Emeraldas was first created by Matsumoto as "the most beautiful woman in the galaxy" along with "her twin sister Maetel". (Of course, in Matsumoto's parallel world, that setting keeps changing.) She is on the spaceship Queen Emeraldas all alone. She "met" her ship when she was young, but the story behind the ship is slightly different in the old comic and recent "Nibelung's Ring". She owns one of the "Warrior's Gun", the most powerful cosmoguns in the galaxy Tochiro made. Galactic trader, ruthless killer, with the determination stronger than most men, she is sailing out to the sea of stars only under her own flag.
"I confess that I used to think the word emerald meant for red gems when I was a kid." Matsumoto said. "Every time I heard of the word emerald, the bloody red gem stone came to my mind. I created Emeraldas from the image of the red gem, thus I named her Emeraldas, the 'red gem stone'. To me, the emerald is a red gem. Even after I learned that emerald is green, my image has not changed at all. I am very stubborn that way. Harlock would probably says to me; 'There must be a red emerald somewhere in galaxy! If not, I am sure Tochiro will create one for you!' I believe that all in my heart. Therefore, Emeraldas takes off to her journey to the eternal sea of stars under crimson red flag."
Well, if Matsumoto knew that ruby was the red gem, Emeraldas would have been named "Queen Rubidas" instead. I am glad for his childhood ignorance.
Emeraldas has always appeared in other series such as "Galaxy Express 999" and "Harlock" as a side character, however, she has hardly ever appeared as a main character in the past. Matsumoto started the Emeraldas comic series, but he never finished her series just like many other his sci-fi comics because of the lack of time he could devote into it. "I would like to redo Emeraldas series, and would eventually like to make a movie out of her." Matsumoto said more than 17 years ago. Unfortunately, "Arcadia of My Youth" movie and the second Harlock TV series "Endless Orbit SSX" did not fly very well ("Endless Orbit SSX"broadcast was cut off at half of the planned season), and Matsumoto works totally disappeared from the Anime production scene for a long time after that, including the production plan for Emeraldas movie.
When the OVA "Queen Emeraldas" was released in 1998, it sold very well. While most Japanese Matsumoto fans consider "Galaxy Express 999 Eternal Fantasy" released in the same year was a total flop, most of them would agree that OVA "Queen Emeraldas" was a major success. On the top of the quality of animation, one of the reasons that "Emeraldas" was so successful could be because of the gradual change in gender roles in Japanese society. I have noticed that most of the male Matsumoto fans overseas are very fond of Emeraldas, while most of Japanese male fans are fond of Maetel (at least I have never heard from Japanese male fans who commented that their most favorite character was Emeraldas yet). I just think it is very interesting.... Now that women are becoming more independent in Japanese society, "Emeraldas" story may be more easily accepted. Of course, I am just guessing. Please don't take it personal.
Unfortunately, after first 2 volumes of OVA was made, the production company changed from O.L.M. to M.A.C., along with most of the production staff memvers. As a result, quality went down and the flow of the story dissappeared. It was initially planned for 2 volumes, but since the first 2 volumes sold well, they decided to make total of 8 volumes. But apparently volume 3 and 4 did not gain as much fan's popularity, and in the end the production ended with total 4 volumes. In general fans seems to rate first 2 volumes quitely highly, at least.
Most fans overseas also take Emeraldas as "mother of Mayu" thanks to the TV version of "Space Pirate Captain Harlock". However, I have to say that since Matsumoto never wanted to have Mayu in Harlock TV, you should not take that setting very seriously. Some fans point out that in "Endless Orbit SSX", Emeraldas has hardly even seen Tochiro, not to mention bear Tochiro's child. Well, if you consider the fact that Mayu should have never existed to begin with, that contradiction is easily resolved. It is probably true that Emeraldas and Tochiro loved each other in any of the parallel world, but I would not hold that Mayu thing against any arguments if I were you. I think the existence of Mayu is pretty irrelevant for True nature of Emeraldas's journey (no offense).
But do not worry, as long as there are ongoing Matsumoto works out there, Emeraldas will always appear somewhere. Whether you like it or now...
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Disclaimer: Copyrights of Captain Harlock, Queen Emeraldas, and Galaxy Express 999 belong to Leiji Matsumoto and Toei Enterprise, Inc. This site is created for purpose of personal leisure only. Any copying or use of any materials in this site shall not be allowed without my written permission.