 Posts)
Add/View Images (11 Images)
Watch Some Videos
Pokemon Black and White Looks Delicious in Motion

First video of a Pokemon battle in Black and White.

Comment & Win: One Piece Vol. 52, 53

Time for a giveaway folks! Now, act civil, we don't want anyone to get hurt in the mad rush to win.

Beginner's Guide to FLCL

Gainax's madcap, surrealist anime, broken down for new viewers.

Ballz Deep

Steve gets intimately close to Dragon Ball Z, for science!

Top 3 Awful Anime Dubs

Grit your teeth and get your ear plugs ready cause this week we're taking on the three most amazingly bad dubs of all time!

How Has Anime Fandom REALLY Changed Since the 90's?

We asked the question, and you gave us a lot of great answers. Listen as we read through them, and question if once again boils down to... SUB vs. DUB?

BLEACH Ch. 616 Review

But does the right hand know what the left hand is doing?

Anime Vice RPG Spotlight -- 3/2/15

What adventures has our RPG community been getting into lately?

DEATH PARADE #6 -- Watch & Learn

The deadliest game of Twister ever...!

ONE PIECE Ch. 777 Review

Roronoa Zoro is a man with several plans.

DEATH PARADE #7 -- Watch & Learn

No one knows what it's like to be the sad man... behind blue eyes.

JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE - BATTLE IN EGYPT #8 -- Watch & Learn

The original anime chibi...?

DRAGON BALL Z -- The Live Action Web Series?

Ever think you'd see "History of Trunks" like this?

PARASYTE - THE MAXIM #20 -- Watch & Learn

The days of "This Ain't Your Daddy's Cartoons" Are Back!

How Has Anime Fandom REALLY Changed Since the 90's?

We asked the question, and you gave us a lot of great answers. Listen as we read through them, and question if once again boils down to... SUB vs. DUB?

BLEACH Ch. 616 Review

But does the right hand know what the left hand is doing?

ONE PIECE Ch. 777 Review

Roronoa Zoro is a man with several plans.

Anime Caption Contest! -- 3/2/15

It's Anime Crossover madness!

DRAGON BALL Z -- The Live Action Web Series?

Ever think you'd see "History of Trunks" like this?

JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE - BATTLE IN EGYPT #8 -- Watch & Learn

The original anime chibi...?

Anime Vice RPG Spotlight -- 3/2/15

What adventures has our RPG community been getting into lately?

Mandatory Network

Submissions can take several hours to be approved.

Save ChangesCancel