B-Club’s Galactic War Record, 1990-91

From 1985 though 1998, Bandai’s B-Club was an indispensible magazine for fans of anime, mecha, and model kits. Bandai pretty much cleared the field of all competition by this time and had endless productions to promote in its “house journal.” Though Yamato was the first major property to put Bandai on the map in the 70s (read about that turning point here), it took B-Club almost three years to run its first Yamato article (see it here).

However, there was plenty more Yamato/Bandai crossover action happening at the time. Model kits were still in production, the company’s video arm was releasing the entire saga on VHS and LD, and two volumes of the Entertainment Bible series were devoted to Yamato. These new projects offered a fresh archive of original artwork, and B-Club magazine was on hand to promote them with a serial titled Galactic War Record.

Issue 54, May 1990

Issue 55, June 1990

Issue 56, July 1990

Issue 57, August 1990

Issue 58, September 1990

Issue 60, November 1990

Issue 62, January 1991

Issue 65, April 1991

Issue 68, July 1991

Spread out over these nine issues, Galactic War Record revisited each Yamato production one by one with model building and newly-commissioned illustrations by well-known anime artists. Only two of the illustrations appeared on other Bandai products; the rest were only ever seen in these pages.

The entire 34-page serial is presented below with translation of the artist’s commentaries, all featured in a regular “memoire” column titled Yamato and Me.

Issue 54

The first three installments of Galactic War Record focused on Series 1. The opening page (at right) provided a rare look at four new resin garage kits from Wave Hobby: a 1/1000 3-deck carrier, 1/1000 Domelaze III, 1/250 Yukikaze, and 1/220 Black Tiger. They were the first of their kind, differently-scaled from the Bandai kits and manufactured in much smaller quantities.

This was, of course, only the tip of a huge iceberg; amateur garage kits would propagate to vastly outnumber the Bandai models and they continue appearing today.

Wave’s 1/1000 carrier was included in this photo image that recreated the muster of Domel’s fleet from Series 1.

Issue 55

Wave’s Yukikaze was the key image in the first numbered installment, recapping the early episodes of Series 1.

Issue 56

The serial graduated to four pages in the second installment. The series recap picked up from last issue…

…and continued through the Battle at the Rainbow Star Cluster.

Issue 57

The first original illustration appeared in the third installment, an explosive piece by Hideaki Anno. It was commissioned for the Series 1 Perfect Collection LD set, which had just been released by Bandai Media.

The Series 1 recap concluded alongside the first Yamato and Me memoire column and a second Anno illustration.

I liked Yamato Part 1 the best. I met this form of Battleship Yamato in my second year of Junior High, drawn by master Leiji Matsumoto for Adventure King magazine. It was crazy, wasn’t it…? (Laughs) I especially liked the character Yuki Mori in Part 1, strong-willed enough not to need a man. I feel like I was drawn to such a thing. It’s a bit regrettable that she started to fawn on Kodai afterward in Farewell to Yamato. (Laughs) I’m currently working on Nadia and the Secret of Blue Water, incorporating some of the things I wanted to see in Yamato. I’m having fun…

– Hideaki Anno

Born 1960 in Yamaguchi Prefecture. After working on Daicon III, he entered the anime world and is now active as a director. His representative works include Wings of Honneamise, Gunbuster, and Nadia which is currently airing on NHK.

Issue 58

The fourth installment combined Farewell with Yamato 2 for a “parallel word” presentation.

Bandai’s Entertainment Bibles, 1990 & 1991
Cover art by Kia Asamiya
(see it larger at the end of this page)

The arresting illustration of a hypothetical Andromeda II was by Mecha Designer Kazutaka Miyatake, and would soon appear in Bandai’s first Entertainment Bible paperback. The Yamato 2 LD set and Yamato fan club were also promoted.

The EDF ships in Farewell used a Matsumoto motif for seasoning, but every ship was almost self-designed. At the time, I was convinced that it was a timeless design. If that was so, why did I have to do so much work for Macross? I liked this one, too. I’ve participated in a lot of milestone works, and it’s about time for another one.

– Kazutaka Miyatake

Born 1945 in Kanagawa Prefecture. Graduated from Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology. Affiliated with Studio Nue, he is an active mecha design illustrator and more. Made his anime debut with Zero Tester. His representative works are Farewell to Yamato, Macross, Dunbine, and Gunbuster.

Issue 60

The subject of installment five was The New Voyage, spotlighting a scratch-built Goruba hanging menacingly over Iscandar.

The original illustration was by Mecha Designer Katsumi Itabashi. Other features were VHS releases for Yamato III and The New Voyage, and a promo spot for the fan event Yamato Party ’90.

Ten years have already passed since I first met Yamato. I either caught it when I turned on the TV one day (what a stroke of fate!) or it was a picture I saw somewhere (how rude), but the TV anime Space Battleship Yamato (and Leiji Matsumoto) became my mentor. I didn’t know anything about Yamato, but I remember feeling a great shock when I saw my favorite world moving on the screen. And then, one day…surprise! I ended up working on it! My first job was mecha concepts and design for Yamato 2, and I was dragged into this world. But these days I want to work a little more slowly because I like it so much.

– Katsumi Itabashi

Born 1951 in Tokyo. Aquarius, mecha designer. His representative works are Yamato 2, Yamato III, the Galaxy Express movies, Queen Millennia, Mighty Orbots, and Dorvack. He is also active in other areas. He recently worked on Utsunomiko: Heaven Chapter and the 3D anime Leap Into Space for the Nagasaki Expo.

Issue 62

Installment six covered Be Forever with a striking image of Dark Nebula tripods rampaging through Megalopolis.

The original illustration by Michitaka Kikuchi was never used elsewhere, but he did other Yamato images for contemporary Bandai projects. Today he is better known by his pen name Kia Asamiya, having done extensive illustration work on Yamato 2199 and 2202.

When we think about the word Yamato, it makes us conscious of the work of “animation.” It is Yamato, after all. Sure, there was the Part 1 TV series, but there were plenty of other series and I like the theatrical ones, too. After all, they were what I went to the theater to see. (Though Teresa in Yamato 2 was sort of…)

This time, Bandai allowed me to draw a total of five Yamato illustrations, so I was very happy. Yes, I regret nothing. The mopping-up tripod tank in this illustration is my favorite mecha from Be Forever. I said, “Oh! It’s the Martian thing from HG Wells!” and it was burned into me. Sasha was also good, but her design was impossible…

– Michitaka Kikuchi

Born March 9, 1963 in Iwate Prefecture. After graduating from high school, he entered the Tokyo Designer Academy. He has been involved as a key animator in many works such as Lupin III Part 3, Studio Pierrot’s Magical Girl Series, Project A-ko, and more. He has a wide range of activities including character design for Borgman and character design/animation direction for Zeorymer.

Issue 65

Yamato III was covered in installment 7, opening with an unusual diorama of Galman battleships in drydock.

The illustrator for this installment was Yutaka Izubuchi, who made his debut as a mecha designer on Yamato III and would go on to direct Yamato 2199.

I liked Part 1 the best. In terms of mechanics, Yamato 2 was fine, but I didn’t like it very much after that. Space Battleship Yamato was a work that created a unique design world. But because The New Voyage looked elsewhere for design sources, I was disappointed by the feeling that it lacked originality.

I myself have a very strong feeling for the Gamilas mecha. (Laughs) After all, Gamilas mecha had to have a strong personality in the design…!! For that reason, I drew this illustration by arranging it in my own way with that feeling in mind. I used markers for coloring.

Gamilas mecha has a fish-like image, doesn’t it? Mr. Matsumoto’s Yamato is more than ten years old, but it’s still fresh even now. I love Gamilas mecha, so I want to continue drawing it if I get the chance… (Laughs)

– Yutaka Izubuchi

Born December 8, 1958. Graduated from Yokosuka Gakuin High School. Active in many fields, including mecha design. He has been involved in many Sunrise works. His representative works are Patlabor, Yamato III, Dunbine, Galient, and more.

Issue 68

The final installment quite naturally brought us to Final Yamato with a diorama of the climactic sinking.

The last illustration was by animator Toshihiro Hirano, who worked on the film and would go on to a thriving career in the 80s and 90s.

I started participating in Yamato with the theatrical works Farewell to Yamato and Be Forever. I was in charge of checking visuals on Farewell. I was young at the time, and didn’t mind staying up all night. (Laughs) The scenes where Dessler and Yuki died were very memorable. I actually created visuals for those scenes. I really wanted to make a beautiful image for such moving scenes. I still remember the careful rewriting. In Be Forever Yamato, I drew the scene of Shima regretting the destruction of the unmanned fleet. (“Damn, if only I was on board…”) So nostalgic.

Ad for Bandai model kits

I like Final Yamato. I think it was a suitable story for Yamato‘s end. The scene where Uruk appeared was elaborately produced, and the quality was very high. Personally, I especially like the narration by Tatsuya Nakadai. Listening to it feels like getting drunk…

– Toshihiro Hirano

Born 1956 in Tokyo. Entered the world of anime doing part-time work. In the Yamato series, he started out checking visuals for Farewell. He debuted as a director on Dr. Slump. His representative works include Urusei Yatsura and Macross. Recently, he has been active in such OVAs as the Iczer series, Dangaioh, and Zeorymer.

B-Club’s parting words:

To everyone who loved Galactic War Record

Thank you for your support for about a year. It is thanks to all of you that we were able to keep it going to the final episode. We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to West Cape Corporation and the master illustrators and modelers who cooperated on the series.

Space Battleship Yamato: Galactic War Record has now ended, reconfirming that Yamato is an everlasting masterpiece that will never fade from our minds. We would like to end this series with a promise to support Yamato forever on the day we meet again. Thank you very much for your support.

Bonus: Entertainment Bible cover art by Kia Asamiya, 1990

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