Yamato 2199 Episode 16 Commentary

by Luis Cotovio and Daniel George

Episode 16: A Choice for the Future

(Japanese Name: 未来への選択 / Mirai e no Sentaku)

Director: Akihiro Enomoto

Running time: 24m 46s (21m 00s without credits)
Opening Theme:

  • (Cinema/Home Video): Uchuu Senkan Yamato by Isao Sasaki
  • (TV): Fight For Liberty by Uverworld

Ending Theme:

  • (Cinema/Home Video): Steady as She Goes! Across the Sea of Stars by Hironobu Kageyama
  • (TV): Best of My Love by Rei Yasuda

[DG]: This episode starts on April 30, 2199. Going by the preview for this episode, there are 287 days left, making this Mission Day 78.

Beaten and battered, Yamato continues its voyage with the repair crews working quickly to repair the extensive damage suffered at Carell 163. On the rear observation deck, Shima looks out with a worried expression on his face. He comments to the security officer lurking in the shadows that the time is finally upon them, asking him if he’s certain he can trust him.

[LC]: This scene is a good followup to the one in Episode 15, where Hoshina asks Shima if they can talk – apparently the first of several conversations they’ve had to this point. Although we only see his leg, it’s easy to assume its Hoshina, since Ito is with Niimi and its doubtful he can be any of the other security officers. Shima’s question is relevant, as they’re playing a dangerous game where misplaced trust can lay any plans to waste.

Ito is with Niimi in her office while she analyzes Shima’s personnel file. They make the final preparations to put their scheme into action and he tells her they’re ready to start.

[DG]: This is the same personnel file seen on Kaoru’s computer in Episode 12.

Back in Episode 12’s commentary, I alluded to the parallels between the factions of the Izumo Plan (Serizawa and Niimi) and those of the Yamato Plan (Okita, Hijikata, Todo, Yamanami, and so forth) to factions with members of the same name in the Shinsengumi, the “New Special Corps” established in the 1850’s to support the Tokugawa Shogunate’s power base. In this episode, the factional war comes to a head.

Outside, Chief Enomoto surveys the damage to the port radar array. His heart skips a beat when he looks inside the captain’s cabin and sees Okita… lying unconscious on the floor.

[LC]: Enomoto’s staff really has their act together. I do wonder where they keep getting those metal plates from. I’m sure the ship left Earth with a reasonable supply for repairs but given the amount of repairs they’ve been forced to do you’d think they would’ve run out by now.

Even if they recycle the bits they trim off from the damaged hull sections, most of the material would be lost upon detonation. One has to assume they make regular surveys in search of metal sources and resupply, much like they did in Enceladus and are doing in this episode for food stuffs. They just haven’t shown us that so far.

Later, Doctor Sado has examined the captain, who is now resting in his bed. The doctor says he overexerted himself at Carell 163, especially since he’s still recovering from his extensive surgery. A bit of rest is all he needs for now. Sanada and Kodai sigh with relief as Sado orders the two to keep an eye on him and not let him overdo it.

On the main bridge, Nanbu voices his worries regarding the captain’s health. Aihara remains optimistic, going as far as saying the captain is immortal. Nanbu jokingly agrees, stating what they really need is to find water. Aihara says everything will work out. Niimi goes to Shima’s station, looking out the bridge windows at the small blue sphere they’re approaching.

[LC]: Nanbu’s statement “we just need to find more water” might indicate one of two things. The first and more straight forward one is that the sentence is incomplete and they need to find more than just water. The other option is that, given we were never told what the actual problem with the O.M.C.S. was, it might be just that. Water. The manga has already shown us two scenes with Hirata in a room with large vats. Curiously, in both scenes, Ito is also present. Could it be that water actually is all they need to resupply?

No indication otherwise. Niimi talks of water and oxygen, which holds that up. With no data on the O.M.C.S. or how it operates we have no way of knowing. We also never learned how and when it was damaged, what was lost in the process. All we know is that the machine can apparently no longer do its magic. It might just be that a proper supply of good old H2O is required to keep its recycling capabilities operational, though I doubt that’s all it uses to make food. Since this is never addressed in the show, we’ll probably never know. As for the resupply operation… we’ll get to that part.

When asked, Shima confirms that is their destination. Ota butts in, presenting the planet as Beemela-4, the fourth planet of the Beemela system. Niimi says it seems to have plenty of water and oxygen. Ota comments that resupplying will be easy as long as they don’t run into anything dangerous on the planet.

[LC]: Finally, Ota raises a good point, one that could throw a wrench into Niimi’s plan. There are plants and animals on Earth that can kill us with ease, and it’s our home planet! So how can a scientist like Niimi assume she can colonize an alien planet just on the basis of it having water and oxygen?! Sure, those are two essential elements for our survival but pushing a relocation and colonization plan when they haven’t even surveyed the planet to assess the presence of potential threats like the indigenous flora and fauna… Sloppy, at best.

Ota points out they might as well live there, not knowing his throwaway remark is more than that in the senior analyst’s mind. She agrees with him while placing a folded piece of paper on Shima’s console.

[LC]: What is this? High school?!

Shima looks at it in silence. His thoughts are interrupted by the sound of the bridge door opening, announcing the arrival of Sanada and Kodai. He quickly reaches for the piece of paper as Sanada gives him the order to proceed with the landing on Beemela-4. Sanada orders Kodai to form a landing party and take the lead on the planet’s survey. As the two leave and Ota inputs the landing coordinates into the system, Shima reads Niimi’s note. With a pensive look on his face, he puts it away and proceeds with the task at hand.

Yamato speeds toward Beemela-4, descending through the clouds. The crew is greeted by a lush, green landscape.

[LC]: From the beginning of the episode to this point, Enomoto’s staff has managed to reassemble most – if not all – the damaged/destroyed structures of the ship, like the starboard radar array. Only the larger holes on the hull and the nasty scrape from their paint exchange with the Domelaze are still unrepaired. Those guys really know their stuff. XD

Niimi reports there are no harmful chemicals in the atmosphere. She’s so amazed by the planet, she remarks aloud that they’ll be able to use it as a second Earth. She realizes her faux pas and stops talking before letting anything else slip out, but it’s already too late. Sanada heard her and is all too aware of what she meant.

[DG]: Niimi’s unwavering belief in the Izumo Plan she worked on under Serizawa is possibly meant to reflect her Shinsengumi namesake’s membership in Kamo Serizawa’s faction, as well as to her own efforts on the Izumo Plan.

[LC]: Jeez, Niimi must be terrible poker player.

The look in Sanada’s face shows us that he probably knows more about Niimi’s intentions than he lets on, or at least her fierce allegiance to the Izumo Plan. But from the following events he was still very far from imagining just how far things had progressed.

Ota announces they’ve arrived at their destination and Sanada orders the Seagull to launch. Sanada orders the ship to remain stationed at 1500 meters until the Seagull reports.

[LC]: So here begins our resupply timeline. Yamato remains stationary at 1500 meters until the survey team reports. We presume that once they identify a good source for whatever they need, the ship will come down, much like it did back at Enceladus, to allow the resupply teams to deploy. Stay tuned for the progress on this particular subject.

[DG]: Here we see Analyzer’s exoframe taking up the multipurpose stowage point on the ventral amidships of the Seagull. Had this craft and its cargo existed in the original series, we might as easily have seen reused footage of the Seagull from an earlier episode when it did not carry the exoframe. We get a good close up of the exoframe in its stowage mode in the closeup flyby.

The Seagull descends, carrying Kodai, Hirata, Analyzer and a rather sleepy Yuria aboard. Hirata asks her if she’s okay, with Kodai wondering if she’s airsick. She says she’s “all right” but that she’s been having some blanks in her memory. Kodai remarks that doesn’t sound “all right” to him. She reaffirms she’s okay.

[LC]: I understand the need to keep pushing Misaki’s storyline forward but come on… In the real world, anyone displaying Misaki’s odd behavior would be subject to extensive medical examination or, in the very least, benched until she perked up. Sending someone who seems exhausted on such a crucial mission is just inadmissible.

Before the conversation can go farther, Analyzer announces he has detected metal at their one o’clock. Kodai decides to go down and have a look at it. As he takes the ship down, Misaki nods off once more. The Seagull descends among Beemela’s otherworldly vegetation, setting down in a clearing.

[LC]: So, back to our resupply timeline. Someone just saw a squirrel. Or in this case, metal. And Kodai decides to deviate from their mission to check it out. They’re supposed to be looking for water and other needed elements, but they just decide to go and investigate a metallic signal… sure, you can say they also need metal, maybe to resupply the repair crew’s stockpile, but so far there’s been no mention of metal in their immediate needs.

All that was actually mentioned was water. In the previous episode, Hirata brought up the need to resupply the O.M.C.S. We’re not sure what that specifically entails, but I would hazard a guess metal is not a priority. So…what gives, Kodai?!

Back on the ship, Sanada is calling Niimi out on her previous outburst. He says she’s a talented analyst and that he has the utmost respect for her. He then goes straight for the jugular, asking flat out if her plan is for humanity to settle on Beemela-4. Knowing there’s no point in denying her intentions, she lays out her reasoning, stating that it’ll be extremely difficult for Yamato to successfully complete its mission.

[LC]: This is quite a nice scene. Sanada asks Niimi her intentions and even though she’s about to betray him, she still respects her mentor. So much so that she doesn’t even attempt to deny any of it and just puts all the cards on the table. Truth be told, Niimi probably knows that even if she lied, Sanada would most likely see right through it.

She says that even if they continue warping, there isn’t enough time to make it to Iscandar and back. She goes further by stating that even if they reach the Large Magellanic Cloud, they don’t know Iscandar’s exact location. Sanada remains silent, obviously surprised that she knows this.

[LC]: Here, a little cat is let out of the bag, albeit only superficially. Niimi’s line reveals that the actual location of Iscandar is unknown, quite an important detail that has apparently been kept under wraps. Sanada’s surprise that Niimi knows this is also telling. Since he and Okita are the only ones on board who are aware of this information, the fact that she knows it means she has support from someone in a high position. This is the moment Sanada realizes there might be more to this than his protegee stubbornly keeping a dead plan alive.

As for the important revelation about Iscandar’s position being unknown, that is something that will be kept on hold, at least for now. But don’t worry, it won’t be long until all is cleared up.

Niimi defends her position that Beemela can be used as a new home for mankind. Sanada has had enough, but she insists that they should return to Earth and begin the relocation plan. Sanada’s veneer breaks to visibly upset, and he insists that she stops. Niimi gets up and tries to reason with her mentor, almost begging him to help her carry out the plan, but Sanada says he cannot do that. Niimi realizes there’s no way to convince him.

[DG]: It’s interesting that Kaoru is now advocating turning around and returning home, given that back in Episode 13 she advocated the theory that Garmillas was most likely somewhere in the Milky Way. By her reasoning back then, they were out of danger once they left the confines of the galaxy and could proceed to Iscandar without fear of running into them again. Now she is putting her bets on being able to make multiple trips to Earth to rescue as many people as possible and transplant them to Beemela-4?

There are many questions which can be asked of this plan. How many trips are they going to be able to make in the time they have left? How many people will they be able to take on each trip? Will they have enough food to make a return journey with an overcrowded ship? Will they be able to establish a viable human population with the small percentage of humans left on Earth that they can rescue? All of these questions need to be factored in. while it’s mathematically likely that the Izumo Plan has a greater chance of success than finding a planet in another galaxy, getting their Cosmo Reverse System, and returning in time, implemented that plan at Beemela spells doom for the vast majority of the population of Earth.

If Yamato was able to safely make multiple trips back to Earth in the nine months remaining, still only a minuscule number can be saved. This scenario was always the best-case outcome for the Izumo Plan – only a very small percentage of humanity would be able to be transplanted in the timeframe needed. (Given an accelerated travel time due to more frequent, longer warping, the ship could only carry several thousand, maybe twenty thousand at best, out of a human population still in the hundreds of millions if not billions.)

Yamato is their largest ship, and the only one capable of warping through space. One could argue that the plan’s proponents either saw it as (a) humanity’s best chance of survival and a very tough decision to make, or (b) an opportunity to save their own hides at the cost of the masses. In the end, while the Yamato Plan had a lower mathematical chance, it provided them the greatest chance of survival for the majority of humanity.

She closes her eyes and sighs as she sits back down. The sound of applause comes from the lounge’s entrance. Ito and two guards come in. He compliments Niimi’s passionate speech, despite her failure to win over the XO’s heart. Niimi lowers her head as Ito says her actions almost amount to treason.

[DG]: Ito’s namesake in the Shinsengumi, Kashitaro Ito, wasn’t a member of Serizawa’s faction. In fact, he served as military advisor to Isami Kondo, and was third in command behind him and Toshizo Hijikata. But one thing did make him seem the odd man out; unlike the rest of the Shinsengumi, who were loyal to the Tokugawa Shogun, Ito was fiercely anti-Tokugawa and favored the restoration of Imperial rule. The only thing he truly had in common with the Shinsengumi was a desire to see foreigners expelled from Japan. The analogy is not lost here.

[LC]: Niimi is truly sorry for failing to sway her mentor to her side. Sure, she probably knows him well enough to realize he would not go for it. But since the alternative is to act against him, she had to try. She knows her failure will force Ito into action, something she really wanted to avoid. She knows all too well how vicious he can be.

Visibly shaken, Sanada orders Ito to arrest Niimi. Ito apologizes as he draws his sidearm. Much to Sanada’s surprise, he finds himself in the gun’s sights. He realizes too late he’s the one under arrest.

[LC]: Here’s a rare moment. Sanada surprised and speechless. But he still remains incredibly cool-headed for someone who just got stabbed in the back.

On the surface, Analyzer connects to the special MF-98S exo-frame, to the amazement of Hirata and the rest of the survey team. He proceeds to clear a path through the thick forest. Kodai, Hirata and Misaki follow him, leaving Kaneshiro and Kimura with the Seagull.

[LC]: The two other crew members accompanying Kodai, Hirata and Yuri(sh)a are named Kazuo Kaneshiro and Eigi Kimura.

Yuri(sh)a removes her hair clips. Kodai calls her and tells her not to lag behind while Hirata has a nerdgasm over Analyzer’s tree-smashing capabilities. The young girl follows them with a determined look in her eyes.

[LC]: They’re going to beat the “remove-hair-clips-when-I-change-personality” visual trope to the ground, aren’t they? And yet, everyone keeps pretending she’s acting normal.

Analyzer clears a path with ease with Hirata continuing his praise. Kodai asks the robot how far they have to go to find the metal source. Analyzer says they’re three kilometers away.

At the back of the line Yuri(sh)a says there’s someone watching them. At that moment an eerie screeching sound fills the forest, causing the group to halt in their tracks. Kodai turns as a large insectoid figure rises in the shadows behind them.

Back on board, Shima is shocked when Niimi tells him Sanada has been apprehended. Niimi says she didn’t want to. When Shima asks if they’re really going through with their plan, Niimi tells him it’s too late to turn back and that he must make his decision. A pensive Hoshina stands outside the room.

[LC]: You can almost hear the gears inside Hoshina’s head as he figures out his next move.

Okita is resting in his cabin with Makoto by his side. She is startled as the door opens and two armed guards enter the room.

[LC]: The Yamato in this shot was drawn by hand, using the “Detail-Up” technique (click the image for the entire piece). Notice that the camera move and the changing POV give the piece a distorted look. Impressive. Also, I don’t know if this is purposeful or not, but they use the same rise-up camera pan for both Yamato and Okita lying in bed, almost as if saying Okita is Yamato. At least I like to think so…

[DG]: Another possible-to-likely Shinsengumi connection in this scene: Makoto Harada could very well be named for Sanouske Harada, who was a squad captain in the Kondo faction of the Shinsengumi, much the same as Souji Okita.

In the main bridge, Yuki notices Sanada is late, an unusual event for someone who is always so punctual. Suddenly, three guards enter the bridge and train their guns on Aihara, Nanbu and Ota.

As the officers question their intentions, Ito comes in with Niimi and Shima by his side. Yuki is surprised by Shima’s presence and Ito tells them to keep quiet as Nanbu questions him about what’s going on. Ito just smiles, giving a sideways glance at his new pawn.

Akira is in the pilot’s shower room, which has been sealed due to the current limitations on water usage. Suddenly, Niimi’s voice comes through the ship’s PA system, announcing that due to being incapacitated by his illness, captain Okita has transferred command of the ship to Shima. This is met with surprise by Kato, even more as a group of armed guards enters the room.

[LC]: Here, the idea that water is the main thing lacking is pushed even further. Even the showers have been restricted.

Also, it’s amazing how calm everyone remains when they have armed guards invading their space. Not at all a usual sight. But kudos to Kato. For someone who started the series punching everything in sight, he’s showing a tremendous degree of restraint. Makoto’s influence, no doubt.

Kato demands to know what’s going on, but the lead guard just asks if all the pilots are present. Shinohara plays dumb and says probably, with Kato playing along. A guard is sent to search the adjoining rooms.

[LC]: I just love how these two are so in sync. Shinohara just follows Kato’s lead, and they seem to have quite a bit of fun pulling the guards’ legs.

He enters the darkened shower room, but no one’s there. Akira managed to climb up into the ventilation shaft just in time. Shima takes the mike to announce that their investigation of Beemela-4 has revealed it to be suitable for human habitation.

[LC]: I know Akira is quite fit, but still… impressive jump. And just an appetizer for what’s coming next.

Shima reveals that Yamato has fallen behind schedule, and that after discussing it with the XO, they’ve decided to abandon the Yamato Plan, which offers only a small chance of success. They will instead return to Earth with information about Beemela-4. When he hears this, Doctor Sado is livid.

Shima proceeds, announcing that they’ll leave as soon as the resupply operation is completed – and that the decision was made with captain Okita’s agreement. Yuki looks at Niimi disapprovingly, knowing this is a lie. Niimi turns her face away.

[LC]: Anyone who knows the captain even in the slightest would know this is a lie. Good to see that even though she is on the Izumo side, Niimi still displays shame when confronted by her colleagues.

Shima announces that in order to avoid any unnecessary confusion, the crew is to obey the security staff. In the engine room, Yamazaki wonders what is happening. As he and Tokugawa prepare to leave the engine room to talk to Shima, they’re cut off by Yabu, Saotome and Sakiyama, armed and visibly nervous. When Tokugawa demands an explanation, Yabu simply says he can’t allow them to leave.

[DG]: The Serizawa faction here have played their cards right. Get the chief navigator on their side, control security, and lure in someone from the engine room who is easily susceptible to persuasion. In short, lock down control of the ship.

Meanwhile, the Shinsengumi analogy continues. Yamazaki also had a namesake in the group; Tokugawa was the family name of the Shogunate.

On Beemela, the away team is making good progress on their trek, motivated by the giant insect pursuing them. Carried by Analyzer, Yuri(sh)a seems amused. Kodai fires at it but the bullets seem to have no effect against the creature’s exoskeleton. They reach a clearing and Analyzer goes hand to claw with the creature.

[LC]: Hirata running from the insect never fails to make me laugh. Nice bit of character animation. And Yuri(sh)a seems to be having the time of her life.

Analyzer eventually wrestles the creature to the ground but it quickly gets back on its feet. Analyzer asks Misaki if she’s all right but she seems more concerned about the insect, asking “Mr. Bug” if he’s okay. The insect prepares to attack but as Kodai and Hirata brace, something else catches the creature’s attention.

[LC]: Analyzer’s bout with the insectoid is very reminiscent of the fight between Ellen Ripley and the Alien Queen, in the final act of the movie Aliens. As Ripley had her Power Loader, Analyzer has his exoframe.

Startled, it turns around and leaves, with Yuri(sh)a saying a fond goodbye. Kodai wonders what scared it. Hirata sighs in relief but then he sees something. He tells Kodai to look behind them. Kodai is amazed as he sees the old remains of a long crashed – and familiar – space craft.

These giant insects also take us back to what I said before regarding Niimi’s optimistic view of Beemela-4 as a new home for mankind. We don’t know if the creature is attacking because it’s hunting for food or because Analyzer was trashing its home and it felt the need to protect its territory. But surely, whatever the motive is, the existence of such an openly hostile indigenous species would put a damper on any colonization plans. And this is the one they came across, who know what else might be lying out there…

[LC]: As you may see in this opening shot, those damned insect creatures can also fly. Great call, Niimi. Lets change the faction’s name from “Izumo Plan” to “Insect Buffet”.

On the main bridge, Ito receives a report that the engine room has been secured, a relief for him as he know the influence both Tokugawa and Yamazaki have. Ito congratulates Shima on his foresight.

[LC]: From Ito’s statement, it would seem that restraining the key personnel was ultimately Shima’s idea. One has to wonder, had Shima not been involved, what methods would Ito have used to control the ship…

Yuki asks Shima if he has any idea what he’s doing, accusing them all of treason. Ito tells her to shut up. When she says she’ll tell everyone back on Earth what has happened, Ito angrily repeats for her to shut up.

[LC]: Ito did a decent job of hiding his bigotry so far but in this episode he just lets it all out in the open. And the “snake-eyed guy is a bastard” trope wins once more.

Regaining his composure, the snake-eyed officer asks her if she wants to return home that much, calling her “alien girl.” This is met with surprise by Yuki, leading Nanbu to ask what the hell he’s talking about.

Ito responds that that is exactly what he meant and that Yuki is not from Earth. He reminds the others that another Iscandarian had arrived on Earth a year before with the Wave-Motion Engine plans. All they were told was her name, Yurisha Iscandar. But no one ever revealed what had become of her. He asks them what they think happened to her, with Aihara recalling a rumor about Yurisha dying in an accident.

[LC]: Despite his twisted loyalties, Ito does have a point. So far, we’ve been told that Yurisha came to Earth with the Wave-Motion Engine plans and had indications that she was involved in the same accident where Yuki was injured and lost her memory. This is what the characters have learned to a certain level. As viewers we also know that Yurisha is probably locked in the capsule in the Automatic Navigation room and that she’s been spreading her mind wings and touching people like Yuria, but this is unknown to Ito and the others. So Ito gets some bonus conspiracy points here, especially since even Yuki seems unsure whether or not she is Yurisha.

But Ito retorts that she is still alive and right there with them. She’s been there the whole time. Yuki responds she doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but is shocked when Ito takes the mysterious golden device from his pocket. He tells the surprised Yuki that the pod belongs to her, but that it’s not of Earth.

[LC]: When the hell did Ito learn that she had that with her? It’s not as if Yuki’s been waving it around or anything. We’ve seen this twice and one of them was in a dreamscape in Episode 14. Does Ito have a spy-cam in Yuki’s room?! Gross!!!

On the surface, Kodai reveals the crashed ship looks like the Iscandarian ship he saw on Mars. He and Hirata are surprised when Yuri(sh)a, without a shadow of doubt, says that is because it is an Iscandarian ship. Analyzer reports no life signs and that the ship has been crashed for approximately 400 years.

[DG]: So, roughly around the time of the French Revolution… (pointless comparison of events on Earth at the time)

Kodai wonders if the bug was afraid of it. Once again, he and Hirata are surprised when Yuri(sh)a says that a long time ago Iscandar came to the planet with a task of salvation.

[LC]: Come on, this is getting ridiculous. She points out with 100% certainty the ship is Iscandarian and no one says a thing?! There’s only so much suspension of disbelief one can put up with to the plot rolling. By now, anyone would be asking that girl some serious questions.

On one hand, Yuki is being grilled for having an alien object in her possession and having no memories before her accident. Nothing more, that’s it. Yuki has done nothing to even make anyone think she’s an alien. Here, we have Misaki behaving in an unusual fashion, providing facts she should have no knowledge about and going on about Iscandar’s mission… and all they do is act slightly surprised and move on…

Aboard Yamato, the exact same words are spoken by none other than Queen Starsha. Ito has activated the golden pod and an embedded holographic message plays, with Starsha announcing the creed that drives Iscandar: “The salvation of all intelligent life in the universe.” She says that is the path of Iscandar, and the task of her family.

[LC]: Sure, play the damning holographic message that makes it seem she’s an alien. Disregard the rest of the stuff we will later learn is recorded there.

She addresses her “beloved sister” Yurisha, saying she trusts she will fulfill her task to bring hope to the people of Earth and give them courage to make that hope a reality. She also mentions a trial, before the message ends and loops back to the beginning. Everyone on the bridge, Yuki included, listen in astonishment.

[LC]: What I never understood was Ito’s hostility toward Iscandar. If anything, this message reinforces the notion that they do indeed want to help us. So, excepting his twisted loyalty toward a power hungry Serizawa and his bigotry toward aliens, I can’t see why anyone would doubt Iscandar’s intentions. Sure, the mention of a trial and the fact they neglected to identify their next door neighbors does take away some benefactor points, but that won’t be discovered for another few episodes and the rationale for it is solid.

Kodai asks Yuri(sh)a if she’s saying there is intelligent life on the planet. She replies there was, a long time ago, before collapsing to her knees. Kodai rushes to her and asks if she’s okay.

[LC]: Come on, Kodai! How would she know that if she was herself?! Wake up, man!

Misaki reverts back to her usual self and when Kodai says she’s been saying strange things she just says her hairstyle looks weird. Kodai prepares to explain, but is interrupted by Analyzer, who has detected another metallic signal close by.

[LC]: Well, at least Kodai recognizes she’s acting strangely. That’s something. Not nearly enough, but it’s a start. As for Misaki… she says her hairstyle’s weird?! She blacked out, awakes in the middle of a forest, she’s told she’s acting weird and… her hair is what worries her? I would make an appointment with the nearest priority management specialist or psychiatrist. Quick.

[DG]: Maybe Misaki knows what’s going on to an extent? Maybe she knows this is why she’s on board? Personally, I always found it odd that a seventeen-year-old cadet would be included in the crew of such a mission.

From what we’ve seen, Misaki is like Jon Snow. She knows nothing. At least we’ve been given no indication that she does, aside her quip to Hoshina about seeing spirits and stuff, which I would take with a pinch of salt. As for her age, yeah, a bit early but they probably don’t have the luxury of being picky in a nearly dead world.

On the ship, the bridge officers are escorted to another room where they can be contained. As he watches them on the monitors, Ito comments on Starsha’s message, wondering who she thinks she is to give humanity a trial. He concludes that, in the end, Iscandar is no different than Garmillas.

[LC]: Who she is?! The leader of a technologically superior race who has absolutely no reason to help us and yet does. I think proving you’re worthy of that help is not unreasonable. Though I do guess that when your race has a doomsday countdown looming over them, it might seem that way.

The away team has reached a large temple with a beautifully sculpted facade. Kodai says Misaki’s intuition was correct, much to her confusion. As they proceed down the main corridor, Analyzer reports the civilization appears to have collapsed, estimating the time of its destruction to have occurred 330 years ago.

[LC]: This entrance is just part of a larger complex that wasn’t shown in the episode, including a redesigned version of the Beemela Queen’s palace. Click here to see the production design.

They come across the mummified remains of some Beemelarians. The carvings on the walls show animals similar to the large insect that attacked them. Analyzer concludes they were used as livestock by the Beemelarians, now returned to their feral state.

[DG]: The carvings are very reminiscent of ancient Latin American races such as the Mayans and Aztecs.

[LC]: The remains of the Beemelarians seem to show a slightly less humanoid form than their original series’ counterparts. Not to mention these are all dead. But on the positive side, no one’s being ground up to make bee jelly. Click here to see the production design for this shot.

They finally reach a large round chamber. Placed on an altar at its center is an object they immediately recognize: a Wave-Motion Core.

Aboard, Ito instructs Shima to prepare for launch. When Shima reminds him Kodai and his team are still on the surface, Ito says he’d prefer to avoid unnecessary bloodshed, in a less than veiled threat. Although visibly displeased, Shima goes ahead with the launch preparations. Meanwhile, Hoshina pays a visit to Doctor Sado, who has passed out in his quarters. Sado is less than happy to see “Ito’s little boy,” saying he’s closed for the day. With an honest smile, the young officer says he needs his help.

[LC]: Again, you came to this planet for a reason. Even if Ito doesn’t want to deal with Kodai, he still would have to get those supplies! A few days without a functioning O.M.C.S. led to this situation. How does he expect to make it all the way back to Earth without resupplying?! Really, the writing in this episode is so thin you’ll break it with a sigh…

As for Sado, this isn’t the first time we see him passed-out drunk and then jumping to action as if it was nothing. Does he have a pill for that?!

Back at the Seagull, Kimura is talking on the radio to Hirata, who says the away team can’t contact Yamato. Kimura reports they’ve also tried to reach the ship but to no avail. Sensing something’s wrong, Hirata transmits their coordinates and orders the Seagull to pick them up.

[LC]: It seems the resupply mission has been completely forgotten. Guess they no longer need to eat and drink (not to mention shower).

Kodai, who’s been listening to Hirata’s communication, is called by Analyzer. He reports he has found some video data in the core. Kodai asks if he can display it and, moments later, a large holographic map appears before them. Kodai wonders what it might be.

[DG]: The discovery of this “Wave Motion Core” and its contents pretty much set in my mind that both this core and the one aboard Yamato are nothing more than computers; the one aboard Yamato has the software required to regulate the energy generated by the Wave-Motion Engine, and this one contains vital navigation data and intelligence. In the absence of any other information provided on this, I see no reason to diverge from Occam’s Razor on the evidence provided on-screen.

Meanwhile, Akira is making her way through the ship’s air ducts. She reaches the room where Yuki and the others are being held. The security team says they’ll have to stay there until the chain of command is reestablished. Yuki wonders if she really is from Iscandar, with Nanbu telling her not to worry about Ito’s rantings.

[DG]: A fan of Neon Genesis Evangelion is likely to interpret this scene as a tribute to Episode 11 of that series, where a more famous red-eyed girl named Rei spends her time navigating dark passageways and air ducts to reach the hangars during a blackout.

The conversation is cut short by a noise coming from above them. One of the guards looks up but has no time to react as Akira wrestles him to a nearby wall. The other tries to draw his gun but the pilot is too quick and soon he too is lying on the ground. The first gets back up, but a swift kick knocks him out.

[LC]: Another display of Akira’s physical prowess. Though no indication of it had been given until this point, Akira is quite accomplished in martial arts. I’d hate to be on the receiving end of her wrath.

As you may recall from back in Episode 9, where we gave you a rundown of the security team, these two guards were never given proper names in the production materials, being known only by the generic designation “Security Officer B and C”.

Ota and Aihara are delighted by this martial arts display and applaud with glee. Recovering from this impromptu surprise rescue, Yuki decides they should try to warn the landing party. Akira tells her the mutineers have locked all comms down but Aihara says there is one place from which they can still communicate.

[LC]: Ota and Aihara are just the best dweebs this side of the galactic system. XD

In Okita’s cabin, the captain opens his eyes as he hears the door open. The guards draw their guns but stand down when they see it’s Hoshina. When one of the guards asks what he wants, Doctor Sado pushes Hoshina aside and barges in, saying it’s time for the captain’s checkup. Ebata says he was ordered not to admit anyone but Hoshina says he cleared it with Ito.

Yamato’s main engine starts up and the ship begins to rise. This is witnessed from the approaching Seagull. Though surprised by this development, Kodai orders the crew to begin their approach.

In hangar 3, Nanbu covers the entrance while Yuki sits in the cockpit of a Type-100, using its radio to try and contact Kodai and his landing party. Akira can’t believe she didn’t think of that. Yuki is overjoyed when Kodai responds to their call.

On the main bridge, things are taking a dark turn as one of Ito’s men asks him what they will do with the captain and Sanada. Niimi is shocked as she hears Ito saying that they dispose of both, detailing the cover story for each. Sanada will be murdered by a dissident group that wanted to proceed to Iscandar, and Okita will eventually succumb to his illness. As he’s about to finish outlining his devious plan, Ito’s interrupted by a voice in his comm piece, alerting him that the hangar 3 doors on the port side are opening. Ito is confused.

[LC]: Another redeeming point for Niimi is that I honestly believe that she wouldn’t have gone along with this plan had she known what Ito intended to do with Okita and Sanada. She may have betrayed her mentor over an ideological divergence, but I doubt she would approve of cold-blooded murder. Ito doesn’t seem to have any problems with it. A true sociopath.

At this point Niimi seems to be ready to give up and stop the nonsense. Maybe hearing Ito’s plans for her mentor has brought her back to her senses.

Shima orders the guidance beacon to stand by. Ito asks him what he’s doing, with Niimi stating that it must be the returning landing party. Ito responds that there’s no need to allow them back aboard. Niimi asks if he intends to just leave them behind. Ito begins to lose his usual cool and raises his voice, ordering Shima to close the hangar.

[LC]: There’s an interesting parallel between how his plans begin to unravel and Ito’s increasing loss of composure. Ito seems to be a fairly intelligent man, but he only envisioned how his plan would play out, never how others might counter it. He’s playing checkers while his opponents are playing chess. His own hubris and self-confidence are what brings the whole thing down.

Niimi tells Ito there’s no need for more victims but he just dismisses her and repeats his order. Calmly, Shima states that he’s the one in command. Surprised and angry, Ito steps back. He draws his sidearm and says he must insist, pointing the gun to Shima’s head.

[LC]: I officially give the “brass balls cup” to Shima. He’s come to know all too well the kind of sociopath he’s dealing with and being capable of standing his ground in this manner… Captain Daigo and Okita would be proud.

Niimi and Utsumi gasp, visibly surprised by how far Ito is willing to go. Shima refuses to obey and Ito says that is unfortunate, turning the gun’s safety off. Utsumi tries to reason with Ito but to no avail. With visible rage, Ito prepares to pull the trigger.

[LC]: Utsumi’s reaction is a bit of a contradiction for someone who just seconds ago was receiving and accepting orders to assassinate superior officers and seemed to be okay with it.

Okay, open eyed Ito is creepy. Teeth gnashing open eyed Ito is scary.

I wonder if that is a safety switch or a stun/kill setting switch. Cosmo Guns seem to be energy-based, and since they appear to be armed (as in safety off) by pulling the upper rear bolt back, which Ito has done, I’d go with the latter.

Niimi tells him to stop and tackles the security chief, knocking him back, before she’s sent careening against Utsumi and Ota’s console. She begs Ito to put a stop to the whole situation.

Getting back on his feet, Ito will have none of it. Stating this is why he hates women, he point his gun at Niimi, ready to execute her. Shima jumps off his chair, Cosmo Gun in hand and orders him to stop, but it’s too late.

[LC]: So, not only is he a xenophobe, Ito is also a misogynist.

Also worthy of note, “Security Officer A” is standing on the opposite side of the bridge with his weapon ready but he does absolutely nothing to protect his chief when Shima gets up and draws his gun.

We see Ito’s angry eyes, filled with murderous intent. Niimi looks at the security officer, knowing her end is about to come. The split second drags for an eternity. And then… The sound of a shot echoes as Niimi closes her eyes.

Ito’s gun falls to the floor as the officer grabs hold of his injured hand. He turns to face his shooter and is surprised when he sees… Hoshina.

[DG]: So did Hoshina hit his gun? There doesn’t seem to be any blood.

[LC]: Although the bigger guns do seem to be projectile-based, the Cosmo Gun has always been an energy-based weapon in the previous series and it’s probably the same here (as I stated before). Perhaps Hoshina used a non-lethal setting. The sound effect does contradict this idea since it’s more like a gunshot than an energy blast, but maybe that was more for dramatic effect.

[DG]: They still could have had the same effect with the iconic sound of the laser pistol. To me this is a bit of a stuff-up on part of whoever decided on that effect. As for what type of weapon the pistol is, there’s more than enough evidence to support it as an energy weapon: its sound and the fact that its muzzle looks way too small to fire slugs.

Something I missed back in Episode 5 when we first saw this iconic gun in the Yamato universe is that both the name of the manufacturer and part of the design of the weapon have a real history. The Nambu Pistol was designed by Kijiro Nambu in 1902 and was used by the Japanese Military from 1906 to 1945 in three models – the Nambu A, Nambu B, and Nambu Type 14. If you look at the Type 14, the core of the gun (handgrip and main body) bear a striking resemblance to the Yamato-verse’s Type 97.

The real-life Nambu, a Japanese Army career officer who finished with the rank of Lieutenant General, went on to design a number of firearms which he sold to the Japanese Military, including a model called the Type 97 (the model name of Kodai’s gun). As an aside, it should be noted that Nanbu’s family name uses the exact same kanji, 南部, as Kijiro Nambu. The “Nanbu” pronunciation is incidental.

Before he can recover from this development, Okita descends in his command chair, calling him a fool. Not even Ito can stand up to the captain. Okita simply asks what he thinks he’s doing.

[LC]: It never ceases to amaze me the authority and gravitas that Okita commands. Just a few seconds ago, Ito was ready to kill those who opposed him. Now, Okita makes him flinch with only his voice. And I don’t think it’s just because he’s been disarmed. I truly believe that Okita could stare him down even if he was still holding his Cosmo Gun.

Ito knows it’s all over and he’s been defeated. He turns to Hoshina, saying he betrayed him. Hoshina dismisses it, saying Ito is the one that chose the wrong side. Shima gives the thumbs up to his partner in crime. Niimi just stays on the floor, her head down.

[LC]: Hoshina almost looks like a whole new character, stepping out of the constant shadow of his chief and telling him off with a certain degree of bravado. Unlike Niimi, Hoshina must play one mean game of poker. He played everyone on board.

[DG]: And thus, the Serizawa faction is again defeated, like its Shinsengumi namesake.

In the captain’s cabin, a hilarious scenario presents itself. The two guards are tied up and harassed by Doctor Sado and Makoto, with the good doctor saying there’ll be no coup d’état while he’s around.

[LC]: I can’t help but laugh when I see this scene. Not only is Sado awesome in his boasting but Makoto poking the guards in the head is hilarious. While her overall pleasantness is rubbing off on Kato, perhaps a bit of his mean streak rubbed off on her. XD

The Seagull docks in hangar 3. As Kodai exits the craft, Yuki runs toward the young man, embracing him in tears.

She says she’s glad he is safe, and eventually the surprised Kodai hugs her back. Reactions are varied, with Hirata, Yuri(sh)a, Ota and Aihara smiling, Akira pouting and Nanbu just giving an incredulous sigh of defeat.

[LC]: You can almost hear Nanbu’s heart breaking! If he had any doubt that his chances with Yuki were zero, those doubts are now gone. Akira was already ahead of Nanbu in that regard, so this is little more than just another sting.

Later, as Yamato leaves Beemela-4, Okita has gathered Kodai, Shima, Sanada and Hoshina in his cabin. There, Hoshina explains that he’s been working for Director Todo all along. He was ordered to investigate the Izumo Plan backers that had infiltrated the crew.

[LC]: Final resupply timeline report: since there’s a jump in-between scenes here, I’ll just assume that enough time has passed for someone to go down and do what Kodai was meant to do in the first place. For everyone’s sake let’s just assume they found what they needed, the ship went down and they got it before leaving. I very much doubt Okita would leave without getting what they came here for, especially after all this trouble. (The same was probably true of the original “Bee Planet” episode as well.)

Hoshina couldn’t prevent the mutiny from happening, but with Shima’s help he at least managed to prevent any bloodshed. But Shima refuses any credit and says that he is partly responsible for what happened. One of the reasons for the mutiny is the fact that Yamato has fallen behind schedule.

[LC]: This twist regarding Hoshina was one I didn’t see coming, and I’d guess many other fans didn’t either. I always smile, recalling that when the series began and new characters like Hoshina were revealed, I saw many comments in dedicated forums where he was basically voted as both “nicest new male character” and “most likely to be killed off before the series ends”.

The fact that he was actually a plant in the Izumo faction under orders by chief Todo was probably not something anyone ever considered. Nice that even being a remake, 2199 still manages to throw some curve balls that keep us surprised.

Sanada reveals there may be no further need for concern about the schedule, thanks to the data that Kodai found on Beemela. If the intel is accurate, they’ll be able to more than make up for the lost time. Shima is surprised. Kodai confirms his find and tells his friend that if they hadn’t stopped at Beemela, they would never have found it.

[DG]: At this point we assume that at the very least, Niimi, Ito, and Yabu are all incarcerated in the brig. Since we don’t know exactly how many cells the ship has, the fate of the security team at this stage is unclear. However, we do learn of the fates of Niimi, Ito, and Yabu later in the series.

Had this been the Shinsengumi, all the traitors would have been summarily executed. None of the namesakes of the Izumo Plan faction met a pleasant end. Niimi was forced to commit seppuku for repeatedly violating the Code of the Shinsengumi. Serizawa himself was assassinated, possibly by Okita and Hijikata. Ito, having fled the Shinsengumi, was eventually hunted down and mortally wounded, interestingly enough at Kodai Temple in the Higashiyama district of Kyoto.

Had this sort of mutiny happened in World War II, a similar fate would likely have awaited them. Back in the 2199 universe, I imagine if someone more military than Okita were in command of Yamato, the mutineers would have been court-martialed and then executed.

Meanwhile, I think it’s safe to assume that sometime after Episode 7 (where we see him communicating with Kaoru), and up to the time of the mutiny, Serizawa has been arrested and thrown in jail. It’s reasonable to assume he’s likely to be charged with High Treason, and at best will be in jail the rest of his life.

Hopeful, Okita states his belief that all this may have been a trial the Iscandarian had set for them. On top of his desk, beside his copy of Crime and Punishment, lies the golden device Ito took from Yuki.

[LC]: Although the whole trip to Iscandar can be a trial for the people of Earth to prove their worth, I think this line is a bit of a stretch. Serizawa and Ito being assholes was probably something Starsha didn’t predict.

As for the core, luck favored them – though it is probable that they would come across this information as they ran into one of the space gates. The exact nature of the information contained in the core will be shown in more detail in the next episode.

PREVIEW:

The ancient gate: a bridge between the stars that hangs suspended in the void. Kodai and his team infiltrate a control satellite to activate the gate. There, they hear a story of the past, and the door to that time will now be opened.

Next time: Out of the Forest of Memories..

There are 275 days left before humanity becomes extinct.

RELATED LINKS:

Official website of Yamato 2199
Yamato Crew website
Chapter 5 Trailer Short Version
Chapter 5 Trailer Long Version

Episode 16 credits

Screenplay: Yutaka Izubuchi
Storyboard/Director: Akihiro Enomoto
Chara Animation Director: Yuji Miyashita
Chara Chief Animation Director: Takayuki Goto
Mecha Chief Animation Director: Masanori Nishii

Series credits

Original Story: Yoshinobu Nishizaki
Planning: Shoji Nishizaki, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, Satoshi Kono
Original Character Design: Nobuteru Yuuki
Guest Character/Prop Design: Shinichi Yamaoka
Mecha Design: Junichiro Tamamori, Yasushi Ishizu, Kiminori Yamane, Yutaka Izubuchi
Set Design: Takeshi Takakura, Makoto Kobayashi, Takashi Watanabe
Concept Design Support: Kazutaka Miyatake
Chief Director: Akihiro Enomoto
Director of Photography: Takashi Aoki
Art Director: Minoru Maeda
Video Editing: Emi Onodera
Color Correction: Rumiko Suzushiro
Music: Akira Miyagawa, Hiroshi Miyagawa
Sound Director: Tomohiro Yoshida
Sound Effects: Mitsuru Kashiwabara
Chief Mecha Animation Director: Masanori Nishii
CG Director: Takashi Imanishi
General Director: Yutaka Izubuchi

Production: Space Battleship Yamato Production Committee
Production IG, Bandai Visual, Xebec, Bandai, Bandai Namco Games, Voyager Entertainment,
Tohoku Shinsha Film Corporation, Shochiku Co. Ltd., OLM, Lantis Co. Ltd.

9 thoughts on “Yamato 2199 Episode 16 Commentary

  1. Yeah when i first saw this episode when the ship left Beemera i was saying “wait.. did they resuplied or not”..
    so we can asume they did offscreen…

    as for the OMCS my asumption is that it needs water to work (as do the crew) .. it most surelly uses lots of organic “stuff” but it needs water to run … the attack from Domel’s fleet probably ruptured at least one main water tank and they lost a lot of water making the OMCS unable to feed all the crew.

    But most importantly.. that shot of Nambu when Yuki throws herself into Kodai’s arms… all i could think was “you can pinpoint the moment his heart breaks in half” XD

    Also whats with Iscandar crashing ships into planets they want to save? I wonder if Yurisha crashed her ship into earth.. thats a quite certain posibility since we dont see how she got to earth… and she aparently had to leave for Iscandar onboard Yamato instead of using her own ship

    • The problem with the O.M.C.S. pre-dates Domel’s attack. In episode 15 i commented on how it may have been damaged by Mirenel controled crew members. But the near destruction of the ship by Domel probably didn’t improve what was already done.

  2. This episode was a twist on a plot line of the original series 39 episode plot (which was dropped when the series was cut to 26 episodes) of a conflict between Shima and the Navigation section and the Combat section, which was to go much further than a fist fight between Shima and Kodai. Here they made it a conflict of the two plans: Izumo and Yamato.I had been wondering what Niimi and Ito were up to, but it was interesting how they played on the emotions of crew members who were having doubts as to the mission (Yabu) or the truth about how the Garmillas war started (Shima). Thankfully, Shima was alerted by Hoshina. Shima kept his cool, but inside he had to be sweating bullets!

    I laughed like hell at the scene with Dr. Sado and Makoto holding the two Security men at bay! I didn’t notice when I watched it that Makoto was holding the gun backwards!

  3. Darn you Ito! You are the worst roommate! Security Guard A shows by his inaction that Ito isn’t worth his loyalty. If your leader is willing to kill his co-conspirator, is there anything to stop him from throwing you out the airlock just for asking him to calm down?

  4. “Meanwhile, I think it’s safe to assume that sometime after Episode 7 (where we see him communicating with Kaoru), and up to the time of the mutiny, Serizawa has been arrested and thrown in jail. It’s reasonable to assume he’s likely to be charged with High Treason, and at best will be in jail the rest of his life.”

    I hope this is the case, but I think it’s going to far to assume that it happened. Serizawa may have figured out a way to have his last communication with Niimi secretly, but even if he didn’t, all he said was, “Then there’s no problem, yes? You’re Earth’s last remaining hope. I’m counting on you, Lieutenant Niimi.” These are hardly incriminating words on their own. Niimi may have been just as careful about what she said. It’s true that Todo was suspicious enough of Serizawa to plant his own agent aboard Yamato, but if he had already gathered enough information for an arrest before Yamato’s launch, why wouldn’t he have just done it earlier? It’s just as likely that Todo has to just wait for Yamato to return to the solar system with news about the mutiny and the other evidence he needs to make an arrest.

      • You will notice that Serizawa is nowhere to be seen in both episode 26 and in the epilogue to Ark of the Stars. Sure, he may have taken the day off, but it’s a good bet that given Todo was already suspucious of him he may have gathered further evidence in the meantime. If that isn’t the case, then he’s sure to get what’s coming when an official report is delivered upon Yamato’s arrival on Earth.

  5. “Utsumi’s reaction is a bit of a contradiction for someone who just seconds ago was receiving and accepting orders to assassinate superior officers and seemed to be okay with it.”

    Utsumi does react once Ito finishes his little villainous monologue — his expression changes to visibly shocked right at the end. I thought it was a nice touch that even the hard-nosed gun-totin’ mutineers weren’t entirely on board with cold-blooded murder.

    As far as Ito ordering Yamato to depart without ever completing its resupply, he most likely considered Kodai his most dangerous potential adversary among the regular crew and didn’t want to risk him returning to the ship, because there’s no way Kodai would have been anything but the most relentless opponent of a mutiny. (Of course, in the end Kodai never had a clue what was going on, as is usual for him…) If they’d successfully abandoned the planet, Yamato quite likely would have run out of supplies in deep space, but Ito probably wasn’t even thinking about those kinds of consequences.

    One thing I was disappointed by was the lack of followup on Iscandar’s mission to Beemera. What was their purpose in coming to that world four hundred years ago, and what happened in the end? One can make some uneasy speculations about how the mission to Beemera turned out, given that their civilization apparently collapsed not long after the Iscandarian ship arrived.

    In the end any objections are made up for by the awesome scene where Akira beats up the mutineers. Couldn’t help but think that she had a lot of pent-up rage in her over the whole Kodai/Yuki thing, and once there was a legitimate target for it she went all-out.

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