ByJeremy Knaack, writer at
Jeremy Knaack

For those who were not aware, Japanese animation has been around longer than most people think. The first ever Japanese animation was a 3 second short titled Katsudō Shashin, which was made back in 1907 by Japanese film makers who were experimenting with animation techniques from the West. Soak that in...the first ever Japanese animation was created the same year that Oklahoma was established as the 46th State in the U.S.A. Although the run time for the film was 3 seconds, it was the first step to something that would change Japanese culture over time.

The animation didn't really separate from its Western roots until the 1970's, creating a lot of well known Japanese animations including Lupin the 3rd, Mazinger Z and my favorite during the time period, Space Pirate: Captain Harlock. Although it didn't make its way to the American shores until 1981 for a limited run, it started soaring in popularity since then with titles like Dragon Ball, Gundam and the renown anime, Akira.

The Space Pirate anime was actually illustrated by the same artist who did the Japanese style animation for the French house group Daft Punk's music videos. Here is a still from the series.

The animation isn
The animation isn't impressive by today's standards, but for being made in the 1970's it's pretty good on the eyes.

Well, for any avid anime fan that already knew the jargon above who is well aware of the Captain Harlock series, be prepared. If you didn't know already, the series has received a Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children treatment with very vivid and beautiful computer animation that is stunning and impressive. Here is a still for the new movie released well over 3 months ago.

Captain Harlock being confronted by Yama, a young man hired to kill him.
Captain Harlock being confronted by Yama, a young man hired to kill him.

I don't know about you, but this is really refreshing for someone like me who can appreciate Japanese animation, whether in a drawn format or a computer generated format. I am thoroughly excited to see this film and hope it generates a fan base. If you're still hesitant about watching, see the trailer for yourself (in English even!)


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