The making of Dawn Chapter, Aquarius Algorithm

In September 2021, the original Yamato saga returned to life for the first time since 2009. A new novel titled Space Battleship Yamato Dawn Chapter, Aquarius Algorithm was published to tremendous acclaim from the fan community and began an effort to fill the 17-year gap between Final Yamato and Resurrection. There was plenty to learn about it if you knew where to look online, and it is all collected here in one place.

First, the most important part: click here to order it from Amazon.co.jp!

Second, don’t forget that Chapter 1 of the novel has been translated and can be read here.



Part 1: Hideki Oka on Twitter

Hideki Oka joined the production team as a scriptwriter on Yamato 2202 (working under Harutoshi Fukui) and continues in the same role on Yamato 2205. And boy, this guy can talk. He served as a consultant for Aquarius Algorithm, and he explained the creative process in a massive Twitter thread that started 20 days before the book was published. It’s loaded with interesting details, especially when the trivia starts flying. The entire thread is presented here.

Links to the original posts are provided day by day.




Space Battleship Yamato Dawn Chapter:
The story of Aquarius Algorithm

September 7

01. Aquarius Algorithm will be released 20 days from now on September 27. The author is novelist Yuya Takashima. It’s interesting and makes me cry. Nostalgic yet fresh. That’s how I would describe it. I will talk about this book every day. If you like, please spread the word. So let’s get started!

02. Q: What is the Dawn Chapter?

A: The old Yamato sank in Final Yamato and was rebuilt in Yamato Resurrection. What happened in the meantime has never been known. The new series Dawn Chapter will depict an unknown era. In it, Susumu Kodai is a new father.

03. Q: What is the relationship between Yamato 2205 and Dawn Chapter?

A: Don’t mix them up! It’s a different world from the remake series. Dawn Chapter is the latest installment of the old Yamato world, which started in 1974. Both 2205 and Dawn Chapter are interesting!

04. Q: Amazon classifies it as a comic. Is it manga?

A: Sorry, sorry, sorry! It’s a novel! The author, Yuya Takashima, is a prolific novelist. It’s classified as a comic is for unknown reasons. I’m really sorry.

05. Q: Please tell me about Yuya Takashima.

A: Mr. Takashima is a novelist who is known as a standard-bearer of hard SF. His latest work is Echika in the Blue Desert. It’s a heartwarming novel set in Ube City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. I’m sure he’ll bring a breath of fresh air to Yamato.

That’s it for today. Aquarius Algorithm is the first volume of Dawn Chapter. I hope the second and third volumes will appear in bookstores in the future! Starting tomorrow, I’ll be sharing all sorts of secrets about the contents of the novel!


September 8, 19 days to publication

06. I forgot to tell you some important information: the digital and paper versions of the book will be released on the same day. My eyes are hurting these days…


Photo posted on Twitter by Aoi2199

We have an electronic version. We have a digital version!

07. Q: What kind of story is it?

A: “We see what Yamato and Captain Okita are up to now.” Kodai and his team are sent to the Aquarius Ice Sphere by Sanada. However, an enemy is lurking on the ice sphere, plotting to exterminate the human race, and the crisis spreads to the entire universe. Kodai and his team will use whatever means they have left to overcome the situation.

08. Q: This story takes place after Yamato sinks in Final Yamato, right? If Yamato doesn’t appear, it’s boring.

A: No, no, no, Yamato appears a lot. The Yamato that sank is the key to this story. What’s going to happen? You’ll have to read it to find out.

09. Q: Is it fun to read?

A: Yes, it is. I love the old Yamato. It will make you cry and feel refreshed. Together with the ongoing remake Yamato, you can enjoy Yamato twice as much!

10. Q: What’s the best thing about it?

A: Read this novel and watch the movie Resurrection again. You’ll see it completely differently. A lot of people who’ve already read it say so, so it’s probably true.

Aquarius Algorithm Dawn Chapter sounds interesting, doesn’t it? It actually is, but the pace of these Tweets is not good. It’s still 19 days from release. If I keep talking at this rate, you might not need to buy the book at all. This is dangerous.



September 9

11. “I used to love Yamato, but I don’t know the Yamato of today.” There are many such people in the world. I hope this novel, which deals with the world of the old works, will reach such people. I hope you will enjoy it.

12. Q: Who is in this story?

A: The main characters are the Kodai family, but you’ll meet a lot of people, old and new. First, there’s this guy. This is Tetsu Kitano, the super elite who has been missing since his first appearance.

13. Q: If Kitano appears, are others appearing too?

A: As you might have guessed, Tasuke Tokugawa and Shigeru Sakamoto are also making a comeback. You can enjoy seeing the newcomers of The New Voyage grown up. It’s just synchronicity that they also appear in 2205, so let’s look at it positively.

14. Q: Will there be people from Resurrection in the story?

A: Of course! First of all, this person. The genius navigator Maho Orihara is 14 years old. Even though she met Kodai for the first time in the movie, she’s deeply involved in this story. I hope you’ll check out Yuya Takashima’s knowledge of science fiction and his dedication to it.

15. Q: I don’t know who this person is.

A: Hehehe. He’s Ringo Aoyagi, the captain of the space cavalry, making his debut in this novel. He has a neat face covered in scars and cool eyes. He is two meters tall, but he is a nice guy with no unnecessary intimidation. The design is by Mr. Umeno, who is in charge of illustrations.

16. Q: Who are these scary-looking guys?

A: If I say too much, I might get in trouble, so I’ll just give you a hint. One of them is that guy you all know. This novel is about the tumultuous encounter and bond between Kodai and that person. Hot, hot, hot!



September 10, 17 days to publication

17. I’m hoping that the younger generation, who will be exposed to Yamato through this novel, will say, “Wow, this could be interesting” and watch the old Yamato

18. Q: I know this guy!

A: That’s Sanada. He’s retired from the military and is now the Deputy Director of the Science Bureau. Dawn Chapter is the long, long story of how Sanada-san rebuilds Yamato. He’s the other main character.

19. Q: What kind of enemy is this mysterious foe?

A: Hmm, I’m stuck. If I say too much, I’ll get in trouble. I’m not sure if they’re weak or strong, but their tenacity is the greatest in the universe. That’s the charm of these guys, isn’t it?

20. Now then. Five years before Resurrection was twelve years after Final Yamato. What will young people in their early twenties experience over the next twelve years? I’m sure many of you must be thinking there’s a lot going on around this time. Marriage, parenting, and work issues…it’s the same for Kodai and Yuki.

21. The movie Resurrection did not go into the history of the family, the history of the galaxy, and various other circumstances. It left many questions in the minds of those who saw it. Mr. Takashima’s novel sheds light on these questions. He rewinds the hands of the clock back to just after Final Yamato and unravels what happened after that.

22. Mr. Takashima talks about the “blank period” in this novel. Asteroid 6, a brain trust of hardcore Yamato fans, supported the writing of this novel to the fullest extent. Next I’ll tell you how Mr. Takashima and Asteroid 6 met.



September 13, 14 days to publication

23. If I had to pick one special thing about this novel, I’d say it’s a story about a group of Yamato fans who are serious to the bone, teaming up with Mr. Takashima, a spirited novelist. The name of the team is Asteroid 6.

24. March 2019: “In order to rework the Resurrection Arc, we’re going to rewind the clock to just after Final Yamato and reset every element.”

That night we decided to go ahead with the project. We were sitting in the Yakitori Yamato restaurant in Shibuya with our heads in our hands. There was only a little time left until the start of the novel’s serialization in the fan club magazine. We didn’t have enough time to think about “all the elements.”

25. “Gather the people you think you need.” That’s what I was told by the company, but it’s not that simple. This mission would never work with only my hastily-acquired knowledge and affection. We needed people who are hardcore Yamato fans, who could collaborate with us, and who could maintain confidentiality. We needed such people regardless of whether they were professionals or amateurs. I felt like I was searching for Samurai on an endless journey.

26. Harutoshi Fukui, who somehow happened to be in Shibuya, joined us at our table. It was obvious that he was a Yamato fan. He is also a famous garage kit sculptor. We all got excited over his homemade 1/500 Kirishima. But I was not in a good state of mind…

27. Starting the next day, I had to contact a “very skilled Yamato fan lurking in the streets” whom I didn’t know at all. I’d been aware of this person for years. Where do they live in this huge country? What could I do if I didn’t know their phone number or email address?

28. Why does the internet have to be anonymous? You’ve got to be kidding me. I should never have said, “I’ll hire a samurai!” I was already fighting a losing battle. Just then, a friend of Mr. Fukui (a man in a crisp suit) was standing there smiling without taking a seat. He spoke to us.

29. “I was on my way back from Wonder Festival. I didn’t expect to see Mr. Fukui.”

The man in the suit spoke in a high-pitched Kansai dialect without hesitation. He seemed like a nice guy.

“You like Yamato? My name is Oka.”

“Oh! I thought so, but your hair color is totally different.”

30. “Oh, that’s right, I had blond hair a while ago…”

“I’m sorry it took me so long to greet you…”

The man in the suit looked a little embarrassed, and continued to speak with a shy smile.

“I’m a Yamato fan who is active under the handle My Earth Defense Fleet.

31. All the pores in my body opened at once. My heart rate and body temperature jumped to the limit.

“I’ve been looking for you, I’ve been looking for you, I’ve been looking for you, I’ve been looking for you, I’ve been looking for you!”

This is how My Earth Defense Fleet became the first of our friends. (See his blog here.)



September 14, 13 days to publication

32. It’s less than two weeks until the release of the novel. I’m not sure if these daily posts are helping to promote the book. I have a few doubts, but I’ll continue for a while longer. Thank you for your patience.

The contents of a long life are much more important to the recipient than to the sender. In other words, fan sites often have much deeper knowledge and love than the senders. In my own experience, this was the case with Godzilla and Ultraman. In Star Wars after Disney’s acquisition, a significant number of fans supervised the content. It’s not easy to climb to those heights if you don’t have a work ethic.

Space Battleship Yamato is just like that. There are people who have the original Yamato‘s goodness in their body at the cellular level, and the history of the series has been supported by the commitment of many creators who used to be fans. This was the main attraction of Yamato III, the Playstation version, and Yamato 2199.

When I joined the production of the “Resurrection prequel novel” written by Yuya Takashima, this was the first thing that came to my mind.

This is a long preamble, but that’s the gist of it. “Yamato love and Yamato responsibility.” I wanted to invite people who would bring both love and responsibility, and tell a story that was not self-serving.

It is difficult to create something together with unknown people you have never met in person. There are risks involved. But in the end, my fears were unfounded. It may have been a coincidence, but the people who gathered were all adults. They poured both “love and responsibility” into the novel.

This kind of group work is a far cry from the usual novel. It was thanks to the humanity of the author, Yuya Takashima, that we were able to reach the end of the story. Next, I’ll introduce the members of Asteroid 6.



September 15

33. In these Tweets, I’ve shown you some of the illustrations in color. Just for the record, they are monochrome in the book! However, all of the illustrations have been painstakingly re-adjusted by Mr. Ryuji [Umegrafix] Umeno. I hope you enjoy it.

34. There were six members who gathered to create a Yamato novel that would be interesting and convincing to anyone who read it. (In the end, there were seven.)

– Yuya Takashima, the author and SF researcher.
– Shinji Nishikawa was in charge of mecha design.
– The seventh man, Ryuji Umeno was in charge of illustrations.
– And I, Hideki Oka.

This was the so-called “pro” side.

35. The remaining three are strong Yamato lovers who I can only refer to with respect as “professional fans.”

My Earth Defense Fleet, in charge of military research.
– Katsumi Fuso, in charge of geopolitics of the universe.
– Mr. Satabi, in charge of digging deeper into the story and characters.

36. As a person who has been watching their Yamato activities, I can say with certainty, “The strongest team has gathered here!” In April 2019, the team, led by Mr. Takashima, would start creating. However, the potential of this team went beyond our expectations. The speed of problem solving was too fast!

37. The team finished answering the various questions posed by Yamato Resurrection in eight weeks, and the momentum of all the members was unstoppable. Before we knew it, “the team thinking about the premise for the novel” had turned into “a team creating the novel itself.” I couldn’t believe it.


September 16, 11 days to publication

38. I ran into a young man who said, “I want to direct a continuation of Resurrection in the future!” He’s still in his early twenties, and there were moments when I realized what he was talking about. I hope this novel reaches new Yamato fans like him.

39. The meeting room of Asteroid 6, who was dispersed over Tokyo and Osaka, was an online message board on LINE. It was open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Anyone could talk about anything. But when your family called you for dinner, you had to leave immediately. The only ground rule was not to bother the family.

40. The things we discussed here were enormous. Our knowledge of Yamato, our preoccupation with the characters, and our mecha fetishism generated sparks. The discussions went on until everyone was convinced that we’d found the best solution for the readers. Every time I opened the logs, I’d laugh. Everyone’s commitment was fascinating.

41. Through the daily exchanges, we were able to discuss the outline of the novel, the specifics of the descriptions, and changes in the characters’ feelings. Whenever Mr. Takashima posted a manuscript, everyone read it and commented on it. He revised the manuscript, and everyone read it again. I think we did this loop three times per episode, and more than five times for the last episode.

42. It’s a strange story that we were able to make it all the way to the end with this method. I think the toughness of Mr. Takashima and the humor of the members prevented the project from falling apart. I’m grateful for that. Thank you.

43. By the way, in the course of these daily exchanges I thought, “Of course this is how it should be.” There were a few moments when my so-called Yamato knowledge came crashing down. One of them was my understanding of the Wave-Motion Engine. I didn’t understand it at all. How about you? Please have a look at this.

44. Here’s the problem. These are three familiar model sheets. Which direction is the bow of Yamato, right or left? Can you guess? This is a serious matter related to the novel climax. It will be on the exam. Think about it carefully.

Independent research: the secret of the Wave-Motion Engine

This is the familiar image of Yamato‘s Wave-Motion Engine.

This is the same angle that was used to introduce the engine room and Tokugawa in Episode 3.

Independent research: the secret of the Wave-Motion Engine

Here is the problem. In these pictures, is the bow on the right or left side?

(1) First-generation Wave-Motion Engine engine room
(2) The rear of the first Wave-Motion Engine
(3) New Wave-Motion Engine



September 17, 10 days to publication

45. I asked for impressions of the sample copy.
“A book… a physical book… so easy to read!” – Ryuji [Umegrafix] Umeno
“I really like paper books…” (Laughs) – My Earth Defense Fleet

46. “I think I know Yamato!” starts now. Did everyone think about yesterday’s homework?

The familiar Wave-Motion Engine design. In these pictures, is the bow of the ship on the right or left?

47. The correct answer is…to the right.

48. If you’re thinking, “What?” You’re just like me. For a long time, I had an image in my head from watching the original. The following screenshots provide the explanations. Please take a moment to read them.

Independent research: the secret of the Wave-Motion Engine

In these shots we’re used to seeing, all, all, all have the bow facing this way (to the right). This is called “crossing the line” in stage and film terminology. Even though Yamato‘s direction of travel in the story is almost always “facing left.” You’re surprised, right? Didn’t everyone see it backwards in their head?

49. Independent research: the secret of the Wave-Motion Engine

As you know, Yamato sails from the right to the left of the screen. This is called “crossing the line” in stage and film terminology. I’m not sure if it was intended by the production, but all the settings in Yamato were depicted as “crossing the line.”Almost everything.

99% of the model sheets are drawn from this angle. Exterior, interior, shipboard aircraft, and even internal illustrations are all drawn “crossing the line.”

50. Independent research: the secret of the Wave-Motion Engine

The whole image of the Wave-Motion Gun also crosses the line.

The entry bolt crosses the line.

The control room of the Wave-Motion Gun is drawn crossing the line even in Final Yamato.

HOWEVER…!!

51. Independent research: the secret of the Wave-Motion Engine

For some reason, the Wave-Motion Engine is the only place where the camera crosses the line on screen!

Also, when they hit the Wave-Motion Engine, the camera was on the correct side. I hadn’t noticed that for 40 years!

52. Independent research: the secret of the Wave-Motion Engine

I think this is an image that crosses the line. This is the so-called bow torpedo, but on the screen the torpedoes were flipped left and right and fired while crossing the line.

So why was the Wave-Motion Engine always drawn in the opposite direction? Why was the camera wrapped around the back of the set!? Was it a tradition? I don’t know…!

53. When the Wave-Motion Engine appears on the screen, the camera is in the opposite of its normal position. Therefore, this gives most of the audience the image of where the bow of the ship is. The Wave-Motion Engine is a critical element of the novel. I shuddered when I realized this in the process of thinking about the description.

54. I’m embarrassed to say that there were many stories like this. For both Mr. Takashima and Asteroid 6, it was a “journey to know Yamato again.” I hope it will be the same for those who get the book.




September 20, 7 days to publication

A message from Okinawa

It’s a week until the release of the new novel. But I haven’t had time to prepare anything today! I’ll make up for this pinch with a message from Mecha Designer Junichiro Tamamori…

Mr. Oka, I’m enjoying reading your tweets. I’d like to add something about the Wave-Motion Engine. In 2199, the director, Mr. Izubuchi, made a decision to make the left side of the screen “front” in accordance with the assumption of many people. (Mr. Takakura and Mr. Ishizu were in charge of the design.) I think it was the same kind of decision as “Sanzar → Salezar.”

What do you think? What a deep story. “Everyone understands it wrong, so let’s make that the correct interpretation.” That’s what Director Izubuchi thought, and that’s what the designer did. I was surprised. Thank you very much, Mr. Tamamori!

I wonder if there might be a reason why Sanada and Ota’s seats were switched in 2199






September 21, 6 days to publication

55. I’d like to thank everyone for their support and retweets. It’s finally starting to look like a countdown. Last weekend’s topic, “the Wave-Motion Engine problem” took an unexpected turn. But if we can all enjoy it, it’s all good. Thumbs up, I guess.

56. Let’s see. I’m sure many of you have heard about the Yamato popularity polls held at Akiba Research Institute. I heard that from the 27th, there will be a poll for the Aquarius Algorithm characters and mecha (see it here). What a surprise! To thank you for your support, I’ll be talking about mecha today and tomorrow!

57. This time, I’m going to post with designer comments. First of all, this kid: Papilyzer.

“He’s an Analyzer, who is popular both as a mecha and as a character. Since he’s a direct successor to Analyzer, I tried to keep the basic shape of the head and make it less harsh for home use.”

-Designer Shinji Nishikawa

58. “Papi makes a great duo with 11-year-old Miyuki and he’s a versatile robot that is second only to Analyzer.”

-Shinji Nishikawa

59. Next up is the main mecha of Aquarius Algorithm: Space Icebreaker Hyoka.

Dawn Chapter is a story between Final Yamato and Resurrection, the past and the future that have already been determined. It is a story that connects the two. It is the same for mecha. That’s the part that was both difficult and fun.”

-Shinji Nishikawa

60. Hyoka is a special purpose ship. It is, after all, an icebreaker. In order to meet the story’s requirements, it was decided to use the “nostalgic form” of the Yamato world. However, since it is the newest type of ship, there are some elements that lead to Resurrection.”

-Shinji Nishikawa

How do you like Papilyzer and Hyoka?

The outward appearance of a ship is one of the most important elements of mecha, but it is also important that it moves and becomes more attractive. In that sense, it’s very impressive what these mecha do in the story. I think both of them are finished to be enjoyed. Please check out the novel!



September 22, 5 days to publication

61. As a thank you for the Akiba Research Institute’s popularity poll, I’d like to introduce mecha with comments. Voting starts on the 27th, and will last for one month. Vote for your favorite character and mecha with your love!

62. Cosmo Tiger III

“The new model that bears the name Cosmo Tiger. When it comes to this…the expectations are unbelievable. However, as you know, five years later in Resurrection, a different aircraft plays the leading role. What kind of fighter is the Cosmo Tiger III, destined to be buried in history?”

-Shinji Nishikawa

63. As Mr. Nishikawa commented, the main fighter of the Defense Force will soon be replaced by the Cosmo Pulsar. With that in mind, what do you think of the Tiger III?

The answer we came up with was high power and large size. The concept was that the evolution of a high cost, high performance fighter for the experts will eventually become a liability.

64. This is the Cosmo Tiger III built by Satabi, one of the members of Asteroid 6. It was a great help to me when I was considering the design. Here is his comment:

“When I saw Mr. Nishikawa’s drawing, I immediately wanted to build it! (laughs) After actually building it, I realized that it is a much larger aircraft than the Tiger II.”

65. “Will this really fit on Yamato and other conventional ships? Does Blue Noah become such a huge ship because it can carry the Cosmo Tiger III? My imagination is expanding.”

-Satabi

66. It doesn’t matter how good it seems, it’s bad if it can’t be loaded on a ship. In response to this, I asked Mr. Nishikawa to design a standby mode. This is it. The main wings are folded to make the fuselage width compact. (Is this the first reveal?) We’re waiting for a model kit by a maker with heart!

67. The Cosmo Tiger III, which we developed with great enthusiasm, will be depicted in the second half of the novel. We won’t let you down. In fact, there are still many more characters and mecha to come. After you finish reading the novel, please visit Akiba Research Institute’s popularity poll here.



September 23, 4 days to publication

68. Last night, the characters and mecha on the official home page of 2205 were updated all at once. (Please check it out.) This evening, a preview of the first chapter will be screened in Tokyo. The publication of Dawn Chapter is just four days away. It’s a Yamato autumn, isn’t it?

69. Today I’m going to deviate from the purpose of talking about Dawn Chapter for a bit. This topic is deeply related to the novel, but it’s more than that.

“If Final Yamato were to be remade, would you want Captain Okita to reappear?”

70. The person who made this comment is Harutoshi Fukui. It was about two years ago, and I was at a place where I could hear the real voices of core fans. (True story) The answers seemed to vary. I’ve been asked the same question many times before.

“What do you think, Mr. Oka?”

71. “It is impossible for a person who died to revive due to a ‘misdiagnosis’.”

This view confirms Mr. Fukui’s feelings. And my reply is, “I think you’re right, but if there’s a theme to be portrayed, I think it’s okay to for him reappear. It depends on how you do it…doesn’t it?”

72. “Captain Okita is going to come back to life!?” Please don’t jump to conclusions. I’m not talking about that at all. Then why am I writing this? This is where I’ll get to the point. The reason seems to be, “I think it depends on how you do it…”

There is a wonderful novel in Yamato‘s history that makes me feel that way.

73. It is the Tokuma Shoten version of the Final Yamato novelization. The author is Keigo Misaki. In this novel, he adds his own interpretation of Okita’s revival. The theme of “the development of science and the ethics of life” stands as another pillar. It’s a gem that you can’t help but read with tears in your eyes. “So that’s what happened, Okita-san!”


Click here to read more about this 1983 novelization. It will be the next novel translated here at Cosmo DNA.

74. On the other hand, Aquarius Algorithm is a story that connects Final Yamato and Resurrection. You can’t ignore Okita’s revival. What did Kodai feel after that (unbelievable) event? What impact did it have on the rest of his life? After much discussion, we came to a realization. All the right answers are written in Misaki’s novel.

75. Last year, when Mr. Takashima’s writing was at its climax, we contacted Mr. Misaki through the official website. As the foundation for a new Yamato, we wanted to borrow from his novel, written 37 years earlier. He kindly agreed to our clumsy request. So he is also one of the creators of Aquarius Algorithm.

Mr. Misaki’s feeling at the time (1983) was, “No, that doesn’t make sense.” And a wonderful interpretation came out of that. Aquarius Algorithm was written with the depth of that history.


September 24

76. The countdown I started to convey the appeal of this novel is coming to a close. Only three days left until the release!

Now, there are a lot of works with the title Space Battleship Yamato, but there’s one important element that you can only read in this novel: Kodai and Yuki’s married life.

77. Kodai and Yuki’s life is clearly presented in the movie Resurrection. A gorgeous three-story mansion overlooking a lake. It has a neat living space and a large terrace. “You make a lot of money, Kodai.” But his wife is gone, his daughter is a pain in the butt, and Kodai hasn’t been home in years. It’s like, “or is it a family breakdown?”

78. Many people who saw the movie had that impression. However! Would Susumu Kodai be so irresponsible as to abandon his family? Even if he had done something wrong, I can’t imagine Yuki not following through with her daughter! But that’s how it looked in the movie. Which means…

79. The Kodai family was originally a good family that cared for each other. But due to unavoidable circumstances, a cold wind blew at that moment. Yuki fully understands, but there is something that her daughter Miyuki does not see. The novel opens up the Kodai “family album” with this interpretation. This family pattern is the main pillar of the story.

80. I’m sure everyone will be able to relate to the Kodai family album. The author, Mr. Takashima, and his staff all have families. The descriptions of their lives are filled with passion. A couple’s compassion, love for their children, balancing work and family…Kodai and Yuki have matured to the point where they can be portrayed.

Side note

Dawn Chapter follows Space Battleship Yamato (26 episodes, 1974) and Yamato 2 (26 episodes, 1978). Farewell to Yamato and the Yamato II compilation are not included. This means that Kodai was saved by Yuki twice at the risk of her own life. The first time was in the Cosmo Cleaner flash event, and the second time was in the Dessler showdown event. He’s a man whose wife saved his life (twice). I don’t think he would ever get over that.

I think the novel also picks up the subtle power relationship between a husband and a wife, so please enjoy it.



September 25

81. Only two days left until the release! The story that was born in Yamato magazine will finally be made public. All of us involved are deeply moved by this. Now, after Captain Okita and the Kodai family, let me tell you a little bit about Yamato.

82. “The Kodai family discovers the sunken Yamato in the Aquarius ice mass.”

When Mr. Takashima told me the framework of the story, a lot of discussion erupted. I asked him, “Is it okay for Yamato‘s hull to still be there?”

What do you think? Did the Yamato that self-destructed in Final Yamato (1) disappear or (2) break up and sink in the “sea of space”?

83. Immediately after the release of Final Yamato, I thought, “Yamato has disappeared. The Yamato that lifted its bow and sank was Kodai’s mental image.”

Many of you may remember that this gradually changed. The proposed sequel Dessler’s War was also based on the premise that Yamato‘s hull was still intact.

84. On the other hand, Yamato reappeared in Resurrection. Except for Mr. Sanada’s words, “This is it, the new Space Battleship Yamato,” its origins are wonderfully blurred. (Except for the fact that it combines the old and new Wave-Motion Engines) What kind of Yamato this is was not revealed in the movie. Hmmm…

85. Final Yamato and Resurrection Each has its own element of mystery. But in the history of Yamato, they are “facts.” Both are important. I want to think about the “afterlife of Yamato, which sank” with an interpretation that connects to both.

After much discussion, we arrived at Dawn Chapter. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. It will finally be released in two days.



September 26

86. Finally, it will be released tomorrow. I’m at a loss for words. A lot of people’s thoughts are overflowing in my Twitter feed…

I know it’s an old metaphor, but what I’m feeling right now is something from a western movie I saw a long time ago. An isolated stagecoach. The cavalry bugle call of reinforcements in the ears of the passengers…! Thank you!

87. I knew from the beginning what I would mumble at the end. I’d like to thank all of you who have supported us since the serialization began in Yamato magazine, and all of you who are supporting us at this very moment. And to everyone who made Yamato, Final Yamato, and Resurrection, thank you very much.

88. Lastly, the author, Yuya Takashima, would like to thank everyone:

I wrote this book with the aim of fully demonstrating the original charm of Space Battleship Yamato while incorporating VR, AI, and cutting-edge science. I hope that everyone who loves Yamato enjoys it, and everyone who will get to know Yamato does as well! Please enjoy it!






Frontispiece for the novel by Umegrafix

Part 2: Yuya Takashima’s blog

The author of record on the book is Yuya Takashima, who described his role in the following blog post on September 18, 2021. (See the original post here.)

Expanding Space Battleship Yamato Dawn Chapter, Aquarius Algorithm: Work Introduction

The new Space Battleship Yamato novel, which was serialized in five issues of the official fan club magazine, will finally be published in book form!

I’ve introduced myself as a “novelist + science fiction researcher.” Basically, the emphasis is often on one or the other. When I write original novels, I am a novelist, and sometimes I participate in anime and games as a science fiction researcher. In Dawn Chapter, it seems that I had three roles: novelist, SF researcher, and novelist + SF researcher.


Unused cover design

Here, I’ll introduce the work from these three perspectives!

Dawn Chapter for a “Novelist”

This work was written as a novel first. It’s a Yamato project, so of course I’d be personally super excited to see it made into a movie. But first, it starts as a novel.

As a novelist, writing a novel about Yamato is an extremely challenging thing. I accepted the request immediately. What I was thinking then, and what I’m still thinking now, before the book is published, is that I wanted to make a book that would be enjoyed by all Yamato fans, even those who are a bit removed from Yamato at the moment. And I want people who are new to Yamato to be able to enjoy it.

In order to create a work that can be enjoyed by everyone, I’ve tried to present information as straightforwardly as possible. The story is written in a smooth manner. This area is SF, a technique of presenting scientific descriptions in an interesting way. This may be a skill. By the way, because I emphasize a sense of speed rather than so-called hard SF, please feel free to read it that way.

As for other ideas or decisions, I made the decision to write the story in a modern way, since it will be read in 2021 and beyond. So I’ve swung to a modern description (though of course, I didn’t include the buzzwords of the moment).

Yamato has a lot of staff members who can give you the best descriptions at any given time, both at the word level and the sentence level. As I mentioned above, the writing is light, while incorporating the latest knowledge. So, while the number of ideas and quality is quite high, I’m sure it’s easy to read. Perhaps this will be the most readable novel (or maybe the most recent “hard” SF novel).

The cover illustration is by Ryuji [Umegrafix] Umeno, and the gorgeous visuals of Shinji Nishikawa’s Mechanic File are a feature of this novel. The novel has been completed through many discussions by the production team Asteroid 6. It is a perfect blend of text and visuals, since everything is coordinated. It is not unusual for a novelist and an illustrator to communicate with each other, but it is extremely rare for them to have long discussions about both the text and the visuals to improve each other’s work before the novel is written, as in this case. This work is one of those rare success stories.

Dawn Chapter for an “SF researcher”

I often submit SF proposals for anime and games, but since there is usually only one SF researcher for a work, this was the first time for me to discuss it with multiple SF proposals as submitted by Asteroid 6. It was very exciting.

What was exciting about it? For example, there were many different opinions about the current situation of the sunken Yamato, to which Kodai is heading, and all of them have very reasonable approaches. The absolute basis/reference point for this work is of course the original Yamato series. In particular, this work is the official story that connects Final Yamato and Resurrection, so I constantly referred to both of them.

In Final Yamato, Yamato finally sinks at the end, but what happens after that is not described. Does the hull collapse or break up? Either way, in order to arrive at the current situation, we need a rationale, a logic. Asteroid 6 arrived at this point. And what is the truth about Yamato that Susumu Kodai arrives at? Please read it and see for yourself!

Dawn Chapter for a “Novelist + SF researcher”

I think I spent most of my time on this work not only as a novelist or as an SF researcher, but also as a simultaneous “novelist + SF researcher.” In other words, while this work started as a novel, it was made almost like a movie. I think many novelists want their novels to be made into movies (or not?), and I’d like my original novels to be made into many forms: anime, manga, live-action movies, 2.5D, and so on.

The main difference between this work and my other original novels is that it is based on the magnificent collection of images called Space Battleship Yamato. Susumu Kodai, the protagonist of this novel, and the other characters have basically already been visualized. (Some characters are first introduced in this novel, so I hope you will find them and make them your favorites). Or we can say that the world that forms the basis of the novel already exists in the form of a visual. Therefore when this novel is read, it has a very strong correspondence with the images, the voices, and the theme song.

In response to such rich abundance, I had to expand my role to become a simultaneous “novelist + SF researcher.” In this way, the work is designed to expand both delicately and boldly, in both text and visuals.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, this is a Yamato novel that can be enjoyed by everyone, whether you are an avid Yamato fan or a first-timer. You can read this and enjoy the other Yamato novels, or you can watch Final Yamato, read this novel, and watch Resurrection in chronological order!

By all means, just like Kodai exploring Yamato, please expand the way you enjoy this work! The paperback and ebook versions will be published simultaneously on September 27th! Thank you for reading until the end, and thank you for your continued support!

Addendum: on its first day of publication, the book rocketed to the #1 ranking for novels at Amazon.co.jp. This image was posted on Twitter by Yuya Takashima at the end of the day. (Follow him here.)



Part 3: Interview at Dengeki Hobby Web

Finally, on September 27, this interview with both Hideki Oka and Yuya Takashima appeared online to mark the arrival of the book itself, which immediately climbed to the number one spot on Amazon.co.jp’s novel rankings. (See the original article here.)

Interview to celebrate the release of Space Battleship Yamato Dawn Chapter!

What is the passion behind Dawn Chapter?

Space Battleship Yamato Dawn Chapter, Aquarius Algorithm has been published on September 27, 2021 (Monday). With the help of a group of fans who deeply love Yamato, up-and-coming science fiction writer Yuya Takashima has written a new novel about the events that took place between Final Yamato and Resurrection, both of which are full of mysteries.

The story of the original version of Yamato is set to begin again, nearly 50 years after the first installment in 1974. Let’s take a look at the appeal of this work and the passionate feelings of Yamato fans behind Dawn Chapter.

It’s a historical masterpiece. But what is the “uncomfortable feeling” that fans have about Yamato?

The story of the original version of Yamato, which began in 1974, is about to begin again. Unfortunately, not many people are aware of the significance of this story.

The Yamato series is a historical anime masterpiece that caused a huge boom from the late 70’s to early 80’s, and was even called a social phenomenon. It is an undisputed fact that it peeled the “for children” label off anime, which was common at the time, and it was the foundation for giving “citizenship” to adult anime fans.

On the other hand, it is also a fact that there are many anime fans who are still sensitive to the keyword Yamato.

“Characters who are supposed to be dead somehow come back to life.”

“For some reason, there is an ‘up and down’ even though it is set in outer space.”

“The story that should have ended with Farewell continues forever.” And so on.

The unique feature of the Yamato series can be summed up in one word: “roman” [romance/adventure], but it has often been the subject of criticism from the middle of the boom. It is no exaggeration to say that Mobile Suit Gundam and many other SF anime were created as the antithesis of Yamato as the pioneer.

“It’s a lone wolf of a historical masterpiece.” Such thoughts have always made Yamato fans “uncomfortable.”

Captain Okita is resurrected and Yamato is destroyed. Final Yamato was supposed to be the final work in the series.

“People who love Yamato continue to build upon its world, repeating their own interpretations and thoughts, and sometimes spinning completely new stories.”

That’s what Hideki Oka says about the latest work in the remake series, Yamato 2205, The New Voyage, which will premiere on October 8. He’s in charge of the script, along with Harutoshi Fukui. Naturally, he is a “serious” Yamato fan himself.

He is also deeply involved in the production of Dawn Chapter, Aquarius Algorithm, a new novel that takes place in a different world from the remake series that began with Yamato 2199 in 2012.

“The remake series, which started with Yamato 2199, is a reshaping of the worldview of the original. Some of the ‘uncomfortable feelings’ that Yamato fans have had for a long time have been resolved, and the updated expressions and direction have attracted a new fan base. Times have changed. Even so, for people like us who have been watching Yamato since the original series, there is still a big ‘regret.’ The two works that motivated us to create this novel were Final Yamato and Resurrection.”

-Hideki Oka

The Final Yamato that Oka refers to was the feature film that premiered in 1983 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the original series. As the title suggests, it was originally intended to be the finale. Captain Juuzo Okita, who was supposed to have breathed his last on the way back from Iscandar, made a miraculous reappearance, which drew a lot of attention. In order to stop the water planet Aquarius from destroying Earth, he chooses to sink (self-destruct) with Yamato. The fantastic depiction of Yamato sinking into a “sea” created by destroying a water column from Aquarius was just right for the finale.

“Crusher Joe and Harmagedon also opened that same year, so the general evaluation was not that high. There were also such criticisms as, ‘Why is Captain Okita coming back to life?’ For the fans, Final Yamato firmly presented a world that only Yamato could build, and proudly delivered the finale. However…”

-Hideki Oka

Finally, the end of Earth…? The shocking resurrection that greatly troubled fans

26 years later, Yamato Resurrection was released in 2009.

“What’s this? I thought it ended with Final Yamato. (Laughs) Even so, I went to the cinema more than ten times for Resurrection. I thought that this might be the last time I could see Yamato.”

-Hideki Oka

Resurrection takes place in the year 2220, 17 years after Final Yamato. Earth is destined to be swallowed by a moving black hole. Susumu Kodai leaves his cargo freighter to board Yamato as captain on a mission to relocate humanity. He is 38 years old and has a 16-year-old daughter, Miyuki, with his wife Yuki (Yuki Mori).

Resurrection was directed by Yoshinobu Nishizaki, the legendary producer of the original series. Shintaro Ishihara helped write the story and two versions of the film were produced, one with Earth being saved and another with Earth being lost. (The Director’s Cut version, in which Earth is destroyed, was screened in 2012 after Nishizaki’s death).

Unfortunately, the film did not perform well at the box office, and Nishizaki’s plans for Resurrection Part 2 and Part 3 had to be suspended. When the remake series started in 2012, many people must have thought that the original series effectively came to an end with Resurrection.

Yuya Takashima, the author of Dawn Chapter, Aquarius Algorithm, who also saw Resurrection in theaters, looks back on that time.

“I’m from the generation that watched the Yamato series mainly on TV reruns, including the movies. I think Resurrection was the first time I saw Yamato in a movie theater. I found it to be an interesting watch. I had the impression that it was designed to be enjoyed by people who had only seen the first series, and people who were new to Yamato.”

-Yuya Takashima

“Like those who first created historical content such as Ultraman and Godzilla, innovators are not afraid of change. The director of the film, Yoshinobu Nishizaki, was always thinking about Yamato‘s future, and that’s why his thoughts went much farther than those of the fans. Mr. Takashima’s point is that ‘even those seeing Yamato for the first time could enjoy it.’ I think Yoshinobu Nishizaki discarded the story prior to Resurrection as something from the past, and created a new world of Yamato. That’s why people who were not caught up on the past might have enjoyed it more.”

-Hideki Oka

Conversely, for long-time fans like Mr. Oka, the world view of Resurrection created by Nishizaki had many elements that were, in a sense, hard to keep up with.

“To be honest, the more I watched the film, the more questions grew in my head. (Laughs) Why was Kodai on a cargo freighter? How was Yamato rebuilt after it sank? Why did Yuki Mori become the captain of a Super Andromeda? And so on. Maybe such questions were trivial to Yoshinobu Nishizaki. But as a long-time fan, I’m still curious. Although 17 years had passed in the story and 26 years in the real world, there are many unconnected elements between Final Yamato and Resurrection. So I wasn’t the only one who felt ‘uncomfortable’ about it.”

-Hideki Oka

“Serious” Yamato fans gather to unravel
the biggest “mystery” in Yamato history

Final Yamato and Resurrection. What exactly happened in between the two stories? In order to answer this question, fans who love Yamato have repeatedly made their own creations. Even after the remake series started, this quest did not stop.

“Many of the discussions and creations published in doujinshi and on the internet by so-called ‘ordinary people’ made me wonder if they understood and loved Yamato more deeply than the pros. I have always wondered if it would be possible to incorporate the passion of these fans into the Yamato world. Then I learned that Yuya Takashima had been asked to write a story that connects Final Yamato and Resurrection.”

-Hideki Oka

“As Mr. Oka says, the request was initially directed at me. While the remake series is moving forward, they wanted to create a path to restart Resurrection Part 2 and Part 3, which are sequels to the interrupted original series. I was asked if I could create a story that would be a prequel to Resurrection as a stepping stone to that end.”

-Yuya Takashima

Mr. Takashima is an up-and-coming writer who has broken new ground in the SF field, from his award-winning Landscape and the Summer Theorem to his latest work, Echika and the Blue Desert. In the words of Mr. Oka, they are “wet, hard SF novels that exude human breath.”

As you can guess from his background as a graduate of the Department of Physics at the University of Tokyo, Mr. Takashima also has a deep knowledge of science. He has participated in Zegapain ADP and Gundam The Origin as an SF researcher, and is the perfect person to write the story that connects Final Yamato and Resurrection.

“I am honored to be a part of Yamato‘s history, but as soon as I started writing, I realized the gravity of the situation. I began to wonder if I would be able to weave a story that connected the worlds of the original series with only my knowledge. I began to feel uneasy.”

-Yuya Takashima

“The staff, sensing Mr. Takashima’s feelings, sent me the first draft. When I read it, I thought the content was impeccable for an original novel. At the same time, I felt that in order for this to be a work that could be incorporated into Yamato‘s canon, and also be a catalyst for the relaunch of Resurrection, we needed to up clear a lot of issues.”

-Hideki Oka

Mr. Oka then proposed an idea that he had been planning for some time, “to incorporate the passionate feelings of ordinary fans into the world of Yamato.”

A new world for Yamato, born from the collaboration of a novelist and a group of fans

Asteroid 6 is a brain trust formed at Oka’s request, consisting of “serious” Yamato fans. The name Asteroid 6 comes from one of the working titles in the planning stage of Space Battleship Yamato. The focus was on three famous fans known for their private creative activities: Satabi, My Earth Defense Fleet, and Fuso Katsumi. This was the first time they had the opportunity to work on such a project. Also on board were Mecha Designer Shinji Nishikawa, illustrator Ryuji [Umegrafix] Umeno, and Hideki Oka. They all supported Mr. Takashima’s creation.

It was like a movie or an anime. By adopting a unique group creation system rarely seen in novels, Dawn Chapter, Aquarius Algorithm evolved into a work that resolved the “uncomfortable” feelings fans have had for a long time.

“There was the story, the setting, and of course the research. For example, what did Kodai and Yuki call each other when they got married? All the members of Asteroid 6 discussed and decided on the details of this project. There were many differences from the process of writing individually, but as a result I think we completed a substantial work that could not have been achieved by one person’s ability.”

-Yuya Takashima

“Questions like, ‘What did Kodai and Yuki call each other?’ It seems like a trivial matter from the outside, but things like this are important points in creating ‘Yamato-ness.’ If you make even the slightest mistake in such points, fans will abandon you. This is exactly why I felt the need for a brain trust called Asteroid 6. By having members with the same depth of love for Yamato, but with different viewpoints to debate over, I think we were able to make the right decisions to bring out ‘Yamato-ness’.”

-Hideki Oka

From here on, this article contains spoilers from the book. Proceed with caution.


Technical image created for the book showing the ship’s profile in 2203.

The wreckage of the destroyed Yamato fires the Wave-Motion Gun!?
The shocking and exciting ending is a must-read!

“I want you to find the ‘wreckage’ of Yamato that sank in the sea of Aquarius with Captain Okita.”

Susumu Kodai receives a secret order from Shiro Sanada, the Director General of the Science Bureau. Together with his wife Yuki and their young daughter Miyuki, Kodai heads for the Aquarius ice mass, where Yamato‘s “remains” may be lying. Is there even a single piece of Yamato left? And what is the unexpected presence that awaits Kodai and his team in the Aquarius Ice Mass?

Twelve years after Final Yamato and five years before Resurrection, the world of Dawn Chapter, Aquarius Algorithm unfolds in the year 2215. As a story that bridges the gap between the two works, it will be convincing to core fans and is worthy of special mention. Even if you don’t know Final Yamato or Resurrection, you can still enjoy Dawn Chapter by itself. The key to this is the existence of the Wave-Motion Gun, which is synonymous with Yamato.

The sunken wreckage of Yamato fires the Wave-Motion Gun! When Mr. Oka first heard the idea proposed by Mr. Takashima, he was taken aback.

“My first thought was, ‘What the hell is he talking about?’ Because in the last scene of Final Yamato, the ship is broken in half and it sinks.”

-Hideki Oka

“I already had the idea of a destroyed Yamato firing the Wave-Motion Gun when I first received the request. Regardless of the setting and situation, the Wave-Motion Gun is the biggest catharsis in Yamato‘s story. I think I was aware that it would naturally be fired at the end.”

-Yuya Takashima

“This idea would have been impossible to come up with for me and the other members of Asteroid 6 who know Yamato too well. Mr. Takashima, who had a bird’s eye view of the Yamato world as a novelist, really showed his true colors.”

-Hideki Oka

Mr. Oka, who was at a loss for words at first, slapped his knee the next moment, saying, “Now we have the axis of the story.” The other members who heard Mr. Takashima’s idea had exactly the same reaction.


Celebratory Tweet posted by Umegrafix on publishing day

“The day after I shared Mr. Takashima’s idea, plans to solve the technical problems were submitted by the members one after another for ‘the destroyed Yamato to fire the Wave-Motion Gun’ and how to create a situation where ‘we need to fire the gun.’ From that moment on, Dawn Chapter was able to go beyond its mission of filling the gap between Final Yamato and Resurrection and become a work with the power to attract a wider range of Yamato fans.”

-Hideki Oka

“I was the one who came up with the idea of firing the Wave-Motion Gun, but it was the collective wisdom of everyone at Asteroid 6 that made it possible. To put it in a more romantic way, the people who have loved Yamato for many years and have continued to think about the world of Yamato are the ones who made it possible. I believe that the spirit of the fans who have loved Yamato and thought about Yamato‘s world for many years has given Yamato the power to fire the Gun again.”

-Yuya Takashima

How will the wreckage of Yamato fire the Wave-Motion Gun? And why does it have to be fired? And what happened between Final Yamato and Resurrection?

The answer lies with Yuya Takashima. Please check out the story created in collaboration with fans who continue to love Yamato. The climax, and story development that doesn’t make you feel “uncomfortable,” has the flavor of modern SF, but also allows us to fully enjoy Yamato‘s sense of wonder and roman.

This is a must-read for those who remember being fascinated by Yamato‘s world. If you read it now, over ten years after Resurrection, the significance of ‘Dawn’ in the original Yamato world should be inspiring.


Bonus

Aquarius Algorithm postcard set using illustrations from the book (sold by Yamato Crew).

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