July 20: TV Pia Magazine
This issue of the biweekly TV magazine, dated July 20 to August 2, included a brief interview with Daisuke Shima’s voice actor, Kenichi Suzumura. Regrettably, a copy could not be obtained in time for this report. This entry is here just to demonstrate that no matter how much information is gathered, there’s always more to be found.
July 20: Chapter 2 re-release
The countdown to Chapter 7 continued when Chapter 2 came back for a week from July 20-26 in four theaters. Shown here are the original flyer and lobby poster from 2012.
July 21: TV Episode 16
This episode of the Nico Nico simulcast was an odd one. Instead of the two Yamato Girls in their usual seats, it opened with Sayako Toujo (cosplaying as Yuria Misaki) in “tears” with the announcement that Shiki Aoki had gone on an overseas trip and had an “accident.” Sayako played her grief it for all it was worth, but since it’s hard to fake-cry while giggling, it wasn’t worth much.
Once the show-biz was over, Sayako went through the motions on her own. The news segment included another Star Blazers 2199 reference, since it was also the weekend of Comicon.
Like the Brazil segment in the previous episode, this one included some fun facts about the location. In the sign above left, the trivia question is to name which movie San Diego was seen in; Star Wars, Top Gun, or Mission Impossible. The Nico Nico audience could respond instantly in the comment stream.
That set up another overseas video segment, this time featuring Shiori Kawana in her Yuki Mori uniform. She said hello in a brief recorded segment and the simulcast returned to regular programming.
After watching Episode 16 along with the folks at home, Sayako was overjoyed when a cohost appeared for the latter half of the show: Rio Nanase, cosplaying as Kaoru Niimi. They repeated the news segment, then Shiori Kawana was back with more Comicon coverage.
The camera followed Shiori from outside the convention center inside to the Bandai booth and then into the Star Blazers 2199 presentation itself where Japanese viewers finally got a look at their fellow fans across the ocean. (I’m in there somewhere along with my pal August Ragone, so we can both truthfully say we’ve appeared on the Nico Nico simulcast.)
Every simulcast ends with some posing for the camera prior to the salute, and since Rio Nanase is an experienced cosplayer, she had no trouble striking a pose. Sayako took the inspiration and ran with it.
July 24: Yamato 2199 MV (Music Video)
Columbia COCX-1062 [Blu-ray], COBC-6481 [DVD]
This one was a long time coming, and another welcome link to the past.
The original Yamato MVs were produced after the saga ended in 1983. Four of them were released in ’84 and ’85, one for each movie, and they provided a kind of epilogue with symphonic music artfully combined with footage chosen for its visual impact. The result was an elegant memoir freed up from the structural demands of a narrative. The series was only available for a brief time on VHS and LD, then vanished. (Read much more about it here.)
One of the best parts of the whole 2199 experience is watching elements of the past revived for the present, confirming that these things were remembered despite (perhaps because of) their fleeting presence.
The Yamato 2199 MV fits perfectly into the style of its predecessors, 45 minutes of music and footage that allow you to take in the artistry of both without dialogue or sound effects to override either. All the footage comes from the first half of the series, which suggests that another volume may follow.
See Columbia’s product page here.
July 25: Hobby Japan and Dengeki Hobby, September issues
Hobby Japan‘s Yamato section was a light one this month, just 4 pages devoted to new and upcoming products, but they made up for it with some nice surprises: the first color art of Dessler’s dreadnought, CAD renders of the models to come in Garmillas set 3, and finished prototype shots of Alpha X Omega’s Makoto Harada figure and Bandai’s Garmillas battle carrier.
See all the pages here.
Dengeki was more ambitious with 20 pages covering the fast-approaching 1/72 Cosmo Falcon model, some amazing Garmillas dioramas, a new 1/7 Yurisha Iscandar figure, more CAD and prototype shots of Bandai products, and black & white art of Dessler’s new ship.
See all the pages here.
July 25: Model Graphix #346
Model Graphix‘s cover story was on a new Battleship Yamato model from Hasegawa (somebody puts the battleship on a hobby magazine cover every year in Japan, and it must have been MG’s turn), but inside could be found three pages on the Cosmo Falcon model and an enticing page of forthcoming products from Bandai.
See all the pages here.
July 27: Chapter 6 on home video
Everyone who didn’t have a chance to see Chapter 6 in June finally got access when it arrived for the masses on Blu-ray and DVD. The Yamato Crew sets are shown here; anyone who ordered their copy from the website could get recording scripts for Episodes 19-22 and a mystery trading card.
July 27: Chapter 3 rerelease
The countdown to Chapter 7 continued when Chapter 3 came back for a week from July 27 to August 2 in four theaters. Shown here are the original flyer and lobby poster from 2012.
July 28: Wonder Festival 2013
This year’s summer Wonder Festival was definitely a wonderland for Yamato fans with more 2199 models in one place than all previous hobby shows combined. The front-runners were these officially-sanctioned products from Ndopara shop: a new 1/7 Yurisha Iscandar figure (by the same sculptor who delivered the Kodai figure one year earlier) and a new version of the Gatlantis missile ship, as redesigned for 2199.
See a gallery of these kits and many more here.
July 28: TV Episode 17
This week, the Nico Nico simulcast opened with a very stern-looking Shiki Aoki (as Akira Yamamoto) berating a giggly-yet-contrite Sayako Toujo (as Yuria Misaki) about the announcement she had made in the previous show about the “international accident.” Aoki had gone on a trip to cosplay as Yuki Mori, but her “accident” was just losing a shoulder epaulet.
After explaining this with signs and by voice, she got Toujo to apologize for upsetting the viewers and the show went back to normal…until they started having technical problems with the backdrop.
Despite this happening throughout the show, they got through the regular features: Yamato news, a last-episode recap, watching the new one, acting out their favorite lines, interacting with streaming comments, and general silliness.
July 29: Limited edition Yuki figures
For a few months, these repainted versions of the 1/8 Yuki Mori figure from Megahouse have been a mainstay on the set of the Nico Nico simulcast, and Yamato Crew finally made them available to the public when online pre-orders opened up for a fall release.
The A version is meant to be a medic’s uniform with a first aid kit attached, and though the B version isn’t specified, she does come with a holster. So watch your step.
July 30: Comic Blade #9
Mag Garden added a whole new chapter to Yamato history when the first professionally-drawn manga by a female writer/artist made its debut in the pages of this magazine. Titled Red-Eyed Ace, it is a 2199 spinoff by Mayumi Azuma that tells the story from Akira Yamamoto’s point of view.
The opening chapter begins at the start of the series; Yamamoto boards the ship, gets her first impression of her crew mates, and launches Cosmo Zero Alpha 2 for the first time. Despite a very impressive 48-page opener, this evidently was not all its author intended it to be. A day before publication, the Comic Blade editorial department issued an apology on her behalf saying that because she was ill during the month of July, she had to cut some pages and leave others unfinished. However, she plans to rectify that when her schedule permits, meaning the version that eventually gets reprinted in paperback form will probably be different from this draft.
See all the pages of Red-Eyed Ace Chapter 1 here.
Below: stills from a TV commercial.
July 30: Akira Miyagawa on Tokyo Web
The broadcast entertainment section of Tokyo Web published a short piece on composer Akira Miyagawa about his work for 2199. Here’s what the article had to say:
The Music of Space Battleship Yamato 2199: Composer Akira Miyagawa, son of composer Hiroshi Miyagawa
by Mikako Miyazaki
Space Battleship Yamato, broadcast in 1974, has become a masterpiece of Japanese anime. The remake version Yamato 2199 has been broadcasting since April (TBS, 5pm Sunday), and composer Akira Miyagawa is in charge of the music. He is the eldest son of Hiroshi Miyagawa, who worked on the music of the original version. What has he seen while following the path of his father?
In the story, Yamato journeys into space to save the human race, and a battle against Emperor Dessler of the Gamilas Empire is depicted. It had a great impact on the life of Mr. Miyagawa when he was a junior high student, who says it was the origin of his life as a composer. What impressed him the most was how in one episode the heroes manually removed countless mines which were set up by Gamilas.
“The area where the Gamilas side was taken by surprise was really thrilling. I had often said that I wanted to make a musical, but there was no money in it, and other ideas sprang up at the time. After I watched that, I chose that path completely.”
“In fact, when I was asked to make the music this time, I intended to decline. Too many sequels had been made, and when I studied the philosophy of Yamato, it became limited to something that was only for fans, so I wasn’t interested. But then Director Yutaka Izubuchi told me, ‘This is not a sequel. We’re remaking the first Yamato, your favorite’ and I said ‘Then I would like to do it.’ And then I thought I would be troubled if anyone other than me did it.”
“The first task was to prepare all 73 pieces made by my father for re-recording. The score was gone, and the sound of that time wasn’t suitable for the present. Through this work, I had a ‘reunion’ with my father. He was a monster in the early days, writing probably 30-40 tracks in ten days. I understand it when I listen as a composer. I’m certain some of those melodies came down from heaven. Such miraculous pieces of music can’t be written if you think about them for too long. And it appears God has also come down to the son. My father died seven years ago. These days, it’s like he has been ‘deeply yearning to come out’ through his melodies.”
For the remake, he dealt with 40 tracks, including some new arrangements, and approximately ten pieces are completely new.
“I think I’ve used the same measure of dignity as my father, so they will carry the ‘Miyagawa mark’ with the same size, clarity, and elegance as if he were still alive. As a result, it becomes music that is comfortable for Yamato.”
He feels anxiety now in the post-311 society. [Translator’s note: this refers to the Tohoku earthquake of March 2011.]
“Nonsense runs rampant, we can’t believe the words of politicians, and the dictionary definition of ‘responsibility’ has become weakened.”
He feels that it’s his responsibility to be involved with Yamato as a fan, as a composer, and as the son of Hiroshi Miyagawa.
“The story of Yamato itself is about taking responsibility. Because they say they’ll return by all means, then they will return. Because I was impressed by Yamato, I can’t help but travel along the same path as my father. They say it’s bad luck to choose the same job as your parent, and that it’s no good. But I have no other choice. I really love my father’s music, and I’m proud of it.”
See the original post here.
July 31: Vitalization CD Single
King Records, KICM 1461
Pop superstar Nana Mizuki became the first Yamato vocalist to release a 2199 song in advance of it being heard with the anime. The song Star of Love is the end title for Chapter 7, and is part of her forthcoming album Vitalization. The disc also contains the title track from the album, and another named Dramatic Love.
This was also the quickest single of the batch to climb Japan’s Oricon charts, reaching number 1 on August 4.
July 31: Kato-style Cosmo Falcon model kit
Months of patience finally paid off for Falcon fans when this 1/72 scale beauty finally rolled out from Bandai, appropriately decorated by another magnificent Hidetaka Tenjin box art painting. Outfitted with numerous option parts, the kit reaches just over 8.5″ long when built. A blue Shinohara version is due out in late September.
See photos of finished kits here.
See extensive photos of the packaging here.
July 31: Model Sheet Design Collection EARTH
All together now: “THAT’S what we’ve been waiting for.”
When Mag Garden, the publishing arm of Production IG, first announced the plan for a Yamato 2199 design book to be published at the end of May, fandom smiled wide. Then when it was cancelled, fandom drooped. Then it was announced that two bigger books would be made instead, and fandom perked up again. Fandom practically wet itself when the first of those two books finally arrived, shot to the top of the Amazon.co.jp charts, and quickly sold out wherever it was available.
Clocking in at over 260 pages, it is absolutely what we’ve been waiting for. All the magazine snippets and samples of designs you’ve been seeing in these reports are reproduced with perfect clarity, in color where color was originally added. Mecha dominates the book with over 180 pages devoted to Yamato (inside and out), its support vessels, and the Earth fleet.
Character design fills about 50 pages, with the rest going to Earth settings and extensive interviews with mecha designer Junichiro Tamamori, character designer Nobuteru Yuuki, and series director Yutaka Izubuchi. (To be translated for a future update, of course.) The whole package comes in a cardboard slipcase which opens at the top and can sit vertically on a shelf.
The Garmillas design book is scheduled for October 31. Get those pre-orders in now.
Below: stills from a TV commercial.
Continue to Report 23, covering the busiest month in Yamato history!