The month following the March 1 premiere of Chapter 7 was one of the busiest in the history of the series with something new emerging almost every day as the finale played out over its 4-week run and came to its historic end. But, of course, it was just the end of the beginning. Here’s everything that made it a month to remember.
March 2: Day 2 stage greetings
The stage greeting for day 1 had taken place at a Friday evening screening, featuring Director Nobuyoshi Habara and Writer Harutoshi Fukui. The day 2 event happened on a Saturday, uniting them with all of the primary voice actors for perhaps the final time. It was reported at several sources, including the official 2202 website…
Chapter 7 commemorative stage greeting report
Yamato 2202 Chapter 7 New Star Chapter opened in 35 theaters across the country on March 1. A commemorative stage greeting was held at the Marunouchi Piccadilly theater in Yurakucho, Tokyo on Saturday, March 2. It was relayed for live viewing in the other theaters where the film was shown so fans all over Japan could enjoy it simultaneously.
Taking the stage prior to the screening were Daisuke Ono (Susumu Kodai), Houko Kuwashima (Yuki Mori), Kenichi Suzumura (Daisuke Shima), Hiroshi Kamiya (Klaus Keyman), Koichi Yamadera (Abelt Dessler), Hideaki Tezuka (Zordar), Director Nobuyoshi Habara, and Writer Harutoshi Fukui. In addition, Eriko Nakamura (Mikage Kiryu) served as the moderator.
All three camps were represented this time (Earth, Garmillas, and Gatlantis), so the cast walked on stage to the theme music for their character. The loudest applause was for Mr. Tezuka, who was there for his first and only stage greeting of the series.
The talk for this last chapter of the series began with a greeting from Director Habara with a story about the first stage greeting (for Chapter 1) in which he revealed an unexpected development; that Mr. Ono was fighting off tears in the dressing room afterward. In fact, Mr. Ono admitted that he had shed tears even after the official preview.
Kenichi Suzumura, Houko Kuwashima, Daisuke Ono
Mr. Ono spoke of his devotion: “My tears overflow for some reason when I watch this. There are so many hardships for Kodai. I wonder if it will all be rewarded today.”
Picking up on this, Ms. Kuwashima said, “Actually, I cried at the preview too.” She looked back at how significant Yamato has become for her: “I had the sense that I was living with Yamato even when there were no voice recordings. It suddenly gets sad when it reaches the final chapter…when I saw the preview I was in a state where I couldn’t sort out my feelings, and when I came to say hello to everyone today, I started to realize that I’m a different person now.”
Mr. Suzumura changed the mood with a joke: “I’ve been in the white comet for a long time, and it was really white! (Laughs) Since I performed in this, I saw it while knowing all of the content, but the ending still went beyond what I imagined.”
He gave the audience his seal of approval with, “It’s all right to have high expectations.”
Looking back at his first stage greeting, Mr. Kamiya said he had been concerned about the state of the theater before going on stage, and he listened at the stage door. Looking back at his character, he said, “Keyman had only one way of responding at the beginning, so it was limiting for me as a perfomer. Then, after Dessler appeared, it became possible for him to express himself, and it was really fun each time.”
Hearing this, Mr. Yamadera laughed, “My nephew is a good speaker.” He talked about the pleasure of being in a hit work. “I felt pressure at the beginning. I was worried about whether or not I could do Dessler properly. I still don’t know now that it’s over, but it was great to participate in this wonderful work. It’s been over forty years since the first Yamato. What do you think it will look like 40, 50, or 100 years from now? I’m looking forward to seeing how it is handed down.”
Hideaki Tezuka, Koichi Yamadera, Hiroshi Kamiya
Finally, Mr. Tezuka talked about the difficulty of performing. “As an actor, I don’t come across masterpieces like this very often. I was worried about performing Zordar because of the character design and that face (laughs), but I did it in spite of that and somehow I survived.” For his first stage greeting, he spoke to the audience as Zordar: “I would like you to watch it once, twice, maybe three times. Everyone’s love is necessary for this!”
MC Eriko Nakamura
In the second half of the stage greeting, bouquets of thanks were presented to Director Habara, Mr. Fukui, and the hero and heroine, Mr. Ono and Ms. Kuwashima. All four looked confused about which camera man to make eye contact with, and the surrounding cast members said, “The official camera is there.” Someone got the audience laughing with a followup: “Can you smile a little more?” Everyone did the Yamato salute for the commemorative photo, but Mr. Kamiya gave some fan service when he did the Garmillas salute.
Finally, there were emotional messages from Mr. Ono, Ms. Kuwashima, and Mr. Habara as follows…
Daisuke Ono: “I am full of gratitude. We didn’t simply follow the journey of a great work, we gave it the passion of our lives for this era. I am proud to have been able to advance this ship with my soul. It’s true for all of us, but everyone is part of Yamato’s crew. Thank you for taking this trip together.”
Houko Kuwashima: “There is always a sad feeling at the end. After all the times I visited the theater from the first chapter, and received passionate words from everyone who watched the TV broadcast and gave their on-time impressions, I somehow feel like I’ve finally arrived at the end. I cannot convey how thankful I am, but I want you to watch it many times.”
Director Nobuyoshi Habara: “At the production announcement press conference, I said ‘I will give it my heart and soul,’ and now there’s nothing left. I’m in an empty state. (Laughs) This remake, which started with 2199, became a series that is full of love. That’s how I was able to finish it. I think it’s very important for people to watch it together in a theater. There are a lot of people live-viewing this today, too. I think sharing this air is a rare opportunity, so I will be very grateful if you enjoy it.”
Daisuke Ono on the last chapter of Yamato 2202: My heart is full
Hiroshi Kamiya: The driving force in the last chapter of Yamato 2202 is the relationship of mutual trust. Now I am overwhelmed with emotion.
Published by Mantan Web
For the final chapter of Yamato 2202, the latest installment of the popular Space Battleship Yamato series, a commemorative stage greeting was held March 2 at the Marunouchi Piccadilly theater in Tokyo. Daisuke Ono, the voice of Susumu Kodai, appeared on stage with other actors. Two years after the premiere of Chapter 1, Ono’s eyes swelled with tears when he said, “My heart is full. I’m full of gratitude.”
Hiroshi Kamiya, the voice of Keyman, spoke emotionally: “I had more than two years to record it, which was a luxurious amount of time. That time fostered a relationship of trust that became the driving force. Now I am overwhelmed with emotion.”
Mr. Kamiya also said it was “a lot of fun” to co-star with Koichi Yamadera in the part of Abelt Dessler.
“My nephew is a good speaker,” Kamiya joked. “There was a lot of pressure, since I’ve been a fan of Yamato since junior high school. Could I do it properly? I was worried about that, but now that it’s over I feel happy to have participated in this wonderful work.”
Houko Kuwashima, who plays Yuki Mori, revealed that Mr. Ono had shed tears at another stage greeting.
Ono responded, “It was strange to me, too. My tears overflowed for some reason. Kodai had a hard time in the story. It was all rewarded. I think of everyone who was there, and tears flow.”
March 2: CD clear file
As reported last time, the two new 2202 CDs were on sale at theaters March 1, but they weren’t sold in stores until today. Participating stores offered this clear file to fans who bought both. It featured artwork on both sides to match the CD jacket art for the OST and song collection.
March 5: Studio news
Xebec, the studio that handled all the physical production for both Yamato 2199 and Yamato 2202, is no more as of this writing. On March 5 it was announced that the studio had been purchased by anime giant Sunrise (home of Mobile Suit Gundam, among many others) and would take on a new name as of April 1: Sunrise Beyond.
The staff, including studio president Nobuyoshi Habara, remains in place as employees of Sunrise. Though this means they won’t be participating in the next Yamato project (only Harutoshi Fukui has so far been confirmed), this new arrangement should see them steadily employed for the foreseeable future.
See the announcement at Anime News Network here.
Nobuyoshi Habara himself posted about it on Twitter later in the month. At left is his last picture of the studio with its former name, taken March 31. He posted the inaugural photo at right on April 5th with the following caption: ”After graduating from high school, I moved to Tokyo from Hiroshima Prefecture and started my life as an animator. The job has changed a bit, but I feel like I want to move pictures as an animator…and this Tweet is a commandment to remember the basics. It’s a new start in my 37th year.”
March 6: 1/350 Gimmick Model, Vol. 006
With volume 6, recognizable exterior parts gave way to the less glamorous – but certainly essential – process of installing fiber optics into the Wave-Motion Gun. Photo above right posted on Twitter by Taichiz32.
See Hachette’s instruction video here.
See an unboxing video here.
March 6: Twitter star
Those who read the Yamatour 2019 travelogue may remember that the Yakitori Yamato restaurant was visited by travelers on the evening of March 6. One of those travelers was Anton Kholodov, who saw fit to bring his hand-made Yamato uniform, which created enough of a stir for the staff to photograph him and share it with the world.
March 7: Theater display
A large standee promoting the new Yamato 2202 OUT magazine appeared without warning in the lobby of the Shinjuku Piccadilly theater, joining the large Yamato and Andromeda models before they were all whisked away on the 14th.
These photos were posted on Twitter by Osamu Kobayashi, who was involved in the production of the magazine, which was warmly welcomed by the fan community.
March 8: Music news
Hot on the heels of the two Yamato 2202 CDs that had just been released, this news arrived about the next addition to the growing Yamato catalogue…
A newly-recorded live performance of composer Kentaro Haneda’s Space Battleship Yamato Grand Symphony, the first CD with an original edition based on his discovered handwritten score!
To be released April 17 with UHQ-CD specs
Using themes and motifs from the legendary Japanese anime Space Battleship Yamato, pianist/composer Kentaro Haneda (known as “Haneken”) created the Yamato Grand Symphony, one of the finest symphonies of the 20th century. The latest recording of this symphony is about to be released. Composed when he was only 35, this was the only symphony he created during his prolific career. Using motifs he and Hiroshi Miyagawa produced, it is an orchestral arrangement in the style of a classic grand symphony.
First Laserdisc release (1985), second LD release (1993), DVD release (2005)
The first movement is in a sonata form using the famous main theme and the Iscandar theme. The second movement incorporates music from Final Yamato, in which Haneda participated as a composer. The third movement incorporates vocalization, and the finale develops into a double concerto with solo violin and solo piano using the Great Love theme. The music premiered in 1984 with its first public performance by the NHK Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Naoto Otomo. It was released on LP, CD, and home video, and another recording was done for Yamato Resurrection in 2009.
This new version was performed in August 2018 by the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra at Muza Kawasaki Symphony Hall as part of the “Famous Music Complete Series” of live recordings. Naoto Otomo returned to wave the baton, joined by soprano Sara Kobayashi, honorary concert master Yasuko Otani, and reunited with solo pianist Yukio Yokoyama who participated in the 2009 session recording. The Yamato Grand Symphony resounded through the hall in a passionate, enthusiastic performance that was greeted by a storm of “bravos” and a full six minutes of generous applause. In response to popular demand and to mark the 70th anniversary of the composer’s birth, the first live recording in ten years will be released.
Yamato Resurrection edition (2009), Sound Almanac edition (2014)
In addition, this performance adopts an original ending based on handwritten music that was discovered after the composer’s passing. Thus, this recording includes a completely original score not heard previously. In the words of his eldest daughter Ayako…
“Once a piece had its debut, my father usually threw away all the music he composed before it went out into the world, but only the score of Yamato Grand Symphony was put into a bag and carefully preserved in the shelf of his work room. I can’t help but think that he hoped a day like today would eventually come. A part of the handwritten score will be published for this release as sheet music discolored by cellophone tape. My father’s thoughts from those days come through in small notes written in pencil. What was going through his mind when he wrote “The End” in red after the fourth movement? He declined other work in 1984 so that he could give all of his passion to the Yamato Grand Symphony for over six months. I hope everyone can feel it again now, more than 35 years later.”
– Ayako, Managing Director for Music Office Co., Ltd.
Read a deeper history of the Grand Symphony here.
March 8: Promotional Meeting of Love, part 5
Episode 5 of this video talk show, titled Gatlantis needs love, too! Opened with Zordar himself giving a powerful spoiler warning. (See this inspired moment for yourself – and the rest of the video – here.)
Harutoshi Fukui and Nobuyoshi Habara discussed the overall picture of Gatlantis with voice actor Eriko Nakamura and anime writer Osamu Kobayashi, followed by a short conversation between Fukui and Captain Okita’s voice actor, Takayuki Sugo.
March 8: Series wrap party
One week after Chapter 7 opened, the staff and cast members gathered for a victory lap and were kind enough to share it on social media. Nobuyoshi Habara posted the photo above on his Instagram page.
Many others posted photos of the amazing, one-of-a-kind cake. This particular shot came from Satomi Moriya, the voice of Miki Saijo.
Everyone walked away with a thank-you gift of a stainless steel tumbler. Yuuto Uwabo of the CG studio Sublimation said it was “too good to use.”
Others happily shared pics of each other. At upper right we see Hideaki Tezuka (Zordar) with animator Noguchi Masatsune. At lower right are besties Nobuyoshi Habara and Kia Asamiya, who look about 100 tons lighter.
March 8: Episode 23 on TV
As Chapter 7 started its second week in theaters, the episodes it contained began to roll out on TV. In Soldiers of Love, the one chance for peace slipped through everyone’s fingers and Zordar declared his conquest of Earth.
See the trailer for this episode here.
March 9: Week 2 theater handout
The second of four handout packs for Chapter 7 contained animation layouts of Keyman and Yamamoto along with a 1978 model sheet of Kodai and Shima.
Left: setting out for the final 2202 road trip. Right: backstage at Movix Kyoto.
March 9 & 10: Week 2 stage greetings
Upholding their grand tradition, Habara and Fukui joined up with Eriko Nakamura and got on the road for a round of theater visits on the second weekend. Saturday had them at the Movix theater in Kyoto and Namba Parks Cinema in Osaka. Sunday brought them to Osaka Station City Cinema and then Midland Square Cinema in Nagoya.
Left: backstage at Namba Parks Cinema. Right: dinner in Osaka, Japan’s culinary paradise.
Sunday at Osaka Station City Cinema
Backstage at Nagoya with the Wave-Motion Lovegun
Left: hitsumashi dinner in Nagoya (eel on rice, a local specialty). Right: homeward bound at last.
While this was Habara and Fukui’s last theater road trip, it would NOT be their last stage greeting. Keep reading…
March 10: Yamato 2202 World website launches
In about a week and a half, Yamato 2202 World would open in Hiroshima with a new immersive experience for fans. The website gave them all a taste of what was in store and a look at custom merchandise to be sold.
The event has since come and gone, but the website is still visible here.
We’re just warming up! Click here to continue to part 2.