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Anime Profile: Captain Harlock and the Queen of a Thousand Years

USA Info
Japanese Info
Captain Harlock and the Queen of a Thousand Years Uchu Kaizoku Kyaputen Harokku("Space Pirate Captain Harlock") Captain Harlock and the Queen of a Thousand Years
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  Space Pirate Captain Harlock
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  Shin Taketori Monogatari Sennen Jo'oo("The Queen of a Thousand Years")
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  The Queen of a Thousand Years
65 TV episodes 42 TV episodes(Uchu Kaizoku Captain Harlock)
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  41 TV episodes(Shin Taketori Monogatari Sennen Jo'oo)
1985 1978–79(Uchu Kaizoku Captain Harlock)
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  1981–82(Shin Taketori Monogatari Sennen Jo'oo)
Harmony Gold Ziv International/Toei Animation
  Leiji Matsumoto
-- listed below -- -- listed below --
-- listed below -- -- listed below --

Last I checked, this anime was available on DVD at Amazon.

English Title
Japanese Title
Galaxy Express 999 Ginga Tetsudo 999
Arcadia of My Youth Waga Seishun No Arukadia
Queen Millennia Shin Taketori Monogatari Sennen Jo'oo
Space Pirate Captain Harlock (2013) Uchu Kaizoku Kyaputen Harokku(宇宙海賊キャプテンハーロック)
Maetel Legend Maetel Legend

Anime Characters: Captain Harlock and the Queen of a Thousand Years

English Name
Japanese Name
English Name
Japanese Name
Captain Harlock Kyaputen Harokku Melody Miime(ミーメ)
Dr. Drake --?-- Queen Regina Queen Lafresia
Kayla "Kay" Kerry Kei Yuki(有紀 蛍) Terrence "Terry" Drake Tadashi Daiba(台羽 正)

Anime Description: Captain Harlock and the Queen of a Thousand Years

Did you ever wonder if animation importers do this kind of thing just to see how much they can tick off anime fans? You've got a Japanese animated series you want to dub into English, but because of different episode run requirements in the two countries, you find yourself several episodes short of a full U.S. syndicated season. Solution? Grab another series, do a little slice and dice, and try to fix everything when you do the dubbing. The younger tykes probably won't know the difference, but if you listen closely, you can hear the sounds of die-hard anime buffs screaming (or possibly swearing in Japanese) in households across the country.

In Japan, artist Leiji Matsumoto had a string of anime hits, including the saga of Space Pirate Captain Harlock. Set in the year 2977 (in the Harmony Gold version, no date was given), the show focused on the title character, a typical sea dog who was forced to conduct his business in outer space after the oceans had all been destroyed.

Unfortunately, Harlock only conducted his business for 42 episodes, so Harmony Gold (importers of Robotech) added elements from another Matsumoto series, Queen Millennia. Never mind the fact that the latter show was set in 1999 and had nothing to do with space pirates, it was available, and you never know what you can create in the editing room. Coming to American audiences in 1985, the two series were edited and redubbed into one 65-episode story, retitled Captain Harlock and the Queen of 1000 Years.

Here's the story, as reconstituted for U.S. audiences: Unlike the famed pirates of the past, Harlock actually had a noble purpose to his ship-jacking and cargo-destroying raids. The Earth of the future was a decadent, vice-heavy world (think Ancient Rome with 30th Century technology). Taking to the skies, the Captain set out to destroy loads of drugs, alcohol and other useless pleasure goods. Like any good pirate, though, Harlock cut a dashing rebel figure with his shaggy mane, cape, eyepatch and scar.

Most episodes focused on Harlock's conflicts with Queen Regina (Lafresia in the original), the evil alien ruler of the Mazones. These warrior plant-women came from a planet that could no longer support life, and so they set their sights on Earth. Dr. Drake warned of their impending invasion, but he was laughed off as a crackpot theorist. When the Mazones did invade, they killed Dr. Drake and framed Harlock for the crime. Dr. Drake's son, Terry Drake (Tadashi Daiba in the original), vowed revenge on the captain, but once he learned the truth, he joined the crew of Harlock's ship, the Arcadia. Together with a band of like-minded rogues, Harlock and Terry battled the minions of the Mazone queen, Queen Regina, for the rest of the show's run. For whatever reason (maybe the fact that the two main characters never appeared on screen together), Captain Harlock and the Queen of 1000 Years failed to catch on with American audiences, which was a major disappointment to the merchandisers who had profited from the success of Robotech that same year. Malibu Comics released a different dub in later years, but with the same results.

A different ZIV dub of approximately four episodes of Space Pirate Captain Harlock was released on VHS by Malibu Comics in later years, but it also failed to catch on. The initial VHS release of this dub was extremely bad, with audio falling out of sync with the video and dialog being drowned out by the redone music. In this version, the Mazones were renamed Zetons, Tadashi Daiba was renamed to Professor Tommy Hairball, and Daiba's son was renamed Tommy Dexter (so his son had the same first name as his father but a different last name?). The Mazone queen, Lafresia, is one of the names ZIV did not change.

Other Websites: Captain Harlock and the Queen of a Thousand Years