Voice actor interview, January 2019

Choices of the Soldiers of Love

From Animage magazine vol. 448, January 10, 2019 (February issue).

We’re finally at the end of the long and difficult voyage…the final chapter arrives in the near future, the TV series is broadcasting, and a social game is also on the rise for Yamato 2202, Soldiers of Love. This extravagant dialogue with Daisuke Ono as main character Susumu Kodai and Hiroshi Kamiya in the significant role of Klaus Keyman was a real score!!

The seven chapters of Yamato 2202 depict the deadly struggle between Yamato and Gatlantis for the fate of mankind. Chapter 6 Regeneration Chapter was screened last November, and the story is finally concluded in Chapter 7 New Star Chapter in March. The motif is 1978’s Farewellto Yamato, with a heroic ending that moved fans to tears. Is 2202 fated to have the same ending as Farewell…?

However, while Yamato 2202 cherishes the roots of the theme depicted in Farewell, it has been revived as a story for the present day by introducing new elements and a new interpretation. One such new element is the presence of the Garmillas character Klaus Keyman. This character, who didn’t appear in Farewell, is Dessler’s nephew. He is conflicted by his mission as a Garmillan and his bond with the Yamato crew, and at the end of Chapter 6 he chose the way of returning to Yamato. It is a form of “love” that could only be expressed because it is Yamato 2202. But a new choice has been thrust upon him, and the result will have a huge influence on the end of the story.

Of course, it isn’t just Keyman. The crew of Yamato, led by Susumu Kodai, has surmounted unimaginable difficulties, and each of them has been pressed to make a choice because of “love.” What ending lies ahead??

On the verge of the final chapter screening, the TV series has also been broadcast from the first episode. Yamato 2202: A Distant Journey is also in operation, a social game based on the on-screen world. There is certainly an image of love and a drama of courageous choices to be discussed now.

I want you to see an ending in Yamato 2202 that suits the times

Interviewer: The Chapter 6 screening has taken place, and Chapter 7 comes out in March. Yamato 2202 is finally reaching its climax, isn’t it?

Ono: Chapter 7 is truly an all-out war. And while it is closely based on Farewell to Yamato, I feel that Yamato 2202 has a unique ending that suits the present times.

Kamiya: In the flow of Chapter 7, I certainly got the impression that “it comes to a superb ending.” In the past Yamato has always gotten into critical situations, and it continues to depict the image of always finding a way out. Yamato 2202 has been a tough ride, but in Chapter 7 we finally face a situation where we must escape from a crisis at the risk of our lives.

Everyone who has seen the original Farewell will think “It should unfold as expected” but I think there is also the expectation of, “But since it’s Yamato 2202, would it have the same ending?” So I’d like you to see it with your own eyes to find out what kind of ending has actually been prepared.

In addition, Keyman has a mission as a Garmillan, and he’s torn between that and the critical situation Yamato ends up in. However, the “mission” part was fulfilled in a way in Chapter 6, and from here it becomes a matter of his own “will.” I’d like you to pay attention to Keyman’s choice.

Ono: Susumu Kodai has also been forced to make very hard decisions, and there were times when I felt that pain as I was performing. But when we reached the final inning in Chapter 7, I thought “This is a fine ending.” Now my feeling is that I want you to see it to the end.

Interviewer: Now you can enjoy the world of Yamato 2202 as a social game. The popular Yamato 2202: A Distant Journey is now being delivered. Please tell me which Yamato characters you would want to use in a conflict. But first, which character would you want on your side as a partner?

Ono: (answering quickly) Yuki Mori! Yuki is my first choice. There are a lot of Yuki cards in the game, aren’t there? I also want to find a rare card!

Interviewer: Why Yuki? Though maybe it’s a question that answers itself. (Laughs)

Ono: That’s right, it’s a dumb question. (Laughs)

Kamiya: I’d want Sanada as a partner. Sanada has been my favorite character from the old days. I liked his original voice actor Takeshi Aono very much, and Houchu Otsuka who plays him in 2202 is really my favorite actor. I wish he could speak to me with that voice on my side all the time.

Interviewer: Which character would you want as a staff officer?

Ono: (answering even more quickly) Yuki.

(Everyone laughs)

Ono: Yuki can do it all. It’s love, isn’t it?

Kamiya: (Laughs) As for me, Sanada would be my staff officer too, but I’ve already made him my sidekick, so I’d choose Keyman for this spot. Keyman would be a perfect staff officer.

Interviewer: Which battle-ace character would be the most reliable?

Ono: Ah…I couldn’t say Yuki for that one. (Laughs)

Kamiya: I guess it would have to be Saito, wouldn’t it?

Ono: That’s right, I’d pick Saito, too. He’s cool. Sanada is the best on the brain side, but Saito is the strongest on the muscle side, after all.

Kamiya: There is Saburo Kato, too, but he’s a bit troublesome…Kato has too many things to protect.

Ono: Yeah, he broods a bit much, so that would be trouble. (Laughs)

Interviewer: Finally, which character would you not want as an enemy?

Kamiya: It’s Dessler.

Ono: Ah, Dessler…

Kamiya: Dessler, he’s trouble. But the Dessler of Yamato 2202 is surprisingly cool.

Ono: I wouldn’t want Keyman as an enemy. If Keyman was on the enemy side, I have a feeling we’d be overwhelmed by tricks and strategies. (Laughs)

Interviewer: Thank you very much. Now the last question. Even as the last chapter of this work approaches in theaters, it has been broadcasting on TV from the first episode in October, and is now in the middle of the story at Episode 14. Please give a message to the fans who are following it on TV.

Ono: Episode 14 is where Kodai and Teresa meet, isn’t it? If you’ve watched up to there, I certainly think you understand that it’s a work that depicts the conflicts and passions of various characters. There’s an even hotter expansion from there, and more predicaments, and some truly heart-moving developments are waiting. I’d like you to enjoy it with care.

Kamiya: To those who have seen it up to Episode 14, all I can say is, “please keep watching in the future.” Before the screening of the chapters in the theater, there’s also a recap of each episode in the format of a TV series, and it’s very technical. It sharpens the techniques of the previous work, Yamato 2199. The story is made by Harutoshi Fukui, the leading storyteller in Japan. Because of that alone, I think it is definitely a work worth watching, especially among recent Japanese animation. I ask you to keep watching by all means.

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