Blast From the Past – Space Pirate Captain Harlock Vol. 1 [Manga]

Captain-Harlock-1-COV-A Blast From the Past – Space Pirate Captain Harlock Vol. 1 [Manga]

Blast From the Past
  • Mangaka : Leiji Matsumoto, Jerome Alquie
  • Publisher : ABLAZE Publishing
  • Genre : Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure
  • Published : June 2021

Space Pirate Captain Harlock first sees the light of day in the 1970s. It enjoyed great popularity during its heyday. It has received an anime adaptation in 1978, as well as multiple reruns in multiple countries. The series once again stole the spotlight in 2013, when Toei created a heavily computer-generated anime film. The 2013 film received mixed reviews from the viewers but receives various awards the years that follow. Now, a new story arc begins as ABLAZE Publishing revives this old space hero.

Contains Spoilers

Discussion Time

After years since its original end, Space Pirate Captain Harlock comes back with a new story arc. Just like before, the world is on the brink of getting destroyed. However, the threat isn’t from outer space this time around. When a group of scientists discovers a Sylvidres mausoleum, they’ve also discovered the cause of the Earth’s freezing weather. Not only that, they’ve also discovered planet Earth’s latest threat. Again, there’s only one man who can save us all. Yes, you’ve guessed it. It’s Captain Harlock and his motley crew.

Why You Should Read Space Pirate Captain Harlock Vol. 1

1. Brand New Adventure

Most old series that come back are usually just rehashes of the original series. There are also cases wherein the revival are reimagined pieces like The Legend of Dororo and Hakkimaru. On the other hand, there are also old series that come back stronger than ever like Dragon Ball Super. Space Pirate Captain Harlock belongs to the latter. Better yet is that it’s not just a spin-off series or mere non-canon additional content, it actually fits in the original’s timeline. For fans of the series that misses this old school manga, then you’re in for a blast.

2. Full-colored Goodness

We don’t really think it’s a drawback given the amount of effort and time poured into a manga chapter, but perhaps one of manga’s disadvantages is its lack of color. Don’t get us wrong. We love manga in all its glory, but we think that the art will be more vivid if color is added. Well, this new Space Pirate Captain Harlock comes in full color. No, it’s not just a glamorous color page. Each and every panel of the volume is inked. If you think that’s amazing, you’re not alone.

Why You Should Skip Space Pirate Captain Harlock Vol. 1

1. Unfamiliar Readers Beware

Since this new volume stays true to the original, it also comes with a few cons. First, Space Pirate Captain Harlock was originally published during the late 1970s. This volume also followed the art style, which to say the least, is quite outdated. Even though it comes in full color, Captain Harlock’s motley crew seems to come from different manga series. Even Captain Harlock’s supposedly cool character design now just looks a bit off.

Second, it’s a bit difficult to get immersed into the series without prior knowledge about the lore. We do acknowledge that this isn’t the first installation of the series, but it’s also true that it’s literally been decades since it’s originally published. Finally, the story doesn’t have much of a hook. Perhaps those who are already familiar with the series' way of storytelling will know what to expect next, but those who have just picked this series might find themselves scratching their heads every now and then.

Final Thoughts

It’s always nice to see old series going back to the spotlight. Not only do they remind us of the series we used to love while we were younger, but they also show us how much the art of creating manga has changed. Space Pirate Captain Harlock is the proof of that. Admittedly, it’s something that those who really enjoy the original series will find quite delightful. However, it is from 50 years ago, and not all old series age well.

Captain-Harlock-1-COV-A Blast From the Past – Space Pirate Captain Harlock Vol. 1 [Manga]


Author: Christian Markle

I am a copywriter, proofreader, and editor. I love watching anime, reading manga, and writing my own stories. Watch out in the future as you may see one of my works one day. Manga and anime were big parts of my childhood. I grew up watching Yu Yu Hakusho, Slam Dunk, One Piece, and Dragon Ball Z. Those were probably one of the happiest and most carefree days of my life. In fact, most of my values are probably molded by manga. No, that's not an exaggeration.

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