Follow TV Tropes


Manga / Queen Emeraldas

Go To
I am Emeraldas. The vast Sea of Stars is my home. Some call me "the woman who does not cry" — let them call me what they will, for theirs are merely the foolish words of those who have little understanding of the reason for my journey. Yes, I am Emeraldas. The woman who entrusts her very existence to the endless Sea of Stars through which she journeys.

Queen Emeraldas (1998-99) is somewhat of an oddball of the Leijiverse — an OVA that, for the first time, placed the beautiful and deadly Space Pirate Emeraldas under the spotlight, after she had previously appeared as a side character in both Galaxy Express 999 and the assorted Captain Harlock media. It is a partial adaptation of Leiji Matsumoto's manga of the same title from 1978-79, but ties in with the 1998 Galaxy Express 999: Eternal Fantasy movie — in fact, these two were the first new entries in The 'Verse to be animated since the original Matsumoto boom folded in Japan around 1982. The OVA was also the first installment of The 'Verse to establish Emeraldas as the twin sister of GE999's Maetel.

Only the first two episodes out of four have ever been licensed outside of Japan. Their plot concerns Emeraldas' struggle against the Alfressians — a race of would-be galactic conquerors — and the misadventures of Hiroshi Umino, a young runaway from Earth who looks up to her for all the wrong reasons. The last two episodes, produced by a different studio, see Emeraldas and Hiroshi team up again to destroy a cyborg mass murderer and an old foe of Emeraldas come Back from the Dead, respectively. Emeraldas suspects a single guiding hand behind all of these incidents, but this never gets to be explored in the series proper.

Queen Emeraldas provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Emeraldas has lush red hair in most Harlock media, but is blonde here, presumably to make her being Maetel's twin more plausible.
  • Badass Cape: Emeraldas sports one, which billows dramatically whenever the situation demands.
  • Badass Creed: Any one of Emeraldas' introductions of herself (the ones that start with "I am Emeraldas").
  • Blemished Beauty: Emeraldas sports both the iconic willowy "Matsumoto Woman" looks and a rugged Dueling Scar across her face. The rest of her body is also covered in old battle scars.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Episode 3 really ups the ante on gore from the previous ones (which may be why it had never been licensed).
  • The Cameo:
    • Captain Harlock appears twice throughout the series, both times in Emeraldas' flashbacks (of her first meeting with Tochiro and of her duel with Siren, where Arcadia evacuates an injured Tochiro).
    • The Space Battleship Yamato appears in the flashback of Tochiro's drydock, alongside Harlock's original Deathshadow and Queen Emeraldas undergoing repairs.
    • Images of Maetel and Tetsuro appear very briefly when Emeraldas gives Tochiro's gun to Hoshiro, recounting that her sister and her companion carry the same guns.
  • The Captain: The nameless captain of the barge Hiroshi stowed away on fits down to a T. Emeraldas herself would fit, except she manages her entire vast ship alone, so she is both the captain and the crew.
  • Central Theme: You cannot do everything alone. Hiroshi (initially) rejects this notion, but Emeraldas, despite only ever traveling alone, knows very well when to rely on others.
  • Combat Pragmatist: During their first duel, Siren ordered Emeraldas to lay down her sword, then proceeded to attack her, anyway. Emeraldas promptly shot her with her sidearm (but not before suffering a couple of nasty wounds). In their rematch, she wears headphones to counter Siren's main weapon — her song.
  • Counterpart Combat Coordination: Emeraldas gets to defeat Queen Baralooda in a duel, but Hoshiro kills Baralooda's chief (male) minion before Emeraldas can do so. This is repeated in episode 3, where Emeraldas only disarms (male) Vaidas, letting Hoshiro deliver the killing blow, but semi-subverted in episode 4, where she guides Hoshiro's hand aiming at (female) Siren but pulls the trigger together with him.
  • Deflector Shields: Queen Emeraldas is outfitted with shields powerful enough to withstand bombardment by an entire fleet. They can also apparently be used for Stealth in Space.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Emeraldas started off as essentially a female counterpart to Captain Harlock, seeing how their respective defining mangas (Queen Emeraldas and Space Pirate Captain Harlock, respectively) began publication just one year apart. In this series, however, she appears to have appropriated many traits from another Leijiverse mainstay, Maetel, whom she claims as her sister.
  • Dramatic Wind: Emeraldas seems to be able to summon it at will, e.g. to dramatically reveal her own identity.
  • The Dreaded: A mere sight of Emeraldas is enough to send regular mooks running for the hills, and a few threats from her is all it takes to send their commanders packing, as well.
  • Dueling Scar: Emeraldas' iconic face scar is retconned in this series to have been inflicted by Goddess Siren during their first duel (in Arcadia of My Youth, Emeraldas was instead shot in the face).
  • Empathic Weapon: The Cosmo Dragoon guns are said to reflect their wielders' emotional states, e.g. only firing when the wielder really wants their target dead.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Harlock wears one over his right eye in his brief cameos.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: During Emeraldas' gratuitous bath scene, you can briefly see an old scar on her back, half-covered by her long hair. Later on, it is revealed to be another reminder of her fight with Siren, just like the scar on her face.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Metanoids (a race of machine people from the Galaxy Express 999: Eternal Fantasy movie) never appear as an immediate enemy in this series, but are said to have been behind Baralooda's conquests, Vaidas' rampages, and Siren's resurrection.
  • Guns Akimbo: Vaidas wields two blaster pistols at once, presumably justified by his mechanical enhancements.
  • Hellish Horse: The nameless superweapon in episode 3 appears as a giant six-legged, two-horned, red-eyed horse made out of black metal, although this is eventually revealed to be just an exterior for its (even more disturbing) true form.
  • Impressed by the Civilian: El Domain and his First Officer are menacing a bar, asking for the identity of the ship that attacked his fleet. Hiroshi Umino, working at the bar, throws off his apron and tells them not to threaten his customers. They nearly shoot him, until a cloaked woman at the counter says that if an opponent is unarmed, they should fight unarmed. The First Officer obliges, beating Hiroshi, but Hiroshi refuses to stay down and starts getting in some good hits of his own. At this point, the First Officer draws his gun again, only to find the cloaked woman shooting his blaster out of his hand with a gravity saber, revealing herself to be Emeraldas, and saying that Hiroshi, though a boy, was more a man than El Domain and his minions.
  • Informed Loner: To anyone unfamiliar with Emeraldas and how she does things, she can easily appear to be the ultimate loner, having even modified her ship to fly without a crew. However, the truth is that while she doesn't seek social contact, she has a network of trusted allies and friends upon whom she relies in a pinch. She is also an Excellent Judge of Character and is able to find trustworthy and capable allies in any situation.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Emeraldas is often very cold and aloof, but is also shown to have a kind heart deep down.
  • Jolly Roger: When Arfressian captain El Domain starts sporting the same skull and crossbones motif on his flagship, Emeraldas takes exception and tells him to remove the symbol, which only she and Harlock have the right to bear, or else! El Domain doesn't heed her warning. Emeraldas makes good on her threat, wiping out the Arfressian fleet after they try to kill her for El Domain's wounded pride.
  • Keeping the Handicap/Scars Are Forever: With the fancy tech readily available to her, Emeraldas could have removed her scar at any time. She doesn't, because it is a memento of her unfinished duel with Siren.
  • Lady of War: Emeraldas is eye-meltingly beautiful and elegant, but also incredibly dangerous in a fight. Between kicking copious amounts of ass, she relaxes on her throne with a glass of red wine in hand.
  • Lady Vessel: The title starship is named after her own captain. It is also completely crewless, except for said captain, and is run entirely by a sophisticated AI... whose voice and personality are also copied from Emeraldas', making her and her ship functionally the same being in two very differently sized bodies.
  • Literal Disarming: Episode 3 ends with the title heroine lopping off the cyborg mass murderer Vaidas' hands, before Hiroshi finishes him off with a headshot.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Queen Emeraldas has enough guns to destroy most of an entire fleet in a single volley (if they're stupid enough to surround her).
  • Meaningful Name: Hiroshi Umino's name is an almost-anagram of "the Sea of Stars" in Japanese ("hoshi no umi").
  • The Mourning After: Emeraldas is shown still mourning for her lost love Tochiro, keeping a shrine with his broken glasses and his laser pistol on her ship.
  • Mysterious Protector: Emeraldas has taken a liking to Hiroshi (probably because of his similarities to the late Tochiro), always rushing to his rescue when he gets in trouble and, if need be, teaching him hard life lessons. Being Emeraldas, however, her motives remain forever incomprehensible to him.
  • No Kill like Overkill: Attacked by hundreds of ships, Emeraldas doesn't react at first, due to the enemy holding hostages. The very moment the hostages escape, she opens fire... and annihilates 70% of the enemy ships WITH THE FIRST SALVO! Yes, the Queen Emeraldas has that many guns. Incidentally, that's when the villain gets an Oh, Crap! face. Oh, and one of the many guns of her ships is a Wave-Motion Gun, and she was about to use it on the main villain's ship before his boss beat her to the punch...
  • Nonchalant Dodge: Vaidas dodges a tank shell by casually tilting his head.
  • Our Sirens Are Different: The aptly-named Goddess Siren is one of the primordial evils of the universe, luring men to the depths of despair just because she can. Emeraldas had defeated her once before, but she turns out to be Not Quite Dead in episode 4 and promptly enthralls Hiroshi.
  • Passing the Torch: An indirect example at the end of episode 2, when Emeraldas passes Tochiro's custom Cosmo Dragoon to Hoshiro, along with her wishes for him to live a worthy life. Only five such laser pistols have ever been built (by Tochiro himself), and other bearers include Emeraldas herself, Harlock, Emeraldas' sister Maetel, and Maetel's companion Tetsuro (in fact, both Vaidas and Siren recognize the gun instantly).
  • Pirate Girl: Emeraldas is one of the quintessential anime examples. That said, she is also one of The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything, never seen engaging in maritime/space crimes and, in fact, ready to fight actual pirates if they offend her sensibilities. To her (as to Harlock), being a pirate is more about being unbeholden to any authority but herself and fighting for what she believes in.
  • Pretender Diss: Emeraldas doesn't mind other pirates... but the only other ship allowed to fly the skull-and-bones banner, as far as she is concerned, is Harlock's Arcadia. Queen Baralooda, meanwhile, takes offense at someone else proclaiming herself a "queen" in the same galaxy. Both are ready to employ lethal force against pretenders, however.
  • Robotic Reveal: Looda is revealed to be a Metanoid after she shields Hoshiro from a gunshot with her body.
  • Role Called: Subverted in that Emeraldas is not actually queen of anything (although she is a royal princess assuming that, like Maetel, she is a daughter of Queen Promethium, which is the case in the later Maetel Legend OVA), and the title actually refers to her Cool Starship, which she happened to have named after herself.
  • Royal Rapier: Emeraldas' gravity saber fits her regal image, while also invoking the swashbuckling piracy adventure. The only other person cool enough to wield one of these is Harlock himself.
  • Showdown at High Noon: Emeraldas gets into one in the first episode. Against a freaking Space Fighter. And wins.
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: Vaidas claims this happened to him off-screen: yearning for recognition, he worked in dangerous environments, and the wear and tear eventually forced him to replace most of his body with machine parts... and at some point, he devoted his entire life to the pursuit of more sophisticated parts for himself, slaughtering everyone in his way, with the ultimate goal of revenge against those who denied him.
  • Spaceship Girl: Episode 3 reveals that Queen Emeraldas is actually a Sapient Ship, whose personality and voice appear to have been copied from Emeraldas herself, resulting in a rather messed-up identity bond between the ship and her captain.
  • Space Western: The frontier planets of Daibaran and Nazca invoke this, e.g. featuring blaster shootouts in Wild West-style saloons.
  • Sword Fight: After Emeraldas defeats the fleet Queen Baralooda sent after her, the two ladies decide to settle it in a Combat by Champion instead.
  • Time Skip: Implied. At the end of episode 2, Hiroshi just begins gathering materials for his ship, but at the beginning of episode 3, he is already taking her out for a test flight.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: While they're not actually married, Tochiro Oyama — the love of Emeraldas' life — is as gonky as they come, while she is drop-dead gorgeous.
  • Unable to Cry: Emeraldas admits to being known as "the woman who does not cry", feeling rather indifferent about it.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Queen Emeraldas is outfitted with a massive gun that shoots skull-shaped energy beams.
  • Weapons Breaking Weapons: When Gamor is headbutted by Hiroshi, he draws a laser pistol on the boy. Emeraldas, who had been quietly watching from the sidelines, draws her Gravity Saber and casually vaporizes Gamor's pistol, calling out, "Enough." Then, to add insult to injury, she nods to Hiroshi and says that he's more of a man than Gamor is.
  • Wine Is Classy: As per Leijiverse custom, Emeraldas enjoys her red wine.
  • Worthy Opponent: Emeraldas seems to view the Alfressian Queen Baralooda as such, sparing her life, despite the fact that she will probably come after her again. Compare that to her treatment of Siren, whom she terminates with extreme prejudice.
  • You Killed My Father: Rameil's father was murdered by Vaidas for refusing to cooperate. Vaidas then forced Rameil to work for him instead by threatening his sister. Turns out, Rameil has been sabotaging the parts he built into Vaidas, so when Hoshiro teams up with him to destroy the cyborg, Vaidas' electronics are disabled at the crucial moment.