GE 999 Ultimate Journey Stop 4-6 ~ 4-9

G Yamato

Let me first quote from the Wikipedia article for the SSX series, describing the Illumidas race:

“The males are similar in appearance to human males, except they have green skin, and their hair often grows around the top and outer side of their eyes like thick eyebrows. They are identical in appearance to the inhabitants of the Comet Empire of Matsumoto’s Space Battleship Yamato, though no connection is ever stated.”

Well, well, well, well.  Ultimate Journey has an answer.  According to the novel, the reason the Cometines look like Illumidas is because they are.  The Comet Empire was the creation of Zordar, and Zordar was an Illumidas scientist.  By that point, Illumidas was already a great Empire, so you can get a sense of how huge and powerful it really is: the great Comet Empire is but a splinter of Illumidas (it’s not really stated, whether Zordar was acting independently when he built his comet enterprise, but that’s the sense one gets).

OK, I just wanted to get that interesting factoid out of the way.  Last post I left off at the point where Tetsuro met up with Harlock and the Arcadia, and Aurora’s Secret Service (the Starzinger guys) had killed the Machiner assassins sent to take out Tetsuro and Maetel.  Well, Tetsuro hops back on the 999 and they leave Heavy Melder in peace (the Big One’s whereabouts are still totally unknown, though I hope fervently we’ll get at least a chapter section from Sirius’ Platoon’s point of view).

The question then remains: what was Harlock doing on Heavy Melder?  Why did Aurora’s cyborgs see the massive Great Galactic League fleet descending on Melder?  Well, it’s because the leaguers are about to have a meeting…in a saloon..on Heavy Melder.  The set-up is cool, of course, but there’s also a more prosaic reason given as to why the League leadership must meet face to face: the black-hole like singularities popping all over the universe (Metanoid scheming, no doubt) are interfering with communications.  It’s because of these “abysses”, as the leaguers call them, that they are meeting face to face.

We start with four people entering the saloon.  These guys are dressed in military gear, and draw attention because of their blue skin.  Yup, Gamilas.  More precisely, these are members of the Neo-Gamilas Empire, headed by Galson Dessler, the Supreme Leader.  A brief history of Gamilas as it’s laid out here: this empire is 5,000 years old all in all, but it has gone through three stages: Gamilas, Galman-Gamilas and Neo-Gamilas.  Dessler has been supreme leader (this word I’m translating here is the one Japanese use for Fascist leaders such as Hitler, Mussolini and Franco) for a thousand years.  This is, as far as I can tell, the same Dessler we all know and love, not his son or grandson or anything [Yamato experts are specially encouraged to comment on all of this 🙂 ].

With Dessler is his right-hand man Talan.  The first thing they notice is a group of Illumidas in one corner, with the actual Emperor of Illumidas, named Zalfass (my romanization, guys, but I think it looks cool), sitting among them.  Since they are dressed in plain clothes and apparently are not ready to engage in meetings, Dessler decides to ignore them for the moment.  Then he sees a beautiful woman sitting by herself, and he goes to pay his greetings.

Before I get to that, let me say that the way the Illumidas are described here really surprised me.  Basically, Illumidas is said to be the largest and most powerful empire in the universe.  It’s also of a great age, so that the 5,000 year old Gamilas pales by comparison.  That Zordar’s Comet Empire is but a footnote to Illumidas history says it all.

Anyway, the woman sitting by herself has long indigo hair and pale white skin.  Yes, Mazone Queen Lafresia.  Dessler totally hits on her (apparently she is super-ravishing) and she claims surprise at how smoothly he is speaking.  She teases him for having been a feared tyrant during his leadership of the Galman Empire, and his response is that his behavior depends on the person he’s dealing with.  Oh, and we’re briefly told about how Harlock and Lafresia were bitter enemies and that the Mazone queen is as old as Dessler is.

Four more men enter the saloon.  This turns out to be the Solar Federation contingent, all of whom are direct descendants of the Yamato crew of long ago: 1) Susumu Kodai (the kanji for this Susumu is not the same as the kanji for his ancestor, BTW), Supreme Commander [of the Solar Federation, we’re told, but one would expect this to be Supreme Commander of the Solar Federation Fleet, unless this is a militaristic state in which the officers rule, which is very possible!]; 2) Sanada, Inner Fleet Commander; 3) Shima, Outer Fleet Commander; and 4) Aihara, General Chief of Staff.

Description-wise we just get told that although young and cheerful, Kodai already has furrows and wrinkles (from the great responsibility thrust upon him, no doubt, Humans don’t age as well as Mazone or Gamilas I’m afraid).

We get a bit of background on the history of the Solar Federation: just as Earth has managed to explore its Solar System completely, the Gamilas under Dessler show up and almost destroy it.  Iscandar steps in, the crisis is averted (so far the first Yamato series/film).  Earth has to deal with a number of further crises (I guess we would insert the later Yamato stuff in here) but then finally reaches peace and stability.  Earth begins to extend its rule and colonize other planets, and the Solar Federation is born.

Gradually, Earth becomes more and more corrupt, losing their frontier spirit.  Its wealthy inhabitants indulge in all sorts of corruption, in particular lending an ear to the “preaching” coming from the Machine Empire about eternal life through Mechanization.  Earthlings begin to mechanize en masse.  Although nominally still the capital planet of the Solar Federation, the fact is that power shifts to other areas of the federation, whose people all but ignore and abandon Earth as a hopeless case.  When Dessler expresses his sympathy for the destruction of Earth and the Solar System, Kodai tells him that he’s very sad about it, but that at the same time the Solar Federation had in some sense come to think of Earth as dead already.

Dessler decides to start the meeting, even though not everyone has arrived.  The meeting right now includes: Kodai, Sanada, Shima, Aihara, Lafresia, Dessler and Talan.  The Illumidas guys, by the way, remain in their seats and don’t seem interested at all in participating (even though we are told that they are part of the League).

First item on the agenda: Which will be the League Fleet’s flagship?

Apparently the Solar Federation has requested the honor to field that ship.  Dessler tells Kodai he agrees wholeheartedly: there would be no better flagship than Great Yamato and no better man to lead her than Kodai himself.  However, the Solar leaders tell Dessler he’s mistaken: Yes, the Federation wants to field the League Fleet flagship, but it’s not the Yamato they’re thinking of.  The Yamato will be the Solar Federation flagship and as such will do its own independent activity during the battle, so it cannot lead the Fleet overall.

The Solar ship that Kodai and co. want to head the League Fleet is currently in another spacetime on an important mission, but it will be back in time for the epic showdown.  Although the ship is never named (and the mission itself is completely mysterious except that it’s happening over at “Galaxy A” in another spacetime, is this a reference to Andromeda?), we know as well as Dessler and Lafresia do that this ship can only be the Mahoroba.  Sanada remarks that the ship is already a  microcosm  of the Galactic League as such, since its crew includes members from all the G8.  The Mahoroba captain, BTW, is called Kondo (Lightning Takeshi Kondo is probably the full name, as seen in Mahoroba film promotion material).  [This term “G8” is not explained, but let’s start counting the members of this League: 1) Neo-Gamilas, 2) Illumidas, 3) Solar Federation, 4) Mazone.  It’s not clear right now if we should consider the pirates (Harlock, Emeraldas) as # 5.  Anyway, we’re still missing members.]

Anyway, even though it sounds terribly reckless to have a huge fleet be led by a ship that nobody really knows whether it will actually make it in time for battle, the motion is approved.  The Mahoroba will be the fleet flagship, the Yamato will act independently AND on special petition from Dessler, his own ship will operate together with Yamato, to her starboard.

Three more people enter the saloon now: Harlock, Yattaran and Kei Yuki.  Harlock is all about business so the banter gets done quickly.  Everyone wants to know how Harlock assesses the upcoming struggle.

It’s going to be tough, basically.  The most conservative estimates are of the Metanoid fielding a fleet of 200,000 vessels.  Sanada calculates the League can field about 10,000 vessels of their own.  That’s 20 to 1.  Ouch.  Harlock makes it simple: rather than spreading out too thin, the League’s only chance is to concentrate all of its forces and meet the enemy aggressively all together.  [This mirrors Japan’s situation at the beginning of the war, and it was because they forgot that simple principle (to wit, that they were outnumbered and they should either field all of their carriers together each time or refrain from attacking) that they messed up in Coral Sea and then got pulverized at Midway.  But Harlock is smarter than this.]

If this reminds us of World War Two, then what Harlock says next will remind us of Lord of the Rings.  The 999 is on its way to Eternal, he tells everyone, and though Tetsuro doesn’t know it yet, the mission involves much more than just finding a way to bring Earth back from its destruction: Tetsuro and Maetel’s mission, if successful, will be the trump card that will save the universe from Metanoid destruction; and only Maetel and Tetsuro can do whatever it is they have to do.  In other words, Maetel and Tetsuro equal Sam and Frodo, amen.  The League’s mission is thus to fight and hold off the Metanoid advance while the 999 gets to do what it has to do.  That is, the League is Gondor and Rohan and the elves and whatnot.

Harlock asks Lafresia if she’s OK with the current arrangement, which has the Mazone Fleet (and only the Mazone Fleet) hold the rear.  She says they’re already preparing for that, but she has a question for Harlock.  In short, Lafresia questions Maetel’s loyalty.  As we can expect, Harlock defends Maetel in the strongest terms, though he is forced to admit that the Machine Empire (which is still nominally Maetel’s kingdom) has openly sided with the Metanoids.

Kei Yuki says something really cool: she explains that it’s not just a matter of sacrificing everyone in order to get the 999 to do its thing, if the Galactic League is defeated and destroyed, then even if Maetel and Tetsuro find a way vanquish the Metanoids it will all be for nothing.  Dessler agrees.

Talan asks about the 999’s protection.  Aihara explains what we already know, that Layla assigned Big One to escort the train, but because of the abyss communications have been lost.  Everyone agrees that Layla can handle this problem, and that in any case if she needs help she’ll let them know.  [Alas, the narrator tells us at this point that Destiny, Layla’s planet, is having tons of problems communicating because of the abysses, but the Leaguers don’t know this.]

Second item on the agenda: Strategy.

The plan will be to draw the enemy into a crane wing formation (i.e. a U-shaped formation, like a crane’s wings, where fire is concentrated on the enemy coming inside the U.  The Solar Fleet’s job will be to form a vanguard (maybe to lure the Metanoids into the U?), while Neo-Gamilas and Illumidas will form the main components on the two wings of the U.  Each wing will be reinforced by elements from Bolar, Alfress and LaMetal (plus tons of little fleets from smaller powers).  So here we have the remaining members of the G-8: Bolar (from Space Battleship Yamato III, which I’m scrambling to watch now!), Alfress (from the Queen Emeraldas OVA, an empire whose history parallels the Machine Empire’s) and LaMetal (which has been against the Machine Empire to which it gave birth since the events of Space Symphony Maetel).

Since the numerical disadvantage is so overwhelming, the Leaguers discuss plans to bring as much firepower and supply routes as possible.  Neo-Gamilas is bringing Gaidel-class mobile fortresses, the Solar Federation is bringing in the SSX mobile fortress, Bolar is contributing Zesbade-class fortresses, and Galaxy Railways’ Space Panzer Grenadiers will supply their Omega Base.  Sounds impressive.

Lafresia won’t be left behind, not entirely.  She declares that she’s just decided to put some of her Doclus-class fortress ships in the frontline as well.  Then Harlock tells everyone that Emeraldas is currently hiring every mercenary and gun-for-hire in the galaxy she can get in order to contribute to the effort.

All of a sudden, Illumidas Emperor Zalfass leaves his table and joins the meeting.  He’s rather blunt.  First, he says he’s heard everything discussed so far.  Second, he doesn’t have a problem with the flagship coming from the Solar Federation.  Third, he thinks the crane formation idea is rather reckless, since that’s usually employed when one has numerical superiority.  Fourth, if the League insists on this strategy then fine, but he demands that he be given command of the right wing, and he declares he will lead it himself on Castle Balmeda (a Comet-type mobile city fortress thing).

Nobody is about to reject any of Zalfass’ conditions, but they’re all stunned at how personally he’s taking the battle.  Zalfass says he doesn’t want what happened to Earth happening to his own country, then apologizes for being so direct.  Since he’s kind of ignored Dessler all the while (there’s no love lost between them), the Gamilas makes fun of him, saying that he’s tempted to keep Neo-Gamilas’ forces in reserve and let the Illumidas selflessly battle alone against the Metanoids.  Zalfass smiles and hints that once this fight is over, Illumidas and Neo-Gamilas will have a reckoning, but for now, he wishes Dessler a happy life.

Zalfass leaves and the meeting comes to an end.  Gradually everyone streams out.  The bartender comments to Harlock that the Deathshadow wreckage seems to be gone, and the pirate explains that his friend’s son (i.e. Tochiro’s son) has inherited and taken the ship.  Yattaran and Kei leave the Captain alone, as he says he wants to drink a little by himself.

Kodai and co. head back and meet up with the rest of the crew.  I’m not going to name everyone but pretty much all the people you know, or rather, their descendants, are there.  This includes Kodai’s wife Yuki. Yamamoto, etc.  Even Analyzer is there, though I’m not sure if this is original Analyzer or a robot of the same type.  Crew member Kitano reports on a new type battleship called Nemesis that’s apparently tons better than the Androjunos types they’ve been using of late.  Pretty much everyone is ready, except for one person: Takuma Ichimonji.

Admiral Takuma Ichimonji (we can imagine he must be a descendant of the hero of Danguard Ace) has finally been able to mass-produce Demigods (transforming robots, known as Satellizers in their original form) but one of them had a malfunction and Ichimonji has gone to Dai Technologia to repair it with the engineers there.  Kodai is upset but not surprised: it’s just like Ichimonji to forget his rank like that and go tinker with the robot when he should be elsewhere.  Apparently one concern regarding the Satellizer/Demigod technology is that very few people are able to pilot the things: Yamamoto from Great Yamato, Ichimonji himself of course, and maybe a few people on the Mahoroba.

Stop Five will be next.

~ by Haloed Bane on February 7, 2013.

30 Responses to “GE 999 Ultimate Journey Stop 4-6 ~ 4-9”

  1. That is a lot of combined backstory. As for Dessler, it could be him. He’d been said to have been ruling the Empire 103 years in 2199 when Yamato launched. In the Final Yamato timeline version he is still alive by the end. In Tim Eldred’s Rebirth comic, Dessler (nor Talan for that matter) doesn’t seem to have aged in the 20 or so years since Final Yamato, though all the humans have.

    The Comet Empire angle is interesting. The new Yamato 2199 series even has a short two minute battle between Gamilas forces under Dommell and elements of the Comet Empire somewhere in the Small Magellenic Cloud (start of episode 11).

    • Cool, yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s original Dessler. At first, the name Garson threw me off (I thought maybe it was a nod to French for “boy”) but there is absolutely no reference to any other Desslers so it must be him. I don’t think Dessler’s first name has ever been revealed, has it??

      And Lafresia is the same one (there’s a palpable tenseness when she talks with Harlock LOL).

      So, is 2199 still doing well? I haven’t been watching but I see a lot of pics of new ladies in it, or something, definitely updating the fanservice angle. I might wait for everything to finish before watching it.

      Good to show Comet fighting Gamilas, though. Flesh out the world background more, it’s definitely one of the things that remakes can make. It’s just like the trailer for the new Harlock film actually mentioning Nibelung technology.

      While we’re at it, I discovered today the “new” starblazers site. Such a pity they shut down the old one. What concerns me is that I cannot find the episode reviews that were on the old site. Do you know anything about this?

      • it’s the same Desslar if Talon is with him. The Starblazers webcomics have convinced me they are Heterosexual Life Partners. I could have sworn I read somwhere that Desslar was already 100 in the first Yamato series.

        Oh Tim Eldred hasn’t had time to move everything over to the new site so for now it’s just the updates he had planned before japan started being dicks. He posted a link the wayback machine that had it on the new facebook community for the site. If i can get the webcomic on it you should be able to get the episode recaps.

        • I swear when I heard Dessler and Talan were hanging out on Heavy Melder I thought: OMG blue-skinned bromance. Bluemance?!

          I kinda reckoned the original starblazers closed because an American company had given up on it, not Japan. Oh brother. Anyway, that was a truly amazing site and I’m glad to hear the data will reappear on the new one (I used your link and found the season iii commentaries, awesome!). The commentary there (both on episodes and on the history behind production of the show etc) is really spectacular.

      • Ourstarblazers.com has some of it and will eventually get the rest of it up again.
        Yamato 2199 is going well. It will be on TV (in Japan) starting this April and should finish both on TV and in theaters by October.
        The orignal run of Yamato never gave Desslar or any other Gamilas first names. Yamato 2199 has given all of them full names. Dessler’s first name in ther is Abelt. And there are now officially two Talans (brothers). One is the thin one from the frst series and Farewell Yamato films (thin with a thin mustache) named Velte Talan, while the younger one is the slightly stockier build with the bushy mustache we see from Yamato II onwards, named Ghader Taln.

        All can be found on the Ourstarblazers character page: http://www.ourstarblazers.com/696_2199charaguide/index.html

        • Oooh, I almost feel like I’m witnessing an ecclesiastical split. One sect believes the blue god is called Abelt. The other sect believes the god is called Garson. Who is right? Who is right? Hopefully no one will go on crusades to settle this!

          Hold on, that Wolf guy, that’s a Gamilon Harlock!! Even the fraken (excuse me, freaking) name is Germanish-sounding~

          • Frakken was in Yamato III originally. He looks more the part it then because he was a higher ranking officer with a cape in that series. All the Gamilas have Germanish sounding names (more so now with the even more Nazi-ish era naming convention).

  2. So this is the story where all the main leijiverse stories meet?
    If so, poor earth…
    I half expect a Hitchhiker’s Guide reference to show up in the Leijiverse eventually.

    • Earth has been destroyed, so that pretty much proves your point, totally 😀

    • I was writing a review of the 999 movie one time and I totally compare the ways all the different versions of H2G2 don’t line up to the Leijivierse. It lined up nicely with my Doctor Who analogy as Adams created H2G2 and worked on Who.

    • “Of course, he only had the one head and two arms and called himself “Harlock”…” ;-P

      What? What? Zaphod even had an eyepatch and scar as played by Mark Wing-Davey… 😉

      H

  3. quote:Admiral Takuma Ichimonji (we can imagine he must be a descendant of the hero of Danguard Ace)

    Hmmm… possibly not – the manga isn’t dated iirc, neither was the robot ever used during it, so it could be manga-Takuma. The anime is only fixed as late 70’s by one episode showing Professor Oedo fighting in WWII… it’s not a story-critical episode so you could concievably overlook it… no reason not to make the story fairly contemporary with current events!

    quote: it’s just like Ichimonji to forget his rank like that and go tinker with the robot when he should be elsewhere.

    LOL – Ichimonji Takuma – the only Matsumoto hothead who can screw up so badly he makes Daiba look halfway competant? The anime version had SERIOUS concentration issues! Nice to see some things never change! seriously though – Admiral?

    …wonder if the amphibians from SS99 will make an appearance? They left Earth a long time before this but presumably made their home out in the universe somewhere… and what DID happen to LaMetal’s greatest hero, Hannibal…? Or Zero and the Karyu??

    H (signing in from impossibly tiny netbook keyboard so excuse typing!)

    • That actually makes sense. It seemed like a huge time stretch for a faraway descendant to be tinkering with the mass production of something his ancestor already had…..

      Re: Admiral, all of these guys have amazing posts. The entire Yamato crew are ministers of state and stuff, but they all leave their posts to join the final battle.

      We’ll see who else surfaces from the old stories…We’ll see..

      • Either this is extreme genetic memory or whatever that makes everyone’s great-grandchildren look just like them, or the Solar Federation started a cloning program after all the times the Earth’s population (and those of various colonies) have been nearly wiped out. Especialy to populate the seemingly thousands of colonies the humans inhabited before the mass withdrawl prior to the Mazone attacks (also mentioned in the upcoming Harlock cgi film about the humans heading home after the colonial rush). Though it seems the current Solar Federation is seperate from Earth, as Earth is considered a “dead world” even before it was destroyed. Even in the first Harlock series Earth was considered to be a declining world (almost not worth saving from the Mazone), and by Endless Odyssey it was a place for old people to go and die.

        • In UJ it’s definitely genetic memory. I mean, the characters actually talk about it. Sado-sensei tells Analyzer of how moved he is at all the Yamato people getting back together, because he remembers what his ancestors experienced etc. (he actually uses the term “genetic memory”). It is not specified if this is a general phenomenon or only Yamato people possess it.

          In this novel, it’s stated that Earth remains the nominal leader of the Solar Federation until its destruction, but that no one really listens to it (and obviously the feeling is mutual, Earth is degenerate it doesn’t care what the rest of the Federation is up to).

          • The idea of genetic memory has been in his work since at least Miraizer Ban – where it works forward as well as backwards in time – even seen in DNA Sights 999.9 iirc, and in the manga version of Queen Millennia. ISTR in “Gotterdamerung” when Harlock and Tochiro take the dagger their fathers left on Earth the online English version had them comment they could feel themselves becoming their fathers… (I’m sure this came up in other comments a while back, so I’llshut up now…)

            Maybe Leiji-san read “Dune” way back when…? (He did do a lot of reading of western SF back in the early 70’s, judging by the illustration work he did [1]- which coincidentally included some Michael Moorcock – a major user of multiverses and the idea of characters eternally reincarnating and repeating lives… 😉 )

            [1] I have some of these – unlike some illustrators in the UK/US it’s pretty obvious he had to have read the works to produce the scenes he did!

            • I see~ This is a good article to see just how much the two men resemble each other:

              http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Creator/MichaelMoorcock?from=Main.MichaelMoorcock

              Mind you, Matsumoto literally believes in genetic memory as an actual real-life phenomenon. Does Moorcock?

              (on covers: I wish one could judge a fantasy book by its cover. I was at the bookstore the other day and some books had the loveliest covers, but when I’d open them and leaf through: OMG).

              • Try living in the UK – generic blank sigils on fantasy novels now the norm to make them appeal to mainstreamers…- I had to pay extra for the US edition of the last Robert Jordans to keep getting my Darryl K Sweet artwork (the last one by Michael Whelan as Sweet died a year or so back) to match my older h/c editions! Don’t even get me started on the marketing idiot who went with a bland stripey cover for the 8th Julian May Pliocene/Milieu novel after all the others had kick-ass Stephen Bradbury artwork!

                I’ve seen the cover issue cut both ways… Absolutely adored the (original Michael Whelan…) cover for “Black Sun Rising” by CS Friedman when I first saw it in paperback (dear gods… was it really about 20 years ago?! Yikes…) Bought the damn thing, double dipped on the hardcover it was so bloody amazing, and a totally kickass trilogy followed that deserves far more recognition than it gets. Book 2 was a bit meh coverwise, but Whelan totally nailed it again for “Crown of Shadows”… (If I’d want anyone other than Leiji san to paint Harlock, it’d be Michael Whelan… in fact, if I ever do win the lottery my first act will be to beg permission from Leiji-san, my second to beg Mr Whelan to take the commission… 😉 )

                On the other side, the original DAW cover to W Michael Gear’s “Requiem for the Conqueror” not only sports some of the WORST ever cover blurb in SF history, it also (along with it’s sequels) has some of the least inpsiring cover art. But It was from my favourite publisher, looked decidely chunky, so I picked it up and read the prologue. Almost got friction burns running to the checkout to buy it, and damn me if I still don’t regard it as one of the best SF novels/series of all time. (Also equally under-rated is his “Spider” trilogy, and Mike Gear’s departure from SF to pre-Columbian historicals is much lamented in this house!)

                Of course, I’m old enough to remember the Chris Foss covers to the Asimov “Robot” books… and bloody Geoff Taylor generic characters-in-distance-scenery on every sodding fantasy novel that came out in the late 80’s-early 90’s…. {shudders} meh. But strangely, still an improvement over the current trend to avoid looking like SF or Fantasy…

                • Hmmm, I guess you’re the person to go to for recommendations on this kind of book. But good luck getting Leiji to give his approval, he’s not very much into that of late I don’t think..

  4. Took me a few days to realize because of Leader Dessler showing up but Tochiro has a son!

    • Yeah, IIRC he features rather prominently in the 21st volume of GE 999. He’s a friend of Manabu Yuki’s.

      • … also masquerades as Manabu for a time, before his real identity is revealed… I wondered given the friendship, and this new revelation that Shota has taken the Deathshadow whether we’ve seen the “next generation” – Shota/(given the nickname “Tochiro” in the GTM manga) and Manabu becoming the next Harlock/Tochiro pairing? – if you can read anything other than lazy character designing into the fact that both Mamoru and Manabu Yuuki in the manga look exactly like Little Harlock from Nibelung no Yubiwa, and a relationship chart a few years ago in a GE999 guide that showed a “blood connection” between Harlock and Kei… [arches eyebrow] ‘coz if Tochiro was old enough to father a by-blow sure as hell Harlock is! 😉 And it would go a long way to explaining why in the manga a 16 year old girl is allowed not only to serve on the Arcadia but gets away with sassing off her captain a time or two! ;P Fathers are always more indulgent (and protective) of daughters! (I mean – if she’s the daughter of a respected Space force pilot, as is mentioned, and IIRC Harlock’s response to her is just as easily read as non-commital as it is confirming this… what the hell is she doing on board a pirate ship? – and why the *daughter*, not the boys?? There’s a piece of the puzzle missing in the GTM chapters, IMHO….)

        It wouldn’t be the first time a Matsumoto character has taken on a mentoring role without revealing his blood ties to a youngster, if Harlock is Kei’s father (or otherwise related) – Okita in the original Yamato storyline (and first tie-in novel) before executive meddling set in, was Mamoru Kodai’s/”Harlock”‘s father (oddly, I don’t recall if the novel mentioned if Susumu was also his…) ; Ichimonji Dantetsu never revealed his identity to Takuma in Danguard Ace until he was dying (and frankly, that wasn’t exactly by choice in either the anime or the manga!) , the un-named Captain of the “OZ” company in the 60’s Ozma manga was the protagonist’s older brother, etc…

        On the other paw, it wouldn’t be the first time a Harlock’s passed on the mantle (ooh… pun…) to an unrelated character (Great Pirate Harlock manga) nor is it uncommon in Japanese culture anyway! (Hmmm… adopted offspring issues causing a major “oops” at the end of Great Mazinger, IIRC… Tetsuya hangs Kouji out to dry out of massive insecurity/jealousy of Kenzo’s real son and the fallout is pretty devastating for both boys…)

        THere’s another manga that I think needs bringing into any debate, AK – Histories of Drifting in the Infinite Ocean… bit out of my reading range last time I picked it up, but looking through it, it did seem to be a potted history of the Tochiro look-alikes and possibly even of “our” Tochiro… I really need to bite the bullet and read the damn thing!

        • Call me slow today but I can’t figure out what GTM stands for. Help me out.

          Hmmmm….I don’t know that I Iike the notion of Harlock and Kei Yuki being related. Then they can never find true love together!!

          My own theory is that Kei Yuki and Maetel are related. Did you know about this one? the original Miraizer Ban marries a Kei Yuki and all of the Miraizers are descended from them. And so if Arcadia’s Kei Yuki is one of these descendants, and the mysterious Dr. Ban (Maetel’s father) is another, then all of these people are descended.

          Ultimately, though, Matsumoto is into these relationships so much that the safest bet in the Leijiverse is to assume everyone is related to everyone..pretty much.

          Could you tell me the Japanese title of that last Tochiro manga you mentioned?

          • Ginga Tetsudo Monogatari…

            Grrr… It’s “Sea” not ocean (official English title on covers) the perils of writing away from bookcase.. ISBN 4091891829 and 4091891810 should get you there on Amazon jp… No furigana so not even going to attempt a transliteration in public! 😉 This last also why it’s been waaay down the Matsumoto reading list! Plus I got sidetracked as I’m alternating between the SSX tie in novels, Space Adventure Cobra (suprisingly easy to read un-furigana’d, which surprised me!) and the Area 88 manga.

            I’m something of a Kei-Harlock shipper meself, so I’m seriously hoping I’m wrong! After 30 years I reckon it’s about time someone locked the pair of em in the armoury until he gets the idea… ;P (stationary cupboards being few and far between on battleships!) A much better life-partner than that drippy wet hen he got saddled with in WSNA! (A woman who’s terrified by the sight of you and leaves you seriously wounded and unconcious in enemy territory… or a kick ass, loyal, feisty lass who’ll fight side by side and cover your back but won’t take any sh*t from you…??) Sadly she’s back to teens in the manga, and we’ve already had Maetel tell Harlock that the love of his life will be Maya. (One of the GE999 PC games has a scene where *our* Kei gets knocked off her feet by a (presumably) time-hopping Ban, in the Arcadia’s corridors, and blushing. Hopefully this was just a cute shout out by the developers and NOT the shape of things to come!)

            OTOH maybe Kei’s got more sense than to hook up with a manic-depressive dipsomaniac with serious suicidal tendencies and p*ss poor interpersonal skills? 😉 Oh wait… that’s just Rin Taro’s version…!

            • Ah, GR, huh. And by WSNA you mean AOMY, correct?

              This Histories manga, it’s the first I ever heard of it!! But it’s so intriguing…. I’ll definitely read it some day.

              Hmmm…Rin Taro Harley (can I call him Harley?) is definitely more depressed than original Harley.. It’ll be interesting to see if there’s any love interest/s in the upcoming film. They keep saying they’re taking their cues from Hollywood in the production, will they also follow Hollywood in setting up some romance for our protagonist?? Would be interested…

  5. I know Earth sucks but it’s just damn depressing to hear a Kodai state he’s long written off earth. I don’t like this one, his ancestor wouldn’t have let it happen in the first place. I like the doormat they’re calling Kodai on 2199 more than this guy.

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