Harlock: Space Pirate

6.41 h 51 min2014X-Ray16+
Mankind is dying. Only one man can do anything about it, Space Captain Harlock, but the Gaia Coalition will stop at nothing to end him.
Shinji Aramaki
Yû AoiJessica BooneAyano Fukuda
AnimationScience Fiction
English [CC]
Audio languages

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Supporting actors
Arata Furuta
Yoshi IkezawaRei KudoJoseph Chou
Relativity Media
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3.9 out of 5 stars

364 global ratings

  1. 50% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 20% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 11% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 8% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 12% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

18wheelhighReviewed in the United States on May 23, 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars
Another go back in time and fix global warming and the demise of earth.
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I wish I could give it a 1/2 star. Maybe it would have been better in the original Japanese language. It all was about how we destroyed earth and everyone fled to the stars for survival. Most of the voice acting was good but the overall story Was empty. I did not like it.
21 people found this helpful
D. E. DreyerReviewed in the United States on May 29, 2021
2.0 out of 5 stars
I care about story and character development.
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This movie was fairly pretty for when it was made. The tech that went into the renderings was top shelf at the time.
The designs are juvenile when original but mostly lifted unchanged from other IP. Warhammer 40k, Bioshock, Xmen, Deadspace etc. The only original ideas I saw in it were a gun powered by the eye of Jupiter ( seriously? ) and a ship "created by dark matter" (original because its so stupid) but was actually just a Warhammer 40k Gothic armada ship. The costumes, character design and environment design ( with a few exceptions ) are laughably bad and not worth dwelling on.
Had to get that all on record since I'm a visual artist and videographer and honestly have a hard time figuring out why people call this move "well designed". I guess they just don't think of pretty lights and design as being two different things. . .
Okay onto what I care about:
This movie doesn't have the worst story ever. . . for the first half it sets up something like a frankenplot. It's even got an interesting start to a love triangle drama that could be it's own decent (seperate) script. . . . There's even a pretty interesting religious-like evil government that seems to have goals and motivations and stuff. Unfortunately for everyone who's suckered into watching this film by crazy positive reviews - everything good about the story gets depressurized slowly as the characters start doing things and it becomes clear that nobody on the script studied writing. . . The characters just do stuff - or not - for no reason at all. . .Time jumps erratically, characters emote inappropriately, then the shambling corpse of the story gets let out the airlock at the climax. Saying "there's plot holes" doesn't cover here. It seems like the writers gave everything just to get their characters where they wanted them and just didn't have any energy left to make any of it make sense. . . There's like 3 or 4 totally unjustified hard left turns. . . . Several times in the last hour your mouthing " stupid" "serously?" and "what?" . . .the last happening after the climax so the movie ends on a seemingly unrelated plotline that appears moments before the credits.. . it's just inexplicably bad.
15 people found this helpful
Paul FerrariReviewed in the United States on June 1, 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars
Wow. That was really bad. And I watched it anyway. Please don't be an idiot like me.
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Good points? Decent animation.

Bad points? EVERYTHING else. Stilted dialogue, an incoherent and barely fifth-grade level story line with tired tropes of sibling rivalry and rebellion and love triangles and melodramatic tragedy and revenge, all wrapped up with a "and when it's over, we'll do it all again" loop. Tiresome and not worth even the first five minutes, but I stuck with it because...I'm stupid? Really, I've got no better explanation for why I sat through all the animated violence, high body counts, and tough-guy posturing by characters whose heroic qualities seem to consist of the ability to brood darkly and utter dumb lines through tight lips while mowing down countless enemies in the name of...well, that's never quite clear either. Ostensibly "freedom," but freedom of a "kill 'em all and let the Universe sort 'em out" variety. Oh, and something about a search for meaning, which apparently justifies as much violence and mass murder as alienated, cynical rebels and manipulative, power-hungry bureaucrats can dish out. And, of course, the few female characters introduced all have anatomically improbable figures kept on constant display thanks to skin-tight outfits because, you know, incels.

But hey. If you're into that kind of thing, maybe you'll love it.

I SO wish I could un-watch this.
11 people found this helpful
Jonathan P.Reviewed in the United States on May 22, 2021
2.0 out of 5 stars
Interesting ideas, underdeveloped
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Some aspects of this film are quite compelling. It's got a great space-opera vibe going, and an interesting universe. Despite all the downsides, I managed to stay interested in the overall feel of the universe throughout the film. But the plot is full of decisions and events which haven't been motivated well and answers given before the question is asked. it's a bit like having a rough draft of three movies' worth of script cut down to fit into one, without rewriting any of it to fit the new format, or to make sense without the 2/3 of it which were cut.

The characters all change their minds too easily, and don't develop their personalities or motivations. They just do what the plot tells them to. Pivotal moments for several characters are never resolved at all --- but, the character acts like it's resolved and they just go on their merry way, doing whatever the situation demands with no psychology to back it up.

At one point, a monologue is shared by two characters who ought to have opposite opinions, but the monologue itself is all from one POV. (That technique could have been really interesting, to have the story told from multiple POV! I got excited by the opportunity, and then was disappointed; a great idea, poorly executed.)

The "bad guy" actually empathizes with the "good guy" for the duration of the monologue; but his main thing throughout the rest of the movie is that he's incapable of empathy for anyone at any time, including his wife and his brother.

Harlock knows the main character is a spy almost from the very beginning, and it's never explained how he knows --- he's just omniscient. Then, the spy plays his hand really early in the plot, and --- rather than killing or capturing him --- Harlock ignores him completely.

Harlock's dialogue in that moment is roughly, "Well, you might ruin my whole plan or whatever, but I'm just going to leave that up to you. How about I focus on saving your life instead of defending myself from you?" I guess Harlock knew he was destined to win, so he didn't need to do anything about it.

Continually, Harlock gives the main character special treatment --- as if he were shepherding his own son --- with no personal motivation whatsoever; it's just because he's the main character, and needs special treatment in order to continue being relevant to the story.
11 people found this helpful
LKNANMLReviewed in the United States on June 1, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
Amazing animation and cool concepts. Plot makes absolutely no sense.
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No idea what is going on. Feels like I am watching the 3rd movie in a series before seeing the other two. Standard here is 5 mins of flashbacks to explain nothing then head off in another direction with the plot.
Storyline is not very inventive. Typical Robotechish battles. No strategy aside from don't be where they think you are and use every ship at the same time and miss everything or have no effect then it's que the superweapon while people run around OMG he is using the superweapon we are all going to die.. Oh. Nevermind. Super weapon sucks but holy crap they have a super weapon as well and OMG it worked.
They managed to cut down all the over acting you get with these.
It's worth your time if you like detailed animation but don't expect to see much outside of the standard anime characters where the "cool guy" knows everything and when something goes wrong it was fate and it couldn't be avoided. Ahh. Just run to the side or no? Ok. I get it. Writers needed that to happen but just couldn't get there through the characters bad assness....
4 stars for the eye candy. Lots of Warhammer going on everywhere you look.
1 star for the story and characters.
3 stars all together.
4 people found this helpful
Kathleen LamontagneReviewed in the United States on August 7, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Wow! Where have they been hiding this little treasure? A big thumbs up!
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Ok, ok, Star Wars it's not, but this is the best animated movie I've seen in years. Basically it's an updated Flying Dutchman, so not totally original, but the craftsmanship that went into producing a totally animated movie of this quality rivals Disney Studios. More please! For years the anime coming out of Japan has been just awful but someone has finally put some money and time into creating a thing of beauty. The scenes of the crew boarding the other ships via ropes was right out of an Errol Flynn movie. I love that stuff! Marvel and DC could take a lesson from these guys,

I'm not a purist when it comes to modifying movies based on the viewing audience, as long as the basic theme holds true. I have been watching Harlock on Netflix, which has captioning with the Japanese audio. Since I don't speak Japanese, I have to decide whether English dubbing or captions are preferable.I absolutely hate captions! It blocks the picture and is not always clearly readable over the background, and more importantly you lose a lot of the detail of the action because you're trying to read quickly before the caption disappears.Dubbing is never going to be perfect but this one is not too egregious since a lot of the lines are spoken with the faces turned away. The English version also makes the movie more 'true' to the story as the characters are not Japanese. I don't miss the Japanese clipped vocals reminiscent of Samurai movies and the use of terms not commonly used in English conversation. It allows me to relax and enjoy the video portion. I think some additional lines were added that the captioning dropped off and it appears that some lines were altered, probably to sync better with the video. I feel like the tone of the audio was a bit more hopeful at times than what I got from the captioning, possibly intentional or just due to a more detailed audio story.

Not only is the animation more realistic than most fully animated movies to date, the minute detail they put into scenes like individual hair strands flowing in a breeze, small facial expressions, body movement that is smooth and natural, and the wispy tendrils of dark matter is just to die for. I sincerely hope they make back what they put into making this gem because I want to see more movies like this in the future.
20 people found this helpful
KatReviewed in the United States on February 15, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
retelling of a legend
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I have been afraid to watch this since I started watching different shows on Space Pirate Captain Harlock.
I didn't know how far it deviated from the original material and if it was any good. So I decided to take a
chance and rent this to see how they treated the story. . .

First off, it's not bad. Music is great, love the fight scenes, and it's visually stunning (reminds me of the Ready
Player One movie). Yullian and Kei Yuki are total fighters and lead the raids in the story. Yullian is the comic
relief. (I'm using the English names because I watched the English Dub, but I have seen part of the Japanese
version too).

However, Harlock is a darker character than any other version that has come out and at first he isn't more than
a ghost aboard his ship. I wish that we had seen more of the other crewmembers. Why do the crewmembers not question Harlock instead follow him blindly? Why does the Captain save Logan? Why did he save all of his crew?
Why didn't the Gaia Colition stop Harlock before (or perhaps the question would be why did they let Harlock stay alive)? Decent science fiction movie to watch and to simply fall into that world. You could treat it as an AU.
Worth a watch.
8 people found this helpful
LowtownReviewed in the United States on June 18, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
This is the English dubbed version ONLY
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I love this movie, but this version only has the dubbed audio. The story actually is different when told in English rather than Japanese with English subtitles. Very disappointing.
14 people found this helpful
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