In the summer of 1978, Leiji Matsumoto returned to the pages of Akita Shoten’s Bouken Oh [Adventure King] magazine with his adaptation of Farewell to Yamato. True to his earlier vow, he rolled this story out at a much more leisurely pace, adapting only a few minutes of the movie into each chapter over the course of 360 pages. His career was at its zenith during this time, with Space Pirate Captain Harlock and Galaxy Express 999 demanding the bulk of his attention. Because of this, the chapters became shorter as the series went on. Interestingly, as of its 10th chapter, the story evolved into an adaptation of Yamato 2 since by that time the series had nearly run its course on television. Regrettably, this adaptation is a tale left incomplete, abandoned in mid-stream just as Yamato nears Planet Telezart. The page count of each manga chapter dwindles noticeably in the latter half, since Matsumoto’s time was increasingly in demand on other projects.
At left: a self-portrait of Matsumoto in the midst of the run, early 1979
As with Matsumoto’s first Yamato manga, this one was serialized in Adventure King magazine beginning with the July 1978 issue (published in June) and progressing month by month as shown below. Clicking on the links embedded in this text will open a page of manga. (Remember that manga pages are read from right to left.)
All artwork is © Leiji Matsumoto.
|Adventure King, July 1978
Chapter 1, 37 pages:
A warning message is received from deep space as an EDF patrol fleet is attacked by Comet Empire ships.
|Adventure King, Aug 1978
Chapter 2, 35 pages:
Sanada analyzes the message, Kodai’s patrol ship is muscled aside by Andromeda during his return to Earth.
|Adventure King, Sept 1978
Chapter 3, 23 pages:
Kodai and Sanada discuss the message from space.
|Adventure King, Oct 1978
Chapter 4, 24 pages:
Yamato‘s crew has a reunion and learns of the message. Kodai reports his concerns to the EDF commander and is told that Yamato is going to be scrapped.
|Adventure King, Nov 1978
Chapter 5, 20 pages:
Kodai is outraged at the plan to scrap Yamato, and visits the ship in drydock.
|Adventure King, Dec 1978
Chapter 6, 23 pages:
The crew goes AWOL to board Yamato. They conspire to investigate the message despite a warning from the EDF commander.
|Adventure King, Jan 79
Chapter 7, 25 pages:
The EDF command surrounds Yamato‘s drydock with mines as the ship powers up and leaves.
|Adventure King, Feb 79
Chapter 8, 21 pages:
Yamato evades the mines and launches as the EDF council readies the orbital satellites to shoot her down.
|Adventure King, Mar 1979
Chapter 9, 22 pages:
Yamato destroys the satellites and departs Earth. Meanwhile, Andromeda sets an intercept course for Yamato
|Adventure King, Apr 1979
Chapter 10, 20 pages:
Yamato brushes past Andromeda, which swings around and aims her cannons.
|Yamato Part II All-Color Manga
Volume 1 (3/25/79):
This was a deluxe large-format, duo-tone collection of chapters 1-6. Unfortunately, there was no followup to this volume, which is far and away Akita Shoten’s finest edition.
|Adventure King, May 1979
Chapter 11, 16 pages:
Captain Hijikata lets Yamato pass. The Cosmo Tiger squadron is taken on board and Comet Empire fighters appear on the radar.
|Cosmoship Yamato Volume 2
“SF Comics” paperback collection of chapters 1-8
|Adventure King, June 1979
Chapter 12, 20 pages:
The fighters fly past Yamato and are analyzed. A course is set to follow them and Yamato warps in pursuit.
|Adventure King, July 1979
Chapter 13, 16 pages:
Yamato warps to Planet 11 and finds it under attack. Yamato is attacked by fighters, and one collides with her hull.
|Adventure King, Oct 1979
Chapter 14, 17 pages:
The crew tries to recover the crashed fighter, but it self-destructs before it can be brought inside.
| Adventure King, Dec 1979
Chapter 15, 20 pages:
Yamato investigates the surface of Planet 11 to find the EDF cavalry base has been wiped out. A ship of survivors is taken on board, led by Saito, who is angered by his defeat.
|Adventure King, Jan 1980
Chapter 16, 16 pages:
Sanada traces the course of the White Comet and determines that it will reach Earth in 60 days. Yamato warps to Planet Telezart. This is seen by a Comet Empire fighter, which sends out an alert message. The adaptation ends with this chapter.
|Cosmoship Yamato Volume 3
“SF Comics” paperback collection of chapters 9-16 and Eternal Story of Jura.
That to date represents Matsumoto’s entire adaptation of the second Yamato story. All of this material has been collected and reprinted many times over in the years since its original appearance. (The “SF Comics” paperbacks are the most reprinted edition, appearing as recently as 2005.) Each successive reissue has been repackaged; some spread across three volumes, others just two…and only some include the Eternal Story of Jura chapter. But two aspects remain consistent from one edition to the next: all are published by Akita Shoten, and all carry the title Cosmoship Yamato.
Akita Shoten Comics Select Edition, 1987
Akita Shoten Hardcover Edition, 1992
Akita Top Comics Edition, 2003
Cosmoship Yamato Boukenou Original Revive Versions
The ultimate edition of all the Leiji Matsumoto manga was finally realized in 2018 by a little-known company called Fukkan Publishing. In one year, they brought out large-format keepsake editions that reduced all previous versions to footnotes.
The Boukenou name was invoked for these reprints because they present the material in original monthly format with all original color and chapter breaks intact. Moreover, they go back to the 7.25” x 10” page size, which is larger than any previous reprint (except for a single 1979 edition from Akita Shoten that remains incomplete).
This is NOT a simple repackaging of the many paperbacks that have been in print since 1975; they featured revised and alternate pages, including the shrouded appearance of Captain Harlock. Those pages are in these volumes, but separated and distinct from the restored Boukenou format.
Those who placed advance orders from the Fukkan website received these art boards, reproduced directly from Matsumoto originals. Each volume also came with a treasure trove of bonus material, described below…
January 27, 304 pages
Contains the entire 6-chapter serial for the Iscandar story plus Matsumoto’s picture story serial from Fifth Grader magazine, the Eternal Story of Jura spinoff chapter, other illustrations from the same time frame, revised pages done for paperback reprints, an original featurette called Cosmo Road Alpha, and production art from the Series 1 development phase.
Cosmoship Yamato 2 Volume 1
September 13, 290 pages
Contains the first 6 chapters of the Comet Empire story plus the previously-unreprinted New Voyage manga from Third Grader magazine (2 chapters by Minoru Nonaka) and three chapters of Hiroshi Aizawa’s Yamato III manga from 1980/81. Also includes revised reprint pages and development materials from Farewell to Yamato.
Cosmoship Yamato 2 Volume 2
October 18, 334 pages
Contains chapters 7-16 of Matsumoto’s Comet Empire manga (which was never concluded), a short story titled Cosmo Road Omega, the rest of the Yamato III manga, an interview with Yutaka Izubuchi (read it here) and design materials from Yamato III. Due to an oversight, the first chapter of the Yamato III manga appears at the end of this volume rather than in the previous volume.
Order it from Amazon.co.jp here.