Nobuyoshi Habara Interview, part 2

Back up to part 1

Examining Launch Chapter With Director Nobuyoshi Habara

Interviewer: What are the changes to Yamato from 2199?

Habara: The bow is the same type that was drawn for Farewell to Yamato by Tomonori Kogawa, with no dents. The waterline has also risen slightly. As the waterline rises, the wings become red.

Interviewer: I see.

Habara: In the scene where we’re advancing undersea, they say “Deploy the wings” and they look good in red when they come out, don’t they? The fourth bridge is established in a special point this time. It was the mysterious part under the rear sub-gun. There’s a window for the bridge in the part that opens up.

Stop point 01

Great Emperor Zordar and Teresa

Great Emperor Zordar sees the planet Telezart. The symbolic image of Teresa appears before his eyes…

Habara: Makoto Kobayashi was in charge of the throne of Gatlantis, where Zordar is standing. The design has a feeling of “Wow, what’s going on?” All the key animation for the Gatlantis scenes in Chapter 1 are by Tomonori Kogawa.

Interviewer: Was that so when Zordar appeared the response would be, “Ooh, the Great Emperor”!?

Habara: I had decided from the beginning to ask Mr. Kogawa to do it. Enomoto Akehiro (a chief director in 2199) did the storyboard. This scene conveyed my requests to Mr. Kogawa. Enomoto had the feeling of, “I understand, I’ll give it a tilt.” That’s how the shot was completed.

Interviewer: Yeah, it’s a gorgeous combination. It has the feeling of, “The staff is so full of Yamato love!”

Habara: That love of Farewell is jam-packed into both the storyboards and the animation. There are many such things in other scenes.

Interviewer: Teresa is also very good. I’m shivering!

Habara: Right. It’s the best, huh? I thought we could make a new Teresa with the voice of Sayaka Kanda.

Stop point 02

Goland launches missiles

Habara: In the feature film Ark of the Stars, the Lasceaux-class carries a large-scale missile in its bow (referred to as the Goland missile ship in the original), but there was no firing of the thunderbolt-type missile there. I wanted it to shoot the missile! So I had it appear in the Telezart capture scene. It’s holding back some power because it can’t completely destroy the place.

Interviewer: We got a strong Goland missile launching scene after all!

Stop point 03

Gatlantis’ invasion of Telezart

In this sacrilegeous segment, the imperial fleet of Gatlantis emerges from the White Comet to launch an attack on Telezart.

Habara: The first thing in Farewell that made an impression on me was the Gatlantis fleet at the beginning. When they sailed across the screen, the pencil touch of the visuals was a manga-style pen touch. It had a strong first impact. So in the scene at the beginning of 2202 where the Kukulkan-class crosses, more lines were added to the main portion. I don’t think it is understood on-screen, though. There are all sorts of methods of touch, but this isn’t just laying the touch over the CG. You need to draw it all as one layer, and so that’s what I do.

Interviewer: It may be my own fault, but I’m obsessed with the fine details.

Habara: I drew one piece over the 3DCG on my tablet.

Interviewer: That’s a surprise. I also commit my attention to drawing.

Habara: It doesn’t attract much attention. When you see it at a glance, it might look like noise.

Interviewer: But you can see it in slow playback. It’s great.

Habara: That’s my personal hobby now. (Laughs)

Interviewer: Was part of the mecha hand-drawn? That’s what I thought.

Habara: The mecha is all 3DCG. Various things are added to it, like hand-drawn detail.

Stop point 04

Earth/Garmillas combined fleet

We think the Earth and Garmillas fleets warp out to confront each other, but then they change course and open an attack on their common enemy, the Gatlantis fleet!!

Interviewer: In the combined Earth and Garmillas fleet, it was unexpected that the Earth fleet wasn’t made up of the new types of ships that appeared in Farewell, but the older ships instead.

Habara: The new ships will come out later. You can expect it after the next chapter.

Interviewer: With that in mind, will the engines on the old ships be replaced?

Habara: Some parts are evolving slightly, and long-distance warps will become possible even for cruisers. We’ll bring a meaning to that later.

Interviewer: The scene of the Earth/Garmillas fleets combining is awesome.

Habara: I let you wonder whether they were going to fight each other, then the caption appears.

Interviewer: So, they are a coalition.

Habara: The art of Yamato captions is also important, isn’t it?

Interviewer: Are there rules of order between the ships?

Habara: That’s the atmosphere of this area. There is a certain amount of rules, but it also has a random feeling. We give priority to their on-screen appearance.

Stop point 05

Detailed production on the monitors

The command to attack is conveyed to each ship from headquarters. In the command section, there is a subtle relationship between Earth and the Garmillas.

Habara: It’s on a communications monitor, but the lip flaps aren’t quite in synch. It’s far away, so I gave it the feeling of a communication lag. The voice comes in a little late.

Interviewer: It has the atmosphere of communication just before a battle.

Habara: It is a little hard to see, but the Garmillas mark is underneath the UN mark on the wall of fleet headquarters. This is proof that it’s a joint front.

Interviewer: It’s clear that the relationship with Garmillas from previous works is reflected properly. Indeed, there’s a Garmillas embassy on the surface of the moon.

Habara: Garmillas people join the headquarters as observers, and I think the relationship between these two planets after 2199 becomes more visible. Because they basically acted as “observers” in Farewell. (Laughs)

Stop point 06

First-class Zoellegut astro battleship with front armor

The vanguard of the Garmillas fleet charges forward. The Zoellegut class has a shield to counteract the Flame Strike Gun, but…

Interviewer: This extra armor is interesting.

Habara: It can withstand a direct hit from the Flame Strike Gun, but it’s destroyed and consumed by the second shot. (Laughs) In this mecha scene, we didn’t do much direct drawing like in 2199. Instead, for scenes of ships exploding, the panels bulge and split when fire comes out, which was added by hand-drawing over 3D. Masaya Suzuki is in charge of 3D special effects, and he draws the fire and debris, which is added by the 3D team Sublimation.

Stop point 07

A planet occupied by Gatlantis

The Gatlantis fleet takes up position around a planet’s floating continent.

Interviewer: The Garmillas strategy is to recapture a star system occupied by Gatlantis. Is it close to Earth?

Habara: It’s a star system that’s not too far away. However, there is no specific concept. There is some scientific research in this series to some extent, but we give priority to a feeling of “something boiling.” We give it an attractive deformity and attach a lie to it because it looks good.

Interviewer: That’s a major policy, isn’t it?

Habara: The scene of this planet is another Kobayashi design. Red haze spreads through the foreground, which likens it to the sea. It feels like there’s a horizon, doesn’t it?

Stop point 08

Kalaklum-class battleship

The combined Earth/Garmillas fleet corners the Gatlantis fleet, but the war situation changes completely with the appearance of the Kalaklum-class battleship

Interviewer: This mecha scene had a really good stone taste. I thought “whoah” when I saw the scene of the Kalaklum. It made me think, is this some kind of cross?

Habara: The giant battleship is hiding inside.

Interviewer: I saw it and said, is it coming out!? (Laughs) And Nanbu derisively calls it a “big battleship” rather than using the official name.

Habara: We change the colors of parts on every mecha this time, including the Kalaklum-class. It’s lighter in the front and darker toward the rear, devised to make it seem more complex. We use a painting technique similar to plastic models, with darker and brighter sides, and we apply that feeling. The origin of this idea was in the face of the old Mazinger Z, where the side of the nose in shadow is thicker, and the face is brightly colored.

Interviewer: That challenge tickles the spirit of a modeler. I thought the detail was increased when I saw the preview, but it was done with color, wasn’t it? Simply increasing the detail wouldn’t make it more realistic.

Habara: We take the direction of increasing the complexity with shades of color to make it more realistic. A sense of distance also comes out by changing the color of all the parts.

Interviewer: In actuality, even with plastic model kits, it’s not unusual for all sorts of details molded into it to grow faint when you paint it. It’s also important to make it look three-dimensional with painting techniques. It’s impressive that you can see it on-screen! But does it take a lot of trouble?

Habara: Yes, it took a lot of effort at first. But once the 3D model is made, you can just keep on using it.

Stop point 09

Dispersion Wave-Motion Gun

When the battle becomes disadvantageous, headquarters decides to unveil the Andromeda-class, which was kept secret. The Dispersion Wave-Motion Gun is fired to exterminate many enemies across a wide range.

Interviewer: Andromeda finally appears.

Habara: It aims with a multiple lock-on system and goes into the moment of firing. The sound disappears for that moment and then the burst appears. The sound you hear before it spreads out is also a point. It also appeared in the Yamato Resurrection Director’s Cut, but not like this!

By the way, the individual lock-on system is experimental at this stage, so all the warships are ordered to evacuate when it appears. If you look closely, there’s a ship that’s running behind, and it deviates from a proper lock-on.

Interviewer: And so much power. But somehow the Kalaklum-class manages to endure.

Habara: It becomes charred. The charred texture is by Mr. Kobayashi.

Interviewer: Personally, I prefer the main battleship over Andromeda. (Laughs)

Habara: From now on, it won’t be left out of any “multi-ship formations.”

Interviewer: Five Andromeda-class ships appear this time, so maybe you don’t need the main battleship any more? That’s what I wondered, but when I heard about it my expectation swelled. I’m also looking forward to the carrier version of the main battleship!

Examining the Andromeda-class

Interviewer: I think the biggest surprise for older fans is the appearance of Andromeda‘s sister ships.

Habara: Four more ships, including the aircraft carrier type. Because Andromeda hasn’t returned yet, four ships were announced; two battleship types and two carrier types. It was Mr. Kobayashi’s idea to introduce all the horses at once in this starting lineup. The names of each ship in the Andromeda class start with A. On the other hand, the names of the main battleships will all start with D.

Interviewer: Starting the main fleet from D, I wonder if battleship fans will know what’s coming. In the demonstration ceremony, the ships on the outside are the carrier type.

Habara: That’s right. The launch and landing section of the carrier is installed behind the bridge.

Stop point 10

Kalaklum class, to Earth

Interviewer: Suddenly, Earth is in a pinch.

Habara: They try to change the orbit with Yuunagi.

Interviewer: They push against the bottom of the burning hull, but they can’t change the trajectory. After that, I knew Yamato would come.

Habara: The development here perfectly recites the naniwa-bushi, doesn’t it? [Ballad of obligation and compassion] It’s important for everyone to lend their support.

Interviewer: The defense satellite design is interesting, too.

Habara: That was also Mr. Kobayashi’s idea.

Interviewer: It’s interesting that they have the main guns of battleships attached.

Habara: It’s the main gun of the Kongo-class. It has an extraordinary feeling.

Stop point 11

Yamato launch

Habara: When I read the script, I thought of a visual of Yamato being full of holes from remodeling while it was moving. Since we’d taken such care with the 3DCG, I figured we should do something we couldn’t do with drawn animation, and so I thought let’s have a Yamato moving that’s full of holes. Since we’re not actually raising the hull, we don’t actually need a line like, “Raise the hull,” but I wanted it there anyway. The music was also just perfect here. The main theme enlivened it.

Interviewer: It is so cool! I really felt that Yamato was coming back in this sequence. It was great to have Sanada unexpectedly trying to activate Yamato.

Habara: As expected, Sanada is always looking ahead. At first, the plan was for him to get the order from Kodai, but then it was decided that Sanada would go precisely into motion without a request. I thought having Kodai make the decision would make him seem like a stronger captain and you could feel the growth from 2199. The older fans may have noticed that Sanada’s lines in the Yamato startup scene are almost the same as Captain Okita’s in the first Yamato. Even while you’re thinking, “What the hell does ‘heavy power line contact!’ even mean, (all laugh) we still put it in. Even “Prepare for cannon and torpedo battle!” This is important.

Interviewer: What sort of structure is the dome that contains Yamato?

Habara: It’s in the form of a sea dome, with the upper part just below sea level.

Interviewer: The ceiling is not at the surface of the sea.

Habara: It’s under the sea. The ceiling is torn apart by the blast and the surrounding seawater evaporates as it is forced away. The seawater is kept out thanks to a fence around the dome.

Interviewer: Indeed, I thought the seawater would flood back in.

Habara: You can see when you look at the wide view, it is structured so the seawater stops at the side fence.

Interviewer: It’s a temporary stopping point.

Habara: Yamato is still full of holes, so if the seawater came back in it couldn’t be repaired afterward. Actually, in the storyboard stage, I did a depiction of the seawater immediately flooding back in after the firing, but it ruined the tempo so I cut it. The expression of seawater becomes a point in Chapter 2, so please look forward to it.

Stop point 12

Kodai and Yuki’s date

Yuki Mori waits for Kodai, who is questioned about Yamato‘s restart. The two are already engaged and should be dreaming of a happy future.

Interviewer: This is the drama part, but I thought it captured the nostalgic atmosphere of a Showa-era drama.

Habara: It has a Showa feeling?

Interviewer: The daughter of a rich family in an open car, the situation of driving with a lover, it’s just like in the Showa era. (Laughs) I thought the conversation between Kodai and Yuki also had a good flavor. The car design looks like it came out of the 60s, but it fits the atmosphere of this couple.

Habara: This coffee shop is pure Showa. The first design we came up with was rather modern and beautiful, but we dared to give it a nostalgic look even though it has the latest equipment. We used material like mahogany for the pillars to give it a calm atmosphere.

Interviewer: I felt embarrassment from their dialogue.

Habara: You’re supposed to be embarrassed! Even though I put a lot of spirit into the drawing for the car and coffee shop scenes, the animation director redrew it.

Interviewer: The effect is good enough. I don’t know how the younger generation will look at it, but this scene is absolutely necessary for our generation. It’s a moe point, exactly. (Laughs) That whole “I was worried!” thing.

Stop point 13

Okita’s memorial ceremony

The former Yamato crew gathers at a memorial for Captain Okita. The reconstruction is observed, but Dr. Sado is dissatisfied. Andromeda returns and flies overhead while they drink sake.

Interviewer: This is a moment for the former Yamato crew.

Habara: This part follows the original work. We have characters from 2199 in addition to the main ones, so it deepens the feeling of gathering with familiar friends. However, Mii-kun doesn’t help herself to sake. (Laughs)

Interviewer: This was an asset from 2199.

Habara: Here we are saluting the Earth fleet, but after Yamato rebels the fist-over-the-chest salute will be used. It’s a salute that speaks for their feelings.

Interviewer: The former Yamato crew receives the prayer of Teresa, but the situation is still a mystery, isn’t it?

Habara: It’s a message that tells of a crisis in space, and from this point on it’s about how the crew reacts to it. I want to depict that part carefully.

Interviewer: At that point in Farewell, we rushed out into space with great momentum. I want to see the part that leads up to that. That’s where the drama will get heaviest.

Habara: It is certain that it will weigh heavily on all their hearts, isn’t it? They came back from Iscandar after risking their lives. I think they believed in Okita’s promise to Starsha to seal up the Wave-Motion Gun. However, Earth distorts that by equipping Andromeda with twin Wave-Motion Guns. Because of this backdrop, Nanbu’s cry of “Idiots!” is effective. I think their thoughts about that one-year journey are stronger here than in the old work.

Stop point 14

The approaching White Comet

While analyzing the messages from the deceased, Kodai and the others learn about a mysterious quasar approaching Earth. The message from Teresa is received at the same time.

Interviewer: The White Comet is coming toward Earth after attacking Telezart. Were their relative positions decided?

Habara: It was generally decided. I think you can understand their relative positions from the monitor in the scene. The monitor was designed by Michio Murakawa. I think it’s wonderful.

Interviewer: You can see them if you look carefully. Speaking of which, the White Comet is referred to as a quasar.

Habara: That’s right. An approaching quasar. That was also inherited from Farewell. There is a sense of scientific incongruity, but that’s fine. (Laughs) In those days, observers thought of everything as a quasar.

Interviewer: It’s tough, being an observer. (Laughs) Looking up all sorts of terminology.

Habara: The Yamato series gave us a lot of knowledge in those days.

Examining the Cosmo Tigers

Habara: In this scene I think you can understand the expression of lengthening the nose during the action. The model we use for action is called the Version K, in which the nose and wings are tilted down.

Interviewer: Version K?

Habara: K is for Yoshinori Kanada. The nose lengthens as it approaches the camera. It’s a model that has more passes than usual.

Interviewer: That shows great respect for Mr. Kanada! This is pure Yamato-ness!! It’s a Cosmo Tiger, but the design is very different from I to II, isn’t it?

Habara: They are both aircraft built from the same materials and use the same machinery, but the concept is that each design was made by a different company. The Cosmo Tiger I is higher performance. It has the ability to carry a large variety of armaments on one aircraft. However, it’s an aircraft that chooses its own pilot, because of its maneuvering difficulty. Also, the developer designed it for maniacs, and it’s quite large for a carrier-based craft. Therefore, the circumstance is that the Cosmo Tiger II was formally adopted.

Interviewer: To me, the I seems more refined than the II. It has a good developmental feeling of “the confusion of an Earth in the middle of reconstruction.”

Habara: That’s right. I think they were ordered up almost simultaneously.


A lightly-armed autonomous soldier made by copying the mechanized soldiers obtained from Garmillas science slaves. It transforms from a flight form to a humanoid ground-combat form to conduct anti-personnel attacks with needle guns equipped in their twin bowl parts. Their dagger-like flight form can be transported by air when attached to a bomb carriage, and they can also be launched from torpedo tubes. The lower body has removable armor plating on the back which becomes beam-reaction armor to deflect positron energy.

Main armament: Three-barrel rapid-fire needle guns X 2

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