Last night I was out with a few Regina comic nerds, talking comic nerd stuff and doing a comic nerd jam. One of the nerds is a polylingual French prof who likes Japanese manga. Anyway I remembered at some point that my first exposure to anime (the TV equivalent of manga) was on French CBC in the late '70s. I was (pathetically still am) unilingual so I couldn't understand the show but it sure as hell looked cool to my 12 year-old eyeballs. And in the 13-channel universe kids had to take cartoons where they found them.
This Japanese show was about a one-eyed space bandit who stands around on the bridge of his cool-looking (and part wood!) star-battleship, and broods. And broods more. Unlike western entertainment, the Japanese understand the power of stillness. And brooding. Lots of brooding.
So I asked my friend Sylvain about it (he'd know! He's French!) and he told me this cartoon is Space Pirate Captain Harlock, and it's a classic. The Wikipedia entry is here.
Happily the introduction to the French-dubbed show--the same version 12 year-old Steve would've seen--is on YouTube. Instead of Space Pirate Captain Harlock, it's called Albator, probably because it makes a catchier theme song. (Actually Wiki says it was to avoid confusion with beloved Tintin character captain Haddock but I'm skeptical.)
Here it is, happy Saturday morning!