Nobuyoshi Habara Interview, part 2

Back up to part 1

Chapter 1 Beginning Chapter

Check point 01

An appearance! Andromeda-class

Interviewer: I’d like to look back at Chapter 1. There were many differences from the original, such as Andromeda suddenly appearing from the beginning. How was the fan response to that?

Habara: It seems to have been very favorable. Assistant Director Makoto Kobayashi’s retouch is amazing. It already looks like an enemy. Nanbu’s “Bakiyaro!” [You damn fools!] also ties in with that theme this time.

Interviewer: It was also surprising to have five ships in the Andromeda-class. Andromeda is the most popular, but are fans attracted to the other four?

Habara: The dark blue Aldebaran seems to have the same draw as Andromeda. (This will be the second model, to be released in August.) Personally, I also want the carrier type to be released.

Interviewer: In Chapter 2, the Andromeda-class and Dreadnought-class confront Yamato. There’s a scene in the trailer with Yamato and Andromeda in their close pass.

Habara: It will become more active after Chapter 2, so look forward to it.

Interviewer: Andromeda has a leading role in 2202. Having it move properly in Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 feels like a flag going up.

Check point 02

Impact!? Garmillas included in the Earth fleet

Interviewer: The public was somewhat critical over the “real fleet war” part, but I guess a lot of fans knew about it and enjoyed it. For example, the scene at the beginning of the Earth and Garmillas fleets merging. There was great enthusiasm for the scene in which the fleets united from left and right. It was actually the reverse of “real characteristics” and more a feeling of “they did as expected.” I thought it was great when I saw it, and it became an excellent “manga movie.”

Habara: I wanted to be careful with that part. What I thought was how I wanted to see images that made my heart pound and my flesh tingle.

Interviewer: Beyond the detail I saw, I thought the parts that gave priority to movement and story were good. I think the “older Yamato generation” was relieved, but maybe the younger generation wanted more realism.

Habara: I think there is that. But my aim was to make it more approachable for those in the younger generation. Keep what’s cool while dialing back the “oldness” of it to raise the threshold of viewability.

Check point 03

Dashing! Cosmo Tiger I & II

Interviewer: When you look at the Cosmo Tiger I and II individually, the design is very different and I thought, “what about this incongruity?” But when they appear side by side on the screen, there’s no incongruity at all. I honestly thought, “cool!”

Habara: It was in cooperation with the 3DCG group that we were able to show them off well.

Interviewer: How did the coloring of the Cosmo Tiger I turn out that way?

Habara: From those scenes, I think it becomes easy to understand that “the manufacturers were different” between the Cosmo Tiger I and II.

Interviewer: It wouldn’t be bad for them to be the same color, but in looking at the battle scenes you can clearly understand their differences, so I thought it was good. I was able to recognize again that both Cosmo Tigers are “cool.” It worked well in Chapter 1 and the feeling got even stronger in Chapter 2.

Check point 04

Looming threat, Gatlantis!!

Many fans were surprised to suddenly hear Zordar say “love” in Chapter 1. You could call it a “You’re one to talk!” moment, but would Zordar saying “love” and Kodai saying “love” have the same meaning? We don’t know yet.

Interviewer: The Gatlantis fleet was a huge success in Chapter 1, and Zordar’s throne was also a great design.

Habara: That was Assistant Director Makoto Kobayashi’s idea. It was an amazing design with a real “Ah, there it comes” feel to it. All I can think about is the throne and the similar red carpet spread out with Emperor Zordar seated at it, because that’s vertical movement. “So that’s what it’s become,” I thought.

Interviewer: You can understand at a glance that it’s an alien civilization with a cultural background. It’s good that it doesn’t all look the same. There’s also the presence of the Naska-class assault carrier.

Habara: There’s a surprise gimmick planned for Chapter 2, so look forward to it!

Chapter 2 Launch Chapter

Commentary on the first half of Episode 3

Attention 01

Expectations of Garmillas helping Kodai

Interviewer: At the end of Chapter 1, Kodai was called to visit the Garmillas ambassador and went to the surface of the moon.

Habara: The Garmillas side summoned Kodai to tell him about Telezart and Gatlantis. It would be impossible on Earth because monitoring is severe.

Interviewer: Kodai met a Garmillas ambassador in disguise in Chapter 1, and Earth headquarters didn’t know about it at the time.

Habara: They have have expectations about the Garmillas, but they definitely have trust in Yamato and her crew.

Interviewer: They also seemed to be subjecting Kodai to a trial to see if he would risk going to the moon. Then, with the guidance of Klaus Keyman, Kodai learns of the important secrets hidden on Earth.

Habara: You’ll see that part in advance in the preview, and it’s an important point. It’s a serious secret that is related to the way Earth was revived by the Cosmo Reverse. Please take a look at the story.

Attention 02

What is the eleventh planet of the solar system!?

Interviewer: Although it’s on the eleventh planet, I thought that Garmillas people were living quite close to Earth.

Habara: A considerable number of Garmillas live on the Earth, too.

Interviewer: Does that have something to do with the “Gami get out and go home” graffiti in Chapter 1?

Habara: The eleventh planet was originally pioneered by Garmillas. It’s on a distant elliptical orbit around the sun, and there’s also an artificial sun made by Garmillas. It was built in peace with Garmillas under Earth management. It’s a situation where Earth people have settled on it, too.

Interviewer: The relations between Garmillas and Earth people seem to be good here, don’t they?

Habara: Garmillas children have settled there with their parents. I think the parents told them the story of how Yamato saved Garmillas, so the kids have Yamato model kits.

Interviewer: Even if there is a backlash, the connection is strengthened on the mental side in addition to the political side.

Attention 03

A full confrontation at last!? Gatlantis sends a vanguard fleet invasion!

Interviewer: A Gatlantis fleet is approaching the eleventh planet.

Habara: There will be a merciless attack, like on Telezart.

Interviewer: There’s an air raid by Deathvatators and an invasion of Needleslaves, right? Needleslave! At first I didn’t think this sort of weapon was a good fit for Yamato.

Habara: That opinion was voiced in the development stage.

Interviewer: But seen as an alien mecha, I thought “It’s like an ant.” In the original, the mecha was very similar to that of Earth, including tanks. At first I thought, “General Zabaibal has to be seen on a tank,” but now I think a tank might be out of place.

Habara: There are tanks on Garmillas, too.

Interviewer: How do Saito and the others survive the overwhelming strength we saw at Telezart? It can be said that the abilities of Saito and the Space Cavalry will be put to the test here.

Attention 04

Further mystery!? Teresa and Telezart

In the preview video for Chapter 2, Kodai gets information from Garmillas Ambassador Varel about Teresa and Planet Telezart.

Telezart is a legendary planet that was supposed to reach the pinnacle of civilization, and the residents were able to use their own will as a physical force. They were able to use this infinite power to the limit of their imagination, and they reached a plane where their spirit no longer needed a body. It crystallized as life in a distant dimension. That is Teresa.

Teresa exists in the space between worlds, and is said to be a goddess who prays for peace for all. It’s like a fairy tale, and Varel says there is a lot of evidence for her existence. He says that Teresa has summoned people in the past.

Interviewer: One of the major points of this work was how you would handle Teresa. That feeling of “Here’s how it comes, huh?”

Habara: It’s a main point with the secrets of Earth. Please look forward to how it will become woven into the story.

Interviewer: The final conclusion is quite unpredictable.

Attention 05

Hajime Saito is back! The Space Cavalry and Yamato

Interviewer: In the original, Saito gets a secret order from the commander and marches onto Yamato. Here he is stationed on the eleventh planet.

Habara: Saito was last seen in Ark of the Stars and about a month later he is transferred to the frontier. He’s thinking, “Earth does nothing” and then Yamato appears. Therefore, I think it’s a pretty big thing for Satio that Yamato comes in. It’s emotional.

Interviewer: Saito is great in Chapter 2, isn’t he? His voice is perfect. For a moment I thought, “Is that Isao Sasaki?” (Laughs) [Translator’s note: Isao Sasaki performed Saito’s voice in the original.]

Habara: In fact, Saito becomes cooler after this. After this, he becomes more Isao Sasaki, or perhaps more Saito-like.

Interviewer: Even what we saw of Saito this time is enough for now. (Laughs)

Attention 06

Fans are anxious about Ryu Hijikata

Interviewer: On the eleventh planet, a space archaeologist presses Hijikata for permission to start an investigation that was declined by the military. As a military man, he has a grudge over the foolish orders from headquarters. Is that why he was transferred away from headquarters? As Okita’s friend, he also opposed the Wave-Motion Gun plan…the imagination swells.

Habara: When you see Chapter 2 you will understand, of course. (Laughs)

Attention 07

Klaus Keyman, the man who holds the “key” to the story

Habara: Keyman’s actions show the success of the ambassador’s orders. I think he’s a very attractive character.

Interviewer: Keyman fans will definitely increase in the future. Saito is also very good, but Keyman definitely surpasses expectations!

Habara: In fact, he’ll do even greater things, so please look forward to it.

Interviewer: This is a crude question, but is Keyman really the Key Man? (Laughs)

Habara: The name was not decided at the time of the initial proposal, so we had to come up with it. When “Keyman” was suggested at a meeting, that was it. It was the key that opened the door to everyone’s heart. (All laugh) I checked to see how Keyman would be interpreted in the German language and it didn’t change much, so Keyman was still good.

[Translator’s note: despite the obvious wordplay, it is not yet clear if the intended Romanization is “Keyman.” Until further notice, the name will be rendered as “Keyman” in keeping with its source, the preliminary name for Alphon in Be Forever Yamato.]

Interviewer: Hiroshi Kamiya’s voice is good, too.

Habara: From the time I read the screenplay, I could only hear Kamiya’s voice. When I got the news that he would do it, I reflexively struck a victory pose.

Attention 08

Kodai faces the hidden truth in the Earth

Interviewer: In the preview part, Keyman escorts Kodai into Earth’s underground facilities and we see structures of some sort.

Habara: It’s in the preview section and was also seen in the trailer. The place you see at the end will be an important point in the future. It’s an important secret that’s connected with how Earth was revived by the Cosmo Reverse System.

Interviewer: Earth was revived, but it’s not a case of “happily ever after.” Ending on someone saying, “Oh!” must have really made the fans impatient. (Laughs)

Habara: It’s also that new battleships are being built on the road to military expansion, and I hope it has the feeling of Earth going in the wrong direction.

Interviewer: This shows a dark side of Earth that wasn’t depicted in the original. It seems peaceful and stable, but Earth is actually very unstable.

Habara: That’s right.

Attention 09

Yamato‘s crew decides to leave, but some must remain…

Garmillas ambassador Varel talks about Teresa and Planet Telezart, after which Keyman takes Kodai to learn about secrets on Earth. After consulting with the former Yamato crew, he decides to launch.

Yuki Mori only has four years of memories. She consults with Dr. Sado about her worries.

The child of Kato, former leader of Yamato‘s air corps, has planet bomb syndrome and is hospitalized in a sanitorium on the moon. Kato speaks with his wife Makoto, a former nurse.

Three years after the journey to Iscandar, the former crew boards Yamato again, and each of them is forced to make their own choice.

In the 10-minute preview released in advance, Yuki Mori is depicted visiting Dr. Sado. Her brooding expression, which she couldn’t show to Kodai, is striking. Could her memories, lost in the accident, have revived? What will become of this couple, and her marriage to Kodai?

Shima is troubled by the idea of boarding Yamato again, but will be on time for launch in an unexpected way. This time, mysteries from the original work will be answered.

The Look Back! Yamato 2202

Particular points that overflow in the opening title

The opening from storyboards by Kia Asamiya and Director Habara

The opening of Chapter 1 consisted of several scenes from the main story and a few new shots, but as explained by Director Habara in our last issue, Chapter 2’s opening is composed mainly of illustrations by Mr. Kia Asamiya.

Interviewer: Is the opening scene of the dock in the underwater dome from Chapter 1?

Habara: It’s a scene of Yamato being rebuilt. The storyboard was cut down in discussion with Mr. Asamiya and two others.

Interviewer: That must have been a very meaty discussion.

Habara: It sure was. “The fairing changes, so let’s have an image with half the fairing in place.” And such. “Since the machinery on the first bridge is new, maybe Yuki Mori’s radar seat could be vinyl” and things like that. (Laughs)

Interviewer: The opening title overflows with great attention.

Habara: The concept is meant to depict “nameless men building Yamato.” All the line drawings are by Kia Asamiya, and they were painted by our art director, Yoshioka Tanioka. It was drawn with Harmony processing. The people were also subject to Harmony processing. [Translator’s note: Harmony is a full-service animation software package manufactured by Toon Boom.] I was surprised to see that Mr. Tanioka studied how to apply Mr. Asamiya’s painting method!

Interviewer: The details of the interior structure are depicted too, such as the Wave Engine, the anchor, and the pulse lasers. I was able to enjoy Yamato from a different angle. By the way, the seal has been removed from the Wave-Motion Gun, hasn’t it? I always thought the Wave-Motion Gun was a necessary “final trump card” and the imagination swells. How will this happen?

Habara: Please wait and look forward to the developments in Chapter 2.

Interviewer: As for the animation part, the scene of Yamato taking off from Earth is impressive. The combination of the blue sea and the Japanese islands covered in green and Yamato flying out is thrilling, and it got me excited!

Special thanks to Neil Nadelman for translation support.

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