Live “Yamatalk” events have followed nearly every theatrical premiere since 2012, but only rarely have we gotten a full picture of what was said and shown on stage. The Yamatalk held in March 2022 is a rare exception with enough coverage to get us through the language barrier.
Let’s start with the official word, summarized in three brief articles from Mantan Web (repeated text has been removed):
REBEL 3199 will “start in 2207” and Takeshi Ageha will appear
See the original post here)
On March 2, a “Yamatalk” event was held after a screening of Yamato 2205 Chapter 2 at the Shinjuku Piccadilly theater (Shinjuku, Tokyo).
The production of REBEL 3199, a sequel to 2205, has been announced. Harutoshi Fukui, who wrote the script and composed the series, said, “Although it is called 3199, we will not suddenly jump forward 1,000 years. It starts in the year 2207. The year 2207 will be the stage for now.”
He also revealed, “Takeshi Ageha will appear. Kitano’s older brother will be there too.”
The catchphrase for 3199 is “The future, change it. The enemy is…Space Battleship Yamato.” Mr. Fukui has said it will be 26 episodes.
Director Kenji Yasuda and scriptwriter Hideki Oka also spoke at the event.
Yamato 2205 links with the times. Harutoshi Fukui: “The work was pulled by the times”
See the original post here)
Some say that 2205 is linked to the era of the Corona disaster.
Mr. Fukui said, “The work was partly pulled by the times. When I started writing 2205, there was not even a glimpse of Corona. Where should I go? What should I sync with? There are things creators can’t control.”
Mr. Fukui described Director Yasuda, who participated in the series for the first time: “He is a person who never wavers. I was anxious about the production environment amid the Corona pandemic, but he made me feel at ease. I was able to learn about his production philosophy. To depict something obvious is just a set-up. There are parts of Yamato where you have to show the setup, but you can cut out the things that aren’t and put in other elements.”
Mr. Oka said, “The volume that couldn’t usually fit in a film is neatly contained. There were many shots that reaffirmed that it was an ensemble drama.”
Storyboards by Director Kenji Yasuda
Yamato 2205: Valuable materials published from a Yamatalk
See the original post here)
Rare storyboards were shown, such as final scenes of Yamato‘s new crew. There were also battle scenes, such as Yuki Mori shouting, “Don’t give up, Susumu Kodai,” and Kodai picking up his hat after being tossed around by Goruba. Director Kenji Yasuda, Writer Harutoshi Fukui, and Scriptwriter Hideki Oka gave explanations.
A number of early designs were shown at the event: the Garmillas evacuation fleet by Yasushi Ishizu, the bottom of Iscandar’s well, the Dezarium multi-legged tank, Dezarium fighter, and Autoplanet Goruba by Mika Akitaka, and Asuka and Hyuga by Junichiro Tamamori. Designs of the Cosmo Python, Cosmo Hound, and others were also shown.
Ordinarily, that’s about all we would get. But this time, we had a spy in the audience. We don’t know her real name, but she goes by Cat Unako on Twitter. Her bio reads as follows:
I’m an adult female. I don’t look at this Twitter much. I’ve been following since 2199 when I got hooked on Dessler. My uncle, nephew, and brother got me into 2202, then I saw 2205. I’ve separated this page from my main page, since there are too many things on my main page, where I’m a Dessler fan.
We all owe this fan a debt of gratitude; she took extensive notes at the event and posted them on Twitter later that night. Her entire thread can be seen here, and is translated in full below.
But it gets even better; amazingly, the third article from Mantan Web shared many of the visuals that appeared on screen during the discussion (for the first time EVER). So thanks to these two generous sources, it’s almost like we can be there ourselves. (There are mild spoilers; proceed at your own discretion.) Enjoy!
Photo posted on Twitter by spring_0608
Yamatalk (roundup report)
After the movie was shown, the moderator was the reliable Hideki Oka.
“How was the beginning of 3199? Some of you may have thought the beginning was coming, but today it’s just 2205. These two worked tirelessly to draw the blueprints for 2205.”
Oka’s choice of words in calling out Director Yasuda and Mr. Fukui was too clever. (Mr. Yasuda looks cute in glasses.) First of all, they announced the decision to extend the screening. (Three theaters held over Chapter 2 for a fifth week.)
Director Kenji Yasuda’s in-depth explanation of the production
They talked about a scene shown with storyboard photography (drawings timed to fit the music). The scene was from the rookies’ exercises, the part where Sakamoto and Raiden are punished by being forced to run.
Fukui: I thought Yasuda-san could do anything.
It seems this sequence was born from Mr. Fukui’s request to make it according to music. He decided to put together two tracks, Young Eagles and New Cosmo Tiger (both from the original New Voyage), and use them as the basis for a new piece. Although the music for the storyboard was edited from existing recordings, it was not used in the film. The actual accompaniment was newly recorded by Akira Miyagawa, so they sent this scene to him in advance.
Fukui: When I ask the maestro to do something like this, he’ll always put a twist on it. We sent him the video, but he couldn’t see it on his phone, so he didn’t watch it. I thought he would have said something…”
(It sounds brusk, but it was very Akira-like.)
Oka: Yasuda-san is a Yamato beginner, but he was given two tracks to put together. Was it hard to do it that way?
Yasuda: I do opening titles to music. I’ve done storyboards for Macross and Symphogear to match music. It wasn’t my first time.
Mr. Oka wrote a 7-page “draft zero” for the script. Mr. Fukui summarized it in 4 pages. Director Yasuda shaved and carved and reduced it to its finished length.
• More behind-the-scenes stories about the running scene
Fukui: We cherish the original Yamato works, so we had to do the running scene. But there are scenes that you’re not allowed to do. I decided to include a scene where Sakamoto and Raiden are forced to run because I couldn’t have anyone do it in their underwear.
Yasuda: There’s the shot where Sakamoto and Raiden fall down. Nagakura and Yamamoto watch it for just two seconds. There are many elements in the scene, like their friends watching and laughing from the shadows. I included it in the hope that people would watch the film again and again.
There were a lot of things that had to be included on screen. Another example was the scene between Serizawa and Varel, looking at the destroyed Saturn. It was decided to have them holding binoculars.
Launch scene storyboards by Kenji Yasuda
More storyboards were displayed, from Episode 2.
• In the scene where Yamato does not take off from the ocean, Sanada is looking at the floor. (When he should be looking at a monitor.)
Fukui: The “line-of-sight play” is based on Gundam, isn’t it? With Gundam, the cockpit is transparent all the way around, so it’s easy to play with line-of-sight. This is not the case with Yamato. But I think Yasuda-san did a good job with that.”
A defenseless Yamato’s bridge is about to be clobbered by hurtling debris.
Kodai surrenders, helpless, before Yuki saves him and shouts not to give up.
From the finished footage
• About the scene where a huge rock comes close to Yamato‘s bridge after the Garmario bombardment and is smashed just in time…
This scene was not originally in the script, but was added by Director Yasuda in the storyboard. The outline called for a scene between Yuki and Nanbu, but in order to concentrate on Kodai and Yuki, the Nanbu shot was intentionally left out.
• The scene where Yamato appears in front of the rookies…
Fukui: The theory of the storytelling is that good things come from the right, and bad things come from the left. Since this is Domon’s point of view, Yamato comes from the left. In the storyboard, even at the end of the scene, Yamato was supposed to come from there. But from the audience’s point of view, we want Yamato to be good to the last. So we were thinking, should it appear from the right? I’m impressed by how Yasuda-san made Yamato change direction so we could do both.
Left: Kodai retrieving his cap. Right: a scene between Yabu and Domon
• More things the director wanted
Yasuda: I wanted to include more silent scenes like Kodai picking up the hat. In the script, it was just “Kodai (with a stern face).” I wanted to depict it with some real presence to create a transition between busy scenes and quiet scenes.”
“Whether it was Yabu or Domon, there should have been more side moments. I wanted to include more quiet scenes for them as well.”
Oka: There is a scene where Starsha reaches for a flickering light, right? Did you also create that?
Yasuda: I wanted to include a scene where the light is drifting like fireflies, which you can imagine in many ways.
Fukui: Like, “What is that light?”
Yasuda: Is that… a soul taking a walk?
Materials were prepared for 2205 to determine which of the old characters would appear.
Shigeru Sakamoto B
Tetsu Kitano A
(It was written, “He is weak in fights, but has a big heart. He is a big brother.”)
Iscandar Shadow Royal Family
• What is the Iscandar shadow royal family?
Wouldn’t it be better if Starsha was the guardian of Sanctel, and had an enemy who has tormented her for a long time?
The idea came up at one point in the story, and an image was offered up as an example, but wasn’t shown in the Yamatalk (probably for copyright reasons). The plan was for Dessler to point his gun at them.
• The Domon-Ageha combination problem
There was talk that if Domon was going to be in the show, then so would Ageha (since they were close friends in Yamato III). But the story was too full to include that.
• Kitano’s brother problem
Kitano’s appearance was different in The New Voyage and the Playstation game (above right). It was decided to make the game version into his older brother. The older brother will appear in the next story.
• Initial proposal of the crew for each ship
Tsutomu Makunouchi was to be on board Yamato.
Miyako was brought on board at the suggestion of Nobuteru Yuuki.
Nanbu was placed on Hyuga and Kitano’s brother would be on Asuka.
For a while there was a proposal to transfer Hoshina to the tactical department, but I’m glad they didn’t.
Oka: There are about 70 characters in Yamato. I asked Yasuda-san to “accept” that. Even in elementary schools, there are 30 students now.
Yasuda: It was very difficult to make sure that the attention was distributed evenly. As for Kitano, he is sitting next to Domon, so I think he was able to put in a good performance.
• How did Keel come to look so good?
Mr. Fukui wanted to bring out beauty in him. A “beautiful warrior” character on the Dessler side. Character Designer Nobuteru Yuuki did his best with the request.
Storyboards for the end title sequence, various character vignettes
Should we have done this?
Yasuda: About the vignettes of the new crew members during the end title; just like Nagakura is in Raiden’s shot, I thought I wanted to include Shinohara or someone in Sakamoto’s shot.”
Fukui: It is typical for Sakamoto to be alone, though.
Oka: In the Miyako scene, the script says that Sasha is peeing on her…I’m not sure what to think.
Fukui: Well, it’s an artistic tradition in anime that whenever there is a baby, you get peed on.
Yasuda: Only if it’s a boy.
Fukui: Oh, if it’s a boy.
Photo posted on Twitter by Yachan
Mr. Fukui’s thoughts about Director Yasuda
He is a very steadfast person. When I wrote the script, I didn’t even know the word “Corona.” I’m amazed that Yasuda-san endured the difficulties of having to deal with Corona in the middle of this.
Also, I was able to learn about his recent production philosophy. If you have a scene where you stumble, you don’t have to draw the action of falling down. That part’s natural, so if you draw that, it’s just a setup.
With Yamato, when the Wave-Motion Gun is fired, you have to show the setup all the way through to the end. But I learned that I could cut unnecessary scenes and put more into the scripts.
Yasuda: That’s what Mr. Fukui learned, and as a result, he was able to make it work better.
(I can imagine how hard it must have been…)
Original designs (Early design collection)
A couple of the designs mentioned below were included in a mecha design interview you can see here.
• Dezarium Hammer by Shinya Ogura
Three proposals were adopted, and Mecha Designer Mika Akitaka was asked to finish them. He was surprised when the second proposal was submitted and it wasn’t much like a hammer. (In the image of the second proposal, the tip of the prop looked like a Tricon bit for drilling.)
• Multi-legged tank by Mika Akitaka
Fukui: Akitaka-san really likes this kind of thing. I would like to make it active in the future (3199). Since we have this, we don’t have to make a new design, right?
• Caterpillar-type fighter
Oka: There were two plans, Plan A and Plan B, and they asked me which I preferred. (Plan A was more slender and streamlined.) When I said Plan A was more comfortable, they went with Plan B. (Laughs) What was the point of asking me? (Laughs)
Yasuda: But it’s only because of Plan B that it was able to make that tricky move.
• Goruba by Mika Akitaka
From the initial design, there was a plan to open the bottom part.
• Goruba bridge by Director Yasuda
I wanted an atmosphere that wasn’t like the inside of a mecha, like Meldars standing in the dark in a spotlight. (A rough design of him standing in the Thinker pose was on the screen.)
There were supposed to be a lot of crewmembers in the area behind him. The image was of the bridge where there isn’t much conversation between the crew.
Deep stairwell into the bowels of Iscandar (cut from the film)
The “Sanctel” well deep underground
• Iscandar stairs and well (by Director Yasuda)
The path leading to Sanctel in the early days was an image of a well-like vertical hole extending deep beneath the royal palace, as if descending into hell. Since there was no light source, I thought about making Starsha luminous, or the floor luminous, and so on. Eventually, we ended up with a structure like the Metropolitan Area outer drainage channel.
• Galman Cathedral
In an early draft, the head of the goddess was severed and the idea was to have it lying at the bottom of the stairs, seen in the background during Dessler’s speech. If you know the face, you know that we’d have to think a lot more about the design and background. So we decided to take a chunk out of the face and use a single image to create impact.
Fukui: I wonder if we’ll find out more about the goddess statue in the next installment.
Oka: I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.
• Design of the Garmillas emigration fleet
They were able to pull in various designs from older works.
Fukui: Is there a Balanodon in this world?
Oka: Everyone was excited to see the design [a revival of the Balanodon transport ship from the original TV series]. So excited that I couldn’t put a stop to it. (Laughs)
No artwork was available for the following…
• Initial drafts of Asuka & Hyuga by Junichiro Tamamori
There was also a design proposal for a twin-bow, twin-body design.
• Cosmo Python by Junichiro Tamamori
They hadn’t decided on anything, but the design drawing from the initial draft said, “Yamamoto’s Aircraft.” They decided to change the fighters to be carried by Yamato & Hyuga.
• Cosmo Hound by Junichiro Tamamori
In the initial idea sketch of Hound, there was a plan to remove the wings. At that point, it had not been decided how to escape from the net. Then they came up with the story of it separating, and part of it being swallowed.
• Cosmo Hound initial idea by Tamamori
(A design drawing of a sleek silhouette, similar to a dimensional submarine)
It was cool, but too different, so it was rejected. It was the size of a small fighter plane.
Photo posted on Twitter by aoi2199
Impressions after making 2205
Yasuda: I started by learning about Yamato. It was a good experience for me to work on a shorter piece rather than a TV series.
Fukui: I learned a lot about directing. I believe that this work was pulled by the times. I started making this before Corona appeared. There’s a sense of urgency in the film, not knowing where to go. I think it has become very suitable for the present day. A creator has no control over the degree to which a work can be linked with the prevailing conditions of the time. I’m glad you all accepted it.
Backstage photo posted by the Yamato Production Committee
• About 3199
It starts in 2207, so it is not suddenly a thousand years later with nobody there. The New Voyage happened in October 2205, so it will be a year and a half later or so.
Oka: After a year and a half, will Kodai and Yuki have settled down?
Fukui: Of course we’re thinking about that… but we’re still working on it. I wonder if anyone can think of anything while I’m sleeping…” (audience laughs)
• Developments leading to 3199
Fukui: It will take some time until 3199, so we’re thinking of various ways to connect things. We’ll have books, a new OUT magazine, and we’re thinking about a concert or story recitation that would connect 2205 and 3199.
Those are all the memos I took! Thank you to everyone who read my poor memos.
Ending scenes from 2205
Dialogue translated from the script booklet included with the Chapter 2 Blu-ray.
Outer space. Yamato and Deusula III line up. Kodai & Dessler stand on their respective decks, facing each other.
Dessler: This blue blood, this blue skin…the people will eventually learn of Garmillas’ origins.
Dessler: But we will continue to take pride in the name Garmillas. Pride is not something that is given to us, but something we find within ourselves.
Dessler: Thank you for letting me meet with Starsha.
Dessler: Even for a moment, I received enough to live for the rest of my life. Take care of her child.
Kodai nods, accepting the thought. Dessler nods.
Dessler: Kodai, don’t let go. Don’t let go of the one you love.
His cape flips. Dessler turns his back on Kodai and walks away. Kodai stares at his shrinking back.
The blackness of space is replaced Sanada’s voice
Sanada: This is inside the enemy fortress?
Technical analysis room on board Yamato. Kaoru Niimi and Sanada are staring at the monitor.
Niimi: These are the images we successfully captured when we sent in the Wave-Motion excavation bombs.
The Monitor shows the inner wall of Goruba. A familiar mass embedded in and part of the beehive structure. We see the emblem of the United Earth Defense Forces.
Sanada: Andromeda class.
Niimi: Captured, or that’s what I thought at first…
The recognition number on the hull is shown in closeup.
Niimi: It has far more digits than what has actually been manufactured.
Sanada, horrified: Dezarium…who are you?
Outer Space. Unknown star area. The sound of a Hyperon Bomb approaching from beyond…