Ark of the Stars Commentary, Part 1

by Luis Cotovio and Daniel George

(Japanese Name: 星巡る方舟 / Hoshi Meguru Hakobune)

Chief Director: Makoto Bessho and Yutaka Izubuchi
Screenplay: Yutaka Izubuchi
Running time: 1h 51m 33s
Opening Theme: Uchuu Senkan Yamato by VIOLIN & CO PRODUCE: Taro Hakase
Ending Theme: Great Harmony ~ for Yamato 2199 by Ayaka Hirahara
Ending Theme: Muss i denn (わかれ) by Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus

[LC]: As we’ve mentioned a couple of times before, Ark of the Stars – or Celestial Ark if you prefer (the official English title Odyssey of the Celestial Ark is most certainly NOT an accurate translation for reasons we’ll get into later) – takes place between Episode 24 and Episode 25. Mostly. To make things a bit more confusing, Ark is capped by a prologue and epilogue that take place in different points of the Yamato 2199 chronology. We’ll address the epilogue when we get there, so let’s jump right into the prologue, shall we?

“By the wall, I will say a word to you. Take my word. Give ear to my instructions.
(Text from ancient Sumerian clay tablet)”

[LC]: The excerpt presented here comes – as stated – from an ancient Sumerian clay tablet, known as the “Tablet of Nippur.” Nippur was an ancient Sumerian city, located in what is today south-eastern Iraq. Although there are thousands of such clay tablets found at the ruins of Nippur, this particular one gained recognition for containing the only surviving description of the Sumerian flood story, as part of the Sumerian creation myth. This story would eventually take other shapes throughout history, becoming more famous in the west as the story of the great flood and Noah’s Ark.

Its inclusion here is quite vague, since there is only a brief flood that doesn’t rise to the level of uber-plot, but if we look ahead in Yamato continuity, there is the considerable matter of the wandering water planet Aquarius, tipped off in Final Yamato by an ancient stone tablet. And if we consider the Akerians of 2199 to be relevant to that, then the invocation becomes intriguing indeed.

The bright red sphere that the Earth has become shines brightly over the lunar horizon, her light bathing the pale grey surface of our eternal companion. But today the Moon’s surface is far from its usual peaceful appearance. Today it’s a field of death, improvised grave markers spread across a wide area, the visible remnant of a vicious battle that took place just a couple of days before.

[LC]: Ever since the now-iconic image of the grave marker made with a rifle and a space marine’s helmet first appeared in one of the trailers, viewers started wondering if Saito and his space marines would be featured and how. Delightfully, they did. The “how” ended up being a lot simpler than any fan conjecture. Sometimes the simplest explanation is the best.

This scene takes place at the same time as the first scene of Episode 3, as Yamato leaves Earth. From the dialogue, we learn that this garrison was attacked by a Garmillas carrier. Though not explicitly stated, we can assume that this was the Polmeria-class carrier seen attacking the camouflaged Yamato at the start of Episode 2.

While they waited for the spy plane to make its reconnaissance of Earth’s surface, the Garmillas must have decided to do some target practice on the unfortunate marine garrison. Fortunately for Saito and the remaining survivors, the Polmeria had bigger fish to fry and ended up being destroyed by said fish, never having the chance to return and finish the job. Even before it left the ground, Yamato was already saving lives.

  

From a nearby UNCF outpost, a feeble radio signal is being broadcast, trying to reach anyone capable of rendering assistance to the few survivors inside. The 7th Cosmo Marine Regiment was stationed there when an enemy carrier attacked and they suffered heavy losses, something immediately confirmed by the row of bodies lined up against the back wall. Nagakura asks Amagi if he’s sure the radio is fixed, to which he replies with an ambiguous “it should be.”

[DG]: The female marine talking to the radio operator is named Shiori Nagakura. The name Nagakura adds to the tally of Shinsengumi names for Yamato characters as Shinpachi Nagakura was Captain of the Second Squad of the Shinsengumi. Hajime Saito was Captain of the Third Squad (Souji Okita, who Juzo Okita is named for, was Captain of the First Squad). Both Nagakura and Saito survived the Meiji Restoration and died in 1915 (Nagakura of old age, Saito of a stomach ulcer).

Shiori Nagakura has been seen in trailers and on the Blu-Ray cover for Chapter 2 of 2202, confirming her character will be returning alongside Saito. Given that their namesakes died in the same year, and the fate of Saito in the original Gatlantis War storylines, you’d think the chances are high these two will die in the same year as well.

 

While her colleague continues his attempts to make contact, she turns to see her fallen comrades. Kneeling next to them is Sergeant-Major Hajime Saito, tending to their injured commander, Colonel Goro Kiryu. Saito looks at the many dog tags he’s been forced to collect, his sadness and rage growing inside his chest, when Kiryu awakes. The veteran soldier opens his eyes, looking at his comrade and friend, and jokingly says how terrible it is to wake up and have to look at a face like his. This manages to bring a smile to Saito’s scarred face.

[LC]: From the previously stated, we can estimate the survivors have been barricaded here calling for help for about a couple of days, while the events seen in episode 2 unfolded.

The remaining survivors are Toshiro Amagi (the radio operator), Masaru Kurata (the defeatist ass) and Gen Furuashi (the one on watch duty). You can see the designs for the whole group here.

 

As Amagi continues his broadcast, Kurata says it’s all useless, that command has already forgotten about them. Nagakura reprimands him but Colonel Kiryu cuts in, saying that as long as there is life within them they won’t give up.

Kiryu’s injuries raise one significant question. We see he has a large patch over his chest plate and left side. That is work done directly to his Combat Armor. Bandages have been applied directly to his head and face. From what we see, and can presume from the substantial damage done to the bunker’s door, the bunker is currently depressurized. So at what point could Kiryu remove his helmet to have his wounds dressed in that way? And to sustain such a level of injury, his helmet would probably have been severely damaged, anyway. Only way I see to get around this is if the injuries to his head were sustained and bandaged before the bunker was hit. Otherwise, there’s no way that work could be done.

  

Saito goes outside, where Furuhashi is keeping an eye out for possible hostiles coming back to finish the job. He hands Saito the long range binocular and points out in the direction of something he spotted. Saito looks at the large grey and red ship heading out into space but doesn’t recognize it, although he believes it’s not Garmillan.

[LC]: In the background, we see a wrecked rover of some kind. There’s also a couple of wrecked ships, but they’re so mangled it’s impossible to identify them. One is seen in the pan down to the observation post, with two protrusions that remind me of the two cannons or antennas that stuck out the front of the classic dropship seen in Yamato 2, but that might just be wishful thinking.

There’s another, strange detail in the background. The Earth’s terminator is wrong. It looks as if there’s a shadow, presumably the Moon’s, being projected over it, obscuring the lower bit of the globe. This is impossible, as the Moon’s shadow is not large enough to cast such large shadow over the Earth. Also, in the next shot of Earth, the terminator appears in its correct form.

 

Nagakura joins them and spots something in the distance. A flash of light, then another, coming from the direction of Earth. Saito points the binoculars toward it and spots a Kongo-class battleship coming in their direction, signaling them.

[LC]: Nagakura has the best eyesight ever. She spots a tiny red spec in front of an orange Earth, thousands of miles away. I’ll give this the benefit of the doubt and assume Kirishima started making light signals before Saito sees it through the binoculars. Still, quite a feat for Nagakura.

[DG]: Given it took around 2-3 days for Kirishima to return to Earth from Mars in Episode 1, traversing a maximum of 408,000 kilometers to the moon would be done in relatively short time. Since Yamato has already passed the moon, it’s possible that Kirishima started out well before Nagakura sees her in the binoculars.

 

Saito heads back down to give the Colonel and his men the good news, but… Kurata is crying compulsively while Amagi is kneeling next to the Colonel’s now inert body. He looks at Saito and nods his head. Kiryu has succumbed to his injuries. Saito can hardly believe his friend and companion of many battles is dead.

 

Saito cries out Kiryu’s name, his scream echoing across the garrison. On a table close by are the Colonel’s personal effects, among them a photo of him and a young woman… Mikage Kiryu. His daughter.

[LC]: Though she appeared in a couple of episodes in the final leg of Yamato 2199, Mikage Kiryu was never identified by name. And given the time span between the end of the series and the release of Ark of the Stars, it’s a bit doubtful that anyone aside die-hard fans that know the name of every secondary character by heart would know who she is, even with this photo to help them along. That might be an extra reason they had Saito appear. Aside setting him up for Yamato 2202, by having him be a close friend to Colonel Kiryu you get some connection to his death. Because everybody knows and loves Saito.

All that aside, and analyzing this as a know-it-all that knows who Mikage Kiryu is, it’s quite sad to think of this scene. Think about it. Mikage is aboard the very ship they just spotted leaving Earth, while her father dies without even knowing what awaited his girl. (I’m assuming that Colonel Kiryu was not privy to the top secret Yamato Plan. And since Mikage only learned of it after the garrison was attacked, it’s doubtful she got to share it with her father).

Unless UNCF command informed her directly, Kiryu probably learned of her father’s demise about 10 days later, during the events of Episode 7. In it, Okita allowed the crew to call home before Yamato crossed the heliopause and lost communications with Earth. That was a tough day for some people, as we got to see in that episode. But given the circumstances, Kiryu’s was probably the worse. Wonder if the person she talked to was Saito…

 

Kirishima, the last surviving battleship of the UNCF’s fleet, leaves the Moon behind after rescuing the survivors of the 7th Cosmo Marine Regiment. Suddenly, a commotion outside the command bridge door calls the attention of Captain Yamanami. Saito, looking even bigger in the ship’s narrow corridors, pushes the guard out of the way and enters.

[LC]: In a nice piece of proper continuity, Kirishima still has the hull damage she suffered in Episode 1. Given that episode was made two years before this film and the track record with continuity, I just think this should be pointed out. A difference from the previous appearance by Kirishima in Episode 2 is that they added a few signal flags to the conning tower’s “antenna.” This was a staple in Junichiro Tamamori’s illustrations at Yamato Mechanics, some of which can be seen here. The shot seems to be a direct homage to one of those illustrations.

  

Saito heads to the imposing officer standing silent in the center of the bridge and asks if he is that boat’s captain. Holding up his fallen comrades’ ID tags, he says that if they had come sooner his regiment wouldn’t have been wiped out, demanding to know why they took so long to answer their mayday. Sitting in his chair, Yamanami interrupts Saito, saying he is the captain. Dumbfounded, Saito looks at the man in front of him and wonders who he is.

[LC]: Unless Saito’s peripheral vision is really bad, he should have seen Yamanami sitting there all along.

[DG]: Given that Saito decided to focus his righteous anger on the guy in front of him, his peripheral vision probably isn’t working too well.

Meanwhile, this is an interesting side of Yamanami’s personality, given how we see him in 2202 so far.

 

Yamanami presents him to Admiral Hijikata, from the UNCF Space Defense Command. Regaining his composure, Saito salutes the Admiral, who remains motionless and silent. Hijikata finally speaks, saying they were sent to provide escort to a special ship, tasked with the mission “to defeat the Garmillans and restore our home to its blue state.”

[LC]: I just love the look on the surviving marines’ faces, as they watch their boss dish it out.

[DG]: After changing the spelling of Gamilas to “Garmillas” in Chapter 2 of 2199 (which subsequently appeared in books and model kit boxes), here they revert to the original spelling for some unknown reason. Changing the Romanized/English spelling was always a bit befuddling to me. It never served any point in the first place, especially since the spelling in katakana never changed from the original.

  

Saito realizes their rescue was nothing more than a lucky fluke, which Hijikata readily admits. He recalls the strange ship they saw and asks what the hell it was, saying they also fought and died for it, so they deserve to know. Yamanami tries to temper Saito’s curiosity but Hijikata promptly responds.

[DG]: At this point in time, you could be forgiven for thinking this interaction between Saito and Hijikata had no consequence to the story, but as with Hijikata’s own earlier appearance in the 2199 universe than in the classic saga’s, there is nothing unintentional here, since we are seeing with Chapter 2 of Yamato 2202 releasing its second trailer while this commentary is being written.

 

Hijikata says it was the Space Battleship Yamato, commanded by his best friend and mankind’s last hope. We see Yamato flying off as the title card rises. It reads SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO ~ ARK OF THE STARS

OPENING SEQUENCE

[LC]: The opening sequence is basically a “best of 2199” montage, edited to form a brief synopsis of the previous 24 episodes, just in case you didn’t watch A Voyage to Remember. The shots are perfectly timed to the music, a new version of the Yamato theme dominated by Taro Hakase’s amazing violin. You can see the entire sequence as part of the 9-minute preview, linked at the bottom of this page. The last shot of the opening sequence, where we see Yamato leaving Iscandar, is the only new piece of animation in it. All the rest was featured in the series.

 

7 MONTHS SINCE YAMATO‘S DEPARTURE FROM EARTH.
INTERGALACTIC SPACE OUTSIDE THE GREAT MAGELLANIC GALAXY.

A small fleet of Garmillan ships commanded by the Zoellugut II is making the long three-month trek back home, ever since they were left stranded at Balun by the destruction on the Magellanic warp gate. They’re about halfway, and the Great Magellanic Cloud is drawing near. On the bridge of the Zoellugut II, Vandevel receives a report from Maizer Doram about the recent events that took place in Baleras, resulting in the destruction of Baleras II and Dessler’s demise.

[LC]: It was a nice touch to use this particular fleet for this scene. We know – or we’ll know, if we go at it chronologically – that at some point since they left Balun, Goer took the Goergamesh and at least 30 ships and left the main fleet. According to Goer, the fleet comprised nearly 3,000 ships. There’s nowhere near that number of ships in this particular group. We can assume a certain number of scenarios for this. It’s likely that most of the ships in the fleet headed for their assigned areas instead of going all the way to Great Garmillas. They had gathered at Balun hailing from all over the empire, so this is a definite possibility.

But the most likely scenario, based on the dialogue, is that this isn’t the main fleet heading from Great Garmillas. From this exchange between Vandevel and Doram, they seem convinced that they’ve been branded as traitors to Lord Dessler and the empire, due to their affiliation with Zoellik. Therefore, it’s highly unlikely they’d be heading there. What their ultimate goal was before they’ve learned of Dessler’s demise will remain unknown.

 

Vendevel is overjoyed with these news. Because of their role in Zoellik’s failed assassination attempt, they would probably be forced to roam the cosmos forever, unable to return home. But with Dessler dead and his regime ended, returning to Garmillas is now a possibility. The two rejoice, but an alert from a crewman brings the short celebration to an abrupt end. Before the stunned crewman can even issue his report, a massive torrent of energy engulfs several nearby ships like wildfire.

 

As the energy stream subsides, radar reveals the presence of several enemy vessels just outside their firing range. They’re identified as being from Gatlantis. Among them, a large battleship emits an ominous light from its underside.

[LC]: This is one of the sequences that required some additional work after the movie had finished its theatrical run and before it got to home video. In the original prints, some of the shots featured a simple star background, lacking the looming Great Magellanic Cloud. This was made all the more noticeable because the galaxy wasn’t missing in all the shots. The home video version has the galaxy in place, providing a vast improvement to the scenes and a much more enjoyable viewing experience (click here for a few comparison shots). This was but the first of several major improvements done to the film, which will be detailed as we progress.

Note that we’ll comment only on substantial alterations since covering the many other small improvements made to the movie (such as cleaner character animation or changes in lighting) would require a page of its own. Which we might end up doing some day… XD

[DG]: This is largely due to the rumor that somehow, they found themselves really pressed for time in making Ark, despite the fact that its cinematic release was over a year after its announcement. Rumors were heard that the movie was completed only a few days before the December 6, 2014 cinema release. Ark of the Stars was a nationwide release on more screens than 2199, so getting copies to all the cinemas would have been interesting if it had been on cellulose. Even digital would be interesting.

Writing this series of commentaries has helped me relate to that. No matter how early I start writing for each of them, I eventually find myself staring at the clock, as the days to the deadline inch closer. XD

 

Vandevel orders the fleet to battle stations and to open fire on the enemy, but not even the Zoellugut II‘s cannons can reach them. Suddenly, an eerie ring of light flashes in front of them and another massive energy blast erupts from it, destroying several Garmillas ships.

[LC]: Just as it was done throughout Yamato 2199, the Megaluda and its primary weapon are retconned from further ahead in the Yamato saga. The ship itself is an upgraded and redesigned version of the Medaluza, which appeared in Yamato 2 as the flagship of the Gatlantean fleet in the battle of Saturn, commanded by Admiral Balzay.

This version of the ship looks a lot more badass than the original, with a lot of hard-edges and a menacing large cannon on its forward deck. The primary weapon, dubbed here as the “Firestorm Direct Strike Gun,” appears to operate exactly like the original. The main exception is that while that one was fully integrated into the ship’s hull, the new version looks like an over-sized cannon that is lowered into its firing position. The other difference is the look of the blast. The original looked like energy while this version actually looks like a blast of concentrated fire, a super-mega-flame thrower on steroids.

[DG]: The ship class is one diacritic shy of being named for the original ship in Yamato 2 (サ vs ザ). Was the change in the spelling intentional or accidental, I wonder?

Very little information is available about the original incarnation of this ship. No source material lists its length, but a B-Club kit from 2007 is scaled at 1/2100. Googling the Medaluza B-club kit turns up an online store which lists the model’s full length at 125mm. That puts the length of the original incarnation at 262.5 meters, which is almost identical to the classic Yamato. At 505 meters, the Medarusa-class is nearly twice as long.

Unlike this clearly bred-for-war dreadnought, the original ship carried almost no other armament than the “Magna-Flame Gun” (we see a tiny two-barreled gun port firing forward as it is obliterated by the Andromeda and her fleet). This woeful lack of armament on a flagship led me to believe it was a testbed platform that Admiral Balzay decided to put into action. This time, the Megaluda looks to be in a similar sort of shakedown cruise, but is much more prepared for battle. This incarnation of Gatlantis seems more prepared to proceed straight to a production model with all the bells and whistles expected of a capital ship.

We do see Medaluza firing a cannon in its final moments in the Battle of Saturn, but it pales in comparison to the beast on the Megaluda‘s deck, both in power and size. In the Playstation game adaptation, the Medaluza was slightly redesigned and was a bit closer to this design, but still woefully under-armed. The “Fixed Data” book lists that version at 315 meters of length.

 

This is followed by several more until 95% of the fleet has been annihilated. Vandevel and Doram are stunned, hardly believing the carnage around them and the fact that the Gatlantean “barbarians” have such a weapon. Still, Vandevel is sure the Zoellugut II‘s front armor will be impervious to any attack. Just as he finishes that statement, another ring flashes and the fiery beam that follows slams right into the super-dreadnought.

[LC]: How Gatlantis came to create this terrifying weapon and how it works is described in the first “Secret File” dedicated to Ark of the Stars. The entire set can be found here.

[DG]: Given the vastly different nature of Gatlantis compared to the original saga, it is good that at least some material was provided explaining how a race of technological scavengers got their hands on the teleportation technology.

 

Its much praised front armor, which withstood many battles unscathed, gives in to the sheer power that rams into it as if it was made of paper. The beam plows through the entire length of the massive ship, bursting out its read end as the bridge section detaches to escape the inferno. The saucer speeds away as the remnants of the Zoellugut II explode, marking the end of the Garmillan super-dreadnought.

[DG]: We effectively have confirmation here that as good as that bow armor is on the Zoellgut-class, Yamato would have been able to obliterate it with the wave-motion gun.

 

The cannon on the underside of the Gatlantis flagship comes to life once again, radiating its menacing light as it charges up and a ball of fiery energy begins to form. Sitting in the shadows, the ship’s captain clenches his fist and punches forward as he gives the order to fire.

 

The ball of energy in front of the cannon suddenly collapses into a single point, then a gigantic blast erupts forward from where she was. Emitters on both sides of the battleship’s bow activate in tandem with the blast, the energy rings they create surrounding it. In a flash, the massive blast disappears, transported instantly by the emitters to another point in space.

  

Unfortunately for Pashib Vandevel, that point in space is where his ship now finds itself. Even though he attempts to escape, the blue glow of the transport system appears right on top of the ship. Vandevel can only watch in horror as the inferno catches up to him, vaporizing the saucer ship.

[LC]: Although the ship does sway a bit side to side, this is a terrible way to escape an incoming projectile or energy blast. Looks like Vandevel has attended the “Prometheus School of How to Run Away from Things.” Yes, I just made a EWW reference. Deal with it.

[DG]: So long, Vandevel and Doram. Doram was newly-created for this film, but Vandevel has a much longer geneology, having appeared in Dessler’s renegade fleet in Yamato 2 and as a renamed Galman in Yamato III. Find all the confusing details here

 

The explosion lights up space in front of the Gatlantis fleet. With all the enemy ships annihilated, the massive cannon comes to a halt and retracts to the battleship’s underside.

[LC]: Also, is it just me who thinks this flash is too big for that ship? If it was the whole Zoellugut II, sure, big ship, huge explosion. But the saucer seems too small for such a space illumination event. Chalk it up to dramatic lighting, I suppose…

 

Sitting on his fur-covered chair, the captain strikes the floor with his massive sword as he laughs, pleased with his victory. Indeed, Goran Dagarm is happy to have taught “blue vermin of Garmillas” a lesson.

[LC]: In the theatrical version, this rug didn’t exist. Nice touch to put that large hole close to Dagarm’s chair. From what we see in this movie, slamming that sword to the floor must be a regular occurrence. The fur on the back of the chair was also added for the Blu-Ray release. (Click the image above left to see Dagarm’s improved interior decorating skills)

 

Yamato flies through a much more peaceful sector of space, with the brightly colored Tarantula nebula looming large behind it. Science Division officer Mikage Kiryu is making an entry on her personal log, which serves to describe the events being shown to us on screen. She tells us that it’s been a month since Yamato left Iscandar. They are now approaching the outer edge of the Great Magellanic Galaxy and will soon enter intergalactic space.

[LC]: In the theatrical version, the Tarantula Nebula filled the background in this shot. Although it made for a more interesting background, it was way too close, especially considering some of the shots that will appear in a few scenes. (Click the image above left to see some comparison shots)

 

Nanbu and Ichikawa arrive on bridge 1 for their shifts, replacing Kodai and Aihara. Kiryu says that morale aboard the ship is high after obtaining the Cosmo Reverse System from Iscandar. Kodai asks Yuria if she’s staying and she says Saijo will be arriving shortly to replace her. Approaching the back of the bridge, Kodai looks up at the chair elevator that leads to the captain’s quarters.

[LC]: I really can’t get why they added a new character like Ichikawa at this point. Sure, she fills a huge gap that hadn’t been filled during the whole series. We’ve seen most of the bridge personnel get replacements, either due to shift changes or because they were sent on assignments outside the ship – except for Aihara, who finally gets to leave the ship later in the movie. So, she does explain who was left in his place to man the communications console, but they’ve never been worried about it before.

[DG]: As you said, Aihara is seldom seen away from his post on the bridge, and I imagine there hasn’t been a cross to the bridge that’s necessitated his replacement appearing before now. With Aihara’s involvement in the central plot of the movie coming into focus, they now have the need.

There are other characters that appear only – or mainly – in this movie, but most have a role to play in the overall plot. Ichikawa, for the most part, appears here and replaces Aihara at his station for most of the movie, but there’s really not much for her to do. Hoping she gets her shot in Yamato 2202.

She did get some attention from fans, though. First, she looks like the anime version of Anne, from the anime adaptation of Anne from Green Gables. Second, other than Makoto Harada, she seems to have a one-of-a-kind uniform. The overall design is the same except for the legs which have cuffs.

An odd piece of trivia: the 2009 followup series, Before Green Gables, had a lot of commonality of staff with the 2199 series (though not with Ark itself). The 1979 Anne series had common staff with the original Yamato, including the voices of Starsha and Aihara. No direct connection between either Anne series and Ark though.

 

Kiryu says that thanks to Starsha’s mediation, the threat of Garmillas is now behind them, but during the journey to Iscandar they lost many crew members. We see the pilots in their ready room, throwing a party for Kato. Nishikawa fails miserably in their dart game tournament, causing his fellow pilots to burst out laughing.

[LC]: There seems to be some sort of party going on in this scene, and it seems Kato is the center of attention. Since his marriage to Makoto won’t be decided for nearly another month, in Episode 25, it’s more likely this is his birthday.

  

Kato’s attention is drawn to Sawamura, who is sitting alone at the end of the table, looking at photos of their fallen comrades posted on the board. Shinohara and Nemoto cheer him up and he joins them for dinner. Kiryu says that while they’re traveling, people back home are waiting for their return, fighting the always increasing fear of impending extinction.

[LC]: Dead-Man Walking moment. As you know, the pilot behind Shinohara is Mikio Nemoto. Since he was confirmed dead in the opening scenes of Episode 25, we can safely assume he will not survive the events of this movie. The photos we see on the board show Sugiyama (killed at Pluto), Daikuhara, Kobashi and an unnamed pilot (all killed at the Rainbow Star Cluster battle). The curious detail here is that in the original series, Sugiyama and Nemoto were part of the away team that invaded the Gamilas base on Pluto in search of the Reflex Gun. As we commented back in Episode 6, both died in the incursion. Thus, Nemoto surviving this long is quite a feat.

 

In the main lab, a visibly annoyed Niimi looks at the duty roster which shows that a certain officer is already 7 minutes late for her shift. Said officer is still recording her log, saying that everyone on board continues to carry out their daily duties and they’ll do all in their power to accomplish the mission. Not just for their families and loved one waiting back home, but also for their fallen shipmates.

[LC]: Mel Brooks famously said “It’s good to be the king.” Aboard Yamato not so much, at least not in Niimi’s case. She has to pull a 10-hour shift while Kiryu only has to do 8 hours. Maybe this is payback for her stint as a mutineer…

  

We see a photo of Kiryu in her school uniform, standing between her father and Hajime Saito, both in uniform and smiling. A memory long passed, stored alongside a few others, including some photos of the WWII battleship Yamato and the Amazon river. Kiryu concludes her log, saying that her days are spent in the lab, analyzing alien languages with Lt. Niimi.

[LC]: Just in case someone missed the connection, Izubuchi slaps us in the face with this photo of Mikage with both her dad and Saito. The photo we saw before is also among her belongings.

Nothing on this shelf is there just to fill the shot. Everything plays into the events we’ll witness later. From her photos with her mom in the Amazon forest to photos of the IJN Yamato, all will fit into the story.

The last image on the wall shows one of the many versions of the Tree of Life. More specifically, an illustration made by Oluf Olufsen Bagge showing Yggdrasil, the mythical tree that connects the nine worlds in Norse cosmology. This, along with the previous elements, will come into play later on.

[DG]: The photos of the Japanese Battleship Yamato are two of the few photographs recovered in the real world. The bottom one was taken on September 20, 1941 at Kure Naval Yards while it was being fitted out. The top one was taken a month to the day later during sea trials, and was the first-ever photo published of the ship.

There is a number of noteworthy things about the photo of Mikage, her father, and Saito. First, the elder Kiryu’s rank chevrons show a JGSDF’s Sergeant-Major’s rank, however Saito’s look to be the equivalent of a Sergeant first-class.

Secondly, Mikage looks to be dressed in a winter middle-school uniform, suggesting that the latest this photo could have been taken was April 2195, assuming Mikage graduated high school in 2198 and this was her middle school graduation, it would have been April 2195, which would explain the difference in rank in the uniforms from what we see in the preamble. The only question left is whether this photo was taken in an underground city or on the surface. I lean toward the former, since bombing started in 2193.

  

The language analysis team intends to create a rudimentary translation device to make friendly contact with any aliens they encounter. Just as Kiryu ends the recording, the wall phone rings, startling her and causing her to bump her head in the upper bunk bed. Rubbing her head, she answers. The easily recognizable voice of Lt. Niimi comes through the line, asking her if she knows what time it is. A look of realization washes over her.

[LC]: With all the info the Garmillas provided, and given they already have an instant translation device, that doesn’t seem like much of a task…

There’s a strange modification in this shot. In the theatrical release, Kiryu’s forehead was “shaded” with straight lines, a visual gag usually used to show a character’s embarrassment. At least they didn’t add an oversized drop of sweat… XD Perhaps they thought it looked a bit too cartoony and decided to tone it down. Although some shows use such visual gags often, Yamato was never prone to using them. So, as cute as it looked, it was somewhat out of place. (click the image for a comparison shot)

Wow… Time aboard Yamato actually moves really fast. This sequence where we see Kiryu lying in bed and getting up to answer the phone seems to be in real time. But we go from having a clock showing 09:10 to 09:12 in the 15 seconds the scene lasts.

 

In the corridor, Sawamura seems to be in better spirits as he and his comrades head to the mess hall. Kiryu gets into uniform as quickly as possible to get to work. As Sawamura hops down the corridor he turns to call his friends just as Kiryu grabs her scrunchy and heads for the door.

[LC]: Keeping day and night straight aboard a spaceship must be somewhat difficult since they don’t exist in the traditional sense. The only reference you have are the ship’s clocks to keep you straight. With that in mind, the translation of Sawamura’s dialogue as presented in the subtitles is a bit off. The subtitles have him say dinner, but according to what we saw in the previous shots, current time is 0912 hours. (9:12 AM in civilian lingo.) So it’s time for breakfast, rather than dinner. Japanese for dinner is “Banmeshi” (晩飯), the literal translation of which would be Night (Ban) Food (Meshi). “Meshi” () is the term Sawamura uses, which means he’s saying simply “food.” Why the translation staff chose to go with dinner instead of breakfast – “Asameshi” (朝飯) – is beyond me, since they could have gone either way. Just pay attention to the local time, next time…

[DG]: Maybe they’re on the night shift. If they were, then their dinner time would be in the morning. Also, interesting that Sawamura hasn’t cleaned his face markings off while the others all have.

 

Sawamura stops just as the door to his right opens and Kiryu runs right into him, sending both of them to the ground. Kiryu gets back on her feet and tells Sawamura she wishes she had free time like him, before bolting off to the technical section.

 

Shinohara says the incident would’ve been cuter if she was “eating a piece of toast.” Nemoto steps forward and identifies her as “Mikage Kiryu, Technical Division ace, personally scouted by miss Niimi and a linguistic in the making.” Shino compliments Nemoto for his in-depth knowledge. Sawamura, however is not impressed, angrily stating that she’s not cute.

[LC]: For the novice or inattentive anime consumer, Shino’s line might sound nonsensical. But otaku see right through it and have a LMFAO moment. The “eating a piece of toast” thing refers to what has become a common trope in anime. This trope is discussed in more detail here, but the scene checks all the required boxes. Shinohara came as close as anyone in 2199 of breaking the 4th wall.

[DG]: Nice to see anime tropes survive another 180+ years.

This scene also lights the fuse to the Belligerent Sexual Tension trope, in that Sawamura and Kiryu’s relationship starts in this rather bumpy fashion with both appearing to dislike each other, only to slowly become friends during the adventure they’ll soon embark on. Although they don’t go as far as actually falling in love – at least not from what we’re shown in this movie – they do end up as friends.

As a final note, although they thought the traditional anime thingies looked too cartoony on Kiryu, they still went with it on Sawamura. No, that red mark is not painted in his hand, it’s there just for effect and to convey his absolute anger. XD

 

On the main bridge, Nanbu is standing next to Kitano at the gunnery station, looking at the large display showing the “D.W.I.R.D. Disarmament Condition Monitor.” It shows a graphic of what used to be the Wave-Motion Gun and its connections to the Wave-Motion Engine, now all marked “Sealed.” Nanbu wonders if it was a good idea to disassemble the Wave-Motion Gun. Kitano tells him he’s being paranoid and that thanks to the treaty mediated by Starsha they don’t expect any problems.

[DG]: I thought Nanbu would have gotten over the whole obsession with the WMG at Garmillas.

[LC]: The acronym “D.W.I.R.D.” obviously refers to the technical name of the device we lovingly know simply as Wave-Motion Gun. As you might recall from Niimi’s presentation back in episode 3, the weapon is actually called “Dimensional Wave-Motion Implosion Radiation Emitter (or in some instances “Device,” as on this monitor).

 

When asked if she agrees with him, Ishikawa awkwardly nods her head to Kitano. Nanbu resigns himself to the idea and hopes they’re right. As we see the sealed Wave-Motion Gun control trigger system, Nanbu says that now, whatever happens, they’ll have to make do without it.

 

We see a closeup of the plug currently fitted to the ship’s bow, blocking the Wave-Motion Gun’s firing gate, and the plaque displaying the basis of the Earth/Iscandar/Garmillas treaty can be read. The camera pans up from Yamato‘s bow to the captain’s cabin, above the main bridge.

[LC]: The plaque translates as follows:

Timed Wave-Motion Implosion Emission Device

EMISSION PORT SEAL CAP

・Emission port can be entered from the interior access door for inspection
・Refer to provisional T.O. [Technical Order] i-16 class A for maintenance.
________________________________________________________

WARNING

This seal plug was installed by Earth-Iscandar
as a provision of the Earth-Garmillas peace treaty.
Unauthorized release is punishable by Earth law.


[DG]: Not that the provisions relating to Wave-Motion Gun technology in this treaty are worth the alloy this warning is printed on.

 

Okita is sitting in his chair, looking out into space, listening to a vinyl record. There’s a knock on the door and Kodai announces himself before coming in. He salutes the captain, his attention drawn to the old record player. He asks the captain if he shouldn’t be in bed and Okita replies that he’s feeling good today.

 

He asks Kodai why he’s there. Kodai says he’s not there on any particular official business. Okita smiles. As the captain prepares him a cup of tea, Kodai asks about the music playing. Okita says it was originally a German folk song and that there’s a version with Japanese lyrics. He tells him the song is about friends who part, hoping they’ll be reunited.

[LC]: Yes, that is Akira Miyagawa’s name on the record’s sleeve. The track is called Muss I Denn and was actually released on CD-single format, with the sleeve replicating what is seen on screen. It was an exclusive for top-price ticket holders who attended Yamato 2199 Concert 2015, a cool piece of merchandise. More information about Muss I Denn and its origins can be found in the Yamato 2199 Discography.

[DG]: Nice little fourth-wall breakage here with Muss I Denn’s presence. Shame they didn’t release it on vinyl in the real world. Meanwhile, I’m kind of amazed that vinyl records are still around in 2199.

 

Okita says partings are difficult, but people always meet again. Kodai says he recently had a reunion, too. Okita is surprised as he says that it took place on Iscandar and it turned out to be a final farewell. Realizing he is talking about Mamoru, Okita remains silent as his young lieutenant continues. Kodai says that even if it was just a video, he’s glad he got to see it, learning how his brother lived and cared for others and what his parting words would be.

 

Okita recalls that the first time he met Mamoru he must have been about the same age Susumu is now. As he puts the vinyl record into its sleeve, Okita says he wishes Mamoru could have served aboard Yamato with them. He says it’s the strangest thing but he feels like Mamoru is still there. Kodai says he feels it, too.

[LC]: Although this wasn’t addressed in the series until Episode 26, we can assume that Mamoru’s been roaming the halls since the Cosmo Reverser – and by extension himself – was brought on board. So Okita’s remark is truer than he realizes. Wonder if the elder Kodai has already started popping into his dreams at this point…

[DG]: It poses the question, had Mamoru and Yukikaze returned to Earth and had he taken his place aboard Yamato, would Susumu have boarded as well, and in what role? In retrospect, it also leads me to believe that Mamoru would have been Okita’s first choice as Tactical Officer, and that the Tactical Officer who perished in the Polmeria attack on the bunker near Yamato might have been Mamoru’s backup.

I do believe it was established early in the series that Kodai and Shima were brought on board, along with other less experienced crew members, due to the loss of the main staff in the Polmeria‘s attack. Okita only considered the two for the crew after returning from Pluto and Kodai’s angry introduction. Losing Mamoru made the guy you mention climb up the ladder, so someone had to take his place. Kodai would probably be at Nanbu’s station. But fate – and a Garmillan positron beam – interfered, and the rest is history.

 

Kodai tells Okita he’d be interested in hearing the version with Japanese lyrics Okita mentioned. Jokingly, Okita says he might put a request for it on Misaki’s radio show. Kodai says that’s a great idea, and both break out laughing.

[LC]: 2199 improved a lot of stuff about Okita but this scene features two of the biggest changes. First, he doesn’t have his hat on, which in the original seemed to be super glued to his head. And second… look at the good captain smile. Something he got to do a lot more in 2199 than the original.

[DG]: Overall, this is one of my favorite scenes in the Yamato 2199 universe to date, given that it was Tokugawa (rather than Kodai) drinking with Okita at the line-crossing meant that an important bonding scene between the two had not occurred. Ark now takes a few minutes to rectify that. I don’t recall Okita and Kodai ever having the opportunity to share a laugh in the original, so this was a nice touch.

I hope that Kodai did get to stop by occasionally on the trip back, off-camera.

Well, we do see him in Okita’s cabin during Yuria’s broadcast at the start of Episode 25. We can assume he kept his word and visited the captain regularly.

 

Just then, Makoto announces her and Dr.Sado’s arrival. They come in and are surprised to see Kodai. He stands up and says he’ll be going. Okita tells him to come by and visit again. Kodai says he will. Smiling, Sado tells Okita the two look like father and son. A surprised Okita asks if he really thinks so.

[DG]: Sado’s observation of the relationship between the two seems quite accurate. It was in the original too, but this gives it a much more cordial nature than the original implied.

  

In the main lobby, Akira Yamamoto is waiting for the elevator, looking at her pendant and reminiscing about her brother. The door opens, and for a moment she sees Akio standing before her. The vision of her brother is replaced by Kodai. Embarrassed, Yamamoto steps back. The two sit in the lobby and Yamamoto tells Kodai she’s been thinking about her brother. Kodai says he’s been doing the same with his own. She begins to ask about Mamoru’s time on Iscandar, but stops. She looks at him and a smiling Kodai tells her having a sibling is a great thing. She concurs.

[DG]: Hmm. Projecting Akio onto Kodai. Just coincidence, or does Akira have a brother complex? Kodai is as clueless as ever in this scene.

 

Kodai looks to the side, his attention caught by someone approaching. Yamamoto looks down the corridor and is horrified when she sees Shima. He asks the two why they’re hanging out there. Kodai tells him he’s off-shift at the moment.

[LC]: I get this scene with her and Kodai was a way to do what they never got around to in the series, slowly returning to the relationship they had early in the series, which faded out after the events of Episode 11. They had a couple of moments in the later episodes but never got a scene where we actually saw them being friends again. As for Yamamoto’s crush on Kodai, they should have left it out. It was a silly thing to begin with, and should have been left to die. But at least it provides a good primer for some Shima antics and justifies her awkwardness (no to say full blown jealousy) later on.

 

Yamamoto tries to edge away from Kodai, but Shima notices her embarrassment and decides to make it worse. They have some free time, so he takes his camera out of his pocket and starts snapping away.

[DG]: Akira’s sudden bashfulness at being caught with Kodai (and Shima knowing exactly why) is priceless. Of course, when Yuki shows up, everything goes south for her. Poor girl.

  

Finally at her station, Kiryu is busy analyzing language files extracted from a Garmillan multi-language translator. She’s now starting the routine to translate Gatlantean to Jirellan. Niimi tells her she’s as fast as ever. Kiryu says she has also memorized it, so she’ll be able to use it in an emergency.

[LC]: The device is labeled “Garmillan Multi-language Translator.” I’m assuming this is the same as those we saw attached to a user’s neck in 2199, although this one looks different somehow. Maybe it’s just the plastic bag or the fact that we never got to actually see one up close.

[DG]: Interesting that Iscandar is spelled correctly for the English language here, but with Jirel, it’s spelled “Zirel.” Is it the intent that the planet’s name is Zirel from the perspective of the English language? For those not familiar with the structure of Japanese syllabary, what would logically be “zi” is actually pronounced “ji” (as an aside, this is also true for the syllable “di”).

They have gone to the trouble of ensuring Jirellian, Iscandarian, and Garmillan scripts are all on-screen here.

One of the windows on the screen has the header “Garmillan Linguistic Family. Western Hemisphere Highland Pormelic” (as per the English subtitles). The actual Japanese writing for that last word is in katakana and reads “Pormelia.” I assume that must be the name of a region of Garmillas. Must also be an important region, since they gave its name to a ship class.

[DG]: Ironically, a ship class that was designed by a subjugated world, as per your own Episode 2 comment.

 

Floating in the darkness, a large purple carrier shows the scars of a recent battle. It’s the Lambea, part of General Domel’s fleet in his desperate last attempt to destroy Yamato at the Rainbow Star Cluster. She was last seen disappearing into stormy gas clouds after taking several hits from Yamato. The Garlent-class heavy bomber, which launched the “Drill Missile” and was shot down by Yamamoto, sits damaged on the upper deck. The holographic message of a girl we might believe to be Kiryu, if not for her blue skin, plays in a darkened room. Fomto Berger, one of Domel’s trusted commanders, looks at her as she says her assignment has just arrived and that she’s been assigned to the same unit as him.

[DG]: Hmm. I know establishing the similarity between Melia and Mikage is important, but did it have to go right down to scrunchies?

[LC]: Not to mention using the exact same animation from just a few shots earlier. I mean, it’s exactly the same. This must have been traced from the art used to animate Kiryu earlier, just changing the character’s clothing and painting her skin blue.

  

Addressing the girl, who he calls Melia, Berger says he survived again. Melia says they’ll always be together. A young boy named Milt Evans runs down the narrow corridors filled with tired crewmen. Melia is asking Berger to go see Koronarl at night with her sister. There’s a buzzing at the door and Berger turns off the recording. The boy says he has a message, addressing him as acting-captain. Berger says “major” is fine and Milt tells him his presence is requested on the bridge.

[LC]: When he first appeared in one of the movie’s teaser trailers, the fact that Fomto Berger had survived the battle of the Rainbow Star Cluster was quite a surprise and a welcome plot twist. I’ll say it in advance that after seeing this movie I was glad they went with it. Hopefully the potential of Berger’s character will bring him back in the future.

[DG]: I really don’t understand why they would have taken a boy that young into battle – he’s clearly nowhere near what we would consider legal enlistment age. I know that Domel was left with “children and old men” to man his fleet, but that’s taking it a little far.

Some of the crew we saw back in Episode 19 seemed pretty young. They are used primarily as servants and messengers. Also, Milt might be at least 12 years old, or at least older than his design makes him look. The use of children in real world wars for such tasks was a reality. Their use in this particular instance came from absolute necessity. There simply wasn’t anyone else, aside Gimleh’s forces. But he wasn’t going to give those up. It was either this or allowing Yamato to fly in unchallenged.

 

The Garlent is pushed overboard and floats away into the distance. Its crewmen sob as they witness this, with Vance Baren among them. Milt tells Baren he brought Berger. Baren apologizes for making him go to the bridge but the intercom is down. He says Lambea is showing her age, much like him and his men. He thanks Milt, who hails Dessler and leaves.

[LC]: We must now address the big purple-ish elephant parked right in middle of the living room. From all evidence, this scene is happening now, at roughly the same time what we’ve just seen aboard Yamato. Now let’s examine what we see in these scenes.

Lambea is limping through space, undergoing repairs to the severe damage inflicted by Yamato in the Rainbow Star Cluster, with the crippled Garlent landed in its upper deck. The crew is still recovering from their ordeal, Berger is still uncomfortable with his new role as ship’s captain, and still mourning the death of his friends. From all intents and purposes, it’s as if they just left the battlefield. This wouldn’t look out of place if it was shown in Episode 21, in the aftermath of the great battle of the Rainbow Star Cluster. There’s just one problem. This isn’t Episode 21 and at this point in the timeline the battle of the Rainbow Star Cluster took place nearly three months ago.

How is it then, that it seems as if it just happened for these characters? As we usually do when we encounter this kind of situation during our commentaries, we will provide you with two separate explanations. The “real world explanation” – which unfortunately tends to be the same most of the time – and the “in-universe explanation.” Although both are mere assumptions on our part, they are based on whatever information we have available to us. So, as usual, take them with a grain of salt and feel free to disregard or accept them at will.

The main “real world explanation” comes down to something we’ve already discussed in previous commentaries and which plagued 2199 from the start: the apparent inability to keep a coherent timeline. We’ve had several instances during the overall story where events seem to happen when the plot requires them to, even if they’re way off within the timeline. I like to call this kind of disregard for coherent timeline over plot “The Empire Strikes Back Syndrome.” Come on, you know what I’m talking about. Star Wars Episode V is beloved by many – me included – but if you look at it from a timeline perspective, it’s also incredibly messed up. We’re shown two different main storylines that supposedly happen at the same time. But one should only be a few days long while the other should be weeks or even months. Come on!!! Luke finds Dagobah and Master Yoda, trains in the ways of the Jedi and becomes somewhat proficient in them. All that while the Millennium Falcon flees Hoth, evades the Empire’s fleet and reaches Bespin!!! Really?! Sorry, I digress. But you get the point. So, that is basically what happens here. Plot convenience needs the Lambea, Berger and its crew here and now. Timeline?! Screw that. It’s not as if they’ve been keeping track of it, anyway. That’s what we’re here for. XDDD

 

Berger asks Baren what’s up and Baren reports they’ve received an order from the Main Fleet to come to a halt. Berger scoffs at the idea but Baren reminds him that, with the captain dead, he is the ranking officer aboard. He asks for his orders and if they should stop.

Now for the “in-universe explanation.” Although not a single line of dialogue offers any explanation for the timeline disparity, there is a relatively simple one offered in Episode 19. Shima makes a brief presentation of a few of the dangers that they risk if they venture inside the Tarantula Nebula, of which the Rainbow Star Cluster is a part. Two of these dangers are relevant to our explanation: collapsing stars and relativistic jets. Both terms are usually connected to phenomenae which can mess with relativity and, by definition, time itself. We’ve all read or seen stories which deal with such effects, from classic anime Gunbuster to blockbuster movies like Interstellar. Although Shima didn’t mention any black holes, the things he described are still capable of producing time dilation effects.

So, as I see it, this is what happened. Let’s go back to Episode 20, as Garlent successfully plants the Drill Missile into Yamato‘s Wave-Motion Gun. Yamamoto hits the bomber, which disappears under the clouds. But they manage to keep the stricken plane under control and head back to the main fleet, staying under cloud cover to avoid more enemy fire. Moving forward, as Berger witnesses the destruction of Darold and Schderg from Lambea‘s bridge, the carrier comes under fire from Yamato and loses navigation control, sinking beneath the clouds. Obviously, they manage to avoid destruction, either by luck or skill. Which one, we’ll never really know. Berger can only bear witness as Domelaze herself is sunk and Domel’s final gamble fails. There’s nothing he can do but watch the damaged but very much alive Yamato fly away.

Garlent finally makes its way to Lambea, glad they have somewhere to go back to. They manage to crash-land on the carrier’s upper deck. With captain Baster killed in the fray, Berger is thrust into the role of commanding officer of a crippled ship, approaching the danger zone of the collapsing green star that gives the sector its name. Everyone aboard is tasked with repairing the critical systems required to escape. They eventually manage to do so, but not before they’ve spent several hours in close proximity to the star with no way to calculate the relative time differential. Leaving the green star behind, they make way to open space. They hope to be able to contact fleet command and request assistance, since their Geschtam Drive is beyond repair. As they do so, time index update confirms what Berger feared. Though just a couple of days passed for him and his crew, the universe outside the influence of the green star went on without them. Over three months have gone by, and for the Garmillas Empire, the battle of the Rainbow Star Cluster is nothing more than a memory amidst the turmoil of the events that came after it. Events where the target of Berger’s hate, the despicable Yamato, took center stage. And now, he’s expected to play nice and make peace with it…

I know my depiction of probable events took a turn into the realm of fan-fiction, but at least it brings the events seen in the movie in line with the proper timeline. It sure helps me accept this plot hole a lot better. Hope it helps you, too.

 

Defiant, Berger says they’ll ignore them. Baren asks if he’s sure, since the orders came from the Gelvades-class battlecarrier Mirangal. This brings Berger down to earth as a look of recognition washes over his face. He asks, “From her ship, huh?”

 

Soon after, a small fleet has caught up with Lambea. Mirangal, the striking red, white and black Gelvades-class battlecarrier, is now alongside it. An SDG61-L transport boat makes its way from the Mirangal‘s rear pad to the Lambea‘s upper deck.

[DG]: Interesting that of three known Gelvades-class ships, two of them are in the same flotilla.

 

An announcement blares on the corridors, declaring that the inertial control has been restored and repair crews can now work with their magnetic shoes turned off. Milt tip-toes around the sleeping crewmen that still litter the corridor, making his way to Berger’s quarters. Inside, Berger slams his fist against the wall, saying he doesn’t care what the top brass has decided and that he can’t follow their orders after “all they’ve done.” Before him stands Neredia Rikke, the captain of the Mirangal, a female officer as striking as her ship.

[DG]: I wonder if they were made aware of why the ceasefire with Yamato came about. Maybe Berger would change his tune if he was aware they saved millions of lives on the homeworld. Probably not, given his rashness, grief, and anger, but it would be worth a try.

 

She insists any attacks against Yamato are forbidden, and that’s an order. Berger asks her who could obey an order like that. Milt arrives, bringing them a tray with tea. Berger calms down but maintains he can’t accept the order. Neredia takes a cup and thanks Milt. He’s so taken aback by her that Berger has to nod for him to leave.

 

Berger continues, saying he wants to destroy Yamato personally and make them pay for killing General Domel and his friends. So vigorous is Berger in claiming revenge he ends up spilling his tea and scalding his hand. Amused, Neredia says he’s still the same old foolish man. Berger says he was born that way.

[LC]: I like how they keep the vibe between Berger and Neredia away from any hint of romance. We realize they’ve known each other for a long time, but also realize they were never anything more than just friends. Good thing they played it like this, as it makes the later reveal of their past of friendship and ultimate tragedy all the more poignant.

 

In the bridge, Baren asks Milt about Berger, who tells him the Major was livid. Baren had no doubts about that. Milt says he thinks the captain of the Mirangal is very pretty and Baren calls her “Little Miss Neredia,” much to Milt’s confusion.

  

Neredia asks Berger if he wants to start a war with a crew of nothing more than old-timers and child soldiers. Berger says he does, since he can’t reconcile with the Terrons, who killed his friends and his respected commander. With a serious expression on her face, Neredia says it’s the same as when he got “that,” gesturing to the scar on his face. Berger stops dead in his tracks at the mention of such an event, visibly distraught by the memories that Neredia just stirred inside him.

[DG]: That’s a very raw nerve for Neredia to hit, but if there’s any other person in the galaxy who has the right to hit that nerve, it’s her.

[LC]: Yeah. And a nice way to start peeling back the layers of their story. We realize something happened in the past, something that is related to the events that scarred Berger’s face and also marked Neredia in some way. They were friends, but something happened. And whatever it was, Neredia is still bitter, even after all this time. Much like Berger’s face, their friendship was also scarred for life.

 

Breaking the silence, with a smile back on her face, Neredia says they should leave that sector as soon as possible. She says a witch lives there. Jokingly, Berger wonders if she’s talking about someone who entices old sailors with her beautiful voice and gobbles their souls.

[DG]: Berger’s talking about a siren rather than a witch, but you get the gist.

[LC]: That Berger feels uneasy around her but can still be playful in the way we see here is really a testament to how good a friendship they had.

 

Again, in a very serious tone, Neredia says countless ships have vanished from those coordinates. Berger dismisses it all as superstitious nonsense. Just as he utters those words, he hears an eerie voice singing a mysterious song. He looks around, as if trying to figure out where the voice is coming from. He calls the bridge and asks them why they’re playing the song over the intercom.

 

The bridge says no song is playing. Unseen by Berger, his cup resonates, rings forming in the tea inside it. Confused, Berger asks what is that singing. A confused Neredia says she doesn’t hear any singing. She calls out to Fomto as his mind is swept away, among the red hue of emergency lights and the blaring of the ship’s alarms. Before he knows it, Berger is in darkness.

[LC]: Did they bring Hideaki Anno in to direct this scene? Some of the camera angles and lens effects are straight out of his work.

Those with a finely-tuned ear and knowledge of Yamato 2199‘s music will immediately recognize the eerie music Berger hears. We heard it back in Episode 14 during Mirenel’s psychic incursion. And this is not a case of reusing a track because it fits. Nope, the use of this particular track ties in directly to the story. Well played (pardon the pun).

  

Yuki is alone in Yamato’s rear observation deck, looking at the colorful Tarantula Nebula. As the door opens, she turns with a smile on her face. Shima comes in, followed by Yamamoto and Kodai, and asks if she was waiting for someone. Kodai steps forward, saying hi and revealing he was going to meet her there. Yamamoto is startled by this while Yuki simply smiles back at him.

[LC]: From Kodai’s reaction, we get the feeling he forgot Yuki was waiting for him. Did he set up date with Yuki and get side tracked?! Typical Kodai. XD.

  

They put Shima’s camera to use and take a few photos. First one of Shima and the two girls, then Kodai and Yamamoto – each looking more awkward than the other – and finally Kodai and Yuki. Kodai puts his hand on her shoulder and she playfully pinches him, producing a photo for the ages.

[DG]: A nice little addition – one iconic scene from the original that was implied in the series but never seen until now.

When posing, Kodai looks like he’s not getting nearly enough fiber in his diet.

[LC]: Yeah, Shima is all relaxed and chummy while Kodai is just stiff and awkward. I like that he poses with both girls in the same way, but loosens up by Yuki’s side. Unfortunately for him, she puts up a fight. Funny detail: she didn’t do it to Shima, even though he did pretty much the same. And paradoxically enough, her reaction to Kodai’s move is the one that shows more feeling. Ah, love… go figure! XD

 

Kodai says that was mean. She tells him not to be such a baby and it’ll make some memories. Shima suggests the two girls take one together. Although Yuki seems thrilled at the prospect, Yamamoto is less than pleased, something that is very visible in the finished photo.

[DG]: Kodai’s like a nervous teenage boy, Yuki a bashful teenager (which she technically is), Shima’s acting like a player, and poor old Akira looks like she wants to be anywhere in the universe but here.

[LC]: I can’t help but laugh every time I see this shot. Yamamoto is really bad at hiding her emotions. XD And Yuki, in a Kodai-esque way, seems to be oblivious to her jealous streak.

Which is kind of odd, when you consider she was well aware of it back in Episode 15.

 

Unfortunately there’s no time for such considerations, as the ship is rocked by a violent explosion that sends them all to the ground. A squadron of fighters breaks off their attack as a second one fires its missiles at Yamato.

[DG]: Wow. Kodai’s saved from any further socially oblivious behavior by a timely explosion.

  

A barrage of special rounds is fired. On detonation, they release a spread of projectiles that rains on the enemy missiles and fighters, obliterating them.

[DG]: Here, the shells being fired by Yamato represent the real-world Type-3 shells that the battleship Yamato carried; anti-aircraft rounds that disperse shrapnel upon detonation.

 

Nanbu is quite pleased with the result as Kodai enters the bridge, followed by Yuki and Shima. Kodai asks who gave the order to fire and Nanbu assumes responsibility, since the XO wasn’t on the bridge. Kodai asks if the ships are Garmillan but Ichikawa says that she hailed them using standard Garmillan codes and got no reply.

 

Saijo reports contacts on the radar, at least five large vessels. The surviving attack squadron is making its approach to this fleet, spearheaded by Kiska, a Gatlantean Nazca-class carrier. On the bridge, the captain is informed their target has been identified as the Terron vessel Yamatte. Captain Parakas is pleased that they’ve struck “the first spear” and orders his men to transmit visuals to the Megaluda, the battleship that laid waste to the Garmillas fleet earlier.

[LC]: The three main types of Gatlantean ships went through some redesigns from their early use in Yamato 2199, back in Episode 11. Not just a 3D upgrade, since the ones seen in that episode were all hand drawn, but also in terms of detail and size. The Nazca-class carrier was 490 meters long and is now re-scaled to 334 meters. The major design difference from the original series incarnation, which was already done for Episode 11, is that they moved the command super-structure from port to starboard.

The Lascaux-class cruiser seen in Episode 11 was 285 meters long, while the 3D version is re-scaled to 240 meters. The Kukulkan-class destroyer is the only one that maintains the same length, at 190 meters.

All 3 ships were released in the Mecha Collection model line, but in their Episode 11 designs. So far, only the Kizca carrier got a proper release in the main line and with its new design. Hopefully, the rest will follow suit during Yamato 2202‘s run.

 

The fleet commander, Goran Dagarm, is pleased to have found the notorious Terron ship and claims the gods have sent it their way. He and his crew laugh loudly at the prospect of battle, around a control console upon which a veritable feast has been laid.

[DG]: We see inside the Megaluda for the first time. It looks, as the Garmillans referred to the Gatlanteans, extremely barbaric, like something straight out of Conan the Barbarian.

 

Dagarm empties his cup and says he will steal the gun Yamato used to annihilate Garmillas, and present it to His Great Imperial Majesty. The food is thrown aside and the holographic display beneath it is activated as the crew cheers, claiming victory for Dagarm and glory to their clan.

[DG]: Back when I saw the movie at the cinemas in Tokyo back in 2014, it was suggested that from an Earth history perspective, the Gatlanteans looked to be analogous to the Mongol Empire.

[LC]: One can also draw some comparisons to Star Trek’s Klingons. The similarities are simply too many to dismiss the influence. Savage, ruthless, they seem to be divided in clans and, as we’ll see later on, they’re not above killing each other on the spot if they find cause.

So their ceremonial drums… are they beating them with actual bones, or is it just made to look that way?

From what we see in this movie, I’d venture a guess that they are real. Remember that in the original, General Goland was seen hunting some type of dinosaur. Given how much more blood-thirsty they seem to be in this version, big game hunting must be a common occurrence. Or maybe they like to do a more specialized hunting, much like warden Bozen in planet Leptapoda’s prison. I wouldn’t put it past the Gatlanteans.

 

The sound of drums echoes loudly as the entire fleet warps to Yamato‘s location. Bursts of energy, like geysers in space, reveal more and more arriving Gatlantean ships. Saijo reports their arrival to an increasingly worried Kodai, just as the Megaluda herself comes out of warp.

[LC]: Those are some violent warp-outs. Even with state of the art inertial dampening systems, I think they would find it hard to keep standing or their lunches down. Fortunately, this has been toned down in Yamato 2202.

  

Kodai quickly concludes that’s the enemy’s main force. Just then, Ishikawa reports their commanding officer is hailing them in a video transmission. Shima utters that it’s a first contact situation. Unphased, Kodai tells Ichikawa to put him up on the main video panel.

 

Goran Dagarm’s scarred face fills the video panel. In his native tongue, he suggests they hear him closely, in the name of His Great Imperial Majesty. Ichikawa gets a language match on the system, identifying them as Gatlantean. A quick switch allows the rest of the transmission to be translated automatically.

[LC]: Ah, the classic big villain face in the main video panel shot. I think this is the first time they did it in this new incarnation of Yamato. And they couldn’t pick a better guy to do it with.

 

Dagarm identifies himself as Goran “Thunderclap” Dagarm, Chief Commander of the Gatlantean Gutaba Expeditionary Force. Kodai follows suit and presents himself as Yamato‘s Tactical Officer, saying they have no intent to fight and asks that he calls off his attack immediately. Dagarm dismisses Kodai, saying that battle is a warrior’s honor, retreat is the act of a coward, and that there can be no peace. Kodai tries to justify Yamato‘s actions as self-defense against the sudden attack, and that they don’t want any trouble with Gatlantis, just to proceed in their long journey.

[DG]: Given that Mikage was rapidly translating Gatlantean earlier, is it possible that they have already programmed real-time translation into the communications system?

  

Dagarm laughs, much to Kodai’s dismay. He draws his dagger, pointing it defiantly at Kodai. He orders them to surrender to his forces and hand over their ship. Kodai refuses.

[LC]: One thing that seems to be a staple of this new version of the Gatlanteans is their love for blades. Every one of them has at least a knife or dagger, even Sabera. Not to mention the oversized swords. Dagarm in particular seems to enjoy using his dagger to add gravitas to his points..

Dagarm also has the somewhat annoying quirk of describing stuff he is doing. He laughs and says “I laugh!” He’s pissed and says “I’m seething with rage!” Okay, dude, we get it. You’re a drama queen.

 

Again, Dagarm laughs with gusto, pleased that he gets to do battle. “Well said” he responds to Kodai, just before he lunges forward, his eye(s) filling the screen. He says that if that is their wish, he will grant them an honorable death. The transmission ends and screen goes black.

[LC]: Two more nods to the original. Villain laughing – with a mouth as large as his face – and extreme eye close up. Every time I see that particular shot of Dagarm laughing, I can’t help but recall a similar one of Zordar after he destroys the surface of the Moon. Maybe it stuck in my memory because it ended up being used in the Star Blazers Series 2 opening credits.

  

Knowing what’s coming, Kodai orders all hands to battle stations. The Kizka launches its squadrons to strike Yamato, Parakas proudly boasting they will claim their enemy’s head and lift it high for all to see. His crew cheers him on.

[DG]: Did someone say Klingon?

 

Kodai has the ship prepared for battle, but when asked if they should launch the fighters he says no, as the enemy will attack the moment they deploy the Falcons. Sanada comes in just as Kodai gives his orders and seems impressed by the young officer’s command ability. Yuki sees him and is about to surrender the console to him but he gestures for her to stay put. For now he just wants to observe, with an unusual smile in his face.

[DG]: Throughout this scene, so much of Kodai’s leadership ability is emerging – really great to see Sanada hold off alerting Kodai to his presence.

 

Kodai orders Nanbu to ready the mines and that their goal is strictly to defend the ship. Throughout the ship, the crew readies for battle and Yamato‘s weapons are prepared for deployment. Nanbu wishes they could use the Wave-Motion Gun. Kodai asks Hayashi if there are any astronomical bodies in their immediate vicinity.

[LC]: They finally give use to these two things located behind Yamato‘s “smoke stack”. They intended to do so during 2199 but never got around to it. So they didn’t miss the chance. According to production materials, these are “depth charge launchers”, though we must assume the term is only meant to invoke an actual depth charge. Given that depth doesn’t actually exist in space, the charges are probably timed to detonate at a specified location relative to the ship’s virtual horizon. Too fancy?

 

In his cabin, Okita can do nothing more than look out the window and trust his men to get them through this situation. On the Megaluda, Dagarm orders his men to spare any engineers who can serve the empire as science slaves, but all warriors must be killed, even if they’re women.

[DG]: And with this, we get a hint of how Gatlantis got their hands on the Garmillas matter transportation technology…

  

The fleet moves forward, initiating their attack. Saijo reports fighters closing in from 1 o’clock and 7 destroyers closing in from 6 o’clock. Kitano reports they’re ready to engage but Kodai orders him to wait. Just then, Hayashi spots a free-floating planet off their 3 o’clock.

 

Kodai orders the ship hard to starboard and to make for the planet. Nanbu asks if they’re running and with no hint of shame Kodai replies they are. Behind him, Sanada observes and smiles.

[DG]: Kodai directs the battle. Sanada can’t help but grin. At this point he’s not needed on the bridge, and I’m sure he’s being reminded very much of Mamoru right at the moment.

  

As soon as Yamato turns around, the squadrons of pursuing Deathvatators launch their missiles. Yamato‘s rear torpedoes take care of those with some well-aimed mines, destroying the attacking fighters.

[DG]: From this angle, they actually look very reminiscent of Battlestar Galactica’s Cylon Raider fighters.

 

Now they have to deal with the larger ships off their starboard flank. One of the Kukulkan-class destroyers positions itself and fires two quantum torpedoes which impact Yamato‘s underside with deadly force.

[DG]: Okay, I’m now convinced that at least somebody in production design was made aware of Space Battleship Yamato being referred to by some as the Japanese equivalent of Star Trek – and took it literally.

 

Kodai orders the rear guns to open fire, destroying the pursuing ship with a single shot. Kodai orders Hayashi to forward the planet’s data for analysis. Yuki receives the data in the Operations console and starts analyzing it. With the remaining enemy ships closing, Kodai has the Wave-Motion Barrier raised. Sanada remains still throughout the proceedings.

 

Yamato approaches the dimly lit planet Kapadokia as the Megaluda turns around and prepares to fire its main gun, which they dub the “Firestorm Direct Strike Gun.” Dagarm observes as Yamato approaches the planet, saying it won’t help them.

[DG]: Dagarm seemed hell-bent on capturing Yamato and taking any scientists prisoner just moments ago. Does he really plan to blow his prize up this soon?

[LC]: If you look closely at the targeting monitor, Yamato is never dead center. The gun’s sight is always slightly to the side. He either wanted to cause some damage with a grazing shot or simply scare them into surrendering. Either way, he obviously expected a quick win. Yamato‘s crew will set him straight.

  

The gun’s main body is lowered to its firing position and preparations are made for firing. Relative impact coordinates are calculated and fed to the energy transport jump conduits, as the barrel of the cannon begins to glow. The transport system comes to life, pulsating furiously as the ship’s gunner grips the trigger and locks on the target.

  

Yamato approaches the planet with a Lascaux-class cruiser in hot pursuit. The cruiser lands a couple of shots, but they’re deflected by the Wave-Motion Barrier. On the Megaluda‘s bridge, the allied cruiser is detected within the main gun’s effective firing zone. Dagarm says that Gliade is always in a rush for glory. Mace, his second in command, says that if they wait that’ll throw off the transport coordinates. Coldly, Dagarm says that they won’t wait.

 

Mace is shocked but Dagarm proceeds, telling him to bear witness to the light of Gatlantis, and ordering the main gun to fire. Immediately, the ball of fire that had formed in front of the ship bursts forward and is warped away by the transport conduits.

 

Close to Kapadokia, the Galantean cruiser carries on its attack, just as a bright light announces the arrival of the deadly blast. The ship is engulfed in fire and utterly annihilated. The blast moves on, passing just off Yamato‘s starboard side. As Kodai, Nanbu and the others watch it pass in absolute horror, Hayashi reports the Barrier’s deflection rate is falling and they’ve sustained damage to the hull plating. And that wasn’t even a direct hit.

  

Although surprised by this unexpected turn of events, Kodai doesn’t waste time and orders Saijo to pinpoint the firing location. However, due to the weapon’s unique firing system, she’s unable to do so. Kodai is stunned, looking at the large impact blast on the surface of Kapadokia. Now that his expertise is needed, Sanada finally speaks up, saying that it seems the enemy can attack from outside Yamato‘s firing range. Kodai turns around, surprised to see the XO.

[DG]: The first time I saw this, I was already assuming Sanada was thinking about the possibility of the matter transportation system used by Domel.

[LC]: As we’ll see later on, that might just be the case. Sanada isn’t one to forget stuff that’s been used against them, and the speed with which he devises a way to avoid the weapon’s fire during the final battle tells us that his gears have been grinding for a while.

 

Dagarm’s crew reports that Gliade has been destroyed but Yamato remains intact. Dagarm is pleased to see his quarry is not so easy to kill, making it an even more worthy present to His Majesty.

 

Saijo reports the main enemy fleet is approaching, just as Yuki completes the analysis of the data on Kapadokia. The planet possesses a complex cavity structure. Kodai surmises that if they stay in the open, they’ll be a sitting duck. Sanada agrees and Kodai orders the ship to descend to the planet.

[LC]: When I saw this graphic and heard the planet’s description, my immediate thought went to Telezart. Although this planet’s hollow structure might be due to something very different from the geological processes that gave birth to Telezart and other planets of its system, the similarities can’t be dismissed.

 

Realizing their intent, Dagarm orders the fleet to target Yamato‘s propulsion systems and force them to make a soft landing. Then, they will attack with troops and take over the ship.

[DG]: At least he has a plan. He seems to overestimate his own forces’ abilities, and underestimate Yamato’s.

 

Yamato descends and enters the massive cavern system just as the enemy ships begin their attack. The Gatlantis fleet divides its forces, with the Kukulkans giving chase to Yamato. They pursue it down toward the planet’s lower layers, firing relentlessly.

 

Yamato fires its rear torpedoes, which are intercepted by the Kukulkan‘s guns. But as they emerge from the blast, they’re hit by shock cannon fire and careen into the rock face.

[LC]: In the early trailers, this scene had a simple star field background. Since they’re flying inside a planet’s cave system, the lack of proper backgrounds made it even more distracting than the one in the initial battle. Fortunately, they fixed it in time for the theatrical release. See links to the trailers at the bottom of this page.

  

The Lascaux has remained at a higher level, raining fire from above. Kodai orders Kitano to fire the SAM’s. Though some are intercepted by the enemy’s barrage, three make contact with the lead ship, blowing it to pieces.

[LC]: Kapadokia is probably named after the a region in Turkey called Cappadocia. Aside the name, Cappadocia is also known for its peculiar terrain and rock formations, with some of them resembling the intricate cave structures of Kapadokia.

 

The remaining two Kukulkans position themselves alongside Yamato and try to force it down. Yamato returns fire but several rock pillars take the hit.

[DG]: The Kulkulkan appears to be able to fire multiple beams from the one turret as long as the individual gun ports can focus. Either that or the multiple streams of beam we’re seeing from a single point on the ship is an animation error.

 

One of the Kukulkan‘s blasts hits another of those rock pillars and something strange happens. Something resembling a hive, hidden in the rock and revealed by the blasts, begins glowing and pulsating. From within emerge strange, tentacled creatures of various sizes which immediately swarm toward the battling ships.

[LC]: The creatures are called Medula and use Kapadokia to nest. They’re usually dormant, but when a ship comes into close proximity, they swarm it and drain its energy until the ship is rendered powerless. That’s usually the end for anyone unfortunate enough to come across these creatures.

Not much is revealed in official material about them, probably because this is one of those instances in which the less you know, the better. For example, one can question how often or for how long do they hibernate? It’s doubtful that a planet like Kapadokia is on anyone’s vacation destination list. So we have to wonder how often ships come close enough to be attacked by them and allow them to feed. That Yamato and its pursuers came here was a fluke, doubtful that it will happen again any time soon.

[DG]: The iris-style apertures in the rock almost look mechanical.

As mentioned in Yamato 2199 Report 44, the Medula have some similarities to a creature that is featured in the 1964 Japanese film Space Monster Dogora. You can read more about the movie here.

 

Saijo detects multiple unknown targets approaching, their numbers increasing each second. The creatures catch up with Yamato and begin attaching themselves to the ship’s hull. Analyzer reports that life signs have been detected in the unknown objects and that tendrils are entering through breaches on the hull.

[DG]: Given the exclusion of the Balanodon/Balanosaurus from the 2199 storyline, this is the first (and to date, only time) that Yamato has encountered a living threat to the ship itself.

  

Sanada goes to the operations console and displays the relevant data. Meanwhile, the creatures’ tendrils reach inside the hull to some energy conduits, which they begin to drain. As a result, the creatures’ “heads” begin to swell and glow.

[LC]: Official materials list the Medulas in 3 different categories/sizes, with the smallest measuring 60 meters in length and the larger one 180 meters.

Although they move much like squids and octopi, that motion serves little purpose in the vacuum of space. They can “swim” all they want, but without a medium to push against, they won’t be going anywhere. We can assume then that the motion is more for show and that they have some sort of propulsion system. Unfortunately, none that we can see or is described in production materials. But then again, we knew equally little about the Balanodon.

 

One of the larger creatures latches on to the superstructure, one of its tentacles landing on the bridge windows. Yuki reports the Wave-Motion Barrier is collapsing. Thanks to this, two blasts from the Kukulkan finally hit the target. The larger creature seems to absorb most of the energy off the blast, engorging like the smaller ones attached to the ship’s stern.

  

The main engine output begins to drop. Yamazaki says that at that rate, they’ll soon be dead in the water. Saijo reports the creatures are also latching on to the enemy ships. Indeed, at that moment it seems both Kukulkans are busier firing at the creatures than at Yamato, as they’re slowly being overrun by them. One of the creatures has attached itself directly in front of one of the ship’s guns. As it fires, the creature seems to absorb the blast and rebound it back in. This results in the gun and its hull section to explode.

[LC]: That’s one hell of a defense mechanism. Fire into it and it shoots the beam right back, in this case with deadly results.

 

The other Kukulkan begins to lag behind, as one of the larger creatures prepares to attach to it. After studying the data readouts, Sanada concludes they’re dealing with a space life form with the ability to absorb energy. He tells Kodai that if they don’t do something, the ship will… He stops as he sees Kodai is already ahead of him and issuing orders for Shima to roll the ship and attempt to shake the creatures off. Sanada is pleased to see how much Kodai has grown since they left Earth.

 

Shima rolls the ship, but the creatures manage to hold on. Yamazaki reports the energy drain is already at 80% and that they’ll be dead in the water in just a few minutes. The lagging Kukulkan becomes the first victim of the creatures as it finally succumbs to the energy drain and crashes, exploding in a huge ball of fire. Kodai remains silent for a few seconds but comes up with a plan.

 

He suggests to Sanada that they should do an immediate warp. Nanbu says he’s crazy but Kodai tells him that if they stay there, they’re dead. And if they leave the planet, they’ll be sitting ducks for the enemy weapon. Sanada ponders on Kodai’s idea.

[DG]: Curveball after curveball is being thrown at Kodai, but he’s seeing them as if they’re beachballs and rapidly finding ways to dispatch them out of the park. His quick thinking is setting up well for the rest of the movie as well as the captain we know he’s destined to become.

[LC]: It’s good to see that, as inept as he may be socially, Kodai excels at his job. He definitely has what it takes to be a great captain. And after being under Okita’s command, he’s also leaned to think outside strict military tactics and be inventive. And he’s certainly doing that now.

They had to do this in Ark, since his role in Yamato 2199 differed quite a bit from the original series. In that, he was put in command of the ship as deputy captain when Okita felt he no longer could command full time. But in 2199, which presented the crew in a more structured way, with a proper military hierarchy, Sanada took on that role. Having Kodai jump into the fray and take charge during most of the movie provides a smoother transition to the role he will have in future installments.

 

Yuki says that the dimensional resonance of the warp might dislodge the creatures. Everyone hangs on Sanada’s decision. Finally, he says Kodai is right and they must roll the dice.

[DG]: Assuming this subtitle’s translation is accurate, Yuki’s statement seems somewhat nonsensical. “Since they’re an unknown life form, warp resonance might dislodge them,” as if known life forms would or wouldn’t be? As I mentioned earlier, they haven’t encountered a biological threat before, so there’s no benchmark to compare to whatsoever. This piece of dialogue was rather poor writing. Maybe it would have sounded more convincing coming from Niimi, or with some rationale other than “because it’s an unknown life form.”

  

In the engine room, Tokugawa tells his men to keep the engine spinning at full power, even if they burn out some parts. The main engine powers up and Yamato jolts forward, leaving a blue trail in its wake. As Shima focuses on the task at hand, Yamazaki reports they’ll reach the energy threshold needed for warp in 10 seconds. The ship speeds along the cavern’s floor and the engine spins at full power, energy arcing from the flywheel.

 

Shima grips the helm as the ship approaches the cavern walls, with 5 seconds left on the count. Just before Yamato crashes into it, Shima sends the ship into warp. As it does, the lead creature loosens its grip and swells uncontrollably due to the massive amount of energy around it.

[DG]: Here looks to be the first time we see Yamato or any other ship in this universe warp within anything bordering on a gravity well – a trend we had only seen in the live-action Yamato movie up to this point – as it defies normal sci-fi convention (weird or very bad stuff happens if you try and warp/fold/jump inside a gravity well – case in point, Macross Episode 3).

 

Overloaded with the warp’s energy discharge, the creature explodes. The blast is so big it breaks all the way up to the planet’s surface. The smaller ones, shaken by the subspatial resonance, release Yamato as it warps away from the area.

[LC]: It’s unclear if the explosion is a result of the main Medula overloading and going critical or of the warp itself. But my bet is on former. Still, that’s one huge explosion for a single creature. Mind you, the planet seems to be relatively small, but still…

 

On the Megaluda‘s bridge, as they observe the destruction bellow, a crewman reports the detection of gravity interference waves. He concludes the Terron ship has performed a spatial jump. Dagarm is livid, as he realizes his prey has managed to evade him. Behind him, Mace can’t hide his glee.

[DG]: I love the smugness on his face. Reminiscent of Muttley smirking behind Dick Dastardly’s back. All that’s missing is the snickering.

[LC]: Yeah, Mace is the archetypal lackey that plots against his master in the hopes of getting his job. Unfortunately for him, Dagarm is very much aware of this. And so, beatings like this are probably a recurring thing for him.

 

Though he composes himself as Dagarm turns to him, it’s of little use. Needing to vent his frustration, Dagarm punches his XO in the face, sending him flying. Always willing to vocalize his feelings, Dagarms declares he’s “seething with rage.”

END OF PART ONE

[LC]: And so we come to the end of the first in our three part commentary of Ark of the Stars. Next one will be a doozy, with lots of weird stuff going on. Stick around and we’ll try to make it worth your while.

RELATED LINKS:

Official website of Yamato 2199
Yamato Crew website
Ark of the Stars Teaser 1
Ark of the Stars Teaser 2
Ark of the Stars Trailer 1
Ark of the Stars Trailer 2
Ark of the Stars 9 Minute Preview

2 thoughts on “Ark of the Stars Commentary, Part 1

  1. And another Zoellgut super-dreadnought bites the dust, man was I quite heartbroken when it went down thinking it was the last of its kind… Thankfully it isn’t the case as revealed in Yamato 2202… Still, its a great way to introduce the magma-flame gun and the Gatlantean battleship Megaluda as a brutal force to be reckon with… Sure it’s armor as we see later is quite inferior to the Zoellgut-class dreadnoughts, the Gamilias Battlecarrier, and even its larger successor the Calaklum-class battleship, it still packs a lot of firepower and it’s incredibly versatile…. About that redesign, is it just me, or did they followed the design philosophy of a German pocket battleship? Having very large cannons on a hull with cruiser like armor?

    • Megaluda’s firepower is formidable, but I would think that it is also a bit impractical. From what I can see, all the primary firepower is located at the dorsal bow, meaning that if even an Isokaze-class destroyer managed to sneak up from behind or below and fired a spread of torpedoes, Megaluda would be dead in space! All we need in order to dodge the return fire is pulling a Mamoru run. I’m pretty sure someone else around here knows how to do that while in command of a Kongo-class battleship…

      Did I mess up?

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