As expected, 2199 activity dropped significantly with the start of 2016. That’s not as bad as it sounds, since we had a month like this one back in June 2015, and any 2199 activity at all is a good thing. Interestingly, the Battlefield Infinity mobile game still dominates as it continues to find new ways to entertain the fans. Also of note was the first Hobby Japan coverage in five months (which coincidentally synced with hobby news from other sources) and the arrival of a long-awaited Cosmo Fleet miniature. Here’s the complete January roundup.
January 1: Game news
The first of several campaign announcements from the Battlefield Infinity game got the new year rolling right away:
Third “Real Present” Campaign is held!!
Happy new year! From January 1 to 6, you can apply for rare buildup in the “Third Real Present Campaign”! Celebrate the new year by displaying an Ark of the Stars 2016 wall calendar autographed by [mecha designer] Junichiro Tamamori!! Get this calendar exclusively from Battlefield Infinity!
It’s easy to apply. When performing “rare buildup” during the campaign period, you will be entered automatically! At the end of this period, the signed calendar will be sent to ten winners!
Aaaand!? In this campaign, the number of units you can get goes UP significantly! Your applications increase the higher your VIP Rank gets!!
Limited New Year units for Domel and Harada appear for a limited time!!
During the Real Present Campaign from January 1-6, “Limited New Year units” appear for rare buildup! In addition to the character illustrations, the ships are also painted in New Year specs! Get the valuable Harada and Domel units!
UN Cosmo Navy
Unit: Main Battleship Mutsu, New Year specifications
Passenger: Makoto Harada (kimono)
Skill: angel in a long-sleeve kimono
Skill effect: reveals all hidden map gimmicks and field items within range
Fleet skill: save energy
Fleet skill effect: reduce fuel consumption by 20% among all allied units during movement
Garmillas Empire Forces
Unit: Astro assault carrier Polmeria, New Year specifications
Passenger: Eruk Domel (Hakama crest kimono)
Skill: New Year commander
Skill effect: to warp into any hex within range
Fleet skill: carrier advancement
Fleet skill effect: increasing carrier movement
Along with the calendar signed by Junichiro Tamamori, get the limited edition New Year Domel and Harada units in this luxurious campaign! It’s a chance to kill two birds with one stone! Yamato 2199 Battlefield Infinity greets the New Year and takes a route toward a new sunrise! Enjoy it by all means!!
January 6: Game news
Galactic coming of age ceremony! Yuki Mori and Norran appear in kimono and a suit!
Characters appear in limited coming-of-age ceremony costumes! From the UN Cosmo Navy, the fascinating figure of Yuki Mori in a kimono appears with Isokaze! From the Garmillas Imperial Army, Norran Oschett in an iconic adult suit along with an FS-type Astro Strike Boat!
During the “Galactic Coming of Age Ceremony” event, obtain limited coming-of-age-ceremony units in “rare buildup” and “normal buildup”! Your collective strength rises from the elite skills of two people with firepower, armor, and mobility increasing up to 300% in the event area!! Get the elite units and avoid mistakes to aim for a top-ranking finish!!
Coming of Age Ceremony limited units: medium-size ships in rare buildup for each side. Isokaze (Yuki Mori), and FS type Astro Strike Boat (Norran Oschett).
The power of youth leads to victory!!
For a limited time, the “Galactic Coming of Age Ceremony” event starts simultaneously for both the UN Cosmo Navy and the Garmillas Imperial Forces! Young people stand up to rescue their flagship, which is surrounded by asteroids! Compete for ranking points and clear the stage to aim for a higher rank! Overcome looming enemies and a number of trials to succeed!
The reward for top ranking is a new Limited Unit! The young ace fighter pilots Susumu Kodai of the UN Cosmo Navy and Melda Dietz of the Garmillas Imperial Forces appear in limited illustrations! Obtain these new limited units which were unavailable until now!
Yamato 2199 Battlefield Infinity takes a young crew along for the voyage and delivers content everyone can enjoy. Don’t miss it!
Followup announcement, published January 13:
New challenges for the young! High Difficulty stage added!!
During the second half of the limited “Galactic Coming of Age Ceremony” event, a newly-added EX Stage increases the degree of difficulty! An unusually powerful enemy flagship strikes! Make full use of young people to protect your flagship!
Along with the degree of difficulty, your chance of winning ranking points increases in this EX Stage! Strengthen the young to clear the stage and aim for a higher rank!
The second half of the game runs from January 13-20. Yamato 2199 Battlefield Infinity continues to grow along with the young, and delivers content everyone can enjoy! Don’t miss it!
January 10: Raise Anchor 2
On the first anniversary of its premiere, this fan event took place within a larger convention called Comic City Osaka 104. As before, organizer/fan artist Uri Hoshino (operating under the pen name ASIA02) pulled Yamato fans together under a single banner to sell doujinshi and other homemade items.
Here were the items Hoshino herself made for sale: a Magellanic Parfait charm, a Garmillas-themed clear file, a 2199 button, and a “friend memo” featuring Analyzer and Alter. 29 different fan circles teamed up for Raise Anchor 2, each represented at the event website here. (For those keeping score, this was the second Raise Anchor 2 gathering; the previous one – 2A? – happened in October 2015.)
Sample pages of new doujinshi published at the event:
Uri Hoshino’s Sanada X Mamoru doujinshi (free Pixiv membership necessary. Of COURSE you want one.)
Yamato 2199 Fan Book by Uzume Association (at Pixiv)
Yamato 2199 Fan Book by FreeSentence (at Pixiv)
January 20: Game news
Battlefield Infinity version 1.2.7 released!! New Normal Area added along with Galunt and Cosmo Sparrow for rare and normal buildup!
A new normal area and second area have been opened! Also added are the Astro Heavy Bomber DBG88 Galunt and the Tactical Space Recon Craft SSR-91 Cosmo Sparrow, which appear for a limited time! Aim to become the strongest fleet!
Cosmo Sparrow (Hiroki Shinohara)
“Effective man” has the skill to effect movement. Able to increase the firepower, armor, and mobility of women in the fleet by 30%.
“Special Rock-Drilling Bullet Level 5” delivers 2100 damage to an enemy in the forward hex regardless of armor value.
And!? The parameters of all rare units increase greatly!
Version 1.2.7 update! Convert by crossing your units!
“Highly recommended” updates are as follows!!
– Power up a unit’s conversion capability!
It’s possible to convert a unit by crossing two units from the same warship class!
– Increase the effects of battle items!
The effect level of some items improves! Increase your combat advantage!
– See more with characters!
The display enlarges when you tap a character in the unit detail screen!
Other updates can be seen in the news updates or at the store! Yamato 2199 Battlefield Infinity challenges a big wave and delivers content everyone can enjoy! Don’t miss it!!
January 20: WCDA single
WCDA (Will Cinderella Dance Again) is a fascinating music group that we’ve mentioned before in these pages, and whenever they add to their catalog it’s definitely a moment for Yamato fans to sit up and take notice. They specialize in covering anime songs, but they dig deeper than OP and ED title themes to find grooves and beats hidden in the BGM. They previously released two different singles titled Iskandall and Bolar, and now they’ve taken on the blood-pumping Dessler attack theme in a 2-track digital single.
The best part is that you can order all of these singles RIGHT NOW on the American version of iTunes. Just enter WCDA as a search term and their whole catalog will be at your fingertips. It’s one every anime fan should explore.
January 20: Hobby Com news
A Japanese website called Hobby Com published these photos of a prototype 1/72 Type 100 Scout Plane garage kit that was being prepared for Wonder Festival 2016 Winter, always the first hobby show of the year. As long as Bandai inexplicably continues not to make a plamo version of it, fans will be ready to step in.
January 25: Hobby Japan #561
Seemingly out of the blue, Hobby Japan welcomed Yamato 2199 back into its pages after a five-month absence. The subject of this 13-page article was the Mecha Collection mini-kits being put through their paces by skilled and imaginative modelers.
See the whole article here.
January 26: Soy-ya! garage kit announcements
With Wonder Festival 2016 Winter just around the corner (February 7), the highly-respected garage kit maker Soy-ya broke through another Bandai boundary when it announced a 1/1000 Deusula II as the latest edition in their 2199 lineup. They previously made a 1/500 Kirishima and 1/350 UX-01 Dimensional Submarine, and are also prepping a 1/350 Yukikaze.
The model in the upper portion of this ad is the Battleship Cordoba from Crusher Joe, a longtime fan favorite designed by Yamato veteran Kazutaka Miyatake.
As a followup, Soy-ya also reminded everyone about their 1/35 Saruba tank (over a foot long!) via Twitter on January 30.
January 26: Game news
Kiryu and Melda have sweet chocolates just for you! Limited Valentine units appear!
Limited Valentine characters appear in sweet costumes! Kiryu Mikage from the UN Cosmo Navy and Melda Dietz from the Garmillas Imperial Forces! Both send their love and “sweet chocolate” only to you!
And!? They each board ships with “special paint with a sweet scent!!” These elite units only appear during the limited Valentine period! Their true power is shown in the Valentine EV story starting February 3! “Valentine units” with their sweet coating are all set for rare “Valentine buildup!”
Elite Valentine units:
Murasame/Valentine (Kiryu Mikage)
Meltoria/Valentine (Melda Dietz)
Secret Choco Battle Preparation Contest to be held on the verge of Valentines Day!!
Valentines is coming soon! “Secret Choco Battle Preparations” to be held!
Collect “Valentine tickets” in missions, exploration, and development to build up elite limited Valentine units to play a strong role in the main story! Valentine units with a special “armor-up” skill will play a special role in the “Secret Choco Battle” story!
Mission: when you get to the last stage of a normal area, defeat the enemy flagship for a Valentine ticket drop!
Exploration: search an event stage to discover Valentine tickets for the “Secret Choco Battle Preparation” chapter!
Development: Valentine tickets will be distributed in accordance with your development rank!
If you’re on a mission and exploration, use surplus items to kill two birds with one stone! Build up “Valentines tickets” to construct special elite Valentine units during the “Valentines buildup” by all means!
Yamato 2199 Battlefield Infinity blows away the winter cold and gains momentum with content everyone can enjoy! Don’t miss it!
January 27: Michio Murakawa’s blog
Mr. Murakawa didn’t deliver a new chapter of his Yamato 2199 manga adaptation on time this month (it turned up February 1 instead), but he did take the time to blog about it on the intended day of release, which gave everyone some insight into the life he leads.
He’d finished the chapter and sent it out to his publisher (Kadokawa) at 6am, noting that he typically puts in 17 hours a day and his schedule is pinned to the publication of the paperback collections. They’ve typically come out twice a year, but at irregular times depending upon when he reaches a certain page count. At the beginning of the series he drew a whopping 85 pages a month, but this latest chapter is just 14. He lamented how manga artists are typically treated like machines by their publishers, but he hasn’t lost one ounce of his love for Yamato.
He is currently adapting Episode 16 (the Izumo mutiny) and explained that the 2199 production committee allows him to change the events however he sees fit as long as “the story and psychology of the characters are still properly aligned.” He frets about deleting things he doesn’t like, such as Analyzer’s exoskeleton, but takes full responsibility for anything he happens to overlook or which results in complaints from readers.
January 30: CFSP Megaruda miniature
This exquisite miniature from Megahouse’s Cosmo Fleet Special lineup is a bundle of firsts: the first fully-preassembled Gatlantis ship in Yamato history, the first 3D rendering of a “Magna-flame ship” that isn’t a garage kit, the first CFSP miniature from Ark of the Stars (only a year late, but we can forgive that), the first miniature of a ship we’re likely to see in the next series, and on and on.
The word “exquisite” is not used lightly. The level of detail would still be remarkable for a miniature twice its size (7.5”, slightly longer than the picture shown above) and the insignia labels require a magnifying glass to be fully appreciated.
As for features, Megaruda comes with four tiny Devastator fighters, moveable cannon barrels (handle with care, they’re slender!) and option parts that allow the flame strike gun to be displayed in its firing position. Rather than transforming, parts are removed and replaced. If a 1/1000 model kit ever gets made, that’s when transforming parts become feasible.
Another first is that it’s Megahouse’s first CFSP miniature to arrive in exactly a year (the Deusula II was released January 2015), but it won’t be the last. The UX-01 Dimensional Submarine has been promised for the end of March, and other prototype ships from Ark of the Stars have been popping up at hobby shows for a few months. As always, we’ll keep the radar tuned for more news.
Menawhile, see plenty more photos of the Megaruda here.
Also spotted in January
Doujinshis by “Admiral Kino”
Two short illustrated doujinshi volumes by this well-known fan artist debuted at December’s Comiket, as seen in our last report. Totaling 24 pages, they speculate on the next generation of EDF, Garmillas, and Bolar ships in full color. Very occasionally, doujinshis are made available online after Comiket, and such was the case with these when “Kino” offered them via Pixiv (the Japanese equivalent of Deviant Art). They ship to Japan only, but you can at least get a look at them here. (And visit Kino’s Twitter page here.)
The two key members of the Yamato 2199 “dream team” (previously seen in Report 52) returned to their roles to deliver some great new images of a real-world Kodai and Yuki.
Get a better look at them – along with lots of other characters – here.
Modelers were busy this month finding imaginative new treatments for their 2199 kits. Get a better look at these two Cosmo Falcons and a very unusual take on Andromeda here.
CG modeling by Haru
Haru has been mentioned here many times for his exquisite homemade CG models of Yamato mecha. He published this stunning image of Andromeda on his Twitter page, and a few more besides.
See the rest here.