Galaxy Express 999 (1979 IMDb)

Viewing

Seen in 2014.

Review refers to the feature film edition.

Commentary

Unusually sexist and Freudian, even for Matsumoto.

Japanese production animation movie

Spin-off maybe, who cares:

Arcadia of My Youth (1982 IMDb)

Viewing

Seen in 2013.

Categorization

Millennium-spanning space opera for children. One of the more cross-pollinated works in Matsumoto Leiji's hideously ingrown SF setting (Yamato etc.), serving most directly as a prequel to Captain Harlock (1978).

Subject

Nazi optics win an angsting space captain's war against the idiot human imperium. Yeah, those Nazis really knew what they were doing.

Commentary

The plot is nonsense on every level, from the physics (as always, Emeraldas pirates a wooden brig-sloop suspended by wires from a Zeppelin in space) to the politics (Earth is run by caricatures of petty fools), all the way through to the drama, which is made up almost entirely of bold posturing in absurd situations. It's cool only in an anti-intellectual way, ridden with childhood angst. The pacing and artistry are considerably better than what I've come to expect from Matsumoto.

Japanese production animation movie

Spin-off maybe:

Harlock Saga: The Rhein Gold (1999 IMDb)

Categorization

Stylized space opera.

Subject

Wagner's opera adapted very loosely into the Leijiverse. Space pirates battle Norse gods.

Commentary

Static, frequently ugly, and not really about Harlock. Shallow characters, failing plot, slapstick action, planets exploding left and right, and Wagner's music on top. Much too flat to engage.

Japanese production animation series