January 19: 1/1000 Achilles model kit
In a break with tradition after the release of Andromeda and Aldebaran, Achilles was not sold through regular sources. Instead, it was an exclusive Premium Bandai product, only available online. Essentially a reissue of Andromeda in differently-colored plastic, it was sold with custom decals but without the light-and-sound package. Thus, its price was about half that of its predecessors. At this point, it is unknown if the kit will be available in wider release.
See Bandai’s home page for the model here.
See a photo gallery here
January 20: Chapter 4 preview
One of the most anticipated moments in the buildup to a new chapter is the chance for everyone around the world to see the first ten minutes of footage. This one didn’t disappoint, giving all of us our first look at Dessler back in action against Yamato. See it on Youtube here.
On the same day, this preview was offered in another form, part of a half-hour TV special titled Just before launch! Special program of Love. It also included a story digest of chapters 1-3 (see it here), an interview with voice actor Koichi Yamadera (Dessler) and a few other tidbits. It was broadcast three times (January 20-22) on BS11 and Tokyo MX.
January 20: All-night marathon screening
This was an event designed for truly hardy fans: a marathon screening of Chapters 1-4 in succession, held at the Marunouchi Piccadilly theater in Tokyo. All 14 episodes would take almost six hours to watch non-stop. Ticket prices were close to $60 US and the event started at 9:30pm.
Three guest speakers took the stage to thank everyone: Writer Harutoshi Fukui, Director Nobuyoshi Habara, Sound supervisor Tomohiro Yoshida, and MC Osamu Kobayashi. Presumably, they were all home in their beds when the audience finally rose from their seats, bleary-eyed, at 4 or 5 am the next morning.
January 21: Media coverage
With the return of Dessler came the return of beloved voice actor Koichi Yamadera. Mantan Web was the first to publish an interview with him, which can be read here. Chapter 4 was now just six days away, and the media floodgate was about to open.
January 22: Promotional Meeting of Love, Episode 0
Another tradition resumed on this day, that of counting down the last week to a premiere with daily promo videos on Youtube. In this one, MC Osamu Kobayashi teamed up with Nobuyoshi Habara and Harutoshi Fukui. They started with an up-close introduction to Skymark’s Yamato Jet, which included the reveal of a new custom clear file that is available only to passengers.
From there, they “warp-jumped” to a mini-café called Cats and Dogs to chew the fat over some upcoming merchandise and discuss the recording of the new theme song.
See it on Youtube here.
January 23: Promotional Meeting of Love, Episode 1
This was the first regular episode of the series, which moved to Harutoshi Fukui’s home theater studio and added voice actor Eriko Nakamura to the lineup. The topic was a look back at Chapter 3.
See it on Youtube here.
January 23: Gigazine interview
With each subsequent chapter, new members of the staff and cast have come forward to take part in prerelease interviews. In this round, Sound Supervisor Tomohiro Yoshida stepped up to discuss the intricacies of his work in crafting soundtracks.
Read the interview here.
January 24: Media coverage
Online interviews started flowing on this day from three sources. Tomohiro Yoshida’s third interview turned up at Akiba Souken while Animate Times and Anime Hack introduced us to another newcomer, Kato’s voice actor Yoshimasa Hosoya.
Read the Hosoya interviews here.
Read the Yoshida interview here.
January 24: CD Single
This was the second 2202 single to be published, after the first arrived with Chapter 3 in October 2017. This 6-track disc contains three songs with vocal and non-vocal versions of each. The songs are You, Petal (end title for Chapter 3) by Shino Arima, Crimson Red (end title for Chapter 4) by Yuya Hoshino, and the newly-recorded version of the Yamato theme (opening title for Chapter 4) by Isao Sasaki.
January 24: Original Soundtrack Volume 1
Filled with a glorious 53 minutes of newly-recorded content, this disc should be on the shelf of every Yamato music collector. Naturally, most of the pieces are rooted in Farewell to Yamato and Yamato 2, but there are some new compositions by Akira Miyagawa and fresh versions of pieces originally created for the classic Symphonic Suite Yamato. The CD booklet contains an interview with Miyagawa and Director Nobuyushi Habara, which can be read here.
The track listing is as follows:
1. Space Battleship Yamato 2202 · New Overture
2. White comet main theme
4. Hero’s Hill
5. Cosmo wave
6. Remembering others (scat)
7. Tsubasa ~ fading life
8. Strenuous Yamato
9. Yamato faces the sunset
10. Teresa’s theme
11. Salute to Yamato
12. Kodai and bronze statue of Okita
13. Great love (Obe & Fl)
14. White comet theme (Variation 1)
15. Uneasy Yamato
16. A sense of urgency
17. White comet theme (brass)
18. Approaching star
19. Memory of Okita
20. Hope for tomorrow
21. Tsubasa ~ fading life ~ Piano solo
22. Ark of Perdition
23. Hands waving farewell
24. Great Emperor
January 24: Promotional Meeting of Love, Episode 2
This episode contained the second part of the look back at Chapter 3, focusing on the subtleties of the relationships between characters. See it on Youtube here.
January 25: Promotional Meeting of Love, Episode 3
In this episode, the gang took a detailed look at the content of the 2-minute trailer for Chapter 4, breaking it down to even figure out who got the most screen time. See it on Youtube here.
January 25: Media coverage
With two more days to go until the premiere, another wave of online interviews was published; one more from Kato’s voice actor Yoshimasa Hosoya and four with Kodai’s voice actor Daisuke Ono.
Read the Hosoya interview here.
Read the Ono interviews here.
January 25: Mecha Collection Kalaklum announced
No new model kits were released in January, but the next one in Bandai’s Mecha Collection min-kit series was announced: the Gatlantis Kalaklum giant battleship. Scheduled for April 30, it will be available in two versions: a single all-green model and a double set with the grey and white command variant. It will be in scale with the Mecha Collection Andromeda (released in December ’17), which will give it a length of 6.3” – the biggest mini model ever?
January 25: Hobby Japan #585
This issue of Hobby Japan devoted two pages to recent news with new photos of the forthcoming Apollo Norm and some of the mecha that was about to appear in Chapter 4.
January 25: Premium Bandai products announced
Premium Bandai, the foremost maker of high-end Yamato products, announced new ones on this day for release in March: iPhone cases and business card holders made of strong but lightweight duralumin. Two variations will be available for each, co-designed by motorcycle parts manufacturer Gild Design.
January 26: Promotional Meeting of Love, Episode 4
In this, the last episode before the premiere, everyone reviewed and commented on the 10-minute preview, followed by the same Koichi Yamadera interview seen in the earlier TV special (you MUST see him speak as Dessler). See it on Youtube here.
Episode 5 in this series contained spoilers, so it was held back until the end of Chapter 4’s first week in theaters. See it on Youtube (at your own risk) here.
Incidentally, all of these promotional videos going back to Chapter 1 are still viewable on the official 2202 website here.
January 26: Media coverage
The last day before the premiere was the perfect time to be a Koichi Yamadera fan. Three new interviews with the voice of Dessler could be found at multiple online news sources. All can be read here.
January 26: Akira Yamamoto action figure
Bandai’s SH Figuarts division rolled out this much-anticipated figure in scale with their equally-posable Yuki Mori released in August 2017. Yamamoto came with multiple options, including four different faces, five different sets of hands, and a removeable flight helmet.
Find more photos here.
January 26: Crossing the streams
This photo of the marquee at Cinema Sunshine in Ikebukuro, Tokyo was posted on Twitter by Shibuya Favor. It captured what has to be a rare moment in cinema history: Yamato and Star Wars playing simultaneously at the same theater. Chapter 4 would premiere the next day.