A note concerning spellings:
Character and place names throughout the Harlock mythos have many variant versions produced by many different translators and/or fans. For example, since it is an actual name that exists outside of the Harlock stories, we can safely say that "Arcadia" is correct, and "Alkadia" is not. For wholly invented names such as "LaMetalle," on the other hand, we cannot decisively say that "La Metal," "Larmetar," or La Meter" are not equally viable spellings. In such cases, I have adhered to the spellings I have used in my subtitled versions for consistency's sake, which were chosen partly for aesthetics, and partly to most accurately approximate the manner in which the name is pronounced in the series or film in question. In all instances, characters will be referred to by their original Japanese-version names for purposes of consistency and clarity.The Captain Harlock Character Guide
Section Two-C: Enemies-human and other
The Prime Minister
The unnamed Prime Minister of the Earth Parliament is about as slack as a politician can get, meaning that he's an utterly familiar character no matter what country you live in. With the future of the earth entrusted to robot-manned farms on colony worlds, the Prime Minister is free to indulge his time betting on horse and dog races or playing golf. He conveniently blames all of earth's maladies on Harlock, but as he fears the pirate, the Prime Minister is rather content to let him be, despite Commander Kiruta's insistence that Harlock must be taken out of the picture. When Kiruta realizes the error of his ways, his boss will hear none of it, eventually branding Kiruta as a traitor.
Even after repelling the Mazone invasion, Harlock is still declared unwelcome on earth by its slack-ass ruler, until a last-minute spoilsport attack threatens his own life. He offers the crew their rights to citizenship in return for their help, but the pirates want nothing to do with his society, electing to build their own after the last Mazone attack is put down.
The Prime Minister appears again in the Endless Odyssey mini-series, still as ineffectual a leader as he ever was. No longer a resident of earth, he lives in luxury on the space station Panopticon and barely blinks when his planet appears to be destroyed by the Fata Morgana's Density Serial Cannon, hoping that if he simply ignores the impending threat, it will pass him by. As before, he survives the incident without ever getting his comeuppance.
Mr. Feydar Zone
A former Solar Federation spacecraft designer, Mr. Zone lost his job when Harlock, then a Federation captain, declared that his ship designs didn't offer adequate protection for the crew. Zone's career as an engineer died, and ever since he's sought an opportunity to give Harlock a little payback. After earth was conquered by the Illumidas, Zone saw his chance and offered earth's new rulers his services as a hired gun and spaceship designer. With his help, the Illumidas create better fighting vessels with which to combat the pirate, though secretly Zone also wishes to see the earth free of the Illumidas, as well.
Early on, Zone comes into radio contact with the Queen of Arcadia (the "Golden Goddess" feared by La Mimay's people,) though he does not realize who she is. Gradually the two form an alliance, though it falters when she begins to suspect Zone's duplicitous nature. When Zone returns to earth bearing her gift, the fire of St. Aqule, he uses it to eradicate the Illumidas Occupation Force before turning his attention back to his old nemesis. Harlock appeals to Zone's better nature on behalf of the beleaguered earth, and Zone saves Harlock from Vice-Commander Garron during the final battle, possibly deliberately, possibly by accident. We'll never know for sure.
Commander Mitsuru Kiruta
The commander of the Earth Garrison Forces, Kiruta is the only soldier in power with the backbone to attempt Harlock's defeat/death. Time and time again, Kiruta assails the pirate, believing Harlock to be earth's enemy, but to no avail. Despite his dedication, Harlock hopelessly outmatches him. With no option left, Kiruta abducts Mayu from her school and takes her into the Egyptian desert in order to separate Harlock from his ship and finally emerge the victor. Harlock nearly kills him in reprisal, and his life is only saved through Mayu's intervention.
Kiruta's father had been a secret government investigator who lost his life during a mission that took him into the desert near Thebes. His mother died during his father's absence, and he lost his younger sister Tami during the hopeless pursuit of their father through the open desert. Kiruta blamed the government and authority in general for the death of his family, and sought the highest seat of authority to make changes in the world, only to find that the power had changed him. Mayu reminds him of his lost sister, and he begins to resent Harlock as the ever-capable protector that he himself failed to be.When Kiruta becomes aware of the danger posed by the coming Mazone invasion, he attempts to warn earth's corrupt and decadant Prime Minister, but his warnings fall on deaf ears. He is finally forced to turn to Harlock in order to protect his cohort Shizuka Namino (who, in her capacity as a Mazone spy, was manipulating him in the guise of aiding him) from incarceration. In a pivotal battle with the Mazone vanguard fleet, Kiruta, having finally made his peace with Harlock, dies defending the Arcadia's central computer from invading Mazone soldiers.
Owing to his long and complex character arc, Kiruta appears in both the "Friends" and "Enemies" sections of this guide.
Prime Minister Triter
The puppet leader of earth under the Illumidas Occupation Force, Triter wields no real power; he merely takes his orders from Supreme Commander Zeda, even if it means opposing his own people. He fears Harlock, and unsuccessfully seeks to coerce the former Federation captain into serving the new regime. In an utterly failed attempt to quell potential uprisings, he sentences Maya and Emeraldas to be executed by firing squad. When Zoll mounts a rescue attempt, the cowardly Triter shoots the Tokargan soldier in the back. He subsequently orders that Harlock be forever barred from returning to his homeland.
Though he does appear early in the SSX series, Triter's fate is never disclosed.
The villainous Count makes his appearance in Galaxy Express 999 by murdering Tetsuro Hoshino's mother for the sheer sport of it. This turns out to have been an extraordinarily bad idea, as the boy spends the next several years of his life plotting to blow Mecha's brains out, which he does in fact do. (In the series version, Tetsuro kills the Count in the very first episode.) Alleged by Tochiro Oyama to have been a good man in his earlier life, Mecha (who probably also had a different name when he was a normal man) became a cruel despot after acquiring his machine body, inspiring many others to seek his head, including Tochiro and Antales. He makes his home in the huge citadel known as the Time Castle, which travels not only through time but from place to place, finally being destroyed, along with its owner, at Trader's Fork on planet Heavy Meldar when Tetsuro exacts his much-deserved revenge.
Despite his being a right bastard, Count Mecha is held in high regard by the Mechanization Empire, showing pretty clearly what their damage is.
Faust, the Black Knight
The father of Tetsuro Hoshino and an old friend of Captain Harlock, Faust is now the chief servant of Queen Promecium, ruler of the Mechanization Empire. Thought to be dead by Tetsuro (and possibly his mother,) Faust was once a warrior who fought alongside Harlock and Emeraldas, but at some point, his heart changed, and he took a machine body, becoming a high-ranking warrior of the machine people. After learning that his son is alive, he attempts to persuade Tetsuro, without disclosing his own identity, to see his point of view and cease opposing the Empire, knowing Promecium will otherwise require the boy's death. Tetsuro refuses, and he and Faust finally face off atop the 999 as Great Andromeda falls to ruin.
Despite the separate ways their paths have taken them and his sadness over seeing father pitted against son, Harlock still toasts Faust as a friend, knowing no matter who wins the battle, he will grieve the other's passing.
The mother of Maeter and absolute ruler of the Mechanization Empire, Promecium hails from the world of LaMetalle (as seen in the Queen Millennia series and movie) and long ago sought to build a world of her own, one where all life could be preserved forever. Unfortunately, over time her compassion vanished along with her biological body, and her empire began to become a bastion for the rich and privileged instead of a true Utopia. Ultimately Maeter turns against her mother's empire and secretly works with her father Dr. Ban (not the same character as appears in the SSX series,) whose spirit resides in the amulet she wears, to overthrow the Empire. She is aided in her endeavor by Tetsuro Hoshino, a boy from the impoverished classes of earth who has seen the true evils of the machine people. Promecium's machine body is destroyed by Claire, waitress aboard the 999, but her essence remains intact on planet Great Andromeda. She seeks to reconcile herself with her wayward daughter and pass the Empire on to her, but Maeter remains defiant and refuses. The reign of Promecium ends when the Siren Witch, a huge black comet that absorbs external energy sources, passes and strips Great Andromeda back down to the tiny planetoid it once was.
The recent Maetel Legend OVAs posit that Promecium was the same character as Yukino Yayoi from Queen Millennia, but the original "continuity" (only hinted at in the shows themselves but made quite clear in the My Youth in Arcadia Roman Album) had it that Maeter and Yayoi were the same character, the only daughter of Promecium; note that in the Queen Millennia movie, Yayoi is known as Promecium II.
The former boyfriend of Kei Yuki and assistant to her father Shuiichiro Yuki, Kazuya is the worst kind of backstabber. Not only is he responsible for Shuiichiro's death (by purposely sabotaging his experiments,) he also is selling information on Harlock and his crew to Commander Kiruta, and working with the Mazone to pry the secrets of the Arcadia from Kei. When the truth finally is revealed, she plays "A Song of Farewell" for him on her mother's shamisen before blowing a gaping hole in his chest.
A former captain in earth's Solar Federation, Leotard had something of a breakdown during the battle against the Illumidas. She has now become a machine person and has been indoctrinated into Illumidas servitude. She meets Tadashi Monono on planet Meshiras, telling the young would-be bounty hunter where he can find Harlock, arousing his suspicions when Leotard later greets Harlock as an old friend on planet Reizu. Harlock sees through her schemes, though, and the two fight a sword duel to the death-hers, oddly enough. At the last, she is relieved to be freed from serving the enemies of her people.
Leotard is another great example of the Japanese using names that sound altogether silly in english.
A Metanoid warrior in pursuit of Maeter and Tetsuro following the war against the Machine People, Helmazaria encounters her quarry on the planet Bright Ring Firefly. She initially spares Tetsuro's life after the intervention of Izelle, but soon returns and destroys the entire planet in a rather malicious bout of overkill. Her battleship is engaged by the Arcadia and defeated, but Helmazaria herself escapes to the 999 to do battle with Tetsuro. Unfortunately for her, Tetsuro proves a much deadlier opponent than she bargained on.
The elder brother of Mimay (in Harlock Saga,) Alberich steals the Rheingold from its hiding place and has it forged into a ring by Tadashi Daiba in order to challenge Wotan, father of the gods of Valhalla. Alberich's clan, the Nibelungen, have suffered long under the rule of Wotan, and after countless eons of exile, he is ready to exact revenge upon Valhalla, little caring that its destruction will cause a reversal of the Big Bang and take the entire universe down with it. He finally comes face-to-face with Harlock, who invades Alberich's flagship and takes back the ring, leaving Alberich to battle the living energy that has also penetrated into his ship. His fate is not revealed in the animated version of the tale.
Lest anyone be confused, yes, that is a mask he's wearing.
King of the gods of Valhalla, Wotan has slept for millennia undisturbed until Alberich of the Nibelungen clan steals the Rheingold and forges it into a ring. Subsequently, time in Valhalla begins to advance once again, and Wotan awakes in a truly pissy mood. Wanting answers, he summons Alberich's sister Mimay, and the Arcadia with her, to interrogate her on her brother's intentions. Unwilling to allow the universe to fall to oblivion over the petty squabbles of some holier-than-thou gods, Harlock is compelled to defend Valhalla against Alberich's assault, despite the justified revenge Alberich seeks. As Harlock heads back home, Wotan vows never to forget the name of the pirate who dared to display such insolence in the face of God. Drama queen.
Commander Yukihito Irita
Basically taking over the role of antagonist from Commander Kiruta, Irita pursues and captures the various former members of Harlock's crew, even sacrificing a shipful of criminals whom he could not properly execute under the law as bait to ensnare Kei Yuki. After the fleet under his command is driven mad with fear by the Noo, Irita is rescued by space trucker Tomiko and her son Ichiro. Ultimately realizing the threat posed by the Noo, he makes a brave but futile attack upon their co-opted vessel, the Fata Morgana, after exchanging some parting words of conciliation with Harlock. These guys always figure it out a wee bit too late.
Irita's father was renowned as a great pioneer of space and was the chief of the observatory on Pluto, where Irita was born. The observatory and his father's grave are both destroyed when Irita orders a pre-emptive but futile attack upon the commandeered vessel Fata Morgana.
This Lovecraftian primordial evil from the depths of time is described as being fear itself, so according to FDR it's apparently the only thing we have to fear. Yippee! Noo once ruled the universe until the forming of the Twisted Rope (a metaphor for DNA, which didn't form at the moment of the Big Bang at all, but it's just a cartoon), which sealed Noo away in an alternate dimension. All of this occurred during the instant following the Big Bang, when the laws of physics had yet to be formed, a period known as Planck time (and not "blank time," as the Pioneer/Geneon sub/dub incorrectly translates it.) When a scientific expedition including Professor Daiba journeys to the Hourglass Nebula in the research ship Fata Morgana and discovers the gate of Yedar, the scientists inadvertantly allow themselves to be possessed by the spirit of Noo, which is then able to re-emerge into our universe.
Noo's power lies in creating fear in others and thereby enslaving their wills and driving them against one another, a technique which naturally doesn't work on Harlock or his crew. Noo's ultimate goal is to fully return to our universe by reclaiming a part of its original body-in this case, the Earth itself-to which end it warps the planet into an alternate dimension with their Density Serial Cannon. Harlock ultimately tricks the Noo into shooting the Arcadia with their weapon, allowing Harlock, with a little help from the deceased Tochiro, to beat them from "the other side."
Leader of the wanna-be empire the Alfres Militia, Baraluda begins to perceive Emeraldas as a threat to her power after the female pirate routs an Alfres fleet commanded by Colonel El Domain and sends them running back home in disgrace. After Emeraldas defeats El Domain's fleet, Baraluda challenges her to single combat. Emeraldas wins the duel, but spares her opponent's life, allowing Baraluda and her fleet to depart unmolested.
Colonel El Domain
A fleet commander in the Alfres Militia, El Domain makes a bad impression on Emeraldas by not only shooting up cargo ships and terrorizing the occupants of a saloon while she tries to sit peaceably and drink, but by doing so with a big Jolly Roger symbol emblazoned on the hull of his command ship. She demands he remove the pirate insignia at once, but he continues to attack other vessels under the sign of the Jolly Roger, and by doing so successfully draws out Emeraldas while his forces capture hostages, including Hiroshi Umino. When the hostages escape, the tables are turned on El Domain; he makes an attempt to retreat, but is finally killed by his own leader, Lady Baraluda, for using such dishonorable tactics. Don't you wish real war worked out that way?
A subordinate of El Domain, Gamor kidnaps Hiroshi Umino and his friends and holds them hostage aboard his ship to keep Emeraldas from being able to return fire on the Alfres fleet. The hostages escape, and when Emeraldas defeats Lady Baraluda in a fair fight, he attempts to gun her down, only to be disintegrated by a Cosmo Gun-wielding Hiroshi.
The keeper of the Ice Graves on Pluto, Shadow is the custodian of the bodies that have been abandoned by those who have taken machine bodies. Her own machine body has no face, as she felt that no artificial face could match the beauty of her real one. Unable to decide whether or not to remain immortal or reclaim her beloved original body, she has become the caretaker of the Ice Graves in order to stay as close to her former body as possible. Her desire for real human warmth leads her to try and use Tetsuro as a reminder of what it once felt like to be human. Maeter rebukes Shadow for her selfish behavior, born of an inability to choose between a biological or immortal machine body. Two years hence, Shadow still remains a machine.
Shadow's appearance in the Galaxy Express 999 TV series is far creepier, wherein she lures Tetsuro away in the guise of his mother in order to absorb his warmth for her own. He nearly destroys her former body in retribution, but Maeter intercedes on Shadow's behalf, knowing she has nothing else to live for.
The governor of earth following the end of the Mechanization Empire, Borkazanda III has little fondness for Tetsuro, who he keeps a prisoner in the frozen depths of earth's underprivileged area-not too different from where the poor kid started out. Tetsuro's resistance to the freed earth's newfound complacency has made him few friends, and when he appears to be plotting to escape, Borkazanda is only too happy to sentence Tetsuro to death, which he narrowly avoids. Maeter describes Borkazanda as a "tool of the darkness," taking his orders from some unknown, fearsome enemy. Following Tetsuro's escape, Borkazanda is eliminated by the Metanoid assassin Helmazaria.
Infiltrating the Arcadia as it stops to replenish its water supply, the cyborg spy working for the Illumidas takes on the appearance of La Mimay in order to move about the ship freely. It leaves the real La Mimay unconscious in the space suit locker, and in addition to several acts of sabotage that leave the Arcadia drifting helplessly towards a red supergiant star, it kidnaps and interrogates Kei Yuki when it hears her discussing the "Treasure Island Legend" with Harlock. The real La Mimay is at last revealed, and the cyborg is destroyed by Tadashi Monono.
An enormous computer the size of a small planet, Maicon, like most computers, has nothing but ill intentions towards humanity. It transmits a siren-like song that lures unsuspecting spacefarers to their doom. Mr. Zone sends info on the Arcadia to Maicon in order to sic the computer on Harlock, but fortunately the siren song lack the ability to influence young minds. Consequently, Tadashi Monono travels alone to the planet to infiltrate and destroy its central core.
The Seawolves are a bunch of no-'count brigands that attack and raid helpless ships-in other words, these guys are actual space pirates. Harlock catches them robbing a ship bound for earth and dispatches them with extreme prejudice, but only arrives in time to save Dr. Ban and Revi Bentselle. As the Arcadia trashes the entire Seawolf squadron, these guys may be gone from the world for all we know.
The Owen-Stanley Witch
A ghostly apparition seen by both Phantom F. Harlock and the latter-day Captain Harlock, the witch (sometimes simply referred to as the Stanley Witch) derives its name from the Owen-Stanley mountain range in New Guinea, where it is encountered by Phantom F. as he attempts to reach Rabaul. The witch is seen a thousand years later by Captain Harlock as he attempts to cross the Flame Stream Prominence between the twin suns of Besbaras. In both encounters, Harlock must sacrifice part of his payload in order to escape the witch: either his excess fuel, or the lives of the Tokargan soldiers who abandon ship to spare their benefactor.
No clear indication is ever given as to whether the witch is meant to be a literal being of some sorts, or merely an imagistic metaphor for impending doom and failure as perceived by Harlock and his ancestor. The fact that the Flame Stream Prominence seems to feed off of living energy, however, lends credence to the idea that the witch is manifestly real in some sense, as most solar phenomena don't, you know, act that way.
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