Captain Harlock is a Japanese manga (comic) character created by writer-artist Leiji Matsumoto (松本零士), who also co-created the Space Battleship Yamato series. Besides various TV series and direct to video productions, Harlock was also featured in a full length animated film, "My Youth in Arcadia" (わが青春のアルカディア, 1982). Though probably not as well-known to most Western audiences, the score for this film is beautifully written with many romantic and action-packed themes. Fairly difficult to buy outside of Japan, it can still be obtained through online Japan stores or Japanese bookstores such as Kinokuniya. In any case, despite that most people reading this will have neither seen the film nor heard this score, it's fun writing about it, even if it's only for my own pleasure. The music is apparently on YouTube, but I have no idea how good it sounds....
The score was composed by Toshiyuki Kimori (who died tragically young at the age of 41), and features a full orchestra (New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra), as well as 2 pop songs featuring singers Maria Asahina (朝比奈マリア) and Teppei Shibuya (渋谷哲平), respectively. Due to the extreme length of the film (130 min.), many of its cues were retracked in several places, but since the music is just so good, it never gets tiresome (at least for me). The entire score with retracked cues included ("isolated score") was released on Space Pirate Captain Harlock Eternal Edition File No.3 & 4 ~ My Youth in Arcadia in 2001 on Columbia Records in Japan, with bonus tracks consisting of piano/choral versions of several TV and film songs.
- Harlock fanfare (2a)
- Harlock theme (4a, 5): heroic, eventually used as theme for 2nd TV series
- Honor theme (2a): first appears as a funeral march
- The Sun Will Not Die (2b, 3b): song used as background for Maya's pirate radio broadcasts
- Resistance motif (3a, 10c): Dark 4-note action/suspense ostinato
- Memory theme (5b): with repeating 4-note figure eventually resolving
- Friendship theme (6b): noble/romantic
- Tokarga theme (9a): sad theme in ascending 4-note phrases
- Rebel theme (10c): 8-beat action figure
|1||4:16||Stanley Challenge||0:00: Phantom F. Harlock flies
alone in his plane, "Arcadia of my Youth", about to challenge the
mountain known as the Stanley Witch.
Excerpt from Dvorak Symphony 9 1st M: low strings alternating with rising figures, brass/string accents, timpani cadence.
Harlock searches fruitlessly for a ravine passage, as snow tumbles down the
Retrack of 5c (edit of 1st half only): suspense figures, fanfare with abrupt end.
Harlock jettisons almost all of his fuel and attempts to go over the
mountain. As he flies upwards he sees
visions of a witch.
Bassoon melody with string/piano counter melody, ending with all strings.
|0:00: Harlock's hand closes the
book he has been reading, "Arcadia"; Main Title sequence; Harlock
on the Deathshadow, as the ship takes damage from enemy fire.
Brass Harlock fanfare, low string tremoli, Honor theme (funeral march) led by brass/celli, fanfare returns with development, march theme resumes in violins.
Harlock lands on Earth, attempting to scuttle the Deathshadow; Maya, the
"Voice of Free Arcadia" broadcasts a resistance message and
"The Sun Will Not Die": Vocal song: Masaaki Hirao, V: Maria Asahina
|3||7:29||Wordless Resistance||0:00: Harlock surrenders his
ship to ground forces led by Zoll of Tokarga, an Illumidas conscript who
Harlock had previously defeated in space.
Harlock is ordered to report to GHQ, but he decides to take a walk
Suspense figures with Resistance motif (low 4-note figure) in low strings (ex.: 1:04), fanfare figures, dramatic dialogue-driven music.
Harlock hears the pirate radio broadcast from Maya again (instr.). He dispatches a few soldiers and discovers
a rose left by Maya and the resistance.
"The Sun Will Not Die", instrumental version.
Harlock arrives at GHQ and meets the Illumidas commander Zeda. He has a brief moment of challenge from
another soldier, Murigson.
Retrack of 3a (edit of ending section): dramatic dialogue-driven music.
Harlock refuses to work with the Illumidas.
La Mime gives him a food coupon and the Illumidas dismiss him.
Retrack of 7a (edit): Suspense figures in winds/strings, rising string patterns.
|4||3:38||Meeting Tochiro||0:00: Harlock sees Tochiro and
has pity for him, but Toschiro ends up comforting Harlock instead.
Harlock theme: solo trumpet over tremolo strings, flute over strings, alternating.
Illumidas harasses Tochiro. Harlock
comes to his aid and a fight breaks out.
When the police come, Harlock and Tochiro escape.
Suspense textures, then uptempo brass/timpani over string rhythm using 8-beat Rebel motif (1:46).
|5||5:39||In Memory||0:00: When Zoll puts Harlock and
Tochiro in a past lives memory machine, a flashback occurs where Phantom F.
Harlock II is flying a plane in World War 2.
He crashes but a Japanese engineer, Tochiro, helps him retrieve the
Retrack of 5c (2nd half): action cue with oboe, brass, etc... over string rhythm, Harlock theme fanfare (0:42), becoming calmer, romantic string figures.
Harlock and Tochiro talk about the pointless war and hope for a better
Memory theme on solo oboe, then joined by flute, strings, etc., developed.
When Allied tanks approach, Harlock takes off with Tochiro in the
fuselage. With Tochiro's help he
shoots down pursuing planes.
Suspense/dramatic figures, then action cue with oboe, brass, etc... over string rhythm, Harlock theme fanfare, becoming calmer, romantic string figures.
|6||3:44||Friendship||0:00: Harlock approaches the
mountains of Switzerland. He tells
Tochiro about his family history, the pirate-knight Harlock Clan.
Retrack of 1c (edit): Bassoon melody with string/piano counter melody.
Upon landing, Harlock finds out that Tochiro has been holding the plane's
controls together with his bare hands.
He carries Tochiro to the banks of Switzerland and then turns back to
face his pursuers.
Tremolo strings, noble/romantic Friendship theme in trumpets/violins, winds, cellos, flute, etc, recap/coda.
|7||3:15||Loyalty to Earth
|0:00: The Illumidas Earth
collaborator tells Harlock that the Illumidas want the Earthmen to subjugate
Tokarga for them. The damaged Queen
Emeraldas descends to Earth.
Suspense figures in bassoon/strings, rising string patterns, falling winds, etc.
Tochiro meets Emeraldas, a free trader.
She tells him that her ship was damaged in the Prominence of the
Streams of Fire, the Stanley Witch of space.
La Mime visits the Tokargans.
Retrack (or closely rerecorded) from 2a: Harlock fanfare, Honor march theme in violins.
|8||5:10||Maya||0:00: Maya broadcasts, as
Illumidas soldiers close in.
Retrack of 3b (edit): "The Sun Will Not Die", instrumental version.
Harlock engages in a firefight with the soldiers. Maya appears.
Retrack of 4b (middle section edit): uptempo brass/timpani over string rhythm using 8-beat Rebel motif.
Harlock is shot in the eye. He climbs
up to Maya but she tells him to stay away in order to avoid getting
Retrack of 2.3 (edit): Sweeping Maya theme on brass/strings, winds/string pulses, etc.
Harlock greets Emeraldas and Tochiro, who has fixed the Queen
Retrack of 13c: sad string figures.
Harlock has a vision of Maya getting shot when her broadcast is suddenly cut
Swirling strings, timpani sccents, brass cadence.
|9||5:40||Towards Tokarga||0:00: La Mime tells Harlock
about how the Illumidas destroyed her planet.
She tells them that Zoll and his group want to return home to help
their home planet (or die with it).
Tokarga theme: rising 4-note figure on oboe, piano, celli, ending in peaceful cadence.
Tochiro suggests that they go instead in a ship he has secretly built, and
that Zoll and most of his men remain behind.
They all have a toast.
Harp/strings, Memory motif in harp over strings/winds, violins, flute, clarinet, etc., Maya theme on oboe, horn...strings, developed into brass harmonies, etc., ending on hopeful cadence.
|0:00: The Queen Emeraldas takes
off. Harlock, Tochiro, La Mime and one
of the Tokargans descend underground to board the Arcadia.
Action cue, militaristic, based on variations of 4-note Resistance motif, ending with swirling strings, swooping brass figures.
Harlock enters the bridge and Tochiro explains how the ship is his alter
ego. Harlock opens a gift from Maya: a
pirate costume and flag (4:11).
Development of Harlock fanfare, leading to grand "naval" figures in brass/winds, drums, ending in Harlock fanfare.
The Arcadia launches and emerges from underneath the spaceport.
Dark, propulsive figures based on 4-note Resistance motif, driven by rhythmic strings, brass, drums, etc…leading to 8-beat Rebel theme.
The Arcadia launches into space, as Emeraldas (in her ship) and Maya (on the
ground) look on.
Retrack of 3b: "The Sun Will Not Die", instrumental version.
|11||4:29||Rebellion||0:00: The Illumidas hold
Emeraldas and Maya captive, and threaten to kill then if Harlock does not
return by morning.
Tension figures, repeated.
the morning, the Illumidas prepare to execute Emeraldas and Maya.
Tokarga theme led by winds, then joined by strings.
Soldiers take aim, and prepare to shoot.
Bass pulses under tension figures in winds/brass.
The execution is halted by the arrival of Zoll and his rebellion. Maya is injured, Emeraldas is scarred (both
by Murigson) and Zoll is killed (by an Earthman).
Retrack of 10a (edit): Action cue, militaristic, based on variations of 4-note Resistance motif.
Arrival at Tokarga
|0:00: Zoll dies, telling his
friends, farewell. Harlock tells
Tochiro to raise the pirate flag.
Retrack of 11b (edit): Tokarga theme in winds/strings.
With the flag raised, the Arcadia heads for Tokarga. Emeraldas tells Maya not to feel guilt at
all of the deaths.
Retrack of 2a: Brass Harlock fanfare, low string tremoli, Honor theme (funeral march) led by brass/celli, fanfare returns with development, march theme resumes in violins.
Tokarga comes into view: a burned cinder.
4-note Resistance motif on bassoon, increasing tempo, joined by winds.
|13||5:46||Tragedy of Tokarga||0:00: The Arcadia descends
through storm clouds and see destroyed buildings. Harlock and the Tokargan launch in
Retrack of 11b (looped): Tokarga theme led by winds, then joined by strings.
After finding many dead, they eventually find other Tokargan resistance
fighters. They find Mira, Zoll's
sister but also detect a planetary gravity bomb about to explode. An Illumidas fleet surrounds the
Tokarga theme (similar but with added piano), followed by slower version of 11a: tension figures repeated.
The Arcadia lifts off and Tokarga explodes.
Sad string figures.
|1||3:15||River of Flame
|0:00: In order to avoid the
Illumidas fleet, the Arcadia navigates through the Prominence of Flame. Mira dies.
Retrack of 1.1c: bassoon melody with string/piano counter melody, ending with all strings.
order to save the Arcadia from the River of Flame, the Tokargans sacrifice
their lives to the "Stanley Witch".
Retrack of 2.6a (edit): sad processional theme in strings/winds over plucked bass.
|2||8:21||Return||0:00: The Arcadia returns to
Earth, as the Illumidas wait.
Foreboding low winds/strings, hesitant Harlock fanfare, timpani, regal variation of Harlock fanfare and Honor theme, with wind/string figures interlude, resuming with sprightly Harlock fanfare/Honor theme.
Harlock sees Zoll's grave. The Earth
representative exiles Harlock and his friends.
Tokarga theme on solo trumpet over piano arpeggios, etc…, string figures repeated.
Emeraldas and Maya arrive, and Emeraldas threatens the Illumidas. Maya gives her final message and dies. As Harlock prepares to leave Earth, he
offers refuge to any who will join him.
Retrack of 1.1c with new introduction on lush strings (Bassoon melody with string/piano counter melody, ending with all strings).
Harlock and his crew prepare to leave, but Zeda challenges him to a final
duel. Murigson tries to shoot Harlock
but is killed.
Retrack of 1.12c (4-note Resistance motif on bassoon), followed by tremolo winds leading into "showdown" music with rock rhythm.
|The Arcadia and the Queen
Emeraldas launch from Earth, with Maya's final transmission ringing through
Sweeping Maya theme on brass/strings, winds/string pulses, etc.
|0:00: Zeda leads the Arcadia
away from the Illumidas fleet. They
slowly approach and their duel begins.
Militaristic but romantic battle music, driven by brass and snare, with wind/string interludes.
2:35: The ships make multiple passes at each other. The Arcadia is damaged, but Toshiro uses a gun sight from their past life to help.
More strident figures, back to opening drum pulses, fanfares (repeat first main section)
Zeda evacuates his ship and attempts to ram the Arcadia. His ship is destroyed by the Arcadia's
Retrack of 1.1c: bassoon melody with string/piano counter melody, ending with all strings.
|5||2:37||Pursuit of Illumidas||The Arcadia turns to engage the
Illumidas fleet. Harlock boards and
kills the fleet captain, giving the remainder of the crew a warning.
Harlock theme: Uptempo developed arrangement with some march sections (SSX opening theme).
"My Youth in Arcadia"
|0:00: Maya, Mira and Zoll are
given a space burial.
Sad processional theme in strings/winds over plucked bass, violin solo, repeat, etc.
The Arcadia and the Queen Emeraldas take off into space/End credits.
Vocal song: Masaaki Hirao, V: Teppei Shibuya.
|7||5:10||Overture: Lost Dream||Bonus track: piano/choral version: TV Show opening theme motif, then new material, ending with opening motif.|
|8||4:35||Poem of Resistance: The Sun Does Not Die||Bonus track: piano/choral version: "The Sun Will Not Die".|
|9||3:32||Blood of Friendship: Already I am Alone||Bonus track: piano/choral version.|
|10||4:10||Maya's Love: Last Song of the Starry Sky||Bonus track: piano/choral version: TV show song.|
|11||4:02||Far Star, Far Tokarga||Bonus track: piano/choral version.|
|12||4:57||Return of Sorrow: Beyond the River of Fire||Bonus track: piano/choral version.|
|13||4:28||Arcadia: Our Friend, Our Life||Bonus track: piano/choral version: TV Show ending theme.|
|14||3:49||Captain Harlock - My Youth in Arcadia||Bonus track: piano/choral version: SSX TV Show opening theme (Pursuit of Illumidas)|
My Youth In Arcadia Wiki
Captain Harlock Wiki
Leiji Matsumoto Wiki
Arcadia of my Youth on Daily Motion 1, 2, 3, 4