TV Guide magazine, February 24, 2017
Let us reconfirm the important things in the journey of life
The captain of Yamato gathers the crew and Susumu Kodai to go for a long voyage. As a voice actor, the image of Ono constantly thinking about “Who am I doing this for?” is the very image of Kodai. Having received everyone’s trust, Yamato launches anew!
The TV anime Space Battleship Yamato went on-air for the first time in 1974. A new staff now gathers to reboot this monumental achievement of SF anime with modern technology. I played the main character Susumu Kodai in Space Battleship Yamato 2199, which started in 2012. When the 2199 series was completed, there was a great sense of accomplishment and joy when the long journey ended, just like in the story itself. This time, Space Battleship Yamato 2202, Soldiers of Love is opening in theaters with the 1978 feature film Farewell to Yamato as its motif. Three years after Susumu Kodai came back to Earth, Yamato‘s crew starts on a new voyage.
Once again playing Susumu Kodai, as someone who could be called of “The 2199 Generation,” not of the generation directly hit by Yamato, I feel happy to board the ship again. For 2199 and 2202, the character designs and concepts are changed from Space Battleship Yamato, and there are bold changes in some places. On the other had, we definitely protected the lines and thoughts that cannot be left out, and it is being produced as a “Yamato for this age.”
The Kodai of Space Battleship Yamato in 1974 is a straightforward, hot-blooded character, but in 2199 there is a part that is mentally fragile. He is depicted as a more contemporary person who can’t go forward on his own. By advancing with the power of his friends and the power of his love for Yuki Mori, he becomes an adult. While respecting the character image created by Kei Tomiyama, who played Susumu Kodai in the original, I made an image of Kodai set in the present times, along with the staff.
The Kodai of 2202, who returned to Earth after a long voyage, is maturing. He is more conscious of moving the ship with the help of those around him rather than only himself, and there is also a sense of confidence in the crew. I also have a sense of responsibility that comes from trust. The ship called Yamato goes forth for the Earth, not just for oneself or another person. I really sympathize with that.
I’ve been an actor for 15 years, and I feel strongly that I can’t accomplish anything without the staff and the other cast members. And can’t we all do something for someone else rather than just “for myself”? I’ve come to think about that. I’d especially like to say something to my juniors. For the last couple of years, I thought hard after getting involved in the work called 2199. I feel that I am maturing along with Kodai. I think it is a work that reconfirms the important things in the journey of life, greater than an actor’s life.
Space Battleship Yamato has been loved for 40 years, and I think the reason new works are made is its universality. 2199 is about the nobility of doing something for other people, and the theme of 2202 is “love.” Isn’t it Space Battleship Yamato that is able to present the theme directly to all people regardless of age or gender? For those who do not know the Yamato of the 70s, there should be joy that you can “enjoy it freshly from right now.” By all means, I want you to board this ship.
Can you do something for someone? I am maturing along with Kodai.
My generation, the younger generation, and voice-recording veterans gather for 2202. A varied crew seems to be boarding Yamato, and it’s fantastic. The various veterans say, “Old Yamato was like this” and the young do not shrink away from this great work. Everyone is loving and enjoying this. I think it’s really great scenery.
Mr. Ono has the skill and career to face the pressure.
If I understood why Space Battleship Yamato has been loved over time, I could make one hit work after another. (Laughs) However, I think the staff has completed it by touching on all the emotions human beings can have. Such emotions move the hearts of people and I wonder if we’ve reached a point where it has become a wound that won’t disappear.
I play Klaus Kiman, a mysterious Garmillan who is the key to the story. I am motivated enough to take on a new role that did not appear in the past work, which is the motif. Yamato takes a fresh new breath with the star Daisuke Ono and me.
I want to experience something that is vastly different in scale.
When my appearance in Space Battleship Yamato 2202, Soldiers of Love was decided, I thought it was a great blessing. The first work, the TV series Space Battleship Yamato, started in 1974 and now an increasing number of people have never been touched by it.
But everyone knows the title and the famous theme song of Yamato. And if you know just the one chorus in the theme, you somehow understand the story. For example, if you know the nursery rhyme of the old tale Taro Urashima, you can understand what kind of story it is. Everyone is familiar with it without knowing it. I think Yamato is already such a work. In the attempt to revive it with modern art and technology, I am greatly honored that my voice was chosen for it.
I play Klaus Kiman, an alien from Garmillas, who is a resident military officer on Earth and investigates the crew of Yamato in response to the upper command. Kiman doesn’t appear in the 1978 Farewell to Yamato, which is the motif for 2202. This is an original character. To create the role, I had to know what kind of person Kiman is. I started by going to Director Nobuyoshi Habara and the series writer Harutoshi Fukui.
As a result, I heard that, in accordance with the name Kiman, he’s a “key” person to the story. I was very fired up. I can’t yet tell you what kind of person Kiman is now…but in the second episode Kiman gets into some action with Susumu Kodai, and in the script it was written, “test your opponent with an irreverent attitude.” But I don’t think he’s merely a cool, irreverent character. In fact, there may be some fragility and weakness. Since he’s a very cool character visually, I’d like to show his versatility in the story, which is relatively difficult to convey in the picture.
Daisuke Ono plays Susumu Kodai, whom Kiman comes into contact with. Mr. Ono was in a masterpiece called Yamato 2199, which preceded 2202, and morever it is a role performed in the past by the great voice actor Kei Tomiyama. We breathed new life into it and fulfilled our roles. For this 2202, I had a week of such serious responsibility I thought I’d have a heart attack. He feels that pressure too, but he has the skills and career to confront it. I think that’s really great.
In 2202, Kodai and Yamato‘s crew will depart on a voice into space. I would go on a “voyage” in a space ship, since I am very interested in outer space. No matter how much you study, knowledge of space is continually updated, and it seems unending when I think about it. I want to experience something that is vastly different in scale.
Yamato is a work that continues to be loved after 40 years, and if you know just one chorus of the theme song you can enter that world. There are no hurdles in the way of this series, which is newly made for the 21st century, and I’d really like you to enjoy the work called Yamato.