SPC Harlock 04-05
Synopsis – The Earth government must decide whether it will act on the Mazone threat or not. Tadashi Daiba must decide whether to join the crew of the Arcadia or not. The govt. says nay, Daiba says yeah.
There was a lot of crying in this episode. Harlock actually gets teary eyed when asked by Daiba about who he’s fighting for. The captain replies: for no one at all, but what I keep in my heart. Daiba is silly enough to go over to Yuhki and ask what that would be.
Professor Kusuko cries for the fate of the planet, after his plea before parliament on the Mazone threat falls on deaf ears. This is all very sad, but I though the linguistic elements quite funny. Kusuko’s research leads him to the theory that Mazone writing is related to Pre-Columbian writings in America. Now, Mazone reminds one of Amazon (South America + all-woman tribe), and Kusuko himself reminds one of Cuzco, the capital of the Inca Empire…Anyway, Kusuko gets killed by the Mazone…
Daiba cries about 17 times in this episode, although he actually gets to kick some major butt too: he escapes from Earth authorities, kills a Mazone, and vaporizes the Earth flag. The flag, BTW, looks like three planets colliding and exploding, which is a recurring motif in the Leijiverse [twin planets collide and explode after Maetel visits them in Galaxy Express 999; the Moon collides with Earth in the Miraizer Ban manga; the basic plot of Millennial Queen is an impending collision between Earth and the planet of LaMetal].
The hopelessness of Earth’s situation was very nicely portrayed when the Arcadia parks before the Commander’s very eyes and he can’t capture it because everyone’s gone off and taken a break!
Synopsis – Daiba suffers from spacesickness aboard the Arcadia. He is shocked by conditions aboard the ship. A Mazone is captured, reveals the name of her Queen and blows herself up.
Harlock’s concept of “pirate freedom” is all over this episode. When a Mazone warship appears, the alarm is sounded and everyone rushes to arms. However, when a cargo ship from Earth shows up, First Mate Yattaran makes the captain wait for a minute while he finishes playing his WWII games. The reason is that boarding cargo ships and blowing up their cargo, although a big part of what the Arcadia does on a daily basis, isn’t essential. Later when the Mazone ship is blown up and a Mazone rescued from the wreckage, Yattaran’s suggestion that Daiba go instead of him might sound like he’s being way too carefree, but the fact is that anyone can go and do this. If Daiba had refused to go, and no one else was available, Yattaran would surely have gone.
There is a beautiful sequence in this episode whose true meaning will probably be understood later on in the series, but I’ll just describe it here without commenting, though just the fact of me pointing it out might constitute a SPOILER so beware!:
1) Tadashi is curious about the creator of the Arcadia. Harlock tells him the creator is a genius and his friend. Tadashi asks to meet him. But Harlock replies that he is dead. “He’s dead?” says Daiba. “No, he is alive…He is dead and he is alive…” Harlock leaves the lad all confused.
2) The Arcadia sees a cargo ship. The cargo ship holds a shipment of dolls, the reason being that it is all a ploy to lure Harlock. The dolls resemble Mayu, and Earth command is counting on Harlock capturing the ship, taking at least one of the dolls as a memento or as a gift for Mayu. That is, they’re counting on Harlock’s love for Mayu. The dolls have camera, microphone and even weaponry!!
3) Harlock takes a doll to the bridge, as expected, but Earth Commander’s initial decision to fire the weapon in the doll and kill the captain is thwarted when Daiba shows up. Daiba has come to the bridge because he’s still troubled about the creator of the Arcadia business. When Earth command decides to actually fire, seconds later, Harlock notices it, gets Daiba out of the way and pulverizes the doll. Earth has lost its best chance to kill the space pirate.
END OF POSSIBLE SPOILER
The funniest thing in this episode was seeing Harlock smile at Daiba’s bewilderment aboard the Arcadia. I think 10,000 fairies must have died…at least.
The most serious thing was the Mazone’s suicide, showing the determination of her race. The queen’s name is probably most commonly romanized as Lafresia, but the sound is identical in Japanese to the Rafflesia genus of evil flowers [here].