2202 activity in March 2018 dropped to an echo of February, but maintained a steady presence with the first look at Chapter 5, a new model kit, a live appearance at Anime Japan 2018, and lots of online fan activity to keep it colorful. Here is the rundown for the month…
March 6: Production news
This photo was posted on Twitter by the Yamato 2202 Production Committee with the following caption: “We are currently working on the Chapter 4 digest for Chapter 5.” This refers to the “story-so-far” recap that is shown in movie theaters just before a new chapter, and then turned into a bonus feature for home video.
March 7: Chapter 5 teaser
The month blasted off with our first look at moving pictures from Chapter 5 (forebodingly named Purgatory Chapter) when an enticing 30-second teaser was released. Writer Harutoshi Fukui has said that the first half of the chapter focuses on Dessler, which suggests that all this footage comes from that segment of the story. A confrontation in Teresa’s chamber (Terezarium) appears to explode into a battle on the surface of Telezart spiked with revelations from Kiman.
See it on Youtube here.
March 8: Chapter 5 promotion
The arrival of the teaser kickstarted promotion for Purgatory Chapter that included the release of additional images online, only a few of which are shown above.
Another announcement gave us our strongest indicator yet of how well Yamato 2202 is doing: whereas Chapter 4 was screened in 29 theaters, Chapter 5 has been booked into 35.
A description of the story, previously released in January, was re-released in online articles:
The story of those who make up the “great sum” [Yamato’s crew] and the “edge” is about to enter a new phase. It was not only the goddess Teresa who was waiting for Yamato to reach the legendary planet Telezart. Before Kodai, the opponent with the “edge” appears: the former enemy Dessler. Yamato battles with the Dessler fleet, where the old regimes of Garmillas gather. In the midst of that, Kiman rushes to Kodai’s cause and takes amazing action.
Meanwhile, a new Sabera is awakened in Gatlantis, and the full-scale invasion of Earth begins at last. Gatlantis clashes with the Wave-Motion Gun fleet centered around the flagship Andromeda, intending to annihilate all life and civilization. What is the true figure of the city empire that sleeps within the huge white comet? And a new devil’s choice is issued by Zordar.
You will witness a shock at the ending, and the last five minutes are filled with tears.
The Chapter 5 video sleeve art by Character Designer Nobuteru Yuuki was revealed (see an enlargement at the end of this page), along with a new advance ticket in card form that reused art seen on a clear file back in January.
March 10: Chapter 5 flyer
The flyer for Purgatory Chapter appeared in theaters Saturday the 10th, bearing the same slogan that concluded the story description: You will witness a shock at the ending, and the last five minutes are filled with tears.
March 10: Chapter 5 advance ticket bonus model
While supplies lasted, fans could obtain three different bonus items with advance tickets: a standard ticket plus poster with the Chapter 5 flyer art, a card ticket plus matching clear file, OR – undoubtedly the most popular choice – a card ticket plus an exclusive clear version of the Mecha Collection Andromeda mini-kit. It was referred to as “metallic color” since reflective glitter was baked into the plastic.
Fans were quick to build their kits and post photos on Twitter. Marusei320 gave us a good look at the model with its special box (above left) and 94Ragunso11 brought out the previously-released clear models from Ark of the Stars for a three-way lineup.
March 18: 5-year anniversary
It’s not uncommon for anime-themed restaurants to pop up in Japan, but it’s VERY uncommon for them to last longer than a month or two. That puts Yakitori Yamato in rare company, since it marked its fifth anniversary on March 18. (Also Dessler’s birthday. Coincidence…?)
Fans who visited the restaurant during this time posted photos on Twitter of celebratory bouquets and artwork. The top photo shows bouquets from Bandai Visual and Director Nobuyoshi Habara (posted by Planet E Amy). Above left is a bouquet from Producer Souji Nishizaki and above right is a sketch from professional illustrator DARTS (photo posted by Aoi2199).
March 23: Art prints
Two high-end prints were released on this day by Bandai Visual, matted and framed and ready for hanging. Painted by Kia Asamiya (left) and Naoyuki Katoh (right), they measure 14.3” x 17.75” and are sold via mail order (to Japanese addresses only) for about $130.
March 23: Funimation announcement
And now the news you’ve been waiting for: Yamato 2202 is coming to the English-speaking world at last. Funimation revealed that the series will be part of their coming spring season, a “simuldub” that will premiere on May 9, one week after 2199 concludes its run. Crunchy roll subsequently announced that it will carry the subtitled version, but a premiere date is still forthcoming.
Read more at Anime News Network here.
March 24: 1/1000 Apollo Norm model
With the Andromeda clones out of the way, Bandai finally rolled out the first carrier version of the ship. Measuring 19” long when built, it includes tiny Cosmo Tigers and Falcons, and is ready-made to accomodate a separate light & sound kit that was pioneered for 2017’s Andromeda.
See a photo gallery of prototype and finished Apollo Norms here.
See more product photos here.
March 24 & 25: Anime Japan 2018
The fifth Anime Japan convention coincided with the 100th year of anime’s existence as an art form, and Yamato 2202 was there to celebrate. Both of the big-scale display models were the centerpiece of the Bandai booth, pictured above and captured on video by friend-of-the-website Gwyn Campbell.
Director Nobuyoshi Habara and Writer Harutoshi Fukui were on hand with three of the principal cast members to conduct a talk show that also became a game show. Animate Times published the following report on their hijinks…
Nobuyoshi Habara (director), Kenichi Suzumura (Shima), Daisuke Ono (Kodai), Hiroshi Kamiya (Kiman), Harutoshi Fukui (writer)
Daisuke Ono, Kenichi Suzumura, and Hiroshi Kamiya on stage!
Yamato 2202 Talk Show of Love 2018 stage report by Ayama Oikawa
Anime Japan 2018 was held at Tokyo Big Site on Saturday March 24 and Sunday March 25. On the 25th, a Yamato 2202 Talk Show of Love was held at the White stage. Drawing from 1978’s Farewell to Yamato as its motif, the theme of Yamato 2202 is a “love” for this era. Even those who haven’t yet been touched by Yamato will say “I feel like I understand it” after being introduced to it in this special stage presentation!
The announcement of a “Competition of Love” invited a great roar of laughter as Habara and Fukui appeared and took their prepared seats as the judges of what was to come. As the cast members appeared, the hall was filled with applause.
Since it was a competition, medals would be awarded to the cast member who won the most votes, and the final victor was the one who collected the most medals. The winner would receive collaboration products from Under Armour, which motivated the cast members to compete.
The first round was called “Yamato captain general election.” Each actor had one minute to make an in-character pitch to qualify as captain of the ship. They had to add an killer line at the end of their presentation.
First up was Mr. Ono, who had decided on Yamato colors for his red necktie and kerchief. Susumu Kodai is already the acting captain, and Ono insisted that he had both the experience level and capability. Furthermore, he expressed his earnest love to the heroine Yuki Mori as the driving force for Yamato.
He earned big applause with the line, “Yuki…Yukiiii! Captain, target scope open!”
Next up was Mr. Suzumura as Chief Navigator Daisuke Shima, who insisted that Yamato doesn’t move without Shima. Also, since the name of his younger brother is Jiro, he will certainly become a favorite character for children who continue following. When he said that getting this promotion would go over well with his parents, the crowd burst into laughter. Furthermore, in response to Ono’s presentation, he said Kodai would be useless since he only thinks about Yuki, bringing even more laughter. Even Ono laughed in spite of himself. Suzumura finally finished with the killer line, “Warp!!”
Mr. Kamiya was the last to appear. He pointed out that above all a captain had to keep his cool, and passionately said that Klaus Kiman’s pride in being the coolest one on board Yamato made him most suitable captain. Also, he objected to his predecessors by saying Shima only thinks about warps and Kodai only thinks about Yuki. He quickly reviewed past episodes of 2202 and emphasized how hard it was on the crew for Kodai to be so troubled about firing the Wave-Motion Gun.
“It would be best to make me the captain,” he concluded confidently.
The evaluation of the judges was…two votes for Kamiya! However, Mr. Fukui commented, “Honestly, any of them would be all right, but if Kiman became the captain we could repaint Yamato in Garmillas colors and make another model kit.” Habara’s evaluation was that Kamiya had bested the others, so he earned two medals.
The second half of the game was to invent an item of merchandise. This time, viewers in the audience and those watching the live stream on Nico Nico were asked to participate, so there was a chance to win a total of four medals.
The presentation order was changed so that Mr. Kamiya went first. He suggested “Harutoshi Fukui T-shirts.” Since Mr. Fukui’s choice of T-shirt designs is always very strange, that is to say unique, Kamiya’s proposition was to have Fukui choose which Yamato character to put on a T-shirt. Since Yamato T-shirts are often subtle and understated, the hope was to increase purchases.
Next, Mr. Ono nominated a “Special Yuki Mori Bromide.” (A glossy photographic portrait.) As usual, it was Kodai’s role to think only about Yuki. Of course, the set would consist of the usual yellow costume, plain clothes, a nurse’s uniform, swimwear, and even warp!
“Yuki! Yukiiii!” he said. “Special quality bromide, target scope open!” and the crowd roared with laughter.
Finally, Mr. Suzumura. His suggestion was “a lottery ticket for Isao Sasaki to sing at a house concert.” Morever, he said it would come with a Sasaki photo op.
The result was…
First, two votes for Mr. Suzumura from Habara and Fukui. Mr. Fukui scanned the crowd with binoculars and determined that they registered 85,000 votes (there weren’t really that many) for Mr. Suzumura. Also, he earned more than 40% of the votes from the Nico Nico viewers, so Suzumura received all four medals. That concluded the presentation part of the show; 0 for Mr. Ono, 2 for Mr. Kimura, and 4 for Mr. Suzumura.
When presented with his prize, a collection of Under Armour collaboration products, Suzumura said that he hoped to see more of Shima’s signature green color in a future line.
When the laughter faded, everyone watched a summary version of Yamato 2202 so far, up to Chapter 4. Although the three cast members occasionally chatted, it was striking to see them stare at the screen in wonder. The footage had been edited especially for Anime Japan with newly-recorded narration. (See it on Youtube here.)
Afterward, Fukui offered a glimpse of confidence in his closing remark: “When I see the work with the audio added, it makes even me cry. Everyone should see it in a theater by all means.”
Looking back on his year of participating in Yamato, Mr. Kamiya said that the voyage is advancing smoothly and closed with a line from Kiman: “See it, because it’s good.”
Suzumura incited everyone’s expectations when he touched on Chapter 5, which is coming in May: “A dense and dramatic story is waiting.” Switching to his Shima role, he concluded with, “Everyone, warp to the theater!”
Ono confessed that he felt pressure when he first got involved with the series, but said that Yamato is a work that speaks of love, which anyone can enjoy. “Everyone, please board Yamato together in the future. Target scope, open…on the bright future of Yamato!”
Only three more chapters until the end! Don’t miss the tearful ending of a “Love” for today’s generation!
March 25: Hobby Japan #587
This issue devoted four pages to Yamato 2202, three of which gave readers a nice big look at Apollo Norm.
The fourth (above right) gave the usual news roundup, including the announcement that a Mecha Collection Apollo Norm is due out in May with a recolored Cosmo Falcon to follow in June.
March 26: V Storage magazine
Bandai Visual’s free promotional magazine ran this two-page article to catch readers up on the series so far and remind them that Chapter 5 is on the way. See the online version of the magazine here.
March 27: Event news
This day was the start of an application period for a unique event to be held April 21 at the famous Yamashiroya toy store in Uneo, Tokyo. That date marks the release of Bandai’s Kalaklum model kit, and the first forty fans to apply (via Twitter) will get to participate in the building of a Legionnaire Cannon as seen in Chapter 3. The application fee of 1944yen covers the cost of two Kalaklums to be built on-site and placed into what promises to be a VERY large display. Director Nobuyoshi Habara and Writer Harutoshi Fukui will be on hand for the filming of a Yamato 2202 Promotional Meeting of Love video special.
Watch for coverage of this in our next report.
March 30: V Storage interview
The V Storage website published a new interview on this day. Conducted by the original Yamato superfan Ryusuke Hikawa, it paired up 2202 Director Nobuyoshi Habara with Megalobox Director Hiroshi Moriyama, comparing and contrasting their methods of reviving yesteryear’s masterpieces.
Read the interview here.
March 31: Cosmo Fleet Special miniatures
The month ended with the arrival of the next two CFSP ships from Megahouse, Aldebaran and Achilles. Naturally, they were repaints of the Andromeda released in January, but they come with different support craft.
Whereas Andromeda included a Cosmo Tiger 1, each of these ships came with a differently-colored Cosmo Falcon. They were a web-only release, not sold in stores or through major retailers like Amazon. Thus, photos are hard to come by. We have Twitter user Ayahtt to thank for these.
Also spotted in March
Makoto Kobayashi on Twitter
As a co-director and mecha designer, Kobayashi is among the first to receive and build Bandai model kits, reliably giving them his own personal twists. His Twitter feed was full of them again in March along with eye-popping art from his many illustration projects.
See a gallery of his March images here.
Yamato 2202 in stores
Despite a general no-photos-in-stores policy, fans in Japan are eager to share sightings of Yamato merch on display. Case in point for March: a photo from Kinokuniya bookstore in Shinjuku Tokyo (posted by Masachika Ume) and another from a store in Futaba (posted by Tsudamizu9696). Both show Chapter 4 Blu-rays in prominent positions.
Twitter flowed with character and mecha art, some of which commemorated the birthdays of Dessler (March 18) and his original voice actor Masato Ibu (March 28).
March saw an tidal wave of ingenuity in the modeling world with renditions of everything from repaints to scratch builds to “digiramas” that must be seen to be believed.
See (and believe) a substantial gallery here.
Examples of cosplay in March were few but memorable. At left is Maniana Mayumin as Akira Yamamoto, serving as an MC at the Maiho Aichi Character Fest in Yokkaichi city (Mie Prefecture) on March 25. At right is a rare entry indeed: Twitter user Mehyasuki appeared as Shiro Sanada on March 11 (event unkown).
Chapter 5 video sleeve art by Character Designer Nobuteru Yuuki