2199 activity in January dropped to about half that of December, only to be expected as 2202 revs up its Wave-Motion Engine for February’s launch. The “Road to 2202” campaign wound down and the Battlefield Infinity mobile game was officially discontinued, but the manga goes on and new games are on the way, so the finish line is still somewhere up ahead.
January 5: Pachislot game announced
It’s been a long time since the Sammy Corporation last crossed over with Yamato, creating a tabletop-style slot machine back in 2000. They emerged from the shadows on January 5 when they announced the first-ever 2199 pachislot (pachinko/slot) game with a pre-release website and a promo video with some flashy new art and custom animation.
Breaking with past tradition, the Yamato theme was replaced with one of the TV broadcast songs, Uverworld’s Fight for Liberty. See the video on Youtube here.
Physical advertising appeared simultaneously in the form of signage in front of pachinko casinos. More promo appeared later in the month, so keep reading.
January 5: Yamatrivia Swamp 6
This Youtube series continued with our three hosts: voice actor Aya Uchida, superfan Ryusuke Hikawa, and Director Nobuyoshi Habara. In The Boldness of Space SF, they examined the various aspects of 2199 that were driven by advanced concepts such as Wave-Motion energy, weapons, warping, and more.
See the video here.
January 13: Super Robot Wars V trailer
The second trailer appeared on this day for the upcoming video game from Bandai Namco (set to release in Japan February 23). Once again, this is significant for two reasons: it’s the first game in this long-running franchise to feature Space Battleship Yamato, and it will be subtitled in English.
The trailer is loaded with game footage, including some absolutely spectacular new 2199 animation. See it here. Yamato scenes can be found at roughly 5:30 and 10:30.
January 13: Yamatrivia Swamp 7
In the final episode, titled Heart-Shaking Music and Sound Effects, Ryusuke Hikawa opened with an anecdote about capturing original Yamato TV episodes on cassette tape so he could hear the “gorgeous” BGM and sound effects any time he wanted. This gave way to a conversation about the impact of both and the men who created them.
See it on Youtube here.
January 15: Battlefield Infinity finale
After a busy two-year run that was documented here from the beginning, the Yamato 2199 Battlefield Infinity game officially closed its virtual doors with the following Twitter message: As of noon January 15, the final version was released. We will discontinue the app on January 31. We would like to express our gratitude for your patronage over the last two years. We appreciate your continued support in the future.
Future? As in the year 2202? Time will tell.
Meanwhile, visit the game’s Twitter page here.
January 17: Dengeki Hobbyweb article
Garage kit maker Soy-Ya! contributed another article to this ongoing series on building a custom Megaluda model. This time they got to the real meat: the ship’s flame strike gun. See the article here.
January 17: Movie screening/Yamatalk 5
After a three-week break, the ”Road to 2202 reopened with 2199 screenings and Yamatalks at the Shinjuku Piccadilly Theater. On this night, 2199 Chapter 6 was shown, followed by an onstage conversation with manga artist Michio Murakawa and novelizer Takumi Toyoda. Regrettably, it didn’t receive any media coverage so we just have to imagine what was discussed by this intriguing combo.
January 19: Pachislot game website
Sammy Corporation added new content to the official website for the upcoming game, which has the added title of Iscandar Road. There is a long history of Yamato pachinko games, most of which were graced with completely new art. This one appears to hit a very high bar, high enough to suggest the involvement of anime staff members.
Visit the site here, and watch for future updates
January 24: Movie screening/Yamatalk 6
Ark of the Stars was shown on this night at the Shinjuku Piccadilly, followed by the biggest presentation so far. MC Osamu Kobayashi welcomed 2199‘s most active ambassadors to the stage: Aya Uchida and Eriko Nakamura, voice actors for Yuria Misaki and Mikage Kiryu.
The entire presentation was streamed on Nico Nico, which gave us an unobstructed view of the evening.
They opened by introducing their characters and sharing their thoughts and experiences about performing the roles.
As the co-hosts of many YRA Radio Yamato episodes, they had an opportunity afforded few other Yamato actors, the ability to expand their roles beyond the scope of the anime. The “drama” segments in particular gave them new dimensions to work with.
They also participated in an impressive number of live promotional events, all of which were listed on-screen for the audience. This lead into a conversation about Aya Uchida’s high-energy promo videos: Yamato 2199 in 3 Minutes (2014) and Yamato 2199 in 4 Minutes (2016).
This brought the show to its true highlight: Yamato 2199 in 4 Minutes: Eriko Nakamura Version. In a virtuoso performance, Nakamura did a live reading of the script for the 4-minute compilation with just as much spark and precision as Uchida. It gave everyone in the audience a chance to hear her reprise the role of Kiryu for the first time since Ark of the Stars.
With that, the ladies laughed their way to the end of the night, pausing only to remind everyone that the Road to 2202 is quickly approaching its destination.
January 27: Blu-ray box set released
The long-promised 2199 Blu-ray set arrived on schedule, a full-up reissue of the original seven discs in new packaging. A bonus disc contained TV broadcast OP and ED titles, cast & staff interviews, and various live events not included in the original run. There was also a booklet of art and episode guides.
As we reported last time, the set came with a separate bonus item depending on where you bought it. The Amazon.co.jp version came with a ninth Blu-ray containing extended versions of all seven Yamatrivia Swamp episodes, and other editions came with an art print. See Report 65 for more details.
January 27: Pormelia model kit reissue
For reasons, Premium Bandai chose to reissue the 1/1000 Pormelia in Imperial Guard colors, originally released in the summer of 2014. Because why not?
January 30: Manga chapter 51
In this 15-page segment, artist Michio Murakawa continued his adaptation of Episode 18 with the recovery of Shinohara, the planning of Yamato‘s raid on Balun, and the championship rabble-rousing of Herm Zoellick.
January 31: Movie screening/Yamatalk 7
January came to a perfect close with the last night of the “Road to 2202” Yamatalks. This time, Chapter 7 was shown and the on-stage conversation involved 2202 Director Nobuyushi Habara, 2199 scriptwriters Shigeru Morita & Hiroshi Onaki, and MC Ryusuke Hikawa.
The discussion was undoubtedly wide-ranging and informative, but once again we’re stuck with our own imagination since no reports of its content have surfaced. On the other hand, it was a night of rewards for those who managed to attend all seven of these events.
Above left is a card that was given to everyone on the night of Yamatalk 1, meant to use as a collection point for ticket stubs. Above right is a completed card, posted on Twitter by Mirai 2199.
After the event, those with full cards were invited on stage to collect their rewards…
…a lovely set of 2202 goods including the press folder, a poster, and a newly-made postcard with the first key art by Makoto Kobayashi. This unofficially started the countdown to the first 2202 Chapter 1 preview screening, just two weeks later (February 6).
Also spotted in January
Some new cosplayer photos popped up on Twitter in the wake of Comiket 2016 Winter at the end of December. Here we have Maple K returning as Yuria Misaki and R Apollo83 as Yoshikazu Aihara, photographed by Fuuta 23.
As an artist, R Apollo83 takes it to the next level with illustrations of both characters (above) and a split screen version (below). Finally, here’s another contender for the Akira Yamamoto crown (below right). This photo was originally published last September by photographer Luna Xiaolin. Let’s hope it won’t be the last we see of her.
February activity has been light so far with only a reissue of models, a rebroadcast of the series, and the rollout of the new pachislot game. But all of it will be covered here in the next report.
Until then, follow our Facebook page for daily posts and breaking news!