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Arcadia of My Youth: Endless Orbit SSX (わが青春のアルカディア·無限軌道SSX Waga Seishun no Arukadia - Mūgen Kidō Esu Esu Ekkusu?) is an animated television series created by Leiji Matsumoto. It's the sequel to the 1982 animated film Arcadia of My Youth. However, like many of the stories set in the Leijiverse, the continuity of the series does not necessarily agree with other Harlock series or films.

The series premiered just as the Gundam craze began in Japan. Mobile Suit Gundam ushered in a new era of more realistic Sci-Fi anime that made the fantasy and melodrama of Captain Harlock seem outdated. Therefore, the series suffered low viewer ratings and was ended after 22 episodes - half of what was originally planned.

Plot

At the end of Arcadia of My Youth, Captain Harlock and the crew of the space ship Arcadia had been banished from Earth. The Earth, as well as many other planets in the universe had been taken over by the Illumidus, a race of destructive humanoids who ruin, enslave or destroy almost any inhabitable planet they come across. In "Endless Orbit SSX" Harlock battles the Illumidus while searching for a mythical "Planet of Peace" where all the peoples of the universe can live freely and without war.

It was not the intention that Endless Orbit SSX act as a prequel to Galaxy Express 999 and the 1978 Space Pirate Captain Harlock as both Galaxy Express and SSX contradict each other as well as the back story given in the 1978 Space Pirate series. The 1989-1993 American comic book adaptations by Eternity Comics did, however attempt to establish a continuity. The comic book series was not an actual adaptaion of SSX but liberally borrowed elements from the series while introducing new ones in an attempt to establish a continuity with Galaxy Express and Space Pirate series'.

Characters

Captain Harlock

The Captain is an idealistic and chivalrous man, but not prone to showing much emotion. He shares a strong bond with Tochiro Oyama, who built his ship "Arcadia". The ancestors of the two men were also friends.

Before he became a pirate, Harlock was a Captain in the Solar Federation, a human military organization. His first post at the helm of a star ship was as the Captain of the ship Deathshadow, a ship which later would be used against him. After the Illumidus took over Earth, and his lover Maya was killed, he was banished from earth. Harlock became an outlaw and the captain of the Arcadia.

Harlock is a very skilled fighter and pilot. He is also quite intelligent, though most of this intelligence is displayed in combat. His combat ability was tested after the Deathshadow was sent after him with a computer programed to fight like Harlock controlling the old ship. It was one of the few times that Captain Harlock has shown his emotions so vividly, as the ship caused him to become angry and frustrated.

Voiced by: Makio Inoue

Tochiro Oyama

A small, silly looking man with large glasses, Tochiro is extremely intelligent. He built the whole of the "Arcadia" by himself, and later inserted his mind into the ship's computer. He can generally be found on the bridge of the ship, or working in the computer room or the engine room. He loves to tinker with electronic things. In one episode Tochiro rebuilds an old radio on the ship, and then later communicates with Harlock via this radio using a second radio that builds out of parts salvaged from a destroyed Illumidus.

He is generally very friendly, though he is sometimes quick to anger, even with friends. He will staunchly defend his beliefs, his great friend Captain Harlock, and Emeraldas, whom he has a crush on. By contrast, when faced with enemies or a bar fight, he will remain calm, or even allow himself to be humiliated if it means either not fighting or getting the upper hand eventually.

Voiced by: Kei Tomiyama

Emeraldas

Though she only appears in a few episodes, Emeraldas had a substantial role in Arcadia of My Youth and is a major character in the Lejiverse. She is an old friend of Harlock's, and is very much like him in many ways. She has similar beliefs as him, and also fights against the Illumidus on her ship the Queen Emeraldas. However she is more solitary than Harlock, with herself being the only crew member of her ship. She does eventually fall in love with Tochiro, though she never says so outright, and he dies before a relationship can develop.

Emeraldas' trade mark is a single red rose. She leaves one to show she is or has been at a location, and also gives them as a token of farewell.

Voiced by: Reiko Tajima

Kei Yuki

Kei is another of the Arcadia's young crew members, though she is treated as an adult be the rest of the crew. She is a kind and brave girl, who risks her life for her crew mate Tochiro. She is also trusted by young Rebi, and brings human emotion to the often stoic bridge crew.

Kei grew up on a small space station with her father Goro, a publisher of Anti-Illumidus newspapers. Captain Herlock came to the station to find out more information about the "Treasure Island Legend". Though Goro distrusted him at first, the elder Yuki eventually sacrifices his life so that the Arcadia, with his daughter on board, can escape. He would further influence his daughter's life when it is revealed that Kei has the "Treasure Island Legend" information embedded in her sub-conscience, thanks to him.

Voiced by: Yōko Asagami

La Mime

La Mime is a humanoid creature who looks like a mouthless, blank-eyed female. When she speaks a blue light winks on and off along with her words. She works on the bridge of the Arcadia, and rarely is seen far from her post.

Like the Captain, La Mime usually shows little emotion, but this may be because of her facial features. She feels a great sorrow for her planet, which was destroyed by the Illumidas. She was enslaved by them, though she later escaped them after helping Harlock act against them.

La Mime treasures a sea shell that is all she has of her home. She loves it so much that she is able to distinguish a fake that Harlock had made to tell between her and an impostor. She later gives the shell to Rebi.

Voiced by: Yuriko Yamamoto

Mr. Zone

Mr. Zone is a human who has joined the Illumidas. He has become a traitor to the human race largely thanks to his hatred of Captain Harlock. When they both were in the Solar Federation, Harlock caused Zone to lose his job as a ship designer when Harlock claimed his ship designs were unsafe. Mr. Zone's thirst for revenge caused him to join the Illumidas, who also want Captain Harlock and the Arcadia destroyed.

Later, Mr. Zone reveals a second motive - a desired to rule the universe. He secretly put together a force of humans, who help Zone take over an Illumidas ship after he acquires the Fire of St. Aqule, an immensely powerful force.

The character Alexander Nevich in the American 1989-1993 Eternity Comics Captain Harlock comic books is clearly based on Mr. Zone in both appearance and character.

Voiced by: Tōru Furuya

Tadashi Monono

Tadashi is the second youngest member of the crew, and like Rebi, he is an orphan. His family died during an Illumidas invasion on his planet and the starvation that followed. He originally planned to kill Harlock and collect the sizable bounty on the Captain's head. Instead, he ends up joining Harlock's crew as their cook.

Tadashi is often hot heated and impulsive, and wants to be treated as an adult, though he is still a child. He does eventually prove himself his worth when he alone goes on a mission to destroy a computer whose mind controlling waves only effects adults.

Voiced by: Satomi Majima

Rebi

Rebi (alternately, "Revi") is a young girl whose mother is dead and whose father is a mystery to her. All she knows is that he is in space somewhere. She is adopted by Dr. Ban and later joins the crew of the Arcadia, after they save her and the doctor from an attack on the transport ship they were traveling on. Though she is too young to do any real work, she does help Tadashi in his duties as cook. At first she has a childish crush on the young cook, but later these two, the youngest people aboard the Arcadia, develop a good friendship.

Rebi eventually meets Capitan Bentselle, the man who is her father, but she is unaware of his true identity. Later, at Christmas time, she finally gets a chance to speak with him. Sadly, he died after sacrificing himself to save the Arcadia, leaving Rebi a true orphan.

Voiced by: Hiromi Tsuru

Capitan Bentselle

Capitan Bentselle is the father of Rebi, and was Captain of the starship Deathshadow. He originally was a patsy of the Illumidas, and was sent to destroy Captain Harlock and the Arcadia. However, after inadvertently kidnapping his own daughter (as well as Dr. Ban), he became ashamed of himself and ceased combat with the Arcadia.

After sustaining great injuries which left him a cripple and needing the use of several cybernetic prostheses, he eventually reappears to save his daughter. The Deathshadow was placed under the control of a computer programed with all of Harlock's maneuvers. Thus Harlock could not defeat it. So Bentselle, after speaking to his daughter for the last time, infiltrated the Deathshadow and destroyed it, dying in the process.

Voiced by: Yasurō Tanaka

Dr. Ban

Dr. Ban is a friendly, somewhat timid man, who adopts young Rebi after the death of her mother. He joins the Arcadia with her, and joins the crew as the ship's doctor. He also becomes quit friendly with young Tadashi, and the three are often seen together. In the Eternity Comics comic book series, Dr. Ban is called Dr. Zero who was the doctor character in 1978 series Space Pirate Captain Harlock. Dr. Ban and Dr. Zero are two different characters in the original Japanese series.

There is also a character named Dr. Ban in Galaxy Express 999 but the character is so different from the doctor in SSX that no relation is generally assumed between the two.

Voiced by: Jōji Yanami

Illumidus

The Illumidus are a species of Humanoids who are militaristic and aggressively trying to expand their empire. Any planet that they take over becomes covered in wasteland, with most of the native inhabitants being either killed or enslaved. A rare few individuals from captured planets choose to work for the Illumidus, and some, like Mr. Zone, have managed to rise to a position of power in the Illumidus army.

The males are similar in appearance to human males, except they have greyish-green skin, and their hair often grows around the top and outer side of their eyes like thick eyebrows. They are also generally the same height as human males, though they don't seem to grow to the same extremes. There are few very tall Illumidus males, and there are none that are as short as men like Tochiro. No female Illumidus are ever shown, and their home planet is only shown brefly, from a distance, before it is destroyed.

Episodes

# Title Original air date
01 Arcadia, Blast Off!
"" (アルカディア発進)
October 13, 1982 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
A young bounty hunter is after Captain Harlock, but when they finally meet, things don't go as planned.
02 Lady Captain Leotard
"" (女艦長レオタード)
October 20, 1982 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
The Arcadia needs repairs, but a complicated part is needed. Tochiro knows of one man who make it, but that man lives on a planet ruled by the Illumidus.
03 Lullaby of the Battlezone
"" (戦闘空間の子守唄)
October 27, 1982 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
The Arcadia answers a distress call sent by a ship under attack by bandits.
04 The Cosmic Treasure Island Legend
"" (宇宙の宝島伝説)
November 3, 1982 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Searching for answers, the Arcadia visits a space station devoted to transmitting information.
05 Girl of the Ghost Ship "Sell"
"" (幽霊船セルの少女)
November 10, 1982 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
A cyborg found on a derelict ship is taken aboard the Arcadia, but crew's pity on the girl could be their undoing.
06 It Appears! The Great Space Fortress
"" (登場!宇宙大要塞)
November 17, 1982 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
The Arcadia is badly damaged and Tochiro is ill. But could his mad rantings be the ship's salvation?
07 X=Emeraldas
"" (X=エメラルダス)
December 1, 1982 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Emeraldas has an unpleasant reminder of how she got her scar
08 Mother and Son of the Steel Plane
"" (鉄の星の少年と母)
December 8, 1982 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
After a trip to a planet covered in water, an explosion causes the full water tanks of the Arcadia to empty, forcing them to make an emergency landing on a planet made of metal.
09 Who's the Spy?
"" (スパイはだれだ!)
December 15, 1982 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
An act of sabotage has damaged the Arcadia, and Kei has gone missing.
10 Snowfall in the Sea of Stars
"" (星の海に雪が降る)
December 22, 1982 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
It's Christmas and all little Rebi wishes is to see her father again.
11 The Sound of Freedom's Bell Rings Out
"" (響け自由の鐘の音)
January 5, 1983 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
The crew of the Arcadia try to take much needed shore leave on a neutral planet. They are forced to leave because of the Illumidus' treacherous and destructive ways.
12 The Heart's Control, the Heart's Vessel
"" (心で操る·心の船)
January 12, 1983 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Mr. Zone has built a ship that he is sure will destroy the Arcadia once and for all.
13 Riddle of the Golden Goddess
"" (謎の黄金女神像!?)
January 19, 1983 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
The Arcadia encounters a strange golden ball of light that leaves La Mime terrified.
14 Riddle of the Glowing UFO
"" (謎の光はUFO?)
January 26, 1983 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
The glowing golden ball continues to be a mystery, and Mr. Zone gains an armada.
15 Eighty Minutes in the Sea of Death
"" (死の海中80分!?)
February 2, 1983 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
The Arcadia, again badly damaged, is forced to hide in the waters of an ocean planet where the pressure is so great it will implode the ship if they don't repair it in time.
16 The Cat Taken Aboard in Space
"" (宇宙で拾ったネコ)
February 9, 1983 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Rebi sneaks a cat on board, an act which threatens to doom the whole ship.
17 The Great Sandstorm: Communication Impossible
"" (大竜巻!! 交信不能)
February 16, 1983 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Rebi's cat breaks Tochiro's radio, sending him storming off the ship. Rebi, Tadashi and Dr. Ban go after him, and soon all four of them are stranded on a dangerous planet.
18 The Deliverance of Emeraldas
"" (エメラルダス救出)
February 23, 1983 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Emeraldas has been surrounded by the Illumidus, and the only way to get the Arcadia there in time is though a dangerously radioactive part of space.
19 The Mystery of Planet Maicon
"" (マイコン惑星の怪)
March 2, 1983 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Mr. Zone tricks Captain Herlock into the deadly grasp of a mad and murderous computer.
20 The Gate of Arcadia: Will it Open?
"" (宝島への道)
March 9, 1983 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Tochiro is ill, but Dr. Ban doesn't have the right chemical to test how ill the little man is. Kei risks travelling to an Illumidus-controlled station to get it.
21 Fight on, Tochiro, Until Life's End
"" (闘えトチロー!!命果てるまで...)
March 16, 1983 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Captain Harlock is finally in site of his goal, but will Tochiro be there when he reaches it?
22 Return to the Mother World Earth: Be Eternal, Cosmic Hero
"" (母なる地球へ!!宇宙の勇者よ永遠に...)
March 30, 1983 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Both Harlock and Mr. Zone have been given the Fire of St. Aqule, which one will triumph?

External links

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