Issue 12 of the Star Blazers/Yamato Premium Fan Club magazine (August 27, 2021) was published just prior to the October premiere of Yamato 2205 Part One. Thus, it contained the last round of coverage before the rollout campaign started: interviews with Director Kenji Yasuda and Writer Harutoshi Fukui, and some other odds and ends found nowhere else. Here is all that content in one big bundle.
Space Battleship Yamato 2205, The New Voyage Part 1 TAKEOFF is coming…
Three years have passed since the battle with the White Comet Empire, and the Garmillas are on the brink of extinction.
In his search for a new home planet to save the dying Garmillas people, Dessler finds a planet in the Milky Way Galaxy that meets his requirements. However, he finds himself in the territory of a powerful interstellar nation. A territorial dispute erupts in the galaxy, and Earth, which has signed a security treaty with the Garmillas, becomes involved.
The magic of the Time Fault, which had given Earth military and economic superiority, was extinguished in exchange for their lives…
Susumu Kodai, the new captain of the Yamato, is consumed with remorse. He and his new crew set off on a training voyage to prepare for the coming emergency.
He doesn’t know that there is someone out to get him.
In a time of unprecedented uncertainty, Yamato faces the time of The New Voyage. On that path, an unimaginable new enemy awaits…
Prepare for the shock!!
After overcoming many hardships, the first chapter of Yamato 2205, TAKEOFF, is now just over a month away from its premiere on October 8th. For those of you who can’t wait to get to the theater, this issue will be filled with all the information that has been revealed so far as well as a special interview with Director Kenji Yasuda and a message from Writer Harutoshi Fukui. We hope you will enjoy the film. It’s time to get ready for the shock of 2205, a work that will definitely exceed your expectations!
Main characters / mechanic introduction!!
As has already been announced, Yamato 2205 will consist of two chapters. The main characters and mechanics will offer the most important hints to find out what you’re interested in. We’ve rounded up all the information that’s been released so far, including some exclusive to this magazine!!
What will be the fate of Earth and the Garmillas in a world without the Time Fault?
As you may have guessed from Age of Yamato, 2205 takes place in a world where the Time Fault has been lost in exchange for the lives of Kodai and Yuki. What are the different challenges that await Kodai and his friends? There is the relationship with the Garmillas, led by Dessler, who have abandoned their dying home planet to seek a new world. The story unfolds in a complex manner as the shadow of a new force is added to the mix.
A new crew with rich personalities will be the core of this story!
As we wait for 2205, fans are especially surprised and expectant. New characters have been announced in advance. In particular, we should pay attention to Ryusuke Domon, Miyako Kyotsuka, and the rest of the crew who appeared in the original Yamato III series. What kind of “connection” will they have with Yamato? We can’t wait to see the “clash” between them and Kodai’s generation.
Yamato, Hyuga, and Aska, three ships fighting together!
The main mechanics that catch attention are these three ships, including Yamato, which will fight together. They will undoubtedly become the mainstay of the Earth side. We are also interested in the activities of the captains of each ship. Aside from the Earth side, the Deusuler III and the Great Pleiades have so far been announced. If you’re a reader of this magazine, you should already know about the existence of other mechanics![Right side]
• Space Battleship Yamato
Yamato has been refurbished after returning from the higher dimensions. We’re curious about its performance improvements.
• Space Carrier Hyuga
Hyuga looks like a Dreadnought-class ship with carrier functions added. If it becomes an aircraft carrier, will it be bigger than Yamato?
• Supply Carrier Aska
The name “Supply Carrier” and the shape of the Wave-Motion Gun suggest that Aska is expected to support other ships. If this is the case, the captain of the ship will be…[Left side]
• Deusuler III
Needless to say, this is Dessler’s ship. Its name was predicted by deciphering the Garmillas words on the visuals shown in Vol. 10 of this magazine.
• Great Pleiades
This is the mecha whose design was shown in Vol. 7 of this magazine. It is now confirmed to be the Great Pleiades! Expectations are high for the differences in size and performance compared to the original!
In previous issues of this magazine, we’ve also introduced this mecha. What is it…?
• Earth’s newest fighter plane!
Earth’s newest fighter was revealed in an interview with Junichiro Tamamori, who wrote a special feature on space fighters for this magazine. It’s not only the performance, but also who the pilot will be that makes you curious!
Director Kenji Yasuda Speaks
A compass for the unreachable, entrusted to a “generation that doesn’t know Yamato.”
After Yamato 2202, which moved to a different world from the original series, Yamato 2205 is expected to have a novel world view. The director of 2205 is Kenji Yasuda, who is known for works such as Macross Delta. As Harutoshi Fukui has already mentioned, Mr. Yasuda is exactly the right person for The New Voyage despite not being a member of the Yamato generation. We asked Mr. Yasuda about his thoughts on Yamato and his passion for 2205. (Photos by Shinya Ohira)
The production meeting room froze when the director said “Galamis” (Laughs)
Interviewer: I heard that you hadn’t seen much of the Yamato series before you received this offer.
Yasuda: Of course I knew about it, and I have an older brother who is three years older than me who is into Yamato. I had a poster of the movie version in my room. But when I was a kid, Mobile Suit Gundam was just getting into its stride. So maybe the anime didn’t catch my kid’s heart because there were no robots in it.
Interviewer: The three year age difference in childhood makes a big difference, doesn’t it? There weren’t many Yamato reruns when Gundam started, and it was not possible to watch it on DVD or streaming like now.
Yasuda: For our generation, Yamato had the strong impression of being a mature anime for a slightly older generation. Despite this, the reason I’m able to direct it this time is because Harutoshi Fukui had the thought of, “I’m looking for someone who wasn’t addicted to Yamato.” If that was the case, I thought I could direct it.
Interviewer: Do you remember the first time you attended a production meeting for 2205?
Yasuda: First of all, I was amazed by the scale of the project. I’ve participated in a lot of projects, but I’ve never been to a meeting with more than 20 people. I thought to myself, “This is a great place to be.” (Laughs) In addition, the production staff included [Mecha Designer] Junichiro Tamamori and other people who were familiar with Yamato. No matter how much Mr. Fukui says it’s okay to do whatever you want, you’ll be nervous. (Laughs)
The other day at the [June 29] Yamatalk, Mr. Fukui revealed that during the meeting I accidently mispronounced “Gamilas” as “Galamis.” I’ll never forget the frozen meeting room at that moment. (Laughs)
Pursuing new expressions beyond the accumulated history
Interviewer: I can just see the faces of everyone who was there for that. (Laughs) 2205 comes after the previous work 2202, and it is the first work to enter a different story world from the original series. So it’s a big responsibility for you as a director.
Yasuda: I don’t think of it as a responsibility, but rather as a division of roles. As for the worldview, it’s naturally a continuation of the previous series. I leave that to Mr. Fukui, Hideki Oka, and others. My focus is how to present the finished scripts and characters as images. I thought about how to show differences from the series that had accumulated so far. That’s why I didn’t dare to explore the original series in depth. I was afraid that if I got too hooked on it, I might undercut my first order, which was to give it a “fresh feeling.”
Interviewer: What do you think is the appeal of the Yamato series?
Yasuda: As for the original, which has been so influential in popularizing the existence of “anime fans,” I think the most attractive thing is that it’s not just for children. There are so many things to admire about the original series, including the way the story is constructed and how the characters are arranged. On the other hand, I think the remake series is an upgrade of the original worldview, more detailed and more in tune with today’s tastes. I’ve heard a lot of stories saying, “It took a lot of time to make it,” so I thought it was going to be tough. (Laughs)
Yasuda: Through both the original and the remakes, what I think is particularly unique is the presence of music. I hope I can say this without it being misunderstood; I think of it as an “anime that lets you listen to music.” For example, in a Hollywood remake movie, the original music is just reduced to the main theme. But in the case of Yamato, most of the musical accompaniment and sound effects are kept as they were. I think this is something that is rarely seen elsewhere.
The basic approach in recent anime is to order music that matches the characters’ emotions as needed. But in the case of Yamato, there are many sounds that accompany the situation rather than the characters’ feelings. This is quite different from other works I’ve participated in. In the first place, the significance of the music in this work is different. While drawing the storyboards, I learned about this nuance from Mr. Fukui and the other staff who knew about Yamato.
The Yamato way makes it “interesting and unexpected.”
Interviewer: Was it difficult for you to understand the “way of Yamato?”
Yasuda: I think it’s a “both/and” situation. It’s interesting to see how you can deviate from the constraints and surprise the audience. That’s the fun of it. What can I add that doesn’t just adhere to the rules of etiquette? That’s why I was invited to work on this project, and it was both a challenge and a pleasure. Since most of my past works have been about everyday life in a relaxed tempo, I was able to create a story that was both fun and challenging. I thought that if I could add some emotional performances that weren’t written in the character descriptions, I could bring out my own flavor.
Interviewer: As a fan of your work, I’m looking forward to seeing how the daily life of these characters will be depicted in this film.
Yasuda: The script is very dense, so we couldn’t include that much. As you learned from the special report video, the story continues with that density until the end. (Laughs) Of course, I did what I could to make it slow and steady, but organizing information from a dense script is one of my skills. I think I was able to do my best in that respect.[Translator’s note: the “Special Report video” referred to here was released on Youtube June 25. Read about it and find a link here.]
What is the “frustration” Director Yasuda feels with Susumu Kodai?
Interviewer: As you mentioned in a previous interview, what you especially value in 2205 is “tempo.” What kind of difficulties did you face in adjusting the tempo to fit modern expression while retaining the quality of the original?
Yasuda: Since the density of the script was quite high, I felt that raising the tempo was a challenge. The music is basically the same as the original, so I was worried that raising the tempo would change the impression of the music. But when I actually matched the music with the images, I didn’t have to worry that much. No matter what the scene is, the music makes it “Yamato” all by itself. (Laughs) I thought that was a really great thing.
Interviewer: By the way, is there any character you are particularly fond of?
Yasuda: I’d have to say Ryusuke Domon, who is making his first appearance in the series. His youthfulness is an important theme of the work and one of its charms.
Interviewer: Kodai, who has symbolized “youth” until now, is already in the older generation.
Yasuda: Of course, he’s an important character for me as well. On the other hand, like Domon (who hasn’t been involved in the series before), I have the impression that he’s a bit “old-fashioned.”
Interviewer: What do you mean by that?
Yasuda: As you know, Kodai has been put in various predicaments, and he’s a character who got knocked to the ground every time. From an objective point of view, it’s kind of pitiful. (Laughs) It’s not that I don’t sympathize with him, but I want to help him somehow. However, it’s not so easy to save Kodai from his level of predicaments.
Interviewer: He has too much on his shoulders, doesn’t he?
Yasuda: It’s a lot of pressure to be a director of an anime, but if I had to carry the fate of Earth on my shoulders, I don’t know what I’d do. (Laughs) That’s why I want to do something for him, but I don’t think I can save him so easily. I feel a kind of affection or closeness to Kodai that comes from that frustration. I think I’ve been able to express that in my work.
Interviewer: What do you think about the mecha?
Yasuda: I’ve always liked the three-deck carrier. I thought it was interesting as a 3D object, like the model kit. I personally like submecha that’s a little more ambiguous than the cool hero machinery. In that sense, the three-deck carrier may have stuck with me. Of course, it appears in 2205, so I was reminded of my childhood when I directed scenes of the powered-up three-deck carrier.
The focus on portraying a “generation gap” that is familiar to modern society
Interviewer: I saw the opening sequence that was screened at the Yamatalk, the attack on the Bolar Federation stationed on Planet Galman. The scene of the attack by the Garmillas carrier group was very exciting!
Yasuda: As you all know, [Scriptwriter] Hideki Oka is also a great help to me. He’s really into Yamato. For example, when firing the main guns, you shouldn’t fire them all at once, like “BOOM,” but with a series of shots, deliberately staggered. “Boom, boom, boom!” It’s amazing that a fan can remember all these details. I realized once again that Yamato is a truly great work that can leave such an impact.
Interviewer: 2205 was made under the influence of the Corona pandemic. According to Mr. Fukui’s interview, it was not his intention, but the result is a work that reflects the “zeitgeist” of the times. As a director, what kind of “zeitgeist” do you feel in 2205?
Yasuda: For me, it’s less about the current global situation and more about the generation gap between the characters represented by Kodai and Domon. Even the difference in their age is not that great, Kodai and his friends and Domon and his friends are clearly living in different generations. Clashes and disconnects arise from this gap. Of course, that exists in the real world today, too.
There are things that need to be said, but Kodai doesn’t dare to say them. Domon, who doesn’t seem to think much at first glance, is actually acting with the values of the younger generation firmly in mind. It may be a universal issue regardless of the time period, but in this time in particular, I wanted to portray Domon as a young man of today with an awareness of the “zeitgeist,” rather than an old-fashioned, hot-headed hero-type.
Interviewer: The more I hear about your work, the more I think 2205 has a new essence that only you could bring to it. I’m looking forward to the screening!
Yamato Crew members’ predictions from the special report video!
7 questions from Yamato 2205
After watching the Special Report video on YouTube and a part of the opening video shown at the recent Yamatalk event, our imagination about the film grew. We’re sure many of you have been speculating about the story! So we conducted a 2205 questionnaire for members of the Yamato Crew fan club, based on the information already released. We asked Scriptwriter Hideki Oka to check the results! Unfortunately, we can only show you a small portion of the answers we received. Are there any “correct” answers among them…??
Questionnaire period: July 13-26, 2021. Please note that some of the comments may have been revised or modified.
Ryusuke Domon is supposed to be a new crew member. However, in the first part of the film, which was shown at the Yamatalk event, he showed an intense hatred toward Yamato, which was returning to Earth. Why is that, exactly?
Among the refugees of the planet Stravase, there was one of Domon’s relatives. All three Garmillas ships were blown up by Zordar, and Domon’s relatives were killed. He resents the fact that the only survivors were Yuki Mori, who threw herself into the fire, and Kodai.
He had parents on the 11th planet who died in the Gatlantis attack. He is convinced that if Yamato had come to their rescue earlier, his parents would have been saved.
– Black Zero
He lost his father in the Garmillas War, and his mother survived but is in critical condition. She managed to survive thanks to the technology brought about by the Time Fault. However, with the return of Kodai and Yuki, the Time Fault was destroyed, making it impossible to treat her and she died. He plans to assassinate Dessler and Kodai as revenge for his parents.
Because of a special program about Yamato‘s return, the NHK Red and White Song Battle was cancelled.
Hideki Oka responds:
The correct answer is “the NHK Red and White Song Battle was cancelled.” (Laughs) I’m thrilled that everyone is so close to the truth. The big hint is right before this shot of Domon. The answer was right there on the screen.
Some of the new characters who have been announced are “Miyako Kyotsuka” and “Heiji Bando.” In the original, these two characters didn’t have any notable roles. What action do you think they’ll have this time?
Kyotsuka’s action: A space virus (contagious disease) breaks out on the ship. She realizes, “Domon’s going to die!” and activates a mini Cosmo Cleaner that Sanada has secretly been developing. Bando’s action: Judging from the color of his uniform, he’s probably developing weapons or advising Niimi and Sanada on his ideas for interdimensional combat.
The story of Yamato III was about a journey to find a second Earth after a missile strikes the sun. So, what do the inconspicuous men and women do? When they find a place to settle, they become a married couple and take the lead.
Both of them have Garmillas lovers. That’s why they are involved in the rebel movement and contribute to the peace process.
– Air Wolf
Hideki Oka responds:
“Action?” You don’t have to have action! You just have to work hard, that’s all. I’m of the old generation, and I’m always smugly thinking I could do something amazing. But I’m not sure. The skills of today’s young people are amazing. Air Wolf’s new interpretation of “both have Garmillas lovers” is symbolic of the potential of the younger generation. This kind of interpretation is not something that Mr. Fukui or I have come up with, but it’s nice to hear.
The new character Caroline Raiden seems to be related to Goro Raiden, who appeared in Yamato III, based on her last name. Who in the world is she? Please tell us about her relationship with Goro Raiden, the reason she is a female character, and her expected activities!
She wanted to go to the main accounting department, but was put in for political reasons to promote the gender-free nature of the Space Cavalry. However, she did unexpectedly well, and together with Nagakura, she has brought the rough men of the Space Cavalry under control. (Laughs)
In fact, she is not an Earthling, but a Zalts soldier. On the planet Stravase, her fiancé was aboard the Garmillas ship with Yuki Mori. In the commotion, her fiancé lost his life. If Kodai hadn’t rejected the devil’s bargain and chosen the ship with Yuki on board, Caroline would not have lost the love of her life.
– Shark Rider
I think she belongs to the Space Cavalry, judging from her uniform. Goro Raiden is her older brother, who was a classmate or a close friend of Saito, and was killed in the Battle of Garmillas or Gatlantis, and Caroline took over his goals. Could that be what happened?
– 3,000 miles to Yamato
Hideki Oka responds:
Shark Rider’s guess is a bad one. Not just Domon, but now Raiden is also holding a grudge against Kodai? (Laughs) Caroline was born to a Japanese diplomat father, Goro, and an American mother. She grew up on the West Coast of America. After her parents divorced, her father took her in and she spent her youth in an underground city in Japan during the Garmillas War. She has a strong sense of humor, but how will she live her life? I’m also looking forward to it.
In the Special Report video, we see three different colors of Analyzer: blue, pink and yellow! What do you think is the meaning behind the proliferation of these colorful analyzers?
It is a fact that the AI in the Time Fault is no longer usable. By deploying multiple command AIs, we can increase the number of options. Blue = positive, red = negative, yellow = analysis results only.
– Black Zero
Blue is calm and collected like a robot. Yellow, for some reason, is mistaken for Aihara. Pink is a sexual harassment robot like the old one…or is it?
Blue = water, yellow = earth, pink = fire and light. They are analyzing data for Dessler to find a new planet to settle.
– Air Wolf
Hideki Oka responds:
Dr. Sado said, “He’s not just a machine, he’s irreplaceable!” and yet here we are. All of your answers are unique, but a little far from the story concept. This photo shows the bridge of aircraft carrier Hyuga. The Analyzers are actually a subframe army of the Hyuga. I think there’s a hint here to decipher their role. In the first place, I wonder if there are really only three of them…?
What is the role of the Bolar Federation in this story, after not appearing in the original New Voyage? What kind of relationship do you think it will have with the Dark Nebula Empire?
In Age of Yamato, you showed the wreckage of a Bolar-like warship on Mars. It may have had some kind of influence on Earth in the past. I wonder if they’ve formed a coalition with the Dark Nebula Empire, but they don’t seem to work well together, so they might split up.
The Bolar Federation is a powerful nation that controls half of the Milky Way Galaxy. Another interstellar nation, described as the “Dezarium Army,” a rival to the Bolar Empire, is the equivalent of the “United States of Zeni,” which was scheduled to appear in Yamato III.
– Mamoru Aba
The Bolar Federation is under the control of the “Perpetual Control Organization,” which is run by the Dark Nebula Empire = Dezarium. Dezarium itself was an artificial intelligence system created by Iscandar when they ruled the universe by force. The Garmillas’ belief in Iscandar originated from the Galman’s belief in Shalbart. The Garmillas, along with the Bolar and Galman, rebel against Dezarium. The key to this is Queen Starsha.
Hideki Oka responds:
There it is! The United States of Zeni (Laughs) That’s not what I was thinking. Imomusume’s guess is a grand development. I like this kind of future. Poki’s guess is also very likely. Whether it’s hostility or collaboration. The “Goruba theme” and the “Bolar Federation theme” seem to go well together musically, don’t they? It would be great if we could hear a new song combining these motifs since the two major powers appear at the same time. It would be great if this happened…
A new fighter appears in the climax of the Special Report video. (Three planes are seen in this shot. The tail is a circular wing!) What do you think are the characteristics of this craft?
In 2202, the Andromeda class was augmented by the Dreadnought class to form a warp booster. When they combine, they can transport something or become an auxiliary booster for the aircraft in the middle.
The Cosmo Tiger II is an image of the F15, which was the most advanced fighter at the time, so I think it’s an image of the modern F35 with enhanced stealth performance.
– S. AOI
Isn’t it a multi-purpose fighter with replaceable units? A carrier-borne aircraft accompanying Yamato? Maybe it’s the Cosmo Hound!
Hideki Oka responds:
There is a correct answer in here. I think it’s okay to tell you the name now. The name of this new machine is “Cosmo Python.” It’s a giant snake. Why such a name? Please wait patiently for the answer. I want a model kit that replicates the Gimmick!
A large, shadowy ship appears that is believed to be the giant battleship Pleiades. The original version was 360 meters; how big do you think this giant battleship will be?
The original 360m is almost the same as Yamato (333m), so I would say it is at least twice as big as Yamato, 600~700m. Mr. Fukui said, “We made too many things big in 2202,” so it’s not likely to be super-sized (kilometers long).
I’d like it to be up to 360 meters. If we build it at 1/1000, it will be 36cm. If it’s too big, we won’t be able to buy a 1/1000 model.
Hideki Oka responds:
Dezarium is all about saucer-shaped ships. If we were to recreate it as a model kit, the volume would be outrageous. Even if it’s the same length as Yamato, the volume will be more than double. We decided on it while considering such circumstances. Personally, I’m in the “big is fine” camp. But if Pleiades is too big, how big is Goruba? NSZ’s guess may be a good place to start
2205 Screenwriting Team • General Comment from Hideki Oka
Starting with the next work, I want you all to develop the story with Mr. Fukui (instead of me). I really think so. These are warriors who love Yamato. Between you and me, there were some answers that were too correct to be published. I was very impressed with all the answers.
The Hideki Oka Award goes to Black Zero for his revolutionary idea for the Analyzers’ operation in Question 4! Congratulations! This idea is so funny, it’s like a comedy. If I had heard it earlier, I would have reflected it in my script. (Laughs)
In 2205, characters, mecha, and other familiar things appear in a slightly different way. “What are these guys doing? Can they recreate the anticipation feeling of The New Voyage and Yamato III?” Are we able to recreate that feeling? Please check it out in theaters and online to see if we meet your expectations!
Series composition/script • Harutoshi Fukui speaks
A message from Yamato to those who are living through the Corona pandemic
Age of Yamato was screened while being affected by the Corona pandemic. The same is true for first chapter of Yamato 2205, which is about to be screened in October. We can’t say for sure if it will be screened as scheduled. “The role of fiction is to reflect the real world in the unreal,” says Series Writer Harutoshi Fukui. Here, he tells us what he is thinking and wishing for this film. (Photos by Shinya Ohira)
What is the message behind Still…to “live”?
Interviewer: At the time of the planning for Yamato 2205, I don’t think you had any idea that we would be facing a global crisis. Since you started on the first chapter, did you change your attitude toward the story or your feelings?
Fukui: It’s strange, this is the second time I’ve experienced this crisis situation as a writer. The first time was when I was working on Gundam Unicorn, when the Tohoku Earthquake struck (March 2011). The world that I had taken for granted until then became completely different. At the time of the earthquake, we were in the final stage of production on Chapter 4. It was right after the screening of the third chapter started at the theater. The lines of the characters gave the impression that they were experiencing the disaster themselves.
Interviewer: That’s right.
Fukui: This is also the case with Age of Yamato and 2205. If you watch them, you might ask, “He wrote the script after the crisis, didn’t he?” But since the start of the 21st century, I’ve had a very strong sense of, “nothing will be left if we just go straight ahead on this time axis without any change.” I believe that this feeling is in everyone’s heart, whether it is strong or weak.
It started with 9/11 in 2001 (the terrorist attacks on the United States) and the Great Recession, which started on September 15, 2008. Then after the earthquake and tsunami, we had the Corona disaster. Rather than thinking, “All these terrible things are happening one after another…” I think many people feel the same way I do, that “We’re moving through a countdown.”
Interviewer: I think I understand.
Fukui: That’s why the catch phrase for the first chapter of 2205 is Still…to “live”? It encompasses the question, “Why do we need to live in the first place?” And then, by facing that question properly, I wanted to create a work that would give the audience something to take home. This is something I have been thinking about since my debut.
“A world with no Time Fault” and the real world
Interviewer: In Age of Yamato, I was impressed by the term “choice.” I felt it strongly as a word that is relevant to the current era.
Fukui: That’s exactly right. There are still choices left. It means that now may be the “last situation.”
Interviewer: Kodai, Yuki, Sanada, and others are desperately searching for options and trying to grasp hope, which reminds me of the people who face real epidemics and disasters.
Fukui: It’s not only medical personnel and disaster relief workers, but also all people living under such circumstances. I think it’s a very harsh thing for people to realize that this is no longer a world where “you can get by if you work hard enough.” At the end of 2202, humanity as a whole made a good choice. Didn’t it seem like it would go in a slightly better direction from then on? Is that what you thought?
Interviewer: On the other hand, when we go back to reality, we realize, “Maybe we’ve chosen something that’s hard to do…”
Fukui: I think the act of saving Kodai and Yuki by closing the Time Fault was a choice made by the human mind right after experiencing an unbelievable physical war, out of a desire to save their own hearts as much as possible. But that’s a kind of populism, not a decision based on a ten-year or hundred-year perspective. As proof of this, in less than three years, the Garmillas’ leader will start a fight with a very powerful nation, and Earth will be caught in the middle.
Interviewer: This is the current situation of Earth as depicted in the first chapter.
Fukui: At that time, the people of Earth are again thinking, “The Time Fault is gone!” How do they feel about that? How do they calm themselves down? By creating a conspiracy theory? “Was that election result manipulated by the military?” Even if they voted, maybe they’re starting to say, “I’m not sure about that!”
Interviewer: I feel like I’m really seeing the world today…
Fukui: I think human beings have that in them. We betray ourselves in order to adopt the “correct” position that is chosen today. The script for this project was almost finished before the Corona pandemic, but now that I think about it, it’s eerily in tune with the times.
Interviewer: It might be an opportunity for viewers to reexamine themselves.
Fukui: Originally, “fiction” was meant to reflect the real world in the unreal. On top of that, it’s also necessary to have elements that let you forget about reality, and things that “just cheer you up.” Yamato achieves a kind of catharsis by saying that a battleship will be revived in the future and play an active role in space. But in the original, the main character is made to regret his victory at the end by saying, “We should have loved each other.” In 1974, anime was already trying to commit the story to reality. I’m trying to keep that philosophy intact.
Interviewer: So your main focus is to reflect the real world in the unreal world?
Fukui: In the original, in order to make the story easier to understand, the commitment to reality was weakened with The New Voyage, which I felt was unfortunate. For example, even though it was an effective way to liven up the story, there were times when I thought, “This person is dead, isn’t he? Now there’s a twin who looks exactly like him.” I couldn’t help but feel, “You’re playing with (the character’s) life.”
I wondered why this anime, which had always been so sincere about life and death in its storytelling, became this way. I want to pursue the ideal form of fiction in the remake series, including that. That’s why dead people don’t come back to life, and look-alikes don’t appear. I’d like to warn all the Yamato fans out there, I’m not going to show Shiro Kato. (Laughs)[Translator’s note: for those who don’t follow that reference, in Yamato 2 the popular character Saburo Kato was killed in the Comet Empire war. An identical younger brother was invented for Be Forever Yamato to take his place.]
What is the purpose of having characters from Yamato III appear in this story?
Interviewer: There are many new characters from Yamato III such as Ryusuke Domon and Caroline Raiden, a female who is thought to be the equivalent of Goro Raiden in the original. It seems that the positioning of the story has also changed.
Fukui: That’s right. But between you and me, Raiden’s “fat quota” has already been filled by [overweight characters] Sukeji Yabu and Tokugawa Tasuke. (Laughs) So I was thinking, “If I’m going to bring in Raiden, I’ll have to be more creative.” Then Hideki Oka gave me an idea; “What about making him female?” No one else would have thought of that. (Laughs)
Interviewer: Indeed, it was a big surprise!
Fukui: In all seriousness, the main reason characters from Yamato III appear in 2205 is because I wanted to realize the “generational change” they tried to do in the original series, but couldn’t in the end. If you’re a fan, you might be wondering where the newcomers who debuted in the original New Voyage went. That’s what we’re trying to sort out. First of all, let’s get them all together.
Interviewer: It’s a stepping stone for future development, isn’t it?
Fukui: I don’t think Galman-Garmillas even existed at the time of The New Voyage. If we were to use a chronological timeline, the nation would have to be founded within a year of The New Voyage. So, if we’re looking at 2205 and the next series, the question of how they built that empire in one year cannot be ignored.
Therefore, it’s important to set up a convincing time span where events overlap with each other in the timeline, and thus lead to the next development. I wanted to create a story that would be a great drama. In other words, Domon, Raiden, and the others are not there just for fun. (Laughs)
Building a story by arranging the new production staff
Interviewer: In terms of “generational change,” I have the impression that you appointed Kenji Yasuda as the director, and the staff is also new.
Fukui: I think adding new staff members is a result of that. This is also the reason why I asked Kenji Yasuda to be the director this time. Of course, I don’t think there’s anyone in this industry who doesn’t have respect for Yamato. On top of that, I wanted to put people in the right places who could look at the story objectively. That’s what I intended. I want to work with people who can prioritize what is the best in order to tell the story.
Interviewer: In the interview with Kenji Yasuda, he talked about the same thing.
Fukui: At the very start, Mr. Yasuda mistakenly said “Galamis” instead of “Gamilas.” (Laughs) But it’s also important to think about what the world of Yamato looks like to someone on that level. If you have something you want to say to the audience, what should you show them to convey it? I was very fortunate to be able to work with him.
Interviewer: You were able to make an objective choice about what was necessary to portray the contemporary Yamato.
Fukui: That’s what I’m talking about. At the time of 2202, all the staff members were deeply involved in Yamato. So I personally felt that we might have lacked an objective point of view as a whole.
Interviewer: Do you mean that you want to make a work for a wider generation?
Fukui: No, I don’t mind if my works are aimed at a limited, specific generation. Of course, even anime needs works that are close to the years we’ve lived and that make us cry. That’s the role of the Yamato content. However, it is not enough to just be “nostalgic” if you want to get a grown man of advanced age to cry.
What I’m looking for is a story that makes you feel the weight of the years we’ve lived through. To do that, I believe that there is work to do besides spending time depicting details. With 2205, I think I’m finally ready to do that.
Of course, attention to detail is an essential part of any remake series. The presence of people like Hideki Oka and Yuka Minagawa from the script team and Nobuteru Yuuki, Junichiro Tamamori, and Yasushi Ishizu from the design team is a “weight” that I can rely on. Because of their pursuit of detail, a new generation of staff can be the driving force with other things.
I want to create a work that “embraces” middle-aged and senior people living in the present
Interviewer: Lastly, please give a message to fans who are looking forward to seeing 2205.
Fukui: I think I’ve said the same thing in the past, but for me one of the most memorable things of the past two years was the news that an old man who ran a tonkatsu shop in Tokyo, who was supposed to run as an olympic torchbearer, committed suicide by burning himself. A man who was so determined to run with the torch…I think it symbolizes the current state of the world.
Interviewer: It was really sad and heartbreaking. (Read the story here.)
Fukui: In addition to such a situation, there is a lot of talk about diversity. I think it’s really hard for middle-aged and older people to live in a time when the values they’ve held onto are changing. If you look at anime content and social media, you may feel like you’re being attacked when people in your generation say, “That’s so old-fashioned.”
Interviewer: I can understand that feeling…
Fukui: I want my works, including 2205, to “embrace” middle-aged and older people as much as possible, hopefully even those who have been away from Yamato for a while. If watching this gives them some relief from the pain they feel, it is meaningful to create it. Even if we’re just asking, “Is it hard for you?” I think there are many people who feel that they can’t put their pain into words. So what direction should we walk to “verbalize” that pain? Is there a need to walk in the first place? I wanted to convey those feelings firmly, so I hope as many people as possible will see this film.
Interviewer: Thank you very much!