November opened with a Wave-Motion sized BANG when Chapter 6, Regeneration Chapter, premiered in theaters with all the bells and whistles we’ve become used to. New products, new events, and the first word on what the finale has in store with Chapter 7. Here’s the full rundown for the month…
October 30: Star Blazers/Yamato magazine issue 1
We begin with a mini-step backward for the release of this subscription-only treasure trove. After the enormous issue 0 (July) it was unclear if the expanded page count would be a once-only, but this issue locked it in as the new format. The main feature this time was “Melancholy of Dessler,” a 24-page collection of articles and commentaries on the complex history of everyone’s favorite dictator from the early days through to the modern era.
12 pages were devoted to the art of Chapter 6, and in addition to a few more interviews and articles, the last major feature of the issue was the complete script and storyboard for 2202 Episode 3. The issue totals 100 pages and is available only by subscription from Yamato Crew to fan club members with Japan addresses. It will continue on a quarterly schedule for the foreseeable future.
November 1: Promotional Meeting of Love Episode 3
Continuing the video series started on October 29, this episode contained a discussion of the ten-minute preview (first half of Episode 19) with Director Nobuyoshi Habara, Writer Harutoshi Fukui, and MCs Eriko Nakamura (Mikage Kiryu) and Osamu Kobayashi.
See it on Youtube here.
November 1: Mecha Collection set No. 7: Earth Flagship Andromeda-class set
With both the battleship and carrier variants previously released, Bandai put appropriately-colored parts for all five of the AAA-class ships in one box and added a large display stand to accomodate the finished models.
See more product photos at Hobby Search here.
November 2: Chapter 6 premiere
Yamato 2202 Chapter 6, Regeneration Chapter, premiered on this day in 35 theaters, many of which would run the film for four weeks. Consisting of Episodes 19-22, it continued the climactic Battle of Saturn far beyond its original scope with multiple rounds back and forth. If your wish was to see this famous battle played out for all it’s worth, that wish came true.
See our synopsis of Chapter 6 here.
A stage greeting was held at the Shinjuku Piccadilly Theater in the early evening, attended by Director Nobuyoshi Habara and Writer Harutoshi Fukui in a chat with MC Osamu Kobayashi. (Photo above posted on Twitter by S Meijin.)
Five days after the premiere, the official 2202 website enthusiastically dropped the following news item:
Chapter 6 is a big hit!! #1 screen average!! 7th place in weekend box office!!
Chapter 6 opened Friday, November 2 and is now a big hit. It had a small-scale nationwide premiere in 35 theaters, but it put up a great fight to reach 7th place in its first weekend (Saturday the 3rd and Sunday the 4th). Of the new films released that weekend, it ranked third behind Venom and I Dropped My Smartphone with a screen average of Y1,218,531 [about $12,000 USD] and won first place in the TOP 15 box office rankings.
(The screen average is the total box office divided by the number of screenings, representing the box office income per theater.)
November 2: Chapter 6 Blu-ray
The theater-exclusive Blu-ray came with two bonus booklets that contained the script and storyboards for Episode 20. That episode also got a staff/cast commentary on the disc along with Episode 21. The sleeve art (above) and storyboard booklet cover art (below right) were by Character Designer Nobuteru Yuuki. The image depicts the “original Sabera” from which all clones were derived.
The disc came with its own booklet (See it from cover to cover here), a story digest, non-credit ending, and a trailer/commercial collection for Chapter 6.
November 2: Chapter 6 program book
The full-color 44-page program book for Chapter 6 contained prodigious art and story material, interviews with cast members, and a new interview with Art Director Yoshio Tanioka (to be translated in a future update).
Above right is an ad for the next novelization (Volume 4) which does not yet have a release date.
See the program book from cover to cover here
November 2: Chapter 6 theater goods
The selection for this round brought back all the hits and added several new ones, most especially in the realm of apparel from Under Armour. Yamato Crew also added a couple of “premium” mail-order items for fan club members only. (Photo above left from the Shinjuku Piccadilly gift shop, posted on Twitter by Yasumi Aseranai.)
See the full product lineup here.
November 2: Theater handouts, week 1
Even if you didn’t have wads of cash to drop on souvenirs, theaters had a free one waiting at the door for everyone: the first in a new round of art images in a facsimile production envelope. A new set would be given away for each of the four weeks the film was in theaters. (Photo above left posted on Twitter by Sousui.)
November 2: Chapter 7 promotion
Advance tickets for Chapter 7 went on sale in theaters with the premiere of Chapter 6, accompanied by posters and clear files as incentive items. The title was announced as New Star Chapter, which can be amusingly interpreted as Nova Chapter, but let’s not jump to conclusions about that just yet.
The promotional image above left (see a larger version in our last report) includes the following slogan: 40 years after Farewell to Yamato, overturning all expectations of the truth at the last. In this case, “last” is synonymous with “finale.” (Japanese fans have been using the English word “last” in reference to the finale of Farewell for decades.)
It gets even better. Bandai announced the general video release for April 26, and that a limited-edition “clear” version of the Mecha Collection Yamato model would be sold in theaters on opening day.
Finally, the official 2202 website gave us our first clue about the story:
Chapter 7, New Star Chapter
A devil’s choice is forced on Keyman. However, a miraculous chain of events takes “the edge” in an unexpected direction. With the only opportunity in 1,000 years to break the despair caused by Zordar…the last battle begins. Yamato charges at the center of the city empire to capture the power of “Golem” and destroy Gatlantis. The flash of the Transit Wave-Motion Gun burns the city empire, and limitless gunfire pierces Yamato. In order for human beings to remain human, the Soldiers of Love must now “choose” in order to decide the fate of the universe.
November 2: Official site update
The official site also added a HUGE info-dump to its character and mecha guides, bringing things mostly up to date with Chapter 6. A few more followed on November 22. As usual, Cosmo DNA has you covered with translations.
November 2: Online media coverage
The publicity interviews for Chapter 6 dropped in number, but were no less interesting. Koichi Yamadera (Dessler) got the lion’s share of the attention on this day with multiple interviews from different sources. For your convenience, they have been combined into a single translation that can be read here.
The day was also marked by the second interview with Ayahi Takagaki (Saki Todo), which will be featured here in a future update. Meanwhile, you can check out her first interview from October 28 here.
November 2: Print-on-demand art
With the arrival of a new chapter, convenience stores updated their catalog of print-on-demand art images. Published by Banpresto (the game-machine-prize division of Bandai), they are a bit like large-format trading cards. A few of the new images are shown above.
November 2: Deform figure announced
This “cartoon” version of Yuki Mori appeared on clear files for Chapter 6, and on this day Yamato Crew announced that a 5.5” sculpted figurine of her would be released in February 2019.
Photos of the prototype appeared on the site when preorders opened, offering three different color variants. As of this writing, it is not known if the figure will be available from sources other than Yamato Crew.
November 2: Episode 5 on TV
November 2 was already a great day to be a fan, but there was one more thing waiting on late night TV: the premiere of 2202 Episode 5, featuring the much-anticipated encounter of rivals. See the trailer for Clash! Yamato vs Andromeda here.
November 3: Second day stage greeting
Whereas all the chapters of Yamato 2199 opened on Saturdays, it has been the pattern with 2202 to open on Fridays with smaller-scale stage greetings and then roll out the big guns on Saturday morning. That happened again this time, and plenty of media coverage followed…
From Cho Animedia:
Thoughts and stories of various people on Yamato – talk of tracing love in the stage greeting for Yamato 2202 Chapter 6, Regeneration Chapter
A commemorative stage greeting for Yamato 2202 Chapter 6 was held at the Shinjuku Piccadilly theater. The speakers were (L to R) MC Eriko Nakamura (Mikage Kiryu), Koichi Yamadera (Abeldt Dessler), Yoshimasa Hosoya (Saburo Kato), Tomoyo Kurosawa (Mina Ichinose), Arisa Komiya (Urara Kusakabe), Director Nobuyoshi Habara, and Writer Harutoshi Fukui.
After the speakers took the stage, Yoshimasa Hosoya started by speaking from the heart about his impressions of performing as Saburo Kato. Kato’s son Tsubasa suffers from an incurable disease called Planet Bomb Syndrome, and Kato ends up in a position to choose “betrayal” for his sake. Hosoya said that he thought Rina Sato’s performance as Kato’s wife Makoto very naturally expressed a mother’s feelings for her child. He said that since he had never been a parent, he didn’t want his performance to come off as inauthentic due to their difference in temperature as a couple. He talked passionately about watching movies to prepare. When asked about what was hardest for him to perform, he said that it was starting scenes in a state of maximum emotion.
Yoshimasa Hosoya (Saburo Kato)
Tomoyo Kurosawa plays an active part in Chapter 6 as a member of the crew for Wave-Motion Experimental Ship Ginga. She describes the crew as “Women with a shocking sense of values.” And said, “I felt like these are girls who live hard for justice.” She expressed overwhelming feelings when she thanked Shima Daisuke for saying that he liked Kurosawa as an individual.
Arisa Komiya, appearing in her first Yamato-related event, said it was an honor to perform in such a historical work. She went into her first recording with some doubt, wondering why she had been cast as a crew member of Ginga. Director Habara explained that when he met her at a dinner party, he said he was impressed by her vocalizing in [live action] Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters and asked if she was interested in voice acting, so she took him up on his offer. She said that she was glad that it came to fruition.
Tomoyo Kurosawa (Mina Ichinose)
Koichi Yamadera (Dessler) invited laughter when he said, “I was surprised to hear so much talking from Megumi Hayashibara.” He talked about the recording method for this work, which was divided up and done according to the roles. He looked back on his performance for the ending theme song by saying, “I was surprised when I got the offer. A number of artists have performed songs so far, so I felt a lot of pressure. After this,” he joked, “I’m sure Hiroshi Kamiya (Keyman), Daisuke Ono (Kodai) and Kenichi Suzumura (Shima) will be thinking, ‘Why not me?’”
After that, Yamadera publicly performed the ending theme song for the first time and then said, “That’s the most nervous I’ve been in decades.” Enormous applause showed how impressed the audience was with his resounding vocals.
After the song, talked turned to the “love” theme, and Kurosawa and Komiya were asked about a moment when they experienced love. Kurosawa said that when she participated in the voice recording for a TV anime that was first broadcast in a late-night slot, Mr. Hosoya was a senior actor in the same studio. She described a moment of “love” when he eased tensions by saying “This will be fine.” Komiya said she was nervous about doing her first Yamato stage greeting, but “When you’re on stage everyone listens warmly, so thank you very much.” While expressing words of gratitude, she spoke of the “love” of Yamato’s viewers.
MC Eriko Nakamura (Mikage Kiryu)
Mr. Yamadera made the final comment of the event, saying that Yamato was made by the best staff and cast, and put his response to the work in these emotional words: “The first part of Chapter 6 was performed by Unsho Ishizuka (Captain Hijikata), and I was impressed by his voice giving the order to abandon ship. His last like as Hijikata was, ‘Please do this.’ I was touched by Mr. Ishizuka in this role, and he recently passed away. I think he was telling me to keep working hard from now on, and I felt like he was entrusting Yamato to us in the future. I think we should do our best to repay that.” He also praised Mr. Naoki Kusumi for inheriting the role and playing a great Hijikata.
Ms. Nakamura, who had served as MC at a previous event, said, “Yamato is a place where people can put their feelings.” Over and above Yamato’s cast and staff, it was felt that this entire event also carried the thoughts of Mr. Ishizuka. We should all watch the future of Yamato in theaters and elsewhere with feelings like this.
From Mantan Web:
Arisa Komiya: Go Busters is the reason I’m appearing in Yamato 2202.
Director Habara: Your vocalizing is wonderful.
Yamato 2202 Chapter 6, the latest installment of the popular anime Space Battleship Yamato (directed by Nobuyoshi Habara) premiered on the 3rd, and a stage greeting was held at the Shinjuku Piccadilly Theater in Tokyo. Arisa Komiya appears as a voice actor in the role of Urara Kusakabe.
Known for the role of Yoko Usami, the Yellow Buster in the live-action Tokumei Sentai Go-busters, Ms. Komiya also appears as a voice actor in the anime Love Live! Sunshine!! Director Habara hired her for 2202 because “I thought her vocalizing in Go-Busters was wonderful, and I heard four or five years earlier that she was interested in voice acting. So I thought I’d offer it to her.” Ms. Komiya was pleased, saying “I said, ‘I want to do it’ and I’m very happy that it happened.”
She continued, “This is a very historical work, something from my parents’ generation, so I’m very honored. How did I end up in such a great cast? I went into the voice recording and came onto this stage with that question, and when everyone watched with such warm eyes, I realized that this is love. I was nervous, but I’m glad that everyone is gentle.”
Koichi Yamadera (Dessler), Yoshimasa Hosoya (Kato), Tomoyo Kurosawa (Mina Ichinose), and Eriko Nakamura (Mikage Kiryu) also appeared on the stage. In Chapter 6, Yamato sinks and the Wave-Motion Fleet takes a crushing blow, and Ginga launches with no one else to stop the mighty Gatlantis. Chapter 7, New Star Chapter, will be released March 1, 2019.
Also from Mantan Web:
Koichi Yamadera: My thoughts on the late Unshi Ishizuku. His last line in Yamato 2202 was “Please do this…”
Yamato 2202 Chapter 6, the latest installment of the popular anime Space Battleship Yamato (directed by Nobuyoshi Habara) premiered on the 3rd, and a stage greeting was held at the Shinjuku Piccadilly Theater in Tokyo.
Koichi Yamadera, who appears in the role of Abeldt Dessler, shared his thoughts about the late Unsho Ishizuka, who he performed with in various works such as Cowboy Bebop. Ishizuka, who died in August, played Yamato’s second captain Ryu Hijikata. He could not participate to the end of Chapter 6, so his role was taken over by Naoki Kusumi.
“In the first part of Chapter 6,” Mr. Yamadera said emotionally, “Mr. Ishizuka plays Hijikata, and his last line is, ‘Please do this.’ The sound of that voice…I interpret that as him saying, ‘Do your best! I entrust it to you!’ After that, Mr. Kusumi plays a wonderful Hijikata.”
Mr. Yamadera performs Great Sum, the ending theme song for Chapter 6. “I was surprised,” He said. “There are a lot of people in the cast who can sing, so why me? There was some pressure, since Yamato is my favorite work. They composed a nice piece of music.” He sang it to an enthusiastic crowd and smiled, saying, “I haven’t been than nervous in decades.”
From left: Harutoshi Fukui, Eriko Nakamura, Yoshimasa Hosoya,
Koichi Yamadera, Tomoyo Kurosawa, Arisa Komiya, Director Nobuyoshi Habara
In Yamato 2202, Koichi Yamadera interprets Unsho Ishizuka’s last line, “Please do this.”
A commemorative public stage greeting was held for Yamato 2202 Chapter 6 at the Shinjuku Piccadilly Theater in Tokyo. Participating in the event were Koichi Yamadera (Dessler), Hosoya Yoshimasa (Kato), Tomoyo Kurosawa (Mina Ichinose), Arisa Komiya (Urara Kusakabe), Eriko Nakamura (Mikage Kiryu) as MC, Director Nobuyoshi Habara, and Writer Harutoshi Fukui.
Mr. Hosoya talked about the “pivotal” role of Kato: “He’s in a couple with Rina Sato, who plays Makoto. She expressed her motherly feelings naturally in front of the mic (she actually has a child), but I’ve never been a parent so I couldn’t imagine it. I thought we would look inauthentic as a married couple if my feelings were inferior, so I watched various movies to create something I didn’t have.”
Koichi Yamadera joked, “If I didn’t come back, I wondered what would happen if everything was left up to Klaus Keyman, but I’m glad there was a turn.” He also sang the ending theme song, Great Sum. “I sang it under a lot of pressure. After I sang it, I was scared to go into the studio. I thought they’d all say, ‘Why was it you?’”
Hearing his anxiety, Hosoya immediately denied it, saying, “I didn’t think that! It could only be Yamadera!”
Yamadera got a laugh when he answered, “Or Hiroshi Kamiya (Keyman)! Or Kenichi Suzumura (Shima)! Or Daisuke Ono (Kodai)!”
Director Habara said he listens to Yamadera songs from 20 years ago. “I requested you for an ending theme song.” Following that, Yamadera sang Great Sum for the first time in public. He sang it well despite being nervous, earning huge applause.
In closing, Yamadera said, “Only Chapter 7 is left, and the best cast and staff are making it from their hearts, so please look forward to it.” He also talked about Unsho Ishizuka (Captain Ryu Hijikata), who died in August. “I wanted to perform with him until the end, but he unfortunately passed away. He performs in the first half of Chapter 6, and his final line was “Please do this.” I interpret this as him telling us, ‘Do your best. I entrust Yamato to you.’ I will do my best to pay that back. Now Naomi Kusumi is playing a wonderful Hijikata. Please continue to support Yamato 2202 from now on!”
With that strong callout, the curtain closed on the event.
Backstage photos posted on Twitter by the 2202 Production Committee and Tomoyo Kurosawa.