Captain Harlock trailer fights back

Toei Animation has released the first English language trailer for its upcoming space opera.

Space Pirate Captain Harlock is based on the manga by the same name. It tells the story of the titular captain, who, in the future was a soldier for Earth and her government, which spans many worlds, until he realized that despair was beginning to overcome the Human race. He then rebels against his superiors, and built his own crew from outlaws. Aboard their battleship, the Arcadia, Harlock and his fellows battle against enemies from within the human government and alien invaders who seek to deepen humanity’s despair.

The original manga ran from 1977-79 in five volumes. It inspired an anime series – also from Toei Animation – which ran for 42 episodes starting in 1978, and two animated films. This new film will be the first CGI attempt at the story, and the first attempt at any adaptation for about 30 years.

The film will tell the story of Captain Harlock’s origin, detailing his rebellion, and the assembly of his crew. What other challenges he’ll face down from the manga is unclear. The screenplay was written by Harutoshi Fukui, the writer of the recent GUNDAM novels and a veteran of Japanese cinema. The themes of the film are changed slightly from the source material to better reflect the modern world. It is directed by Appleseed director Shinji Aramaki, who modeled the film’s visuals specifically after Hollywood action film styles, to help it appeal to a more international market. At the equivalent of 30 million dollars in the production budget, it’s the biggest risk Toei Animation has ever taken on a feature film.

Space Pirate Captain Harlock will be released in Japan in Autumn 2013. Plans for the international release have not yet been announced, but will likely follow soon after.