These story ideas for Yamato Resurrection were written by Yoshinobu Nishizaki in 1993 and also published on the internet. The text and art presented here appeared in a hardcover book included in the 2010 Yamato Resurrection Complete Box. This material formed the basis for the film’s first preproduction period, leading to further story development and art design. Preproduction was suspended in 1994/95 to be resumed in 2008.
As you will see, the majority of the concepts that made it to the screen were already in place at this early stage, but there were some interesting off-roads that still ignite the imagination for what might have been — AND what could yet be if a sequel is made.
Animated theatrical movie
Story idea for Space Battleship Yamato Resurrection
This text was compiled by Producer Nishizaki himself on March 12, 1993. Based on the configuration of Yamato Resurrection, the content has been organized from several idea-storming sessions. Please use it as a basis for discussion as we move forward. If several proposals were made, they are listed rather than reduced to one.
I: Overall Concept
1. Time frame
• When the story takes place
The time is almost 30 years after Yamato sank into the sea of Planet Aquarius, the year 2232.
2. Earth and its surroundings
• State of the Earth
Speaking generally, Earth is roughly the same as it was during the time of Yamato. New York and other cities are going in almost the same direction as they were 30 years ago. However, some areas like Tokyo are quite different.
For the most part, the previous Yamato concepts are applied. I will write it out as a memo.
Space Science Bureau
Earth’s population is about 2 billion.
• Satellites orbiting Earth
In addition to satellites of the present day, such as weather observation and broadcasting, other structures function as space ports, solar power plants, hospitals, factories, and Earth’s government and congress. The headquarters of the Earth Defense Force now orbits as a satellite.
• Earth and the moon, Lagrange points
Scientific research, space transport and communication, material mining and refining take place on the Moon. A city is there, centered on business and tourism.
At Lagrange points around Earth and the Moon, a space island city has been developed, centered on industry. There are also large warehouses. Livestock and artificial farms are included.
Therefore, the number of industrial facilities on Earth itself has greatly decreased. Nature has come to be valued as an oasis, a resort for the heart and education for the mind.
EDF lunar base
Lunar underground city
There are no large cities or immigrants on Mars yet. It’s a process of trial and error. Resource mining, refining, and tourism are in development. In addition, the Earth Defense Force Combat Command maintains bases, military ports, and supply facilities there.
(A space island has been established at a Lagrange point as part of Mars’ development. This sounds odd, but it matches the Martian development status seen in the original Yamato. It has become a base for the EDF.)
• Asteroid belt (between Mars and Jupiter)
The asteroid belt is a thriving place for mining and refining resources, and can be thought of like a mine on present-day Earth. It provides the resources needed for the inner solar system.
• Venus, Mercury, and Jupiter
Scientific study continues on Mercury, Jupiter, and Venus near the Earth.
• The outer planets
The EDF maintains forward bases on distant Neptune, Pluto, and the 11th planet.
• Outside the solar system
The regions outside the solar system are like the early days of America’s western development, where volunteers and other people struggle to advance. There are no official routes between them, and cargo ship captains provide an admirable substitute on a personal level. They trade products and supplies, living a life where they are cut off from information from Earth. (Susumu Kodai is the captain of such a cargo ship.)
Intelligent life has evolved on many planets in the galaxy, and there are some solar systems with Earth-type humans. Some of them have open diplomatic routes with Earth’s federal government, and some are very remote.
Frontier supply base
3. What is the crisis for Earth?
This time, the crisis facing Earth is the approach of a black hole, and the concept is that Earth will be swallowed. There are two ideas on how to approach the crisis.
① The black hole is in Earth’s orbit around the sun or it suddenly appears at close range. As the days go by, Earth approaches that point and is destined to be swallowed.
Dr. Stephen Hawking connects the evaporation of a black hole with the theory of wormholes. (As a black hole evaporates, the original mass, particles and substances that formed it appear through a wormhole somewhere in space; transition.) We can base it on an example such as this, but it’s still under development.
Early black hole proposal
② Two centuries ago, or a century and a half ago, something strange happened in the center of the galaxy. A black hole emerged from there. This black hole warps and disappears, then reappears. Somewhere in remote space, far from the solar system, several black holes suddenly appear. They move in a way that makes them seem connected with each other as they travel through space. (Like a pride of lions moving across the Savannah.)
As a result of observations, it is discovered that they will pass through the solar system, so in anticipation of this crisis the human race prepares for emigration into space. (Exploration is promoted, potential sites are investigated, construction of emigration ships takes place in the asteroid belt, etc.) It is discovered that the black holes approaching the solar system will pass without incident, but there is one exception.
One of them is like a young lion, curious about the humans standing on the Savannah, and with suddenly visible movement, it takes a completely different course and directly approaches Earth. If it keeps going, Earth will definitely be swallowed up.
Early black hole proposal
• Black hole as a life form (or spirit body)
I’ve decided (based on a comment from Shintaro Ishihara) that regardless of how the black hole is depicted in the story, it is in fact a life form with consciousness.
It’s not interesting for Earth to just be swallowed by a black hole as a natural phenomenon. It would be more interesting if something like a “conscious disaster” is approaching.
Early black hole proposal
Our galaxy is called an “active galaxy” type, and has an enormously powerful black hole at its center. The center bulge of the galaxy is its stellar nucleus, and this black hole consumes the surrounding stars, producing a cloud of particles. It’s a glutton, referred to as a “star eater” or a “star-eating monster.” The stars are consumed as energy that maintains the black hole life form. If there is enough intellectual activity to require that much energy, we can assume that it takes place internally. Some planets with living beings can be swallowed up, too. A black hole that swallows such things goes far beyond the human sense of enjoying gourmet food, it leads to a tremendously divine (or demonic) existence.
Furthermore, the “Virgo Galaxy Cluster” that surrounds and includes our galaxy (also called the local group) is drawn by gravity and moves at a speed of 250km per second. The “local group” of galaxies, the “Virgo Cluster” and the “Hydra-Centaurus Super Cluster” all move as they are drawn by gravity. The “Hydra-Centaurus Super Cluster” consists of all the galaxies within 150 million light years, including ours, and is drawn toward a huge source of gravity beyond space. Its identity is unclear, but you can think of it as a black hole. If so, this class of black hole would be the king of space, perhaps an evil king.
A black hole that swallows the Earth, a large black hole that forms the center of the galaxy, the evil king of space (?) – I want to treat it something like that.
Black hole proposal
Although living things have separate bodies, when they gather together they move as if they were a single individual. This is the situation with living colonies (sponges, birds and fish also behave similarly), and it might be good to think of black holes that way. Even if we don’t set up communication with them, they can communicate with each other and have common behavior patterns.
• Black hole life form
What about a setup where a genius space physicist like Stephen Hawking notices a little more in the future (or they may have already noticed) about the nature of a black hole as a living entity? Something could be understood during a dream. Dr. Hawking has changed his theory, but only to what he currently understands. Even if we think a black hole is actually a life form, it’s too outlandish an idea to proclaim without conclusive evidence. A scientist needs to conduct research to provide proof. In the meantime, we should think about what actually happens in the case of this Yamato story.
Earth Federation Government, presidential residence
4. Efforts to deal with the crisis
• Emigration to space is the only way to avoid the crisis
① Temporarily changing Earth’s orbit or putting up a barrier would require a huge effort, so in the end emigration to space is the only way to save humanity.
② It’s the same if one black hole suddenly changes course. If it approaches Earth, the crisis will unfold rapidly. Every attempt is made to eliminate the crisis, but the only solution is emigration to space.
As I wrote earlier, although we have been exploring destinations for the unlikely event of a crisis, the unpredictable change in the black hole’s movement rapidly increases the urgency and no suitable place has been found in a distant solar system. A [very dangerous] flyby could be performed using the gravity of the approaching black hole, in order to get enough acceleration power to warp to the destination (do you need two or more warps to get there?), and the system we emigrate to could be the stage of a battle.
Fortunately, the construction of emigration ships is underway in the asteroid belt. A large emigration convoy departs, regretting that there isn’t time to hear the intentions of other parties.
Earth emigration shuttles
5. Space emigration mission
• The emigration destination is toward the center of the galaxy
The planet that the Earth Federation government sets its sights on for emigration is in the direction of the galactic center. (We can decide later if it is inside or outside the disc.) There are two reasons for this.
① In Yamato 2520, the story was set in a halo that evokes spirals in a galaxy.
② I would like to set up an encounter between Yamato and the large black hole that forms the center of the galaxy.
When it comes to the center of the Milky Way galaxy, the bulge where stars are crowded together (the stellar nucleus) will be our background, which will add an element of mystery to its romantic spectacle.
• Solar system design
There are two ideas for the design of the destination solar system.
① A number of planets lined up in orbit around one sun, each of them a planetary nation.
They vary in distance, but orbit closely together. It assumed there are one or two more orbits, and planets are lined up on them, too. In this way, various nations can be created (depending on how much we depict). If the orbital angles are different and you are communicating with them, sometimes they’re approaching and sometimes they’re receding, and it is likely to cause trouble.
② Each nation has its own solar system and its own sun (like Earth in our solar system) and they all belong to a single globular cluster. In this case, the advantage is that the combat airspace can widen.
In the latter case, the planet we emigrate to will have its own solar system. In the case of ①, the destination planet may be a small nation in a common heliosphere, and if this belongs to another solar system it would add a good sense of alienation.
(There is a third variation to be explained later.)
Planet A nation
The large emigration fleet carrying humans from Earth rushes here since it’s the only place they can emigrate to. It is an Earth-type planet, but the backgrounds wouldn’t be very interesting if it’s very similar to Earth. I want the design of the planet and the entire solar system to have a different look from Earth. I would like to request ideas with some SF logic behind them.
It’s important to note that the lost Earth has great value as a wonderful planet in space. Therefore, it’s necessary to consider how to depict the destination planet and its solar system.
• The emigration planet
There are indigenous people, but they are quiet and the land is vast, so they accept immigrants.
The nearby nations are similar to the current state of Earth, forming a nation of planets with an analogy to religion. There may be something like an Interstellar Union (UN). They are dominated by a USA-like power that acts as the world’s police force, which is actually an egoistic nation motivated by its own self-interest. Many countries follow it because of its great power. Their true intention is profit, which leads to a lot of dissatisfaction.
Planet A nation surface
Like the former Soviet Union, it has fallen but regained its strength. There are also nations that are trying to restore hegemony. Some poorer nations are like Somalia, concubines left behind by their husbands. Some nations are like North Korea, where naked kings cover their citizens with iron masks. As with present-day Earth, some nations do strange things that defy common sense. There can be odd, small nations that make you laugh.
Humans in these nations once evolved in response to the seed of life from the water planet Aquarius. In other words, it is assumed that they have the same evolutionary roots as Earthlings.
However, the inhabitants of the destination planet have different roots of evolution (to be touched on later). They are oppressed as immigrants and are not treated as humans. Although they resist, they sadly lack the needed strength. Similar to Japan today, they have a shaky sense of peace and stability. There is somewhat of a self-defense force, but much less than most nations.
This solar system was once like Japan in the Warring States period or like Earth at the time of the World Wars, and a terrible conflict has begun. For now, due to a certain power balance (economic power, technological capabilities, etc.) it remains a regional conflict at best.
The immigrants from Earth become a factor that upsets this balance.
Planet A nation royal palace
6. Setback of the Emigration plan
• Resistance to emigration
The first incident is a major extermination of an emigration convoy from Earth, which is attacked by another nation. For example, a third of Earth’s population could be lost.
The reason for the attack and the refusal of emigration could be a threat, but it is thought that it might have been an accident. Various things could result, such as stirring up speculation that it could have been a different nation.
• Hopeless situation
Anyway, the emigration plan experiences a setback due to this incident.
Although most of the Earth Defense Force ships are lost, some humans manage to reach the destination planet. Because of abuse by the ruling powers that control it, additional launches from Earth are delayed, and the threat of the approaching black hole looms ever larger. Neither the Earth Federation government nor the Earth Defense Force can find an effective move to make.
All of the above is the overall concept for this work. Some parts are told visually and some as narration during the intro, and some parts will be revealed later in the story.
II: Story Idea
Following the intro, which includes the content of the previous chapter, the story begins.
7. Yamato and crew
• The appearance of main characters, boys and girls
The emigration plan has failed. Earth and the human race are in ruins. Boys and girls appear who are worried about this situation. Although there is a strong mood of resignation among the people, they look toward Space Battleship Yamato to make an effort for emigration to succeed.
• Yamato is raised
Yamato is raised from the bottom of the sea where it sank, in the waters of Planet Aquarius. It is repaired and moored as an ornamental ship. Its interior functionality has been slightly improved due to more advanced technology, and it has been modified externally, but it is not noticeable. It has both navigation and combat capabilities, but it is under the control of the Agency for Global and Cultural Affairs, outside EDF jurisdiction.
• Crew and captain
Previously, boys born during Earth’s space wars went aboard Yamato for the EDF, but this time there has been no such battlefield training, and the feeling is that there isn’t much capability. I want them to be ordinary boys and girls. In order for this inexperienced crew to move Yamato, they need a captain in command who is familiar with Yamato. They fully understand their limitations and will seek out the veteran commander Kodai.
• Susumu Kodai
Kodai is over 50 years old and mourns the death of his wife Yuki. As mentioned earlier, he is the captain of a cargo ship that flies outside the solar system where there are no official routes. He enjoys the navigation of space, which he views as the sea.
The boys and girls might come to meet with Kodai at the beginning of the story. Kodai was relaxed, but is appalled to learn of the current situation. He feels as if he sees himself in their passion and it stirs his blood so he accepts. This becomes the starting point for Yamato.
Earth, Kodai’s house
• What we want to be the appeal of the protagonists
In this work, one of the things Producer Nishizaki wants to appeal to is the anger over “Is this good for the youth of today’s Japan?” Peace becomes uncertain and weak, the perception of world trends is superficial, and consciousness of Japan’s history and ethnicity is thin. There are times when people have to risk their lives and fight boldly. It’s about putting money aside and not leaving the fight to others.
The actions of the boys and girls on board Yamato must be a manifestation of this. In Yamato, Earth and the human race symbolize a “loved one.” Depicting Yamato and the crew fighting with dedication becomes a message of bringing a tomorrow to those people for the first time.
“Boys and girls, you have a future but it doesn’t just come to you, You have to grab it. We risk our lives to fight with dedication for the people we love. We become soldiers of love.”
SUS populated planet, first form
8. Yamato‘s battle
• To prevent invasion
The essence of Space Battleship Yamato is simple and clear; thanks to Yamato‘s success, Earth (and humanity) are saved from the verge of ruin. But this time, Earth can’t be saved. It will be swallowed by a black hole, and disappear. If we are to save the human race, emigration to another planet must succeed.
Therefore, Yamato‘s role is to fight the enemy that resists emigration and break through the bottleneck.
However, this comes with a big limitation. No matter how unavoidable Earth’s circumstances are, if the other side refuses to accept them, any attempt to push forward with force would become an invasion. This was the battle of the first series, against Gamilas Emperor Dessler. Even if emigration succeeds, the audience can’t sympathize if it turns into an invasion.
SUS populated planet, second form (super giant aircraft carrier)
For now, it is understood that the nation on the destination planet will accept emigration, but the larger nation that controls them refuses. Depending on the reason for refusal, it will still be an invasion if Earth forces it. As an example, if the governor of Fukuoka Prefecture accepts a refugee ship from China, the Japanese government would not accept it, and would send the coast guard to remove the ship. After all, it would be a violation of sovereignty.
But invasion would be dependent upon the controlling nation’s reason for refusal, so Yamato‘s fight could be justified. What would that mean? What would it lead to?
In fact, this is where my brain starts to hurt, and good ideas don’t come to mind. I would like to ask those who read this for some wisdom.
For example, here is a list of things that can come up:
① The destination planet is within the hegemony of a USA-like power (or a group of them) for the entire solar system, and is an important source of resources. Therefore, immigrants are never accepted. It’s nothing more than the American power defending its own interests, which becomes the cause that mobilizes other nations under their power to launch an onslaught. Yamato fights against this.
Therefore, Yamato‘s battle opens the way for emigration for the humans of Earth and also becomes a battle of liberation to support the oppressed people.
SUS populated planet, final form
Due to the authoritarian leadership of the USA-like power, peace is shaky for this race and even an urge for independence is regarded as a crime. They are inspired by Yamato and are awakened to stand up for their own liberation. Other nations who do not want to follow the USA power are inspired in turn and momentum leads toward a fight to restore themselves. This destroys the power balance and the USA-power collapses.
Thus, Yamato‘s battle brings peace to a land of long-standing conflicts.
② If the destination planet belongs to a fallen Soviet-like nation, this Soviet Union could take advantage of Earth’s excellent technology and economic power for itself. With that as a springboard, they could take on the hegemony of the USA-power. This must be set up in advance.
Therefore, the USA-like power makes just cause of coming in to crush it. In this process, as I wrote earlier, a threat to the emigration fleet by a great power could go from an accident to a massacre.
Of course, Yamato would fight this allied force. The Soviet power, united with Yamato, would succeed in delivering a devastating blow to the USA-like power. However, when things seem to settle down, the true face of the Soviet power would be revealed. A Stalin-like tyranny could spread across the destination planet and other nations. The USA-like power’s only ambition was to liberate them out of pride as the world’s police. Yamato would then have to fight “Stalin” for liberation of this planet.
Here again, the uprising of the immigrants will provide the opportunity to change the situation and Yamato‘s victory would also liberate the people under the Soviet power.
③ The destination planet could be a religious holy place belonging to a major power, and the massacre could be committed due to the fanaticism of its leader, and the fight is against that.
④ The three options above are based on concepts for the opponent in Yamato‘s battle. They evolved from the water planet Aquarius and have shared ancestors with the humans of Earth. The indigenous people of the destination planet have their origins in different roots. In this scenario, the concepts are changed from opponents sharing the same roots.
SUS main planet, planetary cannon
In section 5 above, about the design of the solar system, I said “there is a third variation.” Here is what I put off:
First, there are several planets in close orbit around one sun. This includes the powers belonging to the hegemony as well as the destination planet under its control. Due to the attack on the emigration fleet by the great power, the emigration plan is stalled until Yamato launches. Yamato breaks the great power (or allied powers).
However, we learn that the worlds in this solar system are controlled by another system from a distance. They gave the order for the great power to attack the emigration fleet. If this is kept as is, there would be no peace on the destination planet. Yamato must fight and defeat this true ruler, an even greater enemy.
This greater enemy is assumed to be evolutionarily different from the human race. Could it be related to the black hole life form in some way? For example, the huge black hole in the center of the galaxy could lead to another destination, such as the huge black hole beyond space.
SUS main planet “star eater”
9. Concluding action
• Yamato‘s return to Earth
At this time, Earth is now in a critical situation, and the last emigration group cannot launch. Yamato returns to help the people. And not only Yamato, but also a tattered fleet with Yamato leading it.
Earth underground city
Earth city, submerged and extinct
• Enemy surprise attack
Yamato has to return to Earth in a hurry in order to help, and a fleet secretly follows them. As per the previous section, it would be either ① the USA-like power, ② the Sovient-like power, or ③ the greater power; a king or a crazy commander burning with hatred for Yamato.
Yamato skillfully draws them in, and at the climax of the crisis they fall into the black hole that is approaching Earth. This would surprise the audience, since they thought the battles were over, and would also serve to increase the tempo of Yamato‘s return.
10. Parting with Earth
• Dying animals and an Earth of sorrow
The finale would consist of people watching Earth disappear from on board Yamato (and the fleet). There would be great sadness for the Earth that created and nurtured human beings until then. They can’t help but give their Goodbyes and words of thanks.
On the surface are the animals and birds that will share Earth’s fate, living things that offer their own gentle farewell with a calm that accompanies awareness of their impending death. Some people will remain on Earth to spend what’s left of their time with the animals, loving them to the end.
As if entrusting space with the future of humanity, birds slowly dance in the sky and flutter away. Earth disappears with solemn beauty.
That’s all of our story development so far.
III: Supplemental Elements
11. Does Dessler appear?
When the production becomes known to the world, there will be a lot of expectation for Dessler to appear. In terms of special appearances, we should keep in mind that even a small turn would be impressive.
12. How many female crew members are there?
• Yamato as a man’s ship
In the previous Yamato, we emphasized “men,” and Yuki Mori was the sole female crew member. Also, the sexual depictions were stoic, such as Kodai putting his hand on Yuki’s shoulder. (Although there was the joke of Analyzer lifting her skirt.)
• Increase the female crew
This time, some proportion of the crew could be female. Of course, romance could be depicted between such men and women. Moreover, it would be natural to recognize that there is some sexual activity regardless of how much is depicted.
Cascade black hole
13. Takes on the black hole
• Black Hole princess
Apart from romance on board the ship, there is a separate romance with a woman of space. That is one of Yamato‘s characteristics. I would like to think about having a heroine at the destination planet. (Where the indigenous people have different evolutionary roots from the immigrant Earthlings.) Could this woman’s true nature be the embodiment of the black hole life form?
• The black hole king
If the black hole is a life form, as indicated in part 1 above (all the galaxies within 150 million light years, including ours, are pulled at a speed of 250km per second toward an enormous, mysterious power at the end of space), we can think of it as a giant, the king of black holes so to speak.
If this work is successful and leads to production of a sequel, Yamato can find Earth safe within the black hole and a story could be made of its rescue. At that time, the concept of the black hole king and his clan might be useful.
Cascade black hole
• Is the black hole life form a villain?
By the way, who is the black hole king?
According to Dr. Hawking, there are two ways to make a black hole. One type (a primitive black hole) was made when space was created by the Big Bang. The other is a black hole resulting from the death of a star of a certain size.
In any case, everything is drawn toward these black holes when caught in the strong gravitational field, and not even light can escape being swallowed. Such a huge black hole is enshrined in the center of our galaxy. This so-called “star-eating monster” consumes the stars of the stellar nucleus at a furious rate.
Due to these properties, black holes bring death to all living things in this world, so it’s natural to compare them to an evil god. This is in contrast to the God of creation, who created space and life with the Big Bang.
However, when viewed as energy, the Big Bang and a black hole are the same. If one creates space and the other destroys it, they are two sides of the same thing.
Did God only give us life in the first place? Death must have also been given by God. Because of that death, we regard life as precious. We cherish it and aim for a meaningful life. If there was no death and life was eternal, our values would be very different.
If it is God who brings death, the black hole king must be God. It would, in fact, be the same existence that caused the Big Bang.
When we think about it this way, the perception of black holes is the reverse of conventional wisdom. In this work, the black hole swallows Earth and is just a single-minded villain. However, in a future work, Yamato could meet the black hole king, and knowing its true figure as a two-sided God, it is an idea that could be filed away as an unexpected twist.
Cascade black hole center
• A black hole is eternity
Space is expanding. It remains to be seen if it will continue that way, or start to contract at some point.
At the same time, Dr. Hawking posits that a black hole can evaporate, and the original mass that it consumed could appear somewhere in space through a wormhole (transition). This is precisely the law of immortality.
We know that a planet is formed out of particles of interstellar gas. Life is born as part of the planet. The planet will eventually reach the end of its life when its star explodes, and the particles become more interstellar gas. A series of flows is repeated.
The law of space moves according to the law of immortality, and it seems that the reincarnation of Buddha becomes reality. It can be said that life is the crystal of matter. If the material changes its form over the course of time, the act is eternal. Life and death are also a repetition, and life is eternal.
If a black hole is exactly that kind of reincarnation, could it symbolize the eternity of life?
It isn’t necessary to say that in this work, but as the author I would like to have that view of a black hole.
(April 2, 1993)
Cascade black hole, near the event horizon