Captain Harlock (宇宙海賊キャプテンハーロック, Uchū Kaizoku Kyaputen Hārokku, lit. Space Pirate Captain Harlock, also transliterated Captain Herlock) is the main character of several anime and manga series by writer/artist Leiji Matsumoto.
Harlock is an archetypical Romantic Matsumoto hero, a space pirate with a rugged-individualist philosophy of life. He is shown with a patch over one eye, a scar across his cheek, carrying a great black cape, and frequently holding either a laser-rapier or a glass of wine. Like many of Matsumoto's lead characters, he is the embodiment of the grand individualist, noble as he is taciturn, rebellious, stoically fighting against totalitarian regimes, whether they be earthborn or alien. He has often been compared to Ragnar Danneskjöld, the freebooter of Atlas Shrugged, in character and appearance as well as many of the gallant Yakuza roles played by Takakura Ken. When asked by crewmember Tadashi Daiba for whom Harlock is fighting, Harlock's reply is "I fight for no one's sake. I only fight for something deep in my heart". Harlock's character seems to be the embodiment of many Western and Japanese conceptions of the heroic as an ideal and this has contributed to his immense popularity worldwide.
The first series featuring Harlock in the lead role was 1978's Space Pirate Captain Harlock, but his first appearance was in some of Matsumoto's manga books as early as 1966. The very first appearance of the character seems to be Matsumoto's manga "Adventures of a Honeybee" in 1953. As with most of Leiji Matsumoto's works, continuity is not a crucial issue; an appearance of any particular version of the character does not necessarily connect to any previous or following versions, and the interconnectedness of the various series is a common subject of speculation among fans. (Wikipedia)