Her only love is lost. In his memory, she flies the skull and crossbones on the starship that he built, the starship she calls home. Let the cruel and the cowards beware . . .
Hiroshi Umino is a brash young stowaway with dreams of piloting his own spaceship. He hides in the cargo bay of a freighter in order to gain passage to Daibaran, where he hopes to mine the energy crystals necessary to build a powerful ship. Unfortunately for Hiroshi, the Arfress have decided to destroy the freighter he's hidden on. What's worse is that the "military" goal here seems to be the amusement of Fleet Commander Eldomain. When the Queen Emeraldas intervenes, Hiroshi is saved, but the Arfress become bent on revenge.
Under orders from Bararuda, the female ruler of the Arfress, Eldomain begins a pattern of harassment around the Daibaran system in order to draw out and identity their elusive nemesis. Emeraldas readily acknowledges that it was she who stopped the freighter massacre - and then to the amazement of the Daibaran onlookers, walks right into and survives an obvious ambush. Eldomain, after further humiliation from Bararuda, is forced to resort to trickery. He kidnaps Hiroshi and a group of innocent civilians, and sets a trap with them as the bait. His judgment of Emeraldas' values is correct - and she enters the fray for perhaps the final time.
At long last, we get a story devoted to someone in the Harlock universe that has deserved a lot more attention for years. Emeraldas, the once lover of Toshiro and beloved of Harlock, is finally shown the way she should have been from the start: center stage in all her glory. The animation is slightly inconsistent but always beautiful, and the music is epic and thrilling... just the sort of thing for the classic space opera style of Matsumoto. The characters are far more intriguing than ever (and considering what universe this is in, that's saying quite a bit) and the voice acting is bang on (Hiroshi is voiced by a totally unrecognizable Megumi Hayashibara).
While the CGI could use some work in certain areas, this is still a fantastic OVA, and has left me phenomenally excited to see the new Harlock Saga. If it's half as good as this, it'll have been more than worth the almost twenty year wait. Highly recommended to all Sci-fi otaku.
Available subtitled and dubbed through ADV Films.