The month of September 2017 saw a healthy uptick in activity as Chapter 3 edged closer to its October 14 premiere. Many new products arrived, live events brought fans together, two trailers gave us our first (and second) look, and several product announcements mapped out an exciting future. Here’s everything that kept fans in countdown mode…
September 1: Chapter 3 trailer #1
We got our first substantial look at Chapter 3, officially titled Pure Love Chapter, with this one-minute trailer posted by Bandai Visual. Numerous flashes of characters old and new were interspersed with gigantic space scenes and an increasing sense of dread from the Zordar voice-over.
See it on Youtube here.
September 1: Chapter 3 flyer
The first flyer arrived along with the first trailer, committing to the key visual first seen with the release of Chapter 2 in June. The new slogan at upper left reads, “Only for the one I love.”
Also on this day, Bandai Visual announced a prize campaign for those who visit theaters from September through November to see all five of the company’s high-profile releases: Gundam the Origin Part V, Eureka Seven High Evolution, Yamato 2202 Chapter 3, Code Geass, and Gundam Thunderbolt Bandit Flower. Those who collect and send in all their tickets by mid-December will be eligible to win card games and blu-ray sets.
September 1: Cosmo Fleet Special Yamato 2202
Megahouse finally launched their first 2202 product in the Cosmo Fleet miniature collection, Yamato with its asteroid ring as seen in Chapter 2.
The ship is 6.5” long (about 1/2000 scale) with the standard rotating turrets and removable wings. The asteroid ring is a first, about 5.5” in diameter, which sits loosely on the stand and brings the total height to 6”. The ship can also be displayed without the ring, but who would choose that???
September 1: Cosmo Fleet Special Medalusa
Megahouse released this miniature the same day, a redo of their Megaluda from Ark of the Stars. It includes the same features (rotating turrets, optional flame gun parts) with only the hull insignia changed to reflect the “common” version of the ship.
September 1: Yamamoto figure preorders open
S.H.Figuarts announced preorders for the second 2202 action figure after Yuki Mori: Akira Yamamoto in her flight suit. Standing 5.5” she comes with three faces, four sets of hands, and a helmet that can be carried or put on. The figure is scheduled for release in late January 2018.
See more photos here.
September 8: Pepper Lunch campaign begins
This fast-food chain (specializing in BBQ beef) was first heard from when they launched a tie-in campaign with Chapter 2. They returned with another offer that would last through October 26; customers who ordered a specific steak would be entered into a prize lottery to win an advance ticket to Chapter 4 (50 pairs), a Chapter 2 blu-ray (10), or a Chapter 3 poster (10).
September 12: Chapter 3 video packaging
Bandai Visual revealed the two bonus items to come with the theater-exclusive blu-ray for Chapter 3: Nobuteru Yuuki’s cover art for the storyboard book (for Episode 10) and the script book for the same episode which gives us a full view of Stravaze, a new planet on the way to Telezart. (Pronounced Shtra-va-zay.)
September 14: Metro Thanks event news
Above left: In a gesture to all its loyal users, the Tokyo Metro train network opened up a ticket lottery on this day to give away 350 pairs of tickets to the first-ever Yamato 2202 double feature. On October 12, Chapters 1 and 2 would screen together at the Marunouchi Piccadilly theater. Customers were invited to apply by postcard or internet through September 27.
September 14: Tamashii Nations website update
Above right: Tamashii Nations, the high-end arm of Bandai, published the most comprehensive photo sets yet on the 1/2000 Shining Ship miniatures of Yamato and Andromeda. Their Yamato would be released a week later.
See the site here.
In-station advertising for the Metro Thanks event. Posted on Twitter by Tachime.
September 14: V-Storage volume 11
This issue of Bandai Visual’s free quarterly promotional magazine included a rare interview with Houko Kuwashima, the voice of Yuki Mori.
See the digital version of the magazine here.
Read the interview here.
September 21: Yamato 2202 novelization volume 1 announced
Published by Kadokawa and written by Yuka Minagawa, the first novel was schedule for publication on October 12. This would not normally be enticing for non-Japanese fans, but a new set of illustrations by Michio Murakawa adds a visual component to the mix.
With the announcement made, Murakawa posted one of the illustrations on his blog and had a few updates on current events:
• The Yamato 2199 manga is temporarily suspended due to “various circumstances” but he’s enjoying a break from the punishing schedule.
Custom trading card by Murakawa, a bonus item for
fans who buy the novel from Yamato Crew.
• He is now doing monitor graphics for the on-screen animation in Yamato 2202. Unlike 2199, there isn’t a push to incorporate real astronomy or physics into the story and the graphics are all driven by story points.
• He is not as deeply involved in 2202 as he was with 2199, but working on illustrations for the novel allowed him to explore a freer style. He has been a friend of the author since college.
• In preparation for the 2199 manga to resume, he is writing the next ten scripts and freelancing on other projects to be named.
Keep up with Michio Murakawa at his Instagram page here.
September 22: Behind the scenes view
This photo was posted on Twitter via the 2202 Production Committee with the following message: Chapter 3 premiere in 3 weeks…we are editing CM (commercials) & PV (promo videos) tonight. Hope to see you soon!
September 23: Postcard art
The Yamato Crew Twitter page posted these images as a preview of things to come with Chapter 3. A new postcard set will be among the theater goods, with poster art by Naozo Morishita and an image (from Animedia magazine) of Yuki Mori in summer kimono. See larger versions of both at the end of this page.
September 23: Ship’s Log issue 19
The latest issue of the Premium Fan Club magazine sported an action-packed cover and included exclusive features on Chapter 3. Contained in its 32 pages were the latest product news, 10 pages of character and mecha design art, interviews with illustrator Kia Asamiya and the product development team at Megahouse, comments from the fan community, and more.
The interviews will be featured in a future Cosmo DNA update.
September 23: Shining Ship 1/2000 Yamato display model
Tamashii Nations’ Shining Ship Yamato arrived in stores on this day for the price of about $60. Measuring 6.5”, it is intricately detailed to a degree previously unseen at that size. The features promoted on the Tamashii website are as follows:
Special coating and texturing, optional wing parts, rotating turrets, jointed arms for repositioning, custom tool for changing parts, batteries for WMG, bridge, and engines to light up. Based on 3D modeling data used in the anime. Manufactured with ABS and polycarbonate materials for thin and fine-edged components. Color gradation in the surface paint for a heavier feel. Reflective material on pedestal to enhance the display.
September 24: Tokyo Shimbun
This newspaper published an article about the history of Yamato and the nature of Yamato 2202. A short interview with Writer Harutoshi Fukui read as follows:
Interviewer: Your first meeting with Yamato?
Fukui: As a fourth grader, I was surprised to see the Yamato feature film on TV. After that I saw Farewell to Yamato and cried at the end.
Interviewer: Your thoughts on remaking it?
Fukui: Terrorist incidents take place all over the world now. Even at the time, the movie was said to glorify suicide, but paradoxically I thought it could send out a necessary message now.
Interviewer: Why did you make love the theme?
Fukui: Because there is love, humans suffer. I want to pursue the reason humans have love. In Chapter 3, we depict the good side of love, the bright side, in scenes to compare with the dark side farther ahead.
Interviewer: In Chapter 3, the main character Susumu Kodai is pressed to make a big choice.
Fukui: The opinions on that scene were divided among the staff, and it was a struggle to persuade them. The choices made by Kodai and his fiancé Yuki Mori aren’t necessarily correct. But I think foolishness can be beautiful, too.
Interviewer: In the earlier days, Yuki Mori was an ideal woman who followed her man, but now she seems to be a modern woman with her own opinions.
Fukui: That’s right, in accordance with changing times. A young staff was at the center then, but now they are in their 50s, and they are concerned about the relationship between men and women.
Interviewer: Where does the story go from here?
Fukui: I want to openly depict the negative aspects of love. Still, I want to appeal to the point that human beings can’t live without it.
September 25: Model Graphix #396
This issue contained a 3-page article on building the 1/1000 Dreadnought model kit from Bandai.
Also featured was promotion for other upcoming kits including the first mini-model in the Mecha Collection line, Andromeda.
September 25: Hobby Japan #581
A six-page article in this issue gave us a look at the 1/1000 Achilles and Dreadnought kits and several upcoming products including the radical new Yuki Mori “Armor Girls” figure from Bandai (more below).
See all the pages here.
September 27: The real Yuki Mori
This photo appeared on the Twitter page of Houko Kuwashima, voice actor for Yuki Mori, with the following message: Today I was told it was OK to release the news. The Sanspo special edition Yamato 2202 Newspaper No. 2 will be published on October 13, for which I was allowed to interview astronaut Naoko Yamazaki for “Sky girl talk.” Ms. Yamazaki is just like a real Yuki Mori!
The news of a second Yamato 2202 newspaper was welcome news for those who enjoyed the first edition with Chapter 1. Sanspo (Sankei Sports) confirmed in October that it would be published the day before Chapter 3’s premiere.
September 27: 1/1000 Yamato box art
On this day, fans were treated to a look at Kia Asamiya’s box art painting for the upcoming Yamato 2202 model, the first time part of the ship was obscured for the sake of a dramatic rendering.
September 27: Armor Girl figure announced
Armor Girls Project (AGP) is a line of action figures from Tamashii Nations that combines anime heroines with intricately-constructed simulacrums of anime mecha to create something altogether new. The trend began with “armored girl” art and garage kits back in the 1980s and has now reached a level of popularity that commands high-tech engineering and fabrication.
Yuki Mori is the latest anime heroine to join the AGP lineup. Set for a February 2018 release, her 6” figure comes with a Yamato simulacrum that can be assembled in various configurations to surround her with weaponry. You can’t transform the pieces into a complete version of Yamato, but the Tamashii Nations product page lists three modes: Anchor launcher, submarine mode, and Wave Gun Firing mode.
See the whole AGP lineup here.
See a promo video on Youtube here.
September 27: Nobuteru Yuuki book at Yamato Crew
The first volume of Nobuteru Yuuki’s Ark of the Stars art book premiered at the August Comiket (as seen in the last report), a full color 160-page collection of his character animation layouts for the first half of the film. On September 27, it was offered for sale at the Yamato Crew website (to Japan addresses only) along with unique trading cards featuring Zordar and Sabera.
September 27: Chapter 3 trailer #2
The second Chapter 3 trailer was even more generous than the first, running two and a half riveting minutes. The activation of the Wave-Motion Gun took center stage, a scene that has never carried more weight than it does now.
See the trailer on Youtube here.
September 27: Chapter 3 preview screening and “Teach-in”
On the evening of September 27, familiar faces took to the stage at the Shinjuku Piccadilly theater to give fans their first full look at Pure Love Chapter. Voice actors Aya Uchida (Yuria Misaki) and Eriko Nakamura (Mikage Kiryu) joined Director Nobuyoshi Habara and writer Harutoshi Fukui to greet their audience before the film and conduct a post-screening discussion called a “teach-in.”
Before the screening, it was revealed to the audience that neither of the actors had participated in voice recording for Chapter 3, since their characters were unable to board Yamato in Chapter 2, so the film was as new to them as to the fans.
After the screening, Habara and Fukui were battered with questions. When asked about the subtitle Pure Love Chapter, Fukui said that it started as a laugh in drinking parties, but when decision time rolled around, it was the only one that fit.
He asked what the subtitle meant to the actors. Eriko Nakamura said it represented something pure and out of reach, an image that is idealized because it can never be attained. Aya Uchida said it gave her an image of something innocent and grand. Fukui observed that it means something different to everyone, but the word itself universally transmits a feeling of greatness. He personally defined it as something innocent and noble, but fierce; a dual nature that can both heal and wound.
In closing, Director Habara thanked the crowd for their loyal support, which has lead to increasing sales, a growing number of theaters (25 this time) and a great morale boost for the staff.
September 29-October 1: 57th All Japan Model Hobby Show
With Chapter 3 now less than a month away, this event had plenty of eye candy for everyone from new and forthcoming products to the 3-meter Yamato to a live talk show with Fukui and Habara. One of the more interesting product announcements was that when the large Gatlantis battleship is released as a Mecha-Collection mini-kit, it will be in-scale with the Andromeda from the same lineup – which will make it considerably larger than “mini.”
Fans captured it all for Twitter; see a photo gallery here.
See a video walk-through of the Bandai booth here.
September 30: Cosmo Fleet Special Hi-Spec Cosmo Zero
The month finished with two major products arriving on the same day. First, Megahouse’s deluxe Cosmo Fleet Special “Hi-spec” Cosmo Zero, so named for its diecast metal parts and high degree of engineering. Measuring 8” long, its many option parts allow for display on a pivoting stand or in launch mode (on a catapult), armed with various weaponry loadouts, or in “folded” mode with landing gear and a boarding ladder.
See a gallery of product photos here.
September 30: Yuki Mori “private coordinate” figure
Finally, Megahouse dropped another 1/8 Yuki Mori figure into the growing pile (14 and counting) with this view of her in the long-admired casual outfit from 1978, now called “private coordinates.” Chapter 3 will feature Yuki in a Be Forever-style ground-action uniform, so this is almost certainly not the last Yuki we’ll see from Megahouse.
At right: Custom trading card for the figure, a bonus item for fans who buy the figure from the Yamato Crew website.
Also spotted in September
Fans did their part this month in both character and mecha worlds and had plenty to go on as the 2202 universe continued to expand. See a gallery here.
Yamato girls are still landing on Earth! See the latest arrivals here.
Another month, another batch of craftsmanship in the 3D world. See new discoveries here.
And finally, one more art image from the Yamato 2202 mobile game Hero’s Record. Kato never looked better.