You have to go all the way back to January 18 (the premiere of 2202 Chapter 4) to find a match for all the Yamato action October had to deliver. 2205 Part 1 opened in 36 theaters with an avalanche of news and merch. If it had included a music release, every category would have been filled. There’s a lot to take in, so let’s get started.
October 1: Part 2 advance tickets announced
The swirl that surrounds a new Yamato film always includes news of the next one. With 2205 Part 1 now one week away, it was announced that theaters would be selling ticket vouchers for Part 2 on opening day. A poster would be included as an incentive, sporting the same new artwork. This one was the first to put the new crew members up front with the slogan, “Let’s unite, shall we?”
Click here to see an enlargement.
October 1: Online preview
Starting today, anyone who just couldn’t wait seven more days could see the first 15 minutes of Yamato 2205 Part 1 on their own screen. Click here to watch it on Youtube right now!
Photo posted on Twitter by kurousu_ymt
October 1: Online review
Something else that surfaced on October 1 was the first online review for 2205 Part 1, written by superfan “Fumi0913,” who specializes in curating Yamato music. Later in the month, he published the impressive (and very thick) doujinshi shown at right. He went to the advance screening held on September 23 and published the following spoiler-free review on his blog. (See the original post here)
One step ahead of Yamato 2205 First Chapter TAKE OFF
The other day, I had a chance to take a look at the first chapter of Yamato 2205! It’s based on the original New Voyage (1979), but it is more than just a remake, even moreso than the previous remakes. In the true sense of the word, an unknown voyage has begun.
It begins with a summary of what came before, and you can feel that the new Yamato has started with its feet on the ground. This means that 2199 and 2202 have been utilized, and we can fully enjoy the feeling that it is not just a continuation.
What I thought was great this time was a reduction of the homages. I don’t want to go into specifics, but I think the balance was good for people who got to know Yamato with the remake series to be able to enjoy it. The homages are well-depicted, or even more so, at certain points. I remember some parts from the original series, and works related to Yamato. I was also impressed by the fact that it picked up the core of the story. It took a lot of time and effort, no matter how you look at it.
The speed and richness of the story’s development will surely surprise you. I thought, “You’ve already come this far in Episode 4?” Also, the director is the same person who directed Macross Delta. That’s partly why I was so impressed. I felt that 2205 has a new tone that includes the tones of 2199 and 2202.
Visit the author’s Yamato Music Collection website here
That’s it for the story, but I would mainly like to write about the music.
First of all, unexpectedly, I think it will be highly rated for the new tracks written by Akira Miyagawa. I made a tentative list based on my notes and memories. I can’t tell you exactly how many tracks were used, but please look forward to it. This is one of the reasons why I received the feeling that a new Yamato has started.
There’s a melodious new score written by Akira after grasping the essence of Yamato music. I think the new music is a step forward from the previous remake series music. Of course, the original score is an element that was already present in 2199, but it’s interesting to note that as the work progressed, it became deeper and sharper. The original (1979) music is also noteworthy! The piano concerto has been reborn. There are so many charms and so much brilliance in the music that I can’t even begin to describe it.
The “remake series” has finally returned, perhaps even more so, with this latest work. In many ways, I feel like I’ve finally gotten a “reward” or a “second helping.” I’m in love with it! Enjoy the wind of a “new voyage” with Yamato music to the fullest, a moment when that beat continues. And the musical surprises continue until the very end…!
It was worth the wait. I want to talk about it. And I can’t wait to hear it! I’m worried that I can’t do it justice with a track listing. (grin)
October 2-4: Voice actor promos
For three days in a row, short promotional videos featuring new voice actors were released on Youtube in which they talked about their characters and what audiences could look forward to. See them one by one…
Don’t be alarmed by Ms. Morinaga’s high, squeaky voice; Caroline sounds nothing like that. Her acting range is really quite amazing.
October 3: Radio appearance
Writer Harutoshi Fukui appeared on Radio Japan’s AM talk program SWEET!! to discuss Yamato 2205. Friend-of-the-website Minoru Itgaki listened in and summarized some of what was said:
Farewell to Yamato is the story of Kodai’s kamikaze attack that saved Earth and brought tears to the eyes of the audience. But now it’s the story of a suicide bomber, so Fukui had a hard time with that scene.
Yamato 2205 is a remake of The New Voyage, which got high TV ratings in 1979. In the original, the crew went to save Iscandar despite being ambiguous about their motives. In 2205, Fukui gives them a reason to do so. Maybe that’s why it was highly rated by female viewers at the previews in September.
October 3: TV special
Yamato 2205, The New Promotional Meeting premiered on the Tokyo MX network today, bringing to TV screens the same cast members who did the short Youtube promos. With Eriko Nakamura as MC, they talked 2205 for a raucous 23 minutes.
The first topic of conversation was Chisai Morinaga’s voice, surprisingly high compared to that of Caroline Raiden, and Tasuku Hatanaka assured everyone that she sounded completely different in the voice recording. An “invisible” member of the group was Dessler, who chimed in with comments from “off screen,” sometimes complimentary, other times not so much.
Everyone wore the new T-shirt with Domon’s “I don’t trust adults” slogan on it, except for Nakamura. A comment from Dessler prompted her to turn around and reveal she was the only one with the Dessler shirt on.
Then each cast member presented their own topic. Wataru Hatano (Bando) talked about the new crew members on the just-released promo poster. Morinaga (Raiden) presented her own Ikimen (“pretty boy”) ranking 3: Deda, 2: Dessler, 1: Caroline Raiden (followed by a live read that proved her voice acting range).
Kento Ito (Sakamoto) presented a “Great Music” segment with footage from a session conducted by Akira Miyagawa. Eriko Nakamura’s segment was about mecha, accompanied by footage and models, giving everyone their first look at the forthcoming 110cm long soft vinyl Yamato.
Finally, Tasuku Hatanaka’s portion was called “Human Drama,” which covered the emotional conflict between Domon and Kodai, ending with a voice-over scolding from Dessler. But in the end, he complimented them on a job well-done and implored the audience to see the film.
The special was rebroadcast two days later on Tokyo BS11, then released on Youtube two days after that. See it in full here.
Group photo posted on Twitter by the Yamato Production Committee
Selfie posted on Twitter by Tasuku Hatanaka
From left to right: Akira Miyagawa, Ayaka Hirahara, Yukinojo Mori
October 5: Ending song revealed
It’s always a pleasure to greet a new arrival to the ever-growing catalog of Yamato songs. This one was announced online with comments from those who made it and a music video to let us hear it.
Announcing the ending theme song Love is Still Light for the latest work 2205!
Comments from Ayaka Hirahara (singer), Yukinojo Mori (lyrics) and Akira Miyagawa (composer)!
Published by V-Storage (see the original article here)
Based on the motif of the TV special The New Voyage, which was broadcast in 1979 and received high ratings, the latest work of the completely new Yamato series, 2205 will be presented in two chapters.
The ending theme song for this film has been announced, titled Love is Still Light. It is performed by Ayaka Hirahara (singer) and Akira Miyagawa (composer/arranger), who also worked together on the Ark of the Stars theme song Great Harmony – For Yamato 2199. The new lyrics were written by Yukinojo Mori.
Ayaka Hirahara comment:
When I received the melody and lyrics, I couldn’t help but cry. “A broken world, fire and hope are frozen, but only tears are warm.” The last phrase comes when you’re about to lose sight of what is important to you: “It’s hard now, but there’s always a better future waiting for you.” I felt it was like a message of support for the present from the “future” of Yamato and Akira Miyagawa’s father Hiroshi.
During the recording, my father (Makoto Hirahara) said to me, “I hope the song will be like a goddess speaking to you gently.” I took on the challenge with the image that the song was being sung by people who know the future, rather than myself. I believe that I have completed a masterpiece that will shine with a different light five or ten years from now. I am very much looking forward to delivering it to you.
Yukinojo Mori comment:
Yamato, the work being presented to this generation, was inspired by the image of “light,” a journey in search of light. Yamato has many wonderful melodies and various themes such as departure, adventure and courage. But when I heard Akira’s melody, I wanted to write lyrics that returned to the starting point.
The world has become a place where values are overturned, but we have no choice but to cherish each other’s feelings and face the future. I feel the same as the Yamato crew on their way to Iscandar. I want to sing about “heart” and “love,” which are the most important things for human beings. Akira’s melody accommodated those words. The lyrics were born out of that.
It’s difficult to sing about a big theme, but I hope you will not be embarrassed to sing about “love” in this age. I think it’s okay to say that “love” is important from now on. I hope we can overcome difficulties with that kind of feeling.
Akira Miyagawa comment:
When we had a meeting, I told Mr. Yukinojo to “write about something big.” He said, “Please look forward to it.” It was only when I read the lyrics that I realized the meaning of my own melody. It was as if my own child was born and had come home with a name of their own. With the addition of Ms. Hirahara’s voice, the song is a true trinity. I am truly happy with the result.
See the music video on Youtube here.
October 5: Promotion begins
When the online interviews started to roll, they came fast. Harutoshi Fukui and Director Kenji Yasuda were front and center for many of them, but voice actors had their say, too. Daisuke Ono (Kodai), Tasuku Hatanka (Domon) and Koichi Yamadera (Dessler) popped up on one website after another. And whereas previous campaigns faded out on opening weekend, this one kept going over two full weeks to maximize impact.
Of course, we’ll bring you all of them in due time. Start right now with these:
More will be added here as they appear in future updates
The show in progress. Photo posted on Twitter by the Yamato Production Committee
October 5: All Night Nippon Gold
The All Night Nippon radio show was a gathering point for Yamato fans back in the 70s and 80s, with hours-long episodes, Q&A sessions, and radio dramas featuring the cast and crew. The show revived its Yamato connection in January of this year, when Age of Yamato was the topic, and they did it again three days before the premiere of 2205.
The hosts were radio announcer Naoki Yoshida and Yamato MC Eriko Nakamura, along with Writer Harutoshi Fukui, Singer Ayaka Hirahara, and the voice actors for Kodai and Domon. Listener questions were accepted via email and Twitter, and everyone got to hear something for the first time: the audio portion of the “story so far” segment that precedes every Yamato film in theaters. The difference this time was that the narrator is now a character from the story: Serizawa.
Those who get the Blu-ray of 2205 Part 1 will be able to see the video version of this intro, which is quite a change from past segments.
October 5: Sunday Mainichi magazine
This was the first entertainment news magazine to give Yamato 2205 a cover story. It featured three pages of background and a four-page interview with Writer Harutoshi Fukui. Look for it here in a future update.
October 5: Weekly Asahi magazine
A similar magazine ran their own Yamato article on the same day. This one was a 4-page backgrounder on the franchise and general news about 2205, not the sort of text that warrants a translation here, but it represents a noteworthy milestone in that SO much has happened in the modern era that a simple overview of it can fill an article all by itself.
October 6: 1/350 Diecast Gimmick Model Vol. 141
Amid the onslaught of 2205 promo, Hachette’s giant Andromeda model continued unabated. This volume brought a mess of parts for internal wiring, anchoring them into a mid-ship junction box for all the local lighting. Also included were two panels for the upper hull, to be installed later.
See Hachette’s instruction video here
See an unboxing video here
See a modeler’s blog here
Yamato 2205 + NAVITIME
In the US, we’ve got Waze and Google Maps. In Japan, there is NAVITIME, a versatile navigation app with all sorts of features, including customization. Starting today, a Yamato 2205-themed “dress up” was available for download on Android and iOS phones. It offers character images, Analyzer’s assistance as a map guide, links to movie theaters showing 2205, and more. Japanese phones only, of course.
October 8: Yamato 2205 Part 1 premiere!
The day was here at last! The New Voyage Part 1, TAKE OFF, began its 4-week tenure in 36 theaters all over Japan. And it opened big, scoring the highest box office take in terms of screen average, something 2202 never quite managed to crack. Some theaters sold out their entire supply of program books and Blu-rays within the first week. It was still doing well enough in its fourth week for three theaters to hold it over for a fifth.
It is essentially a reboot of The New Voyage (1979), expanded to include characters and situations from Yamato III. Like all of its predecessors, it runs 97 minutes, the equivalent of four TV episodes. Here’s the official description:
1. A galactic war is about to break out! Gather the Yamato fleet!
In the year 2205, Dessler searches for a place for the Garmillas people to emigrate to, and arrives on a planet called Galman. Meanwhile, on Earth, the 65th escort squadron is born with Yamato as its flagship. Among the young crew members who spend their time training before launch is Ryusuke Domon, a young man with his sharp glare trained on Yamato.
2. Yamato‘s new departure!
On the day the 65th escort squadron sets sail, it is learned that Domon used illegal means to get assigned to Yamato. With the hands of its new crew, Yamato begins to move forward. In the engine room is Tasuke Tokugawa, the son of Chief Engineer Tokugawa. At the helm is Domon. Susumu Kodai, who has become captain, challenges his resolve by entrusting the ship to him.
3. The last day of Garmillas
Countless black spears (Dezarium hammers) suddenly appear and pierce Garmillas, accelerating the melting of the planet’s core. Soon the planet begins to collapse, the ground cracks open, and the remaining people are swallowed up by magma. Dessler’s determination to save as many as possible is in vain, and now Garmillas faces its final hour!
4. Save Iscandar! The rebellion of the young heroes!
The Dezarium fleet attacks! In order to save refugees who have retreated to the sea of Iscandar, Dessler’s fleet continues to fight despite being isolated. However, Earth’s government, fearing that the war will spread, forbids Yamato to intervene and orders the ship to return home. Domon and the other young people are not satisfied with the attitude of the adults and plan to revolt…
Of course, with every new film comes a flood of news and merch, so let’s get into it.
October 8: Part 1 limited-edition Blu-ray
The theater-exclusive Blu-ray has become a mainstay of Yamato premieres, and 2205 Part 1 was a hot seller with many theaters running out of copies in the first week. The disc itself is identical to the standard version (to be released November 26), but the theater version lures in collectors with its bonus books.
The two books that came bundled with this edition both covered Episode 2 with the script (36 pages) and Kenji Yasuda’s storyboards (132 pages).
The Blu-ray comes with a 12-page book of its own and a raft of special features: trailers, commercials, audio commentary on two episodes, the theatrical “story so far” intro (with narration by Serizawa – the first time a character has introduced the story), a short Part 2 preview, and footage of the summer Yamatalk presentation featuring Kenji Yasuda’s live stage debut. In case you’re still asking, there are NO English subtitles.
Outer slipcase, painted by Kia Asamiya
An Amazon-exclusive version of the Blu-ray will include a “radio show” CD featuring cast and crew. You can order that one here.
October 8: Part 1 program book
The book for Part 1 was a real beaut, and another hot-ticket item that rapidly sold out in theater gift shops. It provided as good an overview as we can ask for at this early stage, since we probably shouldn’t expect a larger book until after Part 2 premieres.
See it from cover to cover here.
Introduction by Harutoshi Fukui:
The year is 2205. With a new generation of young people on board, a new Yamato begins its journey.
Only a Gentle Song
At last, now that we bring you a new Yamato story, more than two years have passed since the conclusion of 2202. We had planned to bring it forward at least six months ago, but somehow it ended up like this. It would be fine if I could say to myself, “That’s how much work I put into it.” But the biggest reason for the delay is the Corona pandemic.
2205 was going to be released after Age of Yamato, so if that was delayed, then this would be, too. I’ve experienced many cases where a release schedule was postponed because the film was not ready by the deadline (sorry), but I never thought we would be unable to release a completed film.
I can’t help but feel once again that we are living in an astonishing time. As of this writing (mid-August), the number of people infected with the New Corona virus in Japan is still unknown. No one can be sure that the film will be released on time, and on the other hand, the incessant rain continues to fall, causing damage to many parts of Japan.
What is the meaning of re-telling the story of Yamato in a time like this? No, it is precisely in times like these that the story needs to be told. Yamato is a story about the value of facing reality and continuing to hold onto your ideals. I wrote a lot about this in the program books for 2202.
This will be an ear worm for fans, but the original story for this work was The New Voyage. It arrived in the heat of the climax of the original series, a sequel to the Yamato 2 TV series. That was a reworking of Farewell to Yamato with a changed ending. You could say that in modern terms, it’s a story from a different timeline than the original, one that is fundamentally outside the original series.
I wonder if there is a spirit of criticism toward the mature economy. When I was asked to write a sequel while working on 2202, that was the first thing that troubled me. But the story itself came together instantly. Since 2202 ended the way it did, the path that Kodai and the other main members of the team would follow, and what the humans of Earth would have to face next, was decided naturally. If we incorporated the plot of The New Voyage as its bones, both the plot and story were almost 80% complete. The question was how to determine the theme.
interior painting by the great Naoyuki Katoh
In the first film and Farewell, the original Yamato gave a summary and proposal for postwar Japan. There is no longer any reason for Yamato to continue as an image of the battleship Yamato, the symbol of the Great War. Even the air flowing through The New Voyage and later series is calm.
The war is over. The confusion and deprivation of the post-war period is now a thing of the past, and Japan has become a peaceful and prosperous country. You are lucky to have been born in such a time, and you should cherish that luck and inherit peace and prosperity. No matter how many events filled the screen, such as Garmillas being blown up or Earth being occupied, I feel that such a voice was always flowing underneath.
(Well, that gentleness could have been mistaken as sluggishness, and a certain Mobile Suit, which was full of tingling sensations, could have taken away all the customers.)
This is exactly the kind of message that could only come from Japan in the 1980s, when people thought that this peace and prosperity would last forever. Speaking as someone who has learned over the past thirty years that this was only a dream, it is difficult to pass it off with a bitter smile.
The lyrics of the theme song Yamato! The New Voyage include the following:
Fear and sorrow have left my heart / Only a gentle song was flowing
The world today is full of fear and sorrow, isn’t it? The world in the story reflects that, but it doesn’t fit. If this part didn’t flow, it would not be a new journey. As a last ditch effort, I came up with the conversation between Serizawa and Varel. Just a few years ago, they were enemies, but now they are on the same ship. There’s a lot going on, but isn’t that enough for now?
The two mature men are talking quietly to each other on board Yamato, which is about to be launched. when I came up with the idea for this situation, the theme of Yamato starting from 2205 suddenly came into my mind. We are clearly living in a different future than what was expected when the original Yamato was created. Peace is a fleeting respite between hardship and difficulty.
It is not something that lasts forever, and it’s easy to lose, no matter how careful we are. That’s why we should sing this song. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow, so let’s sing a gentle song, at least for this moment. In this way, I repositioned the theme song as a “prayer.” When I looked over the story I was planning to tell again, the horizon that Yamato should aim for began to appear in the haze.
Continued in the next chapter
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