Phase Two of the 2202 launch was the release of Chapter 1 on home video, and it seemed like the entire month of March 2017 rotated around that in one way or another. Chapter 1 finished its two-week theatrical run, but live events, collaborative projects, and new products that all kept the party going right up to video day and beyond. Here’s everything that went down…
March 1: Diamond Previews catalog
Surprise! The first entry in this Yamato 2202 report comes to you all the way from…America. Diamond, the primary distributor to all comic books stores in North America, listed the upcoming 1/1000 Bandai model kits in its catalog of products to ship in May, indicating Bandai Hobby as the source. The Star Blazers 2199 category is a bit dated, so it will be interesting to see whether or not they will still put Star Blazers 2199 stickers over the Yamato logo.
March 2: Animate Times article
Animate Times did us all a solid when they stepped out of the anime world to conduct the most extensive photo-tour so far of Skymark’s new Yamato Jet and then sit down for an interview with promotional manager Shinjiro Mizuno to talk about how the collaboration project came together.
March 3: Ikinari! Steak collaboration
Ikinari! Is a Japanese word for “suddenly,” which means the translated name of this national restaurant chain is Suddenly Steak! And with bold marketing choices like that, it’s understandable that they would make a move to align themselves with Yamato 2202 for the month of March.
Starting March 3, they conducted a “stamp rally” in which visitors would qualify for a prize lottery after visiting five times and receiving a stamp each time. The prizes were a collaboration T-shirt (10), a 2199 Blu-ray box (1), a Chapter 1 movie poster (50) and a rocket-shaped ballpoint pen (30). The campaign ended on March 28.
Visual displays at most Ikinari restaurants and kiosks was minimal, but the location in Ikebukuro, Tokyo went a step farther with a display that lured Yamato fans in for a properly geeked-up dining experience.
March 4 & 5: Week two stage greetings
Every chapter of Yamato 2199 got a stage greeting on its premiere day, and as time went on we started seeing them again for the start of the second week of a theatrical run. That was the case again when writer Harutoshi Fukui and director Nobuyoshi Habara traveled to Chiba (just outside Tokyo) to appear at a theater on Saturday March 4. They were touched to find custom décor by the theater staff in the guest room.
The next day (Sunday) found them at another theater in Saitama (just north of Tokyo) for a greeting with MC Osamu Kobayashi. They left their signatures behind on a movie poster. These photos were posted on Twitter by the 2202 Production Committee.
March 4: Week two theater handout
As recounted in our last report, those who saw Chapter 1 in its first week were given free gifts at the theater: a pair of art images (measuring about 12″ x 8″) in a facsimile of an animation production envelope from Xebec Studio. This continued into the second week, but the images were swapped out. Instead of Okita and Yamato, the new pieces were of Yuki and Andromeda.
March 4: Bandai Visual video sales begin
As Chapter 1 started its second week, Bandai Visual started selling the theatrical Blu-ray online. This added a new wrinkle to the sales plan. Throughout the run of Yamato 2199, theaters were the only source for this edition. For the first time, fans could buy it from the BV website while supplies lasted, obtaining the storyboard and script booklets unique to the theater edition.
Leading up to this, those who placed a preorder were entered into a prize lottery that closed once the video went on sale. The prizes were as follows:
1 press sheet autographed by Daisuke Ono (Susumu Kodai)
1 press sheet autographed by Kenichi Suzumura (Daisuke Shima)
1 press sheet autographed by Hiroshi Kamiya (Klaus Kiman)
1 press sheet autographed by Sayaka Kanda (Teresa)
4 press sheets autographed by Harutoshi Fukui (writer) and Nobuyoshi Habara (director)
1 signed Michio Murakawa illustration of Yuki Mori
1 signed Michio Murakawa illustration of Sanada and Niimi
1 signed Michio Murakawa illustration of Kato and Yamamoto
50 reproductions of animation layouts from Chapter 1
Two days later, Bandai Visual released a 15-second promo for the Chapter 1 video. See it on Youtube here.
March 7: Yamatalk Night
With the return of Yamato to theaters, Yamatalk Nights made a welcome comeback under the new name “Yamatalk Night of Love.” Writer Harutoshi Fukui and director Nobuyoshi Habara took the stage for one night only at the Shinjuku Piccadilly theater to share production stories about Chapter 1.
As an unexpected bonus, mecha designer Junichiro Tamamori was announced as an additional guest the day before the event. Regrettably, none of their conversation has yet been reported.
March 8: Model kit box art revealed
Artist Kia Asamiya, who was an active participant in Yamato 2199 projects, has stepped up his involvement in 2202. Not only will his work be seen in the opening title, he has taken the role of box art painter for the new Bandai model kits.
He revealed the first two box paintings on Facebook March 8 and said, “It won’t be long before my paintings take their place with model makers. I want to tell my child self that.” (Followed by a teary-eyed emoji.)
March 10: CG World vol. 224
Published by Born Digitial, CG World + Digital Video is a monthly magazine all about the digital side of filmmaking. They’ve occasionally covered Yamato in the past with articles on the live-action movie and 2199. This issue, dated April 2017, gave us our first introduction to Sublimation, the CG studio handling Yamato 2202. (Visit their website here and a see a list of their previous works here.)
Sublimation’s contributions to Chapter 1 were examined in a 4-page article that gave us our first definitive look at the Cosmo Tiger II in its normal and “Version K” configurations. The article will be presented in a future media roundup.
March 12: Fukuyama Film Festival
Two days after Chapter 1 closed in theaters, it opened again in single event screenings. The first was at the Fukuyama Film Festival with director Nobuyoshi Habara as a special guest speaker at an afternoon screening. As a native son of Fukuyama (a city in Hiroshima prefecture), he was warmly welcomed by the audience, some of whom made their own celebratory banner using his caricature.
Click here for a collection of tweets and photos from the fans who saw it in person.
March 12: Collaboration screening and talk show
While Nobuyoshi Habara was busy at the southern end of Japan, his cohorts had their own screening event going on in Tachikawa, on the outskirts of Tokyo. Tachikawa Cinema City was the venue for a special combination screening of Girls & Panzer and Yamato 2202 Chapter 1. Each was preceded by a talk show that put the staff members of both on a single stage: writer Harutoshi Fukui and sound director Tomohiro Yoshida talked shop with G&P producer Kiyoshi Sugiyama, with Osamu Kobayashi filling in his familiar role as host.
Fans were drawn to the event not just for the chance to see the movie again, but to hear it through what is considered one of the best sound systems in Japanese cinema.
March 16: Super Robot Wars V card set announced
With the February release of the Super Robot Wars V video game, Yamato became part of that mega-popular franchise which spills over into the card game universe as well. On this day, the unfortunately-named Cardass Masters announced a Super Robot Wars V Crusade New Voyage pack to be released April 21. Yamato makes its debut in this pack with exclusive new artwork.
Visit the official website here.
March 17: V-Storage vol. 9
The latest issue of Bandai Visual’s free quarterly promotional magazine arrived in stores on this day, containing a short interview with Nobuyoshi Habara. See it from cover to cover here.
About a week later, the full-length version of the interview was published at V-Storage Online and will be presented in a future media roundup. See the article at V-Storage Online here.
Bandai Visual also debuted a Yamato 2202-themed Quo Card on this day (at right). Quo cards are essentially pre-paid credit cards that can be used in participating stores throughout Japan. The 2202 Quo Card is worth 500 yen.
March 18: Great Mechanics G, 2017 spring issue
True anime mecha fans rejoice at the arrival of every issue of this quarterly magazine from Futaba Co. Under the name Great Mechanics DX, they consistently gave us the highest-quality Yamato 2199 coverage (consult our 2199 media index to find it) and this cover art alone should make it evident that they’re fully on the case again.
The painting, incidentally, is by Naochika Morishita, who did a stunning 2199 painting for the cover of Great Mechanics DX issue 22.
The new article spans 12 pages with an extended Nobuyoshi Habara interview and a conversation with the designers of the 1/1000 Andromeda model. Look for both in a future media roundup.
Meanwhile, you can (and should) order your own copy of the magazine here.
March 23: 1/1000 Dreadnaut model announcement
Those who couldn’t wait to find out if we’d be seeing new versions of the classic EDF ships in 2202 did a collective happy-dance when Bandai announced the 1/1000 Earth Federation Battleship Dreadnaut for release in June 2017, just in time for Chapter 2. Based on the promotional images, it will include internal lighting.
Incidentally, Dreadnaut is the actual name of the ship, though it can be assumed that (like Andromeda) it is the first of a Dreadnaut class.
See prototype photos at the Bandai Hobby website here.
Visit Bandai Hobby’s Yamato 2202 page here.
March 23: Figure King #230
Not to be outdone, Figure King hobby magazine (from World Photo Press) stepped into the fray with a 17-page article on 2202 that covered Chapter 1, the history of Yamato model kits, new products, and an interview with Bandai’s Yamato guru Hirofumi Kishiyama. It will be featured in a future media roundup.