SciFi Japan


    Leiji Matsumoto`s Captain Harlock returns in the new computer animated film SPACE PIRATE CAPTAIN HARLOCK. Image courtesy of Toei Co., Ltd. © LEIJI MATSUMOTO/CAPTAIN HARLOCK Film Partners

    Source: Toei Co., Ltd. Official Site: (Japan) Translations: John Paul Cassidy Based on original characters and stories created by Leiji Matsumoto, the feature film SPACE PIRATE CAPTAIN HARLOCK (??????????, Kyaputen Haarokku) opens in Japan on September 7, 2013. The latest movie by anime director Shinji Aramaki (APPLESEED) boasts "state-of-the-art CG motion capture animation" and will be released in both 3D and 2D formats. The following press notes are courtesy of Toei Co., Ltd... INTRODUCTION Leiji Matsumoto’s legendary character, “Captain Harlock,” is being resurrected for this reboot after 30 years. At last, it will set sail to the whole world!

    SPACE PIRATE CAPTAIN HARLOCK theatrical poster. Image courtesy of Toei Co., Ltd. © LEIJI MATSUMOTO/CAPTAIN HARLOCK Film Partners

    The sci-fi anime works of Leiji Matsumoto -- a shining epoch among masters of Japanese animation history who brought you classics such as GALAXY EXPRESS 999 (???????, Ginga Tetsudoo Surii Nai, 1978-1981) that caused a huge boom in the 1970s and `80s -- have now become eternally popular content. And now, the one getting the most attention is SPACE PIRATE CAPTAIN HARLOCK. The story of the space pirate Captain Harlock and his companions, who board the invincible space battleship Arcadia to rebel against the corrupt Earth Federation Government, captured the hearts of children when broadcast in 1978. Additionally, the character of Harlock appeared in the movie version of GALAXY EXPRESS 999 (1979), playing a very important role by providing a link between stories in Leiji Matsumoto`s world. This legendary work, with the "soul" of Leiji Matsumoto`s world, is now brought back with an overwhelming scale, intensity, and sense of wonder. This is not merely a remake of the past work, but a "reboot" (revival) which revives the fundamental characters for a newly reconstructed world, sort of like the connection between the old Batman and Christopher Nolan`s versions of Batman, including THE DARK KNIGHT. SPACE PIRATE CAPTAIN HARLOCK was produced at a total cost of $30 million (the highest budget ever for Toei Animation), with the highest concentration of creative talent. With competition unfolding overseas, this grand picture project will triumph as "Japan`s strongest anime!" "This movie`s staff represents the challenge of the Japanese animation industry to the world," says producer Yoshiyuki Ikezawa. That said, as screenwriter for Captain Harlock, Harutoshi Fukui, the writer of novels like Aegis (turned into a blockbuster action epic film), is raising the bar with a darker feel, while maintaining the charm of the character of Harlock himself, as well as reconstructing the story and setting to captivate modern audiences. Also, new film technology is being introduced. Creating action overflowing with speedy charm, and a world view expressed with a darker scale and feel, Captain Harlock is more unique than the average CG film. With Appleseed director Shinji Aramaki at the helm of a staff of standard-bearers of Japanese creators active in the world, Hollywood-style work will be presented by a gathering of creative talent for the first time from a major studio in Japan. Variety, the Hollywood film industry`s leading magazine, featured an article saying "The challenge of marketing Harlock to the world will determine the future of the Japanese animation industry," which is already making a big impact overseas. While companies overseas are struggling for distribution rights to this film in their respective countries, the rebooted Captain Harlock, the strongest "Made in Japan" animated movie marketed to the whole world by Japanese people, is finally released to the world!

    Logan and Harlock face off. Image courtesy of Toei Co., Ltd. © LEIJI MATSUMOTO/CAPTAIN HARLOCK Film Partners

    STORY "A cosmic plunderer, or the last savior? Heroes in a great war, appearing as pirates, rebelling against the government. The man who recieved the assassination order has seen it, and what is the truth behind Captain Harlock?" The distant future, which may be the distant past. Time has advanced to the ends of the galaxy, the human frontier has vanished, and there is a dispute over the right to reside the place to return to = Earth. Four vessels of Death-Shadow class space battleships were constructed as trump cards in the dispute. The captain of one of these four ships is named Harlock. However, that hero named Harlock faded away after the war. And once he finally reappeared, he piloted a cosmic pirate ship with a huge skull engraved on the bow, and in becoming a space pirate, he wages a rebellion against the government. Why did Harlock disappear and reappear as a pirate? What is his goal? And now... the plan to assassinate Harlock has been issued!! CREDITS Captain Harlock: Shun Oguri Logan: Haruma Miura Creator: Leiji Matsumoto Director: Shinji Aramaki Screenplay: Harutoshi Fukui & Kiyoto Takeuchi Copyright: © LEIJI MATSUMOTO/CAPTAIN HARLOCK Film Partners

    Japanese logo courtesy of Toei Co., Ltd. © LEIJI MATSUMOTO/CAPTAIN HARLOCK Film Partners

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