Writes ak of Mouretsu Pirates‘s first episode:
And of course the fact that Space Pirate Captain Harlock was referenced is good: the “password” that Ririka trades with her old friend is the very first line of the Harlock OP song.
This is indeed good, and, as he goes on to say, it would be almost ungrateful not to acknowledge Harlock in a space pirate anime. What interests me is that this isn’t just thrown in the background somewhere: it’s being used as a passphrase. In a show more po-faced than Mouretsu, a passphrase would be something inocuous and definitely not related to piracy. But that show would be boring. In this show the phrase is a bold identification.
Taking the opening words of SPCH‘s opening—which is I think fairly obviously a creed from Harlock himself—as the phrase the pirates use to identify themselves to one another suggests that what makes an anime pirate piratical is that they are in some way Harlockian. Or, more narrowly restricting this to the phrase itself, that they have the Harlockian attitude to space: not a threatening final frontier, but a manageable ocean, and moreover my ocean, for my yacht. Taken this way I think it functions as a nice tribute, intentional or not.
(And was that first episode as a whole any good? Goodness, I don’t know. Ask someone else.)