by Kathy Clarkson, Anton Mei Brandt, and Daniel George
Episode 1: Revive, Space Battleship Yamato!
“The universe is infinitely vast. An endless expanse of silent light. Stars die and new stars are born. An eternal cycle of life. Yes. The universe is alive. It lives. It lives! And that is why we will show it … our love.”
[AMB]: Ah, the classic Yamato narration opener. Wait, what’s going on…?
We cut away from a shot of the Andromeda galaxy to a large white comet traveling through the cosmos, destroying asteroids in its path. From the center of the comet emerges a fleet of warships which launches an attack on a nearby planet. A huge organic-looking structure is destroyed, leaving a gaping hole where subterranean levels can be seen.
[AMB]: While not nearly as lengthy a sequence as it was in Farewell to Yamato, the opening still hits the same high points of dramaturgy. Back in ’78 there was a different meaning behind its eerie and slow-paced intro, lulling the viewer into an anxious worrying state of inevitable tragedy. There’s also a visual reference to Gatlantis’ origins from Yamato 2, that being the Andromeda galaxy.
Cut to a cavernous alien room. One individual sits while others stand around the perimeter, observing the outcome.
[AMB]: And from left to right we see: Goenitz, Sabera, Razera, Balzey and a mysterious fifth individual. The gang’s all here, with extras it seems! Those we recognize share designs more similar to their Farewell to Yamato counterparts, which I personally prefer. Though one can see aspects of both Farewell and Yamato 2 being referenced.
Missiles dive toward the surface of the world, changing course to sail down a passageway into a large chamber guarded by a significant number of humanoids. They seem to be protecting an ornately carved doorway. The missiles transform into androids (called Needleslaves) and the humanoids are all struck down to a man.
[KC]: The creators of Space Battleship Yamato 2202 promised that it would be a mix of elements from Farewell to Yamato and its TV counterpart Yamato 2. Right out of the gate we get a new version of a familiar monologue about the vastness of space and witness Gatlantis’ attack on Telezart, but things rapidly go off in a somewhat different direction with Emperor Zordar’s ominous threats about love and the scene of Telezart being guarded by members of a mystical order.
[AMB]: Really gives off the feeling that something is wrong. Half the narration goes as it should, but trails off to something far more sinister. In a sense, I guess this is Writer Harutoshi Fukui’s way of saying “You’re in for something different.”
[KC]: These priests (or whatever they are) who martyr themselves seem to be creating some kind of protective energy field, not that it does them a bit of good. Could be science, could be magic. I am just disappointed that their blood is red, because they looked blue to me and I was hoping that they were Garmillans.
[AMB]: Garmillans or not, they’re certainly pacifistic in nature, standing up to weaponized terror with only faith on hand. If they are Garmillans, the staff could be alluding to a story arc from Yamato III where Dessler’s new planet is facing a religious crisis, hundreds of people converting to belief in what seems to be a living God. This won’t be the last time we see these monks, nor the last time we see Garmillans affected by the collapse of the Dessler regime. In any case, I think they’re just followers of Teresa.
[KC]: I have a silly theory that I’m saving for a future episode.
Back in the cavernous room, the seated individual stands before a view screen. He monologues as the camera pans up, questioning the purpose of the individuals that have just been obliterated and embellishing on his love theme. We see, now, that this is Emperor Zordar of Gatlantis. He is addressing someone he refers to as Teresa … and Teresa answers.
“Everything has been predetermined. But that does not mean all is lost. Warriors of a distant star, my hope now rests with you…”
[KC]: Back in the day, Zordar engaged in megalomania purely for the sake of it. This time it looks like there will be something more to Gatlantis’ policy of enslaving or destroying every world they encounter, which is refreshing.
[AMB]: He had the presence of a sitcom dad to me in Yamato 2, like an Al Bundy given power to rule the universe. Now he has an aura more akin to his conceptual origins, which is neat. And here’s a fun fact; the scene where Zordar stands up is drawn by Tomonori Kogawa, character designer and animation director for Farewell to Yamato. You can read more about it here.
[KC]: Conspicuously absent from this first episode is everyone’s favorite fascist, Abelt Dessler. Full disclosure; as a huge fan of the original ruler of Gamilas, I was pretty disappointed with the reimagining of the character for Yamato 2199. He was, in fact, the only thing about 2199 that disappointed me. So I am not too broken up over the fact that we don’t see him in this first episode.
[AMB]: I had a different reaction. As a newer fan, my first exposure was 2199. Then I watched Farewell, 2202 (up to chapter 5) and then Yamato 2. In Farewell, Dessler doesn’t show up until halfway through, reluctantly agreeing to the humiliation of being Gatlantis’ pawn. We’ll see how that pans out later down the line in 2202.
After the opening sequence, we move to a different part of space and the Earth Defense Force Special Mixed Fleet. They are in formation, heading unspecified. Then, presumably not far off, we see a Garmillas Fleet in formation.
“Prepare for ship to ship combat,” an officer intones. The fleets meet…and merge into one unified force.
[KC]: I love the setup for this. They go out of their way to make it look like the Earth and Garmillas fleets are squaring off against each other, even using the same music that opened 2199. When the two combine it makes my heart happy. This is the biggest departure from the original series so far, this alliance between Earth and Garmillas, and I am in love with absolutely everything about it.
[AMB]: A welcome departure indeed! And the orange-hued backdrop is drop-dead gorgeous. People can say whatever they want about Makoto Kobayashi (Assistant Director/Mecha Design/Art Direction) but his alien artwork for this fictional world is… well, out of this world.
[KC]: For the record, I don’t care much one way or the other about the different ships of this franchise even though that is a big part of the fandom, but the scrollwork on those Garmillas ships is gorgeous and I think I want it on my own vehicle.
[AMB]: While of the same mind, I do have to commend the staff for their model work and the immense variety of ships in this episode. Considering the departure of CG Director Takashi Imanishi (of 2199, City Hunter and Gundam The Origin fame) I was positively surprised, especially since this aspect of 2202 (to me) kept getting better and better.
Nestled in the atmosphere of a gas giant, the Garmillas 8th Floating Continent Base “Gamilasia Mk 8” has been occupied for 60 days by Gatlantis. Earth is there to assist the Garmillas in expelling the occupiers. Among the Earthlings is Susumu Kodai, now captain of the Kongo-class space battleship Yuunagi. Serving on his bridge are Yasuo Nanbu, as well as Yoshikazu Aihara, who suggests collecting intel on the Garmillas Zoellugut-class battleships while they have the opportunity. He is reprimanded by Kodai.
[AMB]: Something worth noting here is Aihara’s mention of Zoellugut-class ships being “rare” in the Garmillas fleet (there were only three in 2199). My theory regarding this class being more common in 2202 has to do with a symbolic change from autocracy to democracy. Before, these ships belonged to Dessler, Domel (a friend of the Fuhrer) and Zoellick (spearhead of the aristocracy). The filigree on the ships are similar to the scrollwork seen in Dessler’s throne room in 2199, which provides the inception of my theory. The presence of three in one place could say a lot about the importance of this mission.
[DG]: In 2199, the three Zoellguts were named Deusler I, Zoellugut II, and Domelaze III. Their numbers have increased in the subsequent three years, as evidenced here and later in the series. These three, incidentally, are named Kerberos I, II, and III (which, given there are three ships, is a nod to the [usually] three-headed dog of Greek mythology). They’re still relatively rare because of their massive cost compared to smaller classes of ships. They’re not intended for use as a vanguard ship, but rather as a flagship. We see other examples of this transitioning from 2199 to 2202, namely in the Gelvades-class battle carrier, which had also seen limited production due to cost and complexity of construction.
I don’t think a change in the nature of the government would be needed to expand the construction of either class of ship. Most likely, Admiral Gul Dietz of the Garmillan Navy made a recommendation for both classes of ships to be built, which was then approved by the government. The process would be the same as under Dessler’s totalitarian rule, but a Parliament would have to approve it instead.
Back at Earth Defense Headquarters Central Command Center, we see Yuki Mori and Mikage Kiryu with Commander Todo and Officer Serizawa, as well as a few Garmillas and Earth men in business suits. This is the strategy-room extension of the Earth/Garmillas alliance seen in the battlefield. The Garmillas national emblem has been added to the command center to reinforce the point.
[KC]: Who are these guys, lawyers? Corporate representatives? Weapons manufacturers? The show isn’t going to tell us, so all we can do is speculate.
[AMB]: Could be all or none of these things. But based on their dialogue regarding the production of WMG-weapons, they sure sound like investors to me. We’ll see more of these guys in later chapters, so do your best to keep speculating!
[DG]: We see a large number of named ships in this fleet. Many of these are named for Japanese or American vessels, but there are some interesting ones here, many of which have stories behind them.
- Yuunagi – Kodai’s ship is named for a Kamikaze–class destroyer that served in World War II
- Shimakaze – this was the name of one of the Isokaze-class torpedo boats in the Earth fleet destroyed at Pluto in 2199.
- Saratoga – of six US Navy ships to bear this name (for the Battle of Saratoga in the American War of Independence), two were aircraft carriers. The first was CV-3, a Lexington-class carrier which fought in the Pacific theater in World War II (most notably at Guadalcanal). The second was CV-60, a Forrestal-class carrier that fought in Vietnam and participated in Operation Desert Storm in 1991.
- Iroquois – named for the Iroquois people of North America.
- Ticonderoga – named for an Essex-class carrier which conducted air strikes on Kyushu in the closing stages of World War II.
- Hubbardton – named for the Battle of Hubbardton in the American War of Independence in 1777.
- Farragut – named for David Farragut, the first Rear Admiral, Vice Admiral, and Admiral in the US Navy, famous for the misquoted phrase, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead”.
- Patterson – named for a US Navy destroyer which was moored at Pearl Harbor on the December 7, 1941 (in turn, named after early 19th Century US Navy officer Daniel Patterson, and like several other ship names here, was also a name of one of the Knox-class frigates)
- Pharris – named for Jackson C Pharris, a Congressional Medal of Honor winner for heroism aboard the USS California during the Pearl Harbor bombings.
- Valdez – named for Phil Isador Valdez, a US Marine Corps medic who became the first American soldier of Spanish descent to have a warship named in his honor
- Kirk – named for Admiral Alan Goodrich Kirk, who commanded the US forces at Normandy and later became Ambassador to the Soviet Union. (Patterson, Pharris, Valdez, and Kirk were all names of ships of the Vietnam-era Knox-class frigate, which probably explains their common inclusion here. However, a case could also be made for a second reference here – that obviously being a Star Trek reference, to the original captain, James T. Kirk.
- Sugarloaf – this could either be a reference to Sugarloaf Mountain in Brazil, or to Sugar Loaf Hill, a small hill captured by U.S. Marines in the Okinawa campaign in 1945. If this were a Brazilian ship and named as such, it would be consistent with Japanese ship naming convention for ships such as Kirishima and Kongo, which were named after Japanese mountains.
- Independence – multiple US ships have borne this name, most famously the last of the Forrestal-class aircraft carriers (CV-62) as well as a light aircraft carrier which served in World War II. More recently the name of a stealthy-looking Littoral Combat Ship.
The battle commences. Kodai commands Yuunagi directly into their midst, weaving and firing almost as deftly as his Cosmo Zero. His ship also carries some pretty powerful missiles, able to take out a Medaluza in one round, almost certainly a callback to his brother doing the same with cutting-edge weapons in 2199‘s battle of Pluto. Despite vastly outnumbering the combined fleet, Gatlantis falls back to the floating continent, almost daring their enemies to follow.
By the start of 2202, previous productions have created a wellspring of Gatlantis ships to draw from. In 2199 we saw redesigns of the Destroyer and the “Goland” missile ship (now renamed the Kukulkan and Lasceaux respectively). Ark of the Stars gave us new versions of the “Nasca” (now referred to as the Nasca-class carrier) and most memorably the Medaluza with its twin Flame-Strike Cannons. Three of those four are back (“Goland” got another redesign to add muscle), and will soon be joined for the first time by a fifth. (There’s also the Deathvatator fighter craft, but we’re just talking capital ships at the moment.)
The Garmillas fleet has a new countermeasure for the Medaluza, a huge floating shield with its own maneuvering capability. It can’t actually take many hits before being shredded, but that’s not its only function; it also blacks out local warp capabilities to keep enemies from escaping (or using the much-vaunted “small warp” strategy to outflank). But everything on the Earth/Garmillas side runs second to the monster we’re all about to meet.
[AMB]: Interestingly enough, it seems like this warp-block effect is what helps absorb the Medalusa ships flame strike guns, making the Zoellgut ships literal taunt shields.
The reveal of this menacing vessel is one of the biggest surprises delivered in the first episode. In the original story, it was essentially a background mecha, referred to simply as “Dai Senkan” (Large Battleship). Now it’s been established at 520 meters long (about 1.5 Yamatos) and given the class name Calaklum. This follows the precedent of other Gatlantis capital ships whose names are (for some reason) derived from Earth heritage.
In 1978, the name of the Comet Empire ship “Nazka” was derived from the ancient South American name (and the famous Nazca lines were a design element within the Comet Empire’s lower half). That naming convention was continued in Yamato 2199 with “Lasceaux” and “Kukulkan.” Following that trend, Calaklum is based on Calakmul (a Mayan archeology site), respelled for easier pronunciation in Japanese according to 2202 Director Nobuyoshi Habara. It’s rendered “Karakrum” in other media, such as model kits and Funimation’s subtitles, but this is simply a phonetic interpretation without sufficient research into the origin of the name.
Even more unexpected is the initial appearance of the ship, covered entirely in rock. This is a nod toward one of the earliest concepts for Yamato as an asteroid ship carrying a layer of earth rock for protection – which led to the notion of an asteroid ring.
There’s also an unusual reason for the ship to have appeared this early in the story. Writer Harutoshi Fukui mentioned in more than one interview how frustrated he was as a kid by how difficult the Large Battleship model kit was to build. (He’s not wrong – that thing is a real challenge!) His rationale was that the sooner he got it into the series, the sooner Bandai would roll out a modern version. And that’s exactly what happened.
[KC]: Kodai grits his teeth a lot, and we set the tone for the military engagements that we can expect moving forward; grossly overblown. Even before Gatlantis reveals their secret superweapon, their number far outweighs the combined strength of Earth and Garmillas.
[AMB]: The giant battleship emerges from a cross eerily similar to the one seen in Ark of the Stars. Ancient Akerian WMD? The show does make sure to point out how the floating continent was a place for Akerius research… Whatever the case, the cross seems to be symbolic of God’s (Akerius) judgement on us humans, but why are we being judged?
[KC]: Hmm, more Ark references. I know there has been some criticism among fans regarding the over-the-top battle sequences, but in my opinion they serve multiple purposes that play out across the series and are necessary to the plot. Also, this is space opera; just go with it.
[AMB]: In a post-series interview, Producer Shoji Nishizaki spoke about the differences between Izubuchi’s Yamato (2199 Director) and Fukui’s Yamato (2202 Writer). He mentioned that Izubuchi distinguished himself through the visualization of Yamato‘s tech and style whereas Fukui has a more intricately woven thread of themes and storytelling. These differences in approach can definitely be seen through the different stories they tell in battle sequences.
The Calaklum spins up its super-weapon (sort of a cross between Yamato‘s asteroid ring and Gundam‘s psychoframe bits) and lays waste to the Garmillas ships. Commander Todo orders the Earth fleet to pull back, but Serizawa points out that they now have an opportunity to enact “Plan A.” Yuki and Mikage are confused, but Todo is resigned. “Plan A” is a go. In a hot second, both Yuki and Mikage are shifted into a new data stream. Yuki is shocked when she realizes what’s about to happen.
[KC]: Begin Operation “Screw You, Starsha!”
[AMB]: I love this scene. You can see how much both of these powerful men; Todo and Serizawa, feel the weight of their impending decision as they break into sweats and reluctantly leaning on each other’s judgement in order to proceed. Chilling, really.
From behind Yuunagi, two blasts lance out and disperse in dozens of directions, obliterating the entire Gatlantis fleet. The assault has come from Andromeda and the weapon is most assuredly Wave-Motion technology.
[AMB]: And the Andromeda is commanded by Captain Hiji-…wait, it’s captained by Osamu Yamanami, who formerly captained Kirishima under Admirals Okita and Hijikata! He’s really climbed up the ranks hasn’t he? Back in the day, he was a one-off Captain of Yamato made up for Be Forever Yamato, but with the help of both 2199 and 2202 he’s been seamlessly integrated from the very beginning of this rebooted story. Also, his beard grew out these past 3 years.
On Yuunagi, Kodai and his crew are shocked and angry, even in the face of their victory. Kodai recalls the promise his former Captain Okita made to Starsha of Iscandar, juxtaposed by Sanada’s cold words regarding Earth’s sustained future through re-weaponizing Wave-Motion technology. “In order to survive”.
[AMB]: The way Andromeda‘s beams pierce through a planet of some sort simply because it’s in the way is a great shot. Both figuratively and literally! Earth is on a dangerous path, where nothing is sacred.
[KC]: I believe that toward the end of 2199, when Dessler makes his last failed attempt to destroy Yamato, he also shoots through one of his own planets to get to them. I don’t think it’s a coincidence or an accident that Earth has taken a page from his book, and it is starting to make a bit more sense to me why Starsha prefers to live on a planet all by herself.
At headquarters, the suits (Earth and Garmillas alike) seem quite pleased with themselves as Andromeda begins to lead a cleanup operation. However, Yuki is not pleased at all, and harshly reminds Commander Todo of the promise made to Starsha of Iscandar.
[KC]: I really like the exchange between one of the suits from Earth and the Garmillas man beside him:
“After our success here today, perhaps the people of Garmillas will begin to see the Earth in a new light.”
“No doubt,” the Garmillas smirks. “Earth’s enemies will, too.”
As someone who has always been fonder of the Garmillas, I cannot get enough of the in-depth interaction between the races of these two worlds. While 2202 may not have been written by the same people that brought us 2199, both series have expanded on characters and given us glimpses into their motivations and culture that I never dreamed I would get from an official source. If only they applied that same level of dedication to their merchandising. (Sorry, I grew up spoiled by Star Wars. I want Garmillas toys, figures, clothing and accessories and I am never going to shut up about it.)
[AMB]: A consequence of 2199‘s aggressive marketing to be sure.
And some might (and certainly have) critiqued the show for its constant flow of information from every character on screen. As an encyclopedic nerd, I for one welcome this (haha). To respond to this critique however, there’s a difference between having the characters deliver dialogue fitting for their positions, and having them supply the viewers with entertaining and thoughtful dialogue. The latter is what this microcosm of a scene certainly did!
The EDF battleships Defiant and Saratoga are permitted to withdraw and warp back to Earth. Suddenly, the engines of the massive Gatlantis battleship come back up and it charges past Andromeda in pursuit, plunging into its own warp gate straight back to the Command Center on Earth! As it passes Andromeda it seems to have gotten even larger, almost double the size of Earth’s new flagship – which reflects Director Nobuyoshi Habara’s policy to throw specs aside in favor of dramatic effect.
[DG]: Or is it? While the same effect was used earlier to make Andromeda stand out compared to Yuunagi, there’s more to this with the Calaklums. The size difference does not change later in this episode, as we shall see.
The artwork and the subtitles conflict here: is it Defiance or Defiant? There’s a difference between what we see stencilled on the ship (Defiant) and what is mentioned in the official subs (Defiance). Historically, HMS Defiance was a name used for numerous Royal Navy vessels that served between 1588 and 1884, at which time the name was transferred to the Royal Navy Torpedo School.
Defiant, on the other hand, was the name of multiple ships in various eras of the Star Trek universe, including in Deep Space Nine. If the on-ship spelling is in fact correct, then this (and possibly the Murasame-class cruiser Kirk seen in the flotilla) could be nods to the science-fiction franchise that many consider Yamato‘s western equivalent.
[AMB]: And they’re gone. Poor guys, right? I’ll commend my dear Serizawa for giving these ships and their crew the go-ahead to leave the battlefield for repairs though.
[DG]: These defense satellites look like pylons with a bunch of decommissioned Kongo-class battleship turrets. Like the woefully-underpowered laser turrets of Kirishima in Operation M, these turrets are spewing out green beams rather than shock-cannon blue. Can we infer from this that they have the similar levels of ineffective power to the Pluto fleet in Operation M?
The enemy battleship, glowing like lava, literally gate-crashes the solar system, smashing right through the defensive perimeter around the moon and diving directly at command HQ. “So this is how Gatlantis fights their battles,” Todo comments bitterly as Serizawa chokes, giving up the situation as hopeless. Yuki is the one to start running the evacuation program, with Todo ordering for the passages to the underground city to open up, the same city which protected them from Garmillas attacks only a few years before.
[KC]: Here is a good example of why I have no complaints regarding the level of excess these battles will go to. Yes, the Gatlantis fleet was almost ridiculous in number. Yes, Andromeda basically wiped them all out in one shot, problem solved. But now this behemoth is on a collision course and things are exciting again. Especially since the only one to go after it is (naturally) Kodai in Yuunagi.
[AMB]: Destruction begets destruction after all. And it immediately brings up a subconscious question in our minds; how far is humanity willing to go in order to survive?
[KC]: The counterpoint to Kodai’s reckless, desperate attempt to protect the Earth yet again is Serizawa’s cowardly abandonment of all responsibility. He basically sits there with his eyes bugging out, waiting for his inevitable death and forcing Yuki and Todo to take matters into their own hands. I am definitely on Team Serizawa-is-a-Garbage-Person.
[AMB]: My perspective on Serizawa is that if he is Izumo and Todo is Yamato, they’re both a sort of yin and yang representing cold rationalism and hopeful idealism. Serizawa makes a point in this scene that, based on the speed of the Gatlantis battleship and its impact angle, Earth would be doomed. Hence, his rationalism becomes a crutch. He does not cave out of cowardice, he caves because he understands how hopeless it is. But Todo picks up where he falls.
This is what makes his working relationship with Todo so interesting to me. They are substantially different in their ways of thinking, but they use their abilities to better one another and the military as a whole for the sake of humanity. In the same episode, we’ve seen Todo almost about to dismiss Andromeda for the sake of an idealistic promise, which could have ended in the complete loss of the Earth-Garmillas task force. Serizawa gets him out of it. Later we see Serizawa cave in a similar manner, this time with Todo taking responsibility in his stead. People can and should work despite their differences, for the sake of the whole.
[KC]: Serizawa does provide a necessary balance, and I do accept the general conceit that you can’t have space opera without space battles. Honoring Okita’s promise would have made Earth completely vulnerable to Gatlantis and effectively ended the story before it began. Still, all of my nuance is reserved for excusing problematic Garmillas behavior, so on the nature of Serizawa’s character we will have to agree to disagree.
[DG]: It should be kept in mind that many characters in Yamato were named for members of the Shinsengumi, the special police force of the Bakufu (Military Government) in the 1860s, including original saga characters Okita, Todo, Hijikata, Saito, and Yamanami. Yamato 2199 added Shinsengumi names such as Harada, Nimii, and Ito. Ark of the Stars gave us Nagakura. Yamato 2199 took the use of the names further in a subplot which loosely followed the historical Shinsengumi factions (Serizawa, Nimii, and Ito part of one faction whilst Todo, Okita, Hijikata, Yamanami, and Harada were part of another). Historically, that wound up in the favor of the Okita faction as well.
Yuunagi warps in. Kodai attempts to stop the Gatlantis ship with a conventional attack, but the weapons do nothing. He then tries pushing them off course, but this plan also fails. (There’s an odd moment where an outline of the battleship on Kiryuu’s screen resembles the original Dreadnought from 1978, which proves a bit distracting to older viewers.) Suddenly, Yuki uses a secret channel to patch him through to Shiro Sanada, who has an idea of his own. He needs the Gatlantis ship’s course data.
[DG]: Here we see that this Calaklum absolutely dwarfs the 205-meter Yuunagi (image brightened for clarity). It’s clearly at least four times as long as opposed to the “canonical” 2.6 times as long. While it might be easy to argue production technique to emphasize the larger ship, it’s more appropriate when the two ships aren’t up against one another. Additionally, we find out later that Calaklums can come in different sizes (although it’s not until much later in that we find out why that is possible).
Sanada, along with Hikozaemon Tokugawa, Isami Enomoto and Shou Yamazaki, are of course on board Yamato. The ship is currently bolted down in an underwater drydock for renovation. With the coordinates in hand and seconds to spare, she disengages from the docking facility to roll and aim her mighty shock cannons straight up. In one phenomenal blast, Yamato pierces the drydock canopy, scatters the water above it, and destroys the Gatlantis battleship!
All evidence points to this dock being located in the port city of Kure where the original IJN Battleship Yamato was built. If so, the body of water above the dock is the Seto Inland Sea, near Hiroshima.
[DG]: During the course of events here, we see Yamato‘s turret loaded with blue-colored shells. These are Wave-Motion Cartridges, a weapon that was first seen in Be Forever Yamato as a firepower boost for the shock cannons. They gave the cannons some extra punch when the Wave-Motion Gun was not an option. Since the ship currently draws its power only from the auxiliary engines, they can’t fire the shock cannons at normal power, if at all. (We saw a similar situation at the end of 2199‘s first episode; Yamato shot down a Polmeria carrier using ballistic shells, since they didn’t have energy to fire the shock cannons.) The Wave-Motion Cartridges at least give them the same penetration power (if not more) as the shock cannons when the Wave-Motion Engine is running.
One may ask why Yamato‘s shock cannons penetrated the Calaklum‘s hull while those of the larger and more powerful Andromeda could not. We’ll get a very good visual explanation of this several episodes from here, but the short answer is trade-off of power for rate of fire gain.
[DG]: Meanwhile, we get a nice high-altitude shot of Japan as the camera pans to Yuunagi as she enters the atmosphere. Here we see Hiroshima in the cove at the far left. Kure is in the bottom right of that cove, surrounded by islands. The exploding Calaklum obstructs the view of Onomichi, with the lit-up area just to the right of it being Fukuyama.
[AMB]: As the episode ends, we see Todo with a glint in his eye until cold rationalism makes him realize that Yamato just broke military protocol in front of important men dressed in important business suits.
There is a moment of relief, awe and joy that Yamato has indeed saved Earth for a second time. Then a flash from some indescribable distance; a “cosmo wave” from Teresa touches the minds of crew members on both Yamato and Yuunagi. Appearing before Kodai is Captain Juuzo Okita, speaking a clear message; “Kodai. Board Yamato. Get on board Yamato.”
[KC]: And a new adventure begins, hooray! Overall, the first episode has more in common with the opening of Farewell than Yamato 2, but we now have a legitimate, previously unseen alliance between Earth and their former enemy against a new threat. I am all in.
[AMB]: There were aspects similar to Yamato 2, mainly the crew’s reaction to Andromeda as it passes. But as you say, we’re in for quite the ride!
[DG]: This closing shot strongly implies to me that the entire structure containing Yamato is submersible. We see drain pipes (on the interior of the wall surrounding the dome) pouring out water as if shedding ballast, and we clearly saw earlier that the dome was completely underwater. Given that they’re almost certainly in the harbor near Kure and thus in the Seto Inland Sea, it precludes any other scenario, such as the blast evaporating the surrounding water.
Theatrical release: Space Battleship Yamato 2202, Soldiers of Love Chapter 1: Beginning Chapter contained episodes 1 and 2. It premiered in Japanese theaters February 25, 2017.
Japanese video: Theater-exclusive Blu-ray February 25, 2017. Standard Blu-ray & DVD March 24, 2017
First Japanese TV broadcast: October 5, 2018
American debut: May 9, 2018 (streaming) March 15, 2019 (home video)
The episode contained no opening title. The end title song was the 1978 recording of From Yamato With Love. The end title animation, a long pan of a severely-damaged Yamato, was only coupled with episodes 1 and 2.
Click here for a complete BGM collection for Episode 1
Storyboard: Akihiro Enomoto
Episode Director: Takao Kato
Animation directors: Akihisa Maeda, Hiroki Inoki
Writer: Harutoshi Fukui
Scriptwriter: Hideki Oka
Director: Nobuyoshi Habara, Xebec Studio
Assistant Director: Makoto Kobayashi
Art Director: Yoshio Tanioka
CG Animation Director: Yuuto Uwabo, Sublimation Studio
Music: Akira Miyagawa, Hiroshi Miyagawa
Executive Producer: Shoji Nishizaki