May 25: Chapter 5 premiere
Yamato 2202 Chapter 5, Purgatory Chapter, opened in 35 theaters where it would play for three weeks, with four of those theaters holding it over for a fourth week. Since it opened on a Friday rather than the customary Saturday, the “big” stage presentation with voice actors took place the next morning.
Instead, a smaller presentation was held at the Shinjuku Piccadilly Theater on Friday morning featuring three familiar faces: Director Nobuyoshi Habara, Writer Harutoshi Fukui, and Sound Director Tomohiro Yoshida. The photos above were published on Twitter by the Yamato 2202 Production Committee, and a transcript was published in June at the official 2202 website; it will be presented in our next report.
May 25: Chapter 5 theater Blu-ray
The theater-exclusive edition of Chapter 5 on Blu-ray arrived right on time with the extras fans have become accustomed to. The disc itself is the same as the edition scheduled for release to the general public on June 22. The bonus features consist of a Chapter 4 story digest, non-credit ending, trailers and commercials, and staff/cast commentary on two episodes.
See the 12-page insert booklet here.
Once again, slipcase art is by Makoto Kobayashi. The fleet lineup on the back, while using designs created for Yamato Resurrection, turned out to have more presence in 2202 than expected, and this is likely to continue into Chapters 6 and 7.
The exclusive bonus booklets both pertained to Episode 18 (the last on the disc); a 34-page script book by Harutoshi Fukui and a 180-page storyboard book by Kia Asamiya with cover art by Character Designer Nobuteru Yuuki.
May 25: Chapter 5 program book
The full-color 44-page program for Chapter 5 contained the customary fire hose of text and images with an introduction by Harutoshi Fukui, story synopses, character and mecha guides (a true highlight for this chapter), another gorgeous centerspread by the great Naoyuki Katoh (above right), and a new interview with Mecha Designer Junichiro Tamamori.
See the book from cover to cover here.
May 25: Theater handouts, week 1
This first set contained two animation layouts and one mecha design in a replica of an animation production envelope. There was also a bonus item…
May 25: Yamato 2202: Distant Journey game flyer
For the first time, a promotional flyer was included in the theater handout envelope. It announced the approach of an entirely new 2202 game called Distant Journey. There have been many Yamato mobile games, but this is the first browser game, which may increase its accessibility outside Japan.
What made the flyer a point of special interest for collectors was that there were three versions of it, each displaying different art on the back. All it takes is one look to realize that no matter how accessible the game proves to be, the artwork alone will be worth our attention.
May 25: Chapter 5 theater goods
Once again, a huge variety of products accompanied the release of the film, bringing new apparel, art and trinkets to delighted collectors. (Photos above posted on Twitter by Suihara and nishibe19701.) See the full lineup here.
May 25: Yamato 2202 Newspaper No. 3
Following the success of special-edition tabloid newspapers for Chapters 1 and 3, this one accompanied Chapter 5. Published by Sankei Sports (Sanspo) its 32 pages contained story info and interviews found nowhere else, along with a two-sided pullout centerspread.
See it from cover to cover here.
For the first time, this edition of the newspaper was available to overseas customers via Amazon.co.jp. It can be ordered here.
May 25: Chapter 6 news
Chapter 6: Regeneration Chapter is scheduled for release on November 2, containing episodes 19-22. A second key art image was released on this day to join the first. Both were available to those who purchased advance tickets. While the image at left was on the clear file shown earlier in this report, the image at right (painted by Naochika Morishita) was on a poster sold with advance tickets in theaters. See enlargements of both images at the end of this page.
And what, exactly, does the poster depict? The following story summaries laid it out:
From online articles:
It seems as if Yamato has sunk and Earth’s Wave-Motion fleet has fallen in a crushing blow from Gatlantis, but the new Yamato-class ship Galaxy sets sail as a ship that inherits their will. The army of Earth and the grand Garmillas fleet that once fought against Earth gather to take up a stance of desperate resistance against Gatlantis’ overwhelming numbers.
In order to carry out a ruthless operation designed by AI in this endless battle of colliding forces, Kato’s blackbird flies off in search of a place to die…
What is Galaxy‘s real mission, and what is the “G Plan” for human survival?
With Dessler’s whereabouts and the future of Yamato weighing on their minds, pay close attention to the fateful destiny awaiting Kodai and Yuki.
From the official 2202 site:
Yamato has sunk. Earth’s Wave-Motion fleet suffered a devastating blow and seems to have lost the battle against the mighty Gatlantis. But that was a mere overture for that unprecedented war that begins now.
The Yamato-class ship Galaxy sets off, a new ship that inherits Yamato‘s will. Beside her is the grand fleet of Garmillas that once fought against Earth. Against Gatlantis’ overwhelming numbers, the allied forces of Earth and Garmillas make their stand with a huge production increase in the time fault factory. It is a war of attrition between colliding forces.
In order to carry out a ruthless strategy planned by AI, Kato’s blackbird flies off in search of a place to die…
What is Galaxy‘s real mission, and what is the “G Plan” for human survival? What is the attitude of Dessler after returning to Garmillas? And has Yamato really sunk? Watch closely the fateful destiny awaiting Kodai and Yuki!
Episode 19: The successor of Yamato, the name is Galaxy
Episode 20: Cursed children of Gatlantis
Episode 21: Escape from a nightmare!!
Episode 22: Confronting fate!
May 25: Ichiban Kuji prints
Ichiban Kuji (Number One Lottery) is a continuous prize campaign run by Banpresto (part of the Bandai empire) through participating convenience stores. Since Chapter 1, this particular round offers fans the chance to win print-on-demand images from the anime. 20 new images get added after each Chapter and are available for several months thereafter. The Chapter 5 set will be available through the end of the year.
May 25: Hiroshi Kamiya Interview
A new interview was published on this day with Klaus Keyman’s voice actor Hiroshi Kamiya and Director Nobuyoshi Habara. Anime Anime published a shortened version (read it here), while nine separate online sources published the full piece, which you can read here.
May 25: Novelization vol. 3
This third volume by Yuki Minakawa has another impressive page count (just over 500) and ten chapters that take us up to the start of the Telezart landing operation (Episode 13). Michio Murakawa provided the cover and interior illustrations, which include a color foldout and a frontispiece for each chapter.
Order a copy from Amazon.co.jp here.
May 25: Hobby Japan #589
2202 scored four pages in this issue. The first two were devoted to the new Apollo Norm mini-kit and talked about a color conversion to Antares. (Decals for both were included.)
The second spread took another look at the Kalaklum and got caught up on recent news.
May 25: Promotional Meeting of Love, Episode 4
If you still had some Yamato energy left in you at the end of this premiere day, there was one more thing waiting: the fourth episode in this talk show series, which examined story mysteries in the 10-minute preview segment. Two more episodes were to come in June that went in-depth on Chapter 5.
See Episode 4 on Youtube here.
Left to right: Habara, Fukui, Takeshi Uchiyama (Miru), Koichi Yamadera (Dessler), Hiroshi Kamiya (Keyman),
Ayahi Takagaki (Saki Todo), Tomoyo Kurosawa (Mina Ichinose), Eriko Nakamura (Mikage Kiryu)
May 26: Day 2 Stage Greeting
The day after the premiere, media turned up to give some proper coverage to the customary stage greeting by cast and crew. Animate Times had the most in-depth report:
Yamato 2202 Chapter 5 Commemorative stage greetings! Big names look back at the voice recording
Report by Toshiyuki Furuse. See the original article here
A commemorative stage greeting for the premiere of Yamato 2202 Chapter 5 Purgatory Chapter was held at the Shinjuku Piccadilly Theater on Saturday, May 26. Taking their place on the stage were Koichi Yamadera (Abeldt Dessler), Hiroshi Kamiya (Klaus Keyman), Takeshi Uchiyama (Miru), Ayahi Takagaki (Saki Toudo), Tomoyo Kurosawa (Mina Ichinose), Eriko Nakamura (Mikage Kiryu), Director Nobuyoshi Habara, and Series Writer Harutoshi Fukui. They talked about moments related to the episode subtitle Purgatory. Ms. Nakamura served as the host.
Ayahi Takagaki (Saki Toudo), Tomoyo Kurosawa (Mina Ichinose)
Mr. Kamiya reacts to the term “elder” from Ms. Kurosawa
The first story about the production came from Director Habara: “It was hell rather than purgatory.” When he invoked the title Purgatory, the venue was filled with laughter. Next, Ms. Takagaki and Ms. Kurosawa, who both appear for the first time, talked about the joy of performing with many senior voice actors.
“I was so caught up in the cool of my elders (seniors)…I still watched their performances even when my turn was over.”
Hearing that, Mr. Kamiya said, “Which elder am I?” and Ms. Kurosawa got flustered. Ms. Nakamura responded, “Please tell me where the line is!” which worsened this great pinch!
Ms. Kurosawa countered well with, “Everyone looks so young.” The audience greatly enjoyed this conversation.
Takeshi Uchiyama (Miru), Hiroshi Kamiya (Klaus Keyman)
The audience burst into laughter at Mr. Yamadera unintended gag!
Mr. Uchiyama, who first appeared in Chapter 4, also talked about the voice recording. He was sitting next to Kenichi Suzumura (Shima) at the time. He shouted “warp, warp” loudly, but also showed his reliability as a senior when he explained the concepts and relationships of Yamato to Mr. Uchiyama.
Mr. Kamiya talked about the difficulty of performing the character of Keyman, and the pleasure of interacting with seniors, especially Koichi Yamadera. Yamadera responded, “I also enjoyed it, though I sometimes felt like a grandfather debating with my grandchild.” When this comment popped out, the audience laughed loudly.
It was pointed out that Yamadera also played Dessler when he was younger (in Yamato 2199), and when Director Habara heard his voice while looking at the monitor, he didn’t seem to understand that it was Yamadera’s voice. “I had to work hard to do it back then,” Yamadera said. Mr. Fukui asked, “Does Dessler come easier for you now, then?” Again, the theater filled with laughter and applause at a gag Mr. Yamadera did not intend.
Finally, Kamiya, Yamadera, and Director Habara gave a message to the audience on behalf of everyone on stage.
Hiroshi Kamiya: “Thank you very much for coming today. Keyman finally started to take action…though he’s currently sitting in a cell. Up until now, his feelings have been blurred, and I still can’t tell you where he goes from here. I’m really looking forward to it, so thank you for your continued support! Thank you very much for today!”
Koichi Yamadera: “I’m in the same place as Mr. Kamiya. I don’t know what lies ahead for Dessler. Anyway, I’m excited about what’s going to happen next, like all the voice actors. I pay attention to the fact that I work with truly amazing actors and a wonderful staff. Thank you for coming today and for your support in the future. [As Dessler]: You have my extreme gratitude. Thank you very much!”
Director Habara: “Thank you for watching. You may have noticed in the last of the credits that one of our fellow staff members passed away during the production, Art Director Hiroki Takagi. He was an animation director who really liked Yamato and devoted his life to Yamato. I think he would have been really happy to have watched this movie with everyone. The people up here love Yamato the same as you, and I think of you as friends. There’s still half a year to go, but please show me an energetic smile by all means! I’ll be waiting for you! Thank you very much for today!”
Left: a poster at the Shinjuku Piccadilly, signed by all the guests. Photo posted on Twitter by Mat Hama.
After their stage greeting at Shinjuku, some members of the group traveled to two other theaters in the Tokyo area.
Above: In the guest room at Movix Tsukuba.
Below: Welcome board at the Movix Kawaguchi guest room
Photos posted on Twitter by the 2202 Production Committee
May 28: V-Storage Interview
It took a while, but the interview spotlight was finally turned on our favorite villains when V-Storage (Bandai’s home video promo magazine) interviewed Hideaki Tezuka (Zordar) and Yuko Kaida (Sabera). Want to hear what they have to say? Damn right you do!
Read the interview here.
May 30: Yamato 2199 home video from Funimation
The month ended with a nice little zinger from here at home when Funimation revealed the deluxe packaging for their limited edition Yamato 2199 home video set, part 1 of which is due out July 31.
Also spotted in May
Makoto Kobayashi on Twitter
Kobayashi posted new art and photos from his model shop that gave us another look at the Nue Balgray he created for Scale Aviation magazine.
See the gallery here.
Modelers went into overdrive in May. That’s the only way to describe such an inspired output.
See a GIGANTIC gallery here.
The cosplay world gave us dueling Yuki Moris. Who wore it better? See the photos here.
Digging into a very obscure corner of Yamato world, we have these photos posted on Twitter by Aly2203. It’s a workbook showcasing a variety of fonts all using the words Saraba Space Battleship Yamato as a subject. Aly2203 remembered encountering this book in junior high and was amazed to find it in a used bookstore.
Twitter user Kuro2202 shared this photo of previously-unknown artifacts found at an uncle’s house. They cover Yamato news from the original production years, but their formatting doesn’t match anything from the official fan club. The likely explanation is that they were circulated by a private club, but until more evidence emerges we can only speculate.
Pros on Twitter
At left, a photo posted by artist Kia Asamiya from the commentary recording for the Chapter 5 Blu-ray. He participated in one episode and Koichi Yamadera (Dessler) was there for another. L to R: Harutoshi Fukui, Nobuyoshi Habara, Yamadera, and Asamiya.
At right is a behind-the-scenes image posted by the Yamato 2202 Production Committee on May 20: voice actor Hiroshi Kamiya (Keyman) at one of his photo shoots for the promo campaign.
At left, a photo posted May 16 by singer Yuya Hoshino, who performed Crimson Red, the end title for Chapter 4. He was grateful to see that Director Nobuyoshi Habara had taken time out of his busy schedule to catch one of Hoshino’s live performances. “From now on,” he posted, “I will continue to sing Crimson Red with care!”
At right, co-writer Hideki Oka (kneeling in left FG) with his homies from the live-action world, all taking in a screening of Chapter 5. Posted on May 27 by Takeshi Nakazawa.
Behind the scenes
Staff member Satomi Moriya posted these photos on Twitter May 19 to help promote the TV special that broadcast on that day. They were taken earlier, on the day narration was recorded for the show, with a Habara sketch on the studio whiteboard.
Kia Asamiya posted this image of an animation layout on May 31, stating how impressed he is by the combination of acting and art that brings this classic character to life. He said that he’d only gotten a chance to draw Dessler for the end titles of the 2199 TV broadcast (the source of this layout), and felt he couldn’t do him justice.
We close out with one last look into the modeling world. At left, a photo posted May 22 by Mecha Designer Junichiro Tamamori of the one-of-a-kind 3D printed Cosmo Tiger II used for drawing reference in the animation studio. (We’ve seen it before, but this is the best pic so far.)
At right, a photo from May 23 posted by Kikyouagroup. After the Shizuoka Hobby Show, Bandai’s “top secret” prototype of the Space Battleship Galaxy turned up in a theater lobby, Namba Parks Cinema in Osaka. The cover was taken off after the premiere of Chapter 5, so look for the full reveal in our next report!