Yes, after Yamato III there could have been a Yamato IV. These documents from deep within the archives of West Cape Corporation prove it. The working title was Space Battleship Yamato IV: The Final Chapter, and it was envisioned as a 26 (potentially 39) episode TV series. A 30-page promotional package was produced in 1982 which is presented here in full.
Title Translation: Space Battleship Yamato, the Concluding Chapter, TV Plan Book, West Cape Corporation
The Final Chapter is the literal translation of the Japanese Kanji characters we see on the title for the film we know as Final Yamato. And in fact, the content of this Plan Book was Final Yamato from front to back. The story synopsis was essentially the plot of the movie with some minor detail changes and clarifications. What makes it different is the fact that it was indeed promoted as a TV series during the time it was being developed as a feature film.
This Plan Book was written sometime after the writer’s summit in January 1982, and probably not very long after based on the roughness of the artwork that was included.
Most of the character pages were actually empty boxes with minimal text for the main cast, who apparently hadn’t aged much since their original mission to Iscandar. Kodai, for example, was 18 in the year 2199, but somehow only made it to 19 by 2203. This was almost certainly an editorial error, while Dessler’s age was established at merely 28.
Regardless, it was probably the first time a version of the story had been written for someone outside West Cape Corporation, and though it goes without saying that the TV version was never picked up by anyone, the fact that this material was produced at all gives us a chance to view Final Yamato in a different frame, one with opportunities for extended action and more plot twists.
So here, without further ado, is the text from Space Battleship Yamato IV: The Final Chapter.
Next year  it will be ten years since the planning for Space Battleship Yamato began in 1973. Since then, Yamato received the ardent support of students and true fans, and we produced a total of nine TV series, movies, and specials. [Editor’s note: this number takes into account three series, three feature films, a tele-feature, and two compilation specials.]
Since we have the opportunity to commemorate the tenth anniversary, we will make the final chapter of this long-running story. It is to be a TV anime program called Space Battleship Yamato IV: The Final Chapter.
Yamato has consistently depicted human warmth and romance as a counterpoint to the cold, inorganic world of outer space. The connection between Earth, space, and the people of space allows the human race to learn and take control of their future. Yamato demonstrated that this could be achieved by a strong belief in tomorrow, and to never give up in the face of a hopeless situation. Love, friendship, unity, humanism, and sacrifice are all important elements in the fight to survive.
It is recognized that mankind’s unique intelligence, science, and technology began the instant we took up a weapon in our hands and embarked on a long history of destruction. In the 20th century, humans endured two world wars and the slow destruction of our ecosystem, which brought about a lot of pessimism. Japan experienced remarkable economic growth and society became fixated on material goods thinking it would bring them happiness, but this lead to a feeling of confinement and helplessness, so the trend of pessimism was accelerated. In the younger generation, indications of violent tendencies began to grow.
Against all this, Space Battleship Yamato appealed to the youth and continually broke through this inhumane worldview. Wisdom is the greatest power of human beings. But it is not easy. True human beings never surrender, even when it becomes necessary to put oneself at risk. This is how Yamato has been able to continue.
This view of humanity and an optimistic view of the world is the theme of Yamato. It has been expressed and symbolized in the word “love.” However, love is not just a sweet thing. People suffer for love. They are wounded, scarred, and even killed. They endure sadness and hatred even for their own partner. It is a great trial.
Furthermore, it demands that people collaborate to achieve the happiness of tomorrow. We have the opportunity to clarify this essence of love. This was the thought that inspired The Final Chapter: love can save a person, but love demands a great and painful effort. This is how humans grow.
As the lead character, Kodai represents the theme of Yamato. Therefore, it may be said that Yamato is the story of the growth of Kodai. Kodai learned when he boarded Yamato that life is a battle. It begins with a fight for one’s existence against a fearsome enemy and matures with the recognition of love for another.
Space Battleship Yamato shows that a person who fights on with a belief in the future can shine brightly and become a full-fledged human being. And now Yamato faces its conclusion, flying magnificently off to its grave in endless space. In making this work, it was our duty to clearly present to the world why Yamato was created and what it stands for.
Of course, it is a commercial work and has to entertain the public who supports it. Therefore, elaborate plans are being made for multi-dimensional media such as film, radio, records, books, etc. We hope for your cooperation by all means.
According to the myths handed down across time and space, the water planet Aquarius travels in a wide orbit around the Milky Way Galaxy. About 4 billion years ago, gravity drew it into the developing solar system where it seeded the Earth with water. The buds of life opened in the sea. Bacteria evolved to fish, then amphibians, reptiles, and other forms and eventually lead to humans.
Aquarius passed close to Earth again and again, causing great catastrophes and massive extinctions, including that of the dinosaurs. It may also have been the source of the biblical flood of Noah. The time has now come for the myth of Water Planet Aquarius to become reality.
After orbiting the Milky Way again for several hundred million years, Aquarius again approaches Earth. It is the year 2203…
The galaxy known as the Milky Way is in the midst of war.
A battle rages between two forces fighting for supremacy at the center of the galaxy, the Bolar Federation and the Galman-Gamilas Empire. Earth prefers to take a neutral position in the conflict and maintain its distance from the battlefield, but has close relations with Emperor Dessler who fights against the Bolar. The Space Battleship Yamato was unavoidably drawn into the conflict.
During this time, the Commander in Chief of the Earth Defense Forces receives a report of a strange, unprecedented disturbance from an observation post outside the galaxy. A huge dimensional fault is tearing open space itself. From it, another galaxy that burns with a red color slams into the Milky Way at thousands of times the speed of light.
Earth is fortunate to be a long way from the point of impact at the center of the galaxy, but this is the area where the nations of Bolar and Galman-Gamilas are clustered, and the great war is suddenly interrupted by massive chaos. All communication with Dessler is cut off, so the commander of the EDF sends Yamato to investigate the situation.
Susumu Kodai takes his post as captain of the ship; his most recent mission had been conducted during the outbreak of the war. All recognize the strength and experience of Kodai and the crew of Yamato, but at the same time he is still not a fully-matured captain.
Kodai takes Yamato to the center of the galaxy to discover that the Bolar Federation has been wiped out, and not even the Galman-Gamilas Empire could avoid the massive galactic collision; their planet is now covered in wreckage. Yamato pauses in the sky above the ruins of Dessler’s palace and fires a funeral salute. Kodai throws a bouquet with the wish that Dessler’s soul may rest in peace. But a nearby collision of planets causes an unexpected crisis and Yamato is forced to warp away in a random direction.
A planet called Dengil lies 3,000 light years from Earth, upon which live people very much like humans. As Yamato performed its desperate warp, Dengil was flooded by the Planet Aquarius, which happened to be passing by. All of Dengil’s continents, cities, and mountains are buried in a massive amount of water. While his people drown, the High Priest Emperor Lugal escapes on his Combat Satellite Uruk along with his elite space fleet.
That is when Yamato comes out of its warp in the space near Dengil. Kodai orders a prompt investigation and when he sees people dying he orders Yamato to go to their aid. But the abnormal weather and downpour of rain puts the ship in a dangerous position and many of the crew dies when part of its hull drops off. Only a single boy is saved.
The science group discovers that Planet Aquarius was the cause of this, and it is now on a course for Earth. However, it has 3,000 light years to travel and could take as long as 6,000 years to get there. By that time Earth civilization should be advanced enough to deal with the threat. Kodai transmits these observations to the EDF and orders the trip home to begin.
But then danger strikes when the crew least expects it; a mystery fleet has been listening and suddenly appears to launch an attack. Although Kodai doesn’t know it, this fleet is lead by the Crown Prince of Dengil. They fire missiles Yamato has never encountered before, which knock the crew unconscious even through their space suits. Disabled, the ship drops toward a mountain range, and when it crashes the auto-pilot is activated. Yamato rises up again and disappears into space.
Combat Satellite Uruk follows in the wake of the Planet Aquarius. The Prince who attacked Yamato arrives there and delivers a report to his father, the Emperor. The composition of the water from Aquarius caused an explosion that dispersed their former home planet. Almost the whole Dengil race is gone, including their family, but Lugal sees it as justice that he was able to survive and seize power. Furthermore, the Prince has eliminated the hindrance of Yamato.
Lugal is resolved to become a wanderer of space, but only until they can find another planet to call home. Thus, when Aquarius covers the Earth with water and moves on, they will take over the planet. Lugal uses the power of Uruk’s mighty warp system to push Aquarius faster on its course so it will reach Earth in just 90 days. The Prince is appointed as commander of the Earth suppression fleet.
Aquarius is getting closer; the people of Earth realize that the crisis is now just 80 days away. Yamato appears suddenly, warping into the region of Pluto. When it arrives on Earth, it carries a mountain of corpses killed by radiation. Those who were wearing space suits can recover from their near-death state with proper treatment.
But some weren’t able to don their breathing equipment in time…such as Kodai. His lover Yuki, who was working as a secretary in the EDF on Earth, clings to his body and cries bitterly. Fortunately, he had managed to get his helmet on. Because of this, he is saved from brain-death by newly-developed medical technology. The operation succeeds because of the devoted nursing of Yuki.
When he revives, Kodai feels responsible for the death of so many crew members. Because of his clumsiness, he resigns as Yamato‘s captain.
The EDF, cooperating with the Space Development Agency, prepares all the spaceships on Earth for emergency evacuation of the human race before the arrival of Aquarius. Meanwhile, the vanguard of the Uruk fleet lead by the Prince arrives near the 11th Planet. A coordinated attack begins at once, simultaneously hitting all the colonies and planetary bases.
The crew of Yamato, such as Shima [Venture], Aihara [Homer], and Kato [Conroy] fly out to take part in the battle, but Sanada [Sandor] remains behind to supervise the repair of Yamato. When Kodai realizes it is the same fleet that attacked Yamato earlier, he joins the fight as a pilot in a fighter squadron. During the intense fighting, he is increasingly driven by mixed feelings.
He realizes this is unsuitable; when he is on board Yamato, he becomes his real self. But his resignation has placed him on a road of no return and he is greatly troubled.
On other other hand, another person observes the fight with a complicated eye; the boy who Kodai saved from the flood on Planet Dengil. He is now recuperating in an Earth hospital and though his body is weakened he was not killed by the radiation even though he had no space suit on. This puzzles Dr. Sado [Sane], who sees that despite his different skin color, the boy’s body is the same as a human’s. The probability of this is extremely rare.
The Prince’s fleet is overwhelmingly strong. The EDF fleet is annihilated and every base in the solar system is lost to the enemy. They form a complete blockade around Earth, intending for it to become the human race’s graveyard. Aquarius is approaching, moment by moment.
This is when the commander of the EDF plays his last, desperate hand. He requests that Yamato‘s first captain, Jyuuzo Okita, take command again and find a breakthrough. It was thought that he died, but instead Okita was miraculously revived by the same operation that saved Kodai from radiation, and he recuperated out in the remote countryside.
Okita now calls Kodai back to Yamato to serve again as combat group leader.
Yamato launches. Many of the solar system’s desperate battles are re-fought between Yamato and the Prince’s fleet. Surprisingly, the boy from Dengil has stowed away on the ship. The boy whom Kodai saved (at the cost of his own near-death) sees the human race fighting for Earth and gradually becomes a friend.
Yamato breaks the stranglehold of the enemy fleet and chases them back to Aquarius. Their mission is to destroy the system that is artificially warping the planet closer to Earth. However, they find only a shadow of the enemy on Aquarius itself; the warp is being controlled remotely.
Then, before Kodai’s eyes appears the goddess-like Queen of Aquarius. She says this is a time of great difficulty for her planet. At one time, it delivered the seed of life to the Earth, but now its gift is no longer a blessing. Now it is being used to destroy that precious life. By endowing dry planets with water, Aquarius has allowed creatures to evolve and progress toward civilization, like the human race. Those who reach this point receive another blessing: love.
The Prince returns in defeat to Emperor Lugal at Uruk and hears the story passed down by the royal family. According to them, their ancestors came from Earth approximately 5,000 years ago to escape a great deluge (the Biblical flood). This was made possible by a passing spaceship that descended to save the people. The strongest among them pushed aside children and elders to board the disc-shaped vessel. They believed that throwing aside virtue was the key to survival. The Earthlings were flown to Dengil where this thinking allowed them to take over the planet.
Following that tradition, Lugal reached the limit of his power on Dengil and is now determined to retake the Earth.
The Prince’s fleet launches again. The fierce battle resumes as Aquarius continues to close in on Earth, but Yamato defeats them and charges forward to Uruk. But even as Kodai and his combat squad storms the enemy control room, Aquarius is warped for the last time.
The boy runs in to stand between Kodai and Lugal. He is Lugal’s son. He takes a bullet meant for Kodai and dies on the spot.
Aquarius completes its last warp and is now just four hours from drowning the Earth. Lugal escapes into space, setting Uruk to self-destruct. Yamato barely escapes being destroyed with it.
Aquarius can no longer warp, but now nothing can stop it. Despair spreads across Earth and through Yamato, but Kodai is not ready to give up yet.
If Yamato is loaded to full capacity with the heavy water of Aquarius and positions itself just right, the Wave-Motion Gun can cause a major explosion that might stop the main body of the flood and minimize the damage to Earth. However, Yamato itself would explode in the process.
Okita hears this proposal and realizes that Kodai intends to trigger the Wave-Motion Gun and sacrifice himself. Okita insists that it is the Captain’s duty to go down with the ship, and that Kodai must live on to grow strong and independent so that he can fulfill his life of love with Yuki.
Yamato flies to Aquarius and loads up with heavy water, rising up into space again as a huge hydrogen bomb. It takes up a position in the orbit of Saturn, five hours and 1 billion km from Earth. Yamato waits there to intercept Aquarius, but Lugal’s remaining fleet appears and launches an attack. Yamato is unable to return fire, but they are saved when Emperor Dessler appears!
He was thought to be dead, but now arrives to counterattack with a small Galman-Gamilas fleet. Supported by his friendship, Yamato warps away and Dessler inflicts major damage on Lugal.
Yamato arrives at Earth and repositions itself to intercept Aquarius. Kodai and the crew equip the Wave-Motion Gun to reverse its energy current, then leaves Okita behind.
Aquarius approaches. Following it is Lugal in his one remaining ship. Dessler gave his life in battle against the other ships, but Lugal is still alive. As he prepares to fire on Yamato, a giant pillar of water rises off the surface of Aquarius and Okita pulls the trigger of the Wave-Motion Gun.
Lugal is destroyed in the huge explosion and disappears forever, and the damage to Earth is abated when the water column is stopped. Kodai salutes Yamato and Okita as they sink together into the sea of space.
On the Earth which regained its beauty, Kodai and Yuki are married and the life of the next generation begins inside her womb.
The apparition of Yamato, together with Okita, seems relieved as it disappears into distance of space.
The mysteriously beautiful planet Aquarius moves on, continuing its journey of hundreds of millions of years.
The image of the Queen of Aquarius spreads across the sky and smiles.
Aquarius welcomes all visitors again and again as long as they have love for other people. Whether or not humans get caught up in the eternal race for dominance and victory is their own problem to solve.
The first highlight of Space Battleship Yamato is Yamato itself; the magnificent figure from World War II that sank to the bottom of the sea off the coast of Japan and was remodeled into the mighty Space Battleship.
It became the first spaceship to surpass the speed of light thanks to the engine blueprint from Iscandar, and the Wave-Motion Gun in its bow fires enough energy to destroy a continent the size of Australia with a single blow. Yamato‘s overwhelming strength and immortal form gives the same excitement as a home run hit with the bases loaded.
Kodai and the rest of the energetic young crew also enlivens interest. War, friendship, romance, pain, sorrow, and the gorgeous music have enriched the on-screen drama for almost ten years.
An additional highlight is the revival of the star, the original Captain Okita. Yamato‘s appeal comes from Okita in the captain’s seat on the first bridge, the powerful image that propels the ship through the sea of space.
Furthermore, the appearance of Water Planet Aquarius is a deep mystery. It is almost the same size as Earth. Most of the planet is composed of water, with heavier water in the core where nuclear fusion occurs. Therefore, a green light is seen burning deep under the water and it looks like a paper lantern floating in space.
There is a floating continent above its ocean and a circle of ice orbiting the planet like a ring of electrons. There is a trace of an ancient civilization that once lived on the floating continent but is now long gone. Now only the goddess, the Queen of Aquarius, resides there.
When this beautiful world of fantasy and dreams approaches another planet, its features undergo a terrible change. The influence of gravitational forces causes pillars of roaring water to rise into space and bury the neighboring planet with a deluge. This will be the most spectacular highlight of this new work.
Additionally, there is the Planet Dengil and the giant Battle Satellite Uruk. Dengil is another planet about the size of Earth. It was once desolate with little water, but humans who escaped from Earth conquered its people and took over its civilization to form a powerful military with a strong space fleet.
Uruk has the essence of Awaji Island, thought to be the center of traditional oriental civilization, elevated to a god-like role. It is from here that the 2-meter tall Emperor Lugal reaches out with his forces of evil to rule through terror and his own concept of justice.
Also, the Cosmo Zero and Cosmo Tiger fighters have an improved style and effectiveness.
The enemy mecha is full of diversity; Battle Satellite Uruk has flying robot horses, radioactive space missiles, a blockade of space mines, and much more.
Finally, there is marriage of Kodai and Yuki, which has been a major topic of concern for longtime fans.