Space Battleship Yamato 2202 Report 45

March 2020 was a thin month for quantity but a great one for quality with new model kit and video releases, plus the last of the fan gatherings before the Covid-19 lockdown began. Until it lifts, the new paradigm ironically means the whole world has essentially the same Yamato access as Japan for a change. Here’s how March shook out…

March 1: Yamaket 15

After a healthy spate of public events in February (all covered in Report 44), March opened with the last one we’ll see for a while since the entire spring hobby show season has been cancelled. Yamaket (Yamato Market) is the bi-annual mini-con that takes place in Tokyo as part of Torilozi, a day when fan groups get together and sell their DYI fan projects to each other. Yamaket has been a part of it since the beginning, and this was the biggest yet with a whopping 33 vendors.

The main attraction is always doujinshi (fanzines) and the renewal of friendships, but there’s always more to be seen. See a photo gallery here.

March 1: Family Theater

The Yamato Project reruns that started last fall resumed on satellite channel Family Theater with a more focused slate. Yamato 2199 (first half) and A Voyage to Remember appeared March 1, Yamato 2199 (second half) and Ark of the Stars on March 8, and Yamato 2202 on March 15. A triple feature on March 28 included the Close To You Tonight concert, the 1977 Yamato movie, and Farewell to Yamato.

Visit the Family Theater website here.

March 3: Final Boat Race Omura video

The Yamato 2202 tie-in with this racing event (which has gone on for several months) came to a close in March when a final promotional video was published online to promote motorboat races at the end of the month. As of April, a new tie-in has begun with Boat Race Omura and Golgo 13.

See the video on Twitter here.

Visit the rebranded boat race website here.

March 4: 1/350 Diecast Gimmick Model Vol. 58

The first of Hachette’s volumes for March included the red hull panel that attaches to the flank missile launchers on the port side. Photo above right posted on Twitter by TakeChannel36.

See Hachette’s instruction video here.

See an unboxing video here.

See a modeler’s blog here.

March 5: Magmix article

On this day, a voice actor tribute was published on the entertainment site Magmix, which read as follows…

“Wait, Lupin!” The anniversary of the death of Goro Naya, who repeatedly championed the mental attitude toward acting

March 5 is the anniversary of the death of actor Goro Naya, who died in 2013 at the age of 83. In anime, he played the familiar roles of Captain Okita in the Yamato series, Inspector Zenigata of the Lupin III series, and was the dub voice of John Wayne. Writer Seiichiro Hayakawa, a writer who was familiar with the voice of Mr. Naya from an early age, gives his reflection.

Was it about ten years ago? An editor asked me if I could do “liftup” for an interview with Goro Naya. In writer’s terminology, “liftup” refers to transcribing the voices in an interview. It can be very difficult to take the spoken word and render it into readable sentences. This is an important job for an inexperienced writer, and a valuable way of learning how to ask questions in an interview.

Speaking of Goro Naya in particular, since childhood I’ve enjoyed watching the famous characters he played, such as Captain Okita in Yamato, Zenigata in Lupin III, and Yupa in Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. He had been active from the dawn of “voice acting” and often played the roles of leaders, ranging across a wide variety of arts; one of those who could be called a mogul.

I was looking forward to hearing great stories from him, but after a while I was told that the interview was canceled. I thought there might be another opportunity someday. Maybe it would even be possible for me to conduct an interview. But my wish went unfulfilled when he passed away. I would like to take this opportunity to pray that his soul may rest in peace.

When he was on active duty, Mr. Naya was known for insisting on being referred to as an actor rather than a voice actor. Whenever he did interviews for anime-related works, no one was allowed to call him a voice actor, and he would refuse to be interviewed if this edict was not followed.

This was not because he looked down on the work of voice acting. In one interview, he said, “There are too many voice actors who only want their voices to be heard. I don’t behave as if there’s an audience in front of me waiting for a performance.” He seemed worried that the parameters of his performances would become narrower. In fact, there seemed to be a case in a recent audition where participants who were asked to perform something other than a “moe voice” were stuck for what else to do, so Mr. Naya’s concerns have become a reality.

He also told voice actors, “You should have stage experience.” It is said that he recommended this as a way to gain the power to read a script, and he actively encouraged young voice actors who aspired to stage work. However, his attitude toward acting was quite severe, and he was once seen wielding a bat during acting instruction.

In writing this article, I traced Mr. Naya’s footprints as a voice actor, but his consistent activities in other genres were so extensive that I couldn’t write them all down. His younger brother Rokuro Naya also became an actor/voice actor, but passed away at age 82 one year after Goro.

In those footprints, I found that a dubbed version of the movie Alamo, which I remember seeing in reruns on TV, has not yet been released. In this work, Naya dubbed the voice of John Wayne in the role of the main character Colonel Davey Crockett. Other great actors also performed in the film, and I really hope to see this masterpiece again one day so I can hear their nostalgic voices.

March 5: 1/1000 High Dimension Yamato Clear Version

When you saw the big glowy Yamato in Episode 25 of 2202, was your first thought “I want to build that as a model kit”? If so, Bandai heard you. This new version of the ship is a recast of the “Final Battle Spec” kit in translucent yellow plastic.

Like its solid-skinned predecessor, it comes with a display base, a pivoting action base, and four Cosmo Tiger IIs.

See Bandai’s product page for the model here.

See a photo gallery of finished kits here.

March 7: Ryuko Azuma on Twitter

As we learned in our last report, Ryuko Azuma is the writer/artist of the forthcoming Star Blazers Lambda manga, scheduled to make its debut at the Comic Newtype website in late May. On March 8, Mr. Azuma posted a color image of the main character with the following text:

Since the start is in late May I didn’t plan to announce it yet, but I will announce it with momentum. I am in charge of a new Space Battleship Yamato series. The image is the main character, Yu Yamato. He’s a sixth grade boy. Thank you.

On the 15th, Azuma followed up with additional character designs, all of whom reuse names from the original, though based on the story description from February they probably won’t fill quite the same roles.

See larger versions at the March 15 post here.

Follow Ryuko Azuma on Twitter here.

March 11: 1/350 Diecast Gimmick Model Vol. 59

Hachette delivered a part with some satisfying heft to it in this volume, the midship deck plate. This allowed builders to mount and motorize the second shock cannon turret, but it wasn’t time yet to do the same with the bridge tower. Photo above posted on Twitter by Take Channel 36.

See Hachette’s instruction video here.

See an unboxing video here.

See a modeler’s blog here.

March 16: Yamato 2203 fansite

A fan with the online handle of Kamitukasyouma has launched a fansite to fill in the years 2203 and 2204 with speculative adventures featuring homemade CG animation. If you’re interested in what someone else came up with as a lead-in to Yamato 2205, head on over!

Visit the site here.

Visit the Youtube channel here.

Visit Kamitukasyouma’s Twitter page here.

March 18: 1/350 Diecast Gimmick Model Vol. 60

This week, modelers received the upper portion of the middeck hull on the starboard side to mirror last month’s pieces. Photo above left posted on Twitter by Take Channel 36. Modeler Washu4726 posted the photo above right to show the complete progress of the entire model as of this volume.

See Hachette’s instruction video here.

See an unboxing video here.

See a modeler’s blog here.

March 20: Akira’s Meeting of Love ~ Concert 2019

One week before the much-anticipated release of the Close To You Tonight concert on Blu-ray, composer/conductor Akira Miyagawa joined hosts Eriko Nakamura and Osamu Kobayashi for an on-camera conversation. They discussed the development of the concert, answered Tweets from fans, previewed footage from the performance, and reviewed the bonus features.

See the 21-minute video on Youtube here.

March 24: Yamato 2199 manga in English, Vol. 2

Dark Horse published this volume a month earlier than previously announced, combining the Japanese volumes 3 and 4 into a single 376-page tome. Translated by Zack Davisson, it progresses through Episode 8 and includes a lot of story material not seen in the anime. There is also a transcribed interview with Series Director Yutaka Izubuchi from spring 2012.

Order it from Amazon or Rightstuf. Volume 3 is scheduled for release in June.

March 25: 1/350 Diecast Gimmick Model Vol. 61

The last of the March volumes came with the third gun turret and other parts necessary to bring the front half of the ship to completion. Photos above posted on Twitter by Take Channel 36, Haru 0425, and NCC1701 refit.

See Hachette’s instruction video here.

See an unboxing video here.

See a modeler’s blog here.

March 27: Yamato 2202 Concert 2019 Blu-ray

The highlight of the month was definitely the home video release of last October’s concert, which is presented in its entirety (except for a few momentary breaks) over 116 minutes. Akira Miyagawa presides over the performance with both songs and substantially-rearranged BGM tracks featuring a handful of singers and about a dozen musicians. The approach was more intimate than the symphonic concerts of recent years with several on-stage conversations between numbers.

The set comes with the Blu-ray and a CD along with a 28-page “special memorial booklet” of photos and a Miyagawa interview. The CD contains all the same music as the Blu-ray with a slightly different track order and totals 63 minutes. It is not currently offered separately.

Different bonus items were available depending on where you purchased the set. An exclusive Amazon version comes with three A4 size art boards (shown above left and below). Other editions came with sheet music (above right); the Bandai/Namco Arts version included the White Comet theme while the Yamato Crew fan club offered Yamato Into the Maelstrom. Both scores were created for this concert.

Video extras total almost an hour: a making-of video, a Yamatalk Night talk show with Akira Miyagawa, footage of 2202 music recordings with a Miyagawa interview, and Harutoshi Fukui’s on-stage teaser with the first rough art for Yamato 2205. See stills from that teaser here.

Order the basic version from Amazon here or CD Japan here.

Order it with art boards from Amazon here.

Finally, in celebration of the release, the Hero’s Record mobile game created this custom promo art for Twitter.


Also spotted in March

Hero’s Record promo art

There was plenty more art to be enjoyed in March based on various ongoing mobile game campaigns. See a gallery here.

Fan art

Another terrific selection of fan art appeared on Twitter and elsewhere. See a character gallery here and a mecha gallery here.

Fan models

Model kits poured out by the ton in March in multiple categories. See a gallery of Earth mecha here and non-Earth mecha here.

Cosplay

Cosplay has been fleeting over the last few months, but Yamaket respectably upped the participation. See a roundup of photos here.

Kanaeyokosuka Museum

There are plenty of deep-diving Yamato collectors in the world, but few take the time to organize their collections to share with others. Cosmo DNA is one example. Another is this virtual museum curated by Kanako Yokosuka. It contains several “floors” divided up by category. Three of those “floors” are devoted to Yamato with other subjects elsewhere. Since the collection is entirely online, it gets periodically updated with new entries – so make the Kanaeyokosuka Museum a regular stop to fill those quarantine hours.

Aquarius Algorithm fan art

Longtime Yamato fan artist Yumata Hazuki is so far the only one to interpret visuals from the new Aquarius Algorithm serial novel. Follow Hazuki on Twitter here and see the illustrations here.

Dessler movie costume

In March, the live-action film Maeda Construction Fantasy Marketing Department was still in theaters. As we learned, it includes a cameo by none other than Dessler. Observant fan Taro Ashihara spotted Dessler’s uniform on display at a theater in Ikebukuro, Tokyo and shared it with all of us on Twitter.

Rest stop

And finally, veteran fan Sumikojo discovered a café in Kasugai City (Aichi Prefecture) called Yamato Coffee, which displays an admirable awareness of its namesake.


Continue to Report 46

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