Queen Emeraldas Review

AuthorOctober 10, 2020

AKA: N/AGenre: Archetypal house operaLength: OAV sequence, Four episodes, 30 minutes eachDistributor: R1 DVD from ADV Films out of print.Content Rating: PG (delicate violence)Related Series: Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999Additionally Recommended: Arcadia of My Youth, Captain Harlock, Cosmic Warrior Zero, Galaxy Express 999Notes: This is a derivative of the ever-expanding Leiji Matsumoto universe of Captain Harlock and Galaxy Express 999.
The authentic evaluate is by Christi, with an addendum by Carlos Ross.Rating: Queen Emeraldas

Synopsis

The comrade-in-arms of Captain Harlock, Emeraldas, lastly will get her personal OAV sequence. Traveling the Sea of Stars together with her ship, the Queen Emeraldas, she crusades for freedom in opposition to a tyrannical common authorities. During these travels, she comes upon a kindred spirit, the younger Umino Hiroshi, upon whom she bestows the mantle of Tochiro, the famed engineer whom Hiroshi idolizes, and in Emeraldas’s eyes, whose spirit he embodies.
Review

I need to begin this evaluate by stating that I’m so very glad to see the latest revival of Leiji Matsumoto’s works. I grew up with the adventures of Captain Harlock, and I’ve all the time admired his artwork and means of storytelling. I used to be glad to see Emeraldas getting her personal tales instructed, quite than being one other background character to her greatest buddy Harlock and her twin sister Maetel. But sadly, this OAV does lack in a couple of areas, a few of which can not solely the fault of the creators.
I’ll get to the wanting it. What I noticed was the ADV dub. And I would be the first to say proper now that I’m not an enormous fan of what ADV has achieved to its anime releases and the business as an entire as of late. Sure, prior to now they’ve tended to choose extra racy fare, and so they by no means have gone for correct translations of the Japanese script, however have all the time altered it to sound extra “Americanized”, together with including profanity when there actually was no want for it. Recently, of their quest for the almighty greenback, they’ve thrown out staying with the script altogether and appear to do whole dubbing classes in a single night time. I’m holding out now to see the sub of Queen Emeraldas, as a result of, pricey lord, the dub was probably the most trite, cliched factor I’ve seen in a looong time. And that they did this to a Matsumoto work is unforgivable.
Granted, it does assist to know a few of the historical past of the characters earlier than seeing this video. Only temporary snippets are seen of Emeraldas’s previous, and there’s no point out in any respect of Tochiro being her lover, which is *very* vital to know so far as revelance ot the story. Otherwise, it actually does not make sense why Emeraldas is drawn to Hiroshi. Nor does it make a lot sense when Emeraldas calls for that the captain of the opposing military, Eldermain, take away the Jolly Roger from his ship. Yes, it means lots to her, however simply *how* a lot it means is completely misplaced on the viewers if that is their first expertise of the Harlock/Galaxy Express saga. It could be greatest to pair this video up with Arcadia of My Youth or Galaxy Express 999 for an evening’s viewing.
I do not actually fault the voice actors themselves for this, for they really did nicely with what they needed to work with. All of the voices did match nicely with the respective characters, though it did take a couple of minutes to get used to Emeraldas sounding like Captain Janeway from Star Trek Voyager. But the strains they needed to recite!!! Matsumoto’s scripts are often way more poetic than strains reminiscent of “You must learn to open your heart to others before they will open their heart to you.” Never thoughts this gem was quoted by Master as a cause why an alley cat would not eat a fish Hiroshi tossed at it. (wha?) And Emeraldas’s looong, bland mantra is repeated again and again through the course of the tape, and repeated once more on the finish of the ultimate credit simply in case you missed it the primary six instances. Like we may overlook. She solely repeats her identify and her “destiny” at the least thrice in a row earlier than the present can proceed for one more fifteen minutes earlier than she has to repeat it another time. (Yes, we all know your identify is Emeraldas, just like the inexperienced gem, however the highway you will need to stroll is purple. May we proceed with the film now?)
The artwork is quite gorgeous and crisp, achieved primarily in CG as virtually all new anime is lately due to a scarcity of cels in Japan. Yet, this serves virtually as a lot of a distraction because the stilted dialogue does. Matsumoto’s fashion does not ‘do’ shiny very nicely. These are darkish and soiled pirates, and they’re meant to invoke a way of deep historical past and a eager for a time all however forgotten, and to see his characters all glossy and glossy does give one the sensation one thing is misplaced. It’s movies like Queen Emeraldas which actually make me miss the times of hand-painted cels. Computer animation hasn’t come far sufficient but to essentially give the identical inventive really feel a hand-drawn creation does. It comes throughout as synthetic, just like the characters are there however actually aren’t. The music too is fairly bland, run-of-the-mill ‘operatic’ themes, with a quite tacky opening music that’s virtually as cliched as the remainder of the OAV. These flaws are forgivable, contemplating the state anime is in Japan proper now. They actually did give it their all.
Otherwise, Queen Emeraldas does have a quite partaking plotline, and well-done characterization- nicely, the very best that might be anticipated with the dub script that’s. They very, very badly needed Hiroshi’s persona to revolve across the phrase “I want to be strong and free!” (gack), however fortunately Hiroshi would not have any of that. (Which leaves me hopeful concerning the sub, if such a factor exists these days…) The ending is climactic, and units issues up for extra adventures of Emeraldas and presumably these of Hiroshi himself, as he now could be in a really elite league of heroes.
Queen Emeraldas remains to be a reasonably gratifying video, however I’d advocate both looking down the subtitled model as a substitute of the dub. Or, higher but, petition ADV to cease mudding round with its titles within the identify of making an attempt to provide followers what it desires. What we wish is pure leisure, and Queen Emeraldas tries to offer it, however is constrained from doing so, which may be very unhappy certainly.
(addendum)
Which leads us to the ultimate irritation of this sequence: after years of dickering round, rumors are that ADV nonetheless hasn’t launched all of it, simply the primary two episodes.
One of my preliminary worries about this evaluate was that maybe the low high quality of the dub was detracting unduly from the precise present. So on a constructive word, the voice appearing on the Japanese and French tracks are superior to the badly written English dub, and features that drone endlessly in English simply appear to move extra naturally within the authentic audio. Ahh, higher.
Still, at its greatest, Queen Emeraldas remains to be simply a median sequence that is not fairly as cool as its forebears, and whereas Matsumoto completists are going to dig this, the remainder of us can safely give it a move.

Remove one star for the horrible script of the dub. Add one star if you’re a diehard fan of the Harlock/999 Saga. — Carlos Ross and Christi

Recommended Audience: Ten and older. No intercourse or informal nudity, and solely two fist struggle scenes. Space battles, however no graphic slayings or blood. Most deaths are of the “disappear-in-a-ray-of-light” selection. (Think Star Wars.)

Version(s) Viewed: VHS, English dub; R1 DVD

Review Status: Partial (2/4)
Queen Emeraldas © 1998 Leiji Matsumoto / Kodansha / Queen Emeraldas Committee

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