June 15: Tokyo Toy Show, Odaiba
In addition to screening Chapter 6, this was another big event for a Yamato fan on June 15. Gwyn Campbell was there along with Yamatour veteran Anton Kholodov, seen here standing in front of Bandai’s Yamato 2199 booth, a reconstructed version of their exhibit at the Shizuoka Hobby Show accompanied by the 15-foot model that has been making the rounds since the opening of Resurrection in 2009.
A new addition this time was an elaborate showcase for a brand new product slated for the end of the year: another Yamato toy under Bandai’s ultra high-end “Soul of Chogokin” label. This lineup has already featured two Yamatos and an Andromeda, and now the 2199 version will get the same treatment with lights, sound effects, and other built-in gimmicks. Just face it, someday you’ll be signing your paycheck directly over to Bandai.
See the official site for the toy here.
See a gallery of toy show photos here.
June 15: Train promotion
When the 2199-wrapped Yamato train’s service run was extended to July 31, it opened up a cross-promotional opportunity with another currently-running anime series titled Gargantia. Here we see a super-deformed balloon version of the main mecha from that series meeting the Yamato train.
After the balloon-headed robot squeezed onto the train, his travels were chronicled at a Gargantia blog site here.
June 15: Great Mechanics DX issue 25
One way to pass the time while riding the Yamato train would have been to dig into the new issue of Great Mechanics DX, which featured a revealing interview about the marketing side of Yamato 2199, conducted with Production IG producer Mikio Gunji.
Read that interview and see the other content here.
June 15: Kinokuniya Premium Shop postcards
Finally, fans who saw Chapter 6 on opening day at the Shinjuku Picadilly theater in Tokyo could march over to the nearby Kinokuniya bookstore and pick up the new round of episode-title postcards on sale at the special Yamato premium shop inside.
June 16: Return from the Galaxy
A big weekend got even bigger with this one-day event at Tokyo Big Site, the gargantuan convention hall occupied twice a year by Comiket. This was a smaller version of that convention, dedicated to Yamato 2199 with doujinshi and cosplay.
Big Site is a strict no-photography zone, so photo-coverage is unavailable online. However, the event website can still be seen here, and you can click here to see the gorgeous promo art if that site has since vanished.
On the other hand, this event injected a whole new wave of fan-made doujinshi into the world that can be seen right now; click here to see a gallery of cover art that runs the full gamut of taste.
June 16: TV Episode 11
The Yamato Girls were back for another Nico Nico simulcast with plenty of news to cover surrounding the premiere of Chapter 6 the day before. This 90-minute episode included a brief on-location report in which Akira Yamamoto (cosplayed by Shiki Aoki) visited the Bandai plant in Shizuoka to see where Yamato model kits come from.
June 18: Garmillas Imperial Guard plamo set
This special custom-color Garmillas model kit set could only be pre-ordered from the Premium Bandai website, and it finally shipped to customers in mid-June. It consisted of three ships culled from Garmillas warships set 1 and 2, cast in Imperial Guard blue with optional UV parts for the “eyes.”
Click here to see a photo gallery of finished models.
June 22: Maxon article
Maxon is a 3D software developer that created Cinema 4D, which serves as a platform for some of the CG imagery in Yamato 2199. (Visit their website here.)
High-end users of the software occasionally tell their stories on the website, and so it was that a representative of Xebec studio (where much of 2199 is animated) would get his turn in the spotlight. In this case, it was director of photography Takashi Aoki, who described how Cinema 4D is used to generate graphics for the series.
June 22 & 23
This weekend was the halfway point of Chapter 6’s theatrical run, and fans were enticed to return for another screening by the third in a series of exclusive Yuki Mori postcards (above left) given away with ticket purchases on Saturday only.
The next day, fans in Tokyo could visit the Yamato premium shop at Kinokunia Bookstore in Shinjuku Picadilly to see voice actress Aya Uchida (Yuria Misaki), who was there for a personal in-store appearance. As the host of the continuing YRA Radio Yamato internet show, Ms. Uchida has the unique task of expanding her character off screen, which earns her a subset of fans that would have happily scooped up the exclusive Yuria-themed merchandise shown above right.
June 23: TV Episode 12
This Nico Nico simulcast was an unusual one for many reasons. First, it originated from Production IG (studio headquarters for Yamato 2199 and other shows), so the Yamato Girls had a new space to work with.
They also started the show as different characters. Aya Uchida (who normally cosplays as Yamamoto) was on screen as Yuki Mori and Sayako Toujo (usually Yuria Misaki) appeared as nurse Makoto Harada. The two reveled in their newfound elbow room as they worked their way through all the latest Yamato news, which covered recent and upcoming products such as the CD single for the TV broadcast’s second end theme.
More significantly for overseas fans, they made a new announcement concerning Star Blazers 2199, the export version of the series. They revealed that it would be exhibited at four internationally-known events during the month of July: the Japan Expo in Paris, Anime Expo in Los Angeles (simply named “Los” on the sign), Comicon in San Diego, and Anime Friend at Sao Paolo, Brazil.
The girls then struggled to identify where some of those cities sit on the globe, demonstrating that Nico Nico does not require geographical acumen for this particular job.
Then, breaking with tradition completely, the two ducked off-camera while a featurette was shown of their tour through the Production IG head office. They appeared to have the place to themselves, since no one else appeared on camera as they walked from room to room, spending most of their time studying the merchandise collection in the reception area. (Wouldn’t you?)
When the video report ended, the girls were still off-camera. Someone on the set held up a card explaining that they would be back momentarily, and the report was run again to cover for them. When they did finally return, they had undergone a costume change back to their customary roles and spent a few minutes talking with a rep from the studio before signing off with both Garmillas and UNCF salutes. It was the most expansive of the Nico Nico simulcasts so far, running two full hours.
June 24: Manga volume 3
Kadokawa published its third 2199 manga paperback collection, containing Michio Murakawa’s adaptation of Episodes 5 and 6, freshly concluded in New Type Ace magazine. The dustjacket is shown above with artwork by mecha designer Junichiro Tamamori.
Collectors had their work cut out for them hunting down four different randomly-inserted character cards by Murakawa (colorized versions of art created for title pages and covers), which probably required some train-hopping to different bookstores until they were all acquired.
June 24: Weekly Post #2237
And anyone who chose that path had something else to read on the train besides manga; a prominent article in Weekly Post, one of Japan’s biggest gossip magazines. 2199 had previously gotten a boost from this magazine back in April 2012 just after the premiere of Chapter 1 (covered in Report 6), and this followup called attention to the program’s numerous attractions for TV viewers.
Read the article here.
June 25: Hobby Japan and Dengeki Hobby, August issues
It’s probably no coincidence that the major hobby magazines and new Yamato model kits hit the streets at around the same time. These issues arrived just before Garmillas warship set 2, which anchored a variety of coverage.
Dengeki devoted 16 pages to 2199 topics: the results of a modeling contest, a photo-feature on the upcoming kits, some nice production shots of the 1/72 Cosmo Falcon due in late July, CAD images of the battle carrier, three pages on the recently-announced Soul of Chogokin toy, and more.
See the pages here.
Hobby Japan spent 22 pages on Yamato, tipped by a cover shot. The pace of the TV broadcast gave them a chance to run expansive photo-features on earlier models such as the Pormelia assault carrier before diving into newer stuff such as warship set 2, a full scratch build of the UX-01 Dimensional Submarine, Megahouse’s Hilde Shulz figure, and stills from Chapter 6.
See the pages here.
June 25: Model Graphix #345
Model Graphix spent only four pages on 2199 topics, but they included a beautifully detailed-up version of the Gaiderol battleship that can be seen here.
June 25: Yamatalk Night 6
This edition of the talk show brought series director Yutaka Izubuchi together with one of his most popular voice actors, Kenichi Suzumura (Daisuke Shima) at the Shinjuku Picadilly theater. The evening began with a screening of Chapter 6 and was followed by conversation about what it means to be the number two guy on the ship.
Cosmo DNA correspondent Gwyn Campbell was there again, and his report can be read here.
June 26: Original soundtrack volume 2
After an unexplained delay, the second soundtrack CD finally arrived. It proved itself worth the extra wait within the first few moments of listening, and entered the record books when Akira Miyagawa’s frenetic version of the Comet Empire disco theme came thundering out. But the best thing about Volume 2 was to be found on its obi wrapper, which had a teeny tiny announcement stating that there would be a Volume 3. A few weeks later, its release date was announced as September 25, just before the TV broadcast finale.
1. Space Battleship Yamato (TV Size)
2. The Clockwork Prisoner
3. The fleet gathers
4. White comet (Disco)
5. Suspense (unrest)
6. Newsreel theme
7. Newsreel theme (strings)
8. Battle to a stalemate
9. Every day
10. Harmonica (Scarlet Scarf)
11. Harmonica (Scarlet Scarf, no echo)
12. Garmillas dimensional submarine
13. Garmillas dimensional submarine(timpani)
14. The witch whispers
15. The witch whispers (song)
16. The witch whispers (murmur)
17. Suspense A
19. Acting in the Garmillas shadows
20. Across the beautiful ocean
21. Across the beautiful ocean (sad)
23. Ambition (an ambitious youth)
24. Chord A
25. Chord B
26. Chord C
27. Chord D
28. Chord E
29. Chord F
30. Chord G
31. Bridge A
32. Bridge B
33. Bridge C
34. Bridge D
35. Bridge E
36. Shock BG (attack)
37. Black tiger (attack)
38. Search machine launch (attack)
39. Rhythm of 4 beats
40. Bright organ 8 beats
41. Tension (funk)
42. Scarlet Scarf (Short Size)
43. Light of memory (Short Size)
44. Steady as she goes ~ Across the sea of stars (Short Size)
June 26: YRA Radio Yamato volume 2
Tablier Communications Co. Ltd, TBCD-0124
Webcast on Japan’s Onsen internet radio series, YRA reached its 25th episode on June 24, and this CD arrived hot on its tail. It contains seven tracks featuring highlights of episodes 11-17, a sort of “drama album” told through Yuria Misaki’s shipboard radio show with Analyzer as her co-host. A bonus track provides an extra adventure not heard on the air.
June 27 & 28: Collectibles
The World of Yamato 2199 exhibit at the Niigata Manga/Anime Museum entered its third period (scheduled to end in late July) and engineered a cross-promotion with mainstream bookstores such as Kinokuniya and Animate to offer free illustration cards (above left) with Yamato manga purchases starting on June 27. The illustration by Michio Murakawa previously graced the cover of New Type Ace issue #21
Nico Nico’s online store rolled out a set of three sticker sheets (above right) the next day, printed on clear acetate to brighten up all your dullest objects.
June 29: Garmillas warships model kit set 2
With this set, Bandai delivered three mecha that had previously been available only as limited-edition garage kits: the Gaiderol-class Astro Battleship and a pair of Kripitera-class Astro Destroyers. At 1/1000 scale, the Gaiderol stretches 13.77″ (longer than the 1/1000 Yamato) and the Kripiteras clock in at 6.3″. Also included is a “mecha collection size” Saruba tank as a bonus kit that fits in the palm of your hand.
See a photo gallery of finished kits here.
See extensive photos of the packaging here.
June 29: Comic Blade manga announcement
Comic Blade is a monthly magazine from Mag Garden, a company name that should be familiar to you by now; it’s the publishing branch of Production IG, the nerve center of 2199 anime. They added a new dimension to Yamato history when they announced that the 9th issue of Comic Blade (scheduled for July 30) would debut a 2199 spinoff manga titled Hi me no Ace, which translates to Ace of Red Eyes, or Red-Eyed Ace.
The series will focus on Akira Yamamoto as its main character, and will be the first professional Yamato manga drawn by a woman, Mayumi Azuma. Visit her website here.
June 29: Yamato science!
Professor Toshihiro Handa of Kagoshima University, who serves as the anime’s advisor on astrophysics, held a free lecture titled The Physics and Astronomy of Yamato 2199 at the Kagoshima Prefectural Center for a first-come-first-seated audience of 60. There is as yet no published record of the event, but it’s a safe bet that everyone came out smarter.
June 29: TV Episode 13
The Nico Nico simulcast for the halfway-point episode was another unusual one. Cohost Sayako Toujo (cosplaying Yuria Misaki) is always a giggly handful, but she had evidently poured some extra sugar on her cereal that morning because she took every opportunity to prank host Shiki Aoki (Akira Yamamoto).
The 90-minute show is typically broken into three segments: a half hour of news and reviews, the viewing of the latest episode (which is kept off-screen), and then another half hour with a repeat of the news with extra banter. Toujo crashed the news segment with (among other things) cartoons of the Le Mans super formula racer, before relenting to Aoki’s complaints and showing the real thing.
Lest it be forgotten, Team Le Mans has its own 2199 tie-in webcast that highlights the Yamato racer and related topics on a regular basis. It can be seen here.
One explanation for Toujo’s exhuberance may have been the presence of a third Yamato Girl who stepped in to participate in the last segment. Appearing as Kaoru Niimi was a well-known cosplayer named Rio Nanase, who did her part to expand the banter and nicely distinguished herself during a segment in which the girls act out lines from the show.
Visit Rio Nanase’s blog here.
June 30: Michio Murakawa lecture
The busiest month in 2199 history (so far) finally wrapped up at the Niigata Manga/Anime Museum when manga artist Michio Murakawa delivered a lecture on what it takes to capture the series on paper. This complemented an exhibit of original thumbnails, finished art, and color illustrations by both himself and mecha designer Junichiro Tamamori. Naturally, recording was prohibited so there’s not much else to report on this one except that anyone who couldn’t chase down one of Murakawa’s illustrated cards on the 27th had another chance to get one here.
Continue to Report 22