Director Aramaki Shinji (Appleseed) premiered his computer animated Space Pirate Captain Harlock this week at the Venice Film Festival. The movie has also gone through a metamorphosis, at least title wise, and will now be know to Western audiences by the much less awesome moniker Harlock: Space Pirate 3D. That just doesn’t have the same ring, but there is a new clip floating around for your perusal.
We don’t have to worry about dubbing or subtitles in this new clip, unveiled by the nice people over at Twitch. All 45 seconds worth of video is primarily occupied by one thing, and one thing only, the title character Harlock, gnarly face scar and all, kicking some serious ass in space. Those stormtrooper looking guys have rifles, but he doesn’t need any of that weak ass shit, he’s got his weird laser sword thing. After all, he is wearing a cape, has an eye patch, and has a skull and crossbones stenciled on his chest. This is a man with some style that we’re talking about. He’s a real swashbuckler in space, and damn well better have a weapon that matches his aesthetic sensibilities.
Based on the classic manga by Matsumoto Leiji, Harlock uses motion capture technology that Aramaki helped develop in conjunction with his Appleseed movies. This time around he’s teamed up with the folks at Square Enix, most know for their work in the Final Fantasy realm. Though there is definitely a video game quality to footage we’ve seen thus far, this animation looks fantastic, and the technology looks like a huge leap forward for the genre.
Harlock tells the story of the one man who stands between the Gaia Coalition, a corrupt alliance that is bent on intergalactic rule in the year 2977. Isn’t that always the case? Along with his the crew of his badass spaceship the Arcadia—it’s got a big chrome skull on the front of it, and he rams other vessels with it on the regular—he patrols the deepest reaches of space, pillaging and plundering any enemy ships. He’s not just a straightforward pirate here, he’s out for revenge against the forces that have sold out the human race. See, 500 billion Earthlings have been displaced by coalition actions. As you can imagine, he’s a pain in Gaia’s ass, and their leader, Ezra, sends his own brother Logan/Yama, depending on the version, to assassinate the privateer. He, of course, learns that things are not always as they seem, and sometimes people lie to you. And while all of this other stuff is going on, Harlock is a crazy mission to undo the “Nodes of Time,” which would return them to a time when Earth was still a place that human beings lived.