Ark of the Stars Commentary, Part 3

by Luis Cotovio and Daniel George

Back up to Part 2

PART THREE

 

Lambea and Neredia’s fleet are anchored to a set of structures similar to the one Yamato found. On the carrier’s bridge, Neredia herself receives a report of the approaching Gatlantean fleet. She’s not pleased by the arrival of the “barbarians.”

[LC]: If after seeing her eyes glow a couple of scenes back, there were still any doubts about Neredia being a doppelganger, this scene took care of that.

So… the Garmillas fleet just detected the Gatlanteans warping into the area. Therefore, we can assume they also detected Yamato‘s arrival. Why didn’t they act on that? Did the Jirellans block their radar or simply take over their ships, like they did with Yamato? Another unanswered question for the list.

[DG]: The spelling of Lambea in the subtitles, “Lambeer,” makes me think of my lunch at the Sapporo Beer Museum back in 2014, only a few days before I saw this movie for the first time. On the menu there was beer and barbecued mutton.

Wanna know something funny (which I forgot to mention back in part 1)? The stencil on Lambea‘s superstructure, written in Garmillan, actually reads “LAMVEA.” Yep, with a V. Considering that even the 1/1000 model box had “Lambea” written in it, I’ll just chalk this one off to a disgruntled shipyard painter. Maybe Lamvea is a bad word in Garmillan! XD.

 

Back at the hotel, everyone is running up the stairs with Niimi struggling to keep up with the rest. They reach the 4th floor and find the staircase that had previously appeared only to Melhi. Suddenly, they hear a gun fire and a scream.

[LC]: Poor Niimi has been skipping her workout. XD

I have to wonder what the plan was here. Over the several days they’ve been stuck in this hotel, they must have gone to the top floor at least once. They have no way of knowing that a new set of stairs has magically appeared. There’s also no reason to think anything changed just because the elevator has worked. The elevator goes above the top floor so for all intents and purposes, they have no reason to do this. Based on their current knowledge, there is no way to go after it.

So why did they come up here? They were just lucky the new staircase was left open. Or that “Neredia” has grown tired of their company and decided to speed things up a bit. I tend to go with the latter since, if you recall, the new staircase was gone again after Melhi disappeared. So someone had to open it again for them to find.

Niimi is probably not happy these stairs are here. She barely made it up four flights, and now they have to climb eight more. Why the extra floor? Remember that Kiryu climbed another floor to reach the bridge after leaving the elevator at the 11th floor. This is assuming they have to climb as high as the elevator went. Remember, it’s all an illusion, so that isn’t as straightforward as we might think…

[DG]: Four people standing around a staircase that shouldn’t logically be there. Reminds me of the original Ghostbusters: “Where do they go?” “They go up.”

 

Kiryu holds onto her arm. The shot only grazed her, but was enough to rip her sleeve and draw blood. Kiryu hears a voice that tells Melhi that she and the others are the enemy and that the food is only for the Garmillans. Melhi still points the gun at her, concurring with what is being whispered to him.

[LC]: Unless Kiryu has really good reflexes or Melhi has really bad aim, she should be dead right now.

 

Kodai and the others reach the top of the stairs and find themselves on Yamato‘s bridge. Niimi can hardly make it to the top. Kodai and Berger find the same stairs that Kiryu used to go up.

[LC]: I call BS right here. Not because these guys are already up here. That can be attributed to editing (or the aforementioned “illusion factor”). Not because they’re not even winded after climbing twelve flights of stairs. That can be attributed to them being in really – and I mean reeeeeeally – good shape (or the aforementioned “illusion factor,” once again). I call BS because there’s no way Niimi, in her condition, arrives to the bridge right after them. She should be at least a couple of floors behind, trying to catch her breath.

And you may say: “how about the aforementioned illusion factor?!” Damn it… foiled by my own clever joke. XD

 

Niimi asks if there’s any sign of the others when a noise catches her attention. To her surprise, she has a prime view of Sawamura’s butt as he tries to climb out through one of the bridge’s windows.

[LC]: I know they used Niimi to add a comedic touch to the climb, but you can’t have a character struggling to catch her breath in one shot and running around as if nothing happened in the next. (And don’t you dare say “illusion factor”! Forget that! I’m being serious now! XD)

And the comedic role switches back to Sawamura. And funny as this is, I have to ask… WTF is he thinking?! He could just climb the stair with Kodai and Berger, who are obscured from view from Melhi’s position, and then make the less risky climb over the radar array. Sure, less risk… but also less laughs… XD

 

Kodai reaches the exterior observation deck, followed by Berger. Melhi is holding Kiryu hostage and tells them the food is only for them, not the Zaltzi. Trying to reason with him, Berger says to stop acting stupid. Melhi says they can’t trust those people. Kiryu tells him that it’s not food inside the bag. Aggravated, Melhi pulls her tighter and holds the gun to her head, ordering her to shut up.

[LC]: Nice touch that we see Sawamura’s hands holding onto the railing behind Melhi, giving us the notion that he is indeed climbing up here, instead of just having him pop up in the radar array later.

[DG]: Are Sawamura’s hands in the right direction? I’m sort of lost as to the orientation of everything.

As far as I can tell, just from looking at the several shots and trying to keep everything straight in my head as I do so, yes. Curious that, for all the obscure production materials included in the “Complete Works” books, there’s actually no plan of this particular set. All I found are a couple of exterior renderings.

There’s a bit of a mislead here. We’ve learned earlier that Garmillans see a different scenario than Kodai and the others. We see most of it from the Earthlings’ perspective. Yet here it seems Kiryu is seeing the real content of the bag while we see the same groceries Melhi sees. Do the others see the same thing, or did Kiryu’s trip up the elevator allow her to start seeing through the illusion before the others?

 

Kodai wonders where he got a gun, but Berger doesn’t know. Suddenly, a familiar voice tells the they have guns, too. “Neredia” steps out from behind the radar array with a smirk on her face. After a moment of shock, the two men realize their gun holsters are back around their waists.

[LC]: The fact Berger is more surprised with having a gun holster around his waist than he is at Neredia’s appearance is another hint that he’s been onto her for a while.

 

This makes Melhi pull Kiryu even closer, pushing his pistol to her face. Berger steps forward, telling him that’s enough. But Melhi is beyond reason, telling Berger he has to come to his senses and realize the Zaltzi cannot be trusted. “Neredia” remains still, observing the events unfold. But what happens next surprises even her. From above, a voice cries out to Melhi, telling him to “cut it out!” It’s Sawamura, who has managed to climb to the top of the radar array. He jumps down, right on top of a very shocked Melhi.

[LC]: Sawamura, the human cannonball. The look on Melhi’s face is priceless.

  

The crazed pilot is forced to drop both his hostage and his gun as Sawamura lands on him. As the two men fall to the ground, they knock the bag over. What rolls out of it is not food… but a humanoid skull. Everyone recoils in terror, including the two pilots.

[LC]: I wonder if they see the skull because “Neredia” no longer intends to keep up the charade, or because she was thrown off her game by Sawamura’s stunt…

As I commented earlier, these two are one and the same… XD.

[DG]: A Scooby and Shaggy moment right here.

 

Trying to shift their attention, “Neredia” tells Berger that they can’t coexist with the Terrons. Berger is surprised by the mention of Terrons, and she proceeds to tell him they’ve been deceived all that time, and that the Zaltzi are actually part of Yamato‘s crew. Berger dismisses the notion, saying that’s just crazy, but the smile on his face disappears as he faces Kodai. The somber look on the young man’s face is all he needs to realize the truth.

[LC]: The fact that the person behind this whole thing is telling Berger the Earthlings have been deceiving him all along… the level of hypocrisy went off the scale.

 

He confronts Kodai, the embodiment of the enemy he’s been wanting to face for so long. In a split second, he draws his gun on Kodai. Just as quickly, Kodai reacts and does the same. Both men stare each other down for what feels like an eternity.

[LC]: It’s a nice touch that, although he kept the ruse all along to keep them safe, Kodai doesn’t try to mislead Berger when the truth is revealed.

Also nice that he only pulls his gun as a defense reflex, after Berger reaches for his. A few months ago, Kodai wouldn’t have hesitated to draw first and shoot any Garmillan in front of him. The same for Berger, as just at the start of the movie, he would do the same to any Terron. That’s some character growth right there.

  

Niimi finally arrives just in time to witness the standoff while all the others look on in absolute silence. Berger finally asks what Kodai is waiting for and why he doesn’t shoot. Kodai tells him they fought against General Domel, who worried about his men to the very end and remained true to his principles. Berger grinds his teeth at the mention of his beloved commander.

[LC]: One thing has to be mentioned. Of all the animation improvements done for the Blu-Ray edition, this whole scene was probably the one that got improved the most. Berger in particular got a ton of work done.

 

“Neredia” decides to pour salt on the wound, saying Kodai admitted they killed his comrades and General Domel, and that they’re his sworn enemy. Berger remains silent and still. It is Kodai who breaks the impasse. He says that even if they were born on different worlds, they can understand each other. He lowers his gun and bows his head, smiling.

[LC]: Brass balls. Pon-poko style, tanuki-like brass balls. That’s what Kodai has.

[DG]: Kodai’s developed quite the judge of character. Big props to him for ensuring Domel’s honor is preserved. If he wanted to, he could have mentioned that Domel self-destructed his ship against Yamato’s hull despite pleas from Okita not to, but given the pace of the movie, Kodai got his message across to Berger in the best way possible.

 

Berger says that’s awfully idealistic of him. Kodai tells him that’s something his brother left him in a message before he died. The exchange causes Niimi to smile, while Sawamura looks at the much calmer Melhi.

[LC]: We have to admire Niimi’s consistent reactions every time Mamoru’s name is mentioned. She really loved him…

And we have to give kudos to Kodai for consistency, too. He’s been saying this line about understanding one another since back in Episode 11. His brother’s like-minded message only reinforced his own belief.

  

Sensing her plan is falling apart, “Neredia” urges Berger to shoot Kodai. After a brief moment, Berger smiles and lowers his gun away from Kodai, saying “it’s time… we ended this little farce!” Before “Neredia” can react, He points his gun at her. He reveals that he always suspected that she was behind this.

 

After a moment of pause, she asks him how he knew, basically admitting it’s true. Berger tells her she didn’t react at all when she saw Kiryu, even though she’s the spitting image of her sister. More than “Neredia,” it’s Kiryu who is more surprised by this revelation. Smiling, Berger adds that the real Neredia always called him Fomto.

[LC]: This is actually true. Neredia doesn’t call him Berger a single time throughout the entire movie. The real Neredia, that is.

 

Unmasked, the woman before him smiles and closes her eyes. Her next words are heard in everyone’s minds, rather than spoken. As she opens her eyes, now a pale shade of blue, she concludes that she didn’t probe their memories well enough. She turns, disregarding the gun still pointed at her. As she looks to the horizon, she tells them uninvited guests have arrived. Everyone looks in that same direction as a rumbling echoes through the air.

[DG]: Going on the theme with Sawamura and Melhi, this is where “Neredia” says, “And I would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for you meddling kids!”

[LC]: The question here is why didn’t she? It’s not as if they were in a hurry to do this. From what we can see, she could have kept them under until she obtained all the relevant information to get her ruse going. Missing the similarities between Kiryu and Melia is understandable. The real Melia would react to Kiryu differently, but Lerelai couldn’t have guessed that a member of Yamato‘s landing party just happened to be a dead ringer for Neredia’s dead sister. But if you’re going to pose as someone, at least get these things right, like how she treats Berger. So why did she rush and make such a mistake when there’s no obvious reason for her to do so? Another question is, if things hadn’t flown off the rails like they did with the Gatlantean’s arrival, could she reset the whole thing and make them replay the scenario again?! That’s an interesting notion…

An interesting detail is how “Neredia” just dismisses the gun being pointed at her. She knows there’s no danger of Berger shooting her, not because he wouldn’t, but because she’s in control of the whole thing. She can make the gun disappear just as easily as she made it reappear a moment ago.

Given the illusion is shattered, would she be able to? We saw back in Episode 14 that once Kodai broke Mirenel’s control, recasting the illusion over him wasn’t as successful, and Berger is a very strong-willed person. I liken it to the “old Jedi mind-trick” in that an unsuspecting or weak mind can be controlled by the element of surprise, but once the mind is alert it becomes much more difficult.

Good point.

 

In the distance, a large portion of the sky glows and blisters, before a torrent of hellfire breaks through. The ocean held above rushes through the fracture and a surge of water heads for Yamato. They brace as the wave rushes over them. Then… silence. A drop of water is all they hear.

[DG]: Well, here’s your flood.

[LC]: As impressive a display of power as this is, I have to question it. As we’ll see later, although the planet is well within range of the Firestorm Direct Strike Gun, the Megaluda is still quite far. We will see the blast hit the surface but, given the fiery nature of that blast and that it has to cross quite a bit of water to reach the “inner shell,” would it actually be capable of breaking through?!

Another question is how and where is all this happening? I know it’s difficult to visually convey something that is supposedly happening inside the characters’ minds. But here we veer off what has been portrayed so far. We know that the planet is real, as is whatever structure they’ve been in. It’s just that their minds are being manipulated to see those in the form of places from Kiryu’s past – at least where the Yamato‘s crew is concerned. From “Neredia’s” statement, the visuals for the Garmillans were provided by Berger’s mind. So far, so good.

We can also accept that the Firestorm Direct Strike Gun blast is so disruptive that it can’t be concealed in that mindscape, even if the whole ruse hadn’t been discovered, rendering any further manipulation useless. The issue here comes after this wave hits them.

 

Kodai opens his eyes and finds himself back at the hotel lobby, along with all the others, now in their uniforms. As he wonders what happened, the rest of the illusion dissolves before their eyes. The hotel lobby slowly disappears, revealing an ancient alien structure underneath.

[LC]: The Jirellans can manipulate minds and make people see whatever they want. But as far as we know, they don’t have teleportation abilities. So unless the Ark itself has that sort of technology, how did they get down to the hotel lobby?! Only explanation is that they never actually left. They’ve been in this room the whole time. All the walking and stair climbing they did was in their minds. Yet, we’re still shown Yamato and the forest after the real thing is revealed, which tells us not all of it was just in their minds, even if what they see is an illusion. Confused yet?! You bet.

Also… if all that running around was really just in their minds… how bad must Niimi be feeling right now?! I mean, it’s one thing to be physically out of shape and get tired climbing twelve flights of stairs… but to get tired in your own mind, without moving a muscle… that must be a bummer. XD

 

Aihara and Baren, who had remained in the hotel throughout the latest developments, run to the lobby. As the last remnants of the illusion disappear around him, a surprised Aihara reports that he finally got through to the Stork. Baren is horrified by what he sees in a dark corner of the large room… a pile of corpses.

[LC]: As to prove the previous point, notice there’s nothing in this room that could be used to go up… to anywhere. Nothing that can be used as an elevator or a staircase.

It is an interesting detail that Baren and Aihara run into the room, just as the real structure is revealed. For all intents and purposes, they would be there any way, even if they hadn’t just run into the lobby.

That’s a creepy notion. They’ve been right next to a big pile of corpses all this time. I do have to ask, why the hell did the Jirellans keep these around? It seems like a disturbing thing to keep as a decorative feature. If I’m honest, I’m starting to understand why everyone hates these guys.

  

Melhi runs to it and turns one of them over, immediately recognizing the uniform as Gatlantean. Kodai turns to “Neredia” and asks her if she lured these men there, like she did to them. She says they came in search of power, but in the end they were driven by their distrust to destroy one another. The same should have happened to them. While they reel from her bluntly honest statement, she finally reveals her true form to them.

[LC]: Don’t really see the point of Melhi turning this guy around. Their uniforms would be easily identifiable…

[DG]: The light’s pretty low. Also, Melhi’s a fighter pilot, so he may have seen the Gatlantean insignia before, but probably not their uniforms up-close. He probably wouldn’t be able to identify them until he saw the insignia.

From what little we’ve seen of the Gatlanteans so far, it’s easy to believe they would quickly turn on each other. They seem quite adept at the art of back-stabbing, not to mention their really short tempers.

As I mentioned earlier, if the point of this whole exercise was to have the Garmillans and Yamato crew members kill each other, it would have been more effective to just let them see each other for who they were. Berger and Melhi would have started shooting as soon as they laid eyes on a Terron uniform. But even then, there’s still that nagging question I posed earlier… What about the several hundred more people on each side waiting in orbit?!

 

She tells them that this world is sacred to the Jirellans, saying it’s their progenitor and calling it “Shambleau of Akerius.” Neredia is finally gone, revealing a pale-skinned woman with white hair, who Kiryu immediately identifies as being Jirellan. Berger asks her why she went to all this trouble and demands to know where Neredia is. She tells him Neredia was never there. She remained outside of this world and never came to the hotel.

[LC]: The name Shambleau has a phonetic resemblance to the word “shamble.” Depending on how dark you want to be, the word can mean “a state of total disorder” or refer to “a butcher’s slaughterhouse” in an archaic form. Both can fit into this narrative, depending on how literal or creepy we want it to be.

But the most direct real word connection is to Shambleau, a science-fiction short story by C. L. Moore, loosely based on the ancient Greek myth of Perseus and the Medusa.

Lerelai refers to the illusion they were in as “the hotel,” confirming whatever the Garmillans were seeing was indeed the Garmillas equivalent of “Hotel Yamato.” Would have been interesting to know what role that establishment had in Berger’s past…

 

Berger is confused, but Kodai surmises the Jirellan manipulated his memories, just as they did on Yamato before. She tells him that was the doing of two who had gone over to the Garmillas cause. Niimi asks her who they are. She explains that when their world fell, a handful of pilgrims who were at Shambleau escaped its destruction.

[LC]: This particular group of Jirellans has been hidden here for a while, presumably since before Dessler rescued Celestella and Mirenel from prison. We can assume they ended up there after whatever event caused Jirel’s demise, the same event that led Lerelai and her group of pilgrims to remain here. So… how does Lerelai know of their allegiance to Garmillas and what they did to Yamato?

[DG]: The simplest answer is that she read Kodai’s mind. A more convoluted but feasible explanation: they’re Espers. Maybe there’s some degree of ability to sense others over long distances. You could easily explain away Celestella’s or Mirenel’s inability to do so by the fact that they were separated from their people as children and maybe didn’t learn the technique.

I have to mention the design of this room. It certainly looks a lot like the complex structures we saw in 2199, especially the warp gates. But Akerians must have had a lot of trouble when it came to child-proofing their builds. That’s a lot of sharp edges… This may be why they’re believed to be extinct… XD

 

Kiryu seems to have drifted away, reading an inscription on a nearby pillar. The inscription says “By the wall, I will say a word to you. Take my word. Give ear to my instructions.” She steps up to something that looks like a sort of console. When she places her hands over it, a bright light comes out of the device, startling her.

[LC]: We know Kiryu learned Jirellan from the data Garmilas shared with Yamato. Either Akerian was part of that data (something entirely possible, given the amount of abandoned Akerian facilities Garmillas took over) or Akerian is very similar to Jirellan. Otherwise there’s no way Kiryu would be able to read it.

For those who don’t remember, this exact text is quoted at the very beginning of the movie and is a transcript of an ancient Babylonian clay tablet describing the “Great Flood” (check Part 1 for more details). The implication here is that the flood described by the Babylonians – and consequently all the flood myths thereafter – are rooted in the legend of Akerius…or maybe we should just go ahead and call it what it really is. Aquarius. The English subtitles in the movie’s Blu-Ray edition sure have. But then, most of the terms instituted in English translation during 2199 seem to have been dismissed in this movie’s subtitling, like Garmillas and Akerius reverting to the classic Gamilas and Aquarius.

Okay! What part of that text leads Kiryu to believe this “console” is what she is looking for?! It’s not even “by a wall.” And wouldn’t Lerelai and her people have tried to use this before?! What is so special about Kiryu that makes the device react to her?! No hint of an explanation is given.

And saying that it’s because she deciphered the writing on the tablet is not an explanation. First, because there’s no hint that the console is the trigger. Second, if she can read that, so can the Jirellans. It’s the language of their ancestors. No amount of linguistic prowess would surpass that. Especially since we see Lerelai recite the thing along with her.

 

As if in a trance, Kiryu continues to recite the ancient words as shapes made of light form all around them. Kiryu says, “seeds were sown across the galaxies. Seven days after those seeds, the many races, gather here and make your hearts one.” She runs her hands across one of the graphics, making symbols appear that resemble musical notes.

[LC]: If we take this passage literally, we can assume Jirellans, Garmillans and Earthlings all share the same ancestry. They’re all descendants of the Aquarian civilization. This goes beyond what Doctor Sado determined in Episode 11 when he examined Melda Dietz and determined Garmillan DNA was nearly identical to ours, excepting the blue skin.

  

An intricate pattern of light forms on the ground. Kiryu continues to recite the ancient instructions: “Enter the ring of light and join hands, you brothers of the galaxies who all share the genes of Akerius. Do so, and the seal will be broken. Ark of the Stars… awaken from your long slumber.” Lerelai recites the last passage along with Kiryu.

[LC]: Ah… the subtitle line that made many of us gag. Although I cleaned it up for the text above, the actual subtitle reads “Odyssey of the Celestial Ark, awaken from your long slumber.” It’s one thing to translate the movie’s title (Hoshi Meguru Hakobune/星巡る方舟) like that. IMHO, it’s better than just Ark of the Stars. But as a line of dialogue, even if you accept that title translation, it just sounds wrong. At least take the “Odyssey” part out of it. “Celestial Ark, awaken from your long slumber” would be perfect, even if you accept the more straightforward Ark of the Stars as the correct title translation. Both would work in the dialogue. But as it was presented, it’s just sloppy. Idiomatic adaptation, people. Leave literal translation to machine translation apps.

Another thing we can determine from the passage and from this scene is that even if they had successfully conquered the planet, Gatlantis would still require the presence of at least one member of two of the other races to activate the Ark. And that’s if… IF… Gatlantis is one of the civilizations seeded by Aquarius. Otherwise, they’d be missing the whole set. Given their penchant for wiping out their adversaries, I think they would be unable to achieve this for a long time. Not to mention I doubt they would be capable of translating all of this. They’d probably wreck the place trying to take possession…

 

Berger looks at Kodai, who seems to share the same idea. Each of them steps into one of the nearby circles of light, which seem to react to their presence. Kodai invites Lerelai to do the same. However, she seems to have reservations about leaving the place that served as their refuge for so long and setting out into space again. She says they can’t do that.

 

Kodai tells her that even if they lock themselves away in there, they’re only waiting for extinction. He holds out his hand and asks her to believe in tomorrow, as will they. She asks if they have a tomorrow. Kodai just smiles and asks what is her name. Stepping into the circle, she finally speaks, saying her name is Lerelai Leru.

[LC]: The name Lerelai is probably based on Lorelei, a feminine given name taken from a 132-meter high rock located on the River Rhine. As if the river itself and its connection to Wagnerian based folklore wasn’t enough, possible translations of the word are “murmuring rock” or “lurking rock,” two things this character did the whole movie. XD

The name itself is connected to a maiden that legend says lives in that rock and lures fishermen to their deaths with her song, a myth very close to that of the classic mermaids. Given all this, it’s a very appropriate name for this character.

 

As she grabs hold of Kodai’s hand, the writing around them erupts into streams of light that dance around them, spiraling upward. As this happens and the structure around them begins to glow, Kiryu recites another passage, saying: “Our origin. Time is cyclical. Setting out. Preserving the species. Rejuvenation. Birth. Humanoid shape…”

[LC]: From what we see, to “unlock” the Ark you need at least three different species that were seeded by Aquarius. Being that the Jirellans are probably their most direct descendants – and I mean straight-up descendants of the Aquarians themselves – their participation is probably mandatory. As I mentioned earlier, that would put a serious damper on Gatlantis taking over and activating the device.

Even if they could somehow force the Jirellans to cooperate, which we’ve seen can be tricky, they would need at least one other race to do this. And that’s assuming the Gatlanteans are also seeds of Aquarius, which is a possibility. But they would find it extremely difficult to take ownership of this thing. Especially if Dagarm ends up damaging something vital with all his shooting.

 

As Kiryu utters the final sentence, Sawamura notices she seems to be losing consciousness and runs to her. As the glow finally releases her, Kiryu falls to the ground. Sawamura manages to slide under her, just in time to break her fall.

[LC]: Wow, Sawamura would be one heck of a baseball player. Does this mean he got to first base with Kiryu? XDDD.

[DG]: Kiryu hadn’t started showing signs of fainting until after Sawamura had started running over.

 

He sighs, relieved, before looking up at the spectacle taking place above them. The spiral of light has risen all the way up to the top of the structure, making the whole thing come alive. Outside, the large world-tree is rising ever higher.

[LC]: Am I the only one that sees this scene and gets flashes of the V’ger transformation sequence in Star Trek: The Motion Picture?!

 

Kodai and the others reach the deck of Yamato and watch in awe. The surface of the planet is breaking up into several large pieces that begin to rise slowly. As Kodai wonders what is happening, a familiar voice announces their ride has arrived. It’s Analyzer aboard the Stork.

[LC]: I do wonder what the hell Analyzer was doing during all this…

[DG]: Analyzer must be plugged into the Stork‘s computer system. He doesn’t appear to be manipulating any controls.

 

In space, the Megaluda fires another blast from the Firestorm Direct Strike Gun. Dagarm urges his men to burn everything to ash and thrash those who defy the empire. This is their chance to seize the treasure world.

[LC]: I have to question Dagarm’s actions at this point. Why the hell would you start blasting away at a planet your Emperor wants?! He’s obviously not firing at either Yamato or the Garmillas fleet. So… what is he firing at?! And what for?! For all he knows, he’s probably destroying the very technologies the Emperor wants so much. I know Dagarm is a bit of a ruffian, but I didn’t take him for a complete idiot.

 

As Megaluda’s main weapon recharges, the ship launches its complement of Deathvatators. Meanwhile, the world-tree has continued to rise to the skies until it crashes into the shell surrounding the planet.

 

This causes the already weakened structure to collapse around it, the ocean above now free to flood the lower levels. Just before the IJN Yamato is hit by the tidal wave, we get a glimpse of its true form. Aboard Space Battleship Yamato, Chief Enomoto reports all hull repairs have been completed.

[LC]: For all the Akerian aesthetics they threw at this structure, that thing still looks a lot like Yamato.

 

Yuki tells Sanada the planetary surface is crumbling. Before Sanada can respond, Kodai calls in, telling them the Stork is returning to Yamato. The boat can be seen escaping the planet on the video panel. Yuki is overjoyed.

[LC]: Though the hardened shell that formed around the planet is cracking up, it doesn’t seem to be crashing down into the inner surface. Perhaps it’s all part of the whole transformation process we will witness. Fair warning: DON’T try to understand any of it because it’s just weird. That’s over-technology for you.

 

Aboard Lambea, Neredia receives a report that the survey team’s launch has landed. She comments on how “that idiot” is always making her worry. She has barely finished that sentence when the officer reports the launch is leaving, making Neredia confused.

  

The SDG61-L flies off after leaving Baren on deck. Neredia watches as the launch heads out. Aboard, Berger is pensive as the Mirangal clears them to land.

[LC]: Baren looks badass in this shot as he walks away from the SDG61-L.

Although referred to in production materials and modeling guides, this is the first time we see the rear landing hatch of a Gelvades-class battle-carrier at work. Even if it is just a glimpse…

 

Kodai and Niimi enter Yamato‘s bridge. Kodai tells Sanada they’ll file a report later and asks what their situation is. Sanada tells him the enemy has set up a blockade in orbit and that it’s just a matter of time until they launch an all-out offensive.

[LC]: Yeah, that’s probably smart of Kodai. That report will take ages to write. Trying to make sense of all that’s happened won’t be easy.

 

Kodai asks Sanada if he’ll give him command for the duration of the battle. Sanada is surprised by his request, as is everyone else on the bridge, including Niimi. Kodai says they have a shot at victory.

[DG]: There could be a number of reasons Kodai asks for clearance. First, he has a plan, and since he was the primary contact with Berger, it’s probably better that he direct the coordination efforts. Second, he’s Tactical Officer. He’s trained for this sort of thing. While Sanada works logically and can keep things going, he’s not a strategist. Third, I think Kodai might have liked it earlier when he took control of the situation when nobody higher-ranking was on the bridge.

[LC]: This is a nice way of putting Kodai back on track to his position on Yamato‘s hierarchy. In the original, he was given the position of deputy captain after the battle of Balan, which lead him to captain Yamato after Okita’s death. Given the more grounded ranking system used in 2199 and the fact Sanada outranks as the ship’s XO, there’s no way that would happen without something like this.

Sanada is by no means a bad commander. He’s been in command for several episodes. But as you said, he’s a man of science and logic. He recognizes Kodai’s superior combat expertise, and maybe even a flare for command. So it’s no stretch of the imagination that he relinquishes command so easily, putting Kodai on the right track for his future role.

 

Realizing Kodai’s confidence in whatever it is he’s got planed, Sanada taps him on the shoulder and tells him he has an idea for countering the enemy’s out-of-range attack. Addressing the crew, Sanada uses his authority as XO to transfer command of the ship to the Tactical Officer. Everyone smiles in support of Kodai, who salutes Sanada, officially accepting the command transfer.

 

Yamato‘s main engine fires and the battleship takes off, leaving the monolith behind. Close by, the Garmillas fleet, led by the Mirangal, takes to the skies. Berger addresses the crews from Mirangal’s bridge, telling them their objective is to hold off the Gatlanteans and make sure the old-timers and kids they left in Lambea make it home.

 

He says that if they are Garmillan men, this is something they should easily understand. He asks them to give him their trust and follow him into battle. A mighty “Zar Berk!” is their unambiguous answer. As the fleet rises, leaving the battered space carrier behind, they chant “Ghare Gamilon!”

 

All Neredia can do is stand on the bridge of Lambea and watch the fleet move away. Baren places his hand on her shoulder in support. He too wishes he could go and fight. Reluctantly, Neredia accepts her current role and moves to the task at hand, getting Lambea out of there.

  

Yamato rises out of the clouds. Yuki reports more objects surfacing off their 9 o’clock, identifying them as Garmillan ships. One by one, the ships of the Garmillan fleet surface from the cloud cover, soon joined by the Mirangal.

[LC]: Seeing Yamato‘s bow rise out of the clouds is reminiscent of the take off sequence shown in the opening credits and Episode 4 of Yamato 2 and in Farewell to Yamato.

[DG]: Like with the Battle of the Rainbow Cluster, here they’re still deliberately making this look like a seagoing battle as much as possible, with the clouds again playing the role of the “sea.”

 

Berger smiles in anticipation of what is to come. The fleet takes position alongside Yamato. Nanbu prepares to fire but Kodai rescinds his command, telling him the Garmillans are on their side.

[LC]: “Strike a pose” much, Berger?! XD

 

A surprised Shima realizes that’s what Kodai meant when he said they had a shot at victory, and Kodai tells him they’re not alone. He addresses the crew, telling them Yamato will engage and destroy the enemy in tandem with the Garmillan fleet. In his cabin, Okita puts on his uniform and looks out the window, observing the Garmillan ships that have joined them for the battle. He smiles, knowing his ship is in good hands, as he puts on his captain’s hat.

[LC]: The short sequence of Okita getting dressed as he looks at the former enemy’s fleet, joining them in battle against a common enemy, is quite telling. Okita seems well enough to get himself to the bridge and take over for the battle. But realizing Kodai is in command of the operation, he simply doesn’t. That smile shows the confidence he has in the young man he has seen grow before his eyes during this long journey.

[DG]: When Okita finds the reality of his hope that they could cooperate with Gamilas, he allows himself the luxury of a smile. “Now I will just sit in my chair in my quarters in a manly fashion.”

He still gets properly dressed for the occasion, of course. 😀

Unlike his state in the original by this point in time, Okita looks far more robust.

  

Kodai orders the air group to launch and commence a joint operation with Garmillan fighters. The main hangar hatch opens and the Falcons begin launch operations. After Kato and Shinohara launch, it’s Sawamura’s turn. As his Falcon is lifted to the main catapult, he sees Kiryu watching the operation from the launch control room. She smiles and gives him a thumbs up, and he responds in kind.

[LC]: Although Sawamura’s mouth always had a bit of a cat-like look, they seem to amp it up in this final segments, especially after the battle.

[DG]: If we didn’t already know that Sawamura survives this battle, we’d have had Kiryu seeing him off as being a “death flag.”

Here we learn Sawamura’s plane number is 104. Kato is 100 and Shinohara is 107. So there doesn’t seem to a connection between the plane’s number and the pilot’s position within the squadron. Except perhaps in Kato’s case.

In Kato’s case, it certainly does. In US Navy carrier air wings, the Air Wing Commander (or going by older nomenclature – the CAG [Commander Air Group]) has the number 100 or 200 on his personal aircraft.

 

Sawamura speeds off, passing the Mirangal and Nirvales, both busy deploying their squadrons of Czvarkes. Among the pilots is Melhi, who takes off from the Mirangal.

[LC]: This is the first time we see a Gelvades-class battle-carrier in full operation as a carrier. Darold only carried the Garlent-class heavy bomber. And what a sight it is to have two of them in full swing, side by side.

  

Last but not least, Akira Yamamoto takes off in her Cosmo Zero and joins the remaining fighters. Kodai instructs them to intercept the carrier approaching from the right flank. Yamato and Berger’s fleet will stop the advance of the main enemy force. Berger orders his ships to take battle formation. Mirangal‘s flight deck rotates and its main weapons are deployed. Meanwhile, the fighters converge on the planet’s ice rings, hoping they’ll conceal their approach to the enemy.

[DG]: And so begins what I imagine was intended to be the Battle of Saturn, just in case a Yamato 2 remake never got done. So much of this battle appears to be a nod to that.

 

The Deathvatators launched from the Megaluda have taken the same approach. Sawamura picks them up on his radar and fires his missiles. Though the missiles don’t hit them directly, they cause a nearby large chunk of ice to explode. The resulting debris showers them with enough force to destroy most of the attackers.

[DG]: Nice tactic here by turning the giant chunk of ice into a cluster bomb. It shows that in the 2199 universe, Deathvatators aren’t as invincible as they appeared to be early on in Yamato 2.

 

The combined fleet moves on the Gatlantis main force. Suddenly, the terrible power of the Firestorm Direct Strike Gun is upon them, blasting through the ice rings.

[LC]: As Daniel mentioned, parts of this battle seem lifted right out of the epic battle of Saturn, from Yamato 2. At least Dagarm was smart enough to fire from outside the ice rings, or just lucky. Balzey learned the hard way not to do that.

Seen from this angle, and with a little help from the sound effects they used, the Firestorm Direct Strike Gun‘s blast almost looks like the White Comet itself. At least until that sea of fire comes through.

 

The blast passes off Yamato‘s port side and destroys three Garmillan ships, including the Nirvales, and leaving a massive gap in the ice rings before impacting the planet’s surface.

[LC]: Perhaps the scariest aspect of this weapon is that it doesn’t really have to hit its target dead center. Just grazing it will do enough damage to sink the enemy. Nirvales learns this in the worst possible way.

  

Kodai recognizes the attack but Sanada reassures him it won’t be a problem. He explains they’ve detected a spatial wave-motion echo in the enemy’s attack which is identical to what they saw in the Rainbow Star Cluster battle. Niimi assures Kodai that even though it has only 73% accuracy, they can predict the coordinates where the blast will emerge from subspace. Kodai is confident it’ll work.

 

Aboard the Mirangal, Berger is still reeling from the horror he just witnessed and wondering where the blast came from. His men report the Nirvales was destroyed and that they’re unable to compute the origin of the attack. Berger recognizes what he saw as similar to the transport system used by General Domel against Yamato. Just then, he’s hailed by Kodai who tells him they’ll be transmitting prediction data on the enemy attack. All ships will be linked to counter it. Berger likes the idea.

[LC]: It’s a nice touch that Berger immediately recognizes the warp system as something similar to the one used by General Domel. Hell, Berger himself was transported by the device. So it would be a hard thing to forget.

  

Soon enough, the Megaluda fires once again. The system goes into effect, predicting the emergence point, and Niimi relays the coordinates to Shima. Shima swerves the ship and manages to dodge the blast just as it emerges.

 

The Garmillas ships follow suit and all evade the blast unscathed. Another blast, same result, as the fleet uses the data relayed by Yamato to move out of the weapon’s line of fire. Berger is beside himself.

 

Dagarm is less happy as he realizes his powerful main weapon is now missing every single shot. But one of his men calls his attention to what’s happening to the planet’s surface.

 

Kato is alerted to the phenomenon by Shinohara and is in awe of what he sees. Before them, the surface of the planet appears to slowly dissolve, revealing an underlying structure of gargantuan proportions.

[DG]: The design of Shambleau screams Makoto Kobayashi’s retro style.

 

Debris from the planet spirals up through the pillars of light as the clouds form a maelstrom above them. Neredia and Baren observe this event in disbelief when their crew report that a large structure is approaching from above.

[LC]: Is all the debris being sucked into that maelstrom being atomized and transformed into something else? Or just being destroyed? There doesn’t seem to be enough mass there to form the massive structures that come out of the clouds, above and below the planet.

  

A massive object descends upon them, dwarfing Lambea. The structure appears to be metallic and adorned in markings and elaborate, sculpted shapes. Kodai looks at the object on Yamato‘s video panel and realizes they are now looking at Shambleau’s true form. Around them, the transformation continues…

[LC]: My take is that Shambleau shed its temporary shell and these structures are surfacing from some subspatial “storage zone.” I know, I’m not as classy as Sanada in naming weird phenomena.

 

Dagarm is stunned by the event taking place before his eyes. Suddenly, he’s told by Mace that there’s an emergency message coming in from the First Minister. Although displeased, Dagarm receives it. Before he can say anything, Sabera asks him if it’s true he has located the “World of Tranquility.”

[LC]: Mace must be terrible at playing poker, or whatever the Gatlantean equivalent is… XD

 

Realizing Mace’s treachery, Dagarm still confirms the discovery. Sabera orders him to stop his attack. Defiant, Dagarm says that’s an unusual order, since he’s about to destroy “Yamatte” and the “blue Garmillan vermin.” Sabera says he’s a fool and asks how he dares to damage the world she means to present to His Majesty. Mace is delighted with Dagarm’s humiliation. Sabera says that is what she expected from the former head of a gang of brigands, and that he was never worthy to wield the Firestorm Direct Strike Gun that was built by their Garmillan science slaves.

[DG]: Sabera’s words indicate a distinct class difference here, one that wouldn’t be out of place in the Mongol analogy we discussed in the earlier parts of the commentary.

Also, we have confirmation of how the Firestorm Direct Strike Gun was obtained – which matches the Fact Files distributed at the cinemas during the movie’s release.

 

Seething with rage, Dagarm grabs his sword and destroys the holographic display, telling Sabera to shut her mouth. Mace stares in utter disbelief at what Dagarm has just done, his expression shifting to one of complete terror as his commanding officer draws his sword off the smashed device.

[LC]: Even if she was just a hologram, striking Sabera – and in essence hanging up the phone in her face – is probably the kind of thing that makes heads roll in Gatlantis. No matter how much the Emperor likes Dagarm, this is just a bad move on the commander’s part. Even if by some miracle he manages to conquer Shambleau, there’s no way Sabera will let this pass. Maybe that’s just it… Dagarm realized he’s being played and that Sabera will get the glory of this conquest for herself no matter what he does.

The animation of Mace’s facial expression is spot on. Even if we don’t actually see Dagarm slowly turning toward him with sword in hand, that is just perfectly conveyed by the horror in his face.

[DG]: Poor, poor Mace. Of all the commanders in the Gatlantis military, he had to get Dagarm.

  

Meanwhile, the combined Yamato/Garmillas fleet has advanced and the enemy is now within their firing range. Worried, Nanbu looks at the sealed Wave-Motion Gun trigger, wondering if they can actually win. Kodai puts his hand on Nanbu’s shoulder, reassuring him Yamato can do it. Nanbu nods in agreement.

 

The main guns rotate into position, tracking their chosen targets. Dagarm looks at the enemy and orders Kiska squadron to form up and attack from their flank. We see Mace, lying at his feet, his blood spilling on the floor as his life fades away. Dagarm has had his pound of flesh, but he’s eager for more.

[LC]: I’m guessing killing your first officer, especially one that was working for a major adversary with a lot more clout than you, is probably frowned upon. Unless they really are like Klingons and killing each other is just par for the course…

 

He strikes the floor with his sword before raising it to point at the enemy fleet, vowing to take Yamatte‘s head, slay the enemy, and crown themselves with glory. The Gatlantis fleet deploys to engage.

[LC]: Jeez, I would hate to be the guy that has to constantly come in and fix the bridge’s floor. If Dagarm keeps this up, he’ll end up falling to the lower level. XD

 

Kodai gives the order to open fire, promptly obeyed by Yamato and the Garmillas ships. The first barrage takes down a few Gatlantean ships as their fleet returns fire.

[LC]: Gatlantean ships seem to be rather flimsy in terms of hull plating. Maybe that’s the reasoning behind having so many guns. They try to compensate weaker defenses with sheer attack capability. Not that far-fetched for a race that sees dying in battle as an honor.

 

The Megaluda fires its main cannon with devastating results, each bolt capable of ripping through the Garmillan ships with the same ease as Yamato‘s shock cannons.

[LC]: This main battery is powered by the same source as the Firestorm Direct Strike Gun, without any modification. Judging from the way it tears through the Garmillas ships, it seems to be at least as powerful as Yamato‘s shock cannons.

 

Kodai orders Nanbu to target the enemy flagship. As soon as targeting is complete, he opens fire. The shock cannon blast hits the Megaluda‘s port side, rendering the matter transmitter for the Firestorm Direct Strike Gun inoperative.

[DG]: Megaluda’s bow is heavily-armored, enough to survive a converged shock cannon beam, but not at the same level as the Zoellgut-class’s bow which was able to deflect the same blast.

  

Meanwhile, Kiska‘s battle group has followed Dagarm’s orders and approaches the combat airspace from the enemy’s flank. Yamamoto, Kato and Yamato’s Falcons rise from the ice ring and begin their attack, immediately sinking a Lascaux-class cruiser.

[LC]: Nice detail that we get to see the explosion on Megaluda‘s bow in the distance, as well as some of the Garmillas ships blowing up.

[DG]: We see further confirmation of how lightly-armored the Lascaux-class are; two aircraft-launched missiles are enough to penetrate critical parts of the hull.

 

Captain Parakas is alerted to the attack and surmises the enemy planes used the rings’ ice to cover their approach. As another of his ships is sunk, he orders the AA guns to open fire.

[LC]: It’s curious that, although the smaller ships have guns popping out of everywhere, the slower and more vulnerable Kiska is so poorly armed…

 

A group of Deathvatators dives toward the carrier as Sawamura and Nemoto make their attack run. As Nemoto prepares to attack one of the cruisers, he’s caught off guard by one of the enemy’s fighters, and a missile destroys his Falcon. Sawamura can do nothing more than cry out for his friend as his plane goes down in flames.

[LC]: And there goes Nemoto. As we mentioned before, he was on borrowed time since Operation M-2. In the original series he died along with Sugiyama during their incursion into the Gamilas base to destroy the Reflex Cannon.

 

He has no time to grieve, since two more missiles are locked onto his plane. If he doesn’t shake them off, he’ll soon join Nemoto on the fallen pilots board. Fueled by anger, he thrusts his Falcon toward the nearest Lascaux and makes a close pass to the ship’s superstructure. Close enough for the two missiles to lose him and hit the enemy ship instead.

[LC]: Sawamura shows off his piloting skills in this scene. He passes right next to the Lascaux‘s bridge and uses the enemy missiles that are locked on him to knock it out.

 

But Sawamura isn’t out of the woods just yet. The Deathvatators pursue him and use their main guns to shoot him. Sawamura manages to evade their fire for a while but knows he won’t be able to do it for long. Fortunately, someone takes out the two enemy planes before his luck runs out.

[LC]: For the amount of fire they lay down, Deathvatators can’t seem to hit a target unless it’s convenient for the plot. They must have trained in the Galactic Empire’s academy, along with all the Stormtroopers.

 

A Czvarke appears from the smoke plume and the pilot jokingly says his hand slipped. Sawamura smiles, as he recognizes the voice on the comms as Melhi.

[LC]: Nice bit of banter here between these two. Pity things will go south for one of them soon, as it would be fun to see them meet in the future.

  

Yamato and the Garmillas fleet continue their advance. Dagarm receives a damage report and learns that the Firestorm Direct Strike Gun is offline. Cursing the enemy, he orders his men to turn the ship toward the planet, intending to seize its core himself. Trailing smoke, the Megaluda moves to starboard.

[DG]: The destruction of one of the SMITE projectors has rendered the Flame Strike Gun inoperable somehow. I wouldn’t have thought it would prevent them from firing the gun at shorter range.

[LC]: The Secret Files provide an explanation for why there is a need for two projection devices. It reads:

“During the experiments with the prototype, teleportation failures frequently occurred when the Geschtam hole in the space-time continuum could not be maintained, and the matter could not be teleported. But it became clear that the space-time interference phenomenon that occurred in the Geschtam hole could be stabilized by the use of two teleportation machines simultaneously. Afterward, basic teleportation machines consisted of a pair.”

Firing the gun at short range is probably possible, but much like the Wave-Motion Gun, as long as you stay away from the gun’s direct line of fire, you can avoid it. The surprise effect provided by the warp system and long range attacks is an important trump card.

 

The move is spotted by Yuki, who reports the enemy flagship has deserted the battle line and is now on a descent trajectory toward the planet. The same information is relayed to Captain Parakas aboard the Kiska. As the rest of the fleet requests instructions, Parakas curses his commander’s cowardice, asking if he calls himself a warrior.

 

Megaluda fires its main engines to full power and heads toward Shambleau. Berger receives a report that Lambea has run aground, having become stuck in the planet’s transforming surface.

[LC]: For all his bravado and big talk about honor and glory, Dagarm sure was quick to get out of dodge.

Again, I have to ask what is he thinking? Even if he gets down to the “planet,” what is he expecting to find? If you board a ship like Yamato, you at least have an idea of where to go. But the Ark is not just gigantic, it also seems to still be in mid-transformation/metamorphosis. Even if that process was completed, how does he expect to find whatever it is he’s looking for? Does he even know what that is?

 

To make matters worse, they’re in the direct path of Megaluda. Aboard Lambea, Neredia and Baren do their best to try and release the ship, urging their men not to give up.

[LC]: Two things about this scene. 1) where the hell is Lambea stranded? This structure is similar to some we see on what was once the planet’s surface, but the carrier was clear of that area. 2) Unless that whole thing around them just appeared out of nowhere, they should have been able to fly away even in crippled condition before becoming trapped. So… how did this happen? Oh?! What?! The plot needed a “damsel in distress” for Yamato to save instead of just going after Megaluda?! Ah, gotcha… Carry on, then. XD

 

As Baren suggests using the gravity balancers, a report of Megaluda‘s approach comes in. The image of the enemy battleship looms menacingly on the main screen.

 

Meanwhile, the battle rages on. Yamato and Mirangal take several hits from the enemy but make them pay dearly for each one. Kodai is surprised when Berger contacts Yamato and informs them of Lambea‘s predicament. He asks them to go and rescue them while he and the Garmillas fleet handle the remaining Gatlantean ships.

 

Kodai wonders if Berger can do it with only a handful of ships left. Berger jokes, telling Kodai he’s giving him a plum role and to just shut up and do him that favor. Neredia breaks into the conversation and tells Berger not to worry about them; they’ll get out of this on their own.

 

Berger smiles and asks Neredia to do as he says, at least this one time. He pauses for a second and then tells her that he ran into Melia down on the planet. Confused, Neredia asks him what he’s talking about.

 

He responds that he’ll tell her all about it when they get back home, salutes her and says he’ll be seeing her. Both Neredia and Baren know the tone of Berger’s last retort; that he’s not actually planning to go back. Baren tips his hat while Neredia just calls him a fool.

[DG]: The look on Kodai’s face suggests he (correctly) thinks he’s now intruding on a private conversation. Indeed, between when the camera crosses to Neredia and when it returns to the viewscreen, Kodai has signed off.

  

Berger’s tone hasn’t gone unnoticed to Kodai, either. After a moment of pause and clenching of teeth and fist, he decides to abide to Berger’s request. He orders Yamato to change course and move hard to port, to pursue the enemy flagship. Yamato flies past the heavily-damaged Mirangal toward the continuously changing planet.

[DG]: Kodai’s distress at potentially losing a friend to a suicide mission weighs on him, even though they just had guns pointed at each other hours ago. Maybe it reminds him somewhat of Mamoru’s sacrifice at Pluto.

[LC]: Akira Miyagawa has done some outstanding music for the whole series and this movie, be it adapting his father’s amazing score or creating new music. But I have to give a special shout-out to the piece that is heard during the over 3 minutes of combat scenes that start at this point.

The track is titled Decisive Battle – Yamato, Garmillas, Gatlantis. The core of the track is a variation on Imperial City Defense, interspersed with other cues where appropriate. And each of them is so on point that it raises the entire sequence to another level. We will point out each of these changes as they take place.

 

Meanwhile, Yamamoto and Kato get rid of the last remaining Deathvatators and give the go-ahead to the rest of the combined squadron to take care of the Kiska battle group.

[LC]: The movie edit of the track has a sample from Imperial City Defense spliced here to accompany Yamamoto and Kato’s raid on the enemy escort fleet. The CD score version omits this spliced bit and jumps to the part we describe next.

 

Parakas says there is no longer any honor in this battle and prepares to order his ships to retreat. Just then, he receives a report of an enemy fighter approaching from above. It’s Melhi with his sights on the Kiska.

 

Sawamura says he’s too far ahead, but Melhi is so focused on his quarry he doesn’t pay attention. He fires his missiles, which hit the carrier dead center.

[LC]: Here’s the first cue-shift in the music, moving to a more somber tone. The cue used here seems to derive from a small segment of Sortie of The Enemy Spacecraft, but it’s altered to convey the terrible event that takes place onscreen, Melhi’s final hurrah.

A nice detail as the Kiska‘s bridge is taken out, the light in the “eyes” in the forward section go out. Maybe Melhi took that as an indication the ship was finished. Unfortunately for him, she still has some fight in her. The death throes of a dying beast claim its last victim.

 

Just as Melhi celebrates, his Czvarke is hit by the last rounds fired from the sinking carrier’s AA guns. Sawamura watches, incredulous, as the allied plane bursts into flames.

[DG]: A bit amateurish for Melhi to relax like that in the middle of battle. And fatal.

[LC]: Yes, even if he believed he had taken out Kiska’s bridge, he should have paid attention to that AA fire.

 

He calls out to the Garmillan pilot, but there’s no longer an answer. Finally, the Czvarke‘s fate is sealed when it’s strafed by fire from one of the last remaining enemy ships. Sawamura can do nothing more than witness the last seconds of Melhi’s life.

  

In the main battle area, it’s a battle of attrition as Mirangal and the remaining Garmillan ships destroy the remains of Dagarm’s fleet, which fight back and make the Garmillans pay a hefty toll.

[LC]: The music moves back to Imperial City Defense as the Garmillas and Gatlantis fleets destroy each other.

 

Eventually, they focus their fire on the Mirangal, hitting her from both sides. With the ship losing structural integrity and even the bridge getting damaged, Berger takes hold of the helm.

[DG]: All Berger needs to become the 2199 universe’s Harlock is a cloak and an eye patch. And maybe a bird with a long beak.

[LC]: As the Mirangal is pummeled by enemy fire, the music shifts again. This time we are graced with a variation of Praise Be Our Eternal Glory, the Garmillas anthem. This version is faster and bolder than its source material, and it would totally fit any Harlock battle scene. As Daniel said, holding that helm and with the injuries he’s sustained, Berger really looks the part.

 

Bleeding from his forehead and with an injured eye, Berger looks defiantly at the enemy, saying he’s okay with a death like this. He grips the controls and takes out the last enemy ship by running into it at ramming speed.

[LC]: The way this shot was done, it looks like Berger rammed the Lascaux with Mirangal‘s bridge. This is obviously wrong, as he would use the whole ship to ram the enemy. Though we don’t see the impact from outside, Mirangal‘s superstructure is one of the few things that aren’t busted when the ship appears at the end.

  

Yamato pursues Megaluda, but the enemy flagship manages to keep its lead. Shima asks Yamazaki if he can give him 100% engine power. The engineer says that if they couple power to the Wave-Motion Barrier and main guns and patch in the auxiliaries, it will work. Shima asks him to go ahead and do it. Within seconds, the main engine goes to full burn and Yamato speeds toward its target.

[LC]: Where is all that fire in Yamato‘s engine coming from? I know they need to visually convey that the engine has gone into overdrive, but would an energy-based engine produce such a flame unless it had suffered some catastrophic mechanical failure?

Yes, I know they’ve been doing the same with Megaluda. But given the ship’s connection to fire, it just didn’t seem so out of place in it.

Here’s another strange positioning issue. Take note of the Megaluda position relative to the planet in the frame above left. The planet sphere is well ahead of it.

 

Aboard Megaluda, Dagarm is alerted to the presence of a Garmillan ship in their path. Looking at the stuck Lambea on the screen, Dagarm deems it a nuisance and orders his crew to butcher the Garmillas.

[LC]: Now, when Megaluda is shown, we see the “planet” section behind it (the image above doesn’t show it, due to the camera pan but click on the image to see the full thing). It’s not just a matter of being the planet’s surface and the ship overflying it. You actually see the sphere of the planet as if it was many miles behind Megaluda. Since the ship was heading straight toward the planet, that’s just wrong. Either that or they were going so fast they overshot it. XD.

Back to the music, we reach the final shift: after going back to the main cue during Yamato‘s pursuit of Megaluda, it now goes into a new rendition of the main Gatlantis theme, which lasts all the way to the point where the rocket anchor is fired.

 

The main cannon’s targeting system locks on to Lambea and Dagarm is delighted to slaughter another enemy. Just as he’s about to order the guns to fire, the radar officer reports Yamatte is closing in at high speed. Dagarm is amused. Megaluda opens fire on Yamato with its defensive weapons. Though they cause some damage, they’re hardly enough to halt Yamato‘s relentless advance.

  

Kodai tell Nanbu to use the Type-3 shells. Dagarm runs to the Firestorm Direct Strike Gun‘s console and pushes the operator aside, saying he will turn the tables on Yamato. He grabs hold of a large handle and pulls it, saying Megaluda has no blind spots.

[LC]: Love the way the poor gun operator is just tossed aside like a rag doll.

Don’t know if it’s just a quirk of translation, but what does Dagarm mean when he says Megaluda has no blind spots? Not only do I doubt that’s true, it just seems a bit out of context with what he’s doing.

  

The large barrel on the Firestorm Direct Strike Gun lowers to its firing position. But instead of firing a concentrated energy stream, the muzzle now acts like a rocket engine. The restraints that attached it to the ship are released and the barrel is launched like a large missile. The pressure valves on the barrel are open, putting it on a spin. Kodai sees the massive object cartwheeling in their direction, but Shima says he’s got it. He swerves to starboard, causing the barrel to miss the ship almost completely, except for the port observation deck.

[LC]: Other than providing an unexpected moment, this is just a waste of a perfectly good weapon. As we said earlier, it could still be used even with the SMITE system offline. But I admit, it’s interesting.

[DG]: Intentional use of the vents as vernier thrusters, or plot convenience to make it look more spectacular? I’m leaning toward the latter.

What is Shima doing? Instead of pulling the ship hard to starboard to avoid the incoming projectile, he just turns on its side…

 

With that hazard out of the way, they move on the Megaluda. Kodai orders Nanbu to ready the rocket anchor and target the enemy’s starboard stern. As soon as Nanbu gets it ready, Kodai orders him to drop anchor.

[LC]: The rocket anchor’s panel refers to it as a “Type 97 Rocket Space Anchor.” The remaining screen translations are abridged versions of the Japanese text. The one translated as “Automatic” actually reads “Automatic Optimization Anchoring Mode.” “Direct Control” is “Direct Aiming Anchor Mode.”

The untranslated highlighted section reads “Transfer Input System to Fire Control,” followed by a few generic controls. For the completists, they read:
“First Turret Main Sight” (this probably refers to Anchor 1, not gun turret)
“Start Tuning – Done”
“Input System Connection – Optimization Complete.”

The final part is also the only one translated in the subtitles and reads “Ready to Drop Anchor.”

 

The rocket anchor flies toward its target, piercing the Megaluda‘s stern. The impact is felt throughout the battleship, and Dagarm wonders what it was.

[DG]: Guided Rocket Anchor for the win!

[LC]: The way the rocket anchor is used here is similar to the original series’ Episode 9, only instead of pushing the enemy out of their way it’s used to reel them in.

  

Attached to the massive ship, Yamato swerves violently to starboard until the anchor chain is taut, yanking them to a stop. Connected by the anchor, Yamato and Megaluda pull on each other, spinning around their center of mass. Kodai orders Nanbu to reel the anchor in. Sparks fly as the anchor chain is reeled in, pulling Yamato ever closer to its target.

[LC]: Another nod to the original series’ uses of the rocket anchor, this time in Episode 7. In it, the out of control Yamato fires the anchor at Pluto’s moon. Once the ship is anchored, it drifts violently to port and the crew is seen holding on to resist the inertial forces. We see Kodai and the others do the same here.

As we commented before, the rocket anchor’s chain can be extended to roughly three times the length of Yamato, putting it close to 1000 meters. In the overhead shot it appears to be slightly longer than that. But this time I’ll just let it slide, just because this scene is so badass.

I talked about the wonderful music in the previous scenes, here I will talk about its absence. The fact that no music is playing during this sequence really allows the amazing sound effects shine through. You can hear the chain pulling, the stressing metal, the wind rushing… A perfect case of less being more.

We get to see the anchor’s firing and retrieval control room again, this time from outside. I said before, this must be a loud and scary place to be when that chain is moving.

 

Megaluda‘s main cannon tries to target Yamato as it pulls itself closer. Kodai responds by firing the pulse lasers, raining energy beams over Megaluda. An irate Dagarm proclaims he and his ship will never lose.

[DG]: Here we see that unlike the bow, the area around the citadel of Megaluda is at best minimally armored. Pulse lasers are penetrating. I’m pretty sure Kodai takes note.

Interesting that the pulse lasers are even puncturing the bow of the ship, which the converged shock cannon beam couldn’t completely destroy earlier. The damage seems rather inconsistent. Even at point blank range, those pulse lasers shouldn’t be able to penetrate that armor.

 

The main cannon fires two of its barrels, but due to Yamato’s awkward position and wayward motion, all the beams manage to hit is the port catapult and main thruster. The cannon rotates to try and reacquire its target, just as Yamato comes into direct view of Megaluda‘s bridge.

[LC]: Guess it wasn’t just the Deathvatator‘s pilots that attended the “Imperial Stormtrooper School of Target Practice.” Even with Yamato‘s wayward motion, it takes a special kind of aim to miss every single shot at point blank range.

 

The anchor chain goes around the superstructure like a noose, bringing Yamato‘s spin to a halt. Kodai orders the main batteries to prepare to fire. As the two battleships stare each other down, Dagarm gives the order to smash the enemy. Okita looks at the enemy while Kodai orders the main batteries to fire.

[LC]: Okita must have ice on his veins. Or maybe it’s his Planet Bomb Syndrome. He’s basically staring down the barrel of a humongous cannon and he doesn’t even flinch. Brass is plentiful among Yamato‘s crew. XD

 

The type-3 shells bury themselves deeply into the enemy ship, exploding as the Megaluda‘s final shots miss Yamato completely. Dagarm doesn’t even have time to welcome his warrior’s death as the blast engulfs him.

[DG]: Another fine use of Yamato’s forward turrets’ ballistic capabilities. Meanwhile, is Dagarm’s death scene a nod to that of Balsey in Yamato 2 when Medaluza is destroyed by Andromeda and the other EDF ships?

[LC]: Not just Balzey’s death. Most major commanders who were shot by either Yamato‘s shock cannons or Wave-Motion Gun from Yamato 2 forward had a similar death shot. 2199 used it when Yaretora’s Destoria was sunk in Episode 6. In that commentary, I gave it the rather convoluted name “Yamato-villain-fades-to-white-as-he’s-blasted-away” shot.

  

Another type-3 round seals the battleship’s fate. Megaluda dies in a massive explosion. Yamato, still anchored to it, is caught in the detonation. The blast is of such magnitude that it causes the rock-like structures that held Lambea to crumble, allowing the ship to finally break away.

[DG]: Convenient dislodging of Lambea. And quick response by either the ship’s systems or the helm to steady her.

Yeah, I find two things odd in this scene. First, for something that held Lambea in place for so long, that structure really crumbled easily with just a blast of air. Second, as you say, Lambea reacts awfully fast for a ship that couldn’t even break free from this thing. Wasn’t she supposed to be badly crippled?

 

Neredia receives a report that the Lambea is free and the enemy ship has exploded. She looks at the cloud of smoke on the main screen and wonders what happened to Yamato. For a tense moment, the question remains unanswered, while debris from what was once the flagship of the Gutaba Expeditionary Force rains from the sky. Eventually the smoke clears, revealing Yamato has survived.

[DG]: I wonder if a tiny part of Neredia is pondering the whole “Yamato is to be allowed safe passage” directive.

[LC]: Callback to Yamato‘s departure from Earth, in Episode 2?

 

Nanbu sighs with relief and Kodai taps him on the shoulder for his good work while the rest of the crew smile around them. Kodai fist-bumps Shima and looks at Yuki.

 

Neredia looks at Yamato on the main screen, relieved that it has survived. Suddenly, someone else pops into her mind. She asks Baren what happened to Fomto, but Baren just lowers his head.

[LC]: I’ve lost count of the number of times Baren has done that during this movie. XD

 

The surviving Falcons return home as the grey sky that surrounded them begins to fade away, revealing the sea of stars beyond. Among the debris of the Gatlantis fleet drifts the wrecked Mirangal, and within…

[DG]: Seeing Mirangal‘s wreckage reminds me of the Official Design Works: Earth and Garmillas dust jackets where we see color cutaway drawings of Yamato.

[LC]: Two explanations for the “grey sky” cloak to deactivate at this point: the story explanation is that Shambleau’s transformation into the Ark is complete. Sure, the timing is too perfect but hey! The real world explanation is that the battle just looked a lot better with that background.

 

A battered but very much alive Berger lights a cigarette. He tells Melia he tried to join her but failed again. He flips the cigarette into the air, sending it spinning away due to the lack of artificial gravity.

[LC]: Berger’s smoking is getting out of hand… XD

I have to ask… one, where does he keep all those cigars? Two, how cheap are they that he tosses one aside after just one puff?

 

Okita is at his desk, enjoying the calm that has replaced the chaos of battle. He looks outside where the gigantic structure of the Ark is now fully visible, an object of such extreme proportions that no words can describe it accurately.

[LC]: This is our first shot of the Ark’s final form. And man, that is one huge ship. Yamato is a mere speck next to what was Shambleau.

 

Okita takes the Muss i denn vinyl record from his shelf. Outside, the massive Ark remains still while Yamato and Lambea watch it from afar.

[LC]: The “planet” itself is dwarfed by the remaining structure. I can’t even begin to give it a proper size but I would place it in the order of six figures… in kilometers. This is probably the biggest Akerian structure we’ve seen so far. It might not seem so big with and Lambea alongside it, but I estimate they are several thousand kilometers away from the Ark at that point, given how small Yamato was in the previous shot.

 

Kiryu is among other crew members in the starboard observation deck, observing the awe-inspiring structure. Through narration, she tells us that the week they spent at the hotel was actually just half a day on Yamato. Enomoto and his men take a short break from their repair work to watch the spectacle.

[DG]: So they’re watching Shambleau from the starboard observation deck, remembering that the port deck was smashed by the spinning barrel of the Flame Strike Gun.

[LC]: Kiryu gives us a definite value to the apparent time differential between the events in the hotel and the real world. They spent seven days in the hotel while only twelve hours passed on Yamato. Of course that it was all in their heads so they probably didn’t just lose a whole week of their lives. XD

I wonder if Enomoto’s crew is just taking a break to admire the spectacle before them or they’ve just given up on making any more repairs. They had just finished repairing the ship and Kodai went and busted it up all over again. I would be pissed! XD Job security is nice, but come on…

Also… what is Toyama shouting at?! Doesn’t he know that… in space, no one can hear him scream?! XD

 

Kiryu continues, saying that world is a relic of the ancient Akerius civilization. The Jirellans’ holy land, hidden away in the dull gray skies, is also a space ark that travels the galaxies. As the Ark begins to move slowly, Lerelai observes the two ships from a control room somewhere inside. She is in the company of several of her people, having apparently made a fateful decision.

[DG]: One must wonder what long term future the Jirellans have. How big was their pilgrimage group? Just those we see here? If so, then the genetic future of the race looks bleak at best.

Meanwhile, is this the last we will see of the Ark or its Jirellan refugees? I can’t help but wonder if Gatlantis won’t eventually catch up to them.

[LC]: The only question I have is where the hell were these guys throughout this whole thing?!

  

Kiryu wonders if all their races can really trace their origins back to that same source and if the Akerians believed that the seeds they had sown would eventually sprout not into conflict, but trust? She concludes no one will ever know. Berger is back on Lambea‘s bridge with Neredia and Baren, watching the Ark moving away. He looks to Yamato where, as if feeling his gaze, Kodai looks at Lambea.

[DG]: The sheer size of Shambleau really comes to the forefront when we see Yamato and Lambea in the foreground and only a tiny portion of it on screen, even though they are at least several kilometers away from it.

Meanwhile, I can just imagine Berger here saying, “I reckon an eyepatch would suit me. And maybe a cloak.” Then if Elisa Domel will let me borrow her bird…”

[LC]: It should be noted that the “planet” is actually in the aft section of the Ark.

 

Kiryu looks back, feeling someone step up beside her. Sawamura smiles at her, much to the other pilots’ confusion. Suddenly, Yamamoto calls their attention to what is happening outside. Slowly, the body of the Ark begins to fade out of sight, until only the ring structure around the planet-like core remains visible.

[LC]: See what I was taking about about Sawamura’s cat mouth?

Yamamoto’s frowny face at these two is hilarious.

The light-up ring section in the Ark’s warp drive reminds me of Space:1999‘s episode Guardian of Piri. In it, a super-computer called the Guardian had been tasked with keeping the people of the planet Piri in complete peace. Long story short, they ended up dead by sheer apathy. During the episode, commander John Koenig (Martin Landau) encounters a woman who call herself the servant of the Guardian (played by Catherine Schell, who would play the metamorph Maya in season 2). She appears from a portal at the base of the Guardian’s structure which has some definite design similarities with that warp ring (click here for a still from that episode).

  

Sanada is amazed at how they can cloak a mass of that scale. Lerelai raises her arm as if to command the Ark. The drive rings shine brightly and all of a sudden… the Ark jumps away in the blink of an eye.

[DG]: “This is a science beyond our comprehension” is a long-winded translation of “overtechnology” (a term probably first popularized in the original Macross).

[LC]: Funny thing is that despite that convoluted subtitle, what Sanada actually says is “Masani õbãtekunoroji da” (まさに オーバーテクノロジー だ). A very simple “That’s really overtechnology!” Which ties up to what you just said.

The way the Ark warps is completely different from any other ship we’ve seen so far. It looks a lot more like the usual Star Trek warp. I do believe the Ark may function on a completely different principle, actually warping space to move instead of opening worm holes through subspace.

  

Kiryu says they’ve set out to the sea of stars and that the Jirellans, having lost their home, might be cosmic vagabonds forever. Yamato and Lambea are now alone with the Milky Way galaxy visible in the distance. Kiryu and Sawamura share a complicit look while she tells us that there’s one thing that allows the Jirellans to continue on their voyage, the same as us: the hope for tomorrow. From the PA system, a chorus begins to sing.

[LC]: How did they manage to play the music through Lambea‘s PA system without being patched in? Maybe Misaki called their comms officer and set it up…

 

It’s Okita’s record, which Misaki is playing at Radio Yamato, also relayed to Lambea. The captain sits alone in his cabin, listening to the song. As the two ships prepare to go their separate ways, Kodai hopes that they’ll meet again and salutes the Garmillans along with the rest of the crew.

 

The Garmillans return the salute. After shaking his head, Berger smiles and joins in, saying that’s a nice farewell. On the observation deck, Kiryu seems startled by something and looks to her side, something that is noticed by Sawamura.

[DG]: So are the bridge crew once again saluting a wall? It’s not like they can see Berger et. al from that point of view.

What exactly is Kiryu turning around to look at here? With the other portal destroyed and sealed off, they’re not likely to be able to see Lambea’s departure.

[LC]: Yeah, that’s a weird shot. She just turns around and we see Sawamura look at her. But then there’s no followup! What startled her? Maybe Mamoru’s ghost is wandering around and she spotted something through the corner of her eye… XD

 

Lambea fires its main engines and sails away, finally on its way back home. Kodai looks at Sanada as if asking for his permission, which Sanada gives with a nod. He then orders Yamato to set sail for Earth.

[DG]: And there it is. As Tim put it to me when we first saw the film, once you see it, it cannot be unseen. Funnily enough, I saw it in another scene for the first time while writing this commentary, in the scene where Lambea is being set upon by the dropping part of Shambleau. This frame though, really looks like something out of Futurama.

[LC]: Well, if Berger is turning into a Captain Harlock-type character, he’ll need a mighty ship. And what better ship than the powerful UX-Smileyface?! XDDD

 

Yamato speeds back home with Kiryu closing her narration. She says: “To give hope back to our homeland, the ship travels on.” Yamato flies by the camera and toward the Milky Way, its brightness increasing until the screen goes totally white. (Over the white background runs a short credit list with the voice actors’ names. As the list ends, the music stops and we go on to the…)

EPILOGUE

  

The red Earth. At the Far East UNCF Headquarters, a sequence of dire reports pour in. Fires resulting from several riots have broken out, and riot suppression has resulted in heavy casualties to both civilian and security forces.

 

Another report alerts us to the continuous spread of the contaminated area. Another level is being sealed off and evacuation orders have been issued. Hijikata and director Todo look apprehensively at the main screen. Among the images of the horror going on around them there’s a large timer that counts down to the end of the human race. Todo says it’s been 324 days since Yamato left Earth, only 41 days left to the one-year time limit. He says they’re running out of time and wonders if Yamato will really…

[DG]: Here is my biggest gripe with 2199. I mentioned this back in the commentary for Episode 25, but this scene here is where I tore out what little hair I have left, because it’s bad planning that could have been avoided. The 324 day count would, from Yamato’s December 8 return date, mean that Yamato left Earth on January 17. However, this contradicts three explicit references on-screen:

  • Sasha’s grave on Mars, which says her date of death was January 17, 2199.
  • A big message on a black transition screen which clearly says “THREE WEEKS LATER,” meaning it was three weeks after the January 17 date which would have been when Sasha died.
  • The profile dossier of Shima which says he wasn’t assigned to Yamato’s crew until February 11. (February 12 was pointed out by Cosmo DNA community member Keith Holmes as the date in 1942 that the real-world Yamato became flagship of the Japanese fleet.) This date fit all the other time references, and this is what we’ve assumed as Yamato’s launch date, due to the overwhelming evidence in favor of it.

Now, for thirty seconds of drama (or failing to keep adequate records), they’ve thrown the continuity of the series out the window. That said, they messed this up a year earlier when writing Chapter 7 and don’t seem to have corrected the issue.

The thing is, they could easily explain it away through other things; that their projections for Earth’s remaining time were wrong, and the radioactive pollution and the poisonous spores were spreading faster than anticipated. Or that things had been brought to a head by the riots. These would have been more than feasible options.

In the end though, all the scientific accuracy that was built into 2199 seems to have been abandoned in 2202 anyway.

Rant over. This whole thing was just disappointing to me, because of all the trouble they went to with significant dates and getting a university astrophysics professor to consult on the science, all let down by not being able to keep track of time.

Meanwhile, about that map… interesting that the lit-up points appear to be entire countries or states/territories. We see Greenland partially filled in, and Alaska, Japan, and the four eastern states of Australia all completely filled in red. Yet in the present day at least most of the areas of those Australian states (and Alaska and Greenland) are uninhabited. They are actually just filled in to their borders, but there also appear to be dots identifying areas of concentration, though not all of them correspond to a population center. The “Sector 47” image on the bottom left looks to be pointing at Sydney, Australia, the one above it looks to be pointing to either Hong Kong or Okinawa.

[LC]: Not much to add to what you said. They screwed up the timeline from the start.

My major gripe, that one aside, is the clock itself. First, it’s a real bummer for morale at a moment like this. These people are well aware of the plight they’re in, no need to have a doomsday clock ticking away.

But that in itself is stupid. I know that the one-year thing is part of Yamato DNA. But in reality, that is quite arbitrary. The best anyone can do is say “we have ABOUT one year to live.” We’re not talking about a bomb or some other thing with a preset time frame. The more time Yamato takes to return, the worse Earth will be. And it’s pretty bad at this point. It’s not as if by arriving on day 364 they save everyone on Earth and if they arrive by day 366 everyone is dead. So having a clock is just stupid. If radiation breaks through in a couple of days, that clock won’t stop it.

 

The commander is cut off by a sudden commotion behind them as someone calls out to Hijikata. The admiral smiles in recognition of the voice as the guards try to hold off the large marine who is trying to barge into the command center. Saito presents himself to the director. Hijikata tells Todo that Saito has something to tell him, and they should hear it. Todo waves to the guards, who release Saito (not that they could hold him anyway). Asking to speak freely, Saito says they’re putting down riots day after day, and that he’s had enough of pointing his gun at civilians.

They seem to imply that Hijikata and Saito have some sort of working relationship. This has a feel of a regularly-occurring event to it.

[LC]: Yeah, they certainly imply that.

  

He proceeds, saying that the guns of the Cosmo Marines weren’t meant to be turned on fellow humans. Hijikata remains silent, his head lowered in acceptance. Saito asks how long this hell will go on. Hijikata tells him his best friend said he would return, no matter what. “And he will!” says Hijikata, with a fierce certainty in his eyes.

[LC]: Hijikata is well aware that Saito is right, but their backs are against the wall and they have to maintain whatever semblance of order is possible at this point.

Also, keep your eyes on the background characters in this scene. Their reactions totally complement the dialogue

Hijikata’s faith in his friend is unwavering.

 

As if in answer, an officer reports that they’re picking up a hyperspace message from outside the solar system. He tells him it’s a video transmission. Hijikata smiles, even before the officer says the fateful words they’ve been waiting for. “It’s Yamato!”

[LC]: We can assume this communication is the one seen at the start of Episode 26, since that was the first time they talked to Earth.

We could use the clock to figure out how many days it took for Yamato to reach Earth after that… if that clock wasn’t all messed up.

Hijikata’s smile is filled with hope. He knew his friend would come through.

THE END

[DG]: Overall, Ark was enjoyable. The more I watched it and discussed it, the more gaping flaws I found in its plot, but that said, it did deliver some value:

  • First and foremost, it gave Gatlantis knowledge of Earth’s existence for Yamato 2202, something which was never explained in Yamato 2 (except that Dessler may have told them).
  • Berger’s character development. And his general badass self. Hopefully we’ll see him again.
  • Sabera. Badass Sabera who actually has a more important role in Gatlantean society then being the Emperor’s concubine.
  • The huge battle.
  • The Akerius back story, which looks to be playing a role in 2202.

On the other hand, I learned more about Henri Rousseau than I ever wanted to know. If I never see his artwork or hear his name again it’ll be too soon.

Overall, for me, Ark gets a 6.5-7 out of 10. It loses points big time for the plot holes we’ve discussed, but there are far worse ways to kill two hours of your life. It’s still worth watching for the reasons I listed above. Still not the worst Yamato movie I’ve seen from a plot perspective. I think Yamato Resurrection retains that crown.

[LC]: Yes, Ark of the Stars is thoroughly enjoyable. For all the flaws we spotted in it and throughout the series itself, that doesn’t lessen our enjoyment of this great production. Noticing these things is one thing. Allowing them to corrode your love for the work itself is another. In all honesty, there is hardly a flawless piece of fiction out there. 2199 isn’t flawless, but we love it all the same. It’s the remake many of us dreamed of for decades.

This movie creates a perfect bridge for Yamato 2202, making the story more organic and natural. Gatlantis was slowly introduced during the series and here has its first full blown conflict with an Earth ship, putting us in Zordar’s sights. Much better than just having a new villain show up out of nowhere, as in the original.

Wow. With this, an end comes to over three years of working on the commentary for the remake of Yamato’s epic journey to Iscandar. In spite of its shortcomings, I still consider 2199 to be a fantastic remake of the original. Writing the commentary has been fun, especially the collaboration with Luis. We’ve had to listen to a lot of each other over the last three-plus years. His ranting about the Drill Missile. My ranting about the ignorance of a timeline. It’s been fun. Hopefully the stars align and we get to do this all again for 2202.

[LC]: It’s been one hell of a ride. Daniel brought a lot of knowledge I didn’t have to the table. I cracked the jokes. In the end I give him kudos for his patience and to Tim for having to wait until the 11th hour before the text went live. XD.

I hope the stars do indeed align and we can do this all over again with Yamato 2202. Until then, we’ll keep helping however we can with this amazing site for all Yamato fans. Thank you all for following our work and hope to see you all again in the future. Until then… grab some spring water. KAMPAI! 😀

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

6 thoughts on “Ark of the Stars Commentary, Part 3

  1. Yeah the Jirel plot-holes are the size of the multiple Comet Empires! But still I think it had one of the all-time best space battles in the entire franchise ever! Seeing the Yamato and the Gamilias fleet led by the surprisingly durable Mirangal teaming up against the Gatlantis fleet was just pure 120% epicness! Actually, regarding about the AA defenses, I think the Gatlantis have better AA guns than the Gamilias ship because often I see a couple of missiles get shot down more often by the former… So far the only AA victim a Gamilias ship have scored, that I recalled is Kobashi by the Balgray.
    Sure it’s not like the high benchmark the Yamato has, but somehow I feel that the Gatlantis priorities are focused more on air defense than the Gamilias considering their main power of their fleet is based upon carriers and space aviation before the debut of the Medarusa and the Calaklum respectfully. I am not sure if my observation is accurate because AA capabilities that were displayed by both the Gatlantis and Garmilias could be plot-dependent but it’s just something I noticed.

    • Very good analysis. Gatlantis focuses more upon strategic air power, so why bother armoring the ships if your opponents aren’t going to get close before getting savaged by constant air strikes? And if the surviving enemy ships get close anyway, reduce them to hamburger with lots of gunfire before they rake you with their own weapons (high speed, thin armor, but huge guns and crap-loads of attack planes = battle cruiser + flocks of fleet carriers logic). Thus, we have the fireball match that is Earth + Gamilias ships vs. Gatlantean ships with nearly everyone getting instantly sunk with one hit prior to the deployment of Andromeda.

      Gamilias naval forces are mostly surface vessels and emphasize the traditional “big guns and heavy armor with decent speed” type of warfare, relegating air power to tactical strikes as opposed to fleet-sized strategic strikes. And remember that Gamilias units had yet to experience devastating air strikes similar to that upon Pearl Harbor. The destruction of the Pluto base was more of Yamato lobbing missiles and artillery shells while relying upon aerial observation for target acquisition. Therefore it stands to reason that their response was “get more ships” as opposed to “get better planes and harass Yamato 24/7.”

      Did I mess up?

    • I feel that the Gatlantis priorities are focused more on air defense than the Gamilias considering their main power of their fleet is based upon carriers and space aviation before the debut of the Medarusa and the Calaklum respectfully

      If the main power of their fleet was based upon carriers and space aviation, there’d be more than one carrier in a task force. The fleet Domel intercepts in Episode 11 and Dagarm’s task force alike only have one carrier in their force – Kiska in the latter’s case. Dagarm’s task force has a total fighter complement of 36 planes – 12 on Megaruda while Kiska, ostensibly a carrier, only carries 24 despite being the same length as Yamato, which carries those two ships’ capacities combined when at full strength. Meanwhile, Dagarm’s task force has almost as many ships as it does fighters. Not what I’d call a focus on space aviation.

      The main power of their fleet is in fast, nimble, heavily-armed warships such as the Kulkulkan and Lascaux, which can unleash huge broadsides on enemy ships as they strafe them at speed – the layouts of their turrets and missile tubes allow most of their firepower to be brought to bear on ships that they fly past.

      Gatlantis use fighters as a vanguard, a first strike wave to potentially cripple their target(s) before sending their ships-of-the-line in to finish the job. Bringing the Megaruda in as they did was a master stroke – it’s the first sign of Gatlantis changing their battle mentality and transitioning to blitzkrieg-style weapons.

      I am not sure if my observation is accurate because AA capabilities that were displayed by both the Gatlantis and Garmilias could be plot-dependent but it’s just something I noticed.

      It’s an astute observation, because it’s not just plot-dependent armament. Gamilas naval tactics focus on numerical advantage with sufficient firepower to overwhelm their opponents. Gatlantis have certainly incorporated close-in defensive weaponry in the form of those tertiary self-defence turrets (we see them use them to strafe missiles just as Yamato uses its pulse lasers). Since we don’t know much about Gatlantis’ backstory in the 2199 universe, we can’t do more than speculate. The incorporation of these defensive weapons into their ships’ weapons arrays suggests they’ve either done it to counter missile attacks like we see from Gamilas in Episode 11 with Domel’s ships, they’ve encountered other navies with more substantial fighter complements, or maybe they’re assuming that if they deploy fighters, then their enemies are likely to be able to as well and they may as well have something in place to counter that.

  2. Thank you Daniel and Luis for your amazing work on these commentaries, I had so much pleasant reading and learnt a lot. I hope too you two would be involved to SBY2202 commentary.
    All the best from Verona, Italy.

    • You’re most welcome, Sergio. It was a lot of fun to do. Hopefully the show can get licensed in English before too much longer and the commentary can be written and made available when the time comes.

  3. I’ll follow up Sergio as well with another hearty ‘Thank you’ for all the work you guys put in on this project. I enjoyed reading the commentaries almost as much as I enjoyed watching the episodes and definitely got a lot more out of my watching from your insights. There aren’t a lot of Yamato fans in my neck of the woods, so it was nice to be able to join you on the virtual couch for the analysis and good natured ribbing. Hope to join you again for 2202, but either way, thank you very much, and thank you to Tim and everyone else involved in keeping this site running. It’s much appreciated.

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