Friday, June 18, 2021

Thirty Strange Stories by H.G. Wells (1897)

In H.G. Well's early years, he wrote many short stories. Thirty of them (published between 1894 and 1896, around the time of The Time Machine and The Island of Doctor Moreau) are collected in Thirty Strange Stories (1897). In this and the following years, Wells would write science fiction classics like The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds , First Men In the Moon, etc. 

Although most of these shorts do feature some element of the fantastic (or could be considered a form of early "speculative fiction"), a few stories in the latter half are actually more like domestic fables or exotic adventure tales. In any case, it's very impressive that by the late 19th century Wells had already touched upon many important science fiction tropes to be revisited by dozens of writers in the following century:

  • Man-eating plant life ("The Strange Orchid")
  • Prehistoric life in the modern day ("Aepyornis Island", "The Sea Raiders")
  • Parallel universes ("The Plattner Story")
  • Underwater civilizations ("In the Abyss")
  • Body switching ("The Story of the Late Mr. Elvesham")
  • Bacteriological terrorism ("The Stolen Bacillus")
  • Astral projection on a cosmic level ("Under the Knife")
  • Airline industry safety violations ("The Argonauts of the Air")
  • Possessed houses ("The Red Room")
  • Reincarnation as an animal ("A Moth")


Short synopses follow:

The Strange Orchid (1894): An amateur plant collector obtains a strange orchid which tends to knock out its prey with fumes and then proceed to suck out its victims' blood through its long tentacles. 

Aepyornis Island (1894): An explorer finds some prehistoric eggs. Marooned on a small atoll, the egg hatches a giant bird-like creature. The man is forced to eventually kill the bird (after it becomes hostile), after which he is found and rescued.

The Plattner Story (1896): When caught in the explosion of a mysterious powder, a schoolteacher named Plattner is thrust into a ghostly dimension which exists in the same space as our own. Trapped there for 10 days, he observes strange ghosts (some of them reminiscent of the deceased) observing the activities of mankind (who go about life ignorant of these "watchers"). Eventually Plattner returns to his own normal dimension.

The Argonauts of the Air (1895): An investor desperate to save his reputation as an inventor builds a flying machine. Although the machine soon makes a crash landing, he becomes known as the first aviator.

The Story of the Late Mr. Elvesham (1896): A young man named Eden meets an old philosopher-scientist named Elvesham, who offers Eden his estate upon his death, as long as he assumes the philosopher's name. Later over dinner, somehow through drugs and possibly hypnosis, Elvesham exchanges his mind with Eden's. Accused of insanity by everyone around him, Eden (in Elvesham's body) commits suicide. Ironically, Elvesham (in Eden's body) is killed in a traffic accident.

The Stolen Bacillus (1894): While visiting a bacteriologist under a false identity, an Anarchist obtains a tube of what he believes is a cholera bacillus. While fleeing from the Bacteriologist's pursuit, the Anarchist breaks the glass vial and believes himself to be infected. However, it turns out that the Bacteriologist had misspoke (or lied in an attempt to impress his visitor), and that the glass only contains a liquid which will turn its victims blue.

The Red Room (1896): The narrator visits a haunted room in order to determine whether ghosts exist or not. As candles mysteriously go out, he races around the room trying to relight them. Finally he falls and loses consciousness. When he awakens, he tells the curious house caretakers that a "spirit of Fear" haunts the room.

A Moth (Genus Unknown) (1895): An entomologist named Hapley continually criticizes his colleague Pawley until one day Pawley dies from influenza. Frustrated without a victim, Hapley turns to other studies, but soon discovers a new type of moth in his room. The moth begins to chase him day and night and Hapley is unable to kill it. Eventually Hapley is put into an insane asylum, as no one but he can see this moth (which he believes is a manifestation of Pawley).

In the Abyss (1896): A scientist-inventor named Elstead journeys 5 miles deep into the ocean and encounters a race of primitive, chameleon-like lizard creatures, who live in ruins on the sea bottom. The creatures are fascinated by the glowing bathysphere and take it to their city by dragging it by its tether cord. Just before air runs out in the sphere, the cord breaks and the sphere rises back to the surface. After a period of recovery, Elstead modifies his sphere so that the cord can be released from within. He embarks on another journey below the sea, but is never heard from again.
Under the Knife (1896):
While anesthetized during an operation, the narrator believes that he has died and that his spirit is now flying through outer space as the solar system moves on through the universe without him. Eventually he sees the entire universe as a single shining spot on a ring on a clenched hand holding a rod. He suddenly hears a great bell and awakens to find that the operation has been successful.

The Reconciliation (1895): Two old schoolmates get into a play-fight. However, one of them uses the ear bone of a whale to kill the other in a fit of jealous anger.

A Slip under the Microscope (1896): A student accidentally jiggles a microscope slide during an examination, essentially giving him the answer through a prohibited means ("cheating"). He eventually confesses and is forced to leave the class.

In the Avu Observatory (1894): In Borneo, an astronomer is attacked by a giant bat flying around his observatory, but manages to injure it and drive it away.

The Triumphs of a Taxidermist (1894): While drunk, a taxidermist admits to his friend that he has created faked stuffed specimens of rare animals, and has even created a few stuffed creatures which have never actually existed in the wild. Nonetheless, people are willing to believe these hoaxes.

A Deal in Ostriches (1894): An Indian gentlemen claims that one of five ostriches has swallowed one of his diamonds. This starts off a bidding war on the ostriches. In the end, the diamonds have not yet been recovered from any of the ostriches, and the narrator wonders if the Indian and the ostrich owner had created a rumor just to drive up prices for the ostriches.

The Rajah’s Treasure (1896): When a Rajah dies, many of his subjects struggle to crack his treasure chest. When finally opened, it reveals empty bottles of whiskey. The safe was the only place where he could discard the forbidden bottles...

The Story of Davidson’s Eyes (1895): During an experiment involving electromagnetic poles, a scientist suddenly (and involuntarily) begins to see another landscape through his eyes, but physically remains in his own body. This problem eventually goes away by itself. Later he learns that he had seen a location 8000 miles away.

The Cone (1895): Horrock, the owner of an iron mill, learns hat a man named Raut has been romancing his wife. He brings Raut to the top of a furnace cone (under a pretense of giving him a tour) and then throws him into the burning cone.

The Purple Pileus (1896): A man named Coombes storms out of his home after he feels that his wife has been ruling his life, introducing strange visitors, etc. He comes across some poisonous purple mushrooms (fungus) and recklessly eats them anyways. Afterwards, he is transformed into a drunken, wild state and chases his house guests around. He recovers with no ill effects, but has learned that his wife now respects him. He tells his wife nothing about the fungus and only states that he had wanted to show her how angry he could become.

A Catastrophe (1895): A shopkeeper becomes despondent when he learns that he will not be able to pay his debts that month. However, he gets a letter informing him that his in-laws have died in a freak accident. The inheritance will ironically save his business.

Le Mari Terrible (1895): A man named Bellows flirts with a lady at a party. Her husband comes over and teases that his wife is a "collector". Later, Bellows feels sorry for the lady's rude husband and his strange characterization of her, but is nonetheless looking forward to seeing her again.

The Apple (1896): While traveling to his new school, a young teacher meets a strange man who offers him an apple. The man claims that the apple is from the Garden of Eden, and will give whoever eats it theGift of Knowledge. The young teacher accepts the apple but finds it awkward to carry around so throws it away. Later, he regrets losing what he might have dismissed.

The Sad Story of a Dramatic Critic (1895): An unassuming young man is given the assignment to become a drama critic. After watching and absorbing 3 plays a week, he begins to adopt a flamboyant, "stagey" personality, and wonders if his former personality will be replaced entirely by this new one.

The Jilting of Jane (1894): A serving girl named Jane falls in love with a man named William, However, William soon falls in love with another woman (of a higher social standing). At their wedding, Jane throws a boot at them which hits William in the eye. Eventually Jane gets over her loss.

The Lost Inheritance (1896): A young man named Ted eagerly awaits the death of his annoying, preachy writer uncle, expecting that the man's inheritance will go to him. On his death bed the old man gives Ted his last-written book. After the writer dies, an old will is found giving all of his money to a now-distanced relative, frustrating Ted's plans. Years later, Ted finds a more recent will inside the last book given to him, naming Ted as his inheritor. However by that time all the money had been spent up by the other relative. 

Pollock and the Porroh Man (1895): In Africa, an arrogant white man named Pollock angers a native witch-doctor (a Porroh man). After being targeted by the Porroh man, Pollock has the witch-doctor's head cut off by a mercenary. However, the head appears to follow Pollock all the way back to England. Driven to madness, Pollock slits his own throat.

The Sea Raiders (1896): Off the coast of England, tentacled, pig-sized monsters begin appearing fishermen, and eventually cause the death of eleven people. Expeditions to study them end up in disaster. However, the creatures eventually go back to where they came from.

In the Modern Vein (1894): A "romantic" named Aubrey tries to woo a young new mistress but is eventually turned away.

The Lord of the Dynamos (1894): An uncivilized immigrant from the East is hired to help maintain a gigantic dynamo. Beaten and abused by his master, he believes the main generator to be a "god", who eventually tells him to "sacrifice" (kill) his abusive boss upon its spinning gears. When he is later caught in his crime, he sacrifices himself to his electric deity.

The Treasure in the Forest (1894): Two men attack some Chinese men and steal their treasure map. However, when they find the treasure, it is booby-trapped with poisonous thorns and both men succumb, giving meaning to the Chinese man's final smile.

Additional reviews of these stories can be found here:

Monday, June 14, 2021

Space Battleship Yamato (Leiji Matsumoto Manga Adaptation 1974)

Space Battleship Yamato (1974/1975)

While the television anime program Space Battleship Yamato was in production, director Leiji Matsumoto also created a version of the story in manga form, which ran from October 1974 to March 1975. Appearing monthly, it features some marked changes from what was shown in the televised series. It's interesting to note the methods by which Matsumoto managed to summarize several weeks of episodes into a monthly "catch up" episode and yet maintain a sense of suspense. Below are synopses of each monthly chapter.

  1. In 2199 A.D., the people of Earth have been forced underground by radiation "planet bombs" dropped by the alien Gamilons. Earth warships intercept a Gamilon fleet near Pluto but are soundly defeated and forced to retreat. A torpedo ship commanded by Mamoru Kodai remains behind and is apparently destroyed. Meanwhile, two cadets, Susumu Kodai (Mamoru's younger brother) and Daisuke Shima, investigate a crashed spacecraft on Mars and discover the body of a beautiful alien woman. They also retrieve an information capsule which, back on Earth, reveals itself to be a message from Starsha of Iscandar, who tells mankind that she can help them if they journey to her planet. Later, while in pursuit of an alien fighter, Kodai and Shima sight the ruins of the WWII battleship Yamato, embedded in the dry earth.
  2. In an underground medical ward, Kodai and Shima meet a nurse named Yuki, as well as a veterinarian named Doctor Sado and his robot assistant Analyzer. They are all summoned to Earth HQ where they board the space battleship Yamato. When a Gamilon carrier appears, Captain Okita has Kodai fire the Yamato's shock cannons, which destroys it. Next, a giant Gamilon missile approaches. The Yamato is forced to make an immediate launch in order to avoid destruction. 
  3. The Gamilon missile detonates but the Yamato is undamaged. As it leaves Earth space, Gamilon destroyers approach. In order to evade them, Okita orders the Yamato to perform a space warp to Mars. However the "wave motion" engine goes out of control, causing a breach in the hull. Nearing Jupiter, the crew detect a Gamilon base stationed on the planet's fabled floating continent. They fire the "wave motion gun" which destroys the floating continent, and brings the wave motion engine back under control.
  4. On Pluto, Gamilon Commander Schultz tests his "reflex gun" on a mock up of the Yamato and destroys it. Ten days later, Gamilon Leader Desslar is informed that the Pluto base has been destroyed by the Yamato. However, Commander Hiss reveals to him that the Yamato is trapped in a field of Gamilon space mines just outside the solar system.
  5. After Analyzer defuses the space minefield master control, the Yamato crew clear the mines away from the ship with their bare hands. While approaching Rigel, the ship becomes hindered by a magnetic space net (force field). Desslar uses this opportunity to deploy a corrosive gas to destroy the Yamato, or force it to head towards Rigel. When a solar prominence from Rigel threatens to incinerate the Yamato, Okita orders Kodai to fire the wave motion gun, clearing a path. In order to escape the gravity well of the star, the Yamato does an emergency warp, but emerges in the Magellanic stream's "space sargasso".  
  6. Outside the sargasso, Gamilon General Domel and his fleet fire at the Yamato while it is stuck inside. However, the Yamato receives a message from Starsha of Iscandar to follow a mysterious craft and escape through a gateway. After reaching safety, the mysterious black craft demands food and supplies from the Yamato. When the cloaked commander, Captain Harlock, recognizes Kodai amongst the Yamato's crew, he leaves them without asking for further aid. Soon, the Yamato approaches planet Balan. The Gamilons try to crush the Yamato with its artificial sun, but the wave motion gun destroys the satellite's core, causing it to crash into the Gamilon base. 
  7. In the Dark Nebula on the outer border of Gamilon's own system, Domel attaches his saucer ship to the bottom of the Yamato and initiates a self-destruct sequence, hoping to take it down in the blast. Fortunately, the Yamato survives the explosion and sights Iscandar. Much later, the Earth receives an information capsule describing the Yamato's destruction of Desslar's capitol on Gamilon and subsequent arrival on Iscandar. While guarded in space by Captain Harlock's ship, the Yamato crew had obtained the cosmo-cleaner from Starsha and are now on their way back to Earth. On the Yamato, Kodai suspects that Harlock was in reality his brother Mamoru, and that Starsha was his lover. Suddenly Desslar attacks (emerging from a warp) and boards the Yamato, flooding it with radioactive gas. Yuki uses the cosmo-cleaner to disperse the gas but is injured in the process. After a brief retreat, Desslar attacks again, this time firing his wave motion gun at the Yamato, but Sanada's reflective shielding causes the blast to rebound on Desslar's own craft, destroying it. As the Yamato nears Earth in 2200, Captain Okita dies from his wounds, but Yuki regains consciousness.

For more on this manga series check out CosmoDNA's excellent articles here and here.

The Battle of Jupiter, ca. 2199
Eternal Story of Jura (1976)

In 1976, Matsumoto also published a "side story", which takes placed during Iscandar/Gamilon arc. In a framing sequence taking place after the Yamato has destroyed Desslar's carrier and is about to reach Earth, a woman named Jura thinks back on events which took place while the Yamato had still been journeying to Iscandar...

Desslar's lover Mela (a telepath from the planet Siren) and their daughter Jura have been exiled to Siren so that they will not be able to read Desslar's thoughts and influence his policies. However, the Gamilon leader orders Mela to probe the minds of the Yamato crew and cause them to experience disturbing hallucinations. The Yamato detects the source of these dark psychic manipulations and heads towards planet Siren. Seeing this, Desslar asks Mela to transmit to him all of the Yamato crew's secrets before they arrive, but she resists. Desslar then sends a Gamilon force to destroy Mela and Jura, but the Yamato arrives just in time to destroy the Gamilon force with the wave motion gun. Mela takes her own life rather than help either the Gamilons or the Earthlings. Jura departs the planet alone and observes the Yamato's progress from afar.

For more on this manga series check out CosmoDNA's excellent articles here and here.

Space Battleship Yamato 2 (1978/1979)

When the film Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato: Soldiers of Love and its resulting second series were in production, Matsumoto began writing and drawing a manga adaptation of this sequence as well (published from July 1978 to December 1979). Unfortunately, he only adapted about half of the narrative before abandoning it.

  1. In the year 2201, Dr Sado honors Captain Okita at his monument alone. While commanding a transport patrol ship, Kodai intercepts an S.O.S. message from an Earth fleet outside the solar system. However the fleet is destroyed by unknown invaders. At the same time, Kodai's craft records a mysterious signal coming from deep space.
  2. On Earth, Sanada begins to decrypt the mysterious signal, but in the process causes a massive system-wide overload. In space, the new fleet destroyer Andromeda takes off from Earth HQ on a test run, causing Kodai great anger when it cuts across into his own ship's flight path while returning from space.
  3. Back on Earth, the former crew of the Yamato meet in honor of the 2 year anniversary of Captain Okita's death. With Analyzer's help, Sanada decodes part of the message received from deep space, revealed to be a call for help. Meanwhile, a strange comet approaches the Earth, although the Earth government is unconcerned about it. In fact, they have ordered the Yamato to be scrapped.
  4. Kodai visits the empty Yamato, and the lights mysteriously flicker on the bridge.
  5. The crew of the Yamato decide to take off against orders in the Yamato. As Earth HQ tries to order them to disperse, a blackout affects Earth, Venus and the moon, and an alien ship is spotted in the skies above Earth.
  6. The Earth Chief of Staff has mines deployed outside the Yamato's underwater berth to stop the Yamato's take off, but the Director has them defused. The Yamato launches from its underwater berth and is unharmed by the mines.
  7. With Shima making a late arrival at the helm, the Yamato breaks free of the surface of the ocean and heads into the sky.
  8. The Yamato destroys the EDF battle satellites deployed against it in Earth orbit. Near Mars, the Yamato is confronted by the Andromeda and its commander Hijikata.
  9. The Yamato and the Andromeda narrowly scrape by each other. Hijikata decides to let them pass in honor of Captain Okita. Kato and his Black Tiger squadron reunite with the Yamato. Additionally, some strange alien fighters appear behind the ship and then veer off. In short order the Yamato receives a message from Earth HQ asking them to go to the aid of the Eleventh Planet, which is under hostile attack.
  10. The Yamato warps to the Eleventh Planet, but one of the alien fighters lodges in its hull just before the warp is complete. This compromises the Yamato's ability to engage full engine power.
  11. Heading away from the solar system (and the Milky Way Galaxy), the Yamato crew dislodge the alien ship from the hull, but it self-destructs. Kodai thinks back on the events of the past few days...
  12. When the Yamato had arrived at Planet Eleven the battle had already ended. However, a small craft containing Space Marines led by a man named Saito had been rescued. Kodai eventually tells Saito that an alien craft had crashed into the Yamato but that the aliens have been captured (although their ship self-destructed).
  13. The Yamato warps towards planet Telezart, as one of the alien ships monitors their progress and reports back to their mysterious leader.

For more on this manga series check out CosmoDNA's excellent article here.

The Old Underground Earth HQ, 2201

 All of these comics are now available (in English) from Seven Seas.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Space Pirate Captain Harlock (1978-79, TV)

Based on Leiji Matsumoto's designs and story concept (as well as his manga serial), the anime program Space Pirate Captain Harlock aired from 1978 to 1979, spanning 42 episodes. The premise is as follows:

In the year 2977, Earth's oceans have dried up and a sense of futility consumes the spirit of mankind. Although the solar system has been conquered and supply ships bring natural resources from the inner planets to Earth, the world's government practices a conservative policy of non-action, preferring instead to kill time on frivolous sports and games. They also keep the people of Earth docile and unambitious by broadcasting television soap operas and cartoons containing subliminal messages. 

However, a "space pirate" named Captain Harlock and his crew of 41 journey through space in the space battleship Arcadia, and conduct raids on the Earth planetary supply ships. Regarded as outlaws for crimes they did not commit, Harlock and his crew hold disdain for Earth's lack of ambition, and prefer a life of freedom and romance in the stars.

The ongoing conflict between Harlock and Earth's Space Defense Force is interrupted by the appearance of an alien invasion force made up of the Mazone, an alien race who had once thrived on the Earth in ancient prehistoric times, and now desire to return. Although the Earth's Prime Minister and his party choose to ignore the danger, Harlock resists, and eventually takes the fight to their leader, Queen Lafresia.

Episode Guide

  1. The Jolly Roger of Space: The pirate space battleship Arcadia raids an Earth transport ship and takes its food cargo. Afterwards, Harlock visits his ward Mayu on Earth and gives her an ocarina. Unfortunately he is then captured by Commander Kiruta, commander of the Space Defense Force. Harlock soon frees himself when the Arcadia arrives from the sky during his staged execution. Meanwhile, astronomers around the world are being killed off, and a strange black sphere approaches the Earth from space.
  2. A Message From the Unknown: When an Earth colony is attacked by a mysterious alien craft, the Arcadia destroys it. On Earth, Kiruta tries to lure Harlock into a trap by threatening Mayu. Harlock soon appears and saves Mayu from a wild wolf. Afterwards he attempts to warn the Earth Prime Minister of the alien sphere, but he is dismissed. Back in space, the Arcadia tries to destroy the approaching black sphere on its own, but the seemingly invulnerable giant object crashes into the Earth and lodges itself in the middle of the world capitol.
  3. A Lady Who Burns Like Paper: When an astronomer named Dr. Daiba tries to warn the Earth of the Mazone, he is killed by a strange woman. Harlock arrives to save his son, Tadashi, from meeting the same fate. Tadashi boards the Arcadia and watches as Harlock defeats a Mazone scouting fleet.
  4. Under the Flag of Freedom: Pursued by the Earth forces and the Mazone on earth, Tadashi decides to join Captain Harlock's crew. The Arcadia encounters another Mazone scout fleet.
  5. To the Shores of Distant Stars: After arriving on the Arcadia, Tadashi is disappointed at the lax attitude on the ship. However, after the crew snap to attention during a battle with a Mazone ship, he changes his mind. A captured Mazone soldier explodes herself after warning them of the Mazone leader, Queen Lafresia.
  6. The Phantom Mazone: Harlock tests Tadashi's piloting skills while on a scouting mission where they recover wreckage from a Mazone ship. Later, on a rest stop at Harlock's base Pirate Island 1, Harlock and Miime reminisce about their first meeting. Soon, Queen Lafresia's image appears in a hologram and starts off a countdown to a bomb explosion. The Arcadia quickly escapes destruction by blasting open the exit doors of the pirate base, but Pirate Island is destroyed.
  7. The Pyramid on the Sea Floor: While investigating a “rift” causing the Earth to split in two, Harlock discovers the tomb of an ancient Mazone inside an underwater pyramid. They learn how to identify Mazone hiding on Earth with sensor technology and begin to hunt them down one by one. Kiruta attempts to destroy Harlock when he visits Mayu, but Harlock is rescued by an Arcadia crewmember who makes a timely arrival in a drilling vehicle.
  8. The Queen's Space Fleet: Out of respect, Harlock releases a captured Mazone diplomat, but a vengeful Tadashi almost dies trying to pursue her ship. After the Arcadia defeats another advance Mazone fleet, Queen Lafresia tries to draw Harlock’s forces away from the Earth. However, Harlock recognizes the danger of leaving Earth unprotected and resists her lure.
  9. The Fearsome Plant Lifeform: Seeking clues to the true nature of the Mazone, the crew of the Arcadia capture an ancient Jomon flame pot from a disguised Mazone curator in a museum. When Harlock and Tadashi then investigate a Mazone jungle in South America they are attacked. Yattaran saves them by deploying a snow-making machine, forcing the Mazone to go into hibernation.
  10. Approaching the Mystery Planet: Daiba begins bombing the Amazon Mazone hive, but Harlock stops him. This convinces Queen Lafresia to countermand an order to immediately take over the Earth with the Mazone forces already in place on the surface. Nonetheless, a vengeful Mazone battleship attacks the Arcadia. During a fighter sortie, Daiba’s timing is thrown off by the beauty of his Mazone opponent. After the Arcadia destroys the Mazone battleship (by ramming it), the remains of the hull are identified as being from Venus.
  11. When Lola Shines Golden: The Arcadia comes across a Mazone space wreck and finds only Lola, the beautiful Mazone who had escaped Daiba earlier. When Daiba is put in charge of her, Lola uses her mind powers to trick Daiba into mistaking her for his mother. When the Arcadia arrives at Venus, Daiba releases Lola to the surface of the planet.
  12. Mother, Be Eternal: The Arcadia discovers an ancient abandoned Mazone base on Venus. Soon, a Mazone force attacks. The Arcadia destroys the main battleship with a ramming tactic. In a fighter, Daiba pursues Lola and is almost deceived by a giant illusion of his mother, but finally overcomes Lola’s power and shoots down her ship.
  13. Witch Castle in the Sea of Death: When a Mazone signal is detected in the Sargasso Sea, the Arcadia journeys there to investigate. They are soon attacked by an unmanned WWII submarine and then a rusty battleship. After destroying the battleship, the Arcadia goes underwater and penetrates a mysterious dome. There they encounter Aman, a Mazone witch who puts a sleeping spell on the crew. However, the Arcadia’s computer brain resists Aman’s power and helps Harlock gather the crew. The Arcadia then destroys the witch’s citadel and escapes to the surface.
  14. The Sphinx's Gravestone: In Egypt, Kiruta kidnaps Mayu in order to lure Harlock into the desert. After travelling over 120 miles, Harlock finds Kiruta and Mayu near a sphinx. Kiruta reveals that the sphinx hides a Mazone super-weapon. When it is fired, it causes a landslide which buries the Arcadia, 120 miles away. The ship’s computer spontaneously flies out of the rubble and goes to Harlock’s aid. After the Arcadia destroys the sphinx with its main cannon, Harlock departs with Mayu.
  15. Unrequited Love! The North Pole Aurora: At the North Pole, Harlock investigates a strange aurora which appears to be a runway of some sort. He is eventually captured by a Mazone ice witch, who also causes the Arcadia to become swallowed up in a crevasse. Fortunately, Miime is able to overcome the Mazone ice witch with her strange powers, and when Kiruta’s forces attack the Arcadia, it inadvertently frees it from the ice.
  16. Kei: A Song of Farewell: When Kei visits her parents’ grave, she is reunited with a former lover who now claims to be interested in furthering Kei’s father’s research. When Kei agrees to help him, he secretly uses hypnosis to try and pry secrets from her about Harlock on behalf of the Mazone. With Miime and Harlock’s help, Kei eventually sees through her former lover’s deceit and kills him.
  17. The Skeletal Hero: Chief Engineer Maji recalls his past, in which he had unknowingly married a Mazone and then had a child with her. After his commander Captain Yamanaki had identified and killed his Mazone wife, Maji’s child had then been kidnapped by the Mazone. In the present, the Arcadia discovers Yamanaki’s ship, manned only by corpses - apparently victims of the Mazone.
  18. The Evil Shadow Soldiers: While passing through the Pleiades star cluster, phantom-like Mazone “shadow soldiers” distract the crew, while a “real” Mazone raiding party led by Maji’s now-grown daughter secretly boards the ship. When Maji is captured and held on a Mazone base, he sees that Mazone children are grown, not born. In the end, he uses the Arcadia’s pulse cannons to destroy a fleeing Mazone ship carrying his (adopted) daughter.
  19. Queen Lafresia's Trap: On the way to the Horsehead Nebula, the Arcadia passes Harlock’s Deathshadow Island pirate base. Although Harlock orders it to remain behind, it follows the Arcadia for some reason. After passing through the nebula, the Mazone try to trap the Arcadia between gravitational tornadoes, an artificial comet and a volcanic proto-planet. Harlock uses Deathshadow Island as a shield and lures the comet into the planet. The Arcadia then destroys a Mazone fleet. Afterwards, a shadow projection of Queen Lafresia asks Harlock if he intends to challenge her personally.
  20. The Dead Planet Jura: When the Arcadia makes a stop at Miime’s home planet Jura, she discovers signs of life. She soon learns that the nuclear war which had destroyed her planet had been due to the Mazone, and that her best friend Fuure had been a Mazone spy all along. In a duel, she kills Fuure.
  21. Gohrum! The Tragic Soldier: Under cover of a strange asteroid bombardment, a small craft attaches itself to the Arcadia. A squad of alien soldiers (Tokagans) raid the ship. Harlock captures a Tokagan named Zol, who reveals that his soldiers are being forced to fight because their families are being held ransom by the Mazone. After giving Harlock the location of the Mazone main battle fleet, Zol dies in a suicide attack against a massive Mazone battleship. The Arcadia destroys the Mazone dreadnought in honor of Zol.
  22. Space Graveyard Deathshadow: The Mazone install one of their planetary pennants (black spheres) on Mars. Using the pennant’s homing signal, Harlock identifies the general location of the Mazone fleet (confirming Zol’s information) and then sets the Arcadia to intercept it. A few weeks later, the Arcadia is trapped on an antimatter gravity planet dubbed “Deathshadow” (ironically, the same name as one of Harlock's asteroid bases). Fortunately, when Lafresia’s fleet attacks, a mysterious force gives the Arcadia enough energy to escape and destroy the Mazone fleet.
  23. Yattaran: Song of the Plastic Model Lover: During a fighter sortie, Yattaran is captured and taken aboard a Mazone battleship. There, a Mazone soldier challenges him to a plastic model building contest (but secretly hoping to get a model replica of the Arcadia in order to find weaknesses in the ship). Yattaran happily complies but becomes offended when she later demands the Arcadia model at gunpoint. During this episode he also recalls how, as a student, he had once failed to impress a suitor through a ship model. Eventually, the Arcadia arrives and Yattaran is rescued.
  24. The Shooting Star of Virgin Love: A Tokagan soldier named Zorba (Zol’s son) escapes from the Mazone fleet with his Mazone lover Lucia. They eventually seek refuge on the Arcadia. When Queen Lafresia’s fleet attacks the Arcadia en masse in order to recapture the lovers, Zorba and Lucia depart in their ship the Shooting Star in order to spare the Arcadia from the Mazone fleet. The Shooting Star is soon destroyed by the merciless Mazone mothership.
  25. Doctor Zero and Mi: Outraged by the Mazones' treatment of Zorba and Lucia, when the next Mazone force attacks Doctor Zero insists on piloting a Space Wolf himself. Beforehand, he recollects his first meeting with his cat Mii. Later, he discovers that Mii has joined him in the cockpit. Also, during the battle, Harlock is shocked to learn that one of the ships he has fired upon contains Mazone civilians. He realizes that the Mazone are conducting a mass migration through the stars on their way to Earth.
  26. The Long Journey From Afar: Due to Harlock’s continued interference with the Mazone migration to Earth, a civilian faction of Mazone led by Lafresia’s close friend Tessia breaks away from the convoy in order to seek out a different, less hospitable planet to live on. Putting aside her emotions, Lafresia sends out her fleet captain to destroy them. Lafresia then appears as a hologram to Harlock and reveals to him that it was she who had saved the Arcadia on the antimatter graveyard planet Deathshadow. She has been using Harlock’s continued threat as a device to help unify the conquering will of the Mazone (and root out dissension). Harlock vows that the Mazone will never conquer the Earth.
  27. The Will of the Arcadia: The crew of the Arcadia begin falling sick frm sheer exhaustion. Harlock has no choice but begin to leverage the Mazone’s civilian flotilla as a tactical weak point. With her fleet in near-rebellion from these attacks, Lafresia has her agents on Earth force Kiruta to reveal Harlock’s weakness: Mayu. Mayu is soon kidnapped by Mazone agents, despite Kiruta’s efforts to protect her. When Lafresia informs Harlock that Mayu is being held in the Ulysses Nebula, the Arcadia itself decides to break off the attack on the Mazone fleet heading towards Earth and instead heads for the Ulysses Nebula.
  28. The Ulysses Nebula: Harlock reunites with an old friend, Doctor Ayn, who has established a human colony on one of the inner planets of the Ulysses Nebula. While searching for Mayu on the planet, Harlock and the Arcadia are attacked by sudden earthquakes and tsunamis. Harlock eventually learns that Doctor Ayn had created earthquake technology as a defence against the Mazone, but a secret Mazone spy has now forced him to use it against the Arcadia. When the Mazone spy tries to shoot his only grandson, Ayn sacrifices his life to stop her.
  29. Life-and-Death Struggle on the Rainbow Planet: Daiba is lured to a Rainbow Planet where a colony of Mazone civilians reside. Although Daiba is suspicious, eventually he begins to trust a young Mazone girl and complies with their request to summon Harlock to help them hide from Lafresia. Unfortunately, when Harlock arrives, it turns out to be a trap and Daiba and Harlock are forced to shoot their way out to freedom.
  30. My Friend, My Youth: While the Arcadia undergoes repairs on Deathshadow Island, Harlock recalls his early exploits with his friends Tochiro and Emeraldas (named Emeralda here): After a bar fight on a frontier planet, outlaws Harlock and Tochiro are forced to flee to their secret asteroid base, where Emeraldas soon introduces herself. Soon, the Harlock and Tochiro are attacked by law enforcement and, due to ship failure, they are captured. Eventually Emeraldas arrives and attacks the mining prison where they are being held. During the confusion, Tochiro sabotages the Earth  battleship Everest, ensuring the prisoners’ escape.
  31. The Arcadia's Secret History: (Continuing Harlock’s memories:) Years later, Tochiro and Emeraldas now have a child named Mayu. While Tochiro builds a new ship on the frontier mining planet Heavy Meldar, Emeraldas defends the planet from Kiruta’s SDF forces (who are seeking out Tochiro in order to force him to build a battleship to oppose Harlock’s pirate raids). Kiruta eventually locates Tochiro on Heavy Meldar but is driven off by Harlock’s sudden return from an off-planet mission. With Heavy Meldar about to be destroyed in a collision with another planet, the inhabitants of Heavy Meldar escape in Tochiro’s just-completed battleship, the Arcadia. Unfortunately, Tochiro then dies from overwork (anemia) incurred from the great effort required to finish the Arcadia in time. Emeraldas decides to spend her life escorting Tochiro’s space-coffin through space, and asks Harlock to raise Mayu on Earth.
  32. Call of the Star Flute: Back in the present, the advance Mazone fleet begins attacking Earth defense forces in the outer planets of the Solar System. Nonetheless, Harlock continues to search for Mayu in the Ulysses Nebula (just as Lafresia had expected). Drawn to the Nebula’s Windy Planet by the sounds of Mayu’s ocarina, Harlock and the Arcadia are nearly destroyed in several traps, but between the Arcadia’s “self-will” and Harlock’s tactical pre-planning, they escape (although Mayu is spirited away before she can be rescued).
  33. The Lone Man's Charge: As the Mazone fleet attacks Mars, Kiruta tries to rally his forces to engage them. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister is not interested in mounting a defense, and Kiruta’s own men desert him. Only an old veteran commander named Otawara has the courage to take out a fighter craft and head towards the enemy fleet in a suicide charge. Before he dies, he contacts the Arcadia and reveals that he has always been in love with Masu, the ship’s cook.
  34. The Galactic Lullaby: When Harlock follows Mayu’s trail to the Twin Planets, the Mazone use an artificial gravity mechanism to hold the Arcadia immobilized between the two spheres. Miime soon realizes that the gravity is artificial, giving Harlock the idea to destroy the mechanism itself with a blast of the ship’s cannons. On the surface, Harlock finally rescues Mayu from a Mazone base, just as the Mazone set the Twin Planets on a collision course with each other. Back on the Arcadia, Mayu is unable to sleep until the Arcadia’s computer (Tochiro's soul) sings her a lullaby.
  35. The Beautiful Mystery Woman: After Commander Kiruta is framed as a Mazone agent, the Prime Minister’s secretary Mizuno (actually a Mazone agent) gains his trust by helping him escape from the authorities. When Harlock returns to Earth to drop Mayu off back at her school, he grants Kiruta’s wish and gives Mizuno sanctuary aboard the Arcadia.
  36. The Eve of the Showdown: Mizuno tries to seduce Harlock in order to gain his secrets, but Harlock suspects her of being a Mazone agent and openly mocks Queen Lafresia. Listening in and enraged, Lafresia has Mizuno set off bombs on the Arcadia, disabling its weapons systems, after which the Mazone advance fleet attacks. However, Harlock uses ramming tactics to defeat the Mazone fleet.
  37. Tears on a Red Sweater: When Mizuno fails in her mission to destroy the Arcadia, Queen Lafresia cuts off communications with her. Harlock has her leave in a small ship, but Mazone fighters attack and try to destroy her. The crew of the Arcadia rescues Mizuno, after which she recuperates on the Arcadia. Ultimately, she sets off a chain of events which lead to her death at the hands of her true love, Harlock.
  38. Farewell, Mayu: The Mazone finally arrive on Earth and begin wreaking havoc. While the Arcadia creates a distraction for the Mazone, Kiruta takes Mayu to Africa for safekeeping. When the Mazone then attack Kiruta’s hideout in Africa, the Arcadia arrives just in time to save Kiruta and his family. The wounded Kiruta is brought aboard the Arcadia. Harlock reveals to Mayu that her father’s soul lives on in the Arcadia’s computer.
  39. Courage: The Death of the Commander: The Arcadia intercepts a Mazone fleet near Jupiter and is almost overcome by numbers. Mazone fighters manage to enter the ship and hand to hand battle ensues. While protecting the ship’s computer, Kiruta is mortally injured. A gravitational disruption on the surface of Jupiter causes the Mazone fleet to fall into disarray, allowing Harlock to defeat them.
  40. And Then the Angels Sang: Lafresia orders increasingly desperate attacks on the Arcadia, including the use of guerilla sabotage troops, fake hospital ships and civilian ships (as a shield). After an attack, Harlock brings a Tokagan woman aboard the Arcadia just as she is about to give birth. Lafresia orders her fleet to attack but the other civilian Tokagan craft in her convoy move to block Lafresia’s battleships. In the end, the woman gives birth and Lafresia orders her fleet to retreat, hoping to lure Harlock into a one-on-one confrontation.
  41. Duel! The Queen Versus Harlock: Although sustaining major damage from Mazone suicide attacks, the Arcadia destroys the rest of the Mazone battle fleet, leaving only Lafresia’s mothership, the Dorcas. With the Arcadia’s batteries out of action, Harlock leads a squadron of drill fighters in a coordinated attack on the Dorcas itself, and he eventually comes face to face with the Mazone Queen. When Lafresia’s strange mental abilities threaten to overpower Harlock, the Arcadia moves by itself and rams the Dorcas, breaking Lafresia’s mental hold. Harlock soon defeats Lafresia in a sword duel, but he spares her life when he sees that she bleeds red blood. Humiliated, Lafresia leaves Earth with the remains of her armada, but not before leaving behind a final mysterious threat.
  42. Farewell, Cosmic Corsair: When the Arcadia returns to Earth, the crew are stunned when the Prime Minister wants them to leave the planet. Meanwhile, the Mazone pennant reactivates the Mazone still residing on Earth and a new hostile takeover ensues. Harlock has the Arcadia destroy the pennant and the Mazone are once again defeated. With the Arcadia crew now welcome on Earth once more, Harlock leaves his crew to build a new, better world, while he and Miime depart for outer space.

A synopsis of the manga version can be found here.