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Harlock - Space Pirate (2013)

Harlock - Space Pirate (2013)

Here's an animated movie about a pirate in space. Harlock, they call him. He's an immortal being who roams around the cosmos in a dark-matter powered vehicle, the only one of it's kind, as is he - the only one able to defy the Gaia Coalition and roam free, seeking to one day return humans to their true home.

In this time humans have been cast out from the Earth, and are kept away on the less habitable edges of space. Harlock seeks to change this, but when a new crew member pops up the truth begs to question. What does he really want? Who is good, and who is evil, and how will this all play out? It takes a while before you start to question... and it's really not that big a question, but it goes through the motions.

Harlock isn't the main character at all, despite the name of the movie, but rather this new recruit who one day boards his ship under the visage of freedom. There's also Kei, the one female crew member, who never really bonds with the main character but is always close by, as a sort of ongoing potential visual romance.

In the beginning the space pirate act felt a bit stiff. Stylish but unnecessary. It looked cool but left you out of the loop... and in some ways it stays that way even until the end, as if we're mere spectators, not honored the privilege of reading the truths and intentions in each character's mind. It takes a long while to get into the mood, but once you do it's an exciting trip, with some nice action scenes, and other scenes, and a plot that reminds a bit of Final Fantasy - at least in the Gaia and Government regard, and style of CGI.

The visuals are great. Space is cool. The ship is cool. Even the fighting choreography is cool more than it is functional... and though all of that looks great, it's sad that looks go over purpose. Behind it all however, there is a sad and compelling story, a clash of character, of good and evil... and it's not all bad. Sometimes a bit cliche, and simple (like how fast Harlock changes his mind - and how fast everyone forgives him), but not all bad.

If you're looking for something similar to the animated Final Fantasy movie, you'll probably like this, and vice versa.

 rated 3/5: not bad

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