SPC Harlock 33-35: Welcome to the Outlaws’ Club, Kiruta
Well, the ocarina is an amazing tracking device, as the Arcadia is able to follow Mayu and her captors wherever they go. Queen Lafresia is annoyed that the Arcadia seems to be tracking them, but she’s not too annoyed as she reasons (quite correctly in my view) that she can afford to play this game for some time while her Advanced Force breaks through our Solar System and begins to ravage Earth’s satellites and transport vessels.
Kiruta continues to be frustrated by the Prime Minister, who’s vaguely scared that the commander might stage a coup d’etat [ha! I mentioned this military option earlier!]. Kiruta runs into a man called Otawara who used to be commander before him and was dismissed after he shot his wife and claimed she was a Mazone. Oops, turns out Otawara was right…AND Dr. Daiba AND Harlock. I like how Kiruta so readily admits this.
Otawara was also Masu the cook’s old flame, and their relationship ended because of a misunderstanding. Having heard from Kiruta that the Mazone are in the Solar System, Otawara takes off to face them all one. He gets to talk to Masu one last time and is annihilated by the Advanced Force. It’s a nice episode, but we’re still nowhere near Mayu!
We’re supposed to expect some sort of finality here because the Arcadia is headed for the last of 7 planets in the Ulysses Nebula. I’m going to go ahead and speculate that Harlock and Yattaran have some sort of super-thorough surveillance system that they set on each planet they go to so that they can depart in the full confidence that were Mayu to be brought there they would instantly know about it. Because otherwise the whole business is absolutely pointless. Maybe it’s some giant robotic ocarina thingy, and maybe it comes in the 7 colors of the rainbow!!
Logic indicates that a Twin Planet will be under the management of Twin Sisters. Logic also indicates that the Twin Sisters will execute the twin strategy. Finally, logic would have it that the twin strategy should consist of two phases. But the strategy here has three instead of two. There, in a nutshell, is the reason this attack failed. If the Twin Sisters had launched both the meteorites (phase 2) and their battleships (phase 3) at the same time, as it was logical to do, they would have blown the Arcadia to smithereens. Alas.
Later the Twin Sisters get desperate and tack on a suicidal phase 4. [I have yet to see a drama in which the self-destruct button does injury to anyone but the said “self”] Harlock rescues Mayu and the two planets crash into each other and explode. Planetary collisions are a classic Leiji trope but here it’s all spiced up with close-ups of the sisters’ disintegrating outfits. Which brings up the question: why are the Twin Sisters portrayed so…ahem…loosely?! I don’t have the answer, except to comment that we’ve seen all kinds of Mazone come and go: the higher up the hierarchy the more idiosyncratic they become. But we hadn’t seen trashy Mazone yet, so now we’ve got two. It just shows us more variety.
I was blown away by Mayu’s mental state, and the scene where Harlock tried to handle the situation was divine. It stands to reason that singing would work…it really does! Now let’s hope she stops playing that ocarina for a while.
The Mazone have more tricks up their sleeves. They try to persuade Commander Kiruta to switch sides, and when he refuses, they use an edited version of his encounter with a Mazone agent as “proof” to the Prime Minister that he is for the aliens and is preparing a coup. Lo and behold, the woman behind all this plot is the P.M.’s Private Secretary Miss Namino herself!
So the Earth courts sentence Kiruta to death. Before the execution can be carried out, though, Namino breaks Kiruta out of prison and delivers him to safety. She claims she’s been working for the Mazone but she hates them and she wants Kiruta to lead the fight against them. Then she cries and says she will turn herself in blah blah Kiruta ends up communicating with Harlock and persuading him to take Namino aboard the Arcadia.
Now, the twisted thing about all of this is that early on in the episode Namino uses a Mazone scanning gun on herself and the result is “Not Mazone”. Once on the Arcadia, she is scanned by Daiba with the same kind of tool and the result is exactly the same. So we are very much given to understand that Namino is a Mazone through and through and that this has been an elaborate Machiavellian ploy to gain access to the Arcadia. Wow. 16th century Italians eat your heart out: this is scheming to the max!
ABOUT THE OCARINA
Yes, it’s getting to be too much.