Yamato 2202 Report 3, Part 2

Back up to Part 1

Live event: the Yamato 2202 Production Presentation, September 5 2016

Akihabara’s UDX Theater has hosted one Yamato event prior to this one, a preview screening of the Yamato Resurrection Director’s Cut in January 2012. Today it was home to the first public unveiling of the new series with plenty of high-profile participants.

It was live-streamed on two services, Nico Video and Bandai Channel, both of which are limited to Japan only, but some generous person recorded the Bandai Channel feed and uploaded it to Youtube for the rest of the world. It can be seen here (part 1) and here (part 2).

Of course, it’s entirely in Japanese and it’s crawling with text comments from Bandai Channel viewers, but there was plenty of media coverage that gives us a solid overview of what was said. Here’s how it all went down…

Video part 1

1. Start time 6pm, September 5. Opening remarks by Executive Producer Shoji Nishizaki

2. Nishizaki is joined onstage by Screenwriter Harutoshi Fukui and Supervising Director Nobuyoshi Habara. Discussion highlights:

Fukui: I first saw the movie on TV, two years after it premiered in theaters. When I was a child, I didn’t think there were such serious cartoons.

Habara: I watched it on TV in real time from the first episode. It was my favorite. So much so that I’d like to tell myself then that I’d personally participate in making it with my own hands, talk about all the various Space Battleship Yamatos I’ve encountered, and about this production.

Fukui: [Originally] when we hit the 80s, it was an era when Japan had forgotten the post-war period and had become fickle. Farewell to Yamato portrayed the question of, ‘is that a good thing?’, of how Japan adapted after the war. Related to the end, I think I want to make it in tune with the times.

Habara: It’s serious. I want to properly respond to the expectations of the fans who have loved it all this time.

Nishizaki: My job is to find the talent. This time, I thought the director and Mr. Fukui were the right ones.

(That’s not all that was said, of course. Keep reading.)

3. Presentation of the “Business Scheme”; release plans for Chapter 1 and products in development (same info shown on the website).

4. Yoshinori Akakura takes the stage; Director and Executive officer of Dome Corporation. Ltd, the Japanese distributor for Under Armour products.

Akakura: Yamato 2202 will undertake a collaboration plan with Under Armour. I’m here to tell you that Under Armour has concluded an advisory contract with Akira Yamamoto, a character in the story. In the future we will enlighten lifestyles with training and continue to work as a partner for enlightenment. Awareness of body building is very high and affects the enthusiasm of many people. With the strong and intelligent Akira Yamamoto, Under Armour will continue to perform enlightenment activities to propose a lifestyle of sports. We’re very excited about the plans to come!

5. A life-size cutout figure of Akira Yamamoto is brought on stage.

Video part 2

6. Voice actors Daisuke Ono (Kodai) and Houko Kawashima (Yuki) take the stage. Highlights:

Ono: The pressure of playing Susumu Kodai in 2199 was big at first. But everyone there was enthusiastic, and we survived. I’m thrilled to be here.

Kuwashima: I didn’t know how I felt at first, but when the show was over, I couldn’t stop trembling!

In response to the MC’s question about it being three years after 2199…

Ono: After three years…I’d like to be on good terms. In 2199 I got to shout, “Yuki! Yuki!” I want to say that again in this one.

Kuwashima: I look forward to keeping him on a short leash. Can I request that from the voice director?

Kuwashima: It’s been said that Soldiers of Love is sad. I want some hope.

Fukui: Because of times like these, I’ll make something hopeful!! However, I think hope varies in form from person to person. I have great expectations for how it will be received.

7. Special guests representing Under Armour join the others on stage: athlete Asuka Cambridge (a silver medalist in the 2016 Rio Olympics) and model Kelly Misawa. They exchange gifts with Ono and Kawashima, presenting them with running shoes and receiving Yamato model kits in return.

Asuka Cambridge: For the collaboration with Yamato 2202 and Under Armour, I’ll do more training and work hard so I can appear in a movie.

Kelly: With Yamato 2202 and Under Armour, I’d like to liven up sports for more women.

8. The entire group lines up for a photo session and delivers final remarks to the audience.

Nishizaki: Mr. Fukui’s script and Mr. Habara’s directing are fascinating. It’s a work that will make you cry, and a handkerchief will not be enough. Please look to those who saw Farewell to Yamato, Soldiers of Love and shed your tears, too.

Habara: The baton has been passed from the original work in 1974, and we want to expand Space Battleship Yamato into the future. (Comment to Mr. Cambridge) I wish you luck with your voice training, too.

Fukui: This production is a modern reboot. When you watch Farewell to Yamato 2202, Soldiers of Love, it will thrill you, but as a work of modern fiction, it will also give you hope. Please look forward to it.

With that, Yamato 2202’s first public event came to a close. Within a few hours, articles began appearing online and photos popped up on Twitter. They served to expand and amplify, and are presented here to round out our September 5 coverage.

Animate Times

Space Battleship Yamato 2202, Soldiers of Love main characters decided: Daisuke Ono as Susumu Kodai and Houko Kuwashima as Yuki Mori! Tie-in information with Under Armour and other related products revealed!

On September 5, 2016, a “production presentation” was held to reveal the latest information to the public about Space Battleship Yamato 2202, such as voice actors in the cast! On stage were Shoji Nishizaki (Executive Producer), Nobuyoshi Habara (Supervising Director), Harutoshi Fukui (Screenwriter), and voice actors Daisuke Ono (Susumu Kodai), and Houko Kuwashima (Yuki Mori), all of whom spoke enthusiastically about the project and characters. Now we bring you a description of the presentation!

Space Battleship Yamato is the timeless classic that was the founder of Japanese SF anime history. The new series Space Battleship Yamato 2202, Soldiers of Love has been decided, with the famous 1978 masterpiece Farewell to Yamato as its motif! The work will consist of seven chapters, with Chapter 1 scheduled to screen for two weeks starting February 25, 2017 (Saturday) at the Shinjuku Piccadilly and 14 other theaters nationwide.

When the presentation began, Executive Producer Nishizaki talked about the appeal of the work, then was joined on stage by Director Habara and Screenwriter Fukui to greet the fans who were looking forward to the presentation.

Mr. Habara said, “I’m struggling every day to make a work that can live up to the expectations of four million fans.”

(Translator’s note: that number matches the turnout for the original 1978 feature film Farewell to Yamato.)

Mr. Fukui said, “I feel the conviction that it’s possible to create a great work, and I think this story is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Both talked enthusiastically about the project and their overflowing passion for Yamato.

Further collaborations with Yamato 2202 were announced. Under Armour is developing athletic wear this time. The character Akira Yamamoto was revealed, reinvented as an athlete, and various product developments are planned for the future.

Casting for the main characters was announced with Daisuke Ono and Houko Kawashima returning to reprise the roles of Kodai and Yuki from the Yamato 2199 series! Both appeared on stage to recall their work on 2199 and talked joyfully about being engaged in Space Battleship Yamato once again.
Additional news was made public, such as an early screening of Chapter 1 on February 6, 2017. More information will be published on the official website later.

Gifts were delivered to Mr. Ono and Ms. Kuwashima on the stage in a dual surprise appearance by Under Armour spokesman Asuka Cambridge, and model Kelly. They in turn received gifts in the form of plastic models of Yamato from the Yamato 2202 production staff. Both Kelly and Mr. Cambridge were delighted by the elaborate workmanship.

The event ended with that, and a final comment from Executive Producer Nishizaki: “I must say humbly that this is a work that will make you cry. There aren’t enough handkerchiefs for all the many fans over the years, but please look forward to the premiere.”

Anime Anime

Daisuke Ono confesses, “It feels like fate to be standing here” at the Space Battleship Yamato 2202, Soldiers of Love production presentation

A production presentation for Space Battleship Yamato 2202, Soldiers of Love was held at the Akihabara UDX Theater on Monday, September 5. Yamato 2202 is being revived as a modern work in seven chapters, based on the 1978 feature film Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato, Soldiers of Love.

Taking part in the event were Susumu Kodai’s voice actor Daisuke Ono, Yuki Mori’s voice actor Houko Kuwashima, Executive Producer Shoji Nishizaki, Supervising Director Nobuyoshi Habara, and Screenwriter Harutoshi Fukui. Mr. Habara previously directed episodes 9 and 19 of the Yamato 2199 series, and was chosen this time to succeed Yutaka Izubuchi in the position of Supervising Director.

Mr. Habara strongly stated, “It’s like the baton has been passed to me by Director Yutaka Izubuchi. I’m one of the fans who watched the Space Battleship Yamato series from the beginning in 1974, and I want to properly respond to the earnest thoughts of all four million fans.”

Mr. Fukui, speaking with thoughtful enthusiasm as the writer, said, “Recently they did Gundam UC, which some may not think of as being a faithful adaptation, but I think it offers a unique story. Since we live in an age of stagnation nowadays, I am to resurrect it in a form that can only have meaning from being made now.”

Talking about performing the role of Kodai, Mr. Ono smiled as he said, “I remember feeling a lot of pressure at the first dialogue recording session for 2199. Considering the lively sessions we got from having my generation and the younger ones performing together, I’m feeling more excitement than pressure this time around.”

Ms. Kuwashima, who plays Yuki, had a request for Mr. Fukui: “2202 may have the same sad feeling that is being talked about, but I’d like it to have some hope if possible…!”

“Because of times like these,” Mr. Fukui replied, “I wouldn’t make something hopeless.” His answer delighted her. Also, seeing how this series takes place three years after 2199, Kuwashima added candidly, “I’m looking forward to seeing to what extent Yuki Mori now has Kodai whipped,” to which Fukui frankly responded, “That’s assuming he’s whipped at all!” with a laugh.

Looking bashful, Mr. Ono said, “Personally, I want to cry out ‘Yuki, Yuki’ over and over.”

It was also announced that there will be a collaboration project with sports performance brand Under Armour. Director Yoshinori Akakura, Under Armour’s representative in Japan, took the stage and revealed that the company has entered into an advisory contract with Yamato combat officer Akira Yamamoto.

Special guests from Under Armour appeared: athlete Asuka Cambridge and model Kelly. Mr. Cambridge wore a T-shirt in the style of the combat group uniform, and excited the audience when he said, “I want to train hard so I can appear in a movie.”

Mr. Ono gave his final message when he said, “I was born in 1978, the year Farewell to Yamato was released. Now it feels like fate for me to be standing here. I want to convey this story of love to the longtime fans and also to a new generation.”

Mr. Nishizaki concluded with a hearty endorsement of the production team: “It is fascinating. Mr. Habara and Mr. Fukui are doing a great job. There’s going to be a lot of crying. Handkerchiefs won’t be enough, so I think you should get a bath towel ready.”

The story begins three years after Space Battleship Yamato 2199, and the first of seven chapters will premiere in theaters February, 2017.

Anime Eiga

Seven chapters of Space Battleship Yamato 2202! Chapter 1 opens in theaters February 25, 2017

On September 5, a production presentation was held at the Akihabara UDX Theater in Tokyo for the latest installment of the Space Battleship Yamato series, Space Battleship Yamato 2202, Soldiers of Love. It was revealed that the work will consist of seven chapters with the 1978 Farewell to Yamato, Soldiers of Love as its motif. Chapter 1 will premiere in theaters and digital delivery will begin on February 25, 2017. It was announced that voice actors Daisuki Ono and Houko Kuwashima will reprise the roles of main characters Susumu Kodai and Yuki Mori from Space Battleship Yamato 2199.

Mr. Ono and Ms. Kuwashima appeared in person along with Executive Producer Shoji Nishizaki, Supervising Director Nobuyoshi Habara, and Screenwriter Harutoshi Fukui. In addition, a tie-in with sports performance brand Under Armour has been decided, and spokesman Asuka Cambridge, silver medalist in the Men’s 400-meter relay at the Rio Olympics, took the stage.

Regarding the production, Mr. Fukui’s work on Mobile Suit Gundam UC was a hot topic, and he opened by saying, “I think a lot of people here saw Gundam UC and consider it to be unfaithful (laugh).” With a smile, he said, “But I thought this would be a once-in-a-lifetime chance and I took it with pleasure.”

During his introduction to the new work, he said, “In some points of view, [the original] is a work that glorifies suicide.” He explained it in the light of a historical backdrop. “It’s difficult to revive it in for the modern day. The tragedy of suicide bomb terrorism happens all over the world. In times like these, I was quite prepared for the worst with adding the Soldiers of Love subtitle to it. At the same time, it’s something that has to be done now.”

It also seemed that the voice actors were anxious about the story.

Kuwashima: “It’s been three years since the previous work and they’re not married yet? I’m looking forward to seeing to what extent Yuki Mori now has Kodai whipped.”

“Seeing how the development of [Kodai and Yuki’s] bond in 2199 was portrayed, I hope they’re getting along well,” Ono hoped.

Ms. Kuwashima spoke from the heart to Mr. Fukui, saying, “It seems there is the sad feeling that’s been talked about, but I want some hope.”

He answered profoundly by saying, “The original is the original. In times like these, I wouldn’t make something hopeless…but I think hope varies in form from person to person.”

Athlete Asuka Cambridge was asked to give his impression of this day and said, “I want to do more and more training so I can try out for a movie!”

Director Habara answered, “I can help train your voice. (Laughs)” Speaking directly to the majestic figure of the player who participated in the Rio Olympics, he said, “I was impressed when I saw your superb baton work. The original version of Space Battleship Yamato from 1974 was a baton passed to various staff members.” His expression tightened as he concluded with, “We see this work as a baton that opens up into the future, and we want to make something that will impress everyone.”

Space Battleship Yamato 2202, Soldiers of Love Chapter 1 will premiere in 15 theaters nationwide and be available digitally on February 25, 2017. Rental delivery starts March 11 with Blu-ray and DVD release to follow on March 24. Furthermore, a storyboard book will be included with a special limited edition Blu-ray. After first being released in movie theaters on February 25, it will be issued through Bandai Visual Club on March 4.

Nikkan Sports

Asuka Cambridge shows off his physique in Space Battleship Yamato costume

He attended the production presentation for the anime movie Space Battleship Yamato 2202, Soldiers of Love with Daisuke Ono in the role of Susumu Kodai (Photography by Matsuo Konosuke)

Athlete Asuka Cambridge, who won the silver medal in the Men’s 400-meter relay at the Rio Olympics, attended a production presentation in Tokyo on September 5th for the anime movie Space Battleship Yamato 2202, Soldiers of Love (opening February 25, 2017, directed by Nobuyoshi Habara). Cambridge was there as a spokesman for Under Armour, which is carrying out a collaboration plan with the movie to deploy licensed products.

Cambridge wore clothing in the style of a crew uniform from Battleship Yamato which was specially made for this day. “Good evening,” he greeted the crowd, “I’m Asuka Cambridge. Nice to meet you.” He took off his jacket to show his proud physique and was bathed in flashes.

The company presented voice actor Daisuke Ono (38) with exercise shoes that are actually used by the hero, Susumu Kodai. In return, Ono presented a 1/500 model of the Battleship Yamato. “It’s powerful and cool,” Cambridge said with a smile. “I’ll work hard and train more so I can appear in a movie.”

The new movie is set three years after the anime series Space Battleship Yamato 2199, which premiered on TV April 2013, and has been long-awaited by fans.

Dengeki Hobby Web

Space Battleship Yamato 2202, Soldiers of Love production presentation held.
1/1000 Andromeda 2202 plamodel and other products in development!

A production presentation was held September 5 at Akihabara UDX Theater for Space Battleship Yamato 2202, Soldiers of Love. It was announced that the first of seven chapters will premiere in theaters February 25, 2017.

In addition, related products are planned to appear, including a 1/1000 Andromeda 2202, S.H.Figuarts Yuki Mori, and Yamato Girls Collection Yuki Mori ship’s uniform.

In addition to the production staff, voice actors Daisuke Ono and Houko Kuwashima appeared at the presentation, along with athlete Asuka Cambridge, spokesman for the sports performance brand Under Armour, which has entered into a tie-in with Yamato 2202. Under Armour model Kelly also took to the stage.

Executive Producer Shoji Nishizaki raised expectations with his comments: “I requested Mr. Fukui as the writer and Mr. Habara as the director, impressed by their strong love of Yamato. Mr. Fukui’s script and Mr. Habara’s direction are fascinating, and I think it will make a lot of Yamato fans cry until they are soaked. There won’t be enough handkerchiefs, so get your bath towels ready.”

Supervising Director Nobuyoshi Habara said, “The world view is very dense, so I feel great pressure to express it. But since Yamato 2199 I’ve been engaged in a work that’s been my favorite since junior high, so much so that I wish I could tell myself back then about it.”

Screenwriter Harutoshi Fukui spoke with passionate enthusiasm: “When I was given the Yamato story, on one hand I knew I had to get on board with this, but on the other I was feeling that, after Gundam UC, I might not seem that faithful, so I feel I’ll leave it for the finished work to show how seriously I take it. However it ends, I will not make a hopeless story.”

After Party

Photos posted on Twitter by Asuka Cambridge and Kelly Misawa

Left: photo posted on Twitter by MC Chiaki Matsuzawa. She said: “Listening to Director Habara’s and Screenwriter Fukui’s fondness for the story, I can’t help but be pleased. Kodai and Yuki Mori’s interaction was cute. (I’m in the middle, in case you’re wondering.”

Right: photo posted on Twitter by Houko Kuwashima, posing with the press sheet distributed to the audience.

A closer look at the fold-out press sheet, which reprints content from the website. It was announced on Yamato Crew in August that copies will be bundled with fan club magazine Ship’s Log #15, so we should get a full view in the next report.

Under Armour representatives from the 21st and 22nd centuries.

Another Twitter photo from Houko Kawashima, and complementary fan art by Machiroba.

Even here, Yuki still manages to Kodai-block Yamamoto.

1/100 Yamato display model

What’s Next

September 5 is now a significant date in Yamato history, but it’s still just the beginning. Ship’s Log #15 is scheduled for the end of September with a new round of information direct from the nerve center. It will be covered here next time along with whatever else floats onto the radar scope.

Until then, follow our Facebook page for daily posts and breaking news!

Special thanks to Neil Nadelman for translation support.

Continue to Report 4

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