Yamato 2199 Episode 21 Commentary

by Luis Cotovio and Daniel George

Episode 21: Prison Planet 17

(Japanese Name: 第十七収容所惑星 / Daijūhachi Shūyōjo Wakusei)

Director: Shoichi Nakayama
Running time: 24m 41s (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): Rest In Peace by JAM Project
  • (TV): Distance by Juju

[DG]: This episode commences with 230 days left, or on Day 135 of the mission, making the date June 26, 2199. This would be 15 days after the end of the Battle of the Rainbow Cluster and the costly victory over Domel’s forces.

Yamato has come to a dead stop while the repair crews make a thorough inspection of the visibly severe damage the ship incurred in its recent battle against General Domel.

[DG]: It’s interesting here that the giant holes in the forward hull only show a skeleton of a ship inside them. Were these parts hollow to begin with, is this simply a legacy of the heavy damage caused to the ship, or is it another legacy of the rushed production time frame? Personally I lean toward the latter since the innards look pretty intact. they wouldn’t be if there had been an internal explosion, since the large hole underneath the #1 turret is directly over the small hangar housing the Stork reconnaissance boat which we see in Ark of the Stars. The idea that it is hollow doesn’t match the design materials.

[LC]: For this particular shot, I believe the damage shown is more than adequate. Given how dark the scene is (the image above was brightened slightly for clarity), there’s still quite a bit of layering inside those holes. Compared to the many hull layouts in production materials, the damage is consistent. Even when we see Enomoto and Ayuto going through one of the holes that punches deeper into the ship, we can see these layers.

Most of the bigger holes are in areas protected by a secondary inner hull. It is this plating we see peering through, bent out of shape. It may utilize reactive plating which directs the brunt of the blast outward, though a direct hit from a more powerful energy cannon or the the larger torpedoes was capable of penetrating this secondary layer in spots like the brig. Close ups in scenes to follow show a slightly higher level of detail. Click here for a diagram of these layers and the damage mapping.

  

In the maintenance boats hangar, Hirata and his men have a more unpleasant task at hand. Several rows of capsules await as the bodies of those killed in the battle (and not lost to depths of space) are laid to rest within them. Hirata is standing over the capsule holding Raische, the Zaltzi woman that was part of the infiltration team sent to retrieve Yurisha. Hirata says that she and her comrades were also fighting for what they believed in. He lays her sidearm over her chest before sealing the capsule.

[LC]: In the original, this scene took place at the end of the same episode as the battle. Though severely damaged during the funeral, Yamato was completely repaired by the start of the following episode. 2199 will address this in a much more realistic way, especially considering the ship was much more damaged in the original.

This boat seen here is named Tsukuba. It was originally designed by Makoto Kobayashi and appeared in a cross section illustration he did for the Yamato: Resurrection Director’s Cut calendar. General director Yutaka Izubuchi said he liked it and wanted to use it. It was scaled down from the calendar to fit into the maintenance boat hangar, and though it appears in 2199, it strangely still has the 2220 anchor mark. It will reappear in Episode 25 along with its twin.

Although obviously shorter, Hirata’s line sums up Kodai’s monologue after the destruction of Gamilas, in the original Episode 24. Other parts of it will be used in episode 25, when Yuki confronts Dessler.

For the sake of completion, here’s Kodai’s original monologue:

“Since we were children, we were taught to fight to win. We’ve always been taught that winning is everything. But wherever there is a winner, there is also a loser. What happens to those who are defeated? Don’t those who are defeated also have the right to life? I’ve never thought of that until this day. It makes me sad and angry. The people of Gamilas wanted to take over the Earth. Their planet was destined to die. Like us, they only wanted to live. We all just wanted to live. But we fought them. We were wrong to have fought them! we should have shown them that we cared. Victory… tastes like ashes! Yuki, let’s go to Iscandar. There’s nothing else we can do.”

A few minutes later, Okita and the crew have gathered for the funeral ceremony. Okita gives a heartfelt eulogy, stating that though their goals may have differed, they will pray for the souls of both armies’ soldiers to return in peace to their home planets.

[LC]: The use of a mechanical launch system instead of having the crew carry the caskets on deck, as depicted in the original, works a lot better. First, in the original they showed only about a dozen groups on deck which, given the amount of caskets we see being launched, is not enough. Second, there’s no way they would be capable of launching the caskets in such perfect rows by hand. Other nice changes are the fact they moved the scene to the rear deck, which makes more sense than going to the forward deck and throwing them toward the back, and the depiction of the caskets drifting away. In the original they’re shown in a cluster instead of moving away in rows, which would only happen if something disturbed their forward motion.

One by one, the capsules are launched into the vast darkness of deep space. As they emerge from the maintenance hangar, Sanada orders a salute. Every crew member salutes the fallen as the rear secondary turret fires several artillery salvos.

[DG]: While interviews stated that only the forward turrets have shell magazines due to the hangar space being underneath the stern turrets, they appear to have kept or relocated a small number of shells to the stern secondary turret. They don’t look to be standard shells though, perhaps ceremonial shells for this kind of salute.

[LC]: They must be ceremonial blanks with no projectile and loaded only in these occasions, much like the ones used for naval ceremonies. If you count the shots, this is actually a 21-gun Salute. Although they lack the loading facilities to fire Type III shells, the rear gun turrets are still capable of firing them, if the need arises. Though I imagine carrying the shells and all that’s required to fire them to the rear turrets must be a pain in the ass. The loading scenes from the movie Battleship come to mind as a fairly recent depiction of this.

  

All the senior officers, including Kodai and Shima, are on the deck saluting the fallen. Everyone watches in solemn silence as the capsules drift into the distance. The pilots congregate at the hangar bay door, Kato reciting a Buddhist prayer as the dead are sent spaceward. Even Enomoto’s repair crews line up in the maintenance boats, paying their respects.

[LC]: Nice to call back to Kato’s monastic origins. It’s been a while since that has been mentioned, and it could easily have been overlooked in all the rush.

[DG]: As we’ve gone around the ship, we’ve seen the extent of the damage and how very little if any of it has been repaired. The level of detail with the damage is for the most part impressive, save the aforementioned lack of detail inside the hull.

While the “day count” used in the series can at best be used as a rough guide, when the timeframes are not unreasonable I try to rationalize them, since they’re our only terms of reference aside from the few dates mentioned on screen. The 15-day difference between this episode and the last seems rather long, given that in the original series this funeral scene takes place at the end of the same episode as the battle. When asked to consider that it might be another production error, my first thought was to go to the script. Even the first draft of this episode (from 2010) has it as the opening scene, a change probably done to maximize battle time in Episode 20.

Though I tend to agree with you where timelines are concerned, I have to go with “blatant error” for this 15-day time lapse, at least where this initial scene is concerned. Excluding body decomposition (which could be prevented in several ways) there are other elements that just look strange in such a time frame.

First: though your assertion is valid that Yamato would take some time to leave the Rainbow Star Cluster, this wouldn’t be the first time they travel considerable distances without warping. Also, by the end of Episode 20 they were already in the “Green Space Region,” which is shown to be the last of the “Rainbow Stars” in their path. So even at cruising speed, which they seem more than capable of at the end of that episode, it doesn’t seem unreasonable that they could leave that area in a relatively smaller time frame, from just a few hours to a couple of days.

Second: nothing seems to have been repaired, even inside the ship. It seems all they had time to do was get some tape and cordon off the hazard areas. As you say, it wouldn’t be safe for Enomoto’s repair crew to work safely inside the cluster. But if we stick to my first point, they still could’ve made substantial internal repairs in those 15 days. We’ve seen them do it. No way they would still be inspecting the damage at this point.

  

Third: narrative wise, it doesn’t fit. The events we see don’t sit with a 15 day time lapse. Here are a few:

– Kodai is still reeling from losing Yuki. I’m sure he would be sad about it (like we’ll see in the next episode) but not still reaching into corridors as if it had just happened.
– Ito and Yabu wouldn’t go unnoticed for that long, mostly because of Yabu’s inability to be quiet. Unless Ito killed him, which I don’t put past him after tolerating Yabu for that long.
– Yurisha is still being treated as a novelty item, not someone that’s been now roaming the corridors for a couple of weeks. Even taking her godlike status into account.
– The conversation between Hoshina and Misaki, which would have happened a lot sooner, unless he was asleep for that time frame.
– The fact that Yuki wakes up in the UX-01. Either that was some super strong sedative or…
– The fact that UX-01 wouldn’t take that long to reach Leptapoda. It took Domel and his fleet a relatively short time to go from Garmillas to the Rainbow Star Cluster and the UX-01 was already there hunting for Yamato. So it wouldn’t take that long to reach a planet that is somewhere between those two places.

I could go on citing examples. We could make a poll asking people “After watching episode 20 and 21, how much time do you think passed between them?” and, without knowing that time reference, I’d bet my entire 1/1000 collection that the bulk of the answers would put the start of 21 right after the end of 20.

Now, explaining why 15 days: first, it may be an effect of moving this initial scene to the following episode and forgetting it should happen 15 days later. I wouldn’t put that past them, though it wouldn’t explain all the remaining inconsistencies.

Two words: relativistic jets. According to Shima in Episode 19, the cluster is littered with them. If they rode the edge of these jets after the battle, sending Yamato hurtling through the cluster at vectors approaching lightspeed, the time dilation phenomenon occurs. It’s been shown in science-fiction numerous times, such as in Gunbuster and Diebuster, and more recently in Interstellar that huge amounts of time pass outside the realm of the observer when they are traveling close to the speed of light.

By this reasoning, 15 days could have passed outside the cluster were Yamato to ride the relativistic jets for a day or two from the perspective of the crew.

That little trope of science fiction called “relative time” might be responsible. What if 15 days have passed, but only a couple of days were experienced aboard Yamato? We were told there was some strange gravity at work within the Cluster. What if it was enough to account for such a time differential? The 15-day difference is from the start of Episode 20 to the start of Episode 21. The battle of the Rainbow Star Cluster seems to have taken place over the course of only a few hours. But could some time dilation phenomenon translate that to a couple of weeks outside? Sure, it’s an oversimplification of complex physics, but not only is that a staple of Yamato “science”, it would actually make the whole thing fit. It would also serve to explain the same time/narrative inconsistency in Ark of the Stars, explaining why Berger and his men seem to have gone through the battle just recently, when several months have actually passed by then.

While this would certainly explain the scenario from Berger’s point of view, it still fails to explain away the time difference Yuria is reporting in Episode 25, and is seen on the countdown clock at Ark‘s mid-credits scene. That one comes from bad planning and nothing else.

As for Yuria’s line and that clock… I have said it before, I’ll say it again: someone was given the task of establishing some sort of timeline, and that person seems to have never been given a single script to base that timeline on. Thus, these nonsensical day counts. What’s the first problem in that timeline? Yamato’s journey starts on January 17. That is when 2199 starts, but any passage of time – plot wise – is disregarded. I think they assumed most people would just skip the preview or disregard its day count. It would be a lot more insidious if that was presented as an actual countdown, like in the original.

Shima looks at Kodai, wanting to say something to ease his friend’s pain. But no words come out and he continues to salute. As the final salvo is shot, Kodai feels the eyes that observe the ceremony from above. He turns and looks up at the figure standing in the superstructure’s observation room. Shima looks too, recognizing their most recent passenger: Yurisha Iscandar.

[DG]: Most recent? She’s been on the ship the whole trip.

[LC]: Sure. But I meant it in the sense of a walking, breathing passenger, not a “sleeping-in-an-ice-box inside a locked room with little to no knowledge by the crew” one.

Sitting in a corner of the dimly-lit medical ward are Hoshina and Misaki. Despite his injury, Hoshina seems to be fairing better than his friend, visibly shaken by the ordeal of having her body taken over by the Iscandarian princess. She’s telling him how she felt when she saw him being shot. She felt the urge to come back, to be by his side. It was then that Yurisha… She doesn’t finish her sentence. She doesn’t need to. Hoshina says he’s glad she came back. She nods in agreement before he puts his arm around her and she lays her head on his shoulder.

Chief Enomoto and Ayuto are inspecting the damage to the ship’s hull. As they float through the gaping hole that tore through the ship all the way to the brig, Ayuto comments that even though they survived the blast, all prisoners ended up being sucked out into space. He adds that, though he may have died, Ito might have been right.

[LC]: This whole bit of dialogue may serve their ongoing silly plot of confusing the two women. But does it make sense for the crew to still think this? Sure, they look alike. Big deal. It’s been established they’re two separate people. Move on.

  

Enomoto chastises him, telling him not to be stupid. But Ayuto points out that it doesn’t make sense that first they’re told Yurisha is possessing Yuria but then she shows up looking exactly like Yuki. Enomoto can’t really argue with that. His only explanation is that, since she’s an alien, they might be able to do that. Yurisha leaves the observation deck, having seen all she needed.

[LC]: Since I like Chief Enomoto, I would like to call his statement funny. But it’s really just stupid and a disservice to the character to have him spout such nonsense.

[DG]: Odd that Ayuto refers to Yuki by her first name. Nobody else on the ship has, before Kodai in the last episode.

Maybe he knew her back on Earth. Or maybe someone just rushed the dialogue and screwed up. At least he calls her Yuki-san…

In the darkness of Hangar 3, a loud victorious shout denounces the presence of the very much alive Ito and Yabu, hidden inside the cargo pod of a Cosmo Seagull. Yabu is overjoyed he’s found a container of emergency rations, but Ito tells his unwilling companion to keep his voice down. The cowardly engineer apologizes before digging into one of the food packs.

[LC]: I really wish they’d explain how the hell these two survived. I mean, the brig took a hit and we’ve seen how badly damaged it was. Even if they hadn’t been sucked out into space or burned by the fiery explosion that engulfed the brig, I’m pretty sure hard vacuum is not good for your health. Giving Ito or Yabu a single line of dialogue with just a hint of an explanation, even if incredibly far-fetched, would have gone a long way.

  

Ito sighs at his misfortune in having such a hapless jailbreak partner. Yabu asks what will they do now? As Ito says he’s still thinking, Yabu goes again into loudmouth mode. An irate Ito turns to give him a piece of his mind but Yabu points to the content of the container he just opened. Cosmo Guns.

[LC]: Really?! 15 days of this would entitle Ito to sainthood.

I get the emergency rations, tthough it would have been better to show them in some compartment of the pod instead of a cargo container. But why would there be a container with Cosmo Guns in here?! If they came up with this ludicrous way to explain how they got guns, they could have whipped up a quasi-acceptable escape story.

[DG]: Here there’s the first sign that the gravity system is not at 100%. Unlike the main fighter bay, the utility hangars are seen throughout the series as utilizing the ship’s gravity systems. Even if they weren’t, this store room and the control room certainly would be under normal circumstances.

I’d say the first sign the gravity is off is Yurisha floating around in the observation deck. But as Enomoto said, “she’s an alien, they might be able to do that…” XD.

At the scene of what he perceives to be his greatest failure, Kodai reaches out toward the taped-off corridor where Yuki was abducted from the ship. He replays the event in his mind, as if he could have changed the outcome somehow. He reaches out but Yuki is not there to take his hand.

[LC]: In an episode that suffers quite a drop in animation quality, this scene is one of its redeeming features. Not a single word is spoken, yet we can feel all the pain and anguish inside Kodai.

Close by, Yurisha descends on the personnel lift as Kodai closes his hand and floats back until he hits the corridor wall. Yurisha watches as Kodai looks at his fist, the angst growing inside him, until he slams it angrily against the wall.

[DG]: Yurisha’s floating hair is another example of the troubles with the gravity system the ship is having.

As if awaken by it, Yuki opens her eyes. She sits up, trying to collect her thoughts and remember what happened. She suddenly recognizes the figure standing in front of her, outside the improvised cell she’s been deposited in. It’s Norran Oschett.

[DG]: Nice little segue into this scene here.

[LC]: Yep, quite nice.

As I stated earlier, there’s no way Yuki’s been sleeping for 15 days. You could say that this isn’t the first time she wakes up in this cell, but everything in the scene indicates that it is.

He asks her how she’s feeling. He says his Iscandarian is not very good so he attached a translation device to her. Still woozy, she feels a small object attached to her neck. Norran introduces himself and says he’ll be looking after her for a while.

[LC]: The device is probably not entirely strange to Yuki, since Melda had one during her brief stay aboard Yamato.

Yuki stares at him, confused, leading Norran to ask if something’s wrong. She asks him if he’s a Garmillan… Norran is startled by this, a terrible realization coming to his mind. Before he can pursue it, Haini’s voice is heard through the boat’s intercom. He announces that they’ll soon arrive at the prison planet Leptapoda and for all personnel to prepare to disembark.

[LC]: Though his reaction is quite subtle, this is the moment Norran first suspects his team may have gotten the wrong person, a suspicion he will fully realize in the following episode. Obviously, Yurisha or any other Iscandarian would probably not ask such a question. But in his current position, he lets the chips fall where they may… at least for now.

The mention of a prison has Yuki wondering, but Norran clarifies she’ll simply be changing ships there. She asks where he’s taking her and Norran says she’ll be taken to Lord Dessler. As he turns to leave, Yuki begs him to wait and tell her what happened to Yamato. Norran tells her the Terron ship was sunk. Yuki is horrified.

[LC]: At first I believed this to be a cruel lie, but in all honesty, as far as Norran is concerned, they might actually believe Domel managed to take Yamato down with him. All they’re sure of is that Domel didn’t come out of the Rainbow Star Cluster. And as far as they know, neither did the Terron ship.

Leptapoda: a desolate wasteland planet with a stormy atmosphere, surrounded by a dense asteroid field. An unpleasant place, perfect location for Prison #17, which UX-01 is now approaching.

[DG]: Although it’s more than likely just coincidence, I wonder if anyone in the production team is a fan of old 1950s movies. If so, Leptopoda being Prison #17 might be a nod to the 1953 movie Stalag 17, which tells the story of a group of US airmen in a Nazi P.O.W. camp who come to suspect one of their own is a Nazi informant.

Shots echo through the cliffs over which the massive complex looms. The prison’s warden, Bozen, is spending some quality time practicing his favorite sport. Two Gatlanteans are set loose on a courtyard, while Bozen watches them through the scope of his rifle. Elisa Domel is standing close by. Bozen tells her someone of high birth will be arriving soon and she will take care of her.

[LC]: The warden of Leptapoda’s prison complex is Debarzo Bozen. In terms of character, he’s a lot closer the original series type of villain: vile, despicable and with a knack for highly questionable hobbies. This scene reminds me of the one where Gatlantis’ General Goland (Torbuk in Star Blazers) was introduced in the original Yamato 2’s Episode 10. But where Goland shot some dinosaur-looking creatures, Bozen takes it up a notch by killing people. Though Goland did up the ante by destroying the entire planet where his hunt took place, Bozen is immediately realized as a complete bastard.

The prisoners run as more shots are fired, mainly to scare them. Bozen is amused with the game, saying these barbarians are just a waste of food. He keeps firing until he has them cornered by the rim of the yard, beyond which is only the sharp drop to the bottom of the canyon. One of them, realizing he has nowhere left to run, hails his emperor. The next second, an energy bolt tears through him, sending him over the wall. If the shot didn’t kill him, the fall will.

[LC]: Here we have the first taste of the Gatlantean language, which we’ll get to hear again in Ark of the Stars.

Although the Japanese and English subtitles read “Hail to the Empire!” the spoken sentence sounds something like “Droah Zordar!” Is it just a word that happens to sound like the Gatlantean Emperor’s name or is this actually the first mention of his name in the rebooted saga? Time will tell.

Elisa recoils in horror. Bozen proceeds to tell her their guest is Iscandarian royalty, much to her surprise. He explains she was chosen since she’s the only one who knows the proper etiquette. Switching rifles, Bozen aims at the second prisoner. Like his companion before him, he hails the Gatlantean Empire. Again, the trigger is pressed and another body is flung from the prison to the bottom of the canyon. Above, the UX-01 makes its approach.

[LC]: The second prisoner says something that sounds like “Frehar Gatora”, translated as “Hail to the motherland!” Given the close phonetic resemblance between Gatora and Gatlantis’ Japanese pronunciation – ガトランティス / Gatorantisu – this is undoubtedly a reference to the capital of the empire.

Inside one of the prison’s cells sits Gul Dietz, former commander of the Garmillas Astrofleets. There’s a knock on the door and a lunch tray is placed in a slot by a prison staffer, who then moves away with his trolley. Dietz opens the box, revealing a gun hidden inside. He wonders what “they” expect from someone as old as him.

[LC]: We haven’t seen admiral Dietz since Episode 12 and his conversation with Domel and Velte Talan. In the manga he made a couple more appearances, including the scene where Zoellick got him arrested, but in the anime those events were merely alluded to in dialogue.

The fact that Dietz isn’t in the least surprised by his unusual “lunch” and the mention to some outside party, shows us the events about to unfold have been developing for quite some time. The only thing I can really point to in regards to this specific plot thread, aside the fact that none of this backstory is even mentioned, is its obviously convenient timing.

The UX-01 is undergoing berthing operations in a bay alongside a Gaiderol-class battleship. Frakken, Haini and the rest of the crew, as well as their guests, are standing on the boat’s deck. Haini comments that the port seems to be guarded by nothing but mechanical soldiers. Frakken responds that it’s the same everywhere and that Garmillas can’t even maintain its territory anymore without those “tin toys”. It’s the downside of their expansionary policy. Haini jokingly wonders where invincible Garmillas has gone. Frakken and Haini lead Yuki off the vessel on the gantry platform with Norran following behind.

[DG]: Frakken’s comment here exposes another symptom of Garmillas conquering one galaxy and expanding into two more. We’ve already seen conscripts from other worlds such as Zaltz serving in the Garmillan Navy, clones manning starships (at least in the Imperial Guard fleet), and androids being used as planetary garrisons to keep control of territories. Taken together, this makes the state of their military strength rather grim. Add that to the growing discontent in Baleras and the uprisings on planets such as Alteria, and a rather bleak picture is being painted of the stability of the Great Garmillas Empire.

This also potentially sets up a possible continuation of the story, which we now know will be Yamato 2202. In the original series, Gatlantis was seen to be conquering all worlds in its path. Since Gatlantis is now not from the Andromeda Galaxy as it was in the original Yamato universe, but apparently from the Small Magellanic Cloud, it would make a lot of sense for them to conquer the vulnerable outlying systems which would be ripe for the picking.

  

An honor guard of Garmilloids forms up between the dock and Commandant Bozen, who has Elisa Domel standing respectfully behind him. Bozen introduces himself and asks that the Iscandarian be brought to the car, saying Elisa will see to her. Elisa bows to them. As she lifts her head, Haini recognizes her as Domel’s wife, commenting this to Frakken.

[LC]: The tone of Frakken and Haini’s conversation may stem from two things. First, the obvious awkwardness of seeing the wife of a highly-respected officer and friend in such a situation. Second, though unconfirmed, the two probably suspect she could be a widow by now.

A small glitch in animation continuity here: Eliza is seen passing Frakken and we see him looking at her. When the camera goes to the opposite angle to see her looking back, in obvious recognition, her relative position makes it seem she took a couple of steps back between shots. Click the image above right for the full sequence of shots.

Following protocol, Elisa drops to her knee before Yuki and asks her to follow. Norran goes to Frakken to say his farewells and follow Yuki, but Bozen stops him in his tracks. He asks Norran where he thinks he’s going. Standing his ground, the young officer responds he’s been assigned the mission to return her to her home.

This angers Bozen who tells him that is their task now. No room for second-class citizens. Norran looks him in the eyes and says he is also a Garmillan. Calling him Zaltzi scum, Bozen hits him with his whip.

[LC]: As expected, Bozen is a full fledged member of the racist asshole club, like Gimleh and Zoellick.

This whole scene serves to develop Norran as a character. We see him as a proud Zaltzi who will carry on with his duty, even when confronted with such bigoted treatment. We also see he would like nothing better than to punch Bozen in the face, but he knows what would happen to him if he did. So he swallows his pride and lives to fight another day. Quite a bit of growth for the love-struck rookie in just a few episodes.

This brings about a couple of reactions. Yuki and Elisa are shocked, while Haini becomes angry and steps forward, ready to intervene. Frakken holds his first mate back, not wanting to cause any undue trouble. Bozen tells Norran his people are parasites on the Empire and have no right to call themselves Garmillans.

[LC]: Frakken and Haini’s reactions in this sequence show us that, despite being Garmillans and therefore the enemy, they’re not assholes. They see this type of behavior and feel the need to stop it. But Frakken knows he’s in a perilous position and stops Haini. For all intents and purposes, Bozen is the de facto ruler of Leptapoda. He shoots prisoners for sport, something that must be known outside, even if just as a rumor.

No matter how satisfactory it would be for Haini to punch the day lights out of Bozen, retribution would probably be swift. Bozen might have him shot on sight on a fit of rage, along with the whole crew just to cover it up. Out here and with the current state of affairs, he could sweep it under the rug and attribute the disappearance of the UX-01 and its crew to some unfortunate accident. For the moment, Frakken knows they must keep their cool. Well, at least for a few seconds…

  

Though he’s on the ground, Norran looks defiantly at Bozen. This only serves to piss the warden off. He raises his whip, ready to strike him once again. This time, Frakken is not having it and prepares to attack Bozen. But he’s stopped by Yuki’s voice, demanding Bozen to stop.

[LC]: …as being exposed to this regrettable behavior is too much for the good captain. “Bah, screw the consequences, I’ll just punch his lights out myself!” He may not have Haini’s tainted record and reputation as a rabid mad dog, but Frakken is still the Hound of Space. And there’s only so much he will allow before he bites, even taking all that I said above into consideration. Fortunately, Yuki’s intervention leaves all that in the field of hypotheticals.

Frakken’s freezing at the sound of Yuki’s voice is hilarious. Don’t know if that was the intent, nor am I saying the scene is meant to be funny. But just how immediate his reaction is. Those are some fine-tuned reflexes. XD

Everyone freezes at the (perceived) Iscandarian’s command, except Norran who looks up, surprised. She advances toward the group with a confident stride. Adressing Norran, she tells him that Iscandar orders him to fulfill his mission. She reaches out to the stunned officer, who takes hold of her hand, before the even more stunned officers.

Frakken looks at his still clenched fist and exchanges a smile with Haini, while Elisa observes the scene. Later, in the room arranged for Yurisha, Elisa explains that her father was a diplomatic officer and that she was taught the proper etiquette as a child.

[DG]: Frakken’s response to Yuki going all Yurisha all of a sudden was priceless – it was equal parts shock and disappointment. He really did want to smash Bozen’s face in.

Elisa holds up a dress for Yuki and asks her to change into it. Knowing her best chance of survival is to keep playing the role of Iscandarian princess, Yuki removes her uniform. On the other side of the partition, Norran stands guard. He smells his hand as if it was permeated with the perfume of Iscandar.

[LC]: This shot of Norran smelling his hand makes him look a little perv. Especially with Yuki stripping on the other side of that partition.

Yuki’s transformation is complete. Elisa tells her the dress looks good on her and Yuki thanks her. As Elisa prepares to take away her uniform, Yuki tells her to wait. She opens the pouch in her belt and takes the Iscandarian message capsule out. Elisa asks what it is and, in character, Yuki tells her it’s something her sister gave her.

  

She activates the holographic recording from Starsha and her message of hope. Elisa immediately kneels before the image of Iscandar’s goddess queen. Far away, someone else seems to react to Starsha’s words. Its Yurisha, who is standing in the room that served as her resting place over the last few months.

[DG]: Good thing for Yuki that it played Starsha’s message instead of her video email from Hijikata that we saw in Episode 17. Meanwhile, has Yurisha just felt a tremor in The Force?

In the navigation room, Niimi is briefing the command staff on their current situation. They have found a single planet in the surrounding systems with the materials they need for repairs. Hirata says he’s assembled an away team before Sanada points out that the planet is within Garmillas territory and they may have recognized its value, too.

Okita calls Kodai, who seems absent-minded, and orders him to carry out a recon mission. Though Kodai says he can’t leave Yamato in its current condition, Shima reassures him and says to go get some fresh air. Realizing their intent, Kodai accepts the mission and leaves.

[DG]: Kodai’s floating away, another sign that the gravity system is having trouble everywhere on the ship.

As the meeting is over, Niimi says she’ll return to the brig. But Okita says the brig is not where she belongs, as the other officers silently concur. In a moment of realization, Niimi sighs and thanks them with a smile, as Sanada looks at his protege.

[DG]: Three things here. Firstly, the Redemption of Kaoru Niimi reaches its conclusion. Secondly, for me at least, this line from Kaoru is another thing that really points at this episode only being a day after the previous one. Third, obviously nobody’s told her that there’s no brig to go back to (unless they rigged up a new one somewhere else).

As fate would have it, the planet Yamato heads to is none other than Leptapoda. With the ship anchored in one of its many asteroids, Kodai prepares to leave from Hangar 3 in the Cosmo Seagull. He takes his seat, not even noticing someone in the seat next to him. Yurisha asks Kodai if he wants to save Yuki, startling him. He asks her what she’s doing there. Ignoring his question she just asks him again if he wants to save Yuki.

[DG]: I’m kind of curious as to why Kodai isn’t in the captain’s seat, which in most fixed-wing aircraft is traditionally on the port side. Right-hand-drive in aviation is typically limited to helicopters. In previous scenes inside the Seagull’s cockpit, Kodai’s been in the starboard seat every time. It was Yuki in the pilot’s seat at Enceladus in Episode 4, followed by Enomoto when dispensing the sonobuoys in Episode 13, and by Hirata at Beemela in Episode 16.

However, a number of explanations could be offered for this. First, both of the Seagulls always launched from the port-side hangar. Sitting in the starboard seat gives the pilot the most optimal field of view when maneuvering close to the ship for docking or launch. Second, it may be Kodai’s personal preference for cockpit orientation. As a fighter pilot he’s used to the throttle being operated by his left hand and keeping control of the ship with his right hand.

Third, since the Seagull was most likely designed and built in Japan, and possibly with Yamato specifically in mind, this plane swapped the location of the seat for the pilot-in-command (which is consistent with the driver orientation in Japanese cars as well as with most modern-day helicopter types).

[LC]: This episode is filled with over the top reactions. Startled Kodai is pure gold. But I have to ask… how the hell did he enter the cockpit and not see her sitting there?! We only see a bit of her arm before the full reveal, and it’s enough. I’ll just jot it down to him not having his head in the game because of Yuki’s kidnapping .

Another question is how did Yurisha know Kodai was leaving for the planet, and to be here in the first place?! I know she has some serious Force-like mojo going on but still…

It’s also worthy of note that, aside from her introduction at the end of the previous episode, or the flashback/meta vision in Episode 14, this is her first actual dialogue with another character. Curious that it is with Kodai, the first person she met after waking up. Her speech borderlines on child-like, though her behavior can shift from soft and bubbly to regal and stern in the blink of an eye.

  

He apologizes, saying he’s on a mission. She says she wants to save Yuki. Seeing their conversation is going nowhere, Kodi asks her to leave since he has no time to talk. She asks when he will have the time. He prepares to respond in a harsher way, but is interrupted by the hangar controller, requesting launch readiness over the radio. Calming down, Kodai tells her that he would save Yuki if he knew where she is, before asking her to get out. To his surprise, Yurisha points at the controls and tells him Yuki is on Leptapoda.

[LC]: Because of her spiritual prowess, projecting herself into Yuria and such, I was inclined to believe that this ability was an extension of that; some sort of super-ESP allowed her to just know where Yuki is. And maybe so. But I offer a simpler, though no less fantastic, explanation: she’s tuning into the message capsule. Earlier we saw her react when Starsha’s recording was activated. What if the device, which was once Yurisha’s property, is in tune with the Iscandarian princess? When Yuki activated it, it allowed Yurisha to get a general fix on her location, even across the vastness of space (Iscandar tech is an amazing thing). And that’s what is guiding her. Maybe that’s why she gave it to Yuki, not just as a token of friendship, but also as a way for the two to always be connected. If Sanada hadn’t been so rudely interrupted back in Episode 17…. XD

The designation for Leptapoda on the screen is “Planet D”. This might be a longshot on my part, but it could be a reference to the British space opera series Space: 1999. In Episode 9 of Season 2, titled Brian, the Brain, commander Koenig and Dr. Russell are kidnapped by Brian, the sentient computer of a Swift. They’re taken to “Planet D”, the site of Brian’s mission failure. Knowing he was to be replaced by an improved model, Brian tricked the expedition’s crew into believing planet D’s atmosphere was safe, when it was actually toxic gas. His actions and failure to deal with what he had done drove the machine mad and spelled trouble for the people of Moonbase Alpha.

The hangar controller asks if there is a problem. Kodai stares at the display for a moment, considering Yurisha’s words. He replies everything is okay for liftoff and get the go-ahead. As the crane lifts the Seagull and takes it out of the hangar, the two stowaways realize the ship is leaving. The Seagull is released and quickly makes its way toward the planet.

[LC]: The detail on the hull damage in this shot is terrific, and was specifically addressed in Volume 1 of the Hyper Mechanical Detail Artworks books. Click here to see the several layers of the Detail-Up for this scene.

It’s not often that we get to see what is under Yamato’s uniform jackets. We see here that Ito has the same black, long sleeve, turtle-neck worn by Sanada in Episode 9. We’ll see Kodai wear the same in Episode 26. So it’s a part of most uniforms. Yet Yabu is wearing an orange T-shirt. Is this unique to Yabu, or a part of the engineering section’s uniform? It stands to reason that the engine room is a warm place, even with whatever airflow tech these uniforms have. We’ve seen Tokugawa, Yamazaki and most of the engineering staff with their jacket sleeves rolled up. So my bet is this is not just a Yabu quirk.

  

Soon the Seagull enters the thick clouds in the upper atmosphere. Kodai asks Yurisha if she was telling the truth and she confirms Yuki is there. Kodai asks how can she tell. Yurisha’s response is nothing if unexpected, saying she loves Yuki. Kodai reacts with surprise and Yurisha asks if he doesn’t love Yuki too? Kodai is thrown by Yurisha’s odd behavior and unexpected question. Eventually he begins to answer, but he’s interrupted by the sound of the cargo pod’s hatch opening and the sight of a Cosmo Gun pointed at him.

Ito targets Kodai while Yabu gets Yurisha. With his usual cynical tone, Ito wonders if this is the right place for them to be discussing love. Kodai expresses his surprise that the two traitors are still alive, and Ito asks if that’s a problem. With a gun pointed at him, Kodai gives the most cautious answer and says no. Ito proceeds, joking that it’s good to see them taking it easy after so many died in battle. Meanwhile, Yabu is dumbfounded by Yurisha’s outfit, who he mistakes for Yuki in cosplay.

[DG]: This could be the second instance of the “Yuki is kidnapped by Yabu” plot from Episode 25 in the original series (the first one being the mutiny in Episode 16).

Kodai tries to set the record straight and says she’s not really Yuki. Ito mistakes this as a confirmation of his suspicion that Officer Yuki Mori was the alien Yurisha Iscandar all along. Kodai tries to clarify the situation, but Yurisha’s had enough. She unlocks her safety harness and stands up to face Ito, despite his demand not to move.

[LC]: The way they use the recurring Yuki/Yurisha confusion in this scene is great. We have Kodai, who knows Yurisha is Yurisha and Yuki is Yuki – and gone. Then we have Ito, who thought Yuki was Yurisha and here believes this is Yuki, finally embracing her true self. And so Kodai says one thing and he gets another. Old gags work the best. Then we have Yabu, who just thinks she’s cosplaying for no good reason. Oh, Yabu…

Ito points his gun at her. Yurisha doesn’t even blink. Kodai takes this opportunity and pulls hard on the control stick, making the Seagull rise violently and throwing the two stowaways back into the bulkhead.

[LC]: Here we see Yurisha’s fearless side. She faces two guys with guns but doesn’t care?! She won’t stand for them threatening them and bad-mouthing Yuki. Is it courage, naiveté or just a lifetime of being treated as a goddess?

  

Unfortunately, Yabu’s gun misfires and hits the main console, crippling the ship’s controls. Ito calls the frightened and apologetic Yabu an idiot. As the cabin fills with smoke, Kodai struggles to control their descent but to no avail. He tells everyone to grab hold of something and prepare for a hard landing.

[DG]: Someone needs to explain to me how Yabu shooting out the instrument panel results in the port engine catching fire…

[LC]: Good old trope in many stories; hit something apparently harmless and half the ship blows up. But really, unless the damage to the console caused a surge to the engines, that does seem silly.

We hear the sound of the crash. A trail of smoke rises from the crashed Seagull, damaged beyond repair. All four occupants are unconscious and unaware that they have gotten some unwanted attention. A Garmillas tank has just arrived at the crash site.

[LC]: The tanks we saw in Enceladus are back, this time with a nice desert-camo paint scheme.

And with this landing, Kodai wrecked the last remaining Seagull.

A Haizerad-class battleship is entering Leptapoda’s atmosphere. Bozen is informed of its approach and that it carries imperial inspectors. Bozen’s aide, Rubakka, wonders if the inspectors know they’ve been making deals on the black market. Bozen is furious, as he was looking forward to going back to their home world. But he still has an ace up his sleeve…

[LC]: Bozen’s assistant is named Nigel Rubakka.

Not that it comes as a surprise from such a lowlife like Bozen, but apparently he’s running an illegal black market operation from Leptapoda. Though no more details about it are revealed or relevant to the episode’s plot, it shows the state of lawlessness some territories are in.

While the patrol tanks return to the prison, Norran and Yuki enter Bozen’s office. Bozen comments on how he almost didn’t recognize her and that she now truly looks like an Iscandarian princess. He’s interrupted by a call, reporting that the patrol tanks discovered what appear to be escaped prisoners. He says he’s busy, but as he glances at the image on the screen, his attention is caught by the woman of the group.

[LC]: It’s odd that they report Kodai and his group as possible escaped prisoners when they were discovered aboard an unknown craft of obvious non-Garmillan design. They could just as easily have reported a group of intruders instead of escapees. It would make more sense.

  

Stunned and confused, Bozen looks at the screen, then Yuki, back and forth… How can this be? Another Iscandarian?! Or did someone make a huge mistake?!

[LC]: This sequence is both funny and a great blend of animation and music. Going back and forth between stills of Yuki and Yurisha also serves as a great way to reuse animation and save time.

Unwilling to run the risk of delivering the wrong person to His Lordship, Bozen runs out of the office with his aid, determined to investigate what’s going on. Yuki and Norran are left behind, wondering what the hell just happened.

[LC]: For all the criticism I give this episode for its lower animation quality, it does take the medal for the most scenes with over-the-top character reactions and funniest gags. Bozen rushing out of his office seems taken out of a Lupin III episode.

Kodai, Yurisha and the others stand on the large platform that separates the prison building from the space port, looking at a docked Haizerad. Ito comments that they’ve jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire, falling into the enemy’s clutches. Yabu begins babbling, saying it’s all Ito’s fault, first in an almost inaudible tone which quickly escalates to full blown anger.

He shouts at Ito, saying that if he hadn’t listened to him, none of this would’ve happened. A Garmilloid hits him on the head with the butt of his rifle, forcing Yabu to his knees, with Kodai stepping in in his defense. But he’s interrupted by an announcement over the PA system. Bozen has ordered that the Zaltzi woman be brought to him at once.

[LC]: Yabu finally grows a pair… sort of. And learns what happens when you do something out of character. A wack on the head. He got off easy, as Ito will learn.

While the inspection team’s Haizerad lands at the space port, the officer pushing the meal cart enters the cell’s control room. He unlocks all the cells in that wing, resulting in an immediate surge of prisoners through the corridors. The alarms go off, stopping a confused Bozen in his tracks.

The Garmillan officer pulls several food trays from his cart, revealing hidden guns which he gives to the prisoners. Several explosions erupt throughout the facility, observed by Kodai and his companions. A Garmilloid guard takes Yurisha away. Kodai tries to step in, but is hit with a gun and thrown to the ground.

[LC]: The prisoners seem to be from Garmillas, Zaltz, Alteria and Gatlantis. The “traitor jailer”, as he is simply called in production materials, seems to distribute the weapons indiscriminately among them. If this is orchestrated by the Garmillan anti-government movement, they don’t seem concerned with the loyalties of the prisoners. Perhaps the whole thing has been set up for quite some time and all have agreed to cooperate in exchange for their freedom, even the brutish Gatlanteans. Bozen’s less than ethical treatment of the prison population must have helped getting everyone on the same page.

Yurisha calls out to him while the other Garmilloid kicks him repeatedly. She’s about to be taken inside when the Garmilloid sees an object pass them, bouncing on the floor until it stops in the courtyard, right next to Kodai. He looks at it and to his horror realizes it’s a grenade.

[LC]: The “OH, SH*T!” look on Kodai’s face is priceless.

As Ito bolts away, Kodai jumps up and pushes Yabu away before jumping for cover between the tanks. The grenade explodes, taking out the two Garmilloid guards. As the dust settles, the rioting prisoners come running out. Not wanting to be caught in this mess, Kodai finds the controller to his shackles and manages to free himself and sneak into the prison building.

[LC]: Totally in character, Ito runs for his life, though it’s one of those “blink and you’ll miss it” things. Kodai, on the other hand, risks his life to push Yabu away, being nearly blasted in the process. Lucky thing he’s been hitting the gym.

A group of Garmillan prisoners finds Yabu cowering next to a tank. Seeing him in shackles, they believe him to be a prisoner like them. They shoot the shackles open and hand him a riffle, urging him to fight with them for freedom. Yabu is not jumping for joy, but plays along. Bozen and Rubakka are heading to the main office when they come upon the presumed inspectors. Bozen is surprised by their unfortunate timing and excuses himself, saying he’s busy with a situation that has arisen. He can’t finish the sentence, since the “inspectors” point their guns at them.

[LC]: Yabu just can’t seem to catch a break. Still, lucky thing being in shackles and looking like a Zaltzi is all that’s required to be spared and given a gun.

  

In his cell, admiral Dietz is looking at his gun when he hears voices outside. The door opens and the “inspectors” are led in by the infiltrated agent. They remove their helmets and, to the admiral’s surprise, he finds himself face to face with his daughter Melda. With her are her two most recent friends, Larkin and Dolmen. Melda tells Dietz they have come for him.

[LC]: Dietz seems genuinely surprised to see Melda. But who better to get him out of jail than his own daughter?

In Bozen’s office, Norran and Yuki listen in on the radio chatter between prison guards. They seem unable to hold the sheer number of prisoners on the rampage. Fearing for her ward’s safety, Norran tells her they’re leaving. But as they leave, two Garmilloids block their way, ordering them at gunpoint to go back inside. They’re interrupted when one the Garmilloids is shot by an armed prisoner, screaming freedom will be theirs.

Norran apologizes as he pulls Yuki down for cover, before taking one of the guards’ guns and killing the escapee. He asks Yuki if she’s okay. She says yes and is horrified as she looks at the dead prisoner and realizes he’s a Zaltzi, which Norran confirms.

[LC]: For a proud Zaltzi like Norran, killing one of his countrymen must be a hard pill to swallow. But he’ll do it if that’s what’s required of him to fulfill his mission. Not to mention protect the nice-smelling lady.

The look in Yuki’s face shows the anguish of knowing that he did this to keep her safe.

  

Meanwhile, Bozen struggles to free himself from the shackles placed on him by Melda and her comrades. He says he won’t allow this to stop him and calls out for help. The door opens and Bozen is momentarily relieved, believing he’s about to be rescued. Relief turns to horror as the partition is dropped on him, pining him down as a group of Gatlanteans enters the room and surrounds him. Hailing Gatlantis, they exact revenge upon their tormentor. Bozen’s life ends at the hands of his favorite quarry. Outside, more Gatlanteans overrun the Garmilloid guards.

[LC]: Bozen gets his just desserts. These Gatlanteans were probably waiting quite a while for a chance to beat him to a pulp. And given what we saw him do to their comrades earlier, I don’t really blame them.

The main prisoner yells “Drah Gatlantis!”, which translates as “Glory to Gatlantis!” If the previous “Gatora” seemed like a veiled mention of their home planet, here it’s clear as day.

In a calmer part of the complex, Ito and Yurisha roam an apparently empty corridor, still in shackles. Ito, calling Yurisha “Officer Mori,” asks her to tell him where they’re heading. She tells him they’re going to save Yuki. With his usual smirk, Ito says he doesn’t understand but follows her just the same. Around a corner, they come upon several dead Garmillan guards. Yurisha steps forward and kneels in front of the closest one, apparently praying. Surprised, Ito comments that aliens also mourn the dead.

[LC]: Ito continues to believe the woman with him is the one he knew as Yuki Mori, calling her “Officer Mori” throughout.

He proceeds to more practical matters, picking up one of the dead guard’s pistols. Yurisha is startled when he lifts the gun and points it at her. He fires and a bolt of energy just passes her head, grazing her hair and hitting another guard that was about to shoot them from behind.

[LC]: For a split second, the first time I saw this episode, I thought Ito had decided to go back to his old killer ways and end Yurisha. Fortunately, they twist the plot and the guy actually does some good for a change.

  

He then shoots her shackles, releasing her. they fall to the floor as Yurisha stares at her free wrists. Ito hands the gun over to her so she can free him too, which she does. He’s about to ask “Officer Mori” something, but before he can do it another shot echoes through the corridor and Ito’s face contracts in pain. He falls to his back, blood rushing from the gaping hole in his chest and back as Yurisha calls out to him.

  

She looks around to find the guard Ito shot, gun in hand, before he also dies. She freezes for a moment, horrified by all the death surrounding her. Ito’s voice snaps her out of it. She turns to him, as he jokingly says acting out of character was a bad idea. Panting and in great pain, Ito reaches out to Yurisha, who holds his hand to her saddened face. He asks her, if she really is an Iscandarian, will she make him a promise… He asks her to take Yamato to Iscandar and begs her to save Earth. She nods in agreement just as his hand relaxes and security officer Ito releases his last breath.

[DG]: Damn it, Ito, why’d you have to go and do that? Why couldn’t you be the crew member with no redeeming features??

[LC]: As he said, bad idea to act out of character. And yeah, 2199 does it once again. For all the bad things Ito did, and no matter how much I wanted to see this happen, this scene actually makes me feel sorry for the guy. This last scene with Yurisha did serve as a small measure of redemption for him. And his last line shows us that he truly cared for the fate of Earth. He just chose the wrong team.

The most tragic thing is that he dies without coming to terms with the whole Yuki/Yurisha mixup. On that front, he dies believing he was right all along, in that Yuki was indeed an alien.

The prisoners continue to rampage through the prison complex, taking out all the Garmilloids in their path. The Gatlantean prisoners are particularly brutal, grabbing the Garmilloids and throwing them around as improvised maces. Even the Garmillan guards are unable to stop the furious mob.

[LC]: These scenes show us how savage the Gatlanteans can be. It could be just a “prison toughness” thing, but as we learn later in Ark of the Stars, this is actually a trait of their race. Not sure what I think of Gatlantis being the Klingon Empire of Yamato 2199’s rebooted saga, but it certainly separates them from the Garmillans. In the original they just seemed like slightly more advanced, green-skinned Gamilas in new uniforms.

  

In the prison complex’s control room, a Garmilloid reports that subversive elements were hidden aboard the inspector’s ship and that confusion has occurred along the chain of command. Suddenly, the door opens and a Garmilloid stands at the entrance. The Garmilloids inside look at their colleague, confused.

Suddenly, a figure hidden behind the Garmilloid pushes it aside and opens fire. It’s Kodai. He runs to the control console, trying to make heads or tails of the information. Suddenly he sees a familiar figure. Its Yuki, running across the yard with Norran.

They manage to reach the UX-01. Frakken and Haini are on the upper deck. Seeing the approaching duo and realizing Leptapoda is no longer safe, Frakken orders Haini to prepare for launch. Kodai presses buttons frantically, trying to find something that allows him to call out to Yuki or stop the UX-01’s departure. Kodai shouts Yuki’s name in desperation. But it’s too late, as the dimensional submarine takes to the skies and makes an emergency Geschtam jump.

[LC]: I know it’s what the plot requires, but I really wish they could have come up with another way to have Kodai miss Yuki – for the second time. He could have simply accessed the prison video logs and seen a recording of the UX-01 leaving with Yuki aboard, instead of actually seeing her. The “so near and yet so far” trope becomes stale really fast. At least Kodai’s scream made a good sound bite with which to close the trailer.

Later, things seem to have calmed down at the prison complex. The remaining prison staff has been subdued and taken hostage. Through the PA system comes the voice of Admiral Dietz, calling all personnel. He identifies himself and says the prison is under their control. He commands them to cease all futile resistance and surrender.

[LC]: For all the chaos that was shown just a few minutes ago, things get back under control rather quickly. As I commented earlier, the prisoners seem to be working as a united front, no matter what race they are – even the Gatlanteans, the real outsiders here.

It seems the bulk of the casualties was in the Garmilloid department. Also, for a prison that seemed to be controlled predominantly by these mechanical soldiers, there are a lot of Garmillan soldiers in these final shots being taken into custody.

Kodai is still in the control room, mumbling Yuki’s name, unable to believe how close he was to actually getting her back. A soothing female voice says she knows where Yuki is going. Kodai turns to find Yurisha standing behind him. He asks her to tell him where Yuki is.

Yurisha steps forward and takes the console. A succession of maps appears on the main screen, first showing the Great Magellanic Galaxy, then zooming in to show the tarantula nebula and a particular star system. In that system, a single planet is picked and brought forward. A bright green sphere, its surface scarred by massive openings revealing an inner surface below.

[LC]: A very nice succession of familiar space-scapes in this scene. And a much better way to reveal the great “plot twist”.

Yurisha reveals the destination is their planet, Great Garmillas. As Kodai looks at the image, a second sphere appears from behind Garmillas. This one is blue and terrifyingly familiar. Yurisha explains that they’re twin planets… Garmillas and the one they’re heading toward. Her planet. Mother Iscandar. Kodai is stunned by this terrible revelation, saying it’s impossible… though deep down he knows the truth has finally been revealed.

[DG]: And so this time, Yamato‘s crew is aware of the location of Garmillas a lot sooner than in the original, just before they were pulled to the planet by a gravity beam.

So ends Episode 21, one which has no equivalent in the original series where the Battle of the Rainbow Cluster was followed up immediately by the Battle of Gamilas. However, now we have the new Yuki storyline to follow, and the episode offers a logical chance for Yamato to be repaired before continuing.

From an overall quality perspective, this episode showed a legacy of the reduced production time with character animation not being as sharp in places. This was likely the result of so much time being devoted to the two previous episodes, leaving 21 and 22 to be comparatively rushed.

[LC]: Yeah, the animation suffered a bit in this one, but the unique story and the resolution of loose ends kept it interesting. The worst is yet to come, as Episode 22 is truly where the animation quality hit its low point, but it’s still better than a lot of shows out there. The mecha content is still stellar and the plot serves its purpose, that of leading us into the final chapter and the end of this saga. When we get used to top-notch quality, such a drop hurts. But let’s leave that for next time.

PREVIEW:

Iscandar offers Earth salvation. Garmillas would destroy it. Yamato‘s destination, Iscandar, is a twin planet of Garmillas. As they approach it, what path should they take? Is hope to be found there?

Next time: The Planet That We Head For.

There are 211 days left before humanity becomes extinct.

RELATED LINKS:

Official website of Yamato 2199
Yamato Crew website
Chapter 6 Trailer Short Version
Chapter 6 Trailer Long Version

Episode 21 credits

Screenplay: Sadayuki Murai
Storyboard: Kazuyoshi Katayama
Director: Shoichi Nakayama
Chara Animation Director: Hidenori Matsubara, Akihisa Maeda, Mitsuru Ishihara
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.

12 thoughts on “Yamato 2199 Episode 21 Commentary

  1. Oh man, this episode really tickled me about the whole Yurisha and Yuki gag… The confusion between these two are just priceless…. Especially the reaction from Bozen between the two with the music in the background was pure comedy gold… LOL!
    About that last Seagull crash, I wonder how did the Yamato crew later build a replacement, the Ki 8 Prototype Air Boat which was featured in the Ark of the Stars…. Did they built it from scratch or they used the wrecked Seagull, which I presume they had time to recover, and reconstructed it? The comparison between the two auxiliary craft reminds me alot like Star Trek Voyager’s ‘disposable’ Type 2 shuttles and the more reliable Delta Flyer that was built from scratch for a similar purpose as the Ki 8 Air Boat…

    • Going by the Secret Files handed out at screenings of Ark of the Stars, the Ki 8-Type was loaded aboard as part of Serizawa’s grand plan to overthrow Yamato for the Izumo Plan. It’s clear they would have had to explain its existence aboard ship, as they would not have had the manufacturing facilities aboard to build it. There’s nothing to suggest they salvaged the wreckage of either Seagull. They wouldn’t have had time to waste trying to salvage something from either ship, especially on Leptopoda.

      • Ok thanks for clarifying… So it was actually built for Operation Izumo huh? Well at least it got put to good use! 😀

  2. There has got to be a better way to secure your planes. Yurisha’s so good at getting into places it’s scary! What scares me more is that Ito and Yabu got in the seagull before Yurisha did (and that some nitwit left crates of loaded guns sitting around). Too bad nobody apart from Dr. Sado and nurse Makoto knows how to disarm a guy using only bare hands.

    Ito and Yabu totally flub action movie survival…
    First: keep your finger off the trigger of any gun unless you are ready to kill something. If you wave a loaded firearm around and have your finger on the trigger, you may end up shooting something you did not intend to shoot.
    Second: never turn your back on a serviced target until you’re sure he’s totally dead.

    As for security on the other team, it appears that airspace security is not really enforced on Leptopoda. I mean, waiting until the intruder crashes to intercept? That’s just lazy. And what were the Garmillan jailers at the base doing? Were they just maintenance workers? Or is it that problem kids in the army get deployed as jailers because they’re not fit to serve on the front lines?

    Does anyone think we’re about to get a new passenger aboard Yamato?

    • As for security on the other team, it appears that airspace security is not really enforced on Leptopoda. I mean, waiting until the intruder crashes to intercept? That’s just lazy. And what were the Garmillan jailers at the base doing? Were they just maintenance workers? Or is it that problem kids in the army get deployed as jailers because they’re not fit to serve on the front lines?

      Leptopoda probably isn’t considered an invasion risk, and as Frakken points out to Haini, the largely Garmilloid-staffed garrison (the only Garmillans we see not in cells are Bozen, his aide, and the guy delivering “dinner”, and the handful of dead guards we see after the prison riot starts – the rest of the prison staff we see are Garmilloids) is indicative of the stretched resources that result from Garmillas’ expansionary policy. A prison planet like Leptopoda wouldn’t be considered a high-value asset and it wouldn’t have been assessed as a high-risk target for invasion, hence the rudimentary military presence on the planet being limited to what’s needed to keep the prison running. It wouldn’t have planet-wide air defences, if any at all. My big question would be as to how Bozen is operating a weapons black market out of the prison with what appears to be nothing in the way of ships, and more to the point, who his customers are, and so forth. Obviously he feels he’s so far out of the way that nobody would ever catch him in the act, which in Garmillas would certainly mean execution.

      • Okay, but perhaps Bozen had a few ships not depicted in this episode. Do you think the ships will be lined up outside in parade formation in broad daylight, where anybody can just one-shot them with a well-aimed shock cannon salvo? Certainly that would break regulations on securing the safety of any vessels issued to this prison, since they would probably not be fit to serve on the war front. And if he was operating a black market for guns, he would either have had some other craft hidden from the building inspectors and the MP’s or he would have smuggled his guns out through the usual prison transport system, having bribed some personnel into carrying the wares… Or am I wrong?

  3. By the way, I saw your statement that suggest that the Gatlanteans are the Yamato 2199’s klingons and as a Star Trek fan myself, that didn’t cross my mind. When I saw the outfits that the Gatlanteans used in Ark of the Stars, it reminded me alot like the nomadic Mongolian invaders with all that fury clothing on them. It makes more sense to be the space version of mongols rather than klingons (despite their shared aggressive warrior nature) due to the fact that both Mongolians and Gatlanteans have mobile homes when they go out for the conquests: One has mobile tents while the other has a moving space-fortress. That’s my thoughts about that comparison…

    • Jordan, you’re not the only one who’s made that connection, but you’re certainly only the second I’ve encountered in my travels who suggested the Mongol analogy rather than the Klingon one.

  4. In the Gatlantean rampage screen, didn’t it look like Prince Zordar and his freakish monobrow charging up the middle?

  5. I concur… how did shoting a panel resulted in an engine fire?

    Also this episode introduces plot questions to later parts (ark of the stars) and even future seasons (2202) .. In this and next episodes we can pretty much asume there is first contact between humans and Gatlanteans.. those thousands of Gatlantis prisioners should had returned home telling about the “Terrons” they met being nice or at least oposed to Gamillas..

    Yet in Ark of the Stars the Gatlantis fleet goes all bananas on the Yamato.. and for plot its granted they will too for 2202 .. tought it would interesting (and very fitting with the tone of 2199) if some among the Gatlantis army would see Terrons in much better light and opose the Emperor campaign against earth (like many Gamillas characters in 2199).. tought considering how 2199 ends compared to the original series.. a lot of stuff will be diferent for 2202..

    Oh.. so afro Desler is next? cant wait for that..

    • I really doubt even if they were freed the captured Gatlanteans would be returned to their homeland. While Deitz’s forces oppose Dessler, they’re still Gamilas and are enemies with Gatlantis as a whole.

  6. The whole stowaway sequence really cracked me up. 3:1 ratio of stowaways to legitimate crew in that Seagull.

    I hadn’t thought about it before, but the level of humor in this episode is a nice palate cleanser in between the brutality of the Rainbow Star Cluster and the final wrapup of the series.

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