More Unused Story Ideas
Top: Galman capital city design by Yutaka Izubuchi for
Yamato III. Bottom: Garmillas capital city design by
Kazutaka Miyatake for Yamato 2199.
We end this series of making-ofs with more flotsam and jetsam. When translation of the Japanese Yamato III story notes was completed, it was easy to see right up front which ideas would not help us tell the story of the unproduced episodes – they were also discarded from the anime series. So they were peeled off the top of the pile and collected here.
This followup collection was less easy to discard, because all of it was intended to be part of the unproduced episodes at some level. We have no way of knowing which of these would have remained intact or which were due for further development, but as we worked to find the essence of The Bolar Wars Extended, we carved them away one by one. Also presented here is some interesting design geneology.
Segments from the 52-episode plotline
We might have been able to do something with these concepts if we had more to go on, but in each case the text shown here was all we could find…
Episodes 29 & 30: Singing of the castaways
A crew member in the communications section is in distress; rescue or advance? Yamato rescues the sufferer.
This sounded like one of those Space Siren stories – a crew member insists that they’re hearing voices and everyone else has to decide if they’re nuts. Good fodder if you’re looking for a character-building episode, but not much relevance to the big picture.
Eps 31-33: Great interplanetary war
Planet investigated by a human team; cross XX kilometers into enemy territory; escape.
Top: Galman city-ship concept by Yutaka Izubuchi for
Yamato III. Bottom: Second Balerus city-ship from
Yamato‘s search for a second Earth became less important to the plot as the series went on, but once in a while we were reminded that it was a thing. It would have come back to front and center if these episodes were made. Presumably, a likely planet would be found in Bolar territory and the drama would be about rescuing the expeditionary team once this problem was discovered. Unfortunately, a way to weave this into the larger narrative did not suggest itself.
Eps 39 & 40: Black Hole
Departure of the first emigration ship to wait in space; the emigration ship is swallowed by a black hole.
It would have been interesting to spend some time with the people on Earth waiting for the discovery of a new home. What would life be like from day to day? What if you were lucky enough to get a ticket on the first ride out? What if you didn’t know where your ship would eventually end up? How would you feel about leaving people behind to bake on Earth while you’re cooped up in an air-conditioned cabin? And most importantly, how could your captain be dumb enough or unlucky enough to run the ship into a black hole? That last part sort of ruined it.
Eps 41 & 42: Last planet
Visit the last planet on the exploration project; desperation; fight Kaihyo people.
Early design for Planet Shalbart
Yamato did actually visit the last planet on their list in Episode 23, where they found the wreckage of Arizona and got drawn into a battle in the Skalagek Star Cluster. But we never found an explanation of who or what the Kaihyo people were supposed to be. It’s possible that this concept eventually evolved into Episode 23, but evidence is elusive.
Eps 43 & 44: Wandering voyage
Yamato runs out of fuel, drifts; Yamato rouses itself after Aihara is punished.
A number of backflips would have been needed to make this idea work. First, we have no prior evidence of Yamato running on actual fuel. We first saw something like this early in Series 1 when the ship stopped at Titan, but ever since then it was assumed that the Wave-Motion Engine generates an inexhaustible amount of energy. And if anyone was responsible for it, Aihara (Homer) seems like the last likely candidate. It’s more likely that this was a “placeholder” idea for a character story centering on him. We saw no obvious way to make it work, so it was dropped.
Discarded story notes
This material came from the same body of work that gave us the plot elements to construct the webcomic story. These are the concepts that, for one reason or another, didn’t find an anchor point.
Opening narration emphasizes a long great voyage into the unknown, encounters with strange beings. But we understand nature, it is the same everywhere.
Designs by Yutaka Izubuchi
I: Strategy and Tactics
Yamato‘s fighting capacity
In addition to the existing weapons and equipment, an overhaul is carried out.
First, since it is necessary to investigate some destinations in advance of Yamato‘s arrival, small intelligence satellites (directly linked to Yamato‘s main computer) will be dispatched ahead of the ship. Since the distances could be up to thousands of light years, these small satellites must have warp capacity or have to be sent by warp transportation. The satellites will conduct basic investigations of planets to determine whether or not humans can survive there.
Gathering intelligence for an area to which Yamato is heading is a crucial issue. Through computerized networks of these satellites, Yamato is able to increase its intelligence-gathering capacity and its exploratory scope by thousands of times.
A: Ground Combat
Galman descent troops vs. Yamato/space cavalry/Cosmo Panzers
1. Urban combat in city ruins: armor vs. tanks. Yamato side uses terrain well.
2. Tank battle in desert: image of North Africa in WWII (good for Galman vs. Bolar)
3. Galman descent troops attack Earth while Yamato is at Shalbart; take over to wait for them to return with Ruda.
4. EDF forces hide in underground cities and emerge to conduct surprise attacks
(Note: these two items presupposed a hot war between Dessler and Earth. It would probably have looked a lot like the Dark Nebula invasion from Be Forever.)
Concept sketch for a reflex gun
on an asteroid
B: Underwater Battle
1. Struggle against Bolar in sea of high pressure on Metan, or in the gasses of Jupiter. Energy weapons would ignite gasses
2. Fight against ‘Silent Service’ on a water planet. A space fleet prevents Yamato from flying away. Maybe it could warp out from an atmosphere, a very risky move.
C: Space Battle in Asteroid Belt
1. A fleet deploys and fires using asteroids as cover, like hiding and popping out to fire in a Western
2. reflector satellites mounted on asteroids to shoot around corners into hiding places
Someone who didn’t make the cut:
Elite Security General Darkunas
(unused character from Series 1)
1. S-Boat/gunboat corps
2. Galman ground troops vs. Yamato & Cosmo Panzers
3. EDF absolute defense line: defensive war between Earth, Bolar & Galmans at Alpha Centauri, Ross, and Barnard (the Sagittarius arm of Milky Way)
Earth fleet: Andromeda-type ships
Bolar: Giant space fortress
Galman: Parent fleet & space corps
II: Space Battles
The Case of Reichsmarshall Kerling
Named for Hermann Goering (1893-1946)
Changed to Keeling
Reichsmarshal Kerling, the supreme commander of the Gamilus Space Force, is overly fond of showy displays and prefers grand tactics that overwhelm the enemy with brute force. He cannot tolerate defeat, and to preserve his unbroken record of victory, he never takes a risk. He commands from the rear, in a gigantic battleship escorted by guard ships equipped with Dessler cannons.
Kerling’s fleet is large enough to patrol the whole galaxy, but because of its unwieldy size, orders often do not effectively reach the smaller units. Ironically, this creates conditions for confusion
Fight in a developing star cluster
– a region of dust and debris where stars and planets are forming
– dark red, swirling & boiling gases
– Yamato vs. S-Boats (Dimensional Submarines)
(If that sounds a bit like Yamato 2199 Episode 13 to you, that’s because it does.)
III: Special Weapons
Dimensional Wave-Motion Missiles
These powerful interstellar missiles use Wave-Motion energy, employing a conventional nuclear bomb as the trigger. It instantly annihilates all life at the impact point and creates dimensional shock waves which destroy anything in the surrounding area, up to and including planets. A smaller version of this weapon can be used in ship-to-ship battles, and can easily wipe out an enemy formation even when detonating tens of thousands of kilometers away.
Galman orbital weapon design, Yutaka Izubuchi
(Note: both the Galman and Bolar sides had planet-killing missiles, but they certainly didn’t spend much time explaining how they worked.)
Dimension Vibration/Seismic Gun
Galman weapon, improvement over Wave-Motion Gun. Causes dimensional vibration over a wide area, disruption at atomic level
Neutron Missiles (Gamilas)
This is a weapon suited to the ideology of Gamilas, which claims to “cleanse” space by annihilating “inferior” races. This weapon kills all living creatures on a planet, leaving it reusable for Gamilas.
Automated battle planet; computer-controlled defenses (Note: probably the basis for the Gurakens.)
Early design for Planet Bolar
Planet Nation Zeni (alt. name ‘Boshi’)
A Bolar ally, fighting the Galmans. A superior industrial power, located in a densely-packed star region. Builds battle planets.
A missile group that explodes simultaneously to create an explosion the size of a small sun.
Bolar Cyborg Soldier
Made for battle in any environment. Sad soldiers, have no blood or tears.
(Note: since this idea helped drive Be Forever, a Bolar cyborg would hopefully have covered different ground.)
Humanoid robot deployed by Galmans for combat in any environment.
(Note: In Yamato 2199, they were called Garmilloids.)
Space Combat Armor
Various weapons types, increases strength of the wearer. Makes a person equal to a tank. Infantrymen in Galman Paratroopers.
(Note: powered armor was certainly a staple of anime, though we hadn’t seen many of them when these notes were written in 1980. Nevertheless, it never really felt like a good fit for Yamato.)
Descent Armored Division (Galman Panzers)
Elite unit of Galman; combination of paratroopers and German tank unit. Used for Planetary invasion under General Gaidel.
(Note: obviously, this note inspired the Tank Paratroopers in Ren & Stimpy. There can be no other explanation.)
Manga panel by Akira Hio, 1974
Cosmo Panzers (Earth’s EDF tank division)
Space tanks, can operate in vacuum; installed on Yamato?
(Note: Yamato tanks? Believe it or not, it wasn’t the first time the idea came up. Akira Hiyo had a tank corps in his manga adaptation of Series 1. They made their first appearance while attacking the Pluto base.)
Ghost Transportation Machine
Psychological weapon used against Yamato to create visions.
(Note: this was another previously-seen concept from Akira Hiyo’s manga, which was based on an unproduced Series 1 episode in which the crew were subjected to a psychic attack. This idea later became the basis for Yamato 2199 Episode 14. The closest they got to it in Yamato III was Planet Phantom.)
Dengil torpedo ship from Final Yamato, by Tsuji Tadanao
Space Torpedo Squadron
A long-range torpedo boat attack unit.
(Note: while we didn’t see anything like this in Yamato III, the Dengil fleet definitely had them in Final Yamato.)
Space Bombing Corps/Galman
Long distance planetary air raids, like B29s.
(Note: something else we saw when the Dengil raided the solar system in Final Yamato.)
Covert action, hidden from radar screens.
New leader of EDF fleet
like Hijikata (Gideon).
(Note: we all would have liked to see another fleet commander step into Hijikata’s shoes, but chances are very good he wouldn’t have survived to the end of the story. There’s not much security in that job.)
An ace pilot, has a dogfight against Kodai in the Cosmo Zero.
(Note: there was a Galman Wolf, why not a Galman Hawk? Or, for that matter, a Melda Dietz?)
Star Force Crew
‘Thunderbolt’ Goro (Navigation section)
Graduated from Space Soldier Academy as a sports champ (wrestling, etc). Sets himself up as Shima’s bodyguard.
(Note: this description perfectly suits Goro Raiden [Buster Block], but he never had an opportunity to bodyguard Shima. Who would he guard against?)