Space Battleship Yamato 2202 Report 56

Yamato action held steady throughout February, matching January despite the continued delay of the Age of Yamato premiere. While news of a revised date remained out of reach, continuity saved the day and set the table for some nice surprises.

February 1: Yamato Crew goods

Everyone knew it was February when the new Valentine-themed gift set appeared at the Yamato Crew online store.

This year’s set gave us a new image of what looks to be a teenage Yuki Mori on both a clear file and a postcard. There was also a cloth bag with a listing of crew names. To see previous sets, just take a hike back in time to previous February reports.


Photo at right posted on Twitter by Take Channel 36

February 3: 1/350 Diecast Gimmick Model, Vol. 106

With the ship itself now essentially finished (apart from some additional internal wiring bits that came with this volume), a long-standing question was finally answered this week: what would it sit on? Many volumes ago, some rather flimsy-looking support parts were provided that fell far short of display quality. But with Volume 106, the front portion of the actual platform arrived for assembly. The rest of it was seven days away.

See Hachette’s instruction video here

See an unboxing video here

See a modeler’s blog here

February 7: Yamato 2199 Episode 18 on Tokyo MX

Prior to the cinematic postponement of Age of Yamato in January, plans were made for the director of the film to curate and host a weekly Sunday night broadcast of 2199 and 2202 episodes on Tokyo MX. (Probably an homage to the fact that the original Yamato series also ran on Sunday nights.) That plan stayed in motion, resulting in the February 7 broadcast of Yamato 2199 Episode 18.

February 8: Blu-ray box art revealed

As we learned back in September 2020, new box sets are on the way for both 2199 and 2202. They are stripped-down versions of the original releases, identical to the theatrical chapters without individual OP and ED titles attached to each episode, and without bonus features. Neither set includes English subtitles.

The new box art for each set is by Mecha Designer Junichiro Tamamori. Internal graphics are also new, and each comes with its own booklet.

Another interesting incentive is a set of three image cards for each set, which give us our first look at the updated designs for both Kodai (above) and Yuki (below) from Yamato 2205.

See larger images for the 2199 box here and the 2202 box here.

Both boxes are scheduled for release on March 26. A TV commercial appeared on February 11, which can seen on Youtube here.

Order the 2199 box from CD Japan (Amazon listing not found as of this writing)

Order the 2202 box from Amazon or CD Japan


Photo posted on Twitter by inu 2810


Photo posted on Twitter by Take Channel 36

February 10: 1/350 Diecast Gimmick Model, Vol. 107

This volume delivered the rest of the stand, incorporating the battery compartment and sound effects speaker, and the ship finally got a display platform worthy of the name. There is a socket on the aft hull that plugs into the rear support for power, a feature that would soon get more attention.

See Hachette’s instruction video here

See an unboxing video here

See a modeler’s blog here

February 10: Shinya Takahashi auction art

Character Designer Shinya Takahashi popped up again with two more original paintings of “vintage Sasha” for sale on Yahoo Japan Auctions. It must be working for him, so hopefully these won’t be the last.

February 12: Star Blazers Lambda Chapter 10

This chapter of the Space Battleship Yamato Next manga picked up from the Chapter 9 cliffhanger with Vimana station being targeted by its own AI fleet, now hacked by the enemy Seireness. The Topness pilots are unable to take them down by brute force, so a much more subtle approach is required.

See the chapter with description here.

February 13: Fan film announced

Few things gladden the heart more than Yamato fans teaming up to create new wonders for other Yamato fans. That’s the easiest way to sum up an exciting new fan film project being spearheaded by a fan who goes by the online handle “My EDF.” That name has come up many times in past modeling galleries, but this project goes into the realm of anime itself.

“My EDF” posted the following blog entry on February 13:

In these days of disappointing news such as the delay of Age of Yamato and Yamato 2205, I have a small announcement to make today. Along with FTG2199, who I worked with on The Second Battle of Mars fan film, I’ve started on a new anime. The title is Space Battleship Yamato III: The Battle of Sol!

I will mainly be in charge of the original script. This is the three-way battle that took place in the final episode of Yamato III between Yamato, the Bolar Federation, and Galman-Gamilas. The battle wasn’t given a specific name in the original anime, so I gave it one for the sake of convenience. However, the story and settings are not the same. I will be remaking it to the liking of both FTG and myself in accordance with the Yamato Playstation games and stories published on this blog and The End of Arizona.

In other words, the story will not be part of the remake series, but will be based in the world of the Playstation version. Therefore, it will contain some things that didn’t appear in the original story or that might not appear in a future remake. For example, this is a battle on the home ground for the people of Earth, so why were there no Earth ships other than Yamato? I’m sure you’ve always wondered that, too. I will use this opportunity to fully release the frustrations I’ve had for a long time.

In addition, I’ll be referring to Yamato 2209 [fanfic] by Corporal Nananeko, who cooperated with me in planning this work. I believe Yamato 2209 is the “conclusion of Yamato” in the PS version, so with his consent I’ve used this work as a reference.

The visuals by FGT are also amazing. He will be using new 3DCG software called Blender in addition to his existing resources, and the details and textures are very different from the previous film. The characters are also being modeled in Blender. Kodai, Shima, Sanada, Yuki, and Domon have already been modeled, and Yuki in particular has a “Matsumoto beauty” finish.

I was able to complete The Second Battle of Mars with the help of many people, and I’m sure this work will be the same. However, since I’m basically a working stiff in my 40s, making this project alongside my day job, I think it will take longer to complete. Maybe “years” rather than “months.” I hope you’ll keep a warm eye on it until the day it is released.

An impressive opening title was released on Youtube February 27. See it here.

“My EDF” followed up with another blog entry on the same day:

What do you think? The textures and atmosphere of both the mecha and characters have been completely revamped since Battle of Mars. By using Blender, I think the details and charm of Kuni-san’s Yamato model have been expressed to the fullest. And the recently completed Cosmo Hound by O-san is also available!

FGT took on a new challenge in modeling the characters, and they were all created using his modeling method. Of course, the hand-drawings that were so popular in Battle of Mars are still here!

Our new poster image features the princess. I’m sure many of you noticed at first glance that it is based on the Yamato III DVD box art.

There is a possibility that the film will be released in two parts (my script is too long, sigh) but I will keep you posted on its progress.

Naturally, Cosmo DNA will follow this project with great interest.

February 14: Yamato 2199 Episode 20 on Tokyo MX

Continuing the special weekly presentation, viewers got another chance to watch the spectacular Rainbow Star Cluster battle. This would be the last 2199 episode of the series.

February 15: Keisuke Masunaga auction art

Following Shinya Takahashi’s lead, Keisuke Masunaga put up some original art of his own on the Mandarake auction site. His subject was Teresa, both the Farewell to Yamato version (above) and the Yamato 2 version (below).

Both auctions have closed, but you can still see their listings online here and here.

In case his name doesn’t ring a bell, Masunaga gained fame as an interpreter of Leiji Matsumoto’s works for anime. He redesigned all the characters for the Playstation games and went on to do the same for anime works of the 00s such as Galaxy Railways. See an interview with him here.

February 16: Isao Sasaki Live show announced

A legend in his own time, Isao Sasaki is now 78 and has reached the 60th anniversary of his professional debut as an singer and actor. On April 9, he will mark the occasion with his first-ever streaming concert (a concert in Japan are referred to as a “live,” so this is being called an “online live”), to include vocal performances and a talk segment.

Sasaki said, “I don’t know how it will turn out until I try it, but the question is whether or not I can last the through the 90 minutes of live performance. I’ve been doing a lot of muscle training while I’ve been out of action (due to the Coronavirus). I can’t sing well unless my back is straight and my abdominal and back muscles are tight. I have a little more time, so I’ll work out even more. I’d like to sing brightly, happily, and energetically, so I hope everyone on the other side of the screen can feel it.”

It was announced that the program will be archived afterward, but it will probably not be available outside Japanese streaming platforms.

February 16: Phantasy Star Online game crossover

Yamato and Sega’s Phantasy Star Online game previously crossed over in November 2014, and now it’s happening again. According to a press release published on February 16, players would be able to get Yamato costumes and accessories for their own characters in a section of the game called Cosmo Fleet Heroes. These elements were available through February 23.

See a press release and demo video here

See a collection of game elements here

See the demo video on Youtube here

February 17: Doctor Yamato

Looking for an inspiring story? Look no farther than this one from the Chunichi Shimbun newspaper…

Corona Front Line: Doctor Mitsunaga Iwata, 47, Fujita Medical School Hospital

It’s been almost four weeks since I appeared in this series of articles in the morning edition of January 21. At one time, the 30 beds for inpatients with moderate or severe diseases were almost full. Since the beginning of this month, the number has gradually decreased, but about 20 beds are still occupied. The situation is still very hectic as we receive calls on our cell phones about new patients being admitted with the new Coronavirus.

One year ago in February, we accepted a positive case from a cruise ship. At that time, I could not have imagined that my battle with Corona would be so long. For the past year, when things have been tough, I have been reminded of a line from the theme song of Space Battleship Yamato, an anime I loved as a child: “Someone has to do this. We are the ones expected to do it.”

February 17: 1/350 Diecast Gimmick Model, Vol. 108

Not so fast with the assumptions! It took another volume to truly complete the display stand, since it has a bottom surface to safely contain the internal electronics. Only then could the ship be officially plugged in. And technically, the deck of the ship isn’t completely installed yet. But there’s only two more volumes to go…

See Hachette’s instruction video here

See an unboxing video here

See a modeler’s blog here

February 21: Yamato 2202 Episode 4 on Tokyo MX

The weekly “curated” episode series moved into 2202 territory with the dramatic launch in defiance of orders.

February 22: 1/350 Andromeda news

With Hachette’s Yamato just over a week from finishing, news sites got on board with the upcoming Andromeda, due to start with Volume 111 on March 10. It was stated that customers requested that the series continue after Yamato was complete, and that those who had not subscribed before could do so for the new model. The instructions will continue to incorporate the weekly magazine features, which already add up to a LOT of material. The 4-foot long giant will take 60 volumes to complete.

In related news, Hachette is currently running a 1/24 Macross Valkyrie and recently launched a large model of Mazinger Z with hangar bay.

Visit the Hachette website here

See photos of the Andromeda prototype here

February 24: 1/350 Diecast Gimmick Model, Vol. 109

There’s a reason the top of the ship wasn’t mated with the hull until now. Believe it or not, EVEN MORE electronics had to be installed and the rocket anchors had to be attached to their chains for raising and lowering. Only then could final connections be made and the deck firmly seated in place. The wings could be attached and the exterior plates could be removed to display the hangar and engine.

What’s left in the final volume? Find out in our next report.


Photo posted on Twitter by Take Channel 36

See Hachette’s instruction video here

See an unboxing video here

See a modeler’s blog here

February 25: Star Blazers/Yamato Premium Fan Club Magazine, Vol. 10

Hard intel on release dates was still out of reach during the production of this issue, though we did get a glimpse of Dessler’s battle carrier from the upcoming 2205 and a look at what might have been the first promo art (far right) if a flyer had been distributed to movie theaters along with Age of Yamato.

The rest of this issue was a tour de force of interviews with staff artists and other production personnel, which we’ll cover in future Cosmo DNA updates. The cover feature was a retrospective of Aquarius Algorithm now that the year-long novella has concluded. Another article took a close look at the mecha for Star Blazers Lambda and announced that the first two paperback collections will be published in the spring.

Just before this report was published, artist Ryuji [Umegrafix] Umeno shared his rough designs for the Aquarius Algorithm cover image. See them larger on his Twitter post here.

A physical copy of the magazine didn’t reach the Cosmo DNA nerve center until after this report was published, so look forward to more nuggets next time.

February 27/28: Fukuoka Model Exhibition 2021

All the big hobby shows are still on hold until further notice, so fan circles continue to do what they can. At the end of February, local groups in Fukuoka banded together to fill a meeting room at a convention center with every kit they had. The centerpiece (literally) was a huge Earth fleet squaring off against the Comet Empire. In the last hours of each day, there was a “lights off” period in which room lights were turned off and model lights were left on for a unique atmosphere.

See a collected photo gallery here

See the event website here

February 28: Yamato 2202 Episode 5 on Tokyo MX

The month ended on a bang (a really big one) with the dramatic clash between Yamato and Andromeda. As we all know, there is more to come.

February 28: RIP, Amy Howard Wilson

Two days before this report was posted, we got some of the saddest news we could ever expect when it was publicly announced that one of our dearest had departed for the sea of stars. The following was posted on Facebook Friday, March 12:

Amy Howard Wilson, 65, of Petersburg, VA passed away peacefully on February 28, 2021. She was born in Detroit, Michigan on May 28, 1955 to John and Dolores Howard. The family moved to NJ in 1966. Amy graduated from St. Mary’s High School in South Amboy, class of 1973. Amy attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and PACE University in NYC. She worked at Sotheby’s NYC and AT&T in Bridgewater.

Amy voiced the character of Nova on Star Blazers and had quite a fan following. She enjoyed attending anime conventions, speaking on panels and connecting with fans of the show. Amy had a very big heart and a generous spirit. She loved people and would start up a friendly conversation with anyone.

She was predeceased by her parents, John and Dolores Howard, and her brother Larry Howard. She is survived by her husband, David, her sisters Kathy Hogya and Phyllis Donlon, her brother-in-law Ed Donlon, sister-in-law Anne McClaren, her nieces and nephews Lisa Hogya, Cheryl Males(Jon), Eddie Donlon, Hannah Donlon, Matthew Donlon, Abigail Donlon, and grand nephew Manny Males.

Donations can be made in Amy’s name to ASPCA.


Photos from Anime Weekend Atlanta 1999 and 2008, courtesy Dave Merrill.
At right, Amy is in the company of fellow voice actors Peter Fernandez and Corrine Orr.

Along with many of my fellow fans, I (Tim Eldred) became personally acquainted with Amy when she emerged from the mists to join our fold in 1997. Unlike the other members of the Star Blazers cast, she came looking for us. One day, she became curious about the legacy of the series she fondly remembered, and reached out to exactly the right online message board. After some careful vetting determined that she was on the level, she was invited to gather with us as the Guest of Honor at Anime Weekend Atlanta, where she found the warmest welcome she could ask for.

She returned year after year, creating long-term friendships and even finding the love of her life, who later became her husband. She took the role of a beloved sister or aunt, weaving her life into ours and looking for opportunities to meet in other times and places. A radiant smile was her default expression and a mighty hug was her standard greeting. It was my pleasure not only to conduct her first on-camera interview for the Star Blazers Series 2 DVDs in 2001, but watch with amazement as she brought other cast members into our midst.

Her generosity toward us only began with her unforgettable performance as Nova. It continued for the rest of her life and will keep her in our hearts forever. Thank you, Amy. We miss you.

Read accounts from other friends here and here.

Click here to read the actual 1997 conversation that brought Amy into Star Blazers fandom.


Also spotted in February

Fan art

Great fan art emerged from Japan (and elsewhere) throughout the month. See a character gallery here and a mecha gallery here.

Fan models

Modeling ran the gamut of every category, including some rare – and truly skilled – character renderings. There was so much it takes four galleries to contain it all! Click for: Yamato & Andromeda | Earth ships | Fighters & others | Characters

Cosplay

One cosplayer ruled them all in February, a fan artist with the online handle Hikonasakemuyou. She completed a cosplay tour of no less than four characters, two of which required an alternate skin color. See a collected gallery here.

Snow Balanodon

What does a Russian Yamato fan do with their creativity in the dead of winter? They turn nature itself into a tool of self-expression. That’s exactly what “Panda With Oar” did on February 25. See more photos on Twitter here.

Symbol Road renewal

In 1999, the port town of Tsuruga erected the Leiji Matsumoto Symbol Road, a delightful series of Yamato and Galaxy Express sculptures that line both sides of the city’s main street. We went there for Yamatour 2009 and brought back a complete set of photos that can be seen here.

The passage of time can be unkind to metal, so at some point in the recent past, the city took each sculpture off the street for reconditioning. Happily, they’ve all be reinstalled and they look fantastic. These photos, posted on Twitter by UC0079 1972 and darkages71, attest to the fine restoration work.


Continue to Report 57

6 thoughts on “Space Battleship Yamato 2202 Report 56

  1. Sad to hear of Amy’s passing. Condolences to her family…on behalf of StarBlazers fans everywhere. Her work touched the lives of so many first-wave Gen X anime fans who rushed home after school to watch and we are forever grateful. Rest easy, Nova.

  2. I’ve always wondered how popular the show (2199, 2202, etc) is in Japan. From an outsiders point of view its hard to grasp, other anime seem to get more attention through the likes of Crunchyroll and funimation but thats really for western audiences who watch it (or at least it feels as such).

  3. Is there a comprehensive list of the differences between the theatrical and broadcast versions of the 2199 and 2202 episodes?

  4. After missing out on the first model I’m collecting the Andromeda model issues from Amazon Japan. Its crazy how the thing sells out within 24 hours of appearing on the website, so you kinda have to be there when Amazon puts it up for sale.

    I’m also skeptical that the series will complete in 60 issues as the first 4 haven’t really achieved much, just a small area of the very front of the ship. So unless they’re going to include more parts with future issues…

    I had a look of some of the first models partworks on Youtube and it looks like the end issues were about the stand the ship is displayed on and the control panel for the lights and turrets. Are we to believe if they do this again we’ll see the ship complete in 50? issues with the remaining ones for the stand and control panel? Dunno.

    • Based solely on the promo video, I’m assuming that Andromeda will not include internal motors for guns and other features. That should cut way down on the parts. But I do agree that they don’t seem to have made much headway with the first four volumes. It will be interesting to see how things develop. I’d love to read an interview with someone at Hachette’s planning department. This can’t be a simple job.

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