April 2017 brought us to the halfway point between Chapters 1 and 2, then the days ahead in the countdown became fewer than the days behind. There was much less activity than the previous two months, but the arrival of the first trailer for Chapter 2 signaled that an upswing was about to begin. Here’s the April roundup…
April 1: Nobuyoshi Habara on Facebook
Director Nobuyoshi Habara started the month with a photo directly from the 2202 nerve center. His caption read “I’ve been looking at water for a while. Fun!” The art he shared wasn’t hard to identify, but its precise usage didn’t become clear until almost a month later when new key art for Chapter 2 (above right) was revealed on May 2. We don’t know yet exactly how it will be deployed, but that’s what keeps it interesting.
April 1: Yamato Jet in action
Skymark’s Yamato Jet has been flying since February 25, but it was singled out for special use on April 1 when 125 newly-hired employees were brought on board for a welcome-to-Skymark ceremony.
To their surprise, the ceremony ended with the words “Let’s go for a flight” and the jet took off for a 90-minute joyride from Haneda airport around Mt. Fuji and back. The story was reported on the Aviation Wire website, and can be seen with more photos here.
April 11: Chapter 2 products announced
The first of the new goods for Chapter 2 was announced at the official 2202 website, another smart phone case that will be part of the lineup at theaters on June 24. This followed the announcement of the second T-shirt wave from Under Armour, first shown in Yamato fan club magazine Ship’s Log #17.
April 11: Dengeki Hobbyweb
Dengeki published new prototype photos of the next 1/8 Yuki Mori figure to come from Megahouse, now known as the “private coordinate” version. A release date has not yet been set. See the Dengeki post here.
April 14: Yamato 2202 Beginners Episode 2
Yamato Girls just want to have fun, and they had 9 minutes of it in the second episode of this new video series. They recreated a scene from 2199 in their own “special way” and then took off for a road trip to Xebec Studio for a run-in with none other than Nobuyoshi Habara. Evidently, this is a story to be continued.
See Episode 2 on Nico Nico here.
April 14: Chapter 2 announcement
The eye-grabbing key art for 2202 Chapter 2 was revealed on this day, and those who purchased advance tickets were given the incentive of a new clear file with the striking image of Andromeda seen on the latest cover of Great Mechanics G magazine.
Also revealed was a set of 15 intriguing stills from the upcoming chapter. See them all here.
April 24: 1/2000 Yamato announced
On this day, the Tamashii Nations branch of Bandai, which specializes in high-end collectibles for the most serious of Otaku, announced the first of what appears to be a series of precision-engineered 2202 miniatures at 1/2000 scale. Called the “Shining Ship Collection,” the first out of the gate will be a 6.5″ long 2202-era Yamato with internal lighting and a reflective display stand. The gun turrets rotate and wings can be added. It is scheduled for September release with Andromeda and the Earth battleship Dreadnought to follow.
See the official website (with interactive features) here.
April 25: Hobby Japan #576
Hobby Japan had two pages of Yamato content this month that covered forthcoming Bandai products and debuted two new photos of Megahouse’s Cosmo Fleet Special Yamato with asteroid ring (below left). This now has a release date of August.
Also to be found was an inside-back-cover ad for the 1/2000 Yamato and Yuki Mori action figure.
April 25: Model Graphix #391
Model Graphix easily took the trophy in the magazine wars for April with a “Space Naval Review” issue that put Andromeda on the cover and backed it up with a 14-page article. It included an interview with mecha designer Junichiro Tamamori, his first in the 2202 cycle.
See all the pages and read that interview here.
April 27: Lightwave 3D interview
Sublimation is a new name in the 2202 production credits, and it’s one worth remembering, since they are responsible for all the CG animation we’ll be marveling at for the entire series. Two magazine interviews with Sublimation have been published in Japan so far (which will appear in a future update), but the third – miraculously – can be read in English at the website for Lightwave 3D.
The interview says far more about Lightwave than it does about Yamato, but hey. It’s in English! Read it here.
April 28: Chapter 2 trailer
Marking almost the exact halfway point between Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 was our first look at moving pictures from the latter with the release of the first trailer. “Launch Chapter” is loaded with surprises from our first glimpse at the Space Marines (it’s Christmas on Planet 10) and a full-on Cosmo Fleet vanguard being deployed to stop the renegade Yamato.
Get your own look at the trailer here.
See a collection of stills here.
April 29: Chapter 2 flyer
With a trailer out, a flyer distributed to theaters could not be far behind. The slogan at the top of the flyer reads “The vengeance of men betrayed by the ‘future’ is about to begin!” This is the first direct connection to sentiments described by writer Harutoshi Fukui in his many Chapter 1 interviews.
April 29: Yamato Fest
Closing out the month was a fan-run event called Yamato Fest, held at a modeling shop called Kishida Model in Sapporo, Hokkaido. Held by Twitter user “Shinya2199”, it was a gathering point for Yamato model builders at all levels for one afternoon. Photos are scarce, but some images can be seen at Shinya2199’s Twitter page here.
Also spotted in April
Makoto Kobayashi on Twitter
Kobayashi shared six exclusive images on his Twitter feed in April, two of which were later revealed to be slipcase art for the Chapter 2 home video. See all the images here.
Continuing 2199 cosplay popped up this month with the alluring cosplayer “Harunosuk” taking on two lesser-known late-shift characters: Miki Saijo and Jun Ichikawa. See these photos and more here.
Artwork posted to Twitter this month was comparatively thin, but ran the gamut of characters, doujinshis and mecha. See the gallery here.
If you’ve seen the work of Japanese modelers, you know that they are seldom content with what they’re given, taking every opportunity to repaint and modify. This was proven again with a 2202 flourish. See a gallery here.
A rare crossing of the streams, caught by Twitter user Keisuke7g.
Chapter 2 advertising has begun. This photo of a billboard at Akihabara station, Tokyo was posted by Twitter user SpaceBattleStar
The first color photos of the upcoming 1/8 Yuki Mori figure from Megahouse, posted on the company’s Twitter page here.
The company also gave us a perfect look at the color prototype of the new Cosmo Fleet Special miniature.
Finally, this image from the first Chapter 2 trailer revealed precisely where in Japan Yamato‘s launch site is located, and it should surprise no one.
It was independently verified by Twitter users Firefly1950 and Yukakoss that the landscape on the ground unmistakably represents Kure, a port city near Hiroshima, where the original IJN Battleship Yamato was constructed. It is currently the site of the Battleship Yamato Museum. It appears to have survived the planet bombing with no scarring whatsoever.