SPC Harlock 15-16: Breakups

Whoa, how did we get here???

Mazonehandled Harlock

Episode 15…

Massive aurora springs up in Earth’s North Pole.  Mimay says she hates auroras because lots of them appeared around the time her planet fell prey to a Mazone invasion.  Coincidence?  Nahhhh.  Harlock comments the shape of the aurora reminds him of a runway.  Coincidence?  Don’t think so.

They descend to investigate and a blizzard engulfs Harlock and Mimay.  Harlock steps out in search of the foe without; Mimay tries to stop him in vain.

Will this end in a deus ex machina?  How else can Harlock win on foot against an enemy able to summon auroras and blizzards to its side?

……….

Love.

It makes sense.  The only way it could end well for the pirate without it being a cop-out plot.  A woman tasked with killing a Harlock clan member who instead ends up falling in love with him…Matsumoto will take this up again in Harlock Saga (Brynhild and Great Harlock).

Psychological undercurrents come to the fore.  Think about it: Mimay knows that Harlock is the coolest, bravest warrior in the universe.  Still, on this occasion she begs him not to face the  danger, telling him the enemy confronting him might be too strong even for the space pirate.  I would suggest that she vaguely understands (scratch that, she clearly knows somehow) that a potential romantic rival awaits the pirate and it’s her jealousy that commands her actions.

And Harlock betrays some weakness here.  His bringing up of the Arcadia and its 40 passengers as a way to threaten the enemy sounds like a man grasping at anything for survival!!  A less heroic figure would have played on the Mazone’s feelings and escaped when he had a chance, but evidently the emotional play eludes Harlock.

The funny thing is that despite this great love theme, Leiji manages to squeeze in a huge deus ex machina after all.  The Mazone loves Harlock and wants to keep him with her.  So Mimay steps in and makes the Mazone melt with the power from…her eyes?!  OK, that’s a silly way to end things.  Hmph.

FASHION NOTE:

Note.  Note the dress the Aurora Mazone wears above.  Leijiverse Fashionistas will recall this same dress or similar ones being worn by other characters.  Who can name some?

ON TO EPISODE 16 where Kei Yuki meets up with an evil ex-boyfriend (named Kazuya) in her past.

This episode is extremely relevant to the issue of CONTINUITY in the Leijiverse.  Remember that the Mazone attacks are meant to take place in the year 2977.  Now, in this episode we learn that Kei Yuki’s father was interested in building the first true space colony in outer space.  He failed and died.  This is important because the universe of Galaxy Express 999 shows dozens of space colonies…and the timeline there is the 23rd century, i.e. over 7 centuries before this!!  So unless Earthlings suffered some sort of massive socio-economic and technological catastrophe in the interim there is simply no way to reconcile the two timelines.

Anyway, the evil ex-boyfriend is working for the other side.  Initially we think the “other” means the Mazone, as Kazuya tries to make Kei reveal just how the Arcadia operated seemingly on its own power to rescue its crew from the Aman Witch in the Sargasso Sea (and this question would probably be asked by the Mazone).  However, later on Earth Forces under Commander Kiruta attack the crew of the Arcadia and Harlock figures it’s Kazuya that leaked the information.  So now we’re thinking Kazuya works for Kiruta.  But a couple of minutes later Kei spies Kazuya talking to his so-called little sister in the other room, and the girl has bluish skin.  So we’re back to the Mazone!

We get a very nice scene once Kei has realized that Kazuya is evil and must die.  She plays a farewell/breakup song on her shamisen, and one can tell that for a split second Kazuya gets it…he knows Kei is on to him and will kill him but he is mesmerized…it’s his destiny…he will atone now.  [CULTURAL NOTE: The Japanese have a thorough appreciation of the aesthetics of breaking up with your lover]

Kei accuses Kazuya of killing her father, and this is a shock.  Nothing in the episode suggests that Kei came by this information now, and so we must speculate that she’s suspected or known all along that he was the culprit.  But she was in denial until now.  The discovery that Kazuya is an agent of both the Mazone AND the Earth government has pushed her to this breakthrough.  And so he dies.  Kei’s last link is broken…and she will perhaps be even more qualified as a space pirate that Captain Harlock himself, whose still involved with Mayu.

~ by Haloed Bane on August 31, 2010.

12 Responses to “SPC Harlock 15-16: Breakups”

  1. episode 16 is one of my favorites. The atmosphere at the end is some of Rintaro/Leiji’s finest work.

    As for timelines, are SPCH and 999 meant to be as strictly related as that? I guess I always assumed that with his old-school sensibilities (even for the time), The Matz was never that concerned about that kinda thing. And even Tomino is well known for liberal use of retcon.

    • Oh, Matsumoto doesn’t ever act as if he cares for continuity of any sort. The problem is that everytime he gets asked about it he claims it all fits together…so fans go insane trying to reconcile the material..

      The end of episode 16 was great, yes. Very aesthetic!

  2. clearly between Space Pirate and 999 they recalculated the rotation of the earth and we gained several centuries. Random mass guessing aside i think the exact year any of these shows takes place in is moot. The only place it all fits together perfectly is in his head and we’re never going to see that theoretical work. You sort of have to take a more Comic book time line approach were some parts of some stories are canon and some are not and just shift everything that is not Queen Millenia 1000 years into the future.

    episode 15 is a good spot to point out until I found the Gun Frontier manga I didn’t think Harlock was allowed to have sex or something. Then again Mimay might kill him if he did, she seems to strike me as being a murderous groupie.

    On where have you seen this dress? Well half the babes have dresses with arrow slits down the front Queen Starsha, Sliviana, The Mazone Queen herself. On the other hand Shadow and Mimay also share the shame dress.

    And the whole end of EPISODE 16 is just beautifully done

    • I’ve brought this up before elsewhere, but I am 100% sure that Harlock and Mimay have more than a platonic relationship. Come on!!!

      I think the dress with the slit is the Leiji equivalent to the power suit?!

      Who is Sliviana?

      • Silvana is this bounty hunter in Cosmo Warrior Zero. Though I realized she has more of a dress with a peep hole in it. The Arrow in general seems to be popular for Leji when you factor in the uniforms form Yamato.

        Shadow looks so similar toe Mimay that I might be transferring some of the clingyness from one to the other.

        • Ah, I’ve still to watch Cosmo Warrior.

          Shadow..you mean the gravekeeper on Pluto in Galaxy Express?

  3. Add Queen Promethium to the fashion show! And Shadow’s is the same fashion, though yes, the same colour as Mimay’s dress.

    Mimay and Aurora’s duel looks fine to me – Mimay absorbs the Mazone’s attack – and she can bear a blow, being the only survival of the nuclear war, flesh-eating plant environment and radiation – and then it a kind of backfires, or maybe she has got some powers she herself does not know about (remember the radiation :)) or maybe all Jurans are like that… no, I prefer the backfiring theory.
    What I don’t understand is this: if that Mazone is so powerful and on top of that can see the future, why not use her talents more effectively (I ask Queen Lafresia)? Or, if all Mazones are like that, why Earth is still there? Or is she another local witch collaborating with the Mazones (she looks like one)? Or was she appointed to that outpost and forgotten there, guarding the place alone, practicing weather-controlling, getting crazy little by little, creating an illusion of the fairytale castle and waiting for the enemy/Prince Charming to come? And Harlock just happened to be that enemy, though at the time the girl firmly believed she had been waiting for him all along?

    • Promethium’s dress in Space Symphony is the first time I saw this fashion, and so I tend to associate every other instance of it with this.

      I totally buy that theory: Mimay must have some sort of genetic resistance to Mazonic power.

      As to the Aurora, I think your last speculation is probably closest to the truth. Again, I think the model here is Sigfried/Brynhild in the Sagas, which Leiji translates into Great Harlock/Brynhild… Enemy = Prince Charming.

  4. Oh, and Ep.16 stands out – it even has a music score and colours of its own. I think it shows how important Key is to the Arcadia.

    I totally agree on the end, oh, that sunrise! (they’ve even found one sea of Earth that has not dried out for the scene)

    Another thing I love about the episode is the theme of loyalty.
    In the middle of the war Kei asks the captain for a leave to sort things out at home and Harlock coldly says that Daiba will take her back to Earth – surely, she is free to do what she wants…
    Then her house gets full of shorties who drop in to say hello, Harlock and Daiba keep vigil in the garden, and Mimay sneaks in through the window to have a little girl-to-girl chat… I admire that “You solve your problems on your own but we’ll watch your back just in case” attitude. Once a crew member of the Arcadia, always a crew member of the Arcadia.

  5. Her music sucked big time D: I was like “Eeeeeeeerrrrgggghhhh…” when I was watching this episode -_-

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