September 1977 issue
Talking with Yoshinobu Nishizaki
It is already anticipated that the Space Battleship Yamato movie will be seen in 20 countries from America to Europe to Southeast Asia. Can we expect a sequel next? Having just finished the movie, Producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki decided to talk about his basic concept…
I’m fortunate that others have accepted Space Battleship Yamato, but I am still not satisfied. Releasing it into the world market was a test of whether or not the ability of the production staff would be measure up. I think it’s a big problem when your sense of self is based on being accepted by others. But the fact that we could sell it on the international circuit tells us that it meets the global standard, and it should produce big profits.
In the next stage I may choose a different theme for the Yamato sequel. After all, it would be nice to be thought of as a world-class producer…but I’m still thinking about it.
As it happens, the promotion and release will happen simultaneously in Europe, America, and Japan. I am very thankful for this, but as we move forward my feeling is that this is just the first step.
Considering the music of Hiroshi Miyagawa, I have no doubt that he will be accepted. As for Leiji Matsumoto, his mecha and his female characters should succeed admirably. By all means, this movie should introduce his work to the rest of the world. Needless to say, the power of the story should confer great respect upon Eiichi Yamamoto and all the others in the writing staff.
As for me, I would like to make a policy of handling Yamato differently in the future. I don’t want to specifically aim it at children in elementary school, or younger boys and girls. I want to make it for the generation that is moving into the phase of life where they are driven by hope, love, and dreams for the future. This attitude never changes. After all, it follows the theme of what it means to be human.
It is an important step in everyone’s life, the time when boys and girls form their consciousness and become adults. That’s what it was like for me. This is when you learn to be part of the human society.
In that sense, perhaps Yamato was insufficient in its previous form, and this is why it must continue. Talk of a continuation began when we went to other countries, either a sequel or a TV series or a book. I’ve come to think of it in terms of a book. It may be said that I’m starting to write it.
What I am most anxious about at this time is how Yamato will be accepted by boys and girls at many levels. Once I know this, I will dig deeper into the theme and think hard about where to take it next. On that basis, I want to make a great sequel.
It’s enormously difficult to force something produced for TV into a movie version. You’re always worried about what is lost in the conversion. And I wouldn’t want to be reliant on a fan club to help sell the next movie. As an executive producer, I would want to properly promote it and offer accurate information at every step. I would want everyone to fall in love with Yamato again by watching the production of a sequel from the beginning.
Because boys and girls have been following Yamato for two or three years now, I think its success is genuine. Because this was important to me, I conducted research to learn about their expectations for a sequel. If you want to offer your opinion, I would like to hear it by all means.
Without necessarily deciding on the content, there are three thoughts…
One would be to depict the return to Earth.
Another would be to make the parts of the series that were pulled out. Yamato had the themes of brotherhood and duty, but we were not able to provide a complete portrait of the theme of personal love. We would want to present the return trip from Iscandar more thoroughly.
The third is probably a dead idea, but it would be to make Dessler a more significant character. He would have reason to hold a burning grudge against Earth.
In any case, as I said earlier, I will want to establish a new policy. Also, let there be no doubt, I want to hear more of that rich music. I met with Mr. Miyagawa a few days ago and told him I thought Yamato was the most wonderful job he’d done in years. We don’t know if that flame can be relit, but it would be worth any amount of trouble to make equally wonderful music for the sequel.
Continue to our next Nishizaki article:
1977 interview from Kinejun Magazine on the success of the Yamato movie