October 2019 was an action-packed month for Yamato fans with new products and events unrolling at such a steady clip that one could almost forget it had been over seven months since 2202 ended. Here’s everything that kept the flames lit…
Photos posted on Twitter by Hachi Kuji
October 2: 1/350 Diecast Gimmick Model Vol. 36
This volume of the continuing series from Hachette completed the installation of electronics for the bow section of the ship and allowed for its first full-up lighting tests.
See Hachette’s instruction video here.
See an unboxing video here.
See a video clip of the lighting test here.
October 6: Yamato Project begins
Satellite channel Family Theater announced a complete lineup of Yamato reruns to commemorate the 45th anniversary, and this was the day it began. Right out of the box, viewers had their choice of the original series or the 1977 feature film (both in HD), and both of the Yamato 2199 movies (Voyage to Remember and Ark of the Stars).
The campaign continued throughout the month with all of Yamato 2199 starting on October 13, and both Farewell to Yamato (in HD) and all of Yamato 2202 starting on October 20. More would follow in November and December.
Visit the Family Theater website here for a collection of promo videos.
October 6: 45th Anniversary
If you didn’t want to mark the 45th anniversary of Yamato by sitting at home in front of your own television, another option was a limited experience at the Yakitori Yamato restaurant in Shibuya, Tokyo (owned by Exec Producer Shoji Nishizaki). There, customers could dine with a screening of Yamato 2202 Chapter 7, followed by the original Episode 1.
October 8: Concert Blu-ray announced
Close To You Tonight was just under a week away when Bandai Namco announced the release date for a CD/Blu-ray combo pack: March 27, 2020. The set will include behind-the-scenes videos and a booklet.
Depending on where you buy it, it will come with one of three bonus items: The Bandai Namco A-on Store edition includes sheet music for the White Comet Theme (concert arrangement), the Yamato Crew edition includes sheet music for Yamato Into the Maelstrom (concert arrangement), and the Amazon.co.jp edition includes a set of three art cards of principle spaceships.
October 8: V-Storage interview
Our old friends Nobuyoshi Habara (Director) and Harutoshi Fukui (Writer) sat down again for their first post-2202 interview, this time to talk all about Yamato music; how they responded to it when they were kids and how they made use of it in production.
Their conversation was published at Bandai Namco’s V-Storage website, which turned out to be part of a longer interview that would be published in the Close To You Tonight program book.
Read the entire interview here.
October 9: 1/350 Diecast Gimmick Model Vol. 37
The bow section of the ship, representing about a third of its total length, finally reached completion with this volume. Included were all the teeny-tiny parts for the rocket anchors and the electronics that allow them to be raised and lowered.
See an unboxing video here.
See a Youtube clip of the bow gimmicks here.
October 10: Zenbu Vol. 95
This one takes a little explaining, but there’s a surprise at the end. When visiting Japan, the very best place to spend your time is in a Mandarake store. (BTW, that’s Mahn-da-ra-kay, not “Mandrake.”) This is a chain of shops specializing in manga/anime/pop culture products of every category, both old and new. They’ve been around for decades and they are known to travelers from far and wide.
Zenbu is the monthly auction catalog of Mandarake, which also serves as a journal for collectors. You not only see what’s available for bidding in a given month, you also get some background articles to tell you more about what you’re looking at. It’s all in Japanese, of course, but the pictures are in English. (Ba-dumpsh! Still got it!)
Zenbu Vol. 95 lands on the Yamato radar because it contains an enormous amount of Yamato items up for auction, lovingly photographed to fill an impressive 100 pages. And here’s the surprise: YOU can order a copy. Yes, YOU!
Get one right here at Amazon.co.jp. This is HIGHLY recommended, and it’s a steal at just 10 bucks.
October 11: Mecha Collection Model #15
When the standard-grade Cosmo Tiger mini-kit was released in January 2019, it was only a matter of time before the 2-seater variant followed.
And here it is, in a kit that comes with both the regular parts and variants for the 2-seater. Several modelers devoured it instantly and posted the results online. See a gallery of finished kits here.
October 12: Typhoon No. 19 Hagibis
As this Category 5 storm system crept toward Japan, more than one observer on Twitter noted its chilling resemblance to a certain marauder from space. This did nothing to comfort the nerves of those of us who happened to be in Tokyo when it struck on October 12. (Read about it here.)
October 14: Yamato 2202 Concert Close To You Tonight
Fortunately for all, Typhoon Hagibis blew itself out in plenty of time not to interfere with the first-ever Yamato 2202 live concert, held on the evening of October 14 in Shibuya, Tokyo. Members of the Yamatour Adventure Team were there to take it in, and an eyewitness account can be found in the travelogue that resulted.
The following description was published a week later and carried by several entertainment sites, including the official 2202 website. Enjoy.
The pre-show stage; photos posted on Twitter by Yosomiya
Yamato 2202 Concert 2019 official report arrives!
The first concert for Space Battleship Yamato 2202, which was based on the motif of nationwide hit Farewell to Yamato, was held at Bunkamura Orchard Hall on Monday, October 14. Musicians who work with Akira Miyagawa, who is part of the two-generation creation of Yamato music, performed with singers who rendered the ending theme songs. Here is the official report!
The first concert for Yamato 2202, which was screened from 2017 to 2019, was held on Monday, October 14 at Bunkamura Orchard Hall in Shibuya, Tokyo. What kind of concert would be held at this venue, which is known for numerous classical music and ballet performances? Many fans closely watched the musicians and singers led by Akira Miyagawa, who gave a luxurious performance that lasted over two hours.
The opening bell rang, and the White Comet Theme began with a heavy combination of piano and contrabass. Cello, violin, and electric guitar joined in to make it more foreboding. Already familiar with this melody as performed on pipe organ, fans were treated to an arrangement like never before.
Without pause, members of S.E.N.S. Project and a chorus took up Mirror of the Moon, the ending theme song to the second chapter. Visuals used for the end title sequence flowed across a screen set above and behind the stage. The combination of these two melodies provided the overture for this performance. These music choices symbolized the new concert, which would be a combination of ending themes and new arrangements of BGM.
When the overture was over, the host Eriko Nakamura took the stage for an opening greeting with Akira Miyagawa, who composed and arranged the overture. The first half of the program began, which featured ending theme songs.
The first song was You, Petal (Chapter 3 ending), sung softly by Shino Arima with piano accompaniment. She also performed Lullabye, the ending song for Chapter 5. After a talk with S.E.N.S. Project’s guitarist Satoshi Takezawa, Yuya Hoshino performed Crimson Red (Chapter 4 ending) and Koichi Yamadera performed Great Sum (Chapter 6 ending).
Akira Miyagawa took the stage again for the second half, featuring new arrangements of BGM. This music was originally performed by larger formations but was specially rearranged in new and enjoyable ways for piano, guitar, contrabass, percussion, violin, cello, sax, and chorus.
Nine pieces of BGM were played this way. The arrangements were accompanied by video and designed to emphasize the sounds from each musician, making the music more independent and expanding the ways for it to be enjoyed. What sort of arrangement would come next? It was a fresh, thrilling performance that was unpredictable even if you knew the original piece.
Miyagawa’s reinterpretation of his own music was also interesting, including White Comet • Traveler’s Theme, based on the original White Comet Theme. The original felt like a Bach composition when played on pipe organ, but extracting the melody line made it similar to folk music created by “Roma travelers.” The White Comet travels through the universe, and this new folk arrangement likened it to a “Roma traveler.”
Left: Makoto Hirahara and Eriko Nakamura on flute. Right: Koichi Yamadera scats like a madman.
There was conversation and joking between Miyagawa and the performers, and in response to a surprise request, Eriko Nakamura participated on flute in a performance of Crossing the Beautiful Ocean. Koichi Yamadera provided a scat accompaniment to Great Love, and the venue was filled with applause for this vocal highlight.
The song that brought the concert to its conclusion was Great Harmony, the ending theme from Ark of the Stars, performed by Ayaka Hirahara. This was the first time for her to sing it live in a Yamato event. She also took the opportunity to introduce her father Makoto Hirahara, who played sax on stage and also performed as a member of the “Miyagawa Gang” in making Yamato music. She talked about listening to them as a student, sharing stories of the Miyagawa family, and other connections to Yamato.
Left: Ayaka Hirahara performs Great Harmoney. Right and below: everyone on stage for the finale.
Finally, Harutoshi Fukui appeared on stage to release new information about the next work, Yamato 2205 The New Voyage, with a brief slide show of character and mecha designs. In the end, all the participants came together to sing the famous Yamato theme. It has been 45 years since the debut of Space Battleship Yamato, and on this night many people enjoyed a new Yamato sound.
(End of report)
There was more to be seen and enjoyed before the concert; a merch line was opened up several hours in advance to avoid the crush (though there was still a crush later). The new items were modest and classy (as covered in Report 39). Bandai had set up displays for forthcoming products in the lobby. See a gallery of photos here.
Also on hand was a 28-page program book that can be seen from cover to cover here. Among other things, it contained the Habara/Fukui interview referenced earlier, and a new one with Akira Miyagawa that can be read here.
The nicest surprise in the program book was the inside back cover (above right), which gave us the first full credit list for the primary production staff on Yamato 2205. The director will be Kenji Yasuda, best known for Macross Delta (click here to see his other credits). Returning staff includes Shoji Nishizaki (exec producer), Harutoshi Fukui (writer), Hideki Oka (scripts), Nobuteru Yuuki (character design), Junichiro Tamamori and Yasushi Ishizu (mecha design), and Akira Miyagawa (music). Also joining the mecha design team is Mika Akitaka (known for Gundam The Origin).
Another previously-unannounced production (at the bottom of the page) is a Yamato 2202 compilation movie promised for 2020, presumably in advance of 2205. Specific and consistent terminology points to 2205 being another series with theatrical chapters, formatted like 2199 and 2202. This would indicate that the formula is working.
As described in the Yamatour Travelogue, Harutoshi Fukui appeared on stage at the end of the concert (prior to the singing of the Yamato theme) to announce 2205 and show a brief series of design images that removed all doubt about one significant detail: Yamato will face the Dark Nebula Empire. Lastly, the middle of the page featured the following commentary from Fukui:
The New Voyage. For the title to follow Soldiers of Love, let’s make it totally on point and in the realm of our childhood conception. Actually, while it has an element that will have old series fans happily saying “Yes! That’s it!”, will the story measure up to the ending of 2202? It’s impossible to approach by ordinary means. By getting new characters and new staff, the Yamato remake series finally begins to show its true potential as major drama. The third voyage begins, made for a Japan that’s heading into the 2020’s which will be a bit tumultuous. Please give us a moment to catch our breath until the next series begins.
– Harutoshi Fukui
Special thanks to Neil Nadelman for translation support.
Photos posted on Twitter by Hachi Kuji and ncc1701refit
October 16: 1/350 Diecast Gimmick Model Vol. 38
The midsection of the ship started with this volume, specifically the upper hull panel housing the starboard observation deck and its internal LEDs.
See an unboxing video here.
October 20: Yamaket 14
The 14th gathering of Yamato loyalists at the one-day Torilozi mini-con in Tokyo brought together the latest in fan-created products from doujinshi (fanzines) to hand-crafted trinkets. Click here to see a gallery of what was on offer.
Visit the event’s Twitter page here.
Photos posted on Twitter by Peneloperx104
October 23: 1/350 Diecast Gimmick Model Vol. 39
The lower hull panel came in this week’s volume, allowing builders to assemble the entire new hull section and continue growing the ship backward.
See an unboxing video here.
Read a blog post about this volume here.
October 26 & 27: Fukuyamanime 2
The name is a combo of Fukuyama and Anime, and the event was a weekend of anime love in the city of Fukuyama, located in Hiroshima Prefecture. This happens to be the hometown of 2202 Director Nobuyoshi Habara, so he appeared as a special guest of the event.
Photos posted on Twitter by Ayaka19790825
The previous Hiroshima-based event was Yamato 2202 World in March, which featured an “ambassador Yuki” cosplayer. She turned up again as the host/interviewer for a talk show on the 26th with Mr. Habara, which would be only the first reunion of the day. (See photos of the talk show setup here.)
Photos posted on Twitter by htr_ymt and the Yamato Production Committee
The second was with Writer Harutoshi Fukui and Scriptwriter Hideki Oka. They teamed up with Habara to provide a live commentary during a screening of Chapter 7 Saturday night, then enjoyed a lazy Sunday together before going their separate ways again.
Photos posted on Twitter by Giga.
October 26 & 27: Tamashii Nation 2019
Back in Tokyo, Bandai’s annual toy/hobby exhibition brought some upcoming products into the spotlight, including the Soul of Chogokin Garmillas Destroyer and its googly eyes.
Read more about the event here.
October 30: 1/350 Diecast Gimmick Model Vol. 40
In the final October volume, Hachette maintained its port/starboard tradition by releasing the hull panel containing the portside observation deck.
See an unboxing video here.
October 31: Model news
Bandai brought an eventful October to a close with the official announcement of their next 1/1000 2202 model, the “higher dimension” Yamato from Episode 25. As seen in these CG renders (and the prototype on display at the concert), it is a reissue of the previous 1/1000 Yamato in clear plastic (not the final battle upgrade version, however). Its due date is March 2020.
Also spotted in October
Hero’s Record promo art
It was an odd month for the Hero’s Record mobile game, which featured characters in sports motif (Oct 14 is a national fitness holiday) and in role-swapping costumes. See a collected gallery here.
Boat Race Omura followup
It also appears that the race is only taking a respite, with more competitions set to happen in December. As before, Yamato will be there as the mascot/ambassador. Stay tuned at the event’s official website here.
Space Battleship Namato?
You know you’re an anime legend when you turn up in other anime (see a collection of such tributes here). Yamato was given homage this month in the inescapable Doraemon series as seen in these stills posted on Twitter by hearyhat.
Twitter user misorahikaru shared photos of yet another model display, this time from the Sasebo City Library in Nagasaki Prefecture.
The sheer number of models on display signals heavy-duty fan devotion, but the appearance of a vintage Blue Noah and garage kit of the automated EDF ships from Be Forever step over the line into true hardcore territory.
Leiji Matsumoto Symbol Road
Twitter user arinaaburo shared a very unusual find on October 31. Somewhere in the Kariwa district of Daisen City in Akita Prefecture resides an exhibition dedicated to actor Toshiro Yanagiba. In case that doesn’t ring a bell, he played the picture-perfect Sanada in the 2010 live-action Yamato.
Photos posted on Twitter by fwks7841.
Straw Festival Yamato
And finally, we travel back to Fukuoka Prefecture for the most unexpected sight of all. The country town of Chikuzen caught the eye of the international community when a 23-foot tall Shin Godzilla “scarecrow” was built for the 2016 Dontokagashi Harvest Festival. See photos here and here.
During the last week of October, another Japanese legend got this singular honor: Yamato! Day by day, new parts were added to the structure for its debut in the first weekend of November. So don’t miss the fully-completed version in our next report!
Aw, okay, here’s a peek:
November has been a comparatively quiet month for Yamato action, but there will still be enough to fill a report in our next update (there always is). For one thing, the second volume of the English-language 2199 manga will arrive on western bookshelves! Until then, follow our Facebook page for daily posts and breaking news!
Hi, everyone! Tim Eldred here, stepping out from behind the editorial curtain to thank you for your continuing attention to Cosmo DNA. Many of you followed my Star Blazers webcomics over the years, and after I finished The Bolar Wars Extended in the summer of 2015 I launched into an original project that made its online debut April, 2016. It’s an SF story titled PITSBERG and it’s unlike anything I’ve done – or seen – before. The most recent chapter was added (free of charge) on September 10 with more to come.
Click here to see this experimental tapestry of art, music and animation for yourself. I hope you like it!