Tag Archives: Leiji Matsumoto

“Space Pirate Captain Harlock” (2013) – Review

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Director:  Shinji Aramaki

Writers:  Leiji Matsumoto (Manga), Harutoshi Fukui & Kiyoto Takeuchi (Screenplay)

IMDb Logline:  Space Pirate Captain Harlock and his fearless crew face off against the space invaders who seek to conquer the planet Earth.

Pros:

  1. Excellent CGI work
  2. Steampunk look of the Arcadia and its crew and technology
  3. Fairly well-developed characters

Cons:

  1. The train comes off the track in the third act with some head scratching developments
  2. The protagonist is Logan and not Captain Harlock

Review:  A very surprising update of another late 70s anime cartoon based off the manga of Leiji Matsumoto; fun for the whole family even though the finale doesn’t live-up to the build-up.  The characters are well-defined with both the protagonist and antagonist having complete story arcs.  The look of the film is incredible as well as well detailed.

Grade = B

Click on image to view trailer.

Click on image to view trailer.

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“Space Battleship Yamato 2199” (2010) – Review

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Director:  Takashi Yamazaki

Writers:  Leiji Matsumoto (Manga), Yoshinobu Nishizaki (Story), Shimako Sato (Screenplay)

Stars:  Takuya Kimura (Susumu Kodai), Meisa Kuroki (Yuki Mori), Toshiro Yanagiba (Shiro Sanada)

IMDb Logline:  The crew of the space battleship Yamato set out on a journey to the planet Iscandar to acquire a device that can heal the ravaged Earth.

Pros:  

  1. Battlestar Galactica set design and space battles
  2. The realization of the actual battleship
  3. The activation of the Wave Motion Cannon
  4. Fairly decent update of the first season story arc into a feature-length story

Cons:

  1. At 2 hrs and 20 mins in length, way too long
  2. Acting is weak with some characters over acted and others constantly looking straight ahead blankly
  3. Enemy characterization is weak

Review:  Nostalgia for the late 70s anime cartoon Starblazers is not enough to overcome bad acting, weak enemy, and some serious plot holes is this live-action modern re-telling.  Also, the screenwriters make the mistake of assuming the audience is familiar with the cartoon series and its characters.  If you have never watched the series, then you will be scratching your head wondering why the ship’s doctor is always running around with a sake bottle in hand.

(NOTE:  Clicking on the movie poster will allow you to watch the entire film w/ English Subtitles.  You will also have to click on the second link beneath the poster to watch the final twenty minutes.)

Grade = C (B for fans of the original late 70s cartoon)

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Click on image to watch MOVIE

Click here to watch the final twenty minutes w/ English subtitles.

PS:  I am a big fan of the original Starblazers series, and in fact would wake-up at 5:30 AM to watch the series on the local UHF station every week day.

SERIES FACT:  The show is only known as Starblazers in the United States, and the ships name is Argo and not Yamato.  The real battleship Yamato was sunk by the US Navy during WWII.