The Wave-Motion Engine reached 110% as January flowed into February and the countdown to Chapter 1’s premiere picked up momentum. New products and collaborations popped up along with new trailers and story data. This culminated in the first preview screening on February 6 and a blast of media coverage that brought us right back to the heyday of 2199.
January 4: Ship’s Log issue 16
We start with a step back to January 4, when the latest issue of the Yamato Crew Premium Fan Club magazine arrived. As the last one to appear before the Chapter 1 premiere on February 25, it delivered the most detailed look so far at the redesign of Yamato and Andromeda, and provided some character data not yet seen on the official site.
New description for Yamato:
Paint has been applied to the basic design that was introduced last issue, and this becomes the official coloring. Yamato completed its long journey to Iscandar and returned to Earth. In what kind of sequence will it appear in 2202? And wasn’t the Wave-Motion Gun supposed to be sealed up…?
New description for Andromeda:
Andromeda is scheduled to appear as a new mecha on the Earth side. Who is the captain? And what kind of weapon will the Diffusion Wave-Motion Gun on the bow be depicted as?
The main article was an interview with the voice actors for Kodai and Yuki, which can be read here.
January 8: Concert report
In Report 5, we learned that composer Akira Miyagawa had finished writing a new piece called the Space Battleship Yamato Montage for chamber music, which would get its first public performance on January 3. The performance went as planned, and although we don’t yet know if it will get a commercial release, we can experience it vicariously through this personal account by a blogger with the online handle M19981KOBE.
See his original post here.
Space Battleship Yamato Montage for Chamber Music
I heard that new Yamato chamber music would be performed, so after a lazy New Year’s holiday, I went to the Hyogo Prefectural Performing Arts Center on January 3 where Akira Miyagawa and Ensemble Vega’s concert would be held.
Akira Miyagawa and Ensemble Vega formed in 1997. In order to brighten the smiles of those who felt depressed after the Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake (1995) they began their activities with Takarazuka Vega Hall as their home. The group consisted of Akira Miyagawa as chairman with eight primary orchestra players. In recent years, they became famous for performing on the NHK educational TV series Quintet. [Translator’s note: Quintet is sort of a Japanese Sesame Street with music as its focus.]
Despite it being the beginning of the year, the venue was nearly full. There seemed to be Yamato fans there, and I renewed some old friendships. The topic was exclusively Yamato 2202 (what else?) and the concert soon started.
Akira Miyagawa opened with witty remarks that were reminiscent of the 2012 and 2015 concerts, and various pieces were played. Yamato Montage for Chamber Music was listed in the program as Space Battleship Yamato (2017). “Here it is!” I thought, and listened carefully with an excited heart.
It started with the so-called Sad Yamato (Bolero) with the image of Earth wrapped in despair from the Gamilas threat. The next motif was a new version of the Yamato theme in a soft arrangement. In my mind, Yamato’s crew decided to stand up for Earth, and it seemed to describe Yamato’s launch. Then came the Scarlet Scarf motif in a version arranged as in the Symphonic Suite. It provided the image of parting with family and the human drama in the midst of the journey.
Then motifs from Farewell to Yamato finally appeared. Imperial City for the fierce battle with the enemy. What will become of Yamato? This flowed into the victorious Yamato Big River Theme, a thrilling moment for Yamato fans. I’m sorry I can’t describe it accurately since I’m not conversant with musical instruments, but it involved a large drumlike stringed instrument, hit with the palm to make drum sounds. Of course, that was different from the instrumentation of the original Big River theme, but the small group in front of me made a strangely powerful sound. If I closed my eyes and listened, I could say “this is an orchestra” even though it wasn’t. The sound had weight and density.
As everyone knows, the Yamato Big River Theme closes with a female scat vocal that sounds like declaring victory. An opera singer sang it brilliantly. Many of us thought “that’s the end of the song” and applauded. It’s hard to read ahead in a live performance, but its power returned us all to the world of Yamato. After all this time, the Yamato Big River Theme is still a powerful march.
After the concert there was thunderous applause. While listening, I thought “They seem to be doing their best for the year 2017” and felt refreshed. Unfortunately, Space Battleship Yamato Montage for Chamber Music can’t be heard on CD, but Yamato 2202 production is advancing, and I’m hoping for the day when we can hear it on a soundtrack. And my personal hope is to hear something like a Yamato radio drama concert. Maybe dancing crazily to the disco arrangement. I’ll have to wait for my back to get in better condition. (Laugh)
January 10: New merchandise announced
New items were added to the products page at the official 2202 website. The first was the Yuki Mori “nose art” figure from Megahouse, currently scheduled for May. Next up was a new pair of stainless steel tumblers from Bandai Visual with images of Yamato and Andromeda, both of which would debut at the February 6 Chapter preview event.
The remaining three products, also by Bandai Visual, were scheduled to go on sale February 25 with the premiere of Chapter 1: a phone case, a Hero’s Hill pennant, and a Hero’s Hill key holder. The medallion has an image of the Captain Okita statue.
This is all very similar to theater merchandise that came with the 2199 premieres, so it is probably just the beginning of a whole new avalanche.
January 11: Showa 40 Otoko Vol. 41
Show 40 Otoko [1965 Man] is a monthly men’s lifestyle magazine that has graced these pages once before. Back in January 2013, they published a Yamato cover story that fronted for some terrific legacy coverage and an enlightening interview with writer/director Eiichi Yamamoto. Read all of that content (and get an explanation for the magazine’s name) here.
Issue 41 of Showa 40 Otoko became the first magazine since 1978 to put the classic Farewell to Yamato movie poster on its cover, which fronted for extensive articles on the SF culture of 1970s Japan. Four of these articles dug into Space Battleship Yamato, leading up to an interview with 2202 writer Harutoshi Fukui.
Read that interview here. The other articles will be presented at a later time.
January 16: Music Announcement
If you haven’t heard of Will Cinderella Dance Again, you can be forgiven for complete bewilderment at these announcements. So here’s the skinny: WCDA is a fantastic rock group that specializes in covering anime tunes. They’ve released digital singles for Yamato BGM tracks in the past, all of which can be found on iTunes. This dual-language announcement for their next one, White Comet, was published on Twitter.
The 2-track single was released on schedule the very day this report was published, and their wry sense of humor was self-evident in the promo art. Get it on iTunes now!
January 16: Model kit promotion
This image emerged from Bandai to establish the first Yamato 2202 model kits we’ll be seeing. A 1/1000 Andromeda was already announced, but this data revealed that it will be called the “movie effect” version with lights and sound effects. The added electronics boost the price up to an intimidating 12960yen (around $130 USD).
Joining Andromeda will be a 1/1000 Earth Defense Fleet set, a reissue of the original vessels cast in the new hull colors we’ve seen in teaser footage. The release date for both is set for March 31.
January 19: Model kit promotion
The same images turned up just three days later at the Yamato Crew website’s online store with the following specs attached:
Andromeda Movie Effect Version
1/1000 scale, clear Wave-Motion Gun parts, LEDs and sound controls built into pedestal, Wave-Motion Gun LEDs change from red to blue to white and flickers, Wave Engine lights flash, retractable weapons open and close, includes four Cosmo Tiger II’s.
It was subsequently learned that Andromeda’s new length is set at 444 meters, which gives this model a length of 44.4cm (17.5”). This makes it longer than the original 1/700 Andromeda, which was a little over 15”.
Earth Federation Yuunagi Fleet Set
1/1000 scale, three display bases
See all the photos in a gallery here.
January 20: DVD Blu-Ray Data February issue
Stephen Strange, meet Yamato. Dr. Strange was just about to arrive in Japanese movie theaters when this magazine from Kadokawa appeared, providing for a rare opportunity for Marvel and Yamato to cross paths, at least in print. A single-page article touched on the upcoming release of Chapter 1 with a short Harutoshi Fukui interview.
In light of the other Fukui interviews presented with this report, we’ll be skipping this one.
January 20: Fourth teaser trailer
An unexpected 60-second teaser delivered plenty of new surprises, further enhancing information that had piled up in the previous one just two weeks earlier. Right off the bat we got another closeup of Zordar and a shot of a mysterious new Gatlantis robot mecha.
Our first look at a moving Andromeda was quickly eclipsed by the revelation that it’s just one of at least four such vessels.
We got a wide view of the battlefield seen in previous footage just before Andromeda’s Dispersion Wave-Motion Guns blow the crap out of all Gatlantis ships in sight. The proximity of Garmillas and Earth ships in the lower right suggest that these scattered beams can be targeted for precision
Another view of the complex Cosmo Tiger 1 and our first look at Akira Yamamoto in the cockpit.
And finally, Yamato rises in its underwater dock and promptly blows the roof off the joint.
See the teaser on Youtube here.
January 20: Chapter 1 Blu-ray info
The official website published the specs for Chapter 1 on this day. An indicator for English subtitles still stubbornly refused to appear, but there will be plenty of other delights:
External slipcase art by Makoto Kobayashi, interior sleeve art by Nobuteru Yuuki (characters) and Kia Asamiya (mecha).
Content: Episodes 1 and 2, clean OP and ED titles, production presentation video (from Sept. 2016), teasers and trailers, audio commentaries.
Limited edition bonus items: Episode 1 storyboard book and script book. Continuing with the 2199 tradition, the cover for the storyboard book is by Nobuteru Yuuki. See an enlargement of it at the end of this page.
It was later announced that the general edition will come with other bonus items depending on the source. Yamato Crew will include the script book, Yamada will add a clear file, and the Amazon.co.jp version will come with a CD containing an audio drama by Harutoshi Fukui.
January 21: Chapter 1 flyer
The arrival of the official flyer (given away free in movie theaters) is always a “starting gun” moment for fans and collectors alike. If tradition holds, the Chapter 2 flyer will show up in theaters with the premiere of Chapter 1.
January 25: Hobby Japan #573
This issue caught up with all the recent announcements and marked Hobby Japan’s transition into 2202 journalism. Three pages of this 5-page article presented another interview with writer Harutoshi Fukui and an exclusive first look at some of the new mecha.
See the entire article and read the interview here.
January 27: Lottery products announced
Ichiban Kuji [Best Lottery] is an event run by Banpresto, a toy division of Bandai. Several times a year, special products are made available through lotteries at participating bookstores, convenience stores, or Namco game centers (where Banpresto toys commonly show up in crane arm games). Each location is allotted a certain number of items and customers buy up lottery tickets for those they’d like to win. Some of these products go to direct sale afterward.
A Yamato 2199 Best Lottery was held back in early 2014, and this day brought news of a new one for 2202. Set to begin February 25, the items in this batch are all new illustrations on canvas boards at various sizes. The Yamato image (by mecha designer Junichiro Tamamori) is the “A” prize and the Teresa image is the “B” prize. All others are designated “C” prizes and are printed on smaller canvases.
The price for entering the lottery is 2000yen per customer. Hopefully these images will migrate to other media so we all get a better look at them in the future.
January 27: Official site update
A new round of character descriptions appeared on the official site, all of which have been added to our 2202 Character Guide. See them here.
February 1: Akihabara promotions
Akihabara, known around the world as Tokyo’s “Otaku district,” is a reliable place to look for Yamato promotion as a new release approaches. There were two to be found in early February. The first (above) faced commuters on a platform in the JR station. (Posted to Twitter by the Yamato Production Committee.)
This billboard on the Sofmap building was first spotted February 3, made to look like it’s breaking through the façade itself. Photos by friend-of-the-website Gwyn Campbell.
February 2: Skymark collaboration announced
In 1980, the Be Forever campaign famously sent several hundred lucky fans to sea for a weekend cruise on a ship repainted to look like Yamato. For a long time, it seemed like that stunt could never be topped. But then…
Specially designed Yamato Jet to be flown
A dream collaboration is realized! Yamato into the sky!!
As a collaboration project with the February 25 theatrical premiere of Yamato 2202, Soldiers of Love, a specially-designed Yamato Jet will go into service. The Yamato Jet has been designed with characters and markings on the hull and interior. Please enjoy air travel with Skymark and the Yamato Jet.
Specially designed Yamato Jet overview
• Boeing 737-800 aircraft （JA73NG）
• Planned service period: February 25, 2017 through the summer of 2018
• Destination: all routes
During the Yamato Jet’s flight period, the flight director will welcome passengers on board in a specific Yamato color. Other features will be added gradually.
1. The Space Battleship Yamato theme song will be played on board during boarding and disembarking. (Dependent upon flight status)
2. Specially-made headrest covers will be installed with Yamato 2202 designs and characters (3 types).
3. Pre-recorded flight announcements by Houko Kuwashima (Yuki Mori) including instructions for warping and firing the Wave-Motion Gun.
Concept of the Yamato Jet
After Yamato’s return in 2199, Earth’s atmosphere is restored by the Cosmo Reverse System. Purification of the atmosphere makes it possible to travel as before, so passenger and cargo transport increase during the global reconstruction. In this way, a Skymark-type passenger plane is used by the newly-reorganized transportation corps within the atmosphere.
Visit Skymark’s home page for the Yamato Jet here.
February 3: Under Armour merchandise announced
After a few months of silence, Under Armour surfaced again to give us our first look at the apparel to come out of the 2202 collaboration announced last fall: three T-shirts, a cap, and a towel.
They would first go on sale just three days later, and more shirts would be revealed, at the first Chapter 1 preview screening.
February 4 & 5: Voice actor event
Kodai and Yuki returned to space – so to speak – for one weekend. Voice actors Daisuke Ono and Houko Kuwashima traveled to Morioka city, the capital of northern Japan’s Iwate Precture, as special guest speakers for a recurring event called “Hoshi X Koe” at the planetarium of the Morioka Children’s Museum.
Houko Kuwashima herself posted the photo above left on Twitter, “Kodai and Yuki eating Morioka noodles.”
February 5: Panasonic Collaboration announced
Yamato’s next mission after saving the Earth…
Is to send a pleasant wind to all life on Earth.
As a circulator or an electric fan, how you use it is up to you.
That writeup on the Yamato Crew website was an introduction to the next high-end 2202 collaboration. Panasonic previously introduced a 360-degree bladeless air circulator called the Electric Fan Q, and on this day they announced a Yamato tie-in version. Based on this promotional video, it looks like the deadliest Yamato product ever made.
The following article about the collaboration was published at Sankei.com…
“Wave-Motion Gun, fire!!”
Panasonic Electric Fan Q limited Space Battleship Yamato collaboration model
Panasonic has announced that a limited model of the bladeless Electric Fan Q will be released on May 10 in collaboration with the anime movie Yamato 2202, Soldiers of Love to be released this month. Painted in Yamato’s hull colors, a limited quantity of 333 will be sold to commemorate Yamato’s length of 333 meters.
In addition to reproducing the hull colors, its gust of wind can be considered symbolic of Yamato since the body is reminiscent of the Wave-Motion Gun. Special attention is also paid to the package design, characterizing the “worldview of Yamato.” It will also appear in the actual film.
The body contains both blue and orange LEDs, allowing it to be used for indirect lighting in indoor spaces. The price without tax is 75000yen, and reservations will be accepted at the Panasonic site, the official Yamato fan club site, and at retail outlets starting from February 6.
The day after this announcement, the product itself was exhibited at the first preview screening for 2202 Chapter 1.
Two days after that, tech news website Ascii published an interview with Panasonic spokesman Hiroki Doi that delved into the origins of this unusual collaboration.
Doi explained that the company wanted to raise their visibility and with 2017 being the 100th anniversary of Japanese animation it was thought that they could look for a suitable tie-in. They first thought their futuristic appliance resembled Star Wars’ Death Star, but as they experimented with colored LEDs, it reminded them more of the Wave-Motion Gun. This lead them to form an alliance with the 2202 Production Committee.
The product works by pulling air in and expelling it at several times the original force. The sphere directs air evenly outward to a range of 9 meters and has a much more decorative look than the average cooling fan. It’s scheduled to make an on-screen appearance in 2202 Chapter 2.
Visit Panasonic’s website for Electric Fan Q here.