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Number of Episodes

5

 

Language Options English/Japanese/English Subtitles

 

Released by

ADV Films

 

Extras

- The Space Whaler’s Lexicon

- Production Artwork

- Clean Opening/Closing Animation

- Character Sketches

- Character Bios

 

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Hakugei - Legend of Moby Dick (DVD)

 

Ahab’s deadly obsession lives!

 

The year 4699. A young adventurer on a desperate mission sets off to find Captain Ahab and his crew of outlaw whale hunters. Only Ahab can save his home planet from the most horrific beast known throughout the universe: Moby Dick.

 

But first he will need to locate the fugitive Captain and his elusive crew. And if he finds them, will he pass muster to join the toughest crew of whale hunters in the galaxy? And will Ahab agree to risk it all for one more shot at the Great White?

 

Riveting Sci-Fi Action in the distant future as Captain Ahab continues his legendary pursuit of MOBY DICK!

 

Writing a report on Moby Dick.  I’m sure the irony of applying my English composition skills to this assignment isn’t lost on my old professor Mr. Bouwman or the younger smart-ass who would bristle at having to write another tedious paper. Maybe for old time’s sake, I’ll make him grade it… Anyways, this adaptation of Moby Dick takes a quick divergence from the starting material (thank God) and instead of hunting a living organism per se, whales are actually abandoned or derelict ships and whale hunters are the people who go aboard them for scrap or parts. Moby Dick is actually a giant white ship that has been terrorizing anything in its’ path. The art style of the series is definitely reminiscent of early 80’s art style for character designs – but that’s not to say they look dated, rather it helps reinforce that the story is much older than this version.

 

moby dick          moby dick

 

Episode 01: Drifting Place

Dew is a researcher who has spent the last 10 years or so investigating an ice planet. Despite the solitude, he seems quite happy with the work and is about to be issued new orders but as he’s receiving them, the Moby Dick passes nearby the planet surface and opens fire on his position. He’s been knocked unconscious by a nearby explosion, and his body has been taken aboard the ship. While sedated, the ship performs surgery on his body, inserting microchips into numerous places in his body. Dew screams for it to stop, but the ship continues while the AI explains that this will make them joined. After the surgery is complete, he is jettisoned in a crystalline container into space.

 

We now switch to a young stowaway, Lucky Luck (must be a distant relative of Richie Rich), who has made his way to the station King Kuron in the hopes of finding the legendary Captain Ahab. The youngster is asking around for the Captain, but few seem to know where to find him – so he starts searching the bazaar where the whale hunters sell their wares. Ahab is not there, but he does overhear another man looking for him so he eavesdrops and learns that Ahab only meets people that he chooses to talk to, especially those with enough money. Lucky decides to shadow this man, and when he rides an elevator with him, they are met by a pair of people who will take him to see Ahab. He remains behind the pair, and follows them back to their base of operations.

 

Lucky watches the transaction between Ahab and the man; the pirate can command a high price for his and his crew’s abilities at acquiring any equipment in ten days. The youngster intends to ask to join the crew, but he wants to wait for an ideal moment before he approaches… unfortunately, that doesn’t come because he’s spotted and falls through the ceiling. He’s forced to ask at this inopportune moment to join the crew – the Captain seems unimpressed, but he tells Lucky that anyone can join the crew, as long as they pass the “test”. Each crew member will test a different talent - Speed King takes him on a ride not only at high speeds, but without 

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an atmosphere; Barba (Queequay) tests his fighting prowess; and Atre throws him after a gold coin into liquid. Lucky has failed horribly at the first 2 tests, but the 3rd was actually a goof – the liquid had a much lower specific gravity than water, so you cannot float in it. Lucky chased after the coin, but lacked the power to escape from the bottom – Captain Ahab 

notices this and dives in after the boy. When he reaches the bottom, Lucky is losing consciousness, but he has managed to get the coin.

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Episode 02: Whale Hunters

Lucky’s been taken on as an apprentice and so Atre is taking him on a tour of the ship “Lady Whisker” (which has the weirdest nose art ever – a girl in a bikini with a moustache) to meet the crew. Seeing as he’s already met the Captain, Atre, Speed King, and Barba he then meets Aca (the computer programmer), Doc Christianson (the doctor), and Mutz (the master swordsman). For the time being, Lucky is in charge of cleaning but he will be a member of the crew. Aca has found a suitable target to search for their current mission, so the Captain is going to take everyone one that night for a dinner and some dancing. With Ahab’s pull, the meal is first rate and surroundings fun – but jealousy rear’s its’ ugly head with another crewman deciding to jump the Captain. Ahab quickly disposes of the attack without harming anything but the man’s pride.

 

The next day, the Lady Whisker sets off towards their target, a former military ship that might have the required booty. Lucky is trying to follow everyone else, but he seems to be a step slower than everyone else and isn’t going to sortie over to the other ship. The crew manages to counter the Capital Ship’s automated defenses and board it – on board they find the equipment that they were looking for, but they also find something else… Dew’s pod has attached itself to the Capital Ship.

 

Episode 03: From A Cold Planet

The Captain orders the body to be taken aboard the ship, so that they can perform a proper burial for the man. After the service, the crew has dinner, but most are still talking about the “corpse” and they decide to examine it again. Doc opens the chamber and examines the body – he notes the lack of pupil response and cyanosis, but is shocked when Dew rises up and grabs his throat. Barba tries to help but is attacked for his trouble, the rest of the crew run away. Dew runs into the hallway and is met by Ahab who is standing in front of the rest of his crew; the Doctor runs in behind and warns the Captain that Dew is in android. Suddenly two energy weapons appear in Dew’s hands and so Mutz attacks him. Dew fends off the attack then runs into the bowels of the ship, he manages to walk into a conduit then turns off his weapons then collapses.

 

The crew brings him back to the doctor who does a complete physical, and learns that he’s been tampered with as they can see the aftereffects of his casing being opened. Aca is drawn into a search to learn more about their “guest” and eventually learns that he was an android used to investigate planets and was suddenly decommissioned 10 years ago. Ahab seems intrigued, and wants to talk more with him. Meanwhile, he has awoken and so Atre and Lucky have gone to check up on him. He quickly disarms Atre’s pistol, then is calm once again and tries to eat the meal that they’ve brought him. He is unable to handle the dinner and starts coughing it up; at this point the Captain arrives and tries talking to him about joining the crew, but Dew jumps up and knocks the him down before running off. The rest of the crew is ready to leave the situation at that, but Captain Ahab intends to find Dew again. Dew has gone into one of the wasted areas of King Kuron, and comes across a biker gang that is protecting its’ territory. After they attack him, he is left with no option but to defend himself. Against the superior numbers, he’s faring well but becomes distracted when Ahab appears; the tide turns against the android and so Ahab jumps in and runs off the toughs. Talking once again, Ahab this time convinces Dew to join the crew.

 

Episode 04: The White Demon

The crew of the Lady Whisker has been working hard in stripping as many of the passing group of whales as they can. The plunder has been excellent, but the extended working hours has left the crew drained, so Captain Ahab orders some down time on the planet Laz Angel. The relaxation on the beautiful planet is very appreciated until a competing group of whale hunters decides to attack the outing and take Lucky prisoner. Bang Kids (the other captain) is well known for his devious tactics, and he demands a ransom of half of Ahab’s take for the safe return of Lucky. The Captain is unsure of how to proceed, and he takes his time trying to come with a solution… thankfully, Mutz and Dew decide to make one for him. The pair launch an all out attack on the enemy and easily recover Lucky, but not unscathed, he’s been nicked with a stray shot.

 

Back on board, the Doctor decides that this is as good a time as any to perform a physical, but Lucky is unwilling to undress. As the Doctor presses the issue, Dew states that it is ungentlemanly to make a women undress in the company of men – Lucky’s actually a girl. Ahab is a little surprised at the revelation, and approaches Lucky to tell her that she cannot remain a member of the crew due to the general problems surrounding a co-ed crew; but she responds by telling the Captain the true reason for joining the crew. She is the younger sister of the leader of the planet Moad – a planet that produced oil products for many years but has run out of resources. The planet’s population is being forcibly relocated and the planet will serve as the test bed for a planet-destroying weapon. Lucky describes the weapon as a giant white ship in the form of a whale – and the Captain starts to become enraged at the description. He’s familiar with the ship and is furious that it still exists. Lucky has come to ask for his assistance in stopping the ship from destroying her home.

 

Episode 05: Super Battleship Moby Dick

Captain Ahab has locked himself in his quarters and hasn’t appeared for 5 days. The crew is really worrying about what is going to happen, and most are starting to think that it’s Lucky’s fault… even if they won’t say it to her face. Most of the crew respects the Captain’s privacy, but Dew sneaks in through the open piping and confronts the man, calling him a scared child over his memories of the Moby Dick. The Captain is very defensive and eventually throws Dew out. Lucky is starting to doubt her reasons for remaining and eventually decides that it’s best if she leaves; but as she makes it out into the dock, she starts to think about her failure and how she’s going to have to see her brother again. The thoughts weigh on her, and she decides to get Ahab’s response directly. Storming back on board the ship, he makes a bee-line to his quarters and her impassioned speech draws enough support for Barba to knock down his door. As the crew circles his bed… they discover that he’s sneaked off the ship and left a dummy in place on his bunk.

 

Mutz believes that the Captain is off seeing a movie, so the entire crew goes to his favorite theatre and corners him. The Captain has reached a decision and he tells the crew about his last encounter with the Moby Dick. In his younger years, he was more of a pirate than whale hunter and was outlawed for his actions; the severity of his crimes left no choice but for the military to intervene and it attacked his vessel with the Moby Dick as the flagship. In the battle, his ship was destroyed, he lost his eye and leg, and was imprisoned for 4 years. After finally escaping prison, he made way for King Kuron and raised a new crew and tried to forget the battle with the ship. He’s decided to face his fears and battle the ship one more time. Back on board the Lady Whisker, the Captain calls everyone to the forward hold and offers to buy everyone out of their contracts with some of the wealth that they’ve accumulated over the last 10 years, but the crew is steadfast and they intend to join the Captain on getting his revenge against Moby Dick.

 

So far, Moby Dick has been a much more enjoyable anime than I ever would have given it credit for based on the box art and preview materials that I’ve received. I’m freely going to admit that I enjoyed this first disc and am actually looking forward to future installments of this series. It’s quite divergent from the original story, so don’t watch it to get any legs up on book reports, but otherwise, an excellent anime.

 

- Tazman

(January 1, 2006)

 

"Are you sure I look ok?"

"Huh... like a streak drizzled in slut sauce."

- Debbie and Sparks (Sealab 2021)

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