In a pair of recent announcements, the video service Netflix confirmed that it will begin global video streams for Polygon Pictures’ sci-fi mecha anime Knights of Sidonia on July 4, 2014 and Toei’s 2013 film Harlock: Space Pirate (a.k.a. Space Pirate Captain Harlock) on August 1, 2014.
Knights of Sidonia was first announced last December as Netflix’s first exclusive anime title. The company plans to stream the series with both subtitles and an English dub following the conclusion of its television broadcast in Japan. Harlock: Space Pirate represents their second digital exclusive for an anime title. Knights of Sidonia is planned to be available in “all Netflix territories”, and IGN reports that the same is true for Harlock: Space Pirate. Since September 2010 Netflix has expanded its streaming service beyond the United States to include Canada, Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and the Netherlands. The company recently announced plans to expand further in Europe by launching in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium and Luxembourg.
Directed by Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed) and scripted by Harutoshi Fukui (Gundam Unicorn), Harlock: Space Pirate is a computer-animated film and an original tale involving Leiji Matsumoto’s storied Captain Harlock character. Outside Japan, the film has received theatrical releases in Italy, France, Belgium, Slovenia and Hong Kong, as well as an English-subtitled home video release in Hong Kong and an English dubbed release in Australia through Anchor Bay Entertainment. The following official synopsis is available from the company:
This popular series comes to life as rebel space pirate Captain Harlock and his fearless crew fight against the corrupt government that rules Earth, while a dark secret threatens the very existence of the planet. It is the year 2977 and 500 billion displaced humans long to return to the planet they still refer to as home.
Captain Harlock is the one man standing between the corrupt Gaia Coalition and their quest for complete intergalactic rule. Seeking revenge against those who wronged both mankind and himself, the mysterious space pirate roams the universe in his battle cruiser, the Arcadia, defiantly attacking and pillaging enemy ships. Gaia Fleet leader Ezra sends his younger brother, Logan, to infiltrate the Arcadia and assassinate Harlock. But Logan will soon discover that things are not always what they seem and that legends are born for a reason.
Knights of Sidonia is based on the manga by Tsutomu Nihei, which Vertical Publishing has been releasing in English. In the story, a lone asteroid ship called the Sidonia wanders outer space as the last refuge of humanity from the threat of a marauding group of unintelligent but massive and indestructible aliens. One secluded young man, Nagate Tanikaze, is plucked from obscurity when he is selected to be the pilot of a “Guardian” robot to protect the ship.