it is unfair that most reviews On-Line in English are by first-timers unfamiliar with the animation series with cult-following in Japan, for it comes down to a screwed-up story-line – not even too simple nor complicated as this certainly is not a family movie your children will sit-out . understandable, for it is promoted in Japan as a movie also released abroad (the term “international” denotes grandeur in Japan, but in reality the only countries worthy of mention with enough fan-base are France and italy at best). but there is much more at play here – um, like a whole different universe ..
* * * * * SPOILER ALERT * * * * *
DANGER ! DANGER ! WILL ROBINSON !
first, there is no way you’re gonna “get-it” by watching the English-dubbed version . then for the story-line : think Battle-Star Galactica and immediately you know this story is far-fetched,
- first-off, the usual short-comings of a cheap sci-fi science fiction movie : where humans seem to be able to breathe in any planet, and gravity ever-existent in ship-to-ship battles ..
- plus how can a battle-star-class space-ship, be operated by one boy at the helm, in the end ???
- for this single rogue war-ship to survive superior-ruling enemy’s hundreds of ships,
- (the enemy) eventually thrusting TWO death-star-scale weaponry (in stand-by mode all these years) in succession,
- how can the enemy panel of elders have kept rule, while notoriously sacrificing their own soldiers and ships over and over ?
- then after you finally capture the most fearful out-law : would you neatly confine him AND his crew IN his pirate ship (to destroy all-together as an execution sentence) so that a single infiltrator can let them all loose along with his ship ?!
- more-so, in (the main character Captain Harlock) trying to unravel the knot of time .. as the narrated concept has its own paradoxes
and know Japanese anime series contain complicated recurring characters in place of a single super-heroe . also that the island country has been obsessed with anime for a while – Japanese term for simple comic than detailed illustration, which began on Monthly comic magazines eventually aired as TV-series thus becoming animation . and those now-old fans brought-up on these would exclaim in ecstasy on this vivid try-out .
this loosely follows its original theme story, but the more important is a whole movie sequence made in 3D-like illustration (it was released as such, dubbed in South Korea last January 2014). and the scale put out to super-wide universes, make this much more valuable than another popular Japanese comic tried in 3D : Cyborg 009 reviewed on this BLog also – which also tries to switch to deep-moral, perhaps because all other action scenarios have been played out in 2D or may be an effort by the producers to try to make this inevitable animation look like prestigeous art, ahem . so I would enjoy this movie amazed at scene-by-scene visuals than trying to figure-out the whole story, which may be more easily approachable if cut into proceeding parts .
minus-points of Japanese anime-gone-Hollywood is a totally different culture at play, as the title is the first give-away : like of a cheap Sunday matinee comic . my complaint is rather on its Official Japanese WebSite which is over-all making-of and interviews with its producers who seem quite normal in person and clothes – awaking you from any sort of fantasy you had on this series .
so after having enjoyed the amazing illustration : it would be better to ask yourself questions than try to figure-out the exact who dun’it, for I too concur several aspects do not compute :
- if, by fate, luck or sequence of inevitable events, (as all the major characters in this film have) you lost your most precious thing or person : would it be better to believe it is still there and giving you Hope, than accepting its horrifying reality and living the rest of your life in misery ?
- Would you do something bad and evil against your belief as well as to intentionally harm others, if it is the only way out for you to survive ?
- then the ultimate question as the final ending narration in Japanese in an old, husky voice :
“Human race has declined . even if we advance further : there is nothing nor anything will change . so why ? Why is that man trying to advance into the future ?”
– and me : I would believe in eternity, Korea Tech BLog –
for in the end, one aspect is certainly amazing : that a queer bird and a set of aspiring human warriors to an ethereal sacred being – all relentlessly devote their life to Captain Harlock and his indestructible ship The Arcadia .
Post-Script : I had thought to lay out screen captures here – of mighty moment of galactic-scale grand battles – explaining the plot-of-the-moment for novices, but as I began : I sought to watch the fine-animated motion picture over, and over again .. perhaps because I am a sucker for the human race in its most general form, and such vain, elusive connotation often called HOPE .