In the year 2977, humanity has long passed its peak; machines are able to perform any task a human can, and people have succumbed to apathy. However, there remains one who refuses to accept such an existence: Captan Harlock, a pirate who sails the sea of stars aboard his ship, the Arcadia. He is feared and loathed by most inhabitants of Earth, and yet he is their only hope against the Mazones, a strange alien race of beautiful women that threatens humanity. Thus begins a lonely battle in which Harlock and the crew of Arcadia struggle to stay true to their ideals, while slowly unravelling the sad tale of the Mazones.
In another world, there exist many countries, each with different cultures, customs, and traditions. From technological marvels to folk legends, each location yields a vast wealth of insight of its people: their hopes and their dreams, their failures and fears. Kino is a traveler whose goal is to visit as many new places as possible, learning about others' ways of life, but also making sure to stay clear of their affairs. Together with the talking motorrad Hermes, Kino sets out to explore the beautiful world and meet its inhabitants, wherever they may be.
What Kino and Harlock, the protagonists after which their series are named, have in common is their detachment from what is considered normal in their worlds. Refusing to comply with social norms, both of them choose to become outcasts, wanderers who do not have a place to go back home to. While quite different in style, both series are at heart about the loneliness which comes from staying true to one's principles.
The war between the monarchical Galactic Empire and the democratic Free Planets Alliance has raged ceaselessly across the galaxy for over a century, with the fleets of both powers having fought countless battles. Currently the conflict revolves around the strategic Iserlohn Corridor, one of only two passages of space through which the two forces can access each other. Here the Empire has built the nigh-impregnable Iserlohn Fortress, whose deadly weaponry has thwarted repeated efforts by the Alliance to capture her. Phezzan, a neutral mercantile state, controls the other corridor. The long war has resulted in an indecisive stalemate, but there are two men from the two worlds who will change everything: Wen-Li Yang, a gifted strategist from the Alliance who wants nothing more than to retire and be a historian; and Reinhard von Lohengramm, a man from the Empire whose ambition knows no bounds. Their loves, struggles, triumphs and failures play across an interstellar stage of intrigue, war and death.
While LOTGH is certainly the superior of these two titles, Harlock's influence on LOTGH is plain. Harlock is largely episodic, but the overarching plots are similar. Both are epic space operas chronichling two empires struggle for galactic control. Both have themes on the stagnation and corruption of humanity in a dystopian future.
When Haruka, Yuu and their friends decided to go ghost hunting, they had no idea the "ghosts" they'd find would turn their lives upside down. Black-clad and wielding quantum powers, these knights from the future are after an artifact of immense power that they hope will save their dimension from destruction: the Dragon Torque; and Haruka seems to be the key. As factions within the knights violently disagree on how to proceed, Haruka and the gang are caught up in a fight with the Shangri La, in an existential battle where fates of entire universes are decided.
In order to become a stronger person, a young boy named Hiroshi stows away on a freighter bound for planet Daibaran. The freighter comes under fire from an Afressian fleet, but is saved by the appearance of a mysterious spaceship. Upon reaching his destination, Hiroshi finds a job in one of the roughest saloons on the planet in order to toughen up, but ends up in an unfair fight when the Afressians begin to search for the one who attacked them. He is eventually rescued by a cloaked woman, who reveals herself to be Emeraldas, captain of the mysterious ship that saved him before. Stung by two defeats, the Afressian leader Bararuda decides that there is only room for one queen in space... but can a single ship piloted by one woman stand against the fury of a whole empire?
After colonizing the planet Solo of the Andromeda galaxy, earthling scientists uncover ancient mechanisms built by a lost civilization from long ago. They name this vanished culture the Sixth Civilization as it is the sixth example of intelligent alien life the human race has encountered. What the earthlings do not realize, however, is that they are soon to encounter the seventh: the Buff Clan, humans from a world other than Earth who have come seeking a legendary power source known as the Ide. Fortuitously, just as first contact with the Buff Clan turns violent, the earthlings discover that the mechanisms of the Sixth Civilization can combine to create a giant mecha called Ideon powerful enough to protect them. But is Ideon in fact the power source of legend, and what is the extent of its might? The earthlings can only hope to discover the answer before it is too late.
Harlock and his crew are practically banned from Earth while they fight to protect it from an alien race called the Mazone, which resemble beautiful women in appearance. In Ideon the group who discover the "Solo Ship" and the Ideon end up being pushed away from their homeworld as well, with nowhere to run while being chased by the mysterious Buff Clan that resemble humans themselves. In both shows, the casts home is ... their spaceship, with nowhere else to go. If you can appreciate old art and animation it's easy to say both shows still look great to this day, with the exception of Ideon's recurring stock footage here and there. The Harlock series has better pacing and a much more likeable and developed cast all around, while Ideon is strikingly a bit more darker in tone and very desperate in nature. Both have incredibly impressive soundtracks, orchestrated and all. By the end of these two shows you yourself might be out of breath, as you'll feel like you went through these huge adventures personally. Typical of Tomino stuff Ideon is a little quirkier at times and has mecha, but overall the show is far more space drama than some of his other works. Overall, both have a lot of similar themes and ideas, with very different styles and executions in terms of writing/directing. But in the end these are two amazing, action packed, and adventure filled classic space dramas. And please note: Be Invoked IS the ending to Ideon. Episode 39 is just a sampler.