Leiji Matsumoto is going for it.
OK, first thing I have to say is that the CG Harlock film seems pretty much confirmed for a 2013 release date. This means there’s a great chance we’ll have two Matsumoto films that year! I’m giddy with delight.
Now, as to Mahoroba, I’ve written a summary of the 2 volume manga, which actually shows up in the French link above so you can check it out there if you like.
Very briefly, the Mahoroba is a WWII super-battleship (like the Yamato) which survives the war and is fitted with time-traveling technology. The manga is unfinished (my best guesstimate is that to tell the story properly it would have taken 5 to 7 volumes instead of 2) but what we do have is really gripping. The Mahoroba manga is one of the best stories Leiji has ever written. If we’re having a film then it means Leiji’s got a proper ending for it all set up.
But wait, there’s more!
Apparently a Jasdam-class spacecarrier will show up. The Jasdam is from Matsumoto’s Danguard Ace series. And there is a robot called Diguard, which is probably similar to Danguard. In other words we might very well have giant robot elements in this film!!
But wait, that’s not all!!
The biggest jawdropper here is the cast. We have the ship’s captain. And then we have Haruka Kodai (or Yo Kodai, either reading is possible). Yes, a Kodai. As in the Yamato Kodais. [BTW there is a brand of sake called Kodai Yofu so I bet you there’s a pun on that here as well. I believe Leiji likes his sake.]
Next name: Miyuki Mori. OMG. Yamato reference here again!! I swear I’m almost ready to believe that this is all some twisted hoax story but it appears to be 100% legit so…
Next name: Shizuko Hirata. My friends, Shizuko Hirata is the heroine of Drifting Express 000.
Next name: Shiro Yuki. I’m not sure if that’s how you pronounce it, but apparently this is a character in the Great Yamato manga (the magnum opus that Leiji was working on when suddenly the courts took the Yamato rights away from him and returned them to Nishizaki).
Next name: Yo Haguro. Now Haguro shows up in the Mahoroba manga, plus she also shows up in Great Yamato, so she’s linking both things here. I’ve written about this before but I’ll say it again: Yo Haguro is the vehicle, the catalyst, that Leiji devised to link all of his stories together.
And now I tremble as I type the following cast names:
Hagen, Wotan, Brunnhilde.
Yes, Harlock Saga people, Ring of the Nibelungs people. Does this mean Leiji is going to prove true to his word when he said in his last English interview that he would work on an end to that key story?! I think we can be optimistic about it.
Final cast name: Twist Barrel. It took me a while to figure out who this was. It turns out he was on my bookshelf a couple of meters to my right. He is a Metanoid warrior, and he shows up in the last chapter ever released of Galaxy Express 999 (Volume XXI). [Apparently there are more cast members BTW] Do you realize what this all means?
Matsumoto’s doing it. He’s pulling all the threads together. He’s going all out. What we fans have been waiting and hoping for so long is actually happening. This is Xanadu, this is Shangri-la. The Mahoroba ship is the perfect vessel to do this because it travels through time, thus it can bring all the elements into a communion. Put this together with Toei’s CG Harlock project coming out in the same year and words can’t describe it.
Did you know Leiji Matsumoto was born in 1938? He will be 75 years old in 2013. It looks like he’s going to throw us a party. Let’s celebrate.