Saturday, May 25, 2013

OBSCURE O.V.A.S, *Harlock Saga

The space captain comes back in this 6-episode OVA series. Leiji Matsumoto returns to his "Leijiverse" with this literal spacer opera based on The Rhine Gold opera(s) by Richard Wagner which was the Lord Of The Rings of operas. This takes place sometime after the Arcade Of My Youth movie, but it's exact place in the entire Leijiverse history is uncertain, although its conclusion acts as an explanation as to why all the adjoining titles like Yamato, Queen Emeraldas, and Galaxy Express 999 are all done in no real established continuity.

Harlock is searching for his shipmate Meele, who in some other stories didn't have a mouth. She is found on planet which guards the mystic Rhine Gold element which is supposed to control time in the universe, but has been stolen by her brother Alberich. He and Meele were once subjugated by Wotan(aka: Odin)and the other gods of Valhalla which is an actual planet at the center of the universe. What seems like a plot from a Thor comic book quickly becomes a race against time as Alberich has the Rhine Gold forged into a ring, and sets out with his battle fleet to conquer Valhalla. However, if Valhalla is destroyed, then it could cause the universe to implode on itself. So, Harlock and the rest of the Arcadia crew go to confront Alberich. After a few space wanderings, they battle the would be conqueror, and get the ring back, with plans to return it to its source. However, the battle caused serious damage to Valhalla which results in a lot of existing timeline to go all wibbly-wobbly. This means that a lot of the actual history of most of the other Leijiverse stories is now slightly out of context with each other. Sorta like how the last two Star Trek managed to establish itself in an alternate reality.

This OVA was based on a still unfinished manga series, of which the anime only covers the first two volumes. It helps to be at least a little familiar with Harlock's history, although to be fair he's mostly a secondary character in his own series. A lot of it deals with the space gods and other Valhallians. This is similar to Maetel Legend as it didn't needed to be dragged out as long as it was. It could have easily been a 4-episode series instead of six. The space battles are fair, especially with the appropriate "Flight of the Valkyries" background music. However, this is mainly for big fans of Matsumoto and his work. You'll get a better deal out of the Captain Herlock anime series instead.

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