The voice actors say goodbye to the Yamato saga
Tatsuya Nakadai (Narrator)
“I wanted to read it like a poem…”
Although I usually perform before the cameras, I enjoy narrating as well. Narrating the dreamlike or romantic nature of anime requires more than merely speaking in a tone of reality. Therefore, it must be read with the same feeling as when reciting a poem. I somehow managed to do this while learning how to do it at the same time. I felt this helped to bring a greater scale to this movie compared to other feature films.
Kei Tomiyama (Susumu Kodai)
“The last scene caused people to cry…”
As Yamato enters its 10th year, Final Yamato‘s story and atmosphere resembles the beginning of Part One. Kodai’s image is now more powerful, and he no longer hesitates as a commander in battle. His character has also been revitalized. The scene that held the greatest emotional impact for me was when only Kodai and Yuki knew that Captain Okita had remained behind on Yamato, and tears were streaming from their eyes as they departed with the rest of the crew. This was the final production, and it was good to work one more time with the cast, the staff, and Mr. Nishizaki. The pressure of doing a great job was lifted once we had finished, but it overlapped with equal feelings of sadness that I wouldn’t be doing Kodai’s character ever again. Those who watched Part One are adults now, but I’d be happy if they still remembered something about Yamato. The cast and staff gave everything they had to make Final Yamato, and it would be nice if the fans keep watching and loving anime in the future.
Yoko Asagami (Mori Yuki)
“Graduating from 10 years of the School of Yamato…”
The Yuki character in Farewell and Be Forever was more mature, I believe, but in Final Yamato, she appeared a bit younger than before. I really liked Yuki at the very beginning of the series. In Final, Kodai and Yuki finally are able to tie the knot, so I gave a bit more apprehensive performance than usual because of this. I had grown fond of Yamato after our 10 years together, and now, after graduating from the School of Yamato, I feel I am once again at a starting point in my life. I put a lot of energy into my part for Final Yamato. Although I only watched the other Yamato movies once or twice, I intend to watch this movie several times, to recapture some of the feeling I had while making it. I feel that when a person puts that much effort into something, it will inevitably become a great work of art.
Goro Naya (Captain Juzo Okita)
“I concentrated without distraction…”
The voice acting was done in the studio for three straight days, and this was very difficult for everybody involved. I was also called in on a few other days to do some re-takes, and Mr. Nishizaki was really gung-ho because this was the final project. Dr. Sado explains in the movie why Okita is alive, so I didn’t let it distract me from the voice acting and I performed as if it was no big deal that he was still alive. I didn’t pay much attention to the other stories in the series, I merely acted out the Okita character like I did in Part One. I did narration in Series Three, but I just focused on Okita for Final Yamato. Okita goes down with the ship, so I figured this was the end for the character. I’m sure many fans coming to see this will be seeing Yamato for the first time, so I want them to appreciate the fact that this really is the last Yamato there ever will be.
Hideo Nakamura &Isao Sasaki (Shima Daisuke)
“Covering for another voice actor’s part is difficult…”
Nakamura: It is regrettable that I can no longer perform younger roles. I entered the hospital at the end of the year (1982) to remove a polyp from my stomach. I had recovered by the end of January, but I decided to hand the role of Shima to Mr. Sasaki because I felt at that time that it was just too much for me to handle. However, since certain scenes just didn’t work right for Mr. Sasaki, I later filled in the sections that the staff wanted to redo. At the end of the voice recordings for Yamato, I no longer had to do voices for younger characters, something I never really cared for, but since this was the last time I was doing this character, I also felt a sense of sadness that these days were about to end.
Sasaki: Doing another person’s character is very difficult because the image of the previous actor’s version is so well-established. Even while doing the role, I didn’t really feel natural in the part, since my voice and mannerisms are different. So I felt it was necessary to imitate Mr. Nakamura’s style as closely as I could, but that’s the nature of the voice acting business…
Taro Ishida (Lugal)
“The charismatic Lugal…”
Lugal, the leader of Planet Denguil, is an evil enemy from the Earth perspective. But it can also be said that from the Denguil people’s viewpoint, destroying the Earth would make him their savior. This was not the typical role I am used to, but one that required a charismatic aura about the character. I tried to use this image for Lugal, but I found that it had some difficult points, to be honest. Animated characters do not move the way I would, so the rhythm of the artwork had a certain “gap” compared to how a human would do something. It is this “filling in” of these gaps that makes my job both interesting and difficult at the same time. I personally felt Final Yamato had a sense of romanticism as well as softness. We all felt it was a great piece of work, and we hope that all the Yamato fans will go and see it.
Takeshi Aono (Shiro Sanada)
“I felt the passage of time with this production…”
In Final Yamato, the normally calm and reserved Sanada has several scenes where he is yelling a lot. This was no doubt due to the imminent danger of the particular situation. When Shima died, Kei Tomiyama and I really cried our eyes out. Since this was going to be the last movie, we really put our best effort into the production. In the beginning, I didn’t have any gray hairs on my head. But now, ten years later, I’ve gotten a lot of them and the time seems to have passed swiftly. When we were recording the voices, a lot of the animation was unfinished, but the final cut turned out spectacular, don’t you think? The water scenes involving Aquarius especially had a lot of impact. We hope that all of the fans will go out and see Final Yamato.
Ichiro Nagai (Dr. Sakezo Sado)
“Explaining Okita’s resurrection was very difficult…”
Explaining why Captain Okita was still alive, Dr. Sado says, “I just made a wrong diagnosis.” I suppose it’s not something to dwell on, but this care-free attitude took even me by surprise. The lines where I say, “Captain Okita wasn’t dead, after all…” had to be redone a number of times until I got it right. The reason for this was the unlikely setting, which made the lines sound like a joke. They wanted me to speak with a combination of seriousness and brevity, without getting overly melodramatic, all at the same time, and this was very difficult. What impressed me the most was when the voice recordings were finished, Nishizaki-san came up to me and shook my hand, saying, “Well done! Thank you for doing a marvelous job!” It’s been a long ten years playing Dr. Sado, and I’d like to thank all the fans for their support.
Masayuki Ibu (Dessler, Commander Todo)
“Pleasant memories of my youth…”
The ten years of doing Yamato seemed both long and short to me. When the recordings for Final Yamato ended, I felt as if a book of pleasant memories of my youth had come to a close. My only regret was that because of my mismatched schedule, I was alone at the recording studio on February 23rd, when I did my parts. I wanted to do the recordings with the other members of the cast, since this was the last time, but it was not to be. This was a lonely experience for me, and it surrounded me with a sense of isolation because of its finality. This book of my youth, working on the Yamato projects, had a great impact on me. My final message to the fans is “study hard and play hard.”
Akira Kamiya (Shiro Kato)
“A very moving last scene…”
When Okita was revived for this movie, I felt that he was a central character necessary to the Yamato storyline. This was the strong impression that I had at the time. I had previously played Saburo, the elder brother, and since Shiro was a different person, I made sure the voice was lower and that he had an air of cockiness about him. But towards the end, when Kato notices that Okita was left behind on Yamato, I realized that the main focus of my character was when he uncharacteristically shouts this realization, that Okita was still aboard the doomed ship. That scene of the final parting was very moving. With the realization that my ten years with Yamato were now over, it opened a floodgate of emotion during the voice recordings. I want to thank the entire cast and staff with whom I had worked since the first series.
Nobuji Nomura (Yoshikazu Aihara)
“I played a strong Aihara this time…”
My lines were few in Final Yamato, but Aihara was visible in many scenes as a main character. In the beginning, Aihara was about the same rank as Kodai and Shima, but somewhere down the line he just never got promoted to a higher position like the other two. But this time, instead of his typically weak delivery of “Mr. Kodai,” he yells out, “How can you accept this order, Mr. Kodai?” when the word comes down that they are going to self-destruct the Yamato. Aihara doesn’t come across as a strong character, but when it comes to making decisions, he does it decisively. When Okita departs with Yamato for the final time, I felt it didn’t have anything to do with battle tactics, but instead gave a strong impression that Okita’s generation was passing the torch to Kodai’s generation.
Kazuo Hayashi (Yasuo Nanbu)
“The Final Chapter has the weight of ten years…”
The regular cast went into the voice recordings with high spirits. After ten years, we had good teamwork and managed to fit in naturally without any awkwardness. I’ve been doing the Nanbu character for ten years, and with each passing year it adds to the weight both Nanbu and I felt. This is why the Final Chapter has the weight of all ten years, I believe. The theme of “love” has a particular punch to it, not found in other productions. Also, the ship itself cannot be called Yamato without her crew. By this I mean that somebody has to be the head of the ship, somebody else has to be the arms, and somebody else has to be the legs; without the crew, Yamato cannot do anything. So I always tried to consider which part of Yamato I was portraying through Nanbu with his position aboard the ship. Whether you are new to Yamato movies or a die-hard fan, we want you to enjoy this Final Chapter.
Kenichi Ogata (Analyzer)
“The Final Chapter gives you a feeling of a grand scale…”
I’ve been playing this part for ten years now, but it was sad that Analyzer didn’t have a greater role in this Final Chapter. I felt the scale was great and the artwork was excellent, but I also felt that the first Yamato had a stronger theme of “love” than this one; the Final Chapter seemed to focus too heavily on the battle scenes. However, it was the fiery passion of Mr. Nishizaki to revise scenes again and again to get them right without losing the quality. This, I must say, allowed the production to turn out as magnificently as it has done. Kodai and Yuki are together in a dramatic fashion in this movie, but the other characters were mostly set aside. Just focusing on the cool effects tends to send the message off on a strange tangent. I feel that in a metropolis (such as Tokyo) where people live their lives in near isolation from one another despite the crowded nature of the city, it creates an environment that leads to things like school violence. I believe anime can show the fans things that are truly fantastic, while also teaching something worthwhile at the same time.
Toru Furuya (Tasuke Tokugawa)
“I got to do a Tasuke that I hadn’t done before…”
I like the Tasuke character a lot. Since Yamato has a serious storyline at its core, it’s good to offset the mood with occasional scenes of comic relief. I liked doing the funny scenes, but this time we only got to see Tasuke’s serious side. He walks around the engine room with the picture of his father, saying, “Take a last look around here, father…” I did my best to convey the right feeling for this scene, and it’s a side of Tasuke that I hadn’t done before. For me, when the voice recordings were completed, I felt as if the anime boom had also come to an end. But I do hope that the fans will continue watching anime in the future, so that other spectacular productions will keep being made.
Mikio Terajima (Sho Yamazaki)
“I went into the final voice recordings with great expectations…”
Doing the final departure scene from Yamato was very difficult, not only for my character, Yamazaki, but for the others as well. Although the story and setting of the Final Chapter was great, I was sad that Yamazaki had only a minor role in the movie. However I went into the studio with great expectations. When we got to the departure scene, I thought, “This is it,” and felt a great emotion well up inside me. I’m sure this is partly because I joined the cast in the middle of the series, and it took me a long time to get used to the studio environment. Since this is the Final Yamato, I want all the fans to go and see it.
Masane Tsugayama (Lugal de Zahl)
“The youthfulness of the character was difficult to do…”
The Final Chapter was my first experience with the Yamato series. Lugal de Zahl (Lugal the 2nd) was the sharp-eyed Commander of the enemy fleet. The hardest part for me was capturing the youthfulness of the character’s expressions. Just changing your voice does not necessarily make it sound youthful. Although the voice recording was slated for three days, I managed to get some extra time in the studio later. Other members of the cast demanded more chances to do their parts also. Although I had done other anime roles in the past, Final Yamato had a force behind it that I had not experienced in other productions. In my generation, we had come to understand that individuals are rarely able to change the tides of war by ourselves. When war comes, it washes away concepts of romance and love, along with everything else. I would like the fans to consider this as they watch Final Yamato. Hopefully this movie will give a sense of how terrifying war truly is.
Reiko Tajima (Queen of Aquarius)
“I was pleased to be able to play the role of a very beautiful lady…”
The character of the Queen of Aquarius, Lady of the Water Planet, was difficult to play. She could not be too human, too cold, too focused, nor too abstract. I played the role not as Mother Earth, but rather as Mother to the Universe. The image was like a goddess of the Cosmos, Mother to all of Space. If I put too much feeling into the character, the image would crumble, finding a natural fit was difficult. I feel that the theme of Love was particularly well done by showing how each character dealt with this Final Chapter. I was pleased to be able to play the role of this very beautiful lady, and I hope every fan goes to see this movie.
Osamu Kobayashi (Captain Mizutani)
“A courageous Captain…”
I played the role of the Captain of the Destroyer that rescues the crew of the Yamato in this Final Chapter. I only had a small part in the last scene, and that was the extent of my role. After the crewmembers are aboard the Destroyer, Captain Mizutani asks Kodai, “What happened to Captain Okita?” Kodai responds only with a facial expression that makes what happened all too clear to the courageous Captain. My lines were just giving orders to people, so there was not much to the part. In the past, I had done the parts of Emperor Zordar and General Domeru, so many fans wondered what I’d be playing this time around. I didn’t want to let my fans down, since they supported me for the past ten years, but due to my scheduling, I could only play a small part this time, and for this I must apologize.
Kazue Ikura (Denguil Boy)
“A wonderful world everybody can fall in love with…”
His personality was a bit vague when they described him to me, but I was told to play the role as a delicate, sensitive child of an aristocratic family. When I first saw Yamato rise up from the ocean of sulfuric acid on Gamilus (in the first series), it left me with a great impression. Now that I get to actually play such a great role in this movie, I am truly honored to participate. Although it was a bit difficult to do the role because his scenes were sort of scattered, I was still pleased to be a part of this Final Chapter. It is wonderful that everybody has fallen in love with the world of Yamato. At the same time, I came to realize how difficult it was to make this world. Please go out and see this magnificent production of Final Yamato.