Space Pirate Captain Harlock is a 2013 Japanese 3D CG anime film directed by Shinji Aramaki. In 2010, Toei Animation announced that it had developed a pilot for a computer-graphics remake of the earlier manga-inspired TV series, and presented it at Tokyo International Anime Fair that year.
In the next year, was presented a preview of Space Pirate Captain Harlock at Annecy International Animated Film Festival. This is Toei Animation’s second highest production budget ever at the equivalent of over 30 million dollars. The story was reconstructed by the writer Harutoshi Fukui to reflect the themes of modern society and Toei provided the latest filmmaking technology for the film.
Space Pirate Captain Harlock is set in the future. Mankind has discovered a way to travel faster than light and has built colonies on thousands of planets. With humanity fading and the resources of the universe starting to dwindle, billions of humans began the long journey back home to Earth. However, humanity has outgrown its capacity to repatriate that many people and thus began the “Homecoming War,” where the many factions of humanity battled for a stake on Earth. The war was long and blood-filled; things wouldn’t subside until an authoritarian universal government by the name of the Gaia Sanction declares Earth a sacred planet, and thus forbidden for humanity to repopulate.
To prevent various factions of humanity from immigrating back to Earth, an elite wing of the Gaia Fleet was tasked to defend Earth: The Deathshadow Martyr Fleet, led by Harlock. With the assistance of his scientist friend, Tochiro Ōyama, Harlock helped saved a dying advanced alien race called the Nibelung. In return for their help, the Nibelung gave Harlock their advanced technology and helped create the four Deathshadow-class ships with dark matter engines to defend Earth. Harlock’s ships were unstoppable and he successfully defended Earth from humanity’s influence, until the Gaia Sanction broke their own rules.
The film is available on Netflix, which is amazing, as the amount of Japanese animation that is on the UK site is very small. The animation and graphics for SPCH are fluid and beautifully done, personally, I couldn’t spot any flaws, but I suppose someone in animation might be able to? The voice acting is pretty on-point as well, and the mouth movements match well in both the Japanese and English versions.
The story is touching, and you really see an insight into each character and their lives before the plot of SPCH, there are moments dotted all over the film where you see a lone character and get more insight into who they are as a person.
I would definitely recomment Space Pirate Captain Harlock as one to watch.