Predictably, August activity slowed down (about equal to the first few release months back in 2012), but was enlivened by news of upcoming products (which may increase when Series 2 goes into to preproduction), and punctuated by two reliable summer events: Comiket and Chara Hobby. Add in a revival of 2014’s traveling Art Exhibition and a historic SF award, and it starts to look like what we’ve grown used to. Here’s the roundup…
August 6: 1/8 Yuki Mori figure preorders open
Believe it or not, this is the 15th figure in the 1/8 Yamato Girls Collection from Megahouse, not counting color variants (and their one-off Captain Okita). Scheduled for late November release, here is the official description from the Yamato Crew website:
Yuki is in a new form, wearing the traditional Iscandar costume when she is kidnapped by the Great Garmillas Empire. This figure faithfully reproduces her self-conscious look at the moment in the story when she tore off the hem.
August 7: Yamato Crew goods lottery
With the hundreds of new products released during the theatrical run of Yamato 2199, it was inevitable that some would be left over after the dust cleared. Yamato Crew bundled several of them together (above left) into a discounted “summer set” – dropping the price from about $100 to about $65 by current rates – and entering buyers in a prize lottery for slightly more upscale items (above right). The lottery took place at the end of August, and even the losers walked away with trading cards.
August 11: Game news
Yamato 2199: Battlefield Infinity continued its relentless march of limited-time campaigns for players with Japanese smart phones. Here’s what was going on from August 11 to 26:
Shoot and win in the summer of fear! Six limited people appear, including Niimi and Elisa in summer kimono!
The AppStore and Google Play present a limited-time event for Yamato 2199 Battlefield Infinity: Summer Night Search. It starts simultaneously with the UN Cosmo Navy and the Garmillas Army. Exclusive stages come up for a limited time!
This time the event is to recover the “Item Box” that appears in the stage. However, winning conditions are different depending on the stage, so ingenuity is needed! There will be a ranking period for the number of “Item Boxes” collected during the event. Two people appear as rewards, Nolan Oshiet for the Garmillas Army and Shinya Itou for the UN Cosmo Navy. Use various units to collect more items! You can only meet the characters in summer kimono this summer! Do whatever it takes! [Translator’s note: the vessel next to Itou in this first image appears to be a new invention for the game.]
Rare characters appear in summer kimono – build suicide attack skill!
For a limited time, four rare characters appear: Susumu Kodai & Kaoru Niimi for the UN Cosmo Navy, and Elisa Domel & Fomto Berger for the Garmillas Imperial Army. All four have been remodeled in summer kimono and are discharged to test your courage! Adaptive fighting potential is needed in this event stage!
Furthermore! Ranking is hotter! During the event period, rare building opportunities come from the appearance of units with suicide attack skill! Conditions for victory are different at every stage to make top-ranking commanders!
New features released simultaneously!
“Fighter skill” and “Development” are added! “Fighter Skill,” as the name suggests, is a special skill which you can only use with fighters. You can disable an enemy’s weapon when you attack, and various added skills increase your chances of dodging and counterattacking! In this way, strategy begins to greatly expand!
The second new feature, “Development,” allows you to convert one material item into another with a new function! Some items can only be obtained this way, so try to develop new items!
It is possible to get various privileges from the game’s “VIP rank” system and engage in “ticket building” by purchasing exclusive tickets when they appear.
Yamato 2199 Battlefield Infinity shows a further upsurge. New content will be delivered that everyone can enjoy!!
August 14-16: Comiket 88
With new Yamato 2199 productions now firmly in the past, the initiative to keep it going in other forms now rests fully on the shoulders of the fan community – as it has many times over the past forty years. As we’ve seen in these reports, there’s no shortage of outlets for creativity to emerge, but the twice-yearly Comiket has traditionally been where you can find the largest amount of it under one roof.
Yamato 2199 doujinshi of all stripes were available at Comiket 88, along with other products such as CD-Roms and personal items, and cosplayers were there to further liven things up. See a photo gallery here.
In related news, something else worthy of attention is this series of music CDs from a fan circle called Brightness. Since 2010, they’ve combined their talents under the name YSAP (Yamato Sound Arrange Project) to create custom remixes of Yamato music. Get a taste at their blog page here and their Tumblr page here.
August 17: Manga news
Comiket 88 is a good place to both sell and announce forthcoming products. Yamato Crew took the opportunity to inform everyone about the next collection of Michio Murakawa’s 2199 manga adaptation. Volume 7 will be published in October, and an extra item is available to those who order it from Yamato Crew.
At past Comikets, Murakawa published the first two volumes of a doujinshi titled Reflections of Yamato. They are the ink-and-paper equivalent of a commentary track, collecting his rough layouts from every page. Volume 2 got us up to manga chapter 21, and Volume 3 will pick up from there.
The image at right was a flyer handed out at Comiket 88. The news was published online at Yamato Crew on the 17th.
August 19: Art Gallery exhibition in Shibuya
The 2014 Art Exhibition came and went, but the echoes go on. A mini-version was covered in Yamatour 2014, and another one popped up for a month at the Kinokuniya bookstore in Shibuya, Tokyo. On-site photos were prohibited, so we don’t know how much was actually on display, but we DO know that some special guests stopped by.
The great Naoyuki Katoh, original mecha designer and package illustrator for 2199, appeared for a special signing event on August 23, bringing with him a previously-unseen mural titled Red Tsvarke and Melda, which was shared on Twitter by the Yamato 2199 Production Committee.
Chief Mechanical Director Masanori Nishii arrived for another signing event on August 30. Both men were there to sign their respective 2199 art books. Admission was limited to 50 visitors each.
Naoyuki Katoh’s life-size painting of Sabera keeps a watchful eye on fans who browse the souvenir shop. And she’s got a knife.
August 20: Dengeki Hobby Web article
Dengeki popped up last month with their live programming at Wonder Fest 2015 Summer, and added some more 2199 content to their site on this day: an extensive photoset of a 1/500 scratch-built Kirishima model first presented in the monthly magazine. See it here.
There was a secondary purpose to this: the creator of this model is Soy-Ya!!, a company that has been making impressive Yamato garage kits for years. And in fact, they were about to bring their 1/500 Kirishima to market at the very next hobby show on the calendar…
August 22-23: Chara Hobby 2015
Garage kit photos from Chara Hobby are elusive, but Twitter users were more than happy to spill their pixels on the latest display from Megahouse. Shown here are the new 1/8 Yuki and four upcoming Cosmo Fleet Special miniatures.
Right up front was this new metallic-color Yamato with Wave-Motion plug as seen in Ark of the Stars.
Also on hand was the Megaluda prototype, which had gotten a paint job since its debut at last month’s Wonder Festival. It now has a release date of January 2016, but the UX-01 Dimensional Submarine, which was promised for September, has fallen off the calendar.
August 25: Home Video news
Music fans got some great news on this day, especially those who never had the means to see either of the live 2199 concerts. Both the 2012 and 2015 events will be released on DVD and Blu-ray at the end of this year, separately and in a box set with bunches of bonuses. If you already bought them on CD, you won’t want to pass these by, since there is an additional 30 minutes of live material, which probably includes the songs that didn’t make it onto the 2012 disc.
Yamato 2199 Concert 2015 & Yamato Orchestra Big Ceremony 2012 Special Blu-ray set
The new world of magnificent Yamato 2199 music begins to spin here! Composer Akira Miyagawa conducted the Yamato Orchestra Big Ceremony 2012 in November 2012, and Yamato 2199 Concert 2015 in February 2015. The magnificent Yamato sound revives in 5.1ch surround!
Big Ceremony 2012 was held November 2012, a magnificent performance by 100 people including the Osaka City Symphony and the Toke Civic Wind Orchestra. Concert 2015 was held February 2015 with a flow of music from the TV series through Ark of the Stars, perfectly performed by the musicians that originally recorded it.
The two concerts in this set are edited together from the two performances of Big Ceremony 2012 and the three performances of Concert 2015.
Limited edition features (box set only)
• concert score
• Concert 2015 program book special edition (reconfigured from the on-site edition)
• Big Ceremony 2012 program reprint edition (same as the on-site edition)
• Storage box
Standard features (box set and individual discs)
• Concert 2015 special booklet
• Big Ceremony 2012 special booklet
• Concert 2015 bonus footage: unreleased Akira Miyagawa talks
• Big Ceremony 2012 bonus footage: Chapter 3 Yamatalk featuring Akira Miyagawa and Yutaka Izubuchi
• Audio commentary
Big Ceremony 2012 performers
Conductor: Akira Miyagawa. Performance: Yamato Music Orchestra (Osaka City Symphony and Toke Civic Wind Orchestra). Vocalists: Yucca, Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus, Isao Sasaki, Aira Yuki, Aki Misato. MC: Shinichiro Ota.
Concert 2015 performers
Conductor: Akira Miyagawa. Performance: Yamato 2199 Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus. Vocalists: Yucca, Kazuko Hashimoto. Narration: Houko Kuwashima (voice of Yuki Mori).
Total running time: 185 minutes [30 minutes longer than the CD versions] plus 25 minutes bonus footage.
Release date: December 24 (subject to change)
Akira Miyagawa’s comment to the fans
August 25, 2015
About forty years ago, my father Hiroshi Miyagawa wrote Space Battleship Yamato. My generation was blessed with the opportunity to inherit it and new recordings over several years. The studio is a place that always makes music three-dimensional and has always fostered a lot of musicians. I am one of them. This was a valuable opportunity to experience how Yamato music is usually produced in a studio, seeing the musicians themselves in a live setting. I hope you’ll enjoy it at home again and again.
August 25: Hobby Japan #556
After the previous issue was barren in terms of 2199 material, this one saw the return of the familiar 2-page update on new and upcoming products.
The 1/8 Yuki figure was accompanied by new pics of the Medaluza prototype and the first announcement of Bandai’s Mecha Collection model #20: the Gaiderol-class Astro Battleship. It’s right next to the UX-01 Dimensional Sub, which was announced for late September.
August 26: Game news
The next Battlefield Infinity campaign rolled out late in the month and things got pretty serious…
Yamato 2199 Battlefield Infinity faces death! Episode 18 revived!
Obtain Juuzo Okito and Herm Zoellick!!
the limited-time event “The Great Light Beyond” begins simultaneously for both the UN Cosmo Navy and the Garmillas Imperial Army! A hot revival of Yamato 2199 Episode 18! The goal is to destroy enemy flagships and arrive at the objective. The UN Cosmo Navy breaks through the enemy’s naval review and reaches the gate! Yamato suddenly appears among the Garmillas Empire forces against the usurper!
During this ranking period, compete for points to clear the event stage. As a reward, you can obtain Juuzo Okita of the UN Cosmo Navy or Herm Zoellick of the Garmillas Imperial Army! Can you win the war in this clash of beliefs?
Rare buildup appears with special skills!
Hiroki Shinohara from the UN Cosmo Navy wears a Garmillas pilot suit to confont the Garmillas Imperial Army! During this event, he appears along with Gremto Goel, two people with special skills for a limited time! Use their skills to acquire many ranking points!
August 29: 1/8 Akira Yamamoto Mk II figure
After a one-month delay from her original release date, Akira Yamamoto became the first Yamato girl after Yuki Mori to get a second version. (Everyone loves Yuki, but enough to buy four different versions?)
The previous version of Akira had her in a pilot suit, but this time she’s in her standard crew uniform. Both versions include an optional jacket, and this one swaps out her helmet for a Cosmogun.
August 29: Seiun Award
The original Space Battleship Yamato series marked its 40th anniversary in October 2014, and another meaningful 40th was commemorated on this day. In July 1975, four months after the series ended its initial broadcast, it won a very significant award: the Seiun [Nebula] at the Shincon SF convention. There is also an American Nebula award, but the Seiyun has more in common with the American Hugo award, in that it covers several categories and winners are chosen by popular vote from fans.
This year, Ark of the Stars took the very same award given to the original Yamato series almost exactly 40 years earlier. Here’s the full story as reported by Anime Anime:
Seiun Awards Decision: Fujii Taiyo, Ark of the Stars wins in Best Media category
August 29, 2015
The 54th Japan SF Convention [Comecon] took place August 29 in Yonago City, Tottori Prefecture. The convention began in 1962 as a meeting point for SF fans in Japan, with the theme of taking pride in the history of the subculture. Lectures, meetings, cosplay, and on-site sales have been part of it since the old days. One of the highlights of the event is the Seiun Awards ceremony, chosen from the votes of SF fans for entries in nine categories over the past year. This began in 1970, and is the best-known award along with the Japan SF Grand Prix which began in 1980.
On August 29, Nebula winners were announced in seven Japanese categories at the 46th annual ceremony by the Japan SF Fan Union conference. This was followed by the overseas long-form category and the overseas short-form category for a total of nine.
Director Yutaka Izubuchi accepts the award
Author Fujii Taiyo won in the Japanese longform category for his novel Orbital Cloud, the story of a freelance web developer caught up in a fight against terrorists in space. It was originally a self-published work that was extensively revised for Hayakawa Publishing in 2013. It has now won double awards in the SF world, including the 35th Japan SF Award in February.
Author Hiroshi Takahashi won in the Japanese shortform category for his short story Finger of the Sea from Kodansha’s web comic Moae. Such works, both long and short, usually emerge from books and magazines, so these wins feel like a change in the state of SF works.
Yamato 2199 Ark of the Stars was chosen in the media category. Directed by Yutaka Izubuchi, it was developed as a new feature film in response to the success of the TV series. The number of anime selections in this category was not small this time; Expelled from Paradise, Space Dandy, and Kill la Kill received honorable mention, along with Baymax, Interstellar, and Mystery Transfer Student.
Masayuki Ishikawa won in the manga category for Moyashimon, and Keinojyou Mizutama, who passed away December 13, 2014, won in the art category. He was active in the field of character design and SF illustration, and created Wanda & Reset, the familiar mascot characters of Wonder Festival.
In the nonfiction category, Shinji Maki and Nozomu Omori won for the Sanrio SF Library Commentary, and the winner in the free category was Drama 24 Aoi Hono [Blue Blazes], a TV series based on a manga by Kazuhiko Shimamoto about his college days, adapted by director Yuichi Fukuda. It became a hot topic for its characters, who bear a close resemblance to real people. It is said to be the first fictional drama based on the “history of SF fandom,” and was chosen for its historical significance. [See the Wikipedia page for Blue Blazes here.]
The inclusion of movies, anime, comics, and technology along with SF novels – domestic and international – reflects the freedom that surrounds the winners of the Seiun Awards.
See Anime News Network’s report here.
Visit the convention’s website here.
Other Yamato action at Comecon…
The great Naoyuki Katah gives an art lecture using his Sabera painting. After he drew the diagram of Yamato’s welding construction, he asked for someone to take a picture before it got erased. A Twitter user named Blue@Yamato2199 obliged.
“Blue” grabbed more photos, including this overview of Katoh’s presentation space. One of his three live-painted murals can be seen at the top, and his new Red Tsvarke & Melda piece is at the bottom. Katoh himself is at work at lower right, and the Oculus Rift VR Yamato station is at lower left.
Lucky fans in total Oculus Rift immersion, entranced by a complete VR Yamato exterior.
Both of Katoh’s other live-painted murals were also on display.
This was his first, painted in front of the crowd at Chara Hobby 2012.
Finally, both Dessler and Shinohara roamed the convention. Probably not at the same time, though.
August 30: Naokuyi Katoh digibook
Immediately after his appearance at ComeCon, Mr. Katoh broke a whole new category for Yamato products with the release of a digibook for iPhones and iPads. Title Yamato and Domelaze III World, it focuses on a single piece of art, the extended profile shot of Yamato clashing with Domelaze III as per Episode 15. It first appeared on a foldout card for stickers that were given away at all seven 2199 theatrical screenings, and is exceptional for both its size and detail.
That makes it a good topic for closeup viewing, which is what this digibook provides; a complete record of the painting from rough to final form with numerous high-resolution images and comments from the artist.
Also spotted in August:
Haru’s CG models
We’ve followed the work of CG artist and Yamato fan “Haru” in past reports as he constructed his own very intricate model of the 2199 Yamato. On August 26, he posted a major payoff of this ambitious project, a fully-animated sequence of a Cosmo Zero launch. See it on Youtube here, and visit Haru’s Twitter page here.
Haru also gave everyone a look at his next CG project, which we’ll follow with equal interest.
Nazca carrier sketches
In the fan art zone, Twitter user “Kimidekorokoro” posted these sketches to speculate on the interior configuration of the Comet Empire’s Nazca-class carrier and how the fighters might move around. Get a larger look at these images here
Visit his Twitter page here.
Wu Niang’s 1/144 Yamato
Moving into the world of 3D DIY, the modeler “Wu Niang” made heavy-duty progress on his scratch-built 1/144 Yamato this month, completing his own concept for a Dimensional Submarine, based on the Shira from Blue Noah. He also worked out the mechanics of the stern catapults. (Surprise, they’re perfectly scaled to the Mecha Collection fighters!)
See extensive photos at his Twitter page here.
A new entry for outstanding cosplay emerged this month when these photos of a model named “4-inch Chan” were posted by Twitter user “Sky 3 Amateur Cameraman.” This raises the bar pretty high for Akira Yamamoto cosplayers, with extra points for remembering that she wore a different uniform for a short while.
Visit Sky 3’s Twitter page here.
Mirenel Link garage kit
“Abeshi 15” is a sculptor who specializes in garage kits of anime characters, and he broke new ground this month when he revealed his next 2199 figure to be one that nobody else has tackled yet.
He also made these twin Yuki and Yurisha figures, which he debuted last month at Wonder Festival 2015 Summer. See more photos of these and many other projects at Abeshi 15’s Twitter page here.