|November 14, 2001|
Harlock Saga: The Ring of the Nibelung or simply, Harlock Saga, is a six-part anime mini-series (three hours in total length) by Leiji Matsumoto. An adaptation of "Das Rheingold", it tells the story of space pirate Captain Harlock and his crew as they try to stop a man who has stolen gold from the center of the galaxy and forged it into a powerful ring. The series is based on Matsumoto's 8 volume manga series, of the same title, specifically The first two volumes, Harlock Saga: The Rheingold. The series was first released in Japan on January 25, 1999.
Legend tells of the Rheingold, an all-powerful metal used by the gods of Valhalla during the forging of the universe. Legend says that he who wields the Rheingold wields ultimate power over all things, even over the gods themselves. The Nibelheim, former servants of Valhalla who were cast down aeons ago for daring to defy the gods, are once again fomenting a rebellion. Their leader Alberich is on a ruthless quest for the Rheingold and will let nothing stand in the way of his desire to utterly crush Wotan and the gods of Valhalla. Fearing the implications of his actions, his sister Miime, currently in the service of the space pirate Captain Harlock, warns her friend about Alberich's plans. Together with fellow space pirate Emeraldas, his best friend Tochiro Oyama, and Maetel the eternal traveler, Captain Harlock sets out to thwart Alberich's designs and save the universe ... not for the gods, but for all the living beings it contains.
Captain Harlock — Harlock is the archetypical romantic hero, a space pirate with an individualist philosophy of life. He is as noble as he is taciturn, rebellious, stoically fighting against totalitarian regimes, whether they be earthborn or alien. In his own words, he "fights for no one's sake... only for something deep in his heart".
Tochiro Oyama — Harlock's old friend and chief builder of the Arcadia. He died of illness prior to the events of the series, but his consciousness survives within the ship's computer.
Emeraldas — Emeraldas has been compared many times to Captain Harlock, and the two have some similarities. They know each other from the days of the Voice of Free Arcadia, when she fought side by side with him and Tochiro, the man who is their common bond. Emeraldas is a very lonely soul, especially after the death of Tochiro, her closest companion.
Yattaran — Harlock's first mate on the Arcadia, he is usually portrayed as comic relief in the series, but when a battle against alien threats become imminent he will be at the captain's side. He is also a brilliant mathematician and has a major interest in building plastic model kits of ships (he was even seen building a scale model of the Arcadia in one episode).
Miime — A female alien harpist serving on board the Arcadia as Harlock's adviser and source of morale. Her body design resembles a slender humanoid female with purple hair, blue skin, and yellow pupil-less eyes. Her face has no apparent mouth, although she can speak and somehow absorb liquids through her face. Miime requires alcohol as her single (non-intoxicating) nutrient; when she ingests it, her body gives off a bright yellow light. Miime's talents include mental and emotional empathy to sentient beings, a trait she uses medicinally as member of the sickbay staff. During moments of violence/trepidation she plays a lap harp, her music instilling serenity to her onboard colleagues, particularly Harlock. Her race was apparently exterminated when the planet's indigenous flora became ambulatory predators after exposure to radioactivity. The Captain and crew saved her from her world's fate, predicating her eternal loyalty to the Arcadia's captain even to the point of risking her life to ensure Harlock's safety.
Tadashi Daiba — Daiba is the audience surrogate, the viewer's gateway to Harlock's world. The 14-year-old son of a scientist who was killed by the Mazone, he joined the Arcadia crew following the death of his father. He lost his mother in a disaster on the Neptunian moon Triton when her pleas for help were ignored by the indifferent government.
Harlock Saga is a six-part anime mini-series (three hours in total length) by Leiji Matsumoto. An adaptation of "Das Rheingold" and based on Matsumoto's own 8 volume manga series, of the same title, specifically The first two volumes, Harlock Saga: The Rheingold. All six episodes of the series were written by Megumi Hiyoshi & Leiji Matsumoto and directed by Nobuo Tekuchi. The series was released in Japan on January 25, 1999. The series never aired on television in North America, however Harlock Saga was a Toonami Reactor exclusive. The English dubbed version of the series premiered on Toonami Reactor 2.0 on November 14, 2001.
The series was released on DVD in the United States in 2001, 2004, and 2005, but all three have since gone out of print.