2202 Production staff interview, October 2017

Talking about Yamato 2202 with Nobuyoshi Habara, Harutoshi Fukui, and Hideki Oka.

We asked these three for their passionate thoughts about Yamato.

Originally published by Mantan Web, October 8, 2017. See the original article here.

Left to right: Hideki Oka, Nobuyoshi Habara, Harutoshi Fukui

Weirdness of the time fault

Yamato 2202 is a sequel to Yamato 2199, which was broadcast in 2012, and 1978’s Farewell to Yamato is its motif. A few years after Yamato returned from Iscandar, the Imperial star Gatlantis rises to conquer space, contrary to the peaceful wishes of the goddess Teresa. In this story, Earth begins to walk the road of military buildup.

After receiving an offer from Mr. Habara, Mr. Oka said he would participate in Yamato 2202, and he explained how he became involved in the process: “Director Habara went with Mr. Fukui’s [story] plan, but he consulted with me shortly before they joined up.”

“We have the same passion for the story,” Mr. Habara said about the offer.

When these three put their ideas together, Mr. Fukui had severe opinions about some of the material prepared by Mr. Habara and Mr. Oka: “There were some strange story ideas, and I think I said, ‘no, that’s no good’ about some of them.”

On the other hand, there was an idea that became the core of the 2202 story, the concept of a time fault. The time fault is a side effect of the Cosmo Reverse System brought back to Earth by Yamato. It creates a localized area of space where time flows differently, and many Earth Defense ships are built there.

“By relying on the time fault concept, we could do the impossible,” Fukui said thoughtfully. “It also leads to a strangeness that drifts through the story. When considering the amount of time it would take to rebuild, we had to face up to the [March 2011] earthquake disaster. Originally, we had to avert our eyes from how the reconstruction proceeds. The more you go forward, the more irreversible things become. This also connected to the overall image.”

“That’s one of Mr. Fukui’s sharp points,” Oka said. “I thought up the time fault as an alibi. Mr. Fukui recognized that by utilizing its negative nuances, it would provide momentum for the story.”

You might think hearing the word “love” today is dicey!

Since the motif for 2202 was the big hit movie Farewell to Yamato, it gives many fans expectations and anxiety.

“It’s sort of like athletics. The more you work at it the more it burns,” Mr. Fukui said. “It’s interesting, the various things that come out. It’s different from the arbitrary things that come from me. When I’m writing a novel and I don’t come up with anything more than I first imagined, I think, ‘What will I do?’ By discussing opinions with others, it gets simpler and I get feelings like, ‘That’s fascinating’.”

“What remake did I want to see most? I thought about that. Since the release of Farewell, the common sense of the world has change in some ways, so it has to be updated. However, it also has to pick up from 2199, so that pushed it forward. I tried to depict it with a feeling of life. People who don’t watch anime will still watch Yamato and Gundam, so it may be that such people demand more realistic characters.”

Mr. Oka said, “Yamato evolved dramatically with 2199, and was renewed. On the other hand, there were also some elements that were let go. Mr. Fukui told us, ‘If we dig into that, it may prime the pump for people who got away from watching anime.’ I identified with that very much. Yamato fans are now grown adults. They must have had meetings and partings. Because of that, I wanted to make it a story about love. Mr. Fukui’s concept clearly stated that ‘this will question love again’.”

Indeed, Love is the big theme of 2202.

“If you hear the word ‘love’ these days, you might think it’s dicey,” Mr. Fukui said. “There was a love boom in Farewell in which ‘love saves the Earth’ but it became obsolete after that. There might have been a feeling of embarrassment, which has also become weathered.”

Yamato will take us to a world we haven’t seen before

At the end of Farewell, Yamato charges at the huge enemy battleship, which gave rise to the opinion that it was glorifying suicide. There is a great deal of attention to how the ending will be depicted in 2202.

“When you say suicide now, rather than kamikazes there are suicide bombers,” Fukui said. “I want to depict love again in this era. There is nothing more athletic than this, and there is a possibility to clarify it.”

“Why can’t we get on board Yamato?” Mr. Oka asked. “It’s an anime, so I couldn’t get on board, but I wanted to. It’s a ship that takes you to a world you’ve never seen before. When I write a script, I think about how if I could get on board, I’d want to be with these characters.”

Mr. Habara agrees, saying “I’m also in the ‘I want to get aboard!’ camp,” but Mr. Fukui says, “You want to board her? Nothing good will come of that. I’m absolutely against it” and expounds upon his pet theories, and so the three of them begin an argument about Yamato that builds to incandescent intensity.

It could be that the passionate expansion of 2202 is occurring because three such people are making it.

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