Harlock Film: International Distribution + Matsumoto’s Comment

As you can see in the pic, the original Space Pirate Captain Harlock will begin airing next week in Japan (Toei channel).  The countdown is on!!  Anyway, both of the news items below are weeks old, but I hadn’t heard of them so I present them to you.


International Distribution

The official film website says there’s a mad scramble for distribution rights in “every country.”  Well, the official figure being bandied about is 76.  That’s right.  76.  There are apparently 76 countries where companies have asked Toei for the distribution rights.

76!  That’s tons.  I imagine in many countries there’s only one company trying to get the rights, in some there might be two or more.  Mind you, the Japanese sites literally say “76 countries and regions.”  This “and regions” bit strikes me as a euphemism for Taiwan, though there’s also the possibility that, say, a Québecois company might be trying to get the rights for that province as opposed to the rest of Canada.

And of course, “distribution” can mean lots of things.  How many of these companies are actually proposing to place the film in theaters as opposed to just producing DVDs or something?  I’m amazed that we’ve only heard about Italy so far in this regard.  Was there some sort of worldwide gag order that the Italians broke??  Europeans, tell me: is Italy on the gossipy side??

Leiji’s Comment

Several Japanese sites have Leiji saying this about the project: “The quality of this film is amazing.  I’m so happy I could cry.  I wish to thank the production staff.”

Now, if you know Mr. Matsumoto, you know he’s not the type that lets people make up quotes for, and you also know he’s not going to lie his butt off just so this project gets more money.  So I’d say this quote is legit and it expresses how he feels pretty much.  Which brings me back again to the people who are extremely pessimistic about the film on the grounds that the crew is messing the original content up.  The only way you can hold on to that idea is if you believe that Matsumoto has simply lost it, in other words, that he’s either senile or he no longer cares or both.  People are entitled to that belief, of course.

~ by Haloed Bane on June 30, 2013.

58 Responses to “Harlock Film: International Distribution + Matsumoto’s Comment”

  1. 76 countries? I knew that trend to open to the west is steadily getting stronger and that this movie aimed for international relase. But this is really impressive and gives rather strong chance that this include my country (Poland).

  2. Given that he publicly disowned Endless Odyssey (and apparently Danguard Ace back in the day…), as well as famously getting into it with Rin Taro over his characterisation of Harlock in the 78 series, I’d say that the quote is great news! (OTOH this IS the guy who thinks Nibelung no Yubiwa was a great idea…)

    Good news about the distribution frenzy… hopefully we might start getting some dates soon!!

    • Nibelung no Yubiwa was a great idea!!!

      I want distribution dates asap (transportation expenses get higher the closer to the date you get, so I need to know if I’ll have to go somewhere kinda far..)

  3. Disoteck has stated their release of the original anime as aug 27.

    • …. this would have been great news 12 years ago – before I spent 3 years in night school Japanese classes and a small fortune on the RAW dvd sets…!! 😉

      Hopefully the widely disseminated Cornpone subs on the fansub downloads won’t have dented the market too much… it’s probably true that most people wanting a sub probably have one…

      • I only got into Harlock a few years ago I thought we didn’t talk about the Cornpone subs. I watched when Toei put their streams up everywhere. I sort of fear what the price point from Discotek is going to be.

        • I think I learned some of my (now stock!) Japanese to English phrasing from those subs…especially as they pertain to Harlock-related works! it has a couple of errors, but the english flows well, is elegant at times and can be *beautifully* structured…

          I’ve seen professional subs that make me want to smash the tv in frustration at some banal or downright idiotic translation choices…! (Endless Odyssey, I’m looking at you…)

          Why no talking?

          • I didn’t mean to imply they were bad subs just from what i understand you’re not supposed to ask the about availability of them. I’ve read the long rant about how tape trading became a pain in the butt for them. Also their war with computers in editing their Ozone Commandos film.

            • I was just waxing lyrical… those subs (in a particularly poor NTSC to PAL transefer of an nth generation copy VHS so poor the colours were blurred and almost made your eyes bleed!) were the reason I fell in love with Harlock and his world(s), thanks to a friend in Alabama! I remember mainlining the series over 7 nights, I was so taken with it!! Couldn’t stop watching!

              I think the rant you refer to was well out of date 5 years ago! They’ve not distributed anything in years, and ISTR the fansub group that finished off the DVD transfer cut a deal to use their scripts.

  4. 76 countries? I hope that this is true and the chance of actually catching this in a cinema is not a fantasy.

    • Yup, but again let me be clear: “distribution” in 76 countries. I don’t know how many countries does this translate into for actual theater showings. Hope it’s lots. I can think of several cities they could show the film and get a good number of people going to see it, including Moscow, Montreal and Mexico City just to name three starting with M 🙂

      • I think that i most cases it means theater showings. Only DVD/BRs would probably only attract anime fans so it wouldn’t probably pay off. On the other hand showing it in cinemas and aiming also for non-anime viewers is something that fit the kind of campaign we’ve seen so far (Cameron etc.).

        • We’ll have to see what that company in England pulls. Toei is going to want in theaters because it’s going to make them look good.

  5. I’d like to be able to see these. I wonder where I can find them online.

  6. This looks interesting http://www.grandpacific.jp/lp/harlock/

    • No kidding. For those who want to pair up the Harlock film with a nice, romantic evening~

      • Oh is this one of those them Rooms in hotels. I remember Michael Sinterniklaas talking about his stay in a Gundam themed one once.

        I’m distracted by how transparent Mime’s dress is on the bottom also Goggle translate on chrome has made some of the text amusing Engrish.

        “Or incarnation of destruction, or the savior of the last
        Wide area wanted Han Space Pirate Captain ha – lock. Flutter rebelled against the government by the hero during World War II,
        enemy of the entire universe. Ha fell from government – young mountain received a lock assassination instruction
        to guise infiltrate the crew to pirate ship Arcadia but, ha – it approaches the lock, identity, of Arcadia and his purpose
        was hidden in the earth and You will know the truth.
        End of era, battle bet the future of the human race begins now.”

        • The main text that you quote there is exactly the same thing I translated earlier. You can see how woeful Google is for Jp translation still (it’ll get there eventually, though, I’m sure. Spanish used to be awful and it’s pretty darn amazing these days).

          The hotel is a fancy one. The main sideways caption reads: “If you want to change the world, stay on this ship.” Stay, get it? As in, stay for a night. Fair enough.

          But then another caption, about the person sitting in the room, reads:

          “If you’re a man, there are times you must fight,”
          you say to yourself, as you gulp down your drink.

          That one’s getting into kinky territory.

          P.S. I’m glad to see our first full body shot of Yattaran.

          • Love the pic on the main page: http://www.grandpacific.jp/lp/harlock/

            It’s a fantastic shot (don’t think of it as being outnumbered… think of it as having a REAL big target selection!)

            Amusingly, it’s even more obvious from behind that the crew presumably had to borrow a few things from the captain’s wardrobe to fit the new guy! Pity the lettering covers his ar… Ahem. But that is SO based on Young Harlock’s blue coveralls (and there are a few colour pics of Matsumoto’s Harlock in blue/blue-grey…) I love the little visual cues and call-backs!

            • Hmm, one would think more of the ships would have their noses turned toward the Arcadia… Maybe Harlock’s got a cloaking device!!

              • …explains why he’s holding that nonchalant “do I look worried?” pose!!

                • The Arcadia/Deathshadow has been oddly stealthy in most forms of media. I’m reminded of the one episode of Cosmo Warrior Zero were the towns people don’t notice the ship till it casts a shadow on them.

                  • Which is probably played for Rule of Funny, given that it’s a plot point in the manga when the Arcadia’s engines are a)distinctive and b) loud enough to be heard from far enough away to enable someone to make a getaway to the spaceport to avoid Harlock!!

                    • It’s more deus ex machina, The Arcadia is very good at appearing out of nowhere to blast something. It really has to have stealth tech how the heck did it get inside of Planet Meatel’s defense net to fire directly on the planet. Or show up out of the blue in the only clip form DNA Sights 999.9 I’ve seen. It’s always large explosion from canon fire or front of ship plows into something out of nowhere.

  7. [quote]It’s more deus ex machina, The Arcadia is very good at appearing out of nowhere [quote]

    IIRC in the Nibelung no Yubiwa manga I belive it’s hand-waved as the warp drive… ditto DNA Sights (where I believe it’s Tochiro who makes an appearence from the ship to chat to the youngsters in the manga, not Harlock – but don’t quote me on that til I get home and check!!) But in most of the 70’s manga it’s always accompanied by VERY large sound effects, and it’s mentioned more than once that the engine sound is unique! (C’mon… who doesn’t love the Arcaida’s iconic roar in the series?!)

    Could also be just hiding in hyperspace a la the Gamilus attack in Yamato…!

    Not sure it’s going to be that stealthy in the film – not with those exhaust emissions! 😉 a big black cloud isn’t that inconspicuous! (side effect of the Nibelung dark matter engine mentioned in the trailers?) Sheesh, it’s a sure MOT failure!!

    Speculation aside, been a while since I bothered with the films (they annoy the hell out of me!) but I always got the impression that Harlock just blows the sh*t out of anything that gets in his way – “stealthy” isn’t one of his defining traits, and it sure as HELL isn’t one of Tochiro’s!! 😉

    In fact the only incident I can remember Harlock ever pulling a sneaky is in the GE999 manga and series – travelling to Heavy Melder aboard the 999 incognito to deal with his Mechanoid imposter, only to back off when he realises Maetel’s going to clean up her own mess after all…! (Lazy-assed slacker then spends the rest of a 3-parter slumming it in the bar… not to put too fine a point on it, given that the Arcadia’s hiding in the desert, why he doesn’t just blast the living hell out of the the time-castle is anyone’s guess!!)

    • I’ve always wondered if the imposter was Meatel’s ex or something.

      • I think he was a former companion who’d betrayed them – perhaps another young boy she’d travelled with? It plays out slightly different in the manga…

        What I was never clear on was if Le Ryuzu’s inital encounter was with the real Harlock (sitting in the bar listening to her singing) or it was always the imposter…! That, and how the hell he knew enough about Harlock to pull off the imposture (though it’s not the last time we see Harlock being framed for someone else’s excesses!! -though technically those times are set *before* this… oh, my head hurts…!)

        There’s a “noodle incident” here of epic proportions…!

        • I really wish some one would translate the manga. Or at least scanlate the important parts.

          • Started it for myself once, but just didn’t have the time! It’s not the translation, it’s all the fiddling around in photoshop!

            • Which reminds me, I think I still have a few chapters of Gun Frontier which I translated but the rabbits never got around to setting up and posting. And Acony chapters too…

  8. BTW – Tokinowa has a link to the Italian trailer – recycles footage we’ve seen before but some of it from different trailers, and not all previously in as good quality as this, so some nice scenes in there in this “cut”. Sadly some idiot put the Italian theme from the TV series over it – I managed 5 seconds before hitting mute, and STILL ended up being earwormed by the annoyingly peppy 70’s kiddie theme song!! … Don’t say I didn’t warn you!! 😉

    • I saw it, but totally assumed it was a fan composition. Is it an official video??

  9. After re-watching on a bigger screen – I’d say that’s more than likely – quality isn’t consistent, and I spot scenes from the pulled trailer!

  10. The casting is online at last!! As I suspected, Toshiyuki Morikawa plays “Ezra”… (thought the voice was familiar!) Harlock vs Zero again, anyone? 😉 Nice to hear at least one familiar voice!!

    • Cool. I love the way they set up the page, very simple and straightforward, and classy just the same. I love to see the age range too, 1929 to 1990, wow! Meanwhile, I still can’t believe we don’t have more info on theater dates outside of Japan..

      • GFM’s website is still woefully bare!

        Was wondering if “Isora” was another meaningful name – yep – the shinto god of the seashore… and doesn’t “Nami” mean “wave”?? (or tears…)

        … character profiles next please!!

        BTW – CD Japan now have a cover for the novel tie-in! http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=NEOBK-1516918

        • And the price for the novel was reduced, at least in CDJapan. It’s nice they adjust the price for those of us who preordered it millions of years ago~

  11. New Trailer – hopefully someone knows how to grab this before it vanishes, because my setup doesn’t seem to!!


    Oh – it’s the 1st 12 minutes of the film!!

    • Ooops… wrong copy/paste!!


      • Ach, I can’t save it either!!

      • Key question: is this more or less following the script presented by gfm??

        • Pretty close! A couple of scene changes but no way of knowing if that’s edited for the teaser or the script changed since! Dialogue seems close – scene descriptions however do vary.

          BTW – Gotta love Kei slapping the new boy around…!!

          Looks like it starts on Heavy Meldar – or a version thereof!

          Longer looks at the animation do highlight that the tech’s not QUITE there for facial expressions (Kei’s ok, Yama a bit odd – especially that attempt at a nonchalent grin when Kei accosts him about not being in armour…) Harlock looks good, but then he just has to stand there and look cool, which he’s done effortlessly for nearly 40 years!!) Hell, SPCH went off-model badly in the first 9 eps, so {shrugs}… It does look bloody good so far though!

          But damn it – wanted to play this on my tablet and through the TV and I can’t extract it!!

          • I find the eye movements lacking, re: facial expressions. Other than that it looks great. I did peek at the script just now and can see how they’ve rearranged the statements but most of it is there, often word for word. I’d like to sub this but for the love of god I can’t find a way to DL it (except capturing the screen as such, which is doable..)

            • This looks as good as I was trying to picture it in my mind while reading the script.
              Is it just me or are they having to much fun with the flourish every time Harlock turns to walk away?

              • Definitely playful!

                I keep having gigglefits watching Kei pushing Yama around… 😉 (Though I think any discussion should go to email to avoid giving away too much to those who’ve resisted reading the script!)

                • I don’t understand Japanese. So most of the script is useless to me or that clip. Most of what i remember from the script was annoying narration. I don’t remember most of it, and I’m sure the file itself is very lost under Detective Conan and Kamen Rider videos at this point. I had to hide my laptop at the time so my goofy boyfriend didn’t go posting the stupid thing to twitter or something.

                  I can only pick out words like battleship and space pirate. And I was distracted by last weeks talk of how loud the Arcadia’s engine can be in the manga. I was mostly looking at the animation quality as best as i could. I don’t care about the script I just want this movie to look well made.

                  • Ah… sadly even without it on my tablet, my memory doesn’t let me forget most of what I read even if I want to! But most of the time I found I was mentally re-translating back into Japanese and picking out where it was obvious they’d played around to internationalise for a first time audience. (Not that clever – some dialogue is just a given!)

                    The narration seems to be there in the Japanese as well, I’m afraid! But that’s nothing new for Matsumoto shows…

                    My other half is slowly being won over by the look of the thing – I’m just having fan-girly squeals over characterisation and the seemingly never-ending stream of visual and dialogue shout-outs… I first fell in love with the character in Cosmo Warrior Zero then sat through the worst nth-gen vhs copy of the SPCH series known to mankind – I couldn’t give a *stuff* what it looks like!! 😉 I’d still watch it!!

                    The voice casting OTOH… Oh well. We were never going to get Makio Inoue back, but I wish they’d stop casting these overly mannered soft-voiced male leads – for me a big part of Harlock’s charm was largely down to that gruff (baritone?) – so at odds with the look of the character! It’s saying a lot that I’m now rooting for Eiji Takemoto (Young Harlock)…!

                    • He had all of two lines but I did think he sounded so soft for Harlock. Even the random English guy from those first trailers was better.

                      oh well back to worrying about them messing up a 2199 dub.

              • Yeah, the flourish was overdone, though it’s hard to complain about it 😀

                • Is it just me or is his cape made out of leather? I loved the wind effects on the clothing when the kid had was on the edge of the landing hatch.

                  Still don’t like the way the ship looks it’s rather to phallic for my tastes.

                  • Looks like leather in the close ups and stills – definite “grain” visible to the fabric – but that seems to go for most of the clothing – I’d guess it makes it easier (cheaper) to animate than softer fabric!

                    The Arcadia’s new design is growing on me… I see what you mean about the shapes, but honestly – even in the original it has 9 enormous photon cannon, and rams other ships – most of which are pink – so kind of a given, really! 😉

                  • The green Arcadia was super phallic, I thought. I find this CG version is not as phallic, because it’s more rugged etc. (Weird sentence I just wrote, come to think of it).

                • The Japanese VA also did the voice-over teaser from Toei, so we’ve had a fair sampling. Really not working for me, and yeah – I prefer the English one so far (It sounds a lot like Sean Pertwee, but it’s difficult to be sure… if it IS it’d be a real bonus – he’s got a kind of yorkshire/northern gruffness (like Sean Bean he’s got a “thinking woman’s bit o’ rough” going for him!) that’d be perfect!!)

  12. CD-Japan have shipped my tie-in novel!! I guess I know what I’ll be reading soon! 🙂

    • Yay, me too. Although Cdjapan says it might take up to 12 weeks 😦 Anyway, I’ll read it as soon as I get it UNLESS by that time we get confirmation of international showings in the near future, in which case I might try to resist the temptation.

  13. New official 3 minute trailer – BUT – warning – EXTREME spoilers !!

    Dear gods it looks fantastic though!

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