The Best of Yamato on YouTube

If you’re in the habit of browsing our ever-lengthening Links page, you already know that the internet bursts at the seams with Star Blazers and Space Battleship Yamato content. If you’ve looked at that page and backed away in terror at the sheer magnitude of it all, you can be forgiven. It’s hard to know where to begin.

It is for you that this page exists–to highlight some of the more noteworthy artifacts that have emerged on YouTube, either directly related to Yamato or inspired by it. After you’ve digested these, we hope you’ll find yourself fortified and ready to explore the rest of our Links collection, since there’s a lot more that can’t be found on YouTube.

Also, we encourage you to share your own Star Blazers and Yamato finds with us! You can email them to us by clicking the ‘Contact’ link in the banner above.

Space Cruiser Yamato (1:38:00)

Ever wonder when the word “Cruiser” took the place of “Battleship”? This is the 1976 English-dubbed Yamato movie, made a year before the Japanese edition and a good three years before Star Blazers. It was the first attempt to take Yamato outside Japan, and offers valuable perspective even today. It can be viewed in 8 parts, starting here.

Read about the making of the film here.

Yamato bicycle commercial (:33)

Without a doubt, the ultimate Yamato collectible from the production years was this tricked-out bicycle by Bridgestone. No more needs to be said about this one.

Watch it here and read our photo-feature on the bike here.

ANA commercial (:16)

Once in a while, Yamato still pops up in an occasional TV commercial these days. This one for All Nippon Airlines shows Dessler what happens when his arch enemies decide to take a day off.

Watch it here.

Space Battleship Yamato MV (49:00)

MV stands for Music Video. This was the first of five such videos, released in 1984. It’s exactly what it sounds like, an extended montage coupled with the best of the Hiroshi Miyagawa scores for Series 1 and the first movie. It can be viewed in 6 parts, starting here.

Farewell to Yamato MV (55:00)

The second installment in the MV Series, this was also released in 1984 and gives Farewell to Yamato the same treatment with some extra audio mixing. It can be viewed in 6 parts, starting here.

The New Voyage MV (35:00)

This was the shortest of the five MVs, each of which was based on a Yamato movie. It can be viewed in 4 parts, starting here.

The real value of the MV Series is the opportunity to enjoy the essence of the story apart from the linear scene-by-scene narrative. The MVs are also extremely rare, since they were released only once on VHS and LD–so whoever took the time to post them did the rest of us a huge favor. Read about the making of the MV Series here.

Hiroshi Miyagawa’s Yamato medley (5:59)

The best and most enduring element of Space Battleship Yamato is its score, and there’s no better way to experience it than through the baton of maestro Miyagawa himself. We merely listen to the theme; this clip leaves no doubt that Miyagawa channels it from the depths of his soul.

Watch it here.

Miyagawa conducts Yamato theme (4:44)

Here’s a clip of Miyagawa and the Tokyo Philharmonic rendering another one for the ages, followed by an onstage discussion with his longtime collaberator Kentaro Haneda and his son (also a composer) Akira Miyagawa.

Watch it here and read our tribute to Miyagawa here.

Grand Symphony Concert (60:00)

This 1984 orchestral performance of Miyagawa’s best Yamato scores was arranged by his longtime collaberator Kentaro Haneda. The conductor was Naoto Otomo, who lead all the sessions for Final Yamato and Resurrection. Haneda plays piano with Yamato veterans Tsugio Tokunaga on violin and Kazuko Kawashima performing vocals. Clip 1 | Clip 2 | Clip 3 | Clip 4

Read more about the concert here.

Isao Sasaki montage (5:00)

Second only to Miyagawa in terms of musical energy is vocalist Isao Sasaki, known to his contemporaries as the “Aniking” thanks to his huge body of work in anime theme songs. This montage shows him at the top of his game, singing the Yamato theme at different times and places.

Watch it here.

Isao Sasaki live, 1999

22 years later, he hadn’t lost a step. Here he performs both Yamato and The Scarlet Scarf at the “Super Robot Spirits” concert, one of many that re-energized the best anime themes of the 70s and 80s in live performances.

Yamato (2:21) | Scarlet Scarf (3:05)

Isao Sasaki live (6:20)

In this clip from an unknown concert (probably early 00s) Sasaki belts out both Yamato and Scarlet Scarf on a giant stage backed by a symphony and female vocalists. This is just about as good as it gets.

Watch it here.

The Scarlet Scarf “hybrid” edit (5:51)

This one is a real gem: the full version of the emotional ending theme from Series 1. In this case, full means more than the two standard verses; it seamlessly combines both the Japanese and English versions in their entirety, sung from end to end by Isao Sasaki.

Watch it here.

Kenji Sawada live, 1991 (6:00)

Of course, Sasaki wasn’t the only vocalist to strike gold with Yamato, but live Anison performances by the others aren’t quite as common–which makes this one especially noteworthy. Kenji Sawada’s contribution to the saga was the moving end theme for Farewell to Yamato, titled From Yamato With Love.

Watch him revive it for an appreciative crowd here.

The Alfee: Dedicate my Love (5:54)

This is the power-ballad end theme from 2009’s Yamato Resurrection, written and performed by The Alfee, a Japanese supergroup that got their start the same year as Yamato itself. Combined with footage from the film, it quickly earns its place in the Yamato song pantheon.

Watch it here.

Read about the music of Yamato Resurrection here and find translated lyrics for Dedicate My Love here.

Yamato theme by Animetal (4:03)

The Space Battleship Yamato theme is a true classic in Japan and has been covered by everyone in every way. Here’s the most energetic of them all by a band that specializes in reinterpreting anime themes into head-banging speed metal.

Watch it here and visit our links page for a big helping of other versions.

Yamato theme by Animetal USA (3:03)

Animetal went international with a self-titled album in late 2011 that covered 11 themes, leading off with Yamato. The lyrics are entirely a new English translation of the original. Read more info here.

Watch the music video here.

Wave Motion Gun by Sicko (1:33)

Sicko is a three-man self-described pop-punk band from Seattle that formed in the early 90s. They are evidently also members of the Star Blazers generation, since few others could put together a song this cool and catchy.

Watch it here. (Parental discretion advised.)

The world’s bravest fan (6:57)

The love of Yamato music travels far and wide, inspiring people to do things they normally wouldn’t and emboldening them to share their passion with the rest of the world. This one is worthy of your applause.

Watch it here.

Yamato theme with Shamisen (1:20)

Here’s another fan who takes it up a notch, belting out an amazingly skillful rendition of the theme on a traditional Japanese Shamisen.

Watch it here.

Star Blazers: The Next Generation

Let’s hear it for smart, forward-thinking parents who expose their kids to the best stuff exactly when it will have the most impact. There’s no better demonstration of the Yamato theme’s broad appeal than to hear it RAW and UNPLUGGED.

Version 1 (:17) Version 2 (1:15)

Version 3 (1:19) Version 4 (1:45).

Dessler, Satan of the Universe (2001)

Yamato parodies first began to appear in doujinshi [fanzines] published shortly after the first broadcast of Series 1 and propagated along with its popularity. Many years later, a Japanese comedy/variety show named Adventures of the Laughing Dog unleashed these wicked sketches that showed that even an intergalactic despot can’t escape the slings and arrows of everyday life.

Part 1 (subtitled; 2:15) | Part 2 (1:40) | Part 3 (2:20) | Part 4 (2:30)

Special thanks to superfan Edward Hawkins for posting these. Visit his Yamato site here.

Desslok’s Revenge (24:00)

This is a work as yet unequaled in Yamato/Star Blazers history: a fully-realized fan film created in 1986 by superfan Brian Cirulnick and his circle of friends. The passion and reverence poured into it still shines through every scene, however dated it may appear to us now. It can be viewed in 4 parts, starting here.

Read about the making of the film here.

Remember a Day (31:24)

This excellent 2010 mini-documentary is the work of superfan Matt Murray, who self-produces films under the banner of Cornpone Flicks. Through clips, stills, monologues, and even some original animation, Matt delivers a heartfelt tribute to the series with an engaging mix of humor and insight that might just leave you with a lump in your throat.

Watch it here. (Parental discretion advised for occasional salty language.)

Space Battleship Yamato in the ’60s (5:16)

All films and TV shows are products of the time in which they are made. Occasionally something like Yamato comes along ahead of its time and has to wait for the rest of the world to catch up. That said, it’s interesting to wonder what it might have looked like a decade earlier, when it may very likely have debuted as a live-action Toho tokusatsu [special effects] film.

Here’s a good guess.

Yamato Pachislo game opening (1:06)

Other than the double-threat revival of Yamato Resurrection and the live-action movie, the best recent Yamato animation can be found in the multi-media pachinko games that serve as Japan’s national pastime. This game, based on Series 1, was released by the Yamasa Company in early 2010.

Watch the opening animation here and read all about the game here.

CR Yamato 2 Pachinko game opening (1:24)

Released by Fuji in spring 2009, this game based on Series 2 [The Comet Empire] took fans by storm with some absolutely stunning CG animation that raised the bar for everything that came afterward.

See the original opening animation here and a longer version (2:11) with a sound effects remix here. Read all about the game here.

Series 2 Typing Game clip (2:29)

Prior to the arrival of the pachinko games, the best Yamato CG animation could be found on the Sourcenext typing games, which far exceeded expectations in both quality and variety.

Click here to see a montage from the game devoted to The Comet Empire, then click here to see what else these games have to offer.

The New Voyage PS2 game footage (7:07)

The Playstation games didn’t quite measure up to their contemporaries in CG quality, but the character animation is some of the best ever seen, vividly reimagined by designer/animator Keisuke Masunaga. Numerous clips from these games can be found on YouTube.

Click here to see the re-imagined launch sequence from The New Voyage and read more about the game here.

Be Forever Yamato PS2 game footage (2:02)

The Be Forever game was split in half over two releases, and though they differed significantly from the movie, the animation quality makes one wish for a modern remake.

Click here to the see the opening montage from first Be Forever game (with alternate music) and click here to read more about it.

CR Yamato 3 Pachinko game opening (1:30)

Series 3 [The Bolar Wars] finally got its due when Fuji made it the basis of a new pachinko game in early 2010, matching the standard set by CR Yamato 2 and tapping the original energy more effectively than ever.

See it here and read more about the game here.

Dance Performance (2:43)

Japan is known for its many wacky game shows, and this clip comes from one of them, Parody Wars. Words cannot adequately describe its awesomeness.

See it here.

Yamato in the Real World/A (:13)

YouTube will still exist in the year 2199. How do we know this? This clip floated back through time to prove it.

See it here.

Yamato in the Real World/B (:11)

Okay, it’s really homemade CG. But what an amazing job! Special thanks to Jason Munday for finding all three of the clips on this row!

See it here.

Ultimate Cosplay

Italy’s Lucca Comics/Animation Convention is one of the biggest of its kind in the world, attracting enough cosplayers to rival anything in Japan. When they go all out, amazing things happen — like this mobile Yamato at the October 2010 event. Watch Kodai and Okita “suit up” in two clips:

Clip 1 (1:35) Clip 2 (1:09)

Ultimate Parade Float

It may not look like much in this still, but the Yamato float built for the 2011 Autumn Festival in Aizubange (a town in Fukushima prefecture) is full of surprises. And look closely at the dancers, too.

Watch the clip here. (9:17)
See a Nausicaa float from the 2012 festival here.

Star Blazers Rebirth (with soundtrack)

We’re pleased to conclude this list with material generated right here at this very website.

Star Blazers Rebirth was a webcomic serialized here from 2005-2007, based on early story material developed for Yamato Resurrection (which was brought back into production in 2008). With our blessing, superfan Josh Lambright turned the first ten chapters into “YouTube comics” enhanced with original Yamato music.

See them all here and read them in their original format here.

The End

One thought on “The Best of Yamato on YouTube

  1. A correction to that last part, all ‘Rebirth’ chapters are on YouTube. Took me a while, but they’re all there. Thanks again for the great story, Mr. Eldred. It kept Yamato alive during the ‘dark ages.’

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