Billboard in Akihabara, posted May 3 on Twitter by Takioh 13
Explosive! That’s the best word to sum up May 2018, when a whole new wave of Yamato fever burst out into the world during the final runup to Chapter 5. Live events, product releases, promo videos, our first glance at Chapter 6, and a lot more filled the month with mucho explosivity. Settle in for the recap…
April 13: Scale Aviation Vol. 121, May issue
We start with a jump backward into April for something that was missed in Report 21. 2202 Assistant Director/Mecha Designer Makoto Kobayashi has created articles for this magazine in the past, and a new one focused on his mysterious repaint of the Apollo Norm in Garmillas colors. This model, named Neu Balgray, also appears on the video slipcase for Chapter 5, which suggests that we may be seeing it onscreen at some point.
Kobayashi also wrote this passage of text to accompany the images. Make of it what you will.
Our planet Earth has fallen to ruin from a distant song, and visitors from different worlds visit a place that has become a wasteland on one side. These visitors dig up ruins and stones buried underground, linking them with the appearance of Earth in another day. However, they don’t know that the actual records left by humans are imaginary stories based on fantasy. The visitors guess at a history of Earth which becomes a fantasy world that did not exist.
The red hull of Balgray creaks as the ship plunges through a sea of clouds and changes course. Klaus and Yamamoto find the resolve to increase speed.
“I don’t like it.”
Although it is urgent, the captain’s dissatisfaction is plain to see.
“This work is also to preserve a friendship,” says the bearded ambassador says dismissively. “Be practical, Fomto Berger.”
“I don’t care. We carry the emblem of our country and that of Japan as well. This is how I’m going to help them. Prepare the deck crew to sortie.”
Such an urgent request in the midst of a live ammunition exercise?
“This is also an expression of friendship.”
“Do we need such a thing?”
“We have a common enemy. There is no reason to refuse.”
Is it God, or an imaginary master? We create our world. Prepare the blacksmith to return everything to the beginning when it fails. You must have confidence in creation when creating a world.
This magazine can be ordered here.
May 5: Radio Suite: Space Battleship Yamato
One of the most revered traditions of the original Yamato production years was a strong presence on radio with frequent appearances by staff & cast members, and especially the live four-hour late night radio dramas for the feature films. On May 5, that tradition was revived by FM station Clover Radio located in Saitama Prefecture, covering the cities of Asaka, Wako, Shiki, and Niiza.
This 4-hour special program was all about Yamato music, broadcast from 2 to 6pm on May 5. Hosted by DJ “Apple,” the content was provided by manga artist Michio Murakawa, “Fukushige Infinite Music Study” (host of the Yamato Music website) and “Andro Umeda” (self-described soundtrack lover). They even had a celebrity guest in for conversation: anime auteur Hideki Anno, another lifetime Yamato fan.
As enjoyable as the show was, peppered with beloved favorites and eye-opening rarities alike, the best part was the online response; on the broadcast day, the social media hashtag for the show trended first nationwide.
Each of the four hours had its own topic:
Hour 1: Yamato origin point, pilot film music and series music through 2202
Hour 2: Memories of Yamato sound media with Hideaki Anno
Hour 3: Comparing past theme songs and insert songs, ED songs, originals and remakes
Hour 4: Listener requests and Yamato 2202 Chapter 5 promo
Afterward, each hour was rerun separately (twice per day) from May 8-11 at 6am and 7pm.
Description from the Clover Radio website:
This year it is forty years since the big hit movie Farewell to Yamato. While we wait for the theatrical release of Yamato 2202 Chapter 5 on May 25, a four-hour special program devoted to the music of Space Battleship Yamato will be broadcast on FM station Clover Radio in Saitama Prefecture, with net delivery to Yamato music fans nationwide. We’ll look back at the monumental achievement of this music that has affected a wide range of generations, from nostalgic pieces to the latest works with guest commentary and listener requests.
DJ Apple is the main personality behind anime and tokusatsu programs on Clover Radio. Guests will include manga artist Michio Murakawa, who participates in Yamato 2202, and Mr. Fushige who hosts the Yamato Music website. There are more than 1000 Yamato songs old and new with rich and unusual sound sources. We’ll hear and compare many different versions of famous themes. We expect to examine various rare pieces and discuss the new work Yamato 2202. There has never before been a four-hour program devoted to Yamato music, and we propose to fully promote the appeal of Space Battleship Yamato.
Three very lucky listeners won these Michio Murakawa originals, photos of which were posted on Twitter by DJ Apple May 21.
May 5: Revival screenings
Over six consecutive days, Chapters 1-4 could be seen again at the MOVIX theater in Tsukuba (Ibaraki Prefecture). Chapters 1 & 2 were shown May 5, 7, and 9 interspersed with 3 & 4 on May 6, 8, and 10. Parked outside the theater were the two 3-meter long display models of Yamato and Andromeda in their perpetual standoff.
They were photographed many times by fans and stayed in residence through the premiere of Chapter 5. See a photo gallery here.
There were additional chances to see Chapters 1-4 at the AEON Cinema in Kanazawa (Ishikawa Prefecture) from May 11-24.
May 7: Hero’s Record campaign
The Yamato 2202 mobile game Hero’s Record launched a new social media campaign on this day; anyone who retweeted the game’s hashtag was entered into a prize lottery for 25 clear files autographed by voice actors.
Visit the Hero’s Record Twitter page (which is loaded with more promo art) here.
May 8-14: Lawson campaign
Lawson convenience stores announced a forthcoming mini-wave of 2202 merch from a manufacturer named Loppi: a life-size spandex Yuki Mori cushion (measuring 5’7″), a golf ball & marker set, and a stainless steel mug. All products are scheduled to ship into Lawson stores in July. Dessler himself had something to say about this; from May 8-14, he could be heard on Lawson PAs announcing the products for preorder and reminding shoppers to pick up their advance tickets for Chapter 5. The announcement was read by the genuine voice actor, Koichi Yamadera.
This advance photo of a Yuki cushion seated at Yakitori Yamato restaurant with one of the mugs was posted on Twitter by Yamato Crew on May 21.
May 9: Yamato 2202 debut on Funimation
Something finally went the way it should. Over a year after its debut in theaters, an English version of Yamato 2202 arrived on Funimation only a week after Yamato 2199 wrapped up on May 2. Since it is now known that 2202 will not be finished in Japan until early 2019, it can be expected that the stream will go into hiatus at some point.
May 10-13: Shizuoka Hobby Show
The biggest modeling event of the year kicked off a new season of hobby shows. Bandai gave Yamato 2202 a very prominent spot in its display space, the highlights of which were a Gatlantis warpout diorama and a “top secret” prototype model. Other booths showed off Yamato garage kits and finished models.
The best way to experience it is to see it for yourself, so dig into a photo gallery here.
See a report on Dengeki Hobby Web here.
See photos by friend-of-the-website Bryan Powell here.
May 11: Showa 40 Man magazine
This issue of the magazine “for Men Born in 1965” sported the exact sort of cover image that captivates anime fans of the Yamato generation. The headline Past Future fronted for a series of essays about forward-looking SF that fed our imaginations in the 70s and 80s. Superfan Ryusuke Hikawa contributed a Yamato essay that can be read here.
Chapter 5 was advertised on the back cover (above right).
This magazine can be ordered here.
May 15: Ship’s Log issue 21
This 32-page issue of the Yamato Crew Premium Fan Club magazine overflowed with Chapter 5 coverage: 3 pages of stills, 10 pages of design work, an interview with art director Yoshio Tanioka (read it here), another with Hiroshi Kamiya & Nobuyoshi Habara (watch for both in a future update), and the regular features that make this a vital reference point for fans until some serious books start to appear. (Sorry, subscriptions are only available to Japanese addresses.)
May 16: Hero’s Record update
A big update for the game was announced to take place on May 21, and this new set of character images was released online. Get a better look at them here.
May 17: Chapter 5 advance screening
The first audience for Chapter 5 saw it on this day at the Shinjuku Piccadilly Theater in Tokyo. The following event reports appeared later in the month…
Event Report: Chapter 5 Purgatory Chapter advance screening
Starting May 25, Chapter 5 of Yamato 2202 will be shown in 35 theaters nationwide. On May 17, fans attended an advance screening at the Shinjuku Piccadilly hosted by Eriko Nakamura (Mikage Kiryu) and featuring Nobuyoshi Habara (director), Harutoshi Fukui (writer), Houko Kuwishima (Yuki Mori) and Tomoyo Kurosawa (Mina Ichise).
For the first greeting, Ms. Kuwashima imitated Kochi Yamadera’s line as Dessler when she said, “It’s been a long time…gentlemen of Yamato.” The atmosphere was full of tension and expectations over the chance to see Chapter 5 before anyone else.
She continued on the topic of voice recording. “Will Yuki get a turn? My heart pounds every time. The script came! There’s a turn, a word, and three lines in the second half! It has that feeling.” She went on to confess her unavoidable feelings about the situation for the character we’ve come to see as the quintessential heroine. “It’s an ensemble drama, so even though it’s Yuki, it’s hard to show everyone. We do our best.”
Hearing the words of her senior Yamato actor, Ms. Kurosawa, who appears as the new character Mina Ichise in Chapter 5 said, “I don’t want to be forgotten, so I’ll do my best to turn on my seniors.” Laughter filled the hall.
Ms. Kurosawa introduced Mina Ichise as the first female navigator. “I think she’s a very responsible girl. She’s also serious and stubborn. She’s only twenty years old, so she’s still a bit green. The sound director said ‘She’s an eloquent speaker, so don’t hold back. Turn on your seniors.’ But that wasn’t my plan…” (laughs)
Mr. Fukui pointed out that, “It looked good to me from the top.”
Ms. Kuwashima responded, “There haven’t been many girls of this type yet, so it was a rough feeling.”
This new character is supplemented by a new design that hasn’t been seen before. Regarding her uniform, Mr. Habara said, “The color has changed, and the black base contains green lines.”
In addition, Ms. Kurosawa felt a sense of negotiation when she performed the character. “Does she speak this way because she’s familiar, or is this how someone with that job title speaks?” To familiarize herself with this viewpoint and a sense of distance, she researched the actual Maritime Self-Defense Force. She mentioned that she started to read the MSDF blog, and Mr. Fukui responded, “This is clearly going in a strange direction.”
When Ms. Kuwashima was asked what her character is currently worried about, she said, “Entering the palace because she doesn’t want Kodai to leave her behind, but can’t tell him. Of the men, I like Hijikata since I’m fascinated by all those important points. Sanada would be next, and then Yamanami. I look forward to every chapter, because they have a lot of scenes coming.” To which Ms. Kurosawa agreed, “I remember Yamanami in Chapter 5 having a line that took my breath away, and then I went home saying, “Yamanami, Yamanami…”
But, while this may show a taste for the austere, she went on. “But thinking with my head, Daisuke Shima is one possibility. I like short-haired, mischievous people. Lots of people my age (early 20s) have long hair, so having someone like Shima conversely so neatly trimmed makes me sigh,” she said, casting her vote for Shima. This excited everyone in the audience.
At the end of the talk, everyone was asked about the highlights of Chapter 5, so we’ll present them here. Also, Director Habara announced that the TV broadcast of Yamato 2202 will start in the fall, which got big applause.
Houko Kuwashima (Yuki Mori): “Various human relationships are depicted this time. The music brings wonderful feelings to your heart, and Kia Asamiya’s storyboard for Episode 18 is excellent. (Chapter 5 consists of episodes 15-18.) There are many highlights, so I’d like you to see it in a theater many times and I’ll be happy if you can spread the good word to give it a boost.”
Tomoyo Kurosawa (Mina Ichise): “I was nervous today, but I’m glad that they’ve been so kind to me as a newcomer. I think Ichise probably experienced the planet bomb attack at the age of 16. I want to play her as taking responsibility for her life after having such a significant experience at a young age. I’ll be careful with that from now on.”
Harutoshi Fukui (writer): “There is so much happening in this chapter that I can safely say the whole thing is a highlight. The first half has a dense amount of personal human conflict, and the second half is a huge battle spectacle. The guest voice actors who appear in the first half are very extravagant. Also, this one is a complete package including the trailer. Please look forward to that.”
Nobuyoshi Habara (director): “Chapter 5 continues right from the end of Chapter 4, when we’re on Dessler. Also, we’ve set it up so there are many parts you might not understand just by watching it once, so it would be helpful if you can come several times.”
L to R: Harutoshi Fukui, Eriko Nakamura, Houko Kuwashima, Tomoyo Kurosawa, Nobuyoshi Habara
Houko Kuwashima, Tomoyo Kurosawa, and other women of the cast on stage!
Yamato 2202 Chapter 5 advance screening report
From V-Storage. See the original post here.
An advance screening for Yamato 2202 Chapter 5 was held at the Shinjuku Piccadilly Theater on Thursday, May 17. Prior to the screening, Director Nobuyoshi Habara appeared on stage along with Series Writer Harutoshi Fukui, Houko Kuwashima as Yuki Mori, and for the first time Tomoyo Kurosawa who plays a new character, Mina Ichase. The host for their stage greeting was Eriko Nakamura, who plays Mikage Kiryu.
The guests shared pairs of “Androglasses” modeled on the bow of Andromeda and 3D-printed by the 2202 production team.
The photo above left was published on Twitter by Tetsuya Watanabe, a staff member at Xebec. Only three pairs were made,
and there are no plans to release them commercially. The photo of Houko Kuwashima at right was published on her Twitter page.
Who is the new character, Mina Ichase?
Great applause greeted the five guests as they took the stage. Ms. Kuwashima started by giving Dessler’s famous line, “It’s been a long time, gentlemen of Yamato.” Ms. Kurosawa, participating in this event for the first time, greeted fans with a nervous look. Director Habara and Mr. Fukui talked about their hard work during the production, making a strong appeal for Chapter 5.
Ms. Kurosawa was asked about the new character she plays, Mina Ichase.
“She has a strong sense of responsibility, and is very strong and stubborn. She’s only 19 years old, so she’s still quite green.” She also said, “This is a girl with a mouth on her. Sound Director Tomohiro Yoshida told me not to hesitate, and go hard at my seniors, which was not my plan.” Her laugh invited more from the audience.
Photo posted on Twitter by Eriko Nakamura
A Yamato open questionnaire was held for Ms. Kurosawa
From here, an open questionnaire was held since this was Ms. Kurosawa’s first time. [Note: it was her asking the questions.] Her first question was, “Is there anything I should keep in mind about the terms and phenomena that appear in the world of Yamato?”
Ms. Kuwashima gave examples, such as the captain’s intonation and terms like outer space. “It’s important to get confirmation, since the wrong impression is dangerous,” she lectured. Listening in, Mr. Fukui said, “That was just boring trivia for a long time.” (Laugh)
As the questions continued, he asked her if she knew Yamato, and she revealed a surprising incident. “Yes, of course. The song is vary famous. It was a strange recognition that I somehow knew the lyrics. After they made me sing it, I saw the preview and it was exactly the song I knew.”
She said that she developed enthusiasm from studying the blogs of those who work for the MSDF and was looking forward to more. With this revealed, Mr. Fukui said, “This is clearly going in a strange direction.”
Host Eriko Nakamura
“I’m studying them because I’m not familiar with the names of various posts,” she answered seriously, also mentioning the strong relationship between the chief navigator and the communications officer. “Unfortunately, the navigator and the communications chief were on bad terms in the original Space Battleship Yamato, especially in Yamato 2.” She laughed, and a roar of laughter rose from the audience.
As the end of the stage greeting grew closer, discussion about favorite characters bounced between Ms. Kuwashima and Ms. Kurosawa. The event closed with messages to the fans who were waiting for the screening to start.[This article concluded with the same messages as the first]
Habara’s announcement of 2202‘s fall TV premiere was carried by multiple news outlets: Anime News Network, Livedoor, Mainichi, Anime Eiga, Anime Recorder, Animate Times, and Dengeki Hobbyweb. Click on those names for coverage.