With Yamato 2202 looming ever closer, there was a satisfying uptick that made December the busiest month for Yamato 2199 activities in 2016 – even WITH a downturn in Battlefield Infinity campaigns. It may turn out to be the final crescendo since the spotlight is most definitely shifting, but since these 2199 reports are now at retirement age, there’s no shame in that. Here’s what happened in December 2016…
December 2: Blu-ray box art revealed
The 2199 Blu-ray box set is still on course for its January 27 release, and this was the day Yamato Crew gave everyone their first look at the interior packaging. The video content is the same as the individual volumes, but the deluxe version of the set (only available through Yamato Crew and only shipped to Japanese addresses) comes with two exclusives: a trading card a metal miniature of the Yamato plaque in Captain Okita’s cabin, scaled down to 3.1″ x 2.2″.
The original 6-volume set is repackaged in these four sleeves that use animation layouts by character designer Nobuteru Yuuki. Additional info was released toward the end of the month, so keep reading.
December 2: Yamatrivia Swamp 2
This part of the 7-episode series reunited voice actor Aya Uchida with superfan Ryusuke Hikawa and 2202 director Nobuyoshi Habara to introduce aspects of the saga to new viewers on the “Road to 2202.” This time the topic was “Creators who inherited enthusiasm,” referring to the staff of Yamato 2199 – specifically key individuals who watched the original and paid tribute to it while refreshing it for a modern audience.
See it on Youtube here.
December 5: Celestial Craft Fleet game collaboration starts
As announced in our previous report, Yamato 2199 got a collaboration going with a mobile game by K Lab called ,em>Celestial Craft Fleet, in which players build space fleets and bang them together on their phones. It officially launched December 5 and ran for two weeks with the following announcement:
Celestial Craft fleet X Space Battleship Yamato 2199 collaboration in progress!
Obtain a limited collaboration sailor!
A collaboration campaign with Yamato 2199 will be held from December 5! A long-awaited collaboration with Yamato is finally realized! The hope of all humans on Earth is now entrusted to your hands. A unique presentation can only be seen here as another story of the universe and the celestial heavens is spun!
Collaboration campaign period: December 5-19
Log in during this period to get a Yuki Mori illustration! Furthermore, depending on your number of logins, you could get a limited edition Yurisha stamp. Log in every day to receive other presents!
Get limited sailors and stamps with fleet war participation!
From December 5-19, depending on the number of times you participate in a fleet war, get such luxury items as Yuria Misaki or a limited Captain Okita stamp!
Win a flying Space Battleship Yamato!
From December 5-19, play the limited collaboration mission Beyond the Universe and get limited sailors! The illustrations and the story behind them are not to be missed! When you clear 12 stages, win the limited collaboration sailors Susumu Kodai and Akira Yamamoto, who you definitely want as friends! Furthermore, wouldn’t you like the reward of Space Battleship Yamato in your own hands? Play the limited collaboration mission immediately!
Collaboration sailors appear 10 times more often! Agency collaboration now available!
From December 5-19, familiar Yamato crew members appear as collaboration sailors in the campaign for a limited time! Challenge a fleet war together with the Yamato crew! Check the campaign page for more information!
During the login bonus target period of December 6-20, login bonuses will be cumulative. You can log in every day of the collaboration period to win rewards all the way to the end. The count will finalize on December 19 with the Fleet Battle Participation rewards.
December 6: Movie Screening/Yamatalk 1
The countdown truly began on this day at the Shinjuku Piccadilly theater when Seven Weeks of Yamatalk 2199 ~ Raod to 2202. It was the first in a weekly series of one-off screenings that brought 2199 back to the big screen with an on-stage conversation to follow. The first screening consisted of Chapters 1 and 2 (Episodes 1-6) with composer Akira Miyagawa as the special guest. Lucky for us, Dengeki Hobbyweb published a report two days later…
Akira Miyagawa: “I’ll blow a little at the end”
The first public event to commemorate the new series Yamato 2202 was held on Tuesday, December 6. This was the talk show content for the first week!
Composer Akira Miyagawa and music producer Teramusa Yoshie were the on-stage guests! They spoke about appealing secrets of the Yamato world from a musical perspective!
Q1: Was the soundtrack of Yamato 2199 made from listening to original music by ear?
MC: At the time you composed the music, it seems that you wrote the score by listening to the original music and copying it…
Miyagawa: There was no sheet music. That’s all I could do. (Laughs)
MC: There was no sheet music left behind?
Miyagawa: Only by me. (Laughs) In the old days, sheet music was treated very recklessly, with lots of additions and corrections made, used in concerts, and then it ended up God knows where. If it was me, I would have left behind a handwritten original, but there wasn’t much of that in my father’s generation.
Yoshie: While you’re copying a score, it’s possible for the original music to change form.
Miyagawa: Yes, it can! (Laughs) Now I make a copy of it before I start editing.
MC: There were almost no copy machines in those days.
Miyagawa: Not at our house, either. (Laughs)
MC: But copy shops for blueprints were on the rise, weren’t they?
Miyagawa: For me, there were blueprints.
Yoshie: Oh, that’s why they were on the rise…
Miyagawa: What are you talking about? (Laughs)
MC: Getting back to the subject, there was no sheet music, so you made the score for Yamato 2199 directly from the original soundtrack.
Miyagawa: That’s right. I learned a lot.
Q2: About 160 pieces were made in total?
MC: It seems there were about 160 pieces in Yamato 2199.
Miyagawa: There were quite a lot. (Laughs)
Yoshie: There were. Including some variations.
MC: There are currently three CDs available. Setting aside the vocal songs, there are 113 pieces. One of the featured songs was the Garmillas National Anthem. For the second, was it recorded as you always do, as a grand formation (i.e. recorded by all members in a single room)? Is recording it as a grand formation meaningful in any way?
Yoshie: That’s right. That said, the only person who gathers that many current anime musicians in one room would be Akira-san (Yamato). (Laughs)
Miyagawa: You talk about me like I’m something from the Galapagos Islands. (Laughs) That was just the way things were done in the old days. I’m just 55 years old, you know.
Yoshie: Yamato 2202 is now being recorded in the studio, and I’ve been told that “It’s the biggest group in the studio over the past year.”
Miyagawa: Is that so? (Laughs)
Yoshie: I looked around at all the other studios, but none of them had enough room for 70 microphones. (Laughs)
Miyagawa: My wife is a studio musician (violinist). When I ask her about it, it’s generally all dubbing these days. In other words, there are the string instruments, the percussion instruments, and the brass instruments, and they don’t all perform for the conductor at once. How would that feel?
Yoshie: It’s basically for making data. The format is to record each part separately.
Miyagawa: Wouldn’t that be boring? (Laughs)
Yoshie: There are some advantages to it. Rather than the conductor saying “ready…” they record to a click track (a sound played with the music to maintain tempo), but it’s more interesting to record only at the direction of Akira Miyagawa. The recording method is based on skill and experience.
Miyagawa: Isn’t that amazing?
On sale in the lobby: advance tickets for Yamato 2202 Chapter 1 and pre-orders for the 2199 Blu-ray box.
Q3: How many pieces have been recorded for Yamato 2202?
Yoshie: There are around 85 pieces.
Miyagawa: I can’t believe it.
MC: How long does it take to score 85 pieces?
Miyagawa: Around three weeks.
MC: How long were you chasing that stuff around, Mr. Yoshie?
Yoshie: It was just before I came in. We had a meeting and assembled all the documents about two weeks ago…
Miyagawa: There weren’t that many documents. (Laughs)
Yoshie: Well, it was still difficult. For example, in the process of making Yamato 2199, with Chapter 7 the situation was that we had to work with storyboards and video. We’re now scoring 2202 Chapter 1, and it feels like we’re forging ahead we get updated with new information every day. Compared to the ending of Yamato 2199, it feels like not enough information.
Live performance of Dessler’s Theme on pianica.
Final message, please
Yoshie: My period of involvement with Yamato and the main part of my job is short, and with Yamato 2202 I want to do the best I can with one of them at a time. I want to put my effort into understanding the various tasks for [music publisher] Lantis. I hope to give a lot of guidance and encouragement to my seniors. (Laughs) The work is a lot of fun, and I really enjoy being able to experience the two weeks of recording and mixing, so I hope everyone can have the same experience as soon as possible. Please wait just a little longer.
Miyagawa: Well then, I’ll blow a little at the end. I truly confronted Space Battleship Yamato this time with Farewell to Yamato. Hiroshi Miyagawa loomed at his largest in that. He wore a surprisingly serious face. He was a very playful person, but I had to bow my head at how serious these melodies are. The melody called Dessler’s Theme wasn’t even in the first work. And I had forgotten how strong the impression of the pipe organ was. I remembered Dessler’s Theme, the separate Sadness Theme, and of course Great Love, but how many sad melodies were there?
They weren’t distinguished by craft alone; by writing from sincerity and just by using the sounds of “do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do” existing within those eight bars, he not only conveyed menace, didn’t just convey an atmosphere, but this work called a melody seemed to earnestly and tirelessly project what was in his heart. It revived my “father is great” feeling of praise from the son for the father. The feeling of “Dad in the afternoon is cool.” There is still a lot more to learn.
It’s short, but I’ll play the 8-bar Dessler’s Theme to finish.
Special thanks to Neil Nadelman for translation support.
December 7: Game news
The Battlefield Infinity mobile game soldiered on through December, but with only three campaign announcements rather than the usual six or seven. The first was a commemoration of the game’s two-year anniversary with the second annual “Real Present Campaign.” Normally, players build up tickets found in the game and trade them for virtual prizes, but in this case they were real. This was part one of the campaign and the prize was an exclusive trading card to be won by 50 people.
See art and screenshots from Battlefield Infinity on Twitter here.
December 9: Yamatrivia Swamp Episode 3
In “The Updated Yamato World” our hosts examined characters and concepts that either evolved from the original or were newly-created for 2199. See it on Youtube here.
December 10: Dengeki Hobbyweb
Garage kit maker Soy-Ya continued the series of articles in which they fabricate and assemble their own version of the Megaluda from Ark of the Stars. See the latest installment here.
December 13: Movie Screening/Yamatalk 2
The second in the new series of Yamatalks brought back Chapter 3 (Episodes 7-10) and the voice actors who hosted the first 26 episodes of YRA Radio Yamato. YRA was a weekly internet radio program that debuted March 2012, part drama and part talk show with audience interaction. To carry that forward, the 2202 website encouraged fans to Tweet questions and comments on the following topics: a love letter to a character, a sad story from your daily life, and a vote for favorite drama portion of a YRA episode.
After the event, this description appeared on the 2202 website:
Building toward the premiere of Yamato 2202 Chapter 1 on February 25, screening and talk events called ,em>Seven Weeks of Yamatalk 2199 ~ The Road to 2202 are being held to review the previous series, Yamato 2199. The second of these was held on Tuesday, December 13.
This time, Aya Uchida (voice of Yuria Misaki) and Cho (voice of AU09, also known as Analyzer) both took the stage. They looked back at YRA Radio Yamato, in which they both served as personalities. The theatrical screenings of Yamato 2199 started around the same time as YRA Radio Yamato, delivered from March 2012 to January 2015. These two were in charge of the first 28 episodes.
In order for this talk show to match the atmosphere of such a program, they appeared on stage as the theme song from the show began, without a moderator. The content not only looked back at the program, but also introduced new topics as “corners” as if it were a live recording event with a little of the drama portion.
During the first phase of the radio program in which these two took charge, it could not be done as a live recording event, so this version progressed while being conscious of that format, and had the atmosphere of being attempted for the first time, which gave it the tension of two people trying to meet the expectations of the listener.
Many surprises occurred: Uchida almost knocked over a chair just before the opening remarks, Cho walked out into the audience during a conversation, Uchida responded to an unscripted gag from Cho, and they improvised a song titled Red Handkerchief, which resembled The Scarlet Scarf but was certainly different.
Although this “live edition” was neither a public recording nor a live broadcast, it was similar to both and an event that united the listeners in the audience with the two personalities on stage.
December 15: Italian video release
It’s easy to forget that there is occasional 2199 activity outside Japan – until it happens, that is. On this day, the second of two Star Blazers 2199 DVD/Blu-ray box sets was released by Dynit in Italy, containing the latter half of the series with Italian subtitles.
Order it from the Dynit website here.
December 16: Game news
Battlefield Infinity got into a whole different kind of Christmas spirit with a campaign called Messenger of the Holy Night! Invasion!
Whether you played as the UN Cosmo Navy or the Garmillas Empire, your mission was to defeat an invading Santa Claus, either in the guise of Captain Okita or Dessler. The prize was a limited edition ship custom-colored in holiday tones. These powerful ships (an EDF battleship or a Domelaze) were said to be valuable against future Gatlantis assaults.
December 16: Yamatrivia Swamp Episode 4
In “Character Group Dynamics” the topic was new events brought about by the addition or evolution of characters, and how they rippled through the story in unique ways. A few minutes were specifically spent on the psychedelic Witch Whispers episode. See it on Youtube here.
December 20: Game news
The last Battlefield Infinity announcement of 2016 was the second part of the “Real Present Campaign.” This time 47 people would win exclusive post cards and 3 lucky grand prize winners would get a Yuki Mori figure. Meanwhile, there were plenty of custom-designed characters to seek out in the regular gameplay, many of which were “replays” of favorite versions from previous campaigns.
December 20: Movie Screening/Yamatalk 3
This week, Chapter 4 (Episodes 11-14) was screened at the Shinjuku Piccadilly, and the onstage guests were superfan Ryusuke Hikawa and a previously-unseen staff member Atsuki Sato. His contribution was to produce the trailers for Yamato 2199, but his more recent project was to supervise visual effects for Shin Godzilla. Since Hikawa is a journalist for both anime and tokusatsu (live action special effects) productions, it’s a good bet that conversation ranged widely. At least, that’s what we have to assume since this particular Yamatalk didn’t get any media coverage afterward.
December 21: Art Exhibition returns
The Yamato 2199 Art Exhibition first opened in 2014 and traveled to a few major cities. It made a scaled-down return afterward, usually in malls or bookstores. This scaled-down version made a comeback from December 21 to January 3 in Hiroshima.
As before, it consisted of paintings and production drawings with exclusive merchandise for sale, such as these three art prints. See more info at the official website here.
December 22: Yamatrivia Swamp Episode 5
“Attractive Depiction of Mecha” pretty much says it all in the title – an episode dedicated to how the mecha features of Yamato herself were upgraded and presented in 2199. See it on Youtube here.
December 24: V-Storage website
In our last report, we saw this completely new image on the cover of V-Storage, the monthly promo pamphlet from Bandai Visual. On December 24, an unobstructed version was offered for free download. Get your own copy here.
December 26: Manga Chapter 50
Michio Murakawa began his adaptation of the magnificent Episode 18 with Shinohara’s white-knuckle ride through dimensional space into the lion’s den at Balun. See this 21-page chapter here.
As a side note, Murakawa himself explained the long absence of the manga in a blog entry dated November 12. Translation follows:
The series resumes at Comic Newtype on the 12th, Nico Nico Ace on the 14th, and Comic Walker on the 16th. I have been in continuous overlapping negotiations with the people concerned since July. I’ve been writing and drawing, but no updates were published. Words were found here and there on the net, such as “The Yamato series stopped updating, so it must be over,” and “He probably lost his mind and went nuts.” It left me feeling sad and empty.
But I think it was necessary to weather this so I could provide a proper, full-length manga portrait of 2199 all the way to the end. There isn’t really a fight. With the will to build the future together, I took time to adjust problems that came up from the mixing of expectations and relationships. Because I do more than just draw manga, I’m deeply grateful for great contributions from the Kadokawa editorial department during the long negotiations.
I lost many things while I weathered this. Not just several months without income, but also my trustworthiness as a cartoonist and the temperature of the readers toward the work called Yamato. Great possibilities have just opened up, and I will continue to make efforts to live up to them. And thus I continue to quietly draw the manga as I work on the anime’s designs.
This illustration, a page-in-progress from Chapter 50, was linked to the blog entry.
December 27: Movie Screening/Yamatalk 4
Chapter 5 (Episodes 15-18) was screened at the Shinjuku Piccadilly with two well-known guests on stage. The following report was published on December 29 at Dengeki Hobby Web.
Bandai Developer: “I’ll cry along with everyone else!”
The fourth Yamatalk event to commemorate the new series Yamato 2202 was held on Tuesday, December 27. Here is the content from the fourth week!
The guests who took the stage this time were illustrator Naoyuki Katoh and Hirofumi Kishiyama of the Bandai Hobby Division, who is in charge of plamodels! From illustration to models, the appeal of Yamato’s behind-the-scenes secrets was the topic!
Q1. When you draw an illustration, do you use plamodels?
MC: Do you use plamodels when drawing an illustration?
Katoh: Actually, I don’t. If you look at it with the human eye, the angles of the approach and departure passes are different, so I take a fixed picture of it. Then I draw based on the picture. First I determine the composition and then I take a picture. And retake it again, many times. (Laughs) One reason to use a plamodel for Yamato is to capture the light reflection, to take into account how highlights interact with the curved surface. But I can’t do it with a picture alone. After all, since it was 1/1000 scale, simple is best. At 1/500 scale, if you over-detail it, you can’t get the pretty highlights in. That’s why, when you use the giant scale as a reference, the picture draws that in.
MC: I see. It’s not a matter of it being a good thing to put the fine detail into it.
Katoh: But, for when we were short on time, it was good to have. (Laughs) The best reason to use a plamodel is because it’s “easy to draw.”
MC: So it’s easy, then? (Laughs)
Katoh: There is that, but a plamodel is basically a template, and it’s a material object. I like to draw various details on the surface, so I use a plamodel to take the time to finely depict it.
Q2. How do you make a plamodel?
Together in one theater at last.
MC: Did you make Yamato using CG data from the anime?
Kishiyama: The data is offered, but many aspects of the anime CG are rebuilt, and…to be honest, it gets redone.
MC: So you can’t just use the data you receive…
Kishiyama: But with that data, we can complete a mold in three days! That’s not possible otherwise!
MC: Is there a difference between the finished anime design and the three-dimensional object?
Kishiyama: Even if the design is similar, the proportions can be slightly different from the original. For example, it’s better if the eye of the Garmillas ship is slightly bigger.
MC: Though the correct answer is given in the anime, the three-dimensional object can also be a correct answer.
Kishiyama: If you look at a car and compare it with a model car, for example, it’s about 5 meters long. However, the front and back look short to the human eye. So the model is deformed in the front and back. We think about how it’s seen by the human eye and make a revision. In the case of the Yamato series, we try to make as few deforms as possible with the data from the anime.
MC: Mr. Katoh, do you have any questions about a model as you draw an illustration?
Katoh: The first design I did of Yamato was the rear of the bridge tower. But since the plamodel process is different, I corrected it after taking a picture. (Laughs)
MC: Mr. Kishiyama…!
Kishiyama: I see…I’ll consider that in the Yamato 2202 version next time!
Mr. Katoh explains drawing on a whiteboard
Kishiyama: Yamato 2199 is a wonderful work, and the sequel Yamato 2202 seems to be a great work, too. I’ll cry along with everyone else! Yamato fans and their friends will enjoy it, so by all means please tell those who watched the original in the old days! I’d like to ask for the love of Space Battleship Yamato to act like radio waves.
Katoh: There are a lot of things I want to say…and I’ll talk on Twitter! Thank you very much!
December 28: Full Blu-ray box reveal
On this day, the official 2202 website added another dimension to the upcoming 2199 box set: a bonus disc that will only be included in the first pressing. This disc collects all the live Yamatalk events (a total of 16) that took place during the first-run screenings and thereafter, along with non-credit opening/closing titles.
In order to make Japanese fans as conflicted as possible, there are additional exclusive premiums depending on where you buy it. Earlier we heard about the metal plaque from the Yamato Crew version, but there’s more. The Bandai Visual and Premium Bandai edition comes with a frameable A4-size art image painted by Kia Asamiya (shown here).
The Amazon.co.jp edition comes with a bonus Blu-Ray disc with extended versions of all seven Yamatrivia Swamp episodes (not pictured). Yamada Denkiweb’s edition includes an A3-size tapestry with a key visual (also not pictured).
December 29: Streaming on Amazon Prime
On this day in Japan, Yamato 2199 became available on multiple streaming services to remove all possible excuses for not watching it yet (and getting keyed up for 2202). This included Japan’s own Amazon Prime. See their complete episode listing here.
December 29-31: Comiket 91
The last big event of the year with Yamato content (and a lot more besides) is typically the winter Comiket, held in Odaiba, Tokyo. Yamato fans were there again this year with all their latest doujinshi (fanzines) for sale.
See a roundup of them here.
Also Spotted in December
Super Robot Wars V now has a street date of February 23 in Japan and Asia. This screenshot, found by Cosmo DNA Community member Todd DuBois, reminds us of the historical fact that this will be the first video game with English subtitles to feature Space Battleship Yamato!
Fan art ticked up in December as various artists re-released some of their favorite pieces on Twitter and used others to communicate holiday messages. See a gallery here.
A new Akira Yamamoto and a new Yuki Mori charged forward to grab our eyeballs in December. See a photo gallery here.
CG art by Haru
January 2017 had two more Yamatrivia Swamp episodes and three more Yamatalks in store, plus Battlefield Infinity, the next manga chapter, the Blu-ray box, and other things to mark the Road to 2202. We’ll round it all up right here in the next report.
Until then, follow our Facebook page for daily posts and breaking news!