Houko Kuwashima interview

Animedia March issue, February 10, 2017

If this war ends, will I be a wonderful bride?

As depicted in the previous work, Space Battleship Yamato 2199, the 168,000 light year journey from Earth to Iscandar was severe. Yuki Mori, the ship’s affairs division officer, sometimes clashed with tactical chief Susumu Kodai, but along the way they encouraged each other and came to think of each other as irreplaceable. When they returned safely, their bond became strong.

Three years have passed since then, and now Yuki and Kodai are engaged. Yuki’s engagement ring glitters on her left hand. As they look forward to a quiet life, the powerful new enemy Gatlantis approaches Earth. Earth and Garmillas have signed a peace treaty and organized a joint fleet to go to war against Gatlantis. Kodai fights on the front lines as commanding officer of the destroyer Yuunagi.

In the face of Earth’s impending crisis, the “loving married life of Yuki and Kodai” is a dream within a dream. Conversely, Earth follows a course of military expansion, as if moving backward from a peaceful path. Yuki and Kodai aren’t even able to have a quiet date. Gatlantis is an enemy of unknown power, more troublesome even than Garmillas. However, if the battle ends successfully…can we look forward to seeing Yuki in a wedding dress!?

Throbbing with excitement about new developments and a new ending

Interviewer: How did it feel at the end of the previous work, Yamato 2199?

Kuwashima: My first impression was, “This has been a long trip.” Not just from the scale of the work, but also the sense of solidarity among the cast. It gave the recording studio the atmosphere of really being on board Yamato. The camaraderie I felt with my costars was a high point, so for the recording this time, it was like there’d been no interruption, and we were naturally able to recreate the atmosphere we had before.

Interviewer: At the production presentation for this work, you said “I’m interested to see how Yuki keeps Kodai on a short leash.”

Kuwashima: I did say that. (Laughs) Those two have a bond that you can only get from an extreme experience. I think they’ve only just begun to test themselves as real partners in a loving relationship.

Interviewer: Since they’ve always fought side by side, they’re different from the average couple.

Kuwashima: In addition to that, Yuki feels at a loss because she has no memory of the past, so there is a fragile side to it. In that sense, perhaps we can see the course of their love at this point being one where Kodai-kun is this large container, and the question is whether he will accept Yuki.

Interviewer: Kodai is very straightforward.

Kuwashima: That’s right. There’s a part where everything else flies away in the face of the cause. In the original work, the navigator Daisuke Shima-kun says to Kodai-kun, “Think of Mori-kun.” I was glad about that and thought, “Please say more!”

Interviewer: By the way, what would you like Yuki and Kodai to do on a winter date?

Kuwashima: Driving is good. The conversation scene in the car in Episode 2 was fun. Yuki is driving. She drives in Episode 2. It feels like an unexpected way to express their relationship.

Interviewer: And now Yamato begins a long journey again…

Kuwashima: I hear that it’s a fusion of the works from the 1970s, the feature film Farewell to Yamato and the TV version, Yamato 2. Their endings were different, and since we haven’t been told what will happen this time, I’m throbbing with excitement! On top of that, original characters will also appear in this work and of course a whole new story will develop. In addition to those seeing it for the first time, I think all the former Yamato fans will be excited and get to enjoy themselves, too!

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