Akihabara awaits the release of Chapter 7 on home video. Photo posted on Twitter by Giga.
Yamato 2202 activity in April 2019 dropped to about half of what we saw in the climactic month of March as the last echoes of Chapter 7 washed over the world. Here’s what went on as the saga made its transition to a new legacy period…
April 1: Chapter 7 video commercial
The month kicked off with the loudest, angriest, most biblical Yamato 2202 commercial of them all, a 30-second spot to promote the forthcoming Chapter 7 home video.
Click here, crank up the volume, and pop that sucker to full screen!
April 3: 1/350 Diecast Gimmick Model, Volume 10
This volume of the giant weekly model kit from Hachette contained internal parts, including a conspicuous pair of chains that can only belong to rocket anchors.
See Hachette’s instruction video here.
See an unboxing video here.
April 7: OUT talkshow event
A fan gathering took place today centered on the famous OUT magazine. The special Yamato 2202 issue from late February re-activated memories of the fan culture that rallied around the original publication, and there would have been a lot of history to discuss. Guests included perennial MC Osamu Kobayashi and 2202 novelist Yuka Minagawa.
Photo at right posted on Twitter by Aoi2199.
April 7: Yamato World closes
After entertaining fans in Hiroshima since March 21, this one-of-a-kind venue closed its doors and entered the history books. (Back up to Report 33 to see the wonders it held.) The final day was marked by the last in a series of open-mic fan meetings that gave everyone a chance to discuss their favorite Yamato topic.
See a closing day highlight video for Yamato World here.
April 9: 43rd Miyazawa Model Exhibition
This Tokyo-based hobby show would have escaped mention here but for something that turned up in a blog post from Digitamin Hobby Shop: photos of an exquisite 1/1 Cosmo Gun water pistol by Daiki Co. (release date TBA). Unlike previous versions, this one comes with multiple nameplates; in addition to Mamoru Kodai, the gun could be customized for Susumu Kodai, Yuki Mori, or Juzo Okita. Also on hand was a silver Cosmo Dragoon from Galaxy Express 999.
See the Digitamin blog entry here.
April 9: Space Battleship Yamato: The Classic Collection
Has anyone checked the temperature in hell lately? Because after a decades-long wait, Seven Seas Entertainment has finally published the entire Yamato manga by Leiji Matsumoto in English. Translated by lifetime fan Zack Davisson (interviewed here), it runs a staggering 644 pages and is the only single-volume collection of Matsumoto’s entire body of Yamato work. It contains his complete Series 1 adaptation, his [unfinished] Yamato 2, and the “secret” chapter, Eternal Story of Jura.
Buy it at finer bookstores everywhere, order it from your local comic shop, or get it at Amazon here.
April 10: 1/350 Diecast Gimmick Model, Volume 11
After a few weeks of internal parts, this volume finally delivered a substantial and very recognizable portion of the forward deck. The bow of the ship was definitely taking shape!
Photo at right posted on Twitter by Peneloperx104.
See Hachette’s instruction video here.
See an unboxing video here.
April 11: Space news
When the first-ever photo of a black hole was captured (in the center of galaxy M87), news media around the world stood up and took notice. Japanese media turned to Yamato Resurrection for imaginary footage, all of which happened to be exactly the right color.
Screen captures from the Asahi Shimbun news service (at right) posted on Twitter by Soraneko.
Read about the historic photo at JPL’s website here.
Read more about black hole imaging here.
This was actually the second time in 2019 that Space Battleship Yamato crossed over into the world of real space exploration. The first time was in February, when the JAXA spacecraft Hayabusa 2 touched down on asteroid Ryugu and fired a bullet into its surface for sample collection. During a live broadcast of the operation, on-screen subtitles ran through the firing procedure for Yamato‘s Wave-Motion Gun.
Read an article about the mission (with video) at Spaceflight Insider.
April 17: Yamato Grand Symphony CD
Released by Denon, this was the third recording of the complex and magnificent Grand Symphony, composed by Kentaro Haneda. The first took place in 1984, the second for Resurrection in 2009, and this one was recorded in August 2018 with a variant ending from Haneda’s original sheet music. Read more about it in Report 33.
April 17: 1/350 Diecast Gimmick Model, Volume 12
This volume delivered two more large hull pieces that allowed modelers to continue adding to the bow and encase more of the internal parts.
See Hachette’s instruction video here.
See an unboxing video here.
Modeler NCC1701refit posted these photos on Twitter to show how much of the structure had come together so far, and hint at the impressive size we’re dealing with.
April 19: Yamato Crew goods announced
Yamato Crew added several new items to their online store, practically enough to fill up a movie theater gift shop. In fact, there were eight new 6″ acrylic figures to match the seven that were part of the Chapter 7 theater merch.
Three new clear files were offered, each sporting art that had previously been published in the Yamato 2202 OUT magazine. The artists are (L to R) Riho Yagisawa, Tsukasa Kotobuki, and Yuji Nakakita.
Additionally, there was a duplicate of the tumbler set that had been given to staff and cast members at the March 8 wrap party.
April 24: More Yamato Crew goods
Yamato Crew leveled up a few days later when they added three new art prints to the online store, all to be released in June. Each costs around $200, measures 20″ x 28″, and comes with a white aluminum frame.
The artists are Umegrafix (above left), Ryuji Umeno (above right), and Junichiro Tamamori (below).
As a further incentive, clear files and certificates of authenticity were added to the mix on May 10.
Another item added to the online store on the same day was this 17″ x 31″ poster of the long-forgotten Yamato 2520 designed by Syd Mead. Its return from obscurity was due to a Mead art exhibition that was soon to open in Tokyo.
As stated before, items ordered from Yamato Crew are only shipped to Japanese addresses. You’ll need a friend to order and send them to you.
April 24: 1/350 Diecast Gimmick Model, Volume 13
This week it was back to a set of unglamorous internal wiring and lighting parts that allowed for continued upgrading of the major pieces that had already come together. Photos above right posted on Twitter by Taichiz321.
See Hachette’s instruction video here.
See an unboxing video here.
See another instruction video here.
April 25: Hobby Japan #600
The historic 600th issue of Japan’s longest-running hobby magazine came with a bonus booklet (in the original smaller format) that covered the entire history of the publication.
The Yamato content consisted of these four pages, showing a custom build of the damaged Andromeda and a 1/8 resin model of Sabera.
The day after this issue was published, the Andromeda modeler posted additional photos on Twitter…
…and teased a battle-damaged Apollo Norm deck that may be part of a future article. Visit the modeler’s Twitter page here.
April 25: V Storage interview
With the imminent approach of Chapter 7 on home video, voice actor Hiroshi Kamiya surfaced one more time to speak about the milestone role of Klaus Keyman. Published by V Storage, much of the content repeated points made in earlier interviews, but these new questions came up as well. (SPOILER WARNING!)
Performing Keyman…who meets a heroic end!
Interviewer: How did you feel when you heard from Series Writer Harutoshi Fukui about the decision for Keyman’s end?
Kamiya: Mr. Fukui also wrote the limited edition drama CDs, The Story Behind Yamato That No One Should Hear, which take place in parallel with the main story (included as bonus items with DVDs and Blu-rays), and before one of the recordings, he told me just as a light spoiler, “Keyman is dead in the main story.” When I heard it, I was shocked. “Eh…DEAD!!” (Laughs) We talked after that about how Keyman is one of the characters who symbolizes 2202, and original elements become too strong if you keep them alive, so it would surely become a problem later. When thinking about the future content of Space Battleship Yamato, it has to be resolved in 2202.
In other words, I understood at the moment of that spoiler that there was no fate for Keyman other than death, and “I can’t think of any other kind of ending.” If my role had survived, I would have been overjoyed to continue performing if there was some chance, and I would have thought it was very important to survive. But to play a role properly and bring highlights to it and then disperse is more meaningful than survival. So I thought it would be good if a convincing end was prepared for Keyman, and I couldn’t help diving into the script when I got it. In view of his relationship with the Yamato Crew to the end, the decisions he made, what he could do, and the situation he was placed in, I honestly felt, “I can’t say I’m happy about it, but they’ve prepared something for Keyman that is completely convincing.”
Interviewer: In past interviews, you’ve said that Keyman may become a character who symbolizes 2202. As the performer, what role do you think Keyman played?
Kamiya: In the process of translating the original into a modern version, it was necessary to create a character that could easily move around as an original element. Keyman could take actions that were not tied down to the original work, and I think that made it easier to add new developments to the story. I played Keyman from Chapter 1 through Chapter 7, and once again I think he’s a character who symbolizes the work called 2202.
Interviewer: What did the staff and cast say after the last recording? Please tell me if anyone left an impression.
Kamiya: I can’t remember anything in particular, because I immediately went into interviews (laughs), but we all got flowers from the staff. From Director Nobuyoshi Habara to Kodai, from Sound Supervisor Tomohiro Yoshida to Yuki, Scriptwriter Hideki Oka to Shima, and from Mr. Fukui to Keyman. I was really happy about that. Mr. Fukui created Keyman as a character to symbolize 2202, and I was very thankful to get flowers from him because I felt that I had added a new breath to the original works, Farewell and Yamato 2. When I got them, I thought about the role of Keyman and how I was able to work with Mr. Fukui and other staff members to make it convincing.
Interviewer: What kind of work was 2202, which used “love” as its theme? Please give us your impression as a viewer.
Kamiya: Since “love” is a power word that can solve everything, isn’t it cheap to use it as a theme? Honestly, when the word “love” is used to affirm everything, thinking comes to a complete stop. In 2202 the word cannot be easily used in such a high-handed attitude, because it starts from the place where the enemy Zordar does not understand the meaning of the word. It felt scary at first, and I wondered what the end would be. Then there was the conflict that Kodai didn’t fire the Wave-Motion Gun, and the final episode will give you an answer for the end of the journey that properly connects with the theme of “love.”
Using the word “love” is not a high-handed statement, it’s presented as a choice. Let’s all choose it at the end. However, it is presented so that you can see which answer to choose. I liked it very much. I thought Houchu Otsuka’s [Sanada’s] performance was wonderful, and after I finished watching it I thought 2202 was a very good story. Using the power word “love” does not stop thinking. It presents an answer that could only be reached because we went on a long journey. As for the role of Keyman, I was really thankful in the end that I could make it such a highlight. It was really good to be involved in this work.
Interviewer: Finally, please give a message to the fans who took the long journey of 26 episodes.
Kamiya: 2202 gives a new interpretation of the SF classics Farewell to Yamato and Yamato 2, and it’s a remake that is easy to convey to everyone living in the present day. I want people who have the prejudice that Yamato is “a work from a long time ago” to watch it. I think they’ll find that it is about the future. It tells a complete story in 26 episodes and also presents an answer to the fans who were wondering if it would end like Farewell or Yamato 2. Yamato 2202 will be a new masterpiece in the future, and when Space Battleship Yamato is revived in some other form 20 or 30 years from now, I think this work will surely be seen as a huge hurdle. I hope many people will continue watching it widely without prejudice.
April 26: Chapter 7 on home video
The release of Chapter 7 gave collectors one last shot at extras. The disc itself was available on DVD and Blu-ray with the same internal features as the theater edition that had been released on March 1, but there were bonus items if you were willing to spend a little more. (Photo above posted on Twitter by O Chan 1967.)
The first bonus item was the seventh and final Amazon audio drama CD. Written by Harutoshi Fukui, this one goes completely off the reservation. Titled Listen for the last time! Keyman’s reflections in the next world, “I didn’t expect you, Teresa”, it follows Keyman into what can only be called a Wizard-of-Oz-type afterlife that echoes the side-anime he was involved in. The cast includes the actors for Kodai, Yuki, and Shima in other roles. There’s no telling whether or not these things will eventually be translated, but if so they are sure to be mind-bending.
The second bonus was a clear-color Yamato mini-model with custom packaging creatively bundled with the video.
April 26: Concert announced
We’re not quite done with that last entry yet – one more unexpected bonus item was a mini-flyer tucked into the video that quietly announced a date for the promised Yamato 2202 concert: October 14.
The official 2202 website added an announcement page on the same day with the following data…
Space Battleship Yamato Salon of Love (working title)
On October 14, Bunkamura Orchard Hall [in Tokyo] becomes Yamato‘s bridge!
Around the musicians who have produced Yamato sound over two generations of parents and children, mainly Akira Miyagawa, we’re holding the first concert featuring voice actors Koichi Yamadera, Eriko Nakamura, and other extravagant crew members! You will enjoy relaxing music in a special program with live music and end theme singing. We look forward to seeing you on board.
Plans are now afoot to make this concert the centerpiece of another Yamatour. Stay tuned!
April 26: Mecha Collection model kit #12
The official name for this one is “Zero Type 52 Autonomous Drone Fighter Blackbird,” and it contains two fightercraft.
The Kato-type has a blue nose and the drone-type is monochrome. The previously-released 1/72 version is a single craft with option parts to build one or the other.
Photo at right posted on Twitter by Hirorochcom.
April 26: V Storage “Devil’s Choice” contest
Starting on this day, V Storage put fans face to face with Zordar in a contest of wills. From April 26 to May 17, this page at the website was devoted to putting you through the wringer with a series of progressively tougher options. And only the fate of the universe was at stake.
Five lucky winners would receive sets of seven movie posters, one from each chapter.
April 27: Syd Mead exhibition opens
Progressions, an art exhibition devoted to the works of Syd Mead, opened today at 3331 Arts Chiyoda. For the first time in over twenty years, his designs and paintings for Yamato 2520 were back in public view, most prominently in the giant 86″ x 31″ mural shown above. (Photo posted on Twitter by SydMode.)
In addition to the displays, which ranged from 2520 to Turn A Gundam to countless other works, a set of five 2520 postcards was sold.
Photo at right posted on Twitter by Jkumo.
The exhibition remained open until May 19. Visit the official website here.
April 28: Carnival Yamato in Tokyo
Super Comic City, a doujinshi-based event similar to Comiket, was held on this day at Tokyo Big Site. On hand in one section of the venue was a group of 21 Yamato fan circles who came together under the banner of “Carnival Yamato” to sell their latest handmade works. There was also a “jam-zine” called Carnival Yamato that featured their artwork in a single publication. An identical event would be held one week later at Super Comic City in Osaka with 11 circles.
See a gallery of art and photos from Carnival Yamato Tokyo here.
April 28: Family Theater reruns
Satellite channel Family Theater began a complete rerun of the entire “new Yamato” saga on this day, and they weren’t kidding around. The entire 2199 series ran all day on April 28 with 2202 following all day on the 29th. Then they started the whole thing again for another round on April 30, May 1, and May 2. A Voyage to Remember and Ark of the Stars were presented as a double feature on May 1.
But wait, there’s more! When it all kicked off on the 28th, Family Theater launched this mysterious website with no explanation. The text reads simply, Space Battleship Yamato Project, October 6 2019, Launch!!
The date is not a mystery; October 6 is the anniversary of Series 1’s first appearance in 1974. But the project itself…? We’ll just have to wait and see.
April 29: Umegrafix on Twitter
Ryuji “Umegrafix” Umeno gave us all a treat on this day when he revived a beautiful Garmillas poster image he created for Yamato 2199, sharing his rough sketch AND a rejected sketch of the Yamato girls. See larger versions of all three at the end of this page.
Visit the Umegrafix Twitter page here.
April 30: Yamato Crew goods announced
Yamato Crew finished off the month with two more new products, set to ship in June. Both are custom storage boxes, one for the seven Yamato 2202 program books and the other for script booklets that came with videos ordered from the Yamato Crew website.
As a reminder, you need a friend in Japan to get these for you.
Also spotted in April
Leiji Matsumoto on the road
A new Leiji Matsumoto tour began with an art exhibit called Worlds of Leiji Matsumoto. It took place from April 10-21 at the Joyful Honda Nitta store in Ota city. The man himself arrived for a talk show on the final day.
Free art image
For a limited time, Web Newtype is offering this artwork free for anyone who wants it. The image was created for Yamato 2202 OUT magazine and is available until May 31. So don’t delay, get it here!
Hero’s Record art
Models in all shapes and sizes floated off workbenches and onto Twitter. See a huge gallery of the latest creations here.
Meanwhile, in a category all his own, is this origami version of the 1978 Zordar. Posted on Twitter by Sudaashiya.
Cosplayer Ramumannma had the field all to herself in April (at least on Twitter) where she and a partner posed as Yamato‘s cutest couple for a day.
Visit Ramumannma’s Twitter page here.
See Kodai and Yuki in date mode here.
Display model sighting
The large-scale Yamato and Andromeda display models are alive and well! On April 21 they were spotted at the Phoenix Shigaia Resort in Miyazaki city. As for exactly what they were doing there…who cares?
Photos posted on Twitter by Boottag.
Roadside Yamato sighting
Another large-scale Yamato is this homemade fiberglass version that sits on Prefectural Road 30 in Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima. Once in a while, fans spot it and post the pics on Twitter, making it a touchstone for the fan community. It was spotted again on April 29 by S Meijin, who commented that it looks like it just flew out of the sulphuric acid sea on Gamilas.
See his photos here.