From the moment Yamato 2199 was announced, we pretty much assumed there would be a followup. From the moment Yamato 2202 was announced, it was practically a guarantee. The momentum certainly seemed to be there. The big question was whether it would be wholly original or another remake. Rumors drifted back and forth as the planets slowly aligned.
This page rounds up everything we learned from March 2019 to May 2021, prior to the first big reveal. If you want to jump right to June 2021, click here. Another link is provided at the end of this page if you want to review the “prehistory” first.
March 28, 2019: First announcement
At the very last screening of Yamato 2202 Chapter 7, Director Nobuyoshi Habara and Harutoshi Fukui concluded their last joint appearance with the official word…
Photo posted on Twitter by Giga.
SEQUEL PRODUCTION DECIDED!!! What would it be about? When would it be out? Those were the questions we would be asking for over two years.
August 30, 2019: Star Blazers/Yamato magazine Premium Fan Club Magazine, Vol. 4
Five months later, we got the title: Yamato 2205, The New Voyage. Text accompanying the announcement read as follows:
Even before the excitement of Yamato 2202 Chapter 7 has cooled down, we deliver information to our readers on the next project as soon as possible, faster than anywhere else. Titled The New Voyage, it depicts the world three years after 2202. Scheduled to be screened in the fall of 2020. Look forward to the new Yamato story!
Online announcements followed on September 1, but so far we only knew that Harutoshi Fukui would return as the writer. Who else would be involved? Most importantly, who would direct it?
October 14, 2019: Yamato 2202 Concert Close To You Tonight
The next news drop happened at the end of this spectacular 2202 concert, which was described in detail back in 2202 Report 40.
Just before the final number, Harutoshi Fukui appeared on stage to release new information with a brief slide show of character and mecha designs. See everything he shared with the audience here.
The inside back cover of the program book (above right) gave us the first full credit list for the primary production staff on Yamato 2205. The director would be Kenji Yasuda, best known for Macross Delta (click here to see his other credits). Returning staff would include Shoji Nishizaki (exec producer), Harutoshi Fukui (writer), Hideki Oka (scripts), Nobuteru Yuuki (character design), Junichiro Tamamori and Yasushi Ishizu (mecha design), and Akira Miyagawa (music). Also joining the mecha design team is Mika Akitaka (known for Gundam The Origin).
The middle of the page featured the following commentary from Fukui:
The New Voyage. For the title to follow Soldiers of Love, let’s make it totally on point and in the realm of our childhood conception. Actually, while it has an element that will have old series fans happily saying “Yes! That’s it!”, will the story measure up to the ending of 2202? It’s impossible to approach by ordinary means. By getting new characters and new staff, the Yamato remake series finally begins to show its true potential as major drama. The third voyage begins, made for a Japan that’s heading into the 2020’s which will be a bit tumultuous. Please give us a moment to catch our breath until the next series begins.
The bottom of the page contained the first announcement for the movie we would come to know as Age of Yamato, intended for release in “winter 2020.” That, of course, didn’t quite happen. But the fate of both these productions would be closely tied together.
November 29, 2019: Star Blazers/Yamato Premium Fan Club magazine Vol. 5
Official coverage of Yamato 2205 came directly from the nerve center, starting with the first interview with Series Director Kenji Yasuda. He described his entry into the anime industry, the directors who fostered him, and his hopes for the new series.
Read it here.
February 24, 2020: Star Blazers/Yamato Premium Fan Club Magazine Vol. 6
The next installment gave us just a half page of art, but also some promising production news:
The latest information
Scheduled for Winter release
Some of the rough artwork shown at the film concert on February 3 is revealed exclusively in Yamato magazine! Keep an eye on future information to be revealed bit by bit!!
Production studio has also been decided!!
Production will be handled by Satelight, who also worked on Genesis of Aquarion and the Macross series! Please look forward to the powerful images to come from this talented studio!!
See Satelight’s official website here.
Read Satelight’s Wikipedia page (with many more credits) here.
May 25, 2020: Star Blazers/Yamato Premium Fan Club Magazine Vol. 7
By this time, the Covid pandemic had set in and things were obviously not proceeding as planned. Normally we would have gotten another big article, but instead there was only this page spread with the following text…
Scheduled for release this winter / Space Battleship Yamato 2205, The New Voyage
Latest updated information / First public visual!!
This time, we publish two character and mechanic visuals that haven’t been seen yet! Please look forward to how this mecha and character will appear!! New character visuals appear in Yamato magazine first!
First public visual!!
Only part of it was shown before now, but this time the whole picture is unveiled only in Yamato magazine! Look forward to the latest 2205 information in the next issue!
August 30, 2020: Akira Miyagawa on Twitter
Akira Miyagawa was the first and only choice for composer, and on this day he took a moment to post this Tweet, accompanied by snapshots of a piece he wrote as a youngster that his father incorporated into the BGM catalog of Yamato III. The caption read:
In the production process of Yamato 2205, I am confronting my score from forty years ago. I’ll see you again… At that time, I was not conscious at all of writing a song, I was just writing desperately to see what I came up with. It’s a wonder that it remains a “song.”
November 25, 2020: Star Blazers/Yamato Premium Fan Club Magazine Vol. 9
“Winter 2020” had been the initial promise, but winter was now almost here and the news was that the compilation film Age of Yamato would be released January 15. That at least told us when we could expect to hear a release date for 2205, since these productions always piggyback on each other. Meanwhile, we got to see what Yamato would look like in the new series, and a new Harutoshi Fukui interview on Age of Yamato checked in on the progress of 2205. Read that interview here.
Also, there was this bit of news:
The production is now in its final stages!?
The voice recording with the participation of the main staff and voice actors is well underway!
From the 3D model of Yamato and the interview with Harutoshi Fukui, we can see that the production of 2205 is progressing well. The other day, a voice recording was held with all the main cast members. Tomohiro Yoshida (sound director), Kenji Yasuda (director), Mr. Fukui and the rest of the production staff looked on, and the recording proceeded in a relaxed mood from start to finish. The voice actors, who already have a deep understanding of the world of Yamato, did not have to worry too much about their acting. As a veteran, Koichi Yamadera (Dessler) was able to finish the recording much faster than the scheduled time. It all proceeded smoothly, as it should.
With the premiere of Age of Yamato decided, 2205 is finally entering its countdown phase. Stay tuned for more information!
Left: cover art by “Umegrafix.” Right: unused press sheet image for Yamato 2205.
February 25, 2021: Star Blazers/Yamato Premium Fan Club Magazine, Vol. 10
This issue was full of apologies. Age of Yamato was within two weeks of its premiere when the Japanese government announced a Covid emergency and all plans had to be shelved. What we didn’t know – and wouldn’t find out until June – was that if Age of Yamato had come out on time, 2205 would have premieried June 11. Since that date had already been selected and theaters booked, it was decided to make it the provisional date for Age of Yamato if things calmed down in time. Fortunately, they did.
Meanwhile, here’s what we got:
The Latest Information
Like Age of Yamato, 2205 is influenced by the Corona disaster. However, the staff is still working together to complete the project. So this time, we’d like to share with you what many fans must have been expecting, a first look at the CG visual for a new ship!Please wait a little longer until the screening schedule and other details are released.
The “phantom” press sheet
This is the cover of the press sheet for 2205 that was supposed to be distributed to the mass media when the screening of Age of Yamato started on January 15th. We would like to introduce it to you specially. What kind of text and visuals were included in the press sheet? Everyone must be curious about the content!
March 26, 2021: Blu-ray bonus art
New priced-down Blu-ray box sets for both 2199 and 2202 arrived on this day. Bonus items for preorders were cards that gave us our first look at the redesigned Kodai and Yuki by Nobuteru Yuuki.
May 8, 2021: Age of Yamato advance tickets
The one upside to continued delays for Age of Yamato was that it gave the production committee more time to drum up advance ticket sales. They launched their third campaign on May 8 with incentive items to capture even the fans who already took the leap.
This time the bonus package consisted of a “MoviTick” card (a voucher to be redeemed at theaters) and a pack of production art from Yamato 2205 (pictured above). Photos posted on Twitter by sumikojo.
May 13, 2021: Model kits announced
In May we learned that we would get some new model kits. The announcement started with a true fan favorite, a reboot version of the EDF carrier from 1978, this time in 1/1000 scale and named Asuka. Accompanying this would be two elements of Dessler’s fleet in Mecha Collection size: his red battle carrier with option parts (now named Deusuler III, and a green version of the Schderg tri-deck carrier (now named Balmes
See them on Bandai-hobby.net here
More photos can be seen on Dengeki Hobby Web here
And that brings us to the end of the “prehistory” phase. The rubber finally hit the road in June 2021 when Age of Yamato arrived in theaters and the age of Yamato 2205 commenced.
Continue to Part 2, which is longer than the page you just read!