Yamato 2202 activity in December 2017 was slower than November, but everything that happened as Chapter 4 got closer gave us new things to anticipate in the coming year. Throw in a new trailer, loads of fan activity, another Comiket and new model kit announcements, and you’ve got yourself a full Yamato month. Here’s all the action that closed out 2017.
But first, a leftover from November…
November 25: Nobuyoshi Habara on Twitter
Yamato 2202 Director Habara shared this image from his archive, describing it as something he drew just after he was hired to work on Yamato Resurrection (in 2008/2009). The background was borrowed from Final Yamato.
Visit Mr. Habara’s Twitter page here.
December 5: Seiji Noguchi on Twitter
It’s always a pleasant surprise when a Yamato staff member turns up in social media to share work the public wouldn’t normally get to see. Such was the case when character designer Seiji Noguchi published this design work from Yamato 2199. Secondary to the design itself is the need to render a character from multiple angles for animation reference. This was the task assigned to Noguchi after Nobuteru Yuuki completed the initial design itself.
Other pieces from his Twitter page:
Visit Seiji Noguchi’s Twitter page here.
December 6: Hyper Hobby Vol. 6
This issue of the revived magazine from Tokuma Shoten was the second in a row to include content from Yamato 2202 . Vol. 5 contained one page of news and an interview with Composer Akira Miyagawa, which can be read here. This time, Sound Supervisor Tomohiro Yoshida was in the spotlight.
Read the interview here.
December 7: Production Committee on Twitter
This photo was published on December 7 with the following caption: Production work on the Chapter 4 theatrical trailer is underway. Coming soon! Look forward to it.
Visit the 2202 Production Committee Twitter page here.
December 8: Captain Okita’s birthday
The makers of the Yamato 2202 Hero’s Record mobile game marked Okita’s birthday with this image on Twitter. Since that is also the day Yamato returned to Earth in 2199, it means Okita died on his birthday. Bummer.
December 11: Ark of the Stars book 2 announced
Sooner than expected, Character Designer Nobuteru Yuuki announced (on Twitter) the forthcoming second volume of his layout work from Ark of the Stars. It would be published at the end of the month, first going on sale at Comiket 93 (keep reading).
December 12: Megahouse display
Twitter user Kuroneko402 posted these photos on Twitter, giving us an early glimpse at Megahouse’s prototypes for the Cosmo Fleet Special carrier miniatures, Apollo Norm and Antares. A release date has not yet been announced.
December 14: Naoyuki Katoh on Twitter
The great Naoyuki Katoh published this photo with the following caption: Color check of the framed Space Battleship Yamato, it’s very beautiful. I’m glad they can make a print as beautiful as this.
The image is one of his paintings reproduced by Bandai Visual as an art print using a very high-end reproduction technique. This painting and another by Kia Asamiya were described in Report 16. See them at Bandai Visual’s 2202 page here.
Visit Mr. Katoh’s Twitter page here.
These photos of the finished prints on display were posted December 22 by observant fan Yuka Minakawa.
December 15: Chapter 4 trailer
The first one-minute trailer for Chapter 4 arrived on the 15th, touching off a wave of news across the 2202 spectrum. The return of Dessler was front and center with all hell breaking loose.
See it on Youtube here.
December 15: Official website update
With the return of Dessler comes the return of famed voice actor Koichi Yamadera, an event that was marked by the appearance of this staff & cast photo on the official 2202 website. Pictured at the voice recording studio are:
(Front row, L to R) Kenichi Suzumura (Shima), Daisuke Ono (Kodai), Harutoshi Fukui (writer), Nobuyoshi Habara (director), Hideki Oka (scriptwriter), Koichi Yamadera (Dessler), Hiroshi Kamiya (Keyman).
(Back row, L to R) Masato Kokobun (Aihara), Kenji Akabane (Nanbu), Rie Tanaka (Yamamoto), Hiroki Touchi (Saito), Kazusa Amagai (Shiori Nagakura), Satomi Moriya (Miki Saijo), Masaki Terasoma (Varel)
Six voice actors commented on the occasion, and their words were carried on no less than seven entertainment websites. The comments were as follows:
Daisuke Ono (Kodai): Fierce battle with Gatlantis. Dessler begins to move. The fate carried by Yamato. I felt that I could overcome the difficult journey from “everyone shouldering it.” It’s passionate. Don’t miss it.
Houko Kuwashima (Yuki): Chapter 4 already? We’re still in the middle of an endless journey. A variety of human drama develops in Chapter 4, finally including an expansion on the enemy side of the story. One person after another is in the spotlight, and it was very attractive even at the script-reading stage. And it’s fun and exciting to listen to the performances in this luxury ship (the recording studio). Every time I see the completed chapters, Yamato goes far beyond my imagination. I’m convinced it will happen this time as well!
Kenichi Suzumura (Shima): We’ve finally come to Chapter 4, and it’s exciting! Of course, the development has been dramatic so far, but the voltage goes higher. Various secrets are beginning to be revealed, and I’d like to write the details here, but…please see it in a theater and be surprised!
Kouki Uchiyama (Miru): I was a little nervous about joining the voice recording at the middle of the story, but everyone welcomed me warmly. Miru, who I play, is a Gatlantean so I used my imagination in various ways to make him different from an Earthling, and I completed it. Please enjoy!
Hiroshi Kamiya (Keyman): Yamato has had to deal with various difficulties, even more than in the previous work, and still has much to contend with. Keyman, the only Garmillan on the crew, is in action with strange and cool conviction. I hope you’ll watch this crew, which is prepared to get Yamato through every pinch!
Koichi Yamadera (Dessler): In 2199, there was nothing but pressure in playing the longed-for role of Space Battleship Yamato’s Dessler. The pressure is similar this time, but Dessler’s past and inner self are being depicted as never before, and I can’t stop trembling with excitement! I want to perform it carefully and boldly.
December 15: Video news
Also released on this day was official product news for the Chapter 4 home video release. The sleeve art is by Character Designer Nobuteru Yuuki (above) and the slipcase is by Makoto Kobayashi (below).
The disc will include episodes 11-14. The theater-exclusive edition will come with storyboard and script booklets for Episode 14.
December 15: Pepper Lunch collaboration resumes
Pepper Lunch, a fast-food chain specializing in steak, reopened its alliance with 2202 from December 15 through January 25, offering three different prize campaigns to their customers: 100 tickets to Chapter 4, 10 Blu-rays of Chapter 3, and 10 posters for Chapter 4 were all awarded to those who registered.
December 16: 1/2000 “Shining Ship” Andromeda display model
The second in this line of finely-crafted miniatures from Premium Bandai was released on this day, an Andromeda to sit next to the 1/2000 Yamato released in September. It includes internal lighting, multi-layered hull paint, rotating turrets, a standard display stand, and a jointed stand with mirrored panels. Its length is just over 8.5″ and it retails for about $60 US.
See a gallery of photos here.
December 16 & 23: Yamato 2199 rerun
Japan’s satellite channel Family Theater brought back Yamato 2199 for another round with two impressive marathons: Episodes 1-13 were run on the 16th with 14-26 following up on the 23rd.
December 19: Keisuke Masunaga on Twitter
Keisuke Masunaga made an unforgettable impression on Yamato fans when he redesigned characters and directed animation for the Playstation games in 1999 and onward. This recent photo of him and his drawing of Yuki Mori was posted on Twitter by OGGI Pictures.
Read a 2000 interview with Masunaga here
December 20: 1/1000 Achilles announced
The third flagship in the Andromeda line was announced for release in January, using the same mold as Andromeda and Aldebaran, but with Achilles markings and without the expensive light and sound “Movie Effect” features that boosted the price of the first two.
See Bandai’s product page for the kit here.
December 23: 1/1000 Garmillas model kit set
Revived from the Yamato 2199 lineup came this set of three Garmillas vessels. Previously packaged in two separate releases, this was the first time they were offered in a single package: a Destoria, Kelkapia, and Kripitera. The new box art is by Kia Asamiya.
December 23: Mecha Collection model kit #1
Andromeda became the first in the lineup of 2202 mini-kits. The original 1978 version was number 4 in the line of 30 Mecha Collection models that spanned all three TV series.
Andromedas both new and old are shown here to demonstrate how far modeling technology has come in 40 years.
See a gallery of finished kits here.
December 24: Yuki Mori’s birthday
Once again, the makers of Yamato 2202 Hero’s Record marked the day in their own style on Twitter. (Visit their Twitter page here.)
December 25: Hakata Yaki Yamato restaurant opens
The previous Yakitori Yamato restaurant (owned by exec producer Shoji Nishizaki) has been in operation for a few years, but is located in a distant Tokyo suburb, as reported in previous Yamatour travelogues (2013 and 2017). But on this day, a second location opened in the Shibuya district of Tokyo to give future Yamatour fans far fewer miles to travel. It also features a broader range of cuisine with recipes originating in the Hakata region (hence the name). Of course, future Yamatours will make this a destination.
Twitter user Warp Dimension posted this photos on opening day (above left), showing bouquets provided by voice actors and affiliated companies.
Twitter user Karapon posted a photo of Shochu wine named for Yuki and Kodai (above right).
December 25: 1/1000 Apollo Norm announced
After three versions of Andromeda, Bandai finally gave the world a release date for the first of the two Andromeda carrier variants when Apollo Norm was announced for March.
Find additional photos here.
December 25: Hobby Japan #584
Two pages of this issue were devoted to 2202 with one for stills from the trailer and the other for upcoming model kits. (Yamato will be No. 2 in the Mecha Collection line.)
December 25: 1/100 Yamato radio controlled model in action
This 3.3 meter-long custom Yamato model was run through its paces at the Battleship Yamato museum in Kure, Japan. See it on Youtube here.
December 26: 2202 Novelization volume II
This second volume by Yuka Minagawa followed the format of the first, just over 500 pages with a color foldout and 10 chapter illustrations by manga artist Michio Murakawa. The content of this volume goes through Episode 10, though it skips the main body of that episode and only includes the appearance of Dessler at the end. This brought the story even with Chapter 3 upon publication. If that continues to be the format, the third volume should roughly coincide with the release of Chapter 5.
Fans who bought their copy from Yamato Crew got a bonus trading card using Murakawa’s color foldout image (above right).
December 26: Story news
The official 2202 website published more information about Chapter 4 on this day with more video packaging and the following description of the content:
Chapter 4: Destiny Chapter
Dessler, the great leader of Garmillas, is alive! Abeldt Dessler, who once ruled the Garmillas Empire, is now serving under Zordar. He wishes for a rematch with Yamato. Yamato falls for Dessler’s scheme and is forced into a hard fight. But this is not Dessler’s only purpose. The comeback of the man who lost everything is about to begin…
Meanwhile, after overcoming the suspicion of a spy on board the ship and an encounter with the homeworld of the White Comet Gatlantis, Yamato finally reaches Telezart. Waiting there are a defense fleet lead by Goland and the ground battle division of Zabaibal . All of this is to meet Teresa and verify the true meaning of her message. But it is necessary to dispense with the stigma of the Wave-Motion Gun that Yamato placed upon itself…
Episode 11: The challenge of Dessler!
Episode 12: White Comet Empire – Yamato breaks through the blockade!
Episode 13: Telezart landing operation – beat the enemy missile fleet!
Episode 14: Discover the Zabaibal assault and Teresa
December 29-31: Comiket 93
Another Comiket closed out both the month and the year with fans offering up their latest doujinshi (fanzines) based on what has been learned about 2202. The banner above left was one of many that greeted fans in the causeway leading toward Tokyo Big Site, posted on Twitter by Mirai2199
This was also the release point for Character Designer Nobuteru Yuuki’s Ark of the Stars Retouch Picture Collection, Volume 2. Full color throughout, it runs 208 pages and was accompanied by bonus postcards if purchased from Yuuki’s Comiket booth.
Visit Nobuteru Yuuki’s Twitter page here.
See a gallery of Yuuki’s postcards and Yamato doujinshis sold at Comiket 93 here.
Also spotted in December
Makoto Kobayashi on Twitter
Assistant Director/mecha designer Makoto Kobayashi put some time in at his modeling bench in December, sharing with the world his modified Yamato. Chances are high that this (and many other recent creations) will be seen in his next volume of Hyperweapon, likely to be published this year.
Visit his Twitter page here.
See a photo collection here.
December was a very healthy month for Yamato fan art in multiple categories.
Model kits built and customized by fans ran the gamut from modified plastic kits to garage kits to custom builds. See the latest finds in this category here.
Yamato vs. Tokyo Tower
Twitter user Yamashita posted this image December 24, observing the scale of Yamato and Tokyo Tower.
Yamato 2199 German edition announced
Another country is about to be conquered in 2199’s gradual march around the globe. This time it’s Germany, which will get volume 1 (6 episodes) in March. At this point, every country that signs on gets us closer to an international version of 2202.