This show reminds me a lot of Trigun. A man on a journey to do something and as he travels, he picks up a bunch of people to be part of his group. Now, unlike Trigun, this is placed on earth and in a time when the west was still young. A man lived with a gun at his side or would end up dead.
The story revolves mainly around Tochiro and Franklin Harlock (the guy that looks like a western version of Captain Harlock… put two and two together) as they travel. At first, all you know of these characters is that they are somehow connected and are a bit miss matched. When we do find out when they met, it feels a little forced although ties Harlock’s past as a pirate with the sword duel on a ship. (Ok, can I not spell this out enough? They took the Space Pirate and put him in a western show.) I would have loved to know a bit more about each character’s passed; we barely get anything about the background of any of them.
When talking about them separate, it’s just a little hard because they play off each other so well. Tochiro always respectful and talks about finding his people. He is a true samurai of old times and never really faulters in how he acts to women and respectable men both. Harlock always ends up saving Tochiro when a blade didn’t come in handy. He’s rather quiet and is pretty much the silent type who doesn’t really go out of his way to do something for his buddy. The two never let anything come between them including a women which can make them a good candidate for a bunch of fan art…
For Simunora, we never learn very much about her and I felt rather confused when she did what she did. The only thing you learn really about Sinunora is that she is French (really… how original… a French woman trying to get into someone’s pants, thanks stereotypes…) and that she might know something about what happen to Tochiro’s people. She tries to get in the middle of them but most of the time they don’t listen. In fact, the time one of them almost got to sleep with her, she pretty much had only teased them and shot them down. It got so bad that I was thinking ‘Just kill her or force her’ just to get her to stop.
As the story goes on, the only character that really grows is Tochiro and that’s not saying much. The only way he grows is that he seems to get a bit better at the sword (like he wasn’t a expert already?). The ending is rather stupid and a big cliffhanger. You are just crying out to be able to see more but it gives you a big middle finger and points to a manga that I don’t think has been translated yet.
The art style is very vintage even if this show is from the 21st Century. I think it is partly a look to the old show ‘Captian Harlock.’ Though Captain Harlock was set in space, this doesn’t have anything really to do with space and the he was only a sea pirate instead of anything more. This is not for little kids. Many times, Sinunora ends up striping for someone or getting her clothing torn off. They do not show much of her privates but you still see a lot of her and it is implied. Now most of the side characters look like strange morphed creatures including Tochiro sometimes and normally it seems that most men look like pigs while women look so beautiful.
The voices, well, they pretty much are good for a low budget film but none of them really stand out to me. It’s sad really but it does happen. The English is a bit better then the Japanese in this case but there isn’t much difference.