by Luis Cotovio and Daniel George
Episode 12: What Lies Beyond
(Japanese Name: その果てにあるもの / Sono Hate ni Aru Mono)
Director: Shigeru Ueda
Running time: 25m 28s (21m 00s without credits)
- (Cinema/Home Video): Uchuu Senkan Yamato by Isao Sasaki
- (TV): Uchuu Senkan Yamato by Project 2199
- (Cinema/Home Video): Light of Memories by KOKIA
- (TV): Best of My Love by Rei Yasuda
[DG]: This episode starts with 318 days left on the clock, making it March 30, 2199.
Yamato travels along through deep space. Okita and the section chiefs are in the navigation office where Shima brings them up to date on their schedule. Their next warp will finally take them outside the Milky Way galaxy and they still have about 130,000 light-years to travel.
[DG]: The label “protostar” is interesting here. The Space Battleship Yamato 2199 Astronomy Guide section covering this matter refers to MACHOs (Massive Astrophysical Compact Halo Objects). Far from being protostars, which are potential stars in the early stage of their formation, MACHOs refer to objects that support the existence of dark matter. These include black holes, neutron stars, and brown dwarfs. Hopefully a future translation of the Astronomy Guide will shed some light as to the discrepancy between the on-screen information and what contemporary astronomical knowledge tells us about the composition of the galactic rim.
[LC]: Those “protostars” on the map are a nice way to start setting up the next episode.
[DG]: As a side note, in late February 2015, reports began to emerge of evidence for protostar clusters existing as far as 16,000 light years away from the galactic disk, albeit distance laterally rather than on the outer rim of the main galactic disk.
It should be noted that 41 kiloparsecs equates to around 134,000 light-years, so that’s fairly on-song. In a previous iteration of this comment I had a brain melt and somehow miscalculated it out to 160,000 light-years. Heads-up to Norve for pointing that out in the comments.
[DG]: The mapping of warps to date on the map appears to be very wrong. The display has one warp to Gliese 581, then the next one listed is the accidental warpout, which most likely alludes to the EX-178 incident, and then there were two subsequent warps after leaving the NFD star system, which we have to assume is where they parted ways with Melda. Neither of these warps have been seen on-screen, since they happened between episodes. Plus, the warp we see Yamato emerge from in Episode 9 is not shown at all. We have to assume the second warp planned during the events of that episode was either aborted or made off-screen between the episodes. In either case, that’s not displayed on this screen either. Also, the text on-screen is back to being copy-pasted gibberish in terms of times and such.
Sanada states that once they leave our galaxy, the enemy will stop pursuing them so closely, an assumption questioned by Tokugawa. Niimi goes on to explain that, given the conditions required for a civilization like Garmillas to exist, it’s likely their home system is somewhere within the Milky Way. Okita just silently stares at the space chart in front of him.
[DG]: Sanada and Niimi both seem overly-confident in their theory that Garmillas lies inside the Milky Way and will let them go once they leave the galaxy behind, but Okita is clearly not convinced. I’m thinking he’s thinking what I was thinking – how would a world in another galaxy know of Garmillas’s war against Earth, or of her plight, if Garmillas was in the Milky Way galaxy?
Okita suspects that if Iscandar knows of Earth’s plight, they must have first-hand knowledge of Garmillas (back in Episode 2, Starsha’s message specifically mentions Garmillas), meaning it’s more likely that Garmillas is in the Large Magellanic Cloud – or at the very least has a major presence there – and Yamato is a long way from being out of the woods.
[LC]: To be fair, Sanada’s and Niimi’s assumptions are based on common sense and whatever little intel they have on the Garmillas. At this point, they couldn’t even begin to imagine that Garmillas had access to something like the Warp Gate Network – which we’ll see working for the first time next episode.
As for Starsha’s knowledge of Earth’s situation, knowing that Iscandar is located in the Great Magellanic Galaxy and obviously a space-faring civilization, they would be quicker to assume that they have outposts in the Milky Way, having crossed paths with Garmillas at some point. As I said, at this point and with the little data they have available, that’s as good a guess as they can make.
[DG]: As far as their information goes, I’ll concede that. However, I’m thinking that Okita has already figured out that this journey is a test of worthiness, and that it’s not exactly going to be a test if it’s a case of, “You are now leaving the Milky Way galaxy. No Garmillans past this point.” My main point here is that the sound he makes in response is an expression of skepticism that they’ll be less likely to run into Garmillas opposition once they leave the Milky Way behind.
[LC]: Well… he’s Okita. And Okita is awesome, so… I can see him anticipating that and keeping quiet in order not to affect the crew’s morale. If his fears come to pass, he’ll cross that bridge when the time comes.
Kodai says it’ll be good to have the Garmillas off their backs for a while, a statement that gets a harsh response from Shima, who says he’s amazed at how relaxed Kodai is. Yuki and the rest find this outburst unusual for Shima. When Kodai asks what he means, Shima says he shouldn’t be taking it so easy. Kodai asks him what makes him think he’s taking it easy and Shima goes off the rails, saying Kodai is being stupidly idealistic.
[DG]: Note the look on Kaoru’s face. While most of those assembled are aghast at the argument between Kodai and Shima (a rare occurrence in public in Japanese culture), Kaoru’s look is one of analysis, bordering on a smirk. As if she senses opportunity arising from this apparent tear in camaraderie between the two section heads.
Kodai realizes this is about Melda and Shima accuses him of believing what she told them about Earth firing first. Kodai denies ever saying that, but Shima says it’s implied. Nanbu tries to get them to calm down but he just gets shouted at by both. Okita has had enough and loudly – angrily – orders both “fools” to be quiet. They promptly obey, cowering before the captain’s furious gaze.
[DG]: Here we see Shima’s frustrations coming out. This outburst has been simmering since Melda claimed Earth fired first, and Yamazaki’s attempt to tell Shima that she was telling the truth, a period of about a week, and has only been made worse by Kodai’s position on the matter, which he undoubtedly sees as an unthinkable betrayal by his best friend. (As a note, this is why Luis and I agreed on the two banners for Episode 11’s commentary, which underlined this friction in their friendship).
[LC]: Poor Nanbu, even when he tries to be the peacemaker, he still gets the short end of the stick.
Later, Okita is in Doctor Sado’s office getting a checkup. Other than slightly elevated blood pressure, everything seems to be normal. Okita says he’ll keep an eye on it. Sado says he heard what happened at the meeting; that the young ones lose their tempers easily, and that Okita should control himself, too. Okita comments on how Sado always seems to know what’s on his mind.
[LC]: For a closer look at Okita’s chart, click on the image on the left.
Kodai curses the “old man” as he pushes a mop along the grooves inside the Wave-Motion Gun’s muzzle and recalls Okita’s lecture about the “lack of self-awareness required of an officer.” He complains that the punishment they’ve been given is more appropriate for elementary school children. He turns to Shima, who his below him at the base of the muzzle, looking out into space. He says they should finish up and move on to the next one. Shima says he’s already done.
[DG]: Well, at least this time around Shima didn’t escape punishment, and the fighter pilots didn’t get stuck with the same duty. Meanwhile, in Japan, don’t they make unruly pupils stand outside the classroom holding buckets?
[LC]: Yeah, this scene is similar to one in the original Episode 14. Kodai got off easy on that one, since he got the same punishment for a much worse offense – trashing his Cosmo Zero. His companion for the task was Kato, for not only failing to prevent Kodai’s daredevil maneuver but also for making fun of him when Okita punished him. When they get to the hangar to scrub it down, they found more crew members being punished for letting Kodai and Shima fight in an earlier scene. The only one who didn’t get it was Shima. It took nearly 40 years, but he finally got what was coming.
Kodai says they’re offering a special lunch in the cafeteria and asks Shima if he wants to go try it. Shima ignores him just continues to stare out into the stars.
[LC]: This scene in particular reminds me of one in the original Episode 3. In it, Okita is giving a tour of the ship to Kodai and Shima (if he did the same with every new crew member coming aboard, his schedule was packed). The final place he takes them is also the most ridiculous, the firing gate of the Wave-Motion Gun. What makes it ridiculous is not the location itself but the fact they are basically standing there with no protection in Earth’s highly radioactive atmosphere. The equivalent here would be to have the guys scrubbing the gun in their standard uniforms instead of EVA suits.
A point upon which 2199 prides itself is accuracy of scale, and that shows here. While in the original each man could stand neatly between the gun’s grooves and the opening seemed way bigger than it should have been, here it seems to be roughly 30×25 ft at the outer edge. Yamato’s specifications list the Wave-Motion Gun with a diameter of 200 cm, roughly 6 ft. That must be the diameter of the gun’s barrel, behind the shutter in the back of the firing gate, which is much closer to that size.
[DG]: Going by the split front/rear view on page 7 of the Yamato 2199 Design Works: Earth book, the gun barrel at the bow is 6.66 meters wide and 8 meters high at the widest and highest points. A drawing on page 10 shows that the barrel’s cross-section is conical rather than cylindrical, so it widens from the aperture, which measures ~2.66 meters wide on the same scale (1 centimeter = 6.66 meters). The 2-meter caliber must be relating to the firing chamber that connects to the aperture.
[LC]: There is one thing that was never addressed in either incarnation: access. In the original, Okita and the boys come from the back of the firing gate, supposedly from some hatch, but none was ever shown or mentioned. The gate’s smaller size in 2199 makes this nearly impossible. Coming through the actual barrel is also difficult. Most likely scenario? They came down from the upper deck.
In the engine room, Yamazaki talks to Tokugawa about his confession debacle with Shima. Tokugawa concludes that’s why Shima was so upset at the meeting, and asks Yamazaki if he regrets telling him. Yamazaki believes that, as the son of Captain Daigo Shima, he’ll accept the truth. “Sunshine” Yabu, who was listening in on the conversation, shares another of his pearls of wisdom, doubting Shima will be so forthcoming and that people in high positions can be surprisingly fragile. He leaves for an appointment. Yamazaki is in a pensive state, but supported by good old Tokugawa.
[DG]: Yamazaki seems overconfident that Shima will accept the truth simply by virtue of being his former CO’s son.
Niimi is in a specially good mood after getting all the inside information Yabu has provided her during his counseling session. As he leaves, Niimi smiles as she stares at her computer screen, displaying Shima’s personal info.
[DG]: The content of Shima’s service record is of great value in the context of series continuity and established dates. He has events listed up to and including February 2199 (click the image for full size). Notable dates here are:
- August 15, 2179 (date of birth)
- March 11, 2194 (probably enlistment in the Cosmo Navy, also the anniversary of the Tohoku Earthquake of 2011)
- December 25 and 26, 2198 (around which time Shima and Kodai would have been dropped off on Mars going by Episode 1 references)
- January 17, 2199 (Operation M, when they retrieved the Wave-motion core and buried Sasha)
- February 8, 2199 (presumably when they were picked up by Kirishima, and
- February 11, 2199 (when Shima was assigned to Yamato’s crew as Navigation Section Chief).
It’s another one of those increasingly rarer times where screen information can be relied upon, as this further cements the launch date of February 12, 2199. The crew was assigned to the ship one day after the incident where the original crew chiefs were killed in Episode 2.
Meanwhile, we see further evidence of Kaoru’s sizing up Shima for whatever nefarious scheme General Serizawa has her planning.
Back in earlier episode commentaries, I noted that the antagonism between the proponents of Project Izumo and Project Yamato (i.e. Serizawa vs Okita, Todo, and Hijikata) was analogous to that between the Japanese Army and the Japanese Navy during World War II. However, further reading I’ve done since then has shed new light on things.
Some fans will be aware that both Captain Okita and Captain Hijikata were named for members of the Shinsengumi, the special police force established in the 1860s during the Bakumatsu period, which marked the end of the shogunate and the eventual restoration of imperial rule in Japan. Those who have read this article pertaining to Series One character design will know several other characters were named for Shinsengumi members as well: Commander Todo, Captain Yamanami, and Hajime Saito. 2199 adds Serizawa, Niimi, and Harada to that list.
The Shinsengumi had three factions, two of which have special relevance to the Yamato 2199 universe and plot. One faction included Okita, Hijikata, Yamanami, Todo, Harada, and Saito. The other faction of interest was led by Serizawa, and counted Niimi amongst its leaders. In the Yamato 2199 universe, these factions are reflected in Project Yamato and Project Izumo, respectively.
We change our focus to Planet Great Garmillas. Celestella and Gimleh arrive at Lord Dessler’s personal chamber. They are barred at the door by his security guards, who tell them Dessler is using the “hotline” and doesn’t want to be disturbed. Celestella becomes visibly agitated and demands that the guards step aside. They do so, but only after Gimleh gives them a surreptitious nod of consent.
[LC]: Here we get to see a new depiction of the planet, made to look much brighter and colorful than the one used in previous episodes. Maybe to accentuate the fact the scenes we’re about to see are something new to Garmillas, day time scenes. More on that in a bit.
[DG]: I am actually amused it’s called “The Hotline.” Reminds me of back in the Cold War days when that referred to the direct phone line between the White House and the Kremlin.
The two enter a large chamber with flowing purple drapes on both sides, a wall with windows, and a large mirror at the other end. They hear Dessler’s laugh hide behind the drapes, listening in on his conversation with… (hmm, wonder who that may be?!). Dessler comments on how he may have misunderstood his caller’s actions, believing him/her to have “gone back to your old tricks out of pity for them.” (OK, it’s Starsha and we all know it anyway).
[LC]: The reflection in that mirror is all kinds of wrong. The only way we could see Celestella reflected that way would be if she was standing right next to it.
This is but the first of several shots that directly reference Iscandar in this episode. 2199 didn’t outright spoil the plot by putting a massive tag on it, like they did in the original (effectively giving away that particular plot twist right off the bat) but it also acknowledges that fans know what Garmillas’ “blue moon” really is. Just for laughs, let’s do a count of them in this episode. This is the first.
As Dessler looks to his skylight and the pale blue planet in the distance, he voices his concern out of the fact that she’s his country’s heart and soul, and states that peace in the universe is only possible through their friendship. Aware that he is being heard, he expresses his wishes for an actual in-person meeting before he hangs up. He looks at the dark corner where his two visitors had been hiding and asks what they want.
[LC]: I love the way Dessler subtly glances toward the two eavesdroppers. He’s very much aware of them, he just doesn’t give a hoot. To compound his awesomeness, he just casually hangs up his nifty looking phone and calls them out. Busted. 😀
They step out from behind the drapes and Celestella reports that preparations for Senior General Domel’s medal ceremony have been completed. As for Gimleh, he wishes to report on the Secret Police’s latest findings, concerning dissident factions within the empire. Dessler tells him to handle them any way he sees fit, which Gimleh accepts with a devilish grin.
[DG]: Another sign that Dessler really doesn’t care about the running of his country. At least give Hitler his dues in that he actually, in his own morbid way, was directly interested and involved in the witch hunts going on in Germany.
[LC]: Now there’s a sentence I never thought to see written or spoken aloud. XD
This may be a way of making Dessler a bit less of a monster, in the way that although he sanctions Gimleh’s brutal methods, he’s not directly involved. Its a poor argument in his defense but it gives him an out if they eventually set him on the path of righteousness.
Dessler is more interested in another matter. He presses a few buttons and a holographic representation of Yamato appears before them. Celestella recognizes it as the rogue Terron ship. Dessler wonders where it might be heading. What is the end of its journey?
It seems he has already figured it out as he once again gazes at the planet overhead, this time accompanied by his two lackeys. He smiles.
[LC]: Here we see that, although he seemed to believe Starsha’s claim that she is not involved in the Terron’s quest, Dessler is sure she is involved and that Iscandar is Yamato’s destination. Oh, and by the way, here’s number 2.
The main avenue of Balerus. Thousands of civilians have gathered to welcome their nation’s hero as fighters fly above them in a show of aerobatics. Domel opens the window of his vehicle and waves to the crowd as they cheer him on.
[LC]: Whoa… Macross vibe…! Also, there’s number 3 (above left).
I can’t recall an episode of the original series where Garmillas was shown to have such a pretty sky. All the scenes there took place under a permanent night sky or, given Garmillas’ geological makeup, underground. So this might be a new first for 2199 and a further way to “humanize” Garmillas.
[DG]: By the looks of the road markings, it looks like Garmillans drive on the right with a middle lane for exclusive use of government/military vehicles.
[LC]: The crowd shots are obviously made using CGI models. For the brief time they’re on screen, it’s good enough and saves time. But for those who pause the episode and look at the crowd, it looks like either a lot of cloning or inbreeding goes on here. They do get bonus points for at least changing the clothing colors whenever they repeat a character. A fun game to play is to turn “Where’s Waldo?” on its head and see how many times you can spot the same Garmillan in the shot. You can start by clicking on the image above left to enlarge it. Enjoy.
[DG]: Domel is clearly revered like a rock star here. Once again, we are reminded of the fact that this Garmillas has a clearly civilian populace. And children. We have on-screen proof that Garmillans actually produce offspring.
Unlike his early appearance in the original series, where he’s depicted as a hard-nosed soldier with zero tolerance for failure, here they get across the fact that Domel is just like many Terran or Zaltzian soldiers, a normal person under the uniform, which would only endear him to the populace even more.
[LC]: Speaking of uniform, this is the first time we see Domel in anything resembling a normal uniform. Being the great Domel, he avoided the tone of realism that pervades 2199 and got to keep his iconic body suit. The only other officer to wear something similar will be new character Neredia Rikke (from Ark of the Stars), with the added bonus of a cape. Domel in a body suit with a cape? Nah, that would just be the Garmillan version of Superman.
A little girl runs towards him holding a bouquet of flowers, pursued by guards. Domel orders the car to stop and steps out to meet her, waving the guards away. He kneels down to receive the flowers and thanks the girl for her gift as the crowd cheers on, shouting his name.
[LC]: As for how he’s portrayed, I agree with you. Domel was a formidable antagonist, but he was a bit of an arrogant ass like most villains in the original. The main difference was that while Shulz and Goer were buffoons, Domel was actually competent at his job. On the other hand, he was also pretty full of himself. He truly believed he was too good to fail. This Domel follows the same multi-dimensional characterization that’s been applied to the others, and though at this point he is full of bravado and confidence, he is more humane and considerate of those under his command.
Though we don’t know it yet, events from later in the episode will put this scene of him with the little girl in a whole new and heartbreaking light. More on that in a bit.
He eventually reaches the less crowded plaza in front of the imperial palace where Dessler and his command staff await. Domel salutes His Lordship, who wastes no time and goes right into explaining why Domel was recalled from the front lines.
[DG]: Again, as with Episode 8, we notice the similarities to the Nuremberg stadium with this venue.
[LC]: The image on the left shows the bridge leading to the plaza we saw in Episode 8 and again here. However, in this particular shot, most of the detail of what’s across the bridge is not just simplified, it actually goes missing. For the amount of time it’s on screen, its good enough, I guess. Oh, yes, here’s number 4.
What takes place after is what throws you off if you really think about what’s happening. Apparently, winning a medal comes with its own sporting event, since Domel has to walk for what looks like about 1 km (that we see on screen) and up the palace’s absurd front stairs. If anything, this proves Domel is truly in excellent shape.
Domel confirms that he heard rumors of Shultz’s demise and a Terron ship that broke through their dragnet. As he pins the medal on Domel’s uniform, Dessler says he would like him to take care of it, asking the general if he will.
[LC]: Another scene where perspective is a bit off. Given the angle of the set and characters in the background, it makes you feel as if the two men are giants surrounded by tiny Lilliputians…
Domel replies that he is a soldier, loyal to Dessler and the empire, and that he will follow any order he gives him. Dessler smiles and nods in agreement. Domel salutes him once more and walks away as the command staff applauds. Zoellick takes the chance to ham it up a bit, receiving a sideways glance of reproval from Celestella.
[DG]: Interesting that on one side we have the Talan brothers and Admiral Dietz, while on the other side are Zoellick, Hyss, and Gimleh. Later in the episode we’ll see Dietz and the Talans are part of Domel’s circle of friends, while on the other side there’s a huge question of agendas.
Zoellick seems to go a bit over the top. Celestella seems to think it’s a bit much. Of course, I’m sure it was in Norio Wakamoto’s contract that he got to ham it up in every Zoellick scene. Seriously, nobody else could have voiced the role to the same effect, even his Hellsing Ultimate sparring partner, Jouji Nakata (who has already been in the cast of Yamato 2199).
The screenplay for this episode uncovers something very interesting. Between this scene and the next, there were three scenes cut. Firstly, a conversation between Zoellick and Goer, which then changes to a discussion between Hyss and Domel, and then returns to Zoellick and Goer.
That night, a car carrying Domel, Admiral Dietz and Velte Talan speeds along a road by the shore. Dietz and Talan show concern that Domel’s popularity might get him into trouble with those around Dessler who disapprove of his rise. Dietz warns him that Goer, his new direct subordinate, is one of “Sideburns” Zoellick’s lackeys.
[DG]: In the screenplay, this scene is labeled アウトバン（夜) [autoban (evening)] which references the Autobahn, Germany’s network of high-speed, free-flowing motorways. The use of the term is another reference to the Third Reich, since it was under Hitler’s rule that the construction of these motorways, first conceived in the 1920s, began in earnest.
Here we see it’s not just the viewer who doesn’t trust Zoellick. Dietz and Velte Talan suspect he’s up to no good. These are our first hints of political factions in Balerus just as there are in the UNCF.
I was very surprised by a blatant subtitling error referring to Goer as Domel’s superior. While I can’t really make out what Dietz is saying, I’d be amazed if this was an error in the script rather than the translation. As of this writing, I’ve had the screenplay in my possession for about a week (in one of the 2199 Complete Works books), so at some point I may delve into it.
Domel dismisses their concerns, as he has no interest in politics. The two men accept this but share a worried glance. Looking out the window, Domel says Balerus has changed. Talan congratulates Dietz for the news of his daughter’s safe return. Dietz is slightly miffed, since Melda inconsiderately refuses to share any details of her ordeal. Talan jokes that even the great Admiral Dietz has his weaknesses, much to Dietz’ chagrin.
[DG]: After Velte Talan’s change of subject, it’s extremely amusing to see Gul Dietz’s frustration that his daughter refuses to divulge anything about her disappearance and subsequent reappearance. It seems that her respect for Yamato or at least Kodai, is great enough to keep the intel confidential even from her father.
Domel has a request for the admiral, to lend him “that specialized operations ship.” Dietz is visibly surprised. Suddenly, the car is ordered to stop at an imperial guard checkpoint. The guards request their identification but, as the window opens, he immediately recognizes the trio of officers sitting in the back. He stands to attention and apologizes.
[LC]: Gimleh’s forces seem to be made up of clones. Either that or the uniform really tricks you into thinking so. But even in close ups, their faces all look the same.
Talan asks what has happened and the guard reports an act of sabotage at the “Floating Plant.” The officers look at a group of people being escorted to military transports, whom the guard claims to be rebels uncovered in the operation.
[DG]: This scene of Garmillan citizens being put onto transports bound for prison planets is very much akin to the Third Reich’s persecution of anyone who didn’t toe the party line. Gimleh’s actions are clearly symbolic of the Third Reich’s imprisonment of pure-blood Germans as political prisoners because they opposed the ideals of the Third Reich, irrespective of whether they actually did or not.
One could also liken this action to the USA House Un-American Activities Committee’s “witch hunts” in the 1950s where people could be labelled communists on the word of someone reporting them as such, irrespective of evidence, which in the day was life-destroying even if they were exonerated.
Domel says they look like ordinary citizens, but the guard simply dismisses it, saying Director Gimleh has ordered that they be sent to the prison planet. The guard clears them to pass, hailing Dessler. The three officers all share a moment of apprehension as the car moves along. They watch as the transports close their cargo doors and take off, speeding into the distance.
[LC]: At the time of this episode’s production, these ships were simply called “Convoy Transport Boats.” The latter got renamed for the movie Ark of the Stars with the more pompous name “Multi-purpose VTOL SDG61-L.” The ones seen here have a removable transport pod attached to the underside.
[DG]: It’s very much like the SC-97 Seagull’s modular system in that respect, and this feature bears resemblance to that of the Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe (S-64 Skycrane) helicopter which could carry sling loads or a passenger pod for troops under its beam-like fuselage.
The first to speak is Dietz, damning Gimleh. Talan says Domel was right, Balerus has indeed changed. Domel remains silent, immersed in thought. Minutes later, they drop him off in front of a large stone arch serving as the entrance to a cemetery. Dietz assures Domel he will take care of his request. Domel thanks him and bows as the doors close and the car moves on. He looks up into the cloudy sky as rain starts to fall and heads inside the cemetery.
[LC]: Two firsts for Garmillas: a cemetery (which obviously they always had but was never shown before) and rain. The only rain I recall seeing in the original was when Dessler used those contraptions to rain acid over Yamato. In this case it seems to be good old H2O instead of H2SO4.
Talan asks Dietz if he’s sure about Domel’s request, given the “special ship” can only be used with express permission from Dessler. Dietz says he is the supreme commander of the astrofleets and Talan says he’ll pretend he never asked.
[LC]: The “special ship” they’re referring to is the UX-01, which will be featured in the next episode. One has to wonder how much of a risk Dietz is taking by going over Dessler’s head, or if the fact that Dessler tasked Domel with Yamato’s destruction might provide him with a loophole to hand it over.
Dietz says Zoellick continues to expand the empire’s territory while the “Jirel witch” – Celestella – spreads his propaganda. Talan adds that Hyss is only a figurehead and that the imperial guard’s arrogance is astonishing. All this while Dessler… plans to move the capital.
[DG]: The Imperial Marshal is obviously a reference to Zoellick, but the idea that Celestella is spreading his propaganda is an odd thing to say, considering she’s fiercely loyal to Dessler.
[LC]: I think they mean she’s spreading the regime’s propaganda, though the way the sentence is structured makes it ambiguous. It would be strange for her to spread Zoellick’s propaganda since SHE is the propaganda minister and he is the Army’s General Director. Another possibility is that, in preparing for upcoming events, Celestella may have taken a role in Zoellick’s camp in order to assist in taking him down when the time is right. But given Zoellick’s distrust of Celestella, I doubt any of this is valid. Occam’s razor: another script snafu.
Dietz seems surprised at this last remark. Talan says Dessler plans a great unification and wonders where Garmillas might be heading. He looks out the window as a group of three Destrias flies through the rain, backlit by the looming Iscandar. Dietz tells him to stop playing the philosopher.
[DG]: Interesting that Talan paraphrases the words Dessler used to question Yamato‘s journey a few scenes back. While not a complete reiteration of Dessler’s line, it is interesting in its similarity.
[LC]: Talan’s mention of moving the capital is an eerie glimpse of things to come.
Oh, also… there goes number 5.
Back at the cemetery, Domel walk among the graves in the rain. He stops as he sees a woman in black with long blonde hair, standing in front of a gravestone a few feet away. A large black feathered bird is perched on her right shoulder and reacts to his presence, screeching and flying toward him, landing on the general’s now extended arm.
[LC]: Another addition to Domel’s life: a pet bird and a beautiful wife named Elisa Domel. The rokrohk bird is not totally new, having appeared briefly in the original, but this one is a lot more fleshed out. Also, on a sad twist of what was done to Shulz by giving him a daughter, Domel too has a child. But we’re in a cemetery… so guess what! That heartbreaking detail about Domel and kids? Here it is.
He walks to her side and Elisa says she didn’t think he would remember this day. She’s glad he did. Domel looks at the gravestone of his son and kneels down to put one of the little girl’s flowers beside the bouquet Elisa has already placed there.
[LC]: Though the inscription on the grave is blocked by the flowers, it can be found in 2199 Complete Works volume 2. The most important detail is his name, Johann Domel. His death occurred on the 99th year of Dessler’s era, putting it roughly 4 Garmillan years prior. How many Earth years that translates to is debatable, but I’d put it between 1.5 and 2 years ago. Johann will be seen briefly as a hologram in Episode 19.
[DG]: Are the Domels that estranged that Elisa wouldn’t think Eruk would remember the date of their son’s death? I’m also curious as to the circumstances of his death.
[LC]: Unfortunately, that information doesn’t seem to be available.
He says he returned at Dessler’s request, but it’s only temporary. They walk along a nearby creek, watching as two young boys chase the large rokrohk. Elisa comments that, had their son survived, he would be about the same age as the two boys. She asks what Dessler wants from him. He says he’s been ordered to take command of the Milky Way Theater’s armies.
[LC]: This scene has a subtitling error that had us wondering whether Domel and Elisa had more than one child. The subtitles read “If they were alive, they’d be that age now.” I now pass the ball to my fellow writer, Daniel.
[DG]: Where do I begin? The screenplay for this episode lists the first line from Elisa at the riverside, “生きていれば、ちょうどあの位”, which matches Elisa’s dialogue in the scene. After some very off-the-mark attempts at translating this, I asked a Japanese friend for help with the translation. The result confirmed Luis’ suspicions, that the line was in fact, “If he were alive, he’d be that age now,” and that the Domels had one child rather than two.
The children see Domel and salute him in recognition. Amused, Domel salutes them back. With a certain sadness, Elisa holds her husband’s hand as she states that the Milky Way is very far away. Domel whispers in agreement as he looks at their reflection in the creek, crowned by the ever-present blue orb of Iscandar.
Dessler sits alone in his chamber looking at his chess board, saying to himself that soon they shall be one. Making another move in the game, he smiles up at the planet above him, decreeing that soon the wolf he has released will catch its prey.
[LC]: Dessler’s statement shows how confident he is in Domel’s abilities. And truth be told, that confidence is not misplaced.
Also, I wonder if this game is being played against the machine itself? Or with a certain alien queen sitting at a similar board on that blue orb above his head…?
Yuria Misaki (in a Yamato uniform) walks the corridors of the East Sector Central Hospital on Earth, seemingly confused by her surroundings. Sado and a group of doctors walks out of a room. Misaki (now wearing a nurse’s uniform) sees him. One of the doctors comments that although the patients survived, they seem to be suffering from amnesia.
[LC]: The fact that Misaki is at the East Sector’s hospital seen in Episode 1 and changes clothes between shots should immediately make you realize this is a dream sequence. But what is Misaki dreaming about? Did she work at the hospital at some point? We’ve seen her helping Makoto, so it is possible. But this scene is more than just a dream…it’s a memory. And from her puzzlement… it’s not Misaki’s memory we’re seeing.
Also worthy of note, the doctor reporting to Sado says “they survived” and “they suffer from amnesia.” Now, as we saw a few scenes ago, the English subtitles do occasionally veer off what is actually being said. But here it actually makes sense since there would be two patients. Oh, did you forget the whole Yuki/Yurisha plot? Yeah, we’re back into that. But not for long.
They pass by Misaki, Sado apparently not recognizing her, as he comments on the terrible accident. One of the other doctors says it’s rumored to have been a terrorist attack. Misaki looks at the plaque by the room’s door. Room 204’s patient is none other than… Yuki.
[LC]: The plaque on the door reads “Ms. Yuki Mori.” The dialogue between Sado and the other doctors places this event sometime after the accident that caused Yuki to lose her memory and hints at a terrorist act.
She goes inside. Yuki is lying on a bed connected to a life support system. As she steps in, the door closes behind her. She goes closer… Hayashi is in the Automatic Navigation Room’s data terminal and checks to see if all is functioning normally. Suddenly, his attention is drawn outside…
[LC]: It seems Yuki didn’t just get wacked in the head. She appears to have been seriously injured, seeing as she’s hooked up to such an elaborate life support system. Guess she’s lucky she made it through alive. Nice of the writers to give us this glance into these events.
The “Yuki is Yurisha” debate seems to have been permanently put on ice. Though the apparent physical resemblance between the two continues to play a part in the story, it’s more as a plot device rather than for misdirection. Glad they went that way. Personally, I never thought they’d turn Yuki into an Iscandarian. But it was fun to watch where all this would lead. And, as we’ll see in a few episodes, it paid off in a big way.
I don’t know if that painting we see on the opposite wall is real or original, but it always made me think of Sleeping Beauty and the connection couldn’t be more obvious. A quick search shows a lot of similar paintings, with the Legend of Briar Rose series as the closest example, both in look and theme. Little Briar Rose was the Brothers Grimm adaptation of the original Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault.
Hayashi is startled by what he sees; a ghostly female figure appears just below the orange hatch. Meanwhile, Misaki has made her way to Yuki’s bed. While she looks at her idol and mentor in disbelief, the same figure appears behind her.
[LC]: Misaki is definitely getting some Yurisha vibes, ever since their first contact a few episodes back, and the condition is intensifying as Yurisha becomes more aware of her surroundings. Her contact with Alter in the ship’s mainframe really had an effect. That’s some serious wattage she’s putting out.
For those who still find it hard to discern Yuki from Yurisha in these scenes, here’s a tip: look at the way their hair is split. They are indeed physically similar, but they’re mirror images of each other. Eye color is also different, but here you can’t spot that so… hair. 😀
Misaki feels a presence approaching her and turns. Confronted with the ghostly figure, she screams and wakes up in her bunk. A sleepy Makoto Harada takes a peek from the top bunk and asks what’s wrong. Misaki says she was having a dream about a beautiful woman. Groggy Makoto says that it must have been a good dream and goes back up. Misaki tries to explain, but Makoto has already dozed off.
[LC]: Ah, now this is good fan service. Makoto is always good fan service. Especially because it’s really part of her character. Not all fan service is good. We’ll get some of that later.
[DG]: I wish I could fall back asleep as fast as Makoto does.
Later, Kodai is mopping the floors in the medical section when he hears Makoto from down the hall. She’s surprised that Hayashi has seen the same thing as Misaki, near the Automatic Navigation Room (note Hayashi’s line about looking just like “her”). Doctor Sado says Hayashi is just overworked, but Makoto goes on about how that room is said to be haunted. She wouldn’t be surprised if there was a ghost.
[LC]: Although not directly stated in the dialogue until Hayashi leaves the office, he’s obviously talking about Yuki. As I said before, they continue to have the characters confused over Yuki and her resemblance to the ship’s “ghost”/Yurisha.
Hayashi says it wasn’t that type of ghost; it was naked, prompting some rather stern and physical responses from Makoto, who tells him not to take the ghost’s clothes off. Sado is sick of this stupid talk and tosses a bottle of tranquilizers to Hayashi, telling him to get some sleep. As he leaves, Hayashi maintains that the figure looked just like Yuki Mori. Makoto comments that maybe they should have sent him to Niimi instead. Kodai enters, says he’s finished cleaning the patient’s room, and gets Sado to stamp his task card.
[DG]: Drink a tranquilizer that rattles when it’s caught? Another translation error, perhaps?
[LC]: I never noticed that “drink” thing until you pointed it out. Maybe because in my language we say what would literally translate to English as “drink a pill.” Maybe the subber is Portuguese… XD
Meanwhile, Akira is released from the brig by Hoshina, after serving her six days of punishment. As she leaves, she’s surprised by Kato and Shinohara who have been waiting for her in the corridor. Kato hands over her pilot jacket, telling her not to do anything so stupid again.
[LC]: Akira seemed convinced that due to her lapse in judgement, Kato – who actively opposed her assignment to Yamato’s air wing – would use the opportunity to kick her out. She is obviously quite surprised to see him waiting for her, and willing to let her back into the fold.
She’s reluctant to accept it, since she was responsible for the loss of an important ship. Shino, who looks a lot more pissed than Kato for a change, says her safety is what’s important. Kato smiles at the surprised Akira and says that’s that, tossing her the jacket. Akira holds it in silence.
[LC]: In a complete role-reversal, while Kato seems more forgiving than usual, Shinohara looks truly upset by what she did. I think this is the first time we see him even close to actually being angry.
Kodai is in his Zero’s cockpit playing his harmonica, his task card slung around his neck (he’s been a busy boy, based on all the stamp marks). He’s interrupted by Yuki, asking if he’s finished his punishment. When she mentions his harmonica playing, Kodai says it helps him to relax. Yuki asks if he thinks she would be able to pilot the Zero like Akira, to which Kodai responds with a dry “nope.”
[DG]: Love Yuki’s face-vault in response to Kodai’s short and sharp response.
[LC]: She literally jumps when he says that, as we can see in the image on the right.
Remember when I mentioned bad fan service? Well, this is it. Having Makoto sleeping in her underwear in her bunk, as part of the scene, is good fan service. Making an over-animated scene of Yuki sticking her ass up in Kodai’s face before sitting down, that’s bad fan service. The motion is too exaggerated to be believable, it doesn’t fit with the scene or the character, and it’s just plain nasty. Hence why it garnered so many online memes. One of the few times I truly thought to myself “Oh, no! They didn’t just do that!!!” But they did. 2199 low point, right here.
Yuki is not happy with that answer and asks why. Kodai smiles and asks if that’s who she wanted to talk about. At that very moment, Akira herself enters the hangar, unnoticed by the two, just as Kodai says he understands how “they” feel. He too is finding the recent reveals hard to believe, having lost his family in the attacks and knowing that his brother died in battle, not knowing he was just a decoy.
[DG]: Kodai’s discussion with Yuki accomplishes two things. First, it displays the level of trust they’ve reached. Second, it gives him an opportunity to show that he’s still coming to terms with Garmillas not being the ones to fire first, implying he’s closer to accepting it.
While the subtitles imply that they’re discussing Akira, the conversation seems more tilted toward the current animosity between him and Shima, because (1) that’s the elephant in the room at the moment, and (2) the thing Kodai doesn’t want to believe is Melda’s statement that Earth fired first, which is what has had Shima fuming for the past week. Akira didn’t ever seem concerned with this fact, she simply wanted vengeance for Akio. To me, it’s confirmed that Shima is being discussed when they mention his family, then the scene crosses to him in the hallway. He’s looking at the charm his brother gave him on their mother’s behalf in Episode 2.
[LC]: Another case of subtext and subtitles conflicting with actual dialogue and some insidious editing. From my viewpoint, I believe Kodai can be talking either about Shima or the crew as a whole. He seems to say the word “crew” but the sound of the hangar door opening makes it hard to confirm. Either way, I think the idea was for Akira to believe Kodai and Yuki are talking about her. Add that to seeing Kodai being friendly with Yuki, and we can see why she leaves the hangar so sad. But that’s how I interpret it. Another complete role reversal from what we saw back in Episode 7. But the latter part of their conversation is undoubtly about Shima.
Yuki has no words to comfort Kodai, but he says he’s settled things in his mind, and for now he’ll just trust captain Okita. But Shima is not like him, since he still has a family to protect. (Then we see Shima in a corridor looking at his good luck charm.) Kodai indicates that he’s a bit jealous of his friend in that regard. Yuki tells him that he can make a new family. Kodai looks at her, surprised, and she says everyone aboard Yamato can be his new family. He agrees. Akira leaves.
Shima is mopping the engine room walkways. Tokugawa asks him about his family, saying he too has a family back home; a married son and his wife, and a younger son who also wants to become a sailor. Though Tokugawa says there aren’t any ships left, Shima says its still nice that he wants to follow in his father’s footsteps. But Tokugawa says his main focus is his cute granddaughter, and that he can’t die without finding a good husband for her.
[DG]: Tokugawa implies his son will follow in his footsteps. In the original Yamato saga Taisuke did exactly that in The New Voyage.
Shima says it will be difficult to find someone who meets Tokugawa’s standards. Suddenly, Tokugawa says he’s got it – Shima could marry his granddaughter! She’s sure to grow up to become a beautiful lady. Shima is visibly uncomfortable as Tokugawa takes out a photo of Aiko to show him. Looking at the photo, Shima gets the joke – Aiko is still a toddler. Going along with it, Shima promises he’l think about it and the two men laugh.
[LC]: Tokugawa opens the zipper in his uniform just below the collar piece. Either that piece has a separate zipper (unlikely from what we’ve seen so far) or more likely it’s a cheat for convenience. “Magic pockets” are not uncommon in cartoons.
Tokugawa changes the tone, saying sometimes there is more than one truth. They have their truth and the enemy has theirs. But there is only one reality, that the war has indeed happened. But even so, the two of them are blessed with having families. A silent Shima seems to agree.
Okita is in his cabin looking at his own family photo when Kodai knocks on the door. He says this is his final room and clumsily brings his cleaning equipment inside. (Damned pressure doors XD) Okita says his timing was excellent, as he was just thinking they needed to have a talk.
Shima meets Akira in the elevator hall. He’s glad she’s out of the brig and she wonders what he’s doing holding a mop. He tells her he also got into trouble. Okita tells Kodai the truth of what happened that day; how he disobeyed orders and was removed from duty after opposing the preemptive attack.
Kodai is not surprised. Okita asks Kodai if he thinks he did the right thing, and Kodai does. Okita responds that he disobeyed an order, something a soldier should never do. Ever. Kodai is confused, but Okita saus that even so, there are times when even a soldier should act like a human being. People make mistakes and you need the courage to disobey orders if you believe them to be wrong, remaining true to yourself. That is his belief.
[LC]: That is something that just irks me about Shima’s dad. The guy is said to be this good and honorable man, and I don’t doubt he was. But as such, how was he capable of taking that blasted order? Is it simply a case of duty overriding values and common sense? I know this was done for plot convenience, but it seems off that a man so keen on the idea of friendship with the aliens would be so quick to fall in line with a preemptive strike.
Shima tells Akira he understands how she feels, the need for her to avenge her brother. She says that in the end, the enemy saved her. Shima says that even so, she remained true to her feelings. Akira says that maybe Kodai was too idealistic when he told Melda they could trust each other, but she understands it a bit better now.
[LC]: Nice to see the two characters that took last episode’s news the worst coming to terms with it. Akira learned the hard way that maybe the enemy is not the devil we made them up to be. Shima took the long road and it took him a few days to vent his frustration. Good thing this punishment allowed him to talk to people that helped him reach a better place. And who better to help him get to the finish line than Akira?
Shima recalls his father’s words about not fighting the aliens, being friends with them instead. He says Melda is the enemy and asks if Akira hates her. Akira says she no longer feels hatred after taking time to cool her head. Shima recalls Daigo’s last words: “hold on to hope.”
[DG]: The discussion between Shima and Akira also alludes to staying true to oneself, and Akira mentiones that while she can’t agree completely with Kodai’s stance about Melda, she can understand his viewpoint. Maybe what they both see is right (to echo Obi-wan Kenobi) “from a certain point of view.”
The elevator arrives and Akira gets up to leave, telling Shima that Kodai was worried about him. He says he’ll be going up to the bridge, thanking her for the talk. It’s time to go and cool off his head, too. Minutes later, he reports to the bridge.
[LC]: Even though he has calmed down and is back to being his usual self, the whole ordeal has placed Shima square in the crossairs of Ito, Niimi and the rest of the Izumo faction. That’s how you build plot, planting seeds.
He stands at his console for a few seconds before asking Kodai how long that special lunch will be available. Kodai answers it’ll be there for another week. Shima says he’ll have some free time the next day, smiling at his friend. Kodai smiles back and says OK.
[LC]: At least they spared us from the hysterical hug fest from the original Episode 14, which this scene kind of mirrors.
The two exchange a fist bump, watched by a visibly happy Yuki. But the happy moment is cut short as the ship is rocked by an explosion. Ota reports a torpedo hit to their port side.
[DG]: Yuki’s reaction to the bromance between Kodai and Shima is a far cry from that she had back in Episode 4…
As Yamato flies on, leaving a trail of smoke, they are unaware of the strange object observing them from starboard. The device scans them for a moment before disappearing into a glowing red wave. Unknown to them, the wolf has arrived.
[DG]: Oh, Frak(ken).
[LC]: Only recently have I noticed how odd this attack’s timing is. From the events we’ve seen, it seems the episode takes place over a period of roughly two days. That would put Domel’s request for use of UX-01 somewhere within the previous 24 hours. Orders had to be sent along, crew and vessel had to get ready and deploy, pinpoint Yamato’s position and get there. So, either UX-01 was already deployed somewhere in the vicinity or it got there insanely fast, even factoring in the Warp Gates. Still, it’s one hell of a way to wrap up an episode that revolved mostly around character development.
Yamato hides, wounded. The eyes of a hunter search for it. The shadow of an invisible enemy, sharpening its fangs. Is there any way to escape those fangs? A howl resounds through the emptiness of space.
Next time: The Wolf from Another Dimension.
There are 317 days left before humanity becomes extinct.
Episode 12 credits
Screenplay: Yutaka Izubuchi
Storyboard: Kazuyoshi Katayama
Director: Shigeru Ueda
Chara Animation Director: Rishi Nagayuki
Chara Chief Animation Director: Akihisa Maeda
Mecha Animation Director: Dai Onami
Mecha Chief Animation Director: Masanori Nishii
Original Story: Yoshinobu Nishizaki
Planning: Shoji Nishizaki, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, Satoshi Kono
Original Character Design: Nobuteru Yuuki
Guest Character/Prop Design: Shinichi Yamaoka
Mecha Design: Junichiro Tamamori, Yasushi Ishizu, Kiminori Yamane, Yutaka Izubuchi
Set Design: Takeshi Takakura, Makoto Kobayashi, Takashi Watanabe
Concept Design Support: Kazutaka Miyatake
Chief Director: Akihiro Enomoto
Director of Photography: Takashi Aoki
Art Director: Minoru Maeda
Video Editing: Emi Onodera
Color Correction: Rumiko Suzushiro
Music: Akira Miyagawa, Hiroshi Miyagawa
Sound Director: Tomohiro Yoshida
Sound Effects: Mitsuru Kashiwabara
Chief Mecha Animation Director: Masanori Nishii
CG Director: Takashi Imanishi
General Director: Yutaka Izubuchi
Production: Space Battleship Yamato Production Committee
Production IG, Bandai Visual, Xebec, Bandai, Bandai Namco Games, Voyager Entertainment,
Tohoku Shinsha Film Corporation, Shochiku Co. Ltd., OLM, Lantis Co. Ltd.