SPC Harlock 15-16: Breakups
Whoa, how did we get here???
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?
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.
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.