Despite a slow start, 2199 activity in October 2015 was slightly up over that of September. Fan activities are always a reliable place to find the blood still pumping, and this month also gave us a handful of announcements to maintain the anticipation. Here’s the full rundown…
October 2: Golf balls
Check another one off the Yamato swag list. When you think about what a popular pastime golf is in Japan, it’s surprising it took this long. What makes this set so interesting is the inclusion of the name Star Blazers, though not the original logo. That would make this the first official Star Blazers merchandise in several years if you don’t count the Yamato 2199 model kits with Star Blazers stickers over the title.
October 4: Raise Anchor 2 mini-con
Raise Anchor was a brand new event when it premiered in Osaka as part of a larger, manga-oriented convention called Comic City back in January of this year. Raise Anchor 2 took place at simultaneous Comic City conventions in both Osaka and Tokyo, with a total of 26 fan circles participating.
Raise Anchor is described as an “All chara puchi only event,” which means the emphasis is on characters rather than mecha. See some examples in a gallery of images here.
Visit the event website here.
October 7: Game news
The smart phone game Battlefield Infinity unveiled this new campaign for the month:
Battlefield Infinity’s second Yamato 2199 anime episode! Operation M2 The Sun Sets on Pluto is held! Men appear at the battlefront as limited-event elite units!
Limited-time event: The Sun Sets on Pluto
The Sun Sets on Pluto begins simultaneously for the UN Cosmo Navy and the Garmillas Imperial Army! The desperate struggle from Episode 6 of Yamato 2199 is revived! The mission is to destroy the enemy flagship! The UN Cosmo Navy destroys the Pluto forward base of the Garmillas Imperial Army, from which the planet bombs are dropped! The Garmillas Imperial Army must intercept Yamato before it can destroy the base! Earn “ranking points” by defeating the enemy! Compete for “ranking points” to earn the top “kill ranking”! Earn new units as a reward!
The UN Cosmo Navy is commanded by Mamoru Kodai, the older brother of Susumu, who served as captain of the destroyer Yukikaze. Vuelke Shulz, father of the beloved Hilde Shulz, appears in the game for the first time! Who will win these two characters making their first appearance?
Four men appear in special elite units!
Four men face their destiny with memories of Operation M: Juuzo Okita (Kirishima) and Shou Yamazaki (Murasame) from the UN Cosmo Navy, and Ganz (Chevalier) and Shulz (Kripitera) from the Garmillas Imperial Army. Use the special skills of these elite units to aim for a higher rank!
October 10: Machi Asobi 15
Machi Asobi [City Play] is a twice-yearly pop culture festival in Tokushima that takes place in May and October. This includes anime and manga-related events, and special 2199 film screenings have become a regular highlight.
Here’s what the Japanese website Anime Hack had to say about 2199’s presence:
Eriko Nakamura looks back at Yamato 2199 as the “work that became a turning point”
Machi Asobi 15 was held October 10 in Tokushima, during which a screening of Yamato 2199 Ark of the Stars took place at UFOtable Cinema. A stage greeting was held with Production IG executive officer Mikio Gunji and Mikage Kiryu’s voice actor Eriko Nakamura. They talked about their present feelings after the end of the production.
It seems there was an accidental encounter between Nakamura, Yamato 2199 and Machi Asobi.
“Three years ago,” Mr. Gunji said, “there was an event here at Machi Asobi called ‘Lots of Yamatalk’ with director Izubuchi, and Ms. Nakamura was in a talk show on the same platform afterward. It was a near-miss. There was talk about Ark of the Stars at the time, but it was still preliminary. She was chosen for the Mikage Kiryu role after that, so it feels like a strange coincidence.”
One of the topics was a product scheduled for release on December 24, the Yamato 2199 Concert 2015 & Yamato Music Team Big Ceremony 2012 blu-ray special set. Both concerts were filmed, and Nakamura participates in the audio commentary for Concert 2015 with composer Akira Miyagawa and sound director Tomohiro Yoshida.
“When you hear the commentary on the concert,” Mr. Gunji said, “you might not know which you should listen to, since it’s so much fun. (Laughs) Mr. Yoshida wasn’t just the sound director on the production side, he was also involved in Yamato as music director. Therefore, he was the lynchpin in matching the music to the story. There are interesting stories from the inside. When you compare Ms. Nakamura’s viewpoint as an actor with Mr. Miyagawa’s perspective being in charge of the music, they carried out similar activities and express similar feelings. I want you to look forward to it, by all means.”
Ms. Nakamura gave her impressions and said that she was happy to join with so many of her seniors to work on Yamato. She also talked about a change in her own performance.
“When you start performing a character, you get a sense of the feelings you need to identify with the role. But instead of acting with Mikage Kiryu, I felt I could play her with a sense of ‘what is inside myself.’ By making it possible for me to deliver that kind performance, Yamato became a turning point work.”
Witty stories from Gunji and Nakamura filled the meeting place with a whirlpool of roaring laughter from start to finish, and at the end the curtain closed with a comment from Nakamura that was full of love for Yamato.
October 10: Manga volume 7
Kodansha continues to bring Michio Murakawa’s adaptation to paper. This 164-page volume contains his versions of episodes 13 and 15, as seen in the online chapters 34-38. The cover illustration is by mecha designer Junichiro Tamamori, and a 12-page bonus section contains model sheets of the Garmillas ships seen in this volume.
Michio Murakawa upheld his tradition of creating new art for bonus postcards that are bundled with the book in certain book stores. This one features second-shift radar operator Miki Saito.
Two more gave us new images of a rather coquettish Kaoru Niimi and a touching portrait of dimensional submariners evidently dealing with some bad news. Fans intent on collecting every postcard have to visit multiple stores to catch ‘em all.
The best bookstores try to keep earlier volumes available for new customers to jump on. This photo (found on Twitter) shows all seven lined up for the taking at a Maruzen book store. The display card in the center shows the postcards available for each one. Additional Murakawa drawings can be seen at left.
October 10: Reflections of Yamato 2199 Volume 3
This doujinshi, available exclusively through the Yamato Crew website, was published the same day as volume 7. It’s the third collection of Murakawa’s thumbnail pages, spanning the material reprinted in manga volumes 5 and 6 (online chapters 22-31) and the bonus art he generated during that run.
October 14: Concert video promotion
As announced in Report 49, the next big thing to come is the release of the two Yamato 2199 concerts on home video in December: Music Team Big Festival 2012 and Concert 2015. They were back in the news on this day when the jacket art was revealed online.
The 2012 art was created for that concert at the time, but the Concert 2015 art (shown here fronting the official 2199 website) is entirely new.
October 17: Comic Con Okinawa
The US Armed Forces maintains a major presence in Okinawa, and MCCS (Marine Corps Community Services) does all sorts of nice things for the American community there – including this special comic book convention nicknamed “Oki-con.”
As the opening photo already revealed, 2199 mecha designer and Okinawa resident Junichiro Tamamori had his own display space, and this image from the event brochure finally reveals him to the world.
His displays included his own custom-painted Cosmo Zero model and a flyer that reintroduced the series to fans from the US. “Tama” is fluent in English and reported that he greatly enjoyed hearing stories about running home from school to catch the latest TV episode. (Special thanks to Tamamori-san for permission to share these photos!)
Visit the Comic Con Okinawa Facebook page here.
October 20: Premium Bandai announcement
Back in July, Premium Bandai released a box set of several Garmillas mini-kits that had originally been included with 1/1000 models of larger ships. (See it in Report 48.) That set was titled The Solar System Battles and came with five different mecha from the first few TV episodes.
This new set continues the trend with four fightercraft seen in later episodes: The FWG97 Dolcia Torpedo Bomber and DMG109 Debake Fighter Craft…
…along with the DMG292 Tsvarke Combat Fighter and DMB87 Snuka Attack Dive Bomber. This set is scheduled for release through Premium Bandai in February 2016. (Online orders only, shipping to Japanese addresses.)
Revisit a complete gallery of Garmillas mecha here.
October 21: Game news
In case you ever wondered if Halloween is observed in Japan, Battlefield Infinity has your answer:
Happy Halloween! The Halloween season arrives at Battlefield Infinity! A limited-time “Halloween Mission” event is held to collect sweets! Elite units appear dressed in various spooky Halloween costumes!
Limited-time event Halloween Mission!!
Trick or Treat! Halloween Mission starts simultaneously for the UN Cosmo Navy and the Garmillas Imperial Army! Collect “treats” for a limited time! The UN Cosmo Navy finds a sector of “treats” and must defeat the Garmillas Imperial Army to collect them. Their strategies clash concerning the whereabouts of these “treats”! Compete for ranking points by collecting the “treats” in this event stage! Top ranking wins limited elite units!
Two people emerge with a different look: Hajime Hirata from the UN Cosmo Navy and Redoff Hyss of the Garmilas Empire! Furthermore, for a limited time you can use the “search” function to send out a unit to find the items. When you add elite units to a successful search, you can get battle reinforcement items! Use “search” to your advantage and push forward profitably!
Elite unit characters appear in costume!
During the Halloween Mission event, four characters appear wearing various Halloween costumes: Chizuru Miyazawa (cute cat girl) and Kenjiro Ota (fanged Dracula) for the UN Cosmo Navy, and Celestella (Shangri La the enchantress) and Dimensional Submarine Commander Frakken (creepy android) for the Garmillas Imperial Army. Use their special skills to acquire ranking points and limited items that can only be earned in this event!
Kazutaka Miyatake art exhibition
If you don’t yet recognize that name, you’ve got some catching up to do (starting here and here). His work on the original Yamato, Starship Troopers, Macross, Yamato 2199, and other projects have made Miyatake a living legend in mecha design. He’s also something of an iconoclast, living his life completely off-line, which makes his public appearances a rare privilege indeed.
He made such an appearance on the opening day of this exhibition, which was held on the Japanese battleship Mikasa (above), moored at Yokosuka City. Approximately 50 pieces were on display through November 23.
Visit the event website here.
October 26: 2016 calendars announced
Yamato calendars were a tradition of the original production years that happily made a comeback in 2009 with Yamato Resurrection and have continued ever since. Yamato Crew announced two new editions for 2016: an Ark of the Stars wall calendar (above left and center) and a 31-day “tear off” calendar with quotes and character art for each day of a given month. The idea is that you either tear off a page a day or recycle it at the start of a new month.
Both calendars go on sale (online only to Japanese addresses) in December.
October 26: 1/500 Kirishima garage kit
Garage kit maker Soy-Ya! has made Yamato resin kits for many years (see a gallery of their past works here), and made quite a splash when they debuted this huge model in the pages of Dengeki Hobby magazine.
Since then, they’ve upgraded it to incorporate details seen in the Hyper Mecha Detail Artworks book published in July, and announced that they will begin selling it through the Yamato Crew website in November. The price will be just under $300 USD, and the finished model is over 16” long.
Like the calendars, natch, it is only available online to Japanese addresses. But you’ve got a friend in Japan here.
October 26: Manga chapter 40
This 21-page segment by Michio Murakawa begins to lay the groundwork for Episode 16’s mutiny and presumably a more fleshed-out version of Elsa Domel’s storyline as a resistance leader on Garmillas. As usual, it was published online at both Comic Walker and Nico Nico Ace.
See the pages here.
October 26: NTT side story, chapter 5
For the first time, this project seems to have gotten onto a monthly schedule. This is the latest installment of a serialized 2199 side-story on the website for telecommunications company NTT.
See the original post here. Translation follows.
Before the Yamato Plan – information processing system supplemental case
5. Reinforcement of video delivery technology
The next order issued by Yamato Plan General Manager Heikuro Todo was to ensure that people had peace of mind and would not lose hope before the day Yamato returned one year later. It was a difficult request. What methods were there to stabilize the hearts of people who could not see tomorrow?
Todo had been thinking about that. For example, if global communications were to fragment in six months, in the middle of Yamato’s voyage, peoples’ sense of fear would be immeasurable. If possible, he wanted the people of the world to be able to see each others’ smiling faces until the day Yamato returned.
Smiling at each other was part of what would give humanity the power to survive. As long as their hearts could be kept stabile over the next year, Todo was convinced that humanity would survive at maximum power. Until Yamato returns! Until Yamato returns! When he thought about the people who must live for tomorrow with hope in their hearts, his own heart ached.
NTT Smart Connect, the preferred source of video delivery technology, was requested to carry out high-quality, worldwide on-demand delivery without delay from the enormous video library in the robust underground data center, 24 hours a day for 365 days. Simultaneous worldwide delivery with the best sound, resolution, and color depth. It was a delivery that would connect the hopes of the human race.
According to statistics, scenes of the formerly green Earth had the highest viewership. The Earth before its devastation. Forests, oceans, and mountains. Now the human race had become keenly aware of how rare they were, and the benefits of nature that they had taken for granted in the old days.
Compression began of the large volume video images of the former Earth from the 21st century, and thanks to rapid advances in technology, the amount of content that could be stored was said to be inexhaustible.
Furthermore, enormous digital content was kept at higher resolution for picture delivery at 4K, 8K, and 16K. From stations to roads to public buildings and moving cars, pictures were delivered to lift peoples’ spirits everywhere in the underground city…
At that time, an interplanetary ballistic missile was launched from the Pluto forward base of Garmillas. Its target was a single Earth battleship.
“Why am I nervous about just one ship built by the Terrons?”
Although Shulz did not understand it, in the depths of his heart he had a dreadful foreboding that this one ship would change the fate of Garmillas on its own.
“If I don’t swat it down now, my back may be against the wall.”
The presence of the interplanetary ballistic missile was reported to Yamato immediately. It was getting closer to Yamato by the moment.
“It’s coming,” Sanada muttered to himself. Would it attempt to prevent Yamato from launching?
Sanada gave short, curt instructions to the department heads.
“Launch time approaches. There is a wide variety of terminals and general network equipment on Yamato, so maintenance personnel must carry out monitoring and maintenance 24 hours a day. All right? Troubles with the information system must not interfere with Yamato’s voyage! Your pride as engineers must not allow such a situation. Always share information. There can be no ‘I’m the only one familiar with this system’ or ‘Only I can maintain that system.’ No system on Yamato should depend on the skills of a single individual. At any moment, work should be able to continue at the same level even if you are replaced by another member. That is my only demand.”
After Sanada spoke his beliefs, he returned to the first bridge and a field engineer took over. Holding the simultaneous posts of both executive officer and technology chief kept Sanada very busy, so he put a great deal of trust in the capabilities of his subordinates. Tanikawa and Sato had both felt the depths of that trust in Sanada’s sharp admonition.
Yuki Mori, an officer of ship’s affairs division, reported to Captain Okita in his cabin.
“There are no absentees among the crew. They have all boarded the ship.”
Okita nodded deeply. Yamato’s launch was drawing near.
To be continued
October 28: Game news
The month closed with one more announcement from the Battlefield Infinity crew:
A new Battlefield Infinity campaign appears to strengthen your units and prepare for the next event! The Strengthen Units in the Long Nights of Autumn campaign! The second half of the limited-time Halloween Mission is also held.
New campaign: Strengthen Units in the Long Nights of Autumn!!
Try to strengthen your units for the next event! A “damage ranking” will be held to compete for the “damage amount” you can inflict on the enemy in the next event! During this campaign, the number of “development” opportunities increases to request “firepower reinforcement” and “performance reinforcement.” Strengthen your units to jump-start the next event!
Improve your chances with elite units! The second half of the Halloween Mission game!
A high-difficulty “EX stage” is added! A large number of “treats” are more difficult to acquire in the EX stage, and the decal drop rate is higher than in the first stage! It’s still not too late! Obtain elite units and play the EX stage to increase your ranking!
Yamato 2199 Battlefield Infinity continues to evolve every day and deliver content that everyone can enjoy. Don’t miss it!
Also spotted in October
This has been a very active year for Battlefield Infinity, which is one of the few Yamato 2199 projects that still generates new artwork.
These two banners, posted by Twitter user “Hayamiu,” collect a lot of that artwork for commemorative purposes.
The Ninomiya Band is a group of musicians who inherited 100% of the Showa soul. They prove it with an arresting rendition of The Scarlet Scarf, which can be seen on Youtube here.
G-Festa is an annual automotive exhibition that brings car buffs together with the stuff they love. Since it’s Japan there’s always an anime connection – evidenced by these two Yamato 2199-adorned vehicles spotted by Twitter user “Noboru Kakei.”
See a collective photo gallery here.
Somewhere in the city of Kawaguchi lies Café Izumikus, which caters to the tastes of Yamato fans. This photo was posted on Twitter on October 25 with no further explanation by Aoi2199 after a viewing of the Kazutaka Miyatake art exhibition.
New fan art appeared on Twitter this month, covering the gamut from mecha to characters. See a gallery here.
We’ve seen the work of garage kit sculptor Abeshi in past reports, and the hits keep on coming. On October 30, these prototype photos appeared on Abeshi’s Twitter page of a new model being prepared for the next Treasure Festa hobby show: the Mirenel doll and telephone from Episode 14, Whisper of the Witch.
Finally, CG artist Haru turned out some new magic this month with these renderings of Cosmo Falcons launching from Yamato’s hangar drum. Get a better look at them on Haru’s Twitter page here.