May 1: Hyper Hobby June issue
This title is a new one to our Yamato coverage, but the magazine itself has been published by Tokuma Shoten for over 13 years (this is issue #165). The bulk of its pages are devoted to live-action tokusatsu toys and figures, but there’s plenty of room for anime and 2199 coverage earned six pages.
In addition to a character guide, episodes 1 and 2 were each given a page of stills, shown above. But most interesting was a list of trivia questions that have a lot to say about the first two episodes. Translation follows.
You’ll understand if you read this!!
26 Secrets and Mysteries of Yamato
Questions about Yamato 2199 are solved with innovation!!
You’ll be a professor of Yamato if you read this!?
1: Who does Yamato belong to?
The United Space Navy Far East area space battle fleet.
2: Is there any other warship of Yamato‘s type?
Not presently. Still under attack from Gamilas in 2199, Earth is on the verge of extinction with no spare capacity, and their hands were full just building one Yamato.
3: Is there a UN Army and a UN Air Force?
UNCN (United Nations Cosmo Navy) = the space navy, and UNCF (United Nations Cosmo Force) = the ground forces. The Cosmo Falcon is a combat attack aircraft developed and mass-produced by the UN ground forces. [Translator’s note: this follows actual history, since the Japanese Hayabusa fighter plane was used by the army.]
4: How many carrier-based craft are carried on Yamato?
There are a total of 42 craft, broken down like so: Type 52 Zero space fighter (Cosmo Zero) x 2, Type 99 space combat attack plane (Cosmo Falcon) x 36, Type 100 space reconnaissance craft x 2, SC97 general-use space transport (Cosmo Seagull) X 2.
5: Is there controlled gravity on board Yamato!?
On the warships of the UN space navy, such as Kirishima and Yukikaze, magnetic shoes are worn while in zero-G. On Yamato, the energy of the Dimensional Wave-Motion Engine is converted for use in a gravity control unit, so a gravitic environment is created.
6: Is Yamanami the captain of the flagship Kirishima?
Yamanami was captain of Kirishima for Operation M. Okita was not the captain, but rode on board as the commander who directed the entire strategy.
7: Is the port in the bow of Kirishima a Wave-Motion Gun?
Kirishima‘s bow is equipped with a positronic shock cannon. As Yuki says in the first episode, these weapons repelled a Gamilas fleet in Mars orbit (Operation K2), so they became the prototype for Yamato‘s main guns.
8: Is Kirishima‘s bridge integrated with its gun turret?
Yes. This is a special design to increase firing efficiency since it centralizes the process of acquiring targets, aiming and firing.
9: Why are Yukikaze‘s torpedoes so strong?
At the time of Operation M, Yukikaze is an advanced ship equipped with experimental torpedoes. Their power exceeds pre-existing weapons and they successfully destroy Gamilas ships. Yamato is also equipped with this same type of space torpedo.
10: Did Mars undergo terraforming!?
Terraforming progressed there at one time, since Mars was a colony planet to which people emigrated. It is now an abandoned planet. In the 2170s, before contact with Gamilas, an inner-orbit planetary war was carried out between Earth and Mars.
11: What purpose is served by Yamato‘s wings?
The wings are deployed at both port and starboard for stable flight within an atmosphere. When stored, they are divided into four parts.
12: Were the main guns fired from a camouflaged Yamato?
Yes. Three projectiles called fusion bullets were used to shoot down a Gamilas air-assault mothership. It is not directly shown who fired the guns, so it might have been AU09.
13: What do you mean by AU09?
AU09 stands for Analyzer Unit 09. It is an analysis robot, improved over the traditional AU-08, that boards Yamato.
14: How does “Omshis” make the replication of alcohol possible?
There is a discussion between Harada and Dr. Sado in a transport driving toward Yamato, during which this is said: “you can replicate liquor with Omshis.” It is the food supply system on board Yamato designated O.M.C.S. (nicknamed “Omshis”). Incidentally, Sado’s favorite drink is called “Italian Beauty.”
15: How is food prepared on board Yamato?
The food is manufactured by “Omshis” and served in a mess hall. Both are to appear in Episode 4.
16: What about bathing during the voyage!?
The round-trip journey of 336,000 light years in one year is a severe challenge for Yamato. How will they bathe while underway? In fact, there is a large communal bath under the observation domes on either side of the ship where the crew goes when fatigued. The mens’ and womens’ baths are divided to right and left, respectively.
17: What is the male-to-female ration on Yamato?
Going by the swearing-in ceremony scene of the “Yamato Plan” in Episode 2, the ratio is approximately 7 to 3. Because the crew of Yamato consists of 999 people, there are approximately 700 male crew and about 300 female crew.
18: Are there recreation facilities!?
There is a training room to compensate for the decrease in physical strength over a long voyage, and other facilities are provided, such as a movie theater. There are also stands and kiosks, and “Yamato Beer” seems to appear during the farewell-to-the-solar-system party.
19: Where does everyone sleep?
Since Yamato is a battleship, there is not enough living space to accommodate everyone at once. Apart from the officers’ quarters, the standard is for two people at a time to share a room over two shifts.
20: Is Yamato able to land?
Yamato is designed for space travel and cannot land on solid ground, but it can land in water.
21: Is there radio on board Yamato!?
There is a broadcast on board in which Yuria Misaki serves as the DJ. The name YRA [Radio Yamato] will appear in the future! Aya Uchida is the voice actress for Yuria Misaki, and does a reproduction of the onboard broadcast with Cho, the voice actor for Analyzer. YRA is now in distribution. It can be accessed via an internet radio station. The delivery site is here!
22: Is someone from Iscandar on board Yamato!?
One year ago, Starsha of Iscandar sent her sister Ulyssia to Earth. It is possible that an Iscandarian is on board, perhaps to monitor the behavior of Earthlings!?
23: Why does Gamilas aim for Earth!?
Gamilas is a militaristic interstellar empire that spreads out into space, like the Roman Empire on Earth. Various planets other than Earth have been absorbed as their influence reaches across the galaxy.
24: Why do Shulz and Ganz have pink skin!?
Shulz and Ganz, stationed at the Gamilas advance base on Pluto, are second-class Gamilas from a conquered race. Their planet of origin was absorbed by Gamilas. Therefore, their skin color is different from that of a full-blooded Gamilas.
25: Why do the Gamilas attack with planet bombs!?
Gamilas is reconstructing the Earth (Gamilas-forming), and their preparations include annihilating the human race. The planet bomb attacks caused air pollution and environmental catastrophe, and there are more complex factors such as Gamilas plants germinated by the bombs that release toxins to bring humankind to extinction.
26: What are the “eyes” that are characteristic of Gamilas ships?
Gamilas ships have intake openings in the shape of biological “eyes.” They have no color during anchorage, they glow green while cruising, and they glow with color gradations during battle. This design is to demonstrate the “intention” of the ship.
May 17: New Model Kits
Preorders for Bandai’s new 1/1000 Yamato model opened online May 1st. Without a finished product to show, Bandai instead circulated more images of the CG prototype, as shown above. But as it turned out, this was only the first of a new wave.
Several other models were showcased at the 51st annual Shizuoka Hobby Show from May 17-20. A Japanese hobby site called GA Graphic was the first to post official photos, which gave us a look at the actual 1/1000 Yamato and a lineup of Earth and Gamilas battleships at the same scale. (See a YouTube video of the display booth here.) Release dates were not given for these additional kits, but other information was reported.
Bandai representative Hirofumi Kishiyama was quoted as saying that the company decided on a standard 1/1000 scale for the series based on the economies of both production and pricing, since a larger scale would quickly become more expensive and more difficult to display.
The specs for Yamato itself are also different this time, as we learned in previous interviews. The ship’s length is now set at 333 meters, which yields a 33cm kit (that’s about 13″ for the metrically-challenged). If that same kit were to represent the old length of 265 meters, it would clock in at about 1/800 scale. Its detail is said to be unprecedented, with fine parts such as the pulse laser turrets molded by Bandai’s high-precision nanofabrication technology. Its stern panels are removable to display the new rotary storage method for the fightercraft and also the wave-motion engine, both of which can be removed.
There’s also a bonus for longtime Yamato fans: the kit will be bundled with special reproductions of the old 100-yen “Mecha Collection” mini-kits, specifically the Gamilas tri-deck carrier. The original version of this model was only available in green, but now it’s being reissued in three different colors to match those seen in the classic Rainbow Galaxy battle. Very dedicated collectors will now have a chance to chase down all three and build their own task force for the first time.
See the promotional poster for this kit here
May 19: Architecture Knowledge magazine
You read that correctly: Architecture Knowledge. It’s a monthly magazine published by a company named X-Knowledge, and issue #691 put Yamato on the cover. Such a combo might lead you expect something really unusual inside, like perhaps a highly-detailed blueprint of the ship, but there was no such payoff. Only a single interior page (above right) had anything to do with the cover. It offered a brief but interesting essay by a professional architect that reads as follows:
Yamato and Me
Keigo (first class registered architect)
I was born just at the time of the big Space Battleship Yamato boom days, and I remember being crazy about Yamato when I reached the age of discretion. Yamato broke through the beautiful universe and was really cool. Before long, I began to draw pictures to catch a little of Yamato. By the time I was able to understand the story, I also understood “blueprints,” and since I yearned to be like the chief engineer who dealt with things calmly, I think that experience led the way to the construction industry.
I seriously believed that I would ride on Yamato some time in the future, but as I got older I came to realize that this romantic ideal would be out of reach, so I came to think I’d like to be engaged in work that inhaled pictures and drawings. I entered an architectural office through an arts college, and though I assumed drawing would be treated like business, I was uneasy at first about how it would be realized practically and I began to feel the weight of the drawing.
As I gained experience, the distance narrowed between drawing and reality, and out of the impulse to bring Yamato a little closer as I longed to do with my drawings in the old days, I decided to make full use of CAD to draw the lines. I was unexpectedly absorbed by this. Since complex functions and arrangements are done three-dimensionally in my head whenever I advance the drawings, my hand works quickly. Although it is called SF mecha, there are many features in common with architectural design. The crew members need a living environment for their long voyage, and I thought an architectural viewpoint was important for the construction of a work that drops that magnificent story into space.
Also, the attractive detail gives meaning to its beautiful streamlined appearance from the inside, so the viewpoint of product design enters into it along with architecture, and makes it fun. Although I didn’t get to go in the end, I was able to experience a joy something like romance through the design, and it was very meaningful that I was able to feel the depth and appeal of Yamato anew through architecture.
Note: Some of the CAD drawings by Keigo can be seen at his homepage, Space Battleship Yamato Design Room.
May 25: Bonanza II
Volume 1 Video Release
As of now, everyone can see Episodes 1 and 2 of the series simply by placing an order with an online seller, such as CD Japan (here) or Amazon Japan (here). The Blu-ray is the best option, since it shares the same region code as US Blu-ray discs, and also includes English subtitles. The standard DVD is a region 2 disc with no subs.
The bonus features on the disc include an audio commentary (in Japanese, sorry) and a non-credit “clean” version of the opening title. Two booklets are included with the disc: a 12-page introductory guide and a 20-page reproduction of the storyboard for the opening title (cover image shown at right). Click here to see the entire video package.
The Yamato Crew website offered yet another exclusive version of the release; all the features listed above plus a special trading card (below center) and facsimiles of the voice recording scripts for episodes 1 and 2 (below right). The trading cards will probably be rolled out a few at a time over the course of the series; a set of three was sold in theaters with the first film and there will undoubtedly be more to watch for as events are announced.
Volume 2 (episodes 3-6) is already available for pre-order with a release date of July 27, via the links provided above. A limited-edition Blu-ray will almost certainly be sold when the movie premieres on June 30. As always, we’ll cover it in as much detail as possible.
If you were in Akihabara, Tokyo on May 25 and didn’t know about the release, the Yuki army was there to tell you all about it! The neighborhood’s collosal Yodobashi Camera department store was the site of a special prize lottery; the grand prize was an autograph from Yutaka Izubuchi, but there were some other trinkets as well, which had previously been sold at movie theaters.
This wasn’t the first time these particular Yukis were deployed; Bandai Visual seems to have turned them into an elite Yuki squad. They have turned up repeatedly in costume for similar events since last summer. Prior to this, they were seen at Akihabara’s special sneak preview screening for the Yamato Resurrection Director’s Cut.
Voice Actor Announcement
With 2199 now in the public spotlight again, the official website finally answered a question fans had been wondering about since the start: who would give voice to everyone’s favorite character?
The Great Gamilas Emperor Dessler is Koichi Yamadera!
Emperor Dessler, also known as Aberto Dessler, is a main character of this work so it was decided that Japan’s leading voice actor Koichi Yamadera would serve as the character voice. In response, we received this comment from Mr. Yamadera!
I feel simultaneous joy and pressure performing Dessler. At first I was really surprised when talk of Dessler first came to me. Because I played Kodai in Yamato Resurrection, I wondered if I would be offered the role of Kodai in Yamato 2199. I never thought I would be Dessler! (Laughs)
Along with the “joy of playing Dessler” now, I feel tremendous pressure at the same time since I must “carry out a performance worthy of Dessler.”
I was in junior high when I watched the first Yamato. I’m really glad I can play Dessler this time since he was really my favorite character. I think he’s definitely fun to play.
Mr. Yamadera played the role of Togusa in Innocence, the role of Spike in Cowboy Bebop, and is known for his dubbing of foreign films for actors such as Jim Carrey and Brad Pitt. In addition to his voice acting, he is active in movies, variety shows, and the stage. See a comprehensive list of his other credits here and read his Wikipedia entry here.
Part 2 Trailer
As if May 25 couldn’t get any more exciting, a brand new 2-minute trailer for Yamato 2199 Part 2 made its online debut. It had previously been seen only on the big screen, in front of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn Episode 5, which premiered May 19. But now fans around the world could also get their first look at what is to come in episodes 3-6.
See the trailer right now on YouTube here.
With images from the second movie now in circulation, the 2199 website put the icing on the cake by releasing some of the new Gamilas mecha to appear therein. Get a better look at them here.
The first fan-made products for 2199 have already begun to appear, which include two doujinshis [fanzines] and an RPG game set before the anime series (shown above right). Both are available only in Japan, and will doubtless be followed by many more.
Finally, some of the special products sold in movie theaters have been added to our archive, and can be seen in a gallery here.