Space Battleship Yamato 2202 Report 2

Back up to Report 1 (April 2016)

News has been thin since Report 1 was published in April, but equally exciting with steady announcements of returning champions to the production staff. A new issue of Ship’s Log boosted the volume again at the end of June, and fans have been running wild with their own contributions. Here’s a roundup of news from May and June 2016…

May 25: Website update

The category was mecha design, and three key participants were announced: Makoto Kobayashi on general concepts, Junichiro Tamamori on the Earth side, and Taiji Ishizu for Gatlantis. There were no commentaries from any of them, but their artwork spoke volumes.

Art by designer Makoto Kobayashi

Art by mecha designer Taiji Ishizu

Art by mecha designer Junichiro Tamamori

May 28: Teaser goods

Job one for the Space Battleship Yamato Production Committee is to generate funding, and they got off to an early start with a handful of lifestyle products for sale at the Yamato Crew website store.

Five pieces were offered, making use of the first piece of key art by Makoto Kobayashi: a clear file, wall tapestry, postcard set, business card case, and a logo-only washcloth. For sale to Japanese addresses only, sorry.

June 23: Website update

This one brought some very welcome news indeed: the return of 2199 character designer Nobuteru Yuuki. He made his debut with this charming image, presumably the depiction of Kodai and Yuki when reunited at the beginning of the story.

June 30: Website update

Even more good news! Akira Miyagawa is returning to continue his work with one of the saga’s most important characters: the music. His name was added to the website roster on June 30 with the following comment:

Continuing to make Yamato 2199 is hard to do.

Since I came onto this project with the understanding that its watchword would be to revive the first Yamato, I was naturally hesitant when I was then told, “Okay, do this too, please.”

However, by the time I heard whispers that such a thing might be laying in the future, by then I was already in the vortex. Seemingly every month, Yamato was being programmed at a concert, and it was with responsibility and pride that I engaged in the performances. Amidst that, I fused my father’s work with my own…however, the more I tried to intentionally do it, the more I became aware of how they’d been fused from the very beginning.

For example, when my own Garmillas National Anthem is performed by a 100-man chorus, it’s quite disturbing, but also quite uplifting, how I’m mixed in there. They’re performing my father’s Space Battleship Yamato, and the feeling they elicit as they all perform it in unison in the concert hall is exactly the same.

I had that experience over and over, and had many opportunities to talk at length about Yamato in front of a lot of people. And that drove home how I had a responsibility. In other words, it was my duty to continue writing it.

You could call it an “obligation”, I suppose, but when you consider how much effort my father went through to compose 900 songs, I think you might understand why I’m hesitant to use the word “obligation” to describe it.

On the other hand, Yamato served both as my textbook and as the bad example I could learn from.

There was a time when I frankly felt it was indecent to release sequels one after another according to the times and needs. In that sense, even now I don’t welcome a “straying of Yamato“. I think I’d rather clearly fashion something like a man should, and then just let it go. And yet, there’s a part inside of me that feels like I haven’t finished fashioning this, and so here I am now, seeing this Space Battleship Yamato 2202 through.

During his childhood, one of Hiroshi Miyagawa’s hobbies was apparently drawing miniature portraits of the Battleship Yamato. When I was young myself, I naturally sketched Tetsujin 28 on the same drawing paper, only this time in dynamic fights against Zero fighters. Several years later, I drew Space Battleship Yamato on a page in my sketchpad and notebook.

Not only that, but my father’s generation had swords and sword fights. And for my generation, it was model guns that captured boys’ hearts. I have to be honest here: is there anything a boy finds more beautiful than guns and weapons, fighter planes and battleships? It’s this fact that tears and torments my heart.

Why are weapons beautiful!?

It’s the same in terms of music. During World War II, the war songs were the ones my father disliked most as a boy. The contradiction is that my father’s masterpieces are war songs.

One one hand it is loved, and the other hand it is hated. No matter how beautiful a love story you tell, the beauty breathes within that design. Similarly, no matter how deftly you depict the ravages of war, it can’t compare with the physicality of music…

I guess you could say that Yamato is created out of “beauty,” “sensuality,” and “war”. Perhaps the history of Yamato = the history of conflict. That’s the vortex I’m in now.

I’m seeing the music of 2202 through.

– Composer Akira Miyagawa

Translated by Neil Nadelman

June 30: Ship’s Log #14

The new issue of the Yamato Crew Premium Fan Club magazine brought a fresh round of news directly from the nerve center with a new Producer Speaks interview, a conversation with Director Nobuyoshi Habara (who created the striking cover image) and continuing features on local events and saga history.

Read the Producer’s message here for a roundup of the latest news! The conversation with Mr. Habara will follow in our August update.

Fan art

The rest of the news over May and June came from the world of Twitter, which was festooned with a range of fan art that carried classic imagery into a modern mindset. There are so many that the best way to review them is by individual artists. Click on the galleries below to fill up your eyes with happiness.

Continue to Report 3

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