The Metanoids (Part II of III)

Alas, other Metanoids do their jobs much better than Ruda, and the repercussions of their actions are catastrophic.  When you see Maetel Legend you likely wonder about the identity of Hardgear.  We’re not told anything about his past, really.  We know that he is mechanized, that he is trusted by Queen Promethium of LaMetal, and that he convinces her to mechanize her people in order to survive the eternal winter that has doomed her planet.  He also enjoys getting drunk on the essence of bodies and/or souls, which is distilled into a wine-like substance.

Well, according to what Matsumoto wrote for the 36th card of his Millennium Legend cards [here are the pics of all 40 cards] Hardgear and his cohort Brant are both Metanoids (I don’t think the word “Metanoid” is even mentioned in Maetel Legend, but I could be wrong!).  So the destiny of LaMetal and the creation of the Machine Empire is all due to Metanoid machinations.  Viewing the Maetel stories in isolation, we might conclude Hardgear was just a power-hungry maniac who worked alone, but we can now see he is in fact in the same position as Ruda vis a vis the Afressian Empire…though obviously each of them developed in very different ways.

Cosmo Warrior Zero will dispel any doubts as to the preferred method of conquest for the Metanoids.  We are immediately introduced to an Earth which has lost to mechanized troops from a force called the Cosmic Empire.  The Cosmic Emperor himself is mechanized (i.e. he was human once) but he has an immensely powerful minister of sorts in the person of Helmatia.  And Helmatia is a Metanoid.  Leiji’s comments on Millennium Legend card # 21 points to this, although those who have read the Harlock Saga manga probably remember a “Metanoid Knight” named Helmazaria who happens to look a lot like Helmatia (Helmazaria is Helmatia’s big sister, Leiji tells us).

We have enough clues to reconstruct the prehistory of Cosmo Warrior Zero: Helmatia arrives in a planet called Miraiseria, which is about to be engulfed in flames through a solar catastrophe [thus the exact opposite of LaMetal’s situation!] and convinces a man named Zeth Vorder to mechanize himself.  Zeth then manages to convince the entire world to mechanize and becomes its tyrant, then he sets out to conquer the universe and eventually defeats Earth (with Helmatia by his side the entire time).

Marina Oki, Captain Zero’s love interest, is one of the Miraiserians compelled to mechanize.  What’s amazing here again is how Leiji manages not to mention the word Metanoid even once.  At the end the Cosmic Empire is vanquished and Helmatia leaves, happy that at least she has retrieved some good data on humanity to hand to her superior.

Metanoid Knight Helmatia...

The upshot of all of this is that humanity has plenty of things to be angry with the Metanoids!  And I haven’t even mentioned the most terrible deed of all, and BEWARE BECAUSE A MASSIVE SPOILER WILL FOLLOW FOR THE REST OF THIS PARAGRAPH: in the end of the Harlock Saga manga, a massive Metanoid Phantasma fleet (Phantasma being a name that reappears in the Great Yamato project) threatens the universe, and Great Harlock and Dr. Oyama (Harlock’s and Tochiro’s  dads respectively) meet it head on and destroy it, at the cost of their lives, and while their children look on.  The stakes are high for the heroes of the Leijiverse: the Metanoids ruined Emeraldas’ and Maetel’s mother and killed Harlock’s and Tochiro’s fathers!

As for humanity as a whole, successive waves of invaders (Zeth’s troops and Promethium’s) have been backed by the Metanoids.  According to the Eternal Fantasy film, the Metanoids manage to blow our Sun up and essentially pulverize the Solar System.  Tetsuro embarks on a new journey with Maetel to somehow stop this past from ever happening.

All of this is not to say that the Metanoids are pure evil.  I don’t think such a thing exists in the Leijiverse.  Helmazaria is given a ridiculously attractive and ethically sophisticated persona in Harlock Saga and Eternal Fantasy, and she’s one of the most powerful Metanoids in existence!  But there is definitely a certain purity to the Metanoids, working at the physical and not the moral level: the Metanoids are machines, period.  In other words, they are naturally mechanical, they are the antithesis of organic lifeforms, and thus might be said to be a tougher enemy (because more alien) than all others we’ve met in the Leijiverse. On the other hand, the boundaries of the very definition of “Metanoid” can become a subject of debate. Strictly speaking, Metanoids are a mechanical race with Helium-3 hearts. Any organic life forms that become mechanized are not Metanoid, but Leiji sometimes uses the word to refer to precisely these collaborators.  Oh Leiji!

And then, of course, in true Matsumoto form even the pure Metanoids come in all shapes and sizes. The Metanoid Knights look more like Teutonic Knights than anything. Metanoid foot soldiers don’t exactly look like machines either, but more like ghouls with the ability to melt into a petroleum jelly of sorts [apparently they’re made of liquid metal].  When you catch a glimpse of them manning the fake Deathshadow in Cosmo Warrior, you get a sense that they’re creepy and alien, but not mechanical!

...and her big sister Metanoid Knight Helmazaria.


The Great Yamato project was cut short, and this is a real shame.  There was a 2 volume manga that barely got started and practically got nowhere (certainly not even to the point of introducing Harlock and company, which was almost the whole point), and a music CD.  Still, I want to point out one interesting detail from each of these products.

The second track on the CD is called “DARQUEEN the Queen of Darkness”.  Darqueen is the leader of the Metanoids and the final authority for people like Helmazaria and Helmatia.  She is of course the nemesis of Great Yamato.  The picture for the track is this:

She is drinking the essence of humanity, and according to the description that shows up in Leiji’s manga, the beautiful wine emits human screams as it is drunk.  Hardgear comes to mind.

[to be continued]


I have read from a fan that the Eternal Fantasy manga suggests that the Metanoids were forcibly mechanized by Darqueen at a certain point in their history.  I don’t have access to this manga, but if true this  would clash with everything else I’ve heard about Metanoid origins.  At this point I don’t know of the accuracy and import of this remark so I’ll just point it out here and move on…

~ by Haloed Bane on October 22, 2010.

15 Responses to “The Metanoids (Part II of III)”

  1. Metanoid conspiracy thickens. I haven’t seen the second season of galaxy railways but that might be the only lejiverse show of this era not to have Metanoids play a part in it. In stead we get what might be AU Mazone though it is imply they’ve been forced into doing this by some other force.

    • After reading your comment, I put the Japanese equivalent of “Galaxy Railways Metanoids” on google and searched it. The first site that I got had a fan saying that the reason Galaxy Railways is headquartered in planet Destiny is because Earth had been destroyed by the Metanoids and so the HQ was moved there.

      Having never watched GR, I’m not sure what this all means, but this fan definitely seemed to be speaking with authority.

  2. I’ve never assumed they were ever headquartered on earth. Least with earth being made a hell whole most of the time. I know the idea of the series was to tell the story of the rail lines themselves. I’ve assumed that’s why we don’t see earth.

    this might be post earth set. there is an ova where they run into the 999 gang but it it could be from any time really.

    • What the fan was saying was that the Galaxy Railways show starts after Earth has been destroyed, so you’ll never get to see Earth because it doesn’t exist. Earth’s destruction is shown in the GE 999 Eternal Fantasy film and I’m guessing it’s covered in more detail in the first volume of that manga, which I haven’t had a chance to look at.

      Interesting stuff…

      EDIT: Apparently, volume 21 of the Eternal Fantasy manga is all about planet Destiny and is subtitled “Galaxy Railways”. Tetsuro gets to meet Layla Destiny and Harlock, Tochiro, Yuki Kei etc show up. Sounds like an awesome book!

      • oh this must be him trying to shoe horn in Kei being related to the protagonist of Galaxy railways. Tochiro’s there too, isn’t he the ship still? my head hurts.

        • Mine too! I don’t know what shape Tochiro appears in here. Interestingly, I think it’s the last volume of GE 999 ever to appear…

  3. Sounds like the pin that was to hold the story together was going to be the Yamato with all the players eventually coming together around it. Or maybe it was actually the Galaxy Express 999 the threads all versions, but the Yamato seemed to be the one setup to take on the main threat (the Wave Motion Gun tends to be a final answer to such threats…something the others don’t have…aside from Zero and his battleship..with its dual twin Wave Motion Guns or whatever).

    • My sense of it is that indeed Yamato was going to be the pin. From a nationalist Japanese perspective this is the obvious choice!!

      Anyway, he must have felt awful when the courts ruled against him in 2002. I wonder if he continues the project in secret…

  4. I just watched Eternal Fantasy and was fascinated with Helmazaria.

    Can you tell me more about her?

    • Oh and aren’t you concerned that Leiji might pass away before he finishes the stuff with the metanoids/galaxy express?

    • Going off from memory here, Helmatia and Helmazaria are Metanoid Knights in the service of the Darqueen. From the little that we know Helmazaria is a very chivalrous person, as chivalrous as Harlock or Brunhilde. Her sister Helmatia is a Machiavellian schemer through and through.

      I guess the core Helmazaria material should be in the first 2 volumes of the Eternal Fantasy Arc, which I haven’t seen or read.

  5. Found this while reading the leijiverse timeline

    “Maetel first encounters Machine Knight Helmazaria at this time.
    [HSm Volume 5. Helmazaria’s name is translated as “Hellmotheria” in the Kana
    Press French language edition of the manga. This early meeting explains why
    the two know each other in GE999EF.]”

    Would you happen to know what HSm is?

    • Ah…Forgot to change my name to what I usually post as.

    • Mandel uses small “m” to denote “manga” versions of a story. HS is Harlock Saga. So by HSm, the timeline means the Harlock Saga manga, which is officially known as The Ring of the Nibelung (Niberungu no Yubiwa in Japanese).

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