The Flotsam and Jetsam of Series 3
The original story development of Yamato III covered a wide range of topics and concepts. Some ideas crossed over with others, some were contradictory, some would have thrown us into completely new territory, and some were just plain wacky. When some of this material was eventually published in Japan, it was presented with warts and all.
Combing through it to find the story threads for our Bolar Wars: Extended webcomic allowed us to continue a process that ended back in 1980/81, deciding what could and could not be accommodated. In the interest of revealing as much of this process as possible, here are the ideas that were discarded–some almost 30 years ago.
(Also presented here are various design drawings that didn’t make the final cut for the anime series.)
Development sketches for Yamato mecha including the new Cosmo Hound
Part 1: Story Ideas by writer Eiichi Yamamoto
All of these were jettisoned during the writing of the series, and would have taken the story in slightly different directions.
Kodai & Yuki on the rocks
Yuki is staying on South Island for business. In the airport she finds a dead bird and a man offers to help her bury it. This is Ryoichi Asabuki. Both went to high school together and were friends, but he was rejected from the academy when she joined up. Her plane boards, they part after only a brief conversation. He turns up later as Commander Todo’s secretary. He asks her to dance in the farewell party. Kodai watches them and starts to give up on their relationship. He thinks their heavy responsibilities have begun to push them apart. (His promotion to captain made it worse.)
Kodai now thinks he is unable to satisfy Yuki, plans to ask her about her true feelings when the mission is over. This all comes out during the party. Yuki accuses him of being selfish and short-sighted, storms back into the party and proceeds to get drunk on champagne. The next morning, Domon sobers her up with his coffee and pours water over her head. They bond over this, she thanks him for being uncomplicated.
Ryusuke Domon [Jason Jetter]
He comes onboard with great self-confidence as a marksman. His record a the academy is second only to Kodai’s. But it turns out Hirata also shoots well. A competition begins between the two. Hirata consistently wins, getting 80% without even trying.
Domon trains like crazy, losing sleep in the process. One night he discovers Hirata already doing the same thing. Lesson: not to underestimate the opponent, even if he appears to be a only cook.
A space colony, space ark, and asteroid base, probably all from Earth
Yamato finds an Earthlike planet in a Mesozoic stage, dinosaurs and all. Yuki volunteers for a ground experiment, to stay with a ground survey group on the surface for 7 days. Kodai doesn’t want her to go, but cannot give the order for her to stay.
After Yamato leaves, Galmans arrive. They build a base, detect radio waves of the survey group’s robot explorers. The robots are captured. Yuki figures out how to use the same radio waves to control the dinosaurs. They charge the Galman base like living tanks and the robots are recovered.
Fuzino Shizuka (rejected character)
Sandor’s assistant, a female. Top graduate of Asian Engineering School, in charge of design group under Sandor. Graceful and aloof, came from a hard background. Disdains other women. Rumor has it that Yuki will easily win the Miss Yamato pageant again, Shizuka plots to overthrow her. Kodai visits the workshop one day, Shizuka is shaken up by being attracted to him. Another female crewmember, Miyako Kyotsuka, has the same feeling.
The Miss Yamato Pageant happens and Yuki wins. Miyako (the new nurse) gets second, Tomoko Yamagami gets third. Shizuka wins nothing. She had a secret crush on Sanada, but he only has eyes for Tomoko.
With all this emotional conflict, Shizuka makes a mistake that endangers the lives of Sanada and Akagi. She is brought before a tribunal and admonished by Kodai. Now rejected by seemingly everyone, she falls into despair and considers suicide until Dr. Sado gives her a pep talk. Her only love until now was knowledge and she is naturally going to have a hard time of it now that she is awakening as a woman.
She later falls for Akagi.
Concepts for Galman spaceships
Takashi Himura (rejected character)
A gung-ho MP on Yamato, one of his duties is to monitor communications records. He arrests Aihara when he discovers secret transmissions, then does the same to Kodai. Both are imprisoned until Sanada intervenes
Kiyashi (rejected character)
A sampling android, collects plant matter and processes it to determine if it is harmful to humans. If not, Analyzer supervises the operation to process the foodstuffs for consumption. Material brought up from a planet causes Kiyashi to collapse. Examination reveals Kiyashi is a human female masquerading as a robot. She was betrayed and unfulfilled as a human, so she convinced herself she was a robot instead and took this job. She needs a blood transfusion, but refuses it.
There is a battle involving prisoners on Planet Birth. One volunteers to save another with a blood transfusion. Seeing this, Kiyashi realizes her job is just as important to the crew as anyone who would take a bullet, so she consents to be saved and returns to her job (but no longer in disguise). But she still responds only to the name Kiyashi.
Concepts for various space weapons
Part 2: Various ideas by the writing staff
Galman Biological Weapons
The Galman Empire Fleet decides to use biological weapons against Yamato. They deploy such bio-weapons as amoebas, plants or animals, on a planet prior to Yamato‘s arrival.
The plants (such as an electromagnetic ivy) could grow and breed at an accelerated rate and attack the crew. The amoebas could corrode metal or be harmful to human bodies.
In the case of animals, despite a harmless appearance, their vitality and fertility could be abnormally strong, and those taken aboard Yamato could quickly fill up all the available space. Methods for dealing with these creatures should follow a pattern in which planetary ecologists and zoologists find their weak points.
Biological weapon ‘Nuruba M4’
An amoeba-like creature, can get into anything. Penetrates Yamato from a wrecked ship when she answers its distress call. Assimilates a crewmember, burns him to ashes and takes his place.
Planktonic Floating Space Body
Used by Galmans for space-jacking with mind control
A crewman is lured to the mouth of a ‘space cave’ by the image of a beautiful woman. It’s a hole into another dimension.
Space cat: wild beast ‘Gyaraze’
At first it appears to be an elegant, cat-like creature. A crewman brings one on board from the planet Kearu against Kodai’s order. It transforms into a wild beast, three times the size of a lion, rampages through the ship looking for energy. It is drawn to the Wave-Motion Engine. Consuming some of its energy mollifies the creature.
Dark Nebula Living Entity
A nebula with a conscious will. It swallows up a planet (or threatens to) in demand for Yamato‘s Wave-Motion energy.
Ideas for Dessler’s capital city on Planet Galman
Satanic Feudal Lord/Demon Planet Rukifuel
Not allied with Galman or Bolar, a tyrant who controls his region with magic, makes it into a fantasy world ruled by strange magical powers.
– A region dominated by magic, not science
– has the flavor of a fantasy world
– mechanical weapons don’t work, Kodai uses a sword
– Does Satan control this planet/region?
– turns out to be a world of simple creatures
Battle at the Dimensional Quake
A specific region of space is distorted. There is a constant dimensional quake or time slip in this area, to which the Galman Empire pays close attention. They plan to chase Yamato into it and utilize the dimensional quakes to their advantage. This leads to a battle on a planet which experiences an abnormal stream of time!
Battle in Distorted Space
– twist in space/time continuum
– electronics don’t work, since they rely on linear measurements
– future & past are mixed
– Yamato time travels to the past, has the chance to change history (maybe it inadvertantly sets history in motion)
Natural hazards in outer space
The site of a space battleground
The remains of a huge space battle appear in front of Yamato, which wanders the vastness of space seeking a new home planet. It was once a battlefield between the Bolar Federation and the Galman Empire. The remains of battleships and bodies drift endlessly. There is a devastated planet; a colonial planet on which all life has been exterminated. Everyone on board Yamato feels the tragedy of war.
Suddenly, a crisis erupts–automated fleets of both the Bolar and the Galmans detect Yamato and attack! Yamato is forced into a hollow and meaningless fight against soulless machines designed for slaughter. Yamato must prevail–the future of mankind depends on it!
Illusion Shadow Fleet
A ghost fleet without substance; a real fleet uses it for cover to attack enemies
A Yamato-type battleship
Another battleship camouflaged to look like Yamato, like Nazi strategy in WWII. Bolar uses it for sneak attacks.
A spaceship graveyard and a living planet were just two discarded locations, though the second evolved into Planet Phantom
– people from moving Planet Odin
– they are predatory, strike from spaceships with a woven texture on its hull
– backed by Bolars, skirmishes with Galmans on border patrol
– they challenge Yamato for Princess Ruda
– mysterious pirate ship that occasionally helps Yamato
– Harlock-type leader with a cyborg crew
– Survivors of planets destroyed by Galmans & Bolars
– burns with limitless revenge, wandering in space
– always destroys an enemy ship when one is found
– maybe the captain is actually a woman
Galman Foreign Legion
– disaffected war orphans join up for a sense of purpose
– fight involuntarily against Yamato
– spiritually similar to Kodai & the space pirate
– deployed against the space pirate, but they are actually kindred
– pirate captain and GFL actually compete for hearts & minds
Concepts for the Bolar homeworld, a Bolar battleship, and the mechanized heart of Planet Shalbart,
which was originally conceived as the arch-enemy of the Dark Nebula Empire