Stills from the film, text from the script. Differences between images and text are due to modifications during production.
Watch the first 22 minutes of Age of Yamato (unsubtitled) on Youtube here.
• Archival Video: From Earth to Space
A voice in English echoes in the blackness
President John F. Kennedy: We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. The moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there.
A Saturn V is launched at the crack of dawn. Ice flakes fall off the rocket. Saturn V ascends out of the atmosphere. The first stage detaches and the rocket accelerates. The flame glow of the rocket nozzle turns into the light of a future spacecraft’s propulsion engine.
Music: Into the Beautiful ocean
Narrator: Since the end of the 20th century, humanity has faced a number of crises. Explosive population growth. Environmental destruction. Economic disparity due to the concentration of wealth. Increasingly violent ideological, religious, and ethnic conflicts…”
Five spaceships launched from the ground (vertical launch type), head into space in a streak of light. (They are not battleships, but rather planetary development transports and immigration ships to Mars, unarmed and older than the Earth ships of the Garmillas War.)
Narrator: Humanity succeeded in overcoming these obstacles, the proudest of which is was avoiding a world war involving the entire human race for more than two hundred years since the 20th century.”
• Archival Video: Restoration and Requiem of Battleship Yamato
A flash of searchlights cuts through the darkness. The seabed. The searchlight of an exploration vehicle illuminates the sunken battleship. A diver approaches the decaying hull. (Underwater work clothes reminiscent of space suits.)
Narrator: We will never forget the time when humans fought each other. Ceremonies were held around the world as a pledge to never fight again.
The sunken battleship is being reconstructed on a dock (floating island), and is recognizable as the massive battleship Yamato from the past.
Narrator: Restoration of a former war relic. The one chosen for the Far East…
The sea off Cape Bonomisaki. The restored Yamato.
30 degrees 22 minutes north latitude, 128 degrees 4 minutes east longitude
Attendees on the dock offer a silent prayer to the huge battleship of centuries ago floating in the distance.
2145: The Bicentennial of the End of World War II
With the sound of the King’s valve being released, a huge column of water erupts from the side of the Yamato. The ship slowly sinks into the sea.
Narrator: And with this requiem…the ship was laid to rest for eternity once again.
Yamato sinks into the deep sea, spewing out bubbles.
Narrator: But at the end of the last century, humanity was faced with an unprecedented challenge. Our first contact with extraterrestrial intelligence brought us to the brink of extinction.
Yamato disappears into the dark sea, leaving only bubbles.
Narrator: However, it was also the beginning of the next era for mankind. In order to save humanity, this ship…Space Battleship Yamato set out into the unknown universe. What is the new page of history that Yamato has opened?
The bubbles become starlight, and the dark ocean becomes outer space. Music swells.
• Title card
• A film studio
Starting from black.
Sanada: I think it’s safe to say that earthlings were aware of the existence of aliens early on.
A medium shot with a subdued background, typical of Western documentaries.
Shiro Sanada, former executive officer 2nd class of Space Battleship Yamato
Sanada: I’m not talking about the UFO fiasco of long ago. More incontrovertible evidence awaited us in our early days of space exploration.
• Archival Video: Mars Rebellion
Panoramic view of Mars (a beautiful setting).
Narrator: Mars. The first human colony in space.
Blurry photo: Some kind of space battleship (Bolar?) crashed in the Martian wilderness.
Narrator: There is no way to confirm when the object in this photo drifted to Mars, now that all the evidence has been erased. However…
A Martian space battleship takes off from the Red surface (gravity controlled). The shape is similar to Earth ships of the Garmillas War era.
Martian Space Fleet
Sanada: The ships built on Mars had technology far more advanced than that of Earth. The idea that the Martian government had secretly acquired the remains of an alien civilization would have been no laughing matter on Earth at the time.
The fleet advances with Mars and its satellite Phobos in the background.
Narrator: The struggle for autonomy on Mars evolved into two inner planetary wars. The wisdom and perseverance of the human race, which had avoided all-out war on Earth, would not be on display in the new world of space.
The launching ceremony of the Murasame. Like the battleships on Mars, the Murasame is gravity-controlled.
2170: The Murasame-type Space Cruiser Murasame is commissioned
The Kongo-type space cruiser flagship Kirishima leads several Murasame-type ships away from Earth.
2171: The Kongo-type Space Battleship Kirishima is commissioned
Narrator: The United Nations created a space navy. Underground cities were built across the planet for evacuation.
Scenery of an underground city (reuse). The space fleets of Earth and Mars face off.
Sanada: In hindsight, the Inner Planetary War was a rehearsal. That’s what some people say.
A photo of the crashed space battleship mentioned above.
Sanada: The ship allegedly recovered by the Martians was clearly designed for combat.
A desolate Martian landscape, as if to suggest the defeat of the Martian side. The destroyed Arcadia Airport (reuse) hints at the Earth’s eventual doom.
Sanada: There were aliens in this universe more advanced than we are, and who know how to fight like we do. Perhaps Earth was using the Martian rebellion to prepare for the nightmare to come…
The wind rumbles through the thin air, shaking it.
• Archival footage: first contact
April 1, 2191. Images from Uranus Surveillance Station
Garmillas fleet entering the solar system (unclear image). From Yamato 2199, Episode 11.
Narrator: More than a decade after the Inner Planetary War ended in defeat for the Martians, the nightmare became a reality.
The Japanese fleet faces the Garmillas fleet.
Narrator: The U.N. Space Defense Committee determined that the Garmillas had invaded our solar system and intended to invade Earth. The two fleets met in Pluto’s orbit.[Yamato 2199 Episode 11]
Inside the Kirishima bridge. The Monitor shows Serizawa. Okita is in the command chair.
Serizawa: Attack, Okita!
Okita: This is humanity’s first contact with an alien civilization. We musn’t be hasty!
Serizawa: Okita, I’m dismissing you by the authority of the Director of Military Affairs!
The Murasame launches an attack, but is sunk by a counterattack from the Garmillas.
Narrator: The alien counterattack resulted in the loss of 80% of the Earth fleet.
The fleet goes down, one ship after another. The damage is devastating.
Sanada: The Garmillas’ method was to force their opponent’s hand first, and then launch an invasion after they had justification to do so. It was the Garmillas way at the time. The Earth forces seemed to be prepared for this…but it wasn’t long before the truth was revealed.
• Archival footage: Battle with Garmillas
Pluto and Pluto Base. Jupiter, the floating continent and its base.
Narrator: The aliens had established a base on Pluto and began an invasion of Earth.
A fleet leaves Earth. The colors of the hulls are Mars camouflage (red and yellow) as well as Earth camouflage (blue and white). The bridge turret of the Kongo-type ship is missing, indicating that this is before the mechanical modifications that appeared in 2199. The Earth in the background is still blue and beautiful.
Narrator: The human race launched a massive counter-offensive with its reorganized fleet forces, using the asteroid belt as an absolute defense line.
• Archival footage: Damage from a planet bomb [Yamato 2199, Episode 1]
The previously blue Earth. The sun rises from over the horizon. The glow of cities like fireflies visible on the night side of the earth. A planet bomb falls toward the surface. It hits! The light of the explosion spreads. Shock wave rings. The lights of the surrounding cities go out in a flash.
Narrator: At first it was explained that this was nothing to do with aliens, but just a series of meteorite strikes.
April 2, 2192 A.D.
Planet bombs, trailing in the night sky, penetrate a sea of clouds. A planet bomb falls on a large city. Crash! A shockwave spreads instantly. Explosion! Waves and masses of high-pressure steam rush in. A planet bomb descends over skyscrapers. Impact! A flash of light! A mushroom cloud rises like a world tree. [Flashback scenes can be used]
Sanada: When the first planet bomb fell on Japan, the military knew it was an alien attack.
Planet bombs shot toward Earth from Pluto’s orbit by a reflection satellite gun [Yamato 2199, Episode 5]. A planet bomb falls to the Earth, which is turning red. The light from the impact spreads [Yamato 2199, Episode 1].
A flash of light! It spreads out as an explosion. The surrounding rock slabs peel off and fly into the air. The earth is being chipped away and losing its shape.
Sanada: But if they made it public, we would be forced to admit the overwhelming difference in scientific power between us and the aliens. I’m sure they didn’t want to announce a news story that would trigger panic, but…[the damage was already done].
Narrator: The alien attack gained momentum by invading Earth’s atmosphere with planet bombs.
• Archival Video: Second Battle of Mars
Earth’s fleet engages in a counter-attack against the Garmillas fleet. (A broadside gun battle).
Narrator: The U.N. space navy was about to unleash all of its remaining fleet power in a decisive battle off the coast of Mars. The Second Battle of Mars, one of the most famous battles in military history.
The Second Battle of Mars, 2198 AD
Narrator: The operation was led by Juuzo Okita, who ironically had refused the order to attack during the first encounter and was removed from command.
A family photo of Okita with his son, who was killed in action. The Earth fleet consists of several Isokaze-type destroyers, Murasame-type cruisers, and the flagship, the Kongo-type battleship Kirishima. (The Kongo-type has been modified, and its bridge is now a turret.) The flags and names of the ships clearly indicate that non-Japanese ships are participating.
Kirishima stops her cannon attack. The light from the rear nozzle goes out, and the ship begins to drift. Kirishima‘s attitude control thruster fires, and the ship begins to turn to face the Garmillas fleet. The Garmillas fleet opens fire on the Kirishima, which has stopped attacking. Murasame and Isokaze types counterattack to protect Kirishima.
Narrator: The turning of the ship in front of the enemy was to buy time to fill the shock cannons, new equipment that could not be fired in rapid succession with Earth-made engines.
Kirishima‘s bow is in position to fire the shock cannon. (Due to the lack of power in the engines, it is taking a long time to fill the energy) Kirishima is hit by the Garmillas’ positron beam. An Isokaze-type acts as a shield to block the positron beam.
(Escape pods are ejected, but many are destroyed when they are caught in an enemy ship’s attack or a fellow ship’s explosion. This was not intended to be a suicide mission.)
A shock cannon fires from the bow of Kirishima! An undulating beam, reminiscent of the Yamato‘s main gun, pierces the Garmillas.
The thruster on Kirishima‘s bow pushes back and retreats. Several Murasame-type ships move forward. The main engines of these ships also stop, and they manuever with attitude control thrusters. Some of the ships are hit and some are sinking, but they do not seem to be frightened. From the bow of the Murasame-type ships, a shock cannon is fired. The Garmillas are hit.
Narrator: At this time, it was Mamoru Kodai who fired the main gun as the chief gunnery officer on Kirishima. He was later to become the captain of the space destroyer Yukikaze.
Mamoru Kodai in a group photo of the crew. (Not in a captain’s uniform, but that of a general officer. This is different from the Yamato crew’s uniform.)
• Filming studio
Sanada: I’d been friends with Mamoru Kodai since our college days.
He says this, then pauses a bit.
• Flashback [Yamato 2199, Episode 17]
On the university campus. Sanada and Mamoru are standing on a small hill. The sky is dark. They look up at the sky with heavy expressions. Sanada looks at Mamoru.
Sanada: Are you going to join the Space Force after graduation?
Mamoru: Yeah. And you?
Sanada: I’m not suited for the military. But I think there’s something I can do…
Mamoru: You can do it. You can do what I can’t do even if I stand on my head.
Snow begins to fall. Mamoru holds out his palm.
Mamoru: We are poetry and formulas, aren’t we?
Sanada looks at Mamoru, puzzled. Snow gently falls into Mamoru’s palm.
Mamoru: I want to protect this world even if my road is different. That feeling is the same.
Mamoru looks up at the snow-filled sky.
Sanada: Yamato‘s voyage marked the dawn of a new era for all Earthlings. For the first time, we were exposed to beings other than ourselves. Interacting with others can be painful for both of us. Sometimes…sometimes it does irreparable harm. But there is no turning back now.
Sanada: We have to live in a universe where there are many others. And it is through our relationships with others that we will find our true selves. Even if it is painful, even if it hurts, you cannot stay in your shell. By doing so, we make the choice to save our broken hearts. Isn’t the choice of the people of Earth, starting in 2202 when Yamato left for Telezart, proof of that?
Saturn V launch scene from the beginning of the film.
Sanada: Looking back, our choice began in the middle of the 20th century, when we set out for the moon. This is the age that Space Battleship Yamato symbolizes. The age of anxiety and strife is a passing phase. We will continue to move forward, to engage with others, and to change.
The galaxy and the infinite universe (new shot).
Sanada: Not because it is easy, but because it is hard. The hope for knowledge and peace lies there.
Go out on the Yamato theme