SPC Harlock 09-11: Daiba does it Again

In these episodes we learn that the overwhelming presence of Mazone on Earth actually deserves the name of INFESTATION.  When Harlock, on a hunch, orders the retrieval of an ancient artifact from the Earth Federation Museum [a so-called Flame Pot] the entire museum staff turn out to be undercover Mazone.  And yes, the Flame Pot turns out to be a Mazone communications device.  Plus the South American rainforest is full of dormant Mazone.

Lafresia pleased with herself, as most villains are toward the beginning of a series...

To sum it up, it’s like going to Disneyland’s “It’s a small world” ride and finding all the little international dolls replaced with vegetable vixens.

For what it’s worth, Queen Lafresia’s boast that her home planet is beyond (or without) time, and that her minions are scattered throughout the whole temporal universe is awesome.  I can only hope they will dwell on this little statement some more before the series is over.

Episode 10 fulfills many a viewer’s dream by showing us Capt. Harlock slapping Daiba to the ground (supposedly to make him snap from his narrow-minded obsession to avenge his father and turn him to thinking BIG).  You’d think Daiba would have been clear-headed after such a blow, but he messes up again soon after when he gawks at his beautiful Mazone rival and gets his ship blown to smithereens.  Lola the warrior is very pretty, sure, but come on!!

Lola

One good thing does come out of Daiba’s stupidity: Harlock decides to destroy the Mazone mothership with a ramming attack!  This bodyblow tactic which one feels is so at home with the Japanese aesthetic has a nicely ironic linguistic turn: how do Harlock and crew call the ram in Japanese: “Ramu”.  Oh!

If you ever find yourself writing a paper on “Leiji, Women and Feminism” how’s this for a start:

The Mazone look like lovely women.

Daiba is lured by their beauty.

Harlock tells him categorically: the Mazones are alien plantforms, not women!

The Arcadia analyzes Mazone ship fragments  to determine where their base is on the Solar System AND

Their base just happens to be the planet Venus.

Ahem, Venus.  Could there be any name more quintessentially feminine?  Is Leiji confused?  What is the place of Women in the Leijiverse?  Discuss.

***

On the way to Venus the Arcadia picks Lola from the Mazone debris and the captain straightaway puts Daiba in charge of her (or “it”?).  And of course this is to make Daiba grow as an individual, while putting all of humanity, let alone the rest of the crew, in mortal danger.  Ol’ Harlock is setting up a Bildungsroman it seems…

…where Tadashi Daiba fails again: he is tricked by Lola into thinking she is his (long dead) mother, and he promptly lets her escape on the surface of Venus.  The crew of the Arcadia not only forgive him this, but in some convoluted fashion actually thank him for it, claiming that Daiba’s experience has taught them once and for all that the Mazone will go at any length to manipulate their enemies and that the crew of Arcadia must redouble its vigilance.

The funniest moment in this 11th episode was Yuki’s grimacing at the doctor’s speculations on what could occur in a closed room between Daiba and Lola.  Was this a motherly fear?  Or was there some sort of jealousy involved as well?  Hmmm…

Bewildered by Mazonic Charms

~ by Haloed Bane on August 6, 2010.

15 Responses to “SPC Harlock 09-11: Daiba does it Again”

  1. What is the place of Women in the Leijiverse?

    In the kitchen, of course!

    That was the one of the best setups ever.

    Seriously, women do tend to be coffee-bringers, nurses, whores, etc. in the Leijiverse. That is, when they’re not mysterious porcelain dolls with no mouths (seriously, you don’t even need symbolism — she has no mouth!)

    I think it was episode 11 (somewhere around there) that featured some of Rintaro’s most insanely psychedelic, 1970s directorial wildness. Nice to see you hitting the Leiji to end all Leiji, you’ll probably pass me by soon. I’m stuck at just about exactly halfway through the series and haven’t moved forward in a while.

    And nice to see you back in general.

    • Thanks. I’m very busy still but going thru this series is top priority. It’d be shameful for me as a fan to watch the new Harlock CG film BEFORE ever finishing the original series.

  2. Leijiverse has always been called a man-centered world. Women know their place, help men to fulfill their dreams, don’t chain those they love, blah-blah-blah… Surprisingly though, interesting, strong and unique female characters are more numerous than male ones, across the Leijiverse. Maetel, Emeraldas, Yukino, Miime (for all her mouthlessness, she is a great character), Shinunora, Maya, Kei…
    Now, where are the men among men? Harlock and Tochiro. (At that, I’ve always had a feeling that Emeraldas is more badass than those two taken together).

    The rest are a bunch of teenagers and kids😛

    • A lot could be said about this topic in the Leijiverse. There’s a lot of stereotypical femenine behavior going on as otousan says, but at the summit (Maetel, Emeraldas, Yukino) they do exhibit a godly super-awesome behavior lacking in the men.

      Here’s another fun research topic:

      “Harlock’s Feminine Side”. Discuss.

      • o.o o.O O.O … Okay… Not sure what you mean, but in truth there is one female character the good captain makes me think of, sometimes. Miss Havisham. A very remote association, naturally, and not exactly gender-related, but there you have it. Discuss🙂

  3. คนไทย?

    • เป็นคนอเมริกันครับ อ่านไทยได้นิดหน่อย

  4. […] Leiji Matsumoto up in this piece! ak still ain’t around though, so you thank your lucky stars we still got this translation […]

  5. Actually – Iskra is all wrong.

    There is all of one strong female – that would be Emeraldas.

    The rest – why may look strong – aren’t really. Maetel is rather more of a tool than a strong woman. She just passes why without really making a stance. I mean it varies between series, because sometimes she is, sometimes she isn’t … but being so variable makes me definitely say she isn’t.

    Miime is definitely not strong. She is an obedient woman whose life line is Harlock. Without him, she would have no place in the world. Kinda like the wife who sits at home and waits patiently for her husband to return. Not strong.

    Shin-ny is not strong. Simply not strong. She is a fricken slut. Slut. Whenever or not she holds up a fight or not, her purpose is to entice the boys and have sex with every man she is affiliated with.

    Yuki Kei is like Miime but more sluty and needy. Simple as that.

    Maya. Let us think of what Maya did. Well say some stuff on air. Run around getting chase. Get shot. Then moan and lay down dying for the rest of the movie. Oh and get captured.
    (Did I mention that Emeraldas has half her chest exposed when captured?)

    Yukino is the bad guy. Oh what an ideal role model. No idea if she is classified as strong.

    Anyway I think you know yourself that Leiji doesn’t have strong female characters. Most sleep around – just check his manga.

    And YES! I was happy when Harlock bitch slapped Daiba.🙂

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