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H A R L O C K
 

Harlock is THE pirate man. He's got the eye patch and the bird and everything.      Harlock is one of those characters that have been around a really, really long time. (Since 1975, two years after Black Jack.) And for good reason, too! Who wouldn't love the awesomest space pirate of them all? I know when I heard about this guy, I just had to find out more about him. (There's something about scruffy-haired rebels-against-society in capes always makes me interested in them.)

      However, I'm sad to say that I haven't gotten to know Harlock as well as I've wanted to because there's just so dang much of him! There are about a million different series that have Harlock in them, and strangely enough, almost none of those ever have anything to do with each other. Leji Matsumoto is like that, I guess. Anyway, I've aquatinted myself with enough Harlock to get a pretty good feel as to what he's about.

      Harlock is the captain of the pirate spaceship Arcadia (short for Arcadia of My Youth). He is a man of honor. Above all else, he pilots his ship in the name of freedom. Outer space is a place without boundaries and is owned by no one. Harlock accompanied by Tochiro and Tori-san.When it comes down to it, Harlock is not so much a pirate as he is a wanderer, traveling from galaxy to galaxy, defending his right to roam the cosmos freely.

      Sometimes, you'll see one of Harlock's many incarnations hanging out with this short midget guy in a beat-up hat. This is his bestest friend, Tochiro! Separately, they're not very much like each other, but together, they're an unbeatable team. They both share a deep fondness for the planet Earth, but they know they can't stay there forever. The far reaches of outer space offer adventures greater than any that can be found on Earth. So Harlock and Tochiro gather a crew of stout-hearted men and board the Arcadia for destinations unknown.

Even Harlock has his adorable moments.     Other times, he talks to Arcadia's computer instead. Or he's still in the military. Or he's seen concerning himself with intergalactic trains, wars, aliens, or mysterious evil powers. But what's so great about Harlock is that, like Black Jack, he manages to stay the same character with all the same qualities no matter what situation he's in. After being around for thirty years, that's quite a thing to boast about!