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Lately I have been very interested in the work of /inspired by Leiji Matusmoto. One of the problems I am running into is figuring out which shows are set in the same universe, which version of certain characters are "cannon" version. Also what is the relation to Space battleship Yamato? I am interested in getting into that as well but it seems to be affiliated but not with the Leijiverse. Lots of conflicting information out there it seems. May someone please point me in the right direction?

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To answer your question everything is and isn't canon.

As for the connection to Space Battleship Yamato, Leiji Matsumoto is the person most responsible for what we received. Half way through preproduction everything had stalled, and he got hired to direct and put the project back on track. This meant renovating everything from the plot to the ship and character designs. The connection it has to the Leijiverse is that Captain Harlock was originally going to appear in it had the show made its full run of episodes in the first season. Unfortunately(or fortunately since this allowed LM to keep the rights to Harlock) the series got cut short and Harlock's cameo was turned into Kodai's(Wildstar's) brother.

The senario did play out in the manga version that Matsumoto drew.

I'll explain more about the canon later, but its complicated.

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Then is it worth investing in the Leijiverse and Yamato or will I end up more confused and frustrated? Also were most of the releases made available here in the US?

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The Lejiverse and Yamato are most definately worth it. Both are some of the best space opera ever made, and yes most of them have been released in the US.

About the canon...

There is no official canon. While several shows appear to take place in the same universe some are stand alone stories with no connection to anything else, and some are stories based on literary works that use the Leijiverse cast.

Off the top of my head...

Galaxy Express 999- Leiji Matsumoto's main body of work comprised of two manga series, 3 movies, and a over 100 episode long tv series.

Matel Legend- a prequel to Galaxy Express 999

Galaxy Railways-a sidequel tv series and ova to GE999.

Space Pirate Captain Harlock-the original tv series featuring Harlock

Arcadia Of My Youth- a movie retelling of Captain Harlock's origin.

Captain Harlock Endless Orbit SSX- a sequel tv series set in the Arcadia universe

Harlock Saga- a OVA series based on Wagner's Die Nibelrung using the Harlock charaters as the cast.

Captain Herlock Endless Odyssey Outside Legend- a OVA series originally planned as a sequel to the original Harlock tv series that ended up moving off in its own direction.

DNA Sights 999.9- a short ova series featuring cameos by Harlock.

Queen Emeraldas- a OVA series following Emeraldas with cameos by Tochiro and Harlock

Gun Frontier- A series set in the old west featuring ancestor's of Harlock and Tochiro

Cosmo Warrior Zero- a tv series featuring an all new lead character Warrius Zero who's job it is to track down and kill a younger version of Harlock. Battlyzer(IQ9) is a character in it. The series spawned from a shooter videogame drawn by Matsumoto.

The Cockpit- a loose collection of WWII stories one of which includes a possible half brother to one of the Harlock ancestors.

Interstella 5555- a series of music videos of Daft Punk that were animated into a cohesive story by Matsumoto.

Great Yamato and Dai Yamato- two Yamato series Matsumoto tried to make on his own before the lawsuit settled things in Nishizaki's favor.

Lightning Ozma- a new post apocolyptic tv series based on some of his earliest work.

Time Sweeper Mahoroba- an unfinished manga series that Matsumoto hinted at would tie everything together.

Super Dreadnought Mahoroba- a work in production that features a Yamato class ship that may transform into a giant robot.

Edited by renegadeleader1

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That sounds incredibly complicated yet intriguing as well. What series should I start watching first?

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The best thing about the Leijiverse is that it is one giant mess. There is no right or wrong place to start and no cannon version of a character. It is kind of like Bugs Bunny cartoons (*), Bugs and pals stay the same even though they are in totally different backgrounds half the time.

(*) - I don't use this example in a bad way, it is just the best I can come up with.

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Thanks for asking this question. I've been wondering if Harlock was in the Yamato universe, and the answer would be....no? Though it was originally intended to be?? I'm building 2 Space Wolf fighters and thought they would look great next to the upcoming Cosmo Zeros.

Chris

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Thanks for asking this question. I've been wondering if Harlock was in the Yamato universe, and the answer would be....no?

As actually shown, no. in previews for the next 2199 disc there is a creature that appears in Harlock showing up, and the lady with it looks a lot like the female pirate - perhaps before she takes up piracy (or an ancestor).

As Renegadeleader says, Harlock did show up in the Yamato manga.

I don't think anyone would object to the two sets of models showing up side by side.

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The only question that really needs to be asked about the Leejiverse is: are you a MAN? [1] :)

[1] Please note that in the context of the Leejiverse, the term "MAN" covers everything from alcoholic space pirates to willowy space blondes to sharpshooting dwarves in ponchos to sentinent train conductor uniforms, and quite a lot else besides... :)

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Mamaru Kodai was originally going to become Harlock during the course of the series. As for where to start, the easiest and currently licensed area would be the Galaxy Express 999 movies.

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