A comic by Leiji Matsumoto and Jerome Alquié
When we last left the Arcadia crew, Harlock and Company were just starting to recognize that something wasn’t exactly right in the world. Temperatures started dropping and it was immediately apparent that something was up. While issue one was, for the most part, a way to reacquaint the audience with the characters and show a glimpse of the villains at the end, issue two is where the plot hits the ground running. We get confirmation that the new alien threat to Earth is evidentially an older version of Harlock’s primary foe, The Mazon, a sub-race that apparently can exist at extremely cold temperatures. Being a race of humanoid plants ostensibly, it’s confusing why an “Ice Mazon” can exist, but there it is, I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough.
“The Earth government isn’t up to the task of protecting the planet from an impending invasion, so Harlock and his crew have to take it on themselves. The space pirates rush to investigate a looming threat already implanted on Earth that will make a Mazon takeover that much more likely. Will they be able to meet this threat head on and eliminate it from the board before humankind is under siege from all sides?”
This issue was simply awesome. Issue one was great, don’t get me wrong, but it was basically a prologue in the grand scheme of things. In issue two almost everyone in the Arcadia crew got to show off a bit, especially Yattaran, which is always great for me (love that guy and his model kits). Kei Yuuki is left to watch the ship while most of the action happens, but I’m sure she will get her cool moment in the next issue. There are new side-characters introduced, and thankfully, they seem to be meshing well with the story. You always run a risk when doing an adaptation like this, in introducing characters that stick out like “that’s NOT an original character!”
Even though this has the same page-count as volume one, it seems longer since there is more “meat” to the content whereas issue one had more splash pages and bonus stuff at the end. I had to look up and check whether or not this was randomly a double-sized issue or something and it was not.
If this issue is an indication of what future issues will be like, I’m definitely excited for this comic. It was the right mix of action and character building that I enjoyed, and set up a decent plot for this story arc. I’m not sure if Ablaze has long-term plans with this IP, but I hope they do as I will be interested to see what other conflicts The Arcadia crew can get into. I also, can’t wait for the obligatory cameos to start popping up (Emeraldas, Maetel etc.) If you were lukewarm on the first issue, as I know some were, check this one out!
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