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At the beginning of the July 2016 Camp NaNoWriMo, I was in the mood for some old-school anime. During Camp NaNo in July 2013, I’d inter-spaced bouts of writing with episodes of an anime called Black Jack. Every so many hours, words, or pages, I would reward myself with an episode or two. It got me through the month and it was an enjoyable show. This time, I decided to start watching an anime I’d been eyeing for a while. It’s called Space Pirate Captain Harlock, and I cannot express how hooked I currently am. It’s got that gorgeous old-school look that only anime from the late 70s and early 80s have. The drama is totally over-the-top, the science is out of whack or non-existent, and the plot lurches around like a drunken sailor. But the characters are so endearing and the adventures are so fun that I don’t even mind it. That’s just part of the experience. In fact, I’ve actually had to stop watching it for now because it makes me want to write about pirate ships and space operas, not steampunk or romances. (Oops. Wrong choice for this project’s inspirational material.)
Still, as I was watching the first several episodes of Captain Harlock on Crunchyroll, I started thinking about all of the other science fiction anime and TV shows that heavily feature nautical themes and emphasize the tight-knit family unit that the crews of these ships become. In Captain Harlock, this takes place on board the Arcadia. In Last Exile, the first anime I ever watched, it’s the Silvana. In the original Mobile Suit Gundam, we have the White Base. (The power of the Bright-slap compels you! …*ahem* Yes, well, moving on.) In Space Battleship Yamato it’s… er, well, the Yamato. (Yes, I know that was redundant.)
Then you have all of the English TV shows and films, like the Enterprise from Star Trek, the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars, Serenity from Firefly, Battlestar Galactica from… um, well, Battlestar Galactica. (Yes, yes, I know, more redundancy.) And to top that off there are good old-fashioned ocean-going vessels: the Defiant, the Albatross, the HMS Surprise, and Captain Nemo’s submarine the Nautilus, to name a few.