L to R: Habara, Nakamura, Kuwashima, Miyagawa, Fukui
October 14: Chapter 3 premiere
Pure Love Chapter, containing Episodes 7-10 of Space Battleship Yamato 2202, Soldiers of Love, premiered in 25 theaters for an unprecedented 3-week run.
Opening day ceremonies took place at the usual location, the Shinjuku Piccadilly in Tokyo. A new combination of personalities took the stage: Director Nobuyoshi Habara, Writer Harutoshi Fukui, Composer Akira Miyagawa, and two voice actors who hadn’t appeared together before: Eriko Nakamura (Kiryu) and Houku Kuwashima (Yuki).
Kuwashima said that though she could watch Chapter 2 as a viewer (since she had only a small role), it was a different story with Chapter 3 and her anxiety gave way to the realization that it’s a large-scale work that should be seen several times. Of course, the lion’s share of her admiration goes to Kodai and Yuki, who she described as “a rare couple.” Habara said that he appreciated her comments, and just seeing her smile filled him with happiness.
Akira Miyagawa said, “I’ve been waiting for something like this all my life,” and his impression of Chapter 3 was a shock, since he couldn’t imagine what the finished images would look like. He also confessed to some anxiety when he was writing a love theme: “I finally understand why Mr. Habara kept talking about love. There is no word as overflowing as love, and no word that contains so many meanings, so I could only demonstrate my own philosophy.” He also talked about developing a theme for Zordar based only on the word ‘demon.’ “Mr. Habara ordered a demonic but a beautiful melody, close to sadness. It’s an ephemeral but very strong image.”
Speaking of the music, Habara said he was surprised by unexpected things he heard in the music, but that it perfectly matched the visuals. “Sound director Tomohiro Yoshida decides which music to use, but this was a perfect fit. I listen to it all the time while I’m working.”
“I’m amazing,” Miyagawa joked, receiving applause from the audience. “I thought I was going to get in the way of the sound when I said I was going to put in more ‘love,’ but there was no such thing at all while I watched it. I’m looking forward to the next recording!” (Laughs)
Each of the speakers had a message for the fans.
Kuwashima: Yuki has finally returned, so I think you can watch Yamato’s journey with confidence. We don’t get to read anything ahead of time, so we’ll be surprised at the voice recording for Chapter 4, and I’ll be glad if watching Chapter 3 makes you want to see more.
Miyagawa: The keyword for 2199 was “first Yamato,” but if I were to give my impression after seeing Chapter 3 today, I’d call it “adult Yamato.” I enjoyed it with all of you from the bottom of my heart. I look forward to the future.
Fukui: I’ve been interviewed by a variety of people in terms of age and gender, but I saw a different view of men and women for the third chapter. Whether or not you can understand Kodai’s feelings about the divide between men and women, please discuss it with your partner if you have one. But if you talk about it too deeply it might cause some cracks, since it’s quite sensitive. (Laughs) I think this will become a story that will make everyone question their own lives, and I thank you for your continued support.
Habara: This may be an “adult Yamato,” but since it’s also a Yamato that adults can show to their children, I’d appreciate it if you could watch it with your kids. Also, in order to avoid a spoiler, I’d like to say “look at the small window on the left during the end credits.” I’d appreciate it if you can tell people, “That small window is good!” We’re currently making Chapter 4, so please look forward to it.[Translator’s note: his “small window” reference is to the fact that footage plays in an inset during the end credits. The spoiler he spoke of us related to the post-credits scene.]
The group next travelled to a Toho Cinema theater in Ebina for a similar presentation, which was not documented.
Ms. Kuwashima and Mr. Miyagawa then went their separate ways, leaving the rest of the group to conduct one more presentation at the MOVIX Hashimoto, the same theater hosting the Yamato and Andromeda display models. The welcoming illustration at right was custom-drawn for them.
These photos were posted that night on the Yamato Production Committee’s Twitter page, which can be found here.
Houko Kuwashima posted the photo above left on her own Twitter page before parting from Ms. Nakamura. The fellas zoomed off to Osaka the next day for additional appearances at Namba Parks Cinema (above right).
October 14: Chapter 3 exclusive Blu-ray
The theater-exclusive Blu-ray for Chapter 3 was sold only in theaters and only to those who had bought a ticket to the film. As with all its predecessors, it contained the same content sectioned off into individual episodes with opening and closing titles. The bonus features included a separate slipcase (seen in our last report), trailers and commercials, the opening story digest seen in theaters, audio commentaries for episodes 8 and 9, and a 12-page booklet.
See the booklet here.
The exclusives for this edition were a storyboard book and a script book for Episode 10. Neither will be included in the standard edition, scheduled for release on November 24. (Which can be ordered from Amazon.co.jp or CD Japan.)
October 14: Chapter 3 program book
The full-color 44-page program book had a wealth of information found nowhere else (especially since the official website appears to not be carrying new story data). The features include an intro by Harutoshi Fukui, story guide, character and mecha pages, a centerfold by the great Naoyuki Katoh, an interview with scriptwriter Hideki Oka, a selection of animation layouts, and multiple ad pages for new and upcoming products.
See the book from cover to cover here.
October 14: Chapter 3 theater goods
Another wave of products could be found in theater gift shops, some new and some continuing from existing trends. See the entire lineup here.
October 14: Theater cards, week 1
The giveaways for Chapter 3’s first week in theaters was this trio of large-format “art cards” in an anime production envelope: two character layouts and one mecha image (Cosmo Tiger II with booster).
October 14: 1/1000 Yamato 2202 model kit
Bandai released the upgraded 2202 version of Yamato on Chapter 3’s premiere day. Measuring about 13” long, it comes with LED lighting, moveable turrets, optional wings, four mini Cosmo Tigers, and a bonus kit of the Yuunagi.
The Yuunagi kit is a re-colored version of the Kirishima mini-model from 2199 with its own DIY box incorporated into the larger kit’s box.
See a photo gallery of this kit here.
See more photos here.
October 14: Chapter 4 news
Chapter 3 ended with a trailer for Chapter 4, which opened up the first trickle of information on where the crew is headed next. The early promo reads as follows:
A new trial suddenly befalls Yamato! What could it be? Suspected spies on board, an encounter with the White Comet of Gatlantis, and Yamato reaches Telezart after overcoming many hardships. But waiting there is a defense fleet led by Goland and a land division led by Zabaibal. Everything leads to an encounter with Teresa to learn the true meaning of her message. Kodai’s readiness will be tested as he reaches the destination, Telezart.
Titled Destiny Chapter, the next film contains episodes 11-14 and is scheduled for release on January 27, 2018.
See a handful of stills at Dengeki Hobbyweb here.
October 14: Print on demand bromides
The Ichiban Kuji (Number One Best) Lottery is a prize system run by Banpresto via Japanese convenience stores that ties into one anime title after another. Yamato 2199 prizes were offered a few years ago, and 2202 has been a tie-in since Chapter 1. For a limited time (Oct 14 through Dec 31), fans could win random printouts of images from Chapter 3, something like large-scale trading cards.
Get another look at them here.
October 15: Comic Con Okinawa
This annual event came up again and provided a chance for fans in Okinawa to meet local legend Junichiro Tamamori, who resides there despite his active role as the mecha designer of the Earth sides for both 2199 and 2202. This photo was posted on Twitter by MosquitoOkinawa.
Tamamori himself posted this photo of his booth. Visit his Twitter page here.
October 16-20: Online coverage
With the premiere now in the rear-view, staff and cast members could speak a little more freely about it, and did so on multiple entertainment websites.
Read T-Site’s interview with Sayaka Kanda (Teresa) here.
Read Akiba Souken’s interview with Houko Kuwashima (Yuki) and Harutoshi Fukui (writer) here.
Read Oricon’s interview with Harutoshi Fukui (writer) and Daisuke Ono (Kodai) here.
Read Gigazine’s interview with Hideki Oka (scriptwriter) here.
October 20: Promotional Meeting of Love, Episode 5
One week after the premiere, it was now possible to discuss some Chapter 3 spoilers in this last installment of the video series. See it on Youtube here.
October 21 & 28: Theater cards, weeks 2 & 3
The free giveaways for the second and third weeks continued the trend of the first with two character layouts and one “extra” card. In these cases, the “extra” was a vintage model sheet from 1978.
October 21: Ties and tie pins
October 22: Yamaket 10
This was the latest installment of the twice-yearly fan gathering in which Yamato fan circles band together at a general-interest doujinshi event to sell and trade their latest projects. Members of the Cosmo DNA community attended Yamaket 9, and it continues on for the foreseeable future.
Visit the Yamaket Twitter page for photos and more.
October 24: Yamatalk Night
Fans in Tokyo had a new opportunity to attend a special screening of Chapter 3 with a “Yamatalk Night” presentation at the Shinjuku Piccadilly Theater. The speakers this time were Writer Harutoshi Fukui, manga artist/illustrator Michio Murakawa, and 2202 novelist Yuka Minagawa. Since the first novelization had just been published, that was undoubtedly a major topic of conversation.
Speaking of Murakawa, be sure to make his new Instagram page a regular stop on your internet wanderings. He frequently posts Yamato illustrations there.
October 25: Hobby Japan #582
This issue of Japan’s premiere hobby magazine published 9 pages of 2202 content showcasing the newest 1/1000 Yamato model, a custom-painted Cosmo Falcon in Apollo Norm colors, and the latest product releases.
See all the pages here.
October 25: Garage kits announced
Yamato Crew jumped back into the 2199 timeframe with a dual announcement of two garage kits: a 1/7 scale (8.6”) figure of Sasha with message capsule and a non-scale (6.5’) Iscandarian Interstellar Shuttle Scheherazade. Both are scheduled for release in December.
See a photo gallery of the prototype models here.
October 31: Yamatalk Night
The last event of the month was a unique one indeed: Harutoshi Fukui and Nobuyoshi Habara were joined by illustrator Kia Asamiya for another Chapter 3 screening and an evening of conversation about the intricate and demanding illustrative side of the production.
Also spotted in October
Makoto Kobayashi on Twitter
Kobayashi shared his latest works and modeling projects on his Twitter page, which is always an interesting (if exhausting) place to visit.
Yamato Jet merchandise
Skymark airlines released a new clear file and a sticker for customers who fly on the Yamato Jet.
Since this merchandise is only available to paid passengers, they instantly fetch high prices on the collector’s market. More is almost certainly on the way, since the jet will be in service through summer 2018.
Fans went overboard in October with their personal renditions, absorbing and expanding on all the latest content.
Other fans took their skills to the 3D world and found new iterations of their favorite mecha. See a gallery here
Yamato 2202 Hero’s Record game
This new mobile strategy game finally made its debut in mid-October, unveiling a whole new world of art and interactivity.
Another character illustration was published on Twitter, this time of nurse Makoto Harada from 2199.
Some actual 2202 production art could be found on Twitter in October, supplied by various sources. This layout drawing of Zordar from Chapter 3 was posted by Tantheace2202.
This layout of Kodai, straight from Xebec Animation Studio, was posted by Edakio.
Kia Asamiya himself posted this layout image from the opening title to promote his October 31 Yamatalk experience. See his Twitter page here.
And finally, the great Naoyuki Katoh posted this self-toon on October 21 to document a walk home in the midst of his latest Yamato illustration project. See his Twitter page here.
Promotional poster for Chapter 4. The text reads: Breakthrough – No escape from destiny, the ship reaches the promised star