Space Battleship Yamato 2199, Report 3

Back up to report 2

By Tim Eldred

First, special thanks to August Ragone for helping to gather news (see links to his blogs at the end of the page), and to Neil Nadelman and Tsuneo Tateno for translation support.


Yamato‘s new support mecha first appeared too close to our February 1 update for us to include translated descriptions, but we can rectify that here and now.

Type 52 Zero space fighter: Cosmo Zero

Length: 16.9m (15.5m in storage)
Overall width: 6.8m
Armament: 4 machine guns in the nose, 1 cannon gun, anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles attach to pylons under the wings.
Engine is equipped with axial flow-type Cosmo engine. As viewed from behind, internal rotation of the engine is clockwise. In other words, the Cosmo Zero is adept at turning left. The vertical tail fin is equipped with a barrier [shield] control antenna for a squadron. Barrier extension can be performed to cover Cosmo Falcon corps. The tip of the nose is a compound antenna equipped with a fluid control system.

Type 99 space combat attack craft: Cosmo Falcon

Length: 15.9m
Armament: 2 machine guns under the nose, 3 cannons per side for a total of six. Equipped with anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles. To make the most of the Cosmo Falcon’s stealth characteristics, four are stored on either side for a total of eight inside the lower body.
Its two-dimensional vector nozzles are single-axis type that actuate upper and lower nozzles as one. When braking, its covers open in opposite direction, thrust is shifted to the front and the nozzles close.

Type 100 Scout Plane

Length: 14.2m
Various antennae and sensors are built into the bulge beneath the body and in the vertical tail. It is a highly efficient exploratory craft that can conduct a wide range of activities.

General-purpose space transport: Cosmo Seagull

Length: 19.5m
A multi-purpose craft with wings that can rotate 90 degrees for vertical takeoff and landing. The removable container in the center has a capacity of up to 24 personnel.

The images shown above are spreads from the March issues of Hobby Japan and Dengeki Hobby, both published January 25. As with the previous issue of Dengeki, this one featured a short essay by master modeler Noboyuki Sakurai, which reads as follows:

This time, my presentation focuses on the new designs for the fighters of Yamato.

First, the Cosmo Zero. This fighter represents the immense popularity from the beginning of the series through Final Yamato. Although the design follows the previous Cosmo Zero, there are some small differences. The greatest change is the “foldaway” process which began with the Type 21 version from Yamato Resurrection. This Cosmo Zero bends from the nose and seems to become very compact. Watch for it in the program.

Next is the Type 100 Scout Plane. This design was also carried out with respect to the previous works, but the state in which it is equipped with a sled plays an active part. I’m looking forward to how that scene will be depicted.

Among these designs, the Cosmo Falcon especially attracts attention. This craft was called the Black Tiger before, but this time it is the Falcon. The crown of “Cosmo” was bestowed on Yamato‘s fighter squadron in Farewell. It may seem that the name was changed in accordance with this, but it is actually not that simple. The Japanese word for Falcon is Hayabusa, which is immediately recognized if you like military history and scale models. Evidently, the name follows the Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa fighter plane that was the pride of the Japanese army.

[Editor’s note: this particular plane was acknowledged in Yamato‘s early development when the arrow insignia of the 64th Army Air Combat Regiment found its way onto the front of the crew uniforms. The name was also given to a real spacecraft that conducted a sample-return mission to asteroid Itokawa from 2003-2010. Two feature films about the mission were released in Japan in 2012.]

With this change, the fighters of Yamato are hardened to represent both the Hayabusa and the Zero of the old Japanese army. The unification of these names will be a challenge for the Yamato fans of yesteryear, but I think it is a good selection since Yamato itself has a real-world navy origin. Because there is not likely to be a “shark mouth” insignia in the center, different body paint schemes exist, so this will be an interesting model.

By the way, the former Black Tiger color scheme was present on both the fighters and the crew uniforms. What color will the uniform of the Yamato air combat group be this time? I’m looking forward to that.

-Nobuyuki Sakurai


Throughout the month of February, new art and descriptions were steadily added to the character page at the official 2199 website, eventually giving us almost the entire Yamato crew. Familiar names and faces mixed with new ones, combining to give us more of the big picture.

Click here for our complete guide to the characters of 2199.


In parallel with all of the above, February also featured a flurry of special announcements for products to watch for.

Manga Adaptation

On February 10 artist Michio Murakawa revealed on his blog that he had begun work on a 2199 manga to be serialized in New Type Ace, a monthly manga magazine from Kadokawa. Issue 6 had been published that day with a formal announcement, allowing Murakawa to follow up.

In his blog, he recounted his first professional brush with the saga in 1999, when he participated in Studio DNA’s Space Battleship Yamato: the Faraway Planet Iscandar manga anthology, a tie-in the with the first Playstation game. In it, he adapted the Battle of Pluto into a vivid 25-page manga that ignited his desire to do more. He gathered like-minded friends together over the next few years to create four high-end illustrated doujinshis with art from respected Yamato fans such as Junichiro Tamamori, and more than a few industry pros including Yutaka Izubuchi. Like Murakawa himself, many of those contributors are now involved with 2199.

As an aside, he also mentioned that he aided DeAgostini’s effort to launch Yamato Fact File magazine by scoping out a plan for 50 issues, but the project stalled at that point and he had to move on.

In the summer of 2010, he was just finishing another manga serial when he was contacted by director Yutaka Izubuchi and asked to help with some design work on the TV series. He learned at that time that a manga adaptation was part of the game plan, and he had all the right connections to land the assignment.

His first chapter will debut in New Type Ace #7 on March 10, a 63-page opener that will take its place among other high-profile strips as Macross the First and Tiger & Bunny. It should be evident from the first page (if it isn’t already) that Murakawa is absolutely the right guy for the job.

Home Video

Bandai Visual, Yamato‘s long-standing video licensor, launched a new Yamato Portal site on February 17 to promote all of its current and upcoming releases. The 2199 page announced a street date of May 25 for volume 1, which contains the first two episodes (the same content as the movie to premiere on April 7). The name given to this volume is The Long Voyage, and as of this writing, it can be pre-ordered at The second film–episodes 3 through 6–has been titled Desperate Battle in the Heliosphere and will premiere in theaters June 30 with videos to follow July 27.

The bonus features for The Long Voyage are to include a slipcase with art by Yamato veteran Naoyuki Katoh (shown above left), inner jacket art by character designer Nobuteru Yuuki (above right), a booklet, a copy of the storyboards for the opening title, a special edit of the opening title, and an audio commentary track. This wasn’t actually new information, since it had been previously tipped by the official site. What was new on Bandai Visual’s web page, on the other hand, was a completely unexpected reveal of another character, and a rather significant one.

This was our first introduction to Aberto Dessler, supreme leader of the Gamilas. I wasn’t surprised by the addition of a first name, since I’d seen it already in some leaked production documents. (In fact, all the Gamilas characters now have first names, and there are several new Gamilas characters.) But I was definitely surprised when he began to look strangely familiar. I dug out a photo recently taken during Yamatour 2012, and it was confirmed: I knew this guy! And if you’ve been following this website for a while, so do you!

At right is our pal Anton Kholodov, who I first met at Yamato Party 2009, where our mutual gaijin status made us fast friends. This photo was taken from my camera during Yamatour 2012 on January 28 and published here on February 1. Compare it to Aberto Dessler and you’ll see what I saw.

Here’s the explanation: Through our mutual friendship with the Yamato Party group, we both met members of Enagio studio. I left Tokyo on February 3, and Anton met with them again on February 6. In that meeting, Anton was told that HE is their model for Aberto Dessler. The photo from my camera was used as reference. He thought it was a joke, but pictures don’t lie.

Think about that. Anton has been a fan for only about four or five years, but he loves Yamato as deeply as any of us. A chance meeting at Yamato Party results in him becoming part of the phenomenon for the rest of his life. Now THOSE are some bragging rights!

Special Blu-Ray

It was announced on February 18 that the May 25 home video releases will not actually be the first. And here’s where Yamato once again gets to plant a flag in virgin soil: on the day the first movie rolls in theaters, fans will be able to buy an exclusive limited-edition Blu-ray disc of the first two episodes at those very same theaters. There in the gift shop, next to other merchandise we haven’t heard about yet, you’ll be able buy the film showing that day. And this edition will have its own bonus features: custom jacket art by Nobuteru Yuuki (shown at left) and the complete episode 1 storyboard by director Yutaka Izubuchi.

Like the later video releases, it will contain the first two episodes: Messenger of Iscandar and We’re Off to the Sea of Stars.

Online Streaming

Another first happened on February 17 when the Yamato 2199 Production Committee announced an alliance with Japan’s online Hikari TV to stream the movies online. The Long Voyage will actually make its world premiere in this format, streaming for six days from March 28 to the first 3,000 subscribers. That’s a full ten days before the theatrical premiere, and it will contain some exclusive bonus content to boot. Shown here is Hikari’s homepage for the signup, which expires March 16.

TV Marathon

The Family Theater cable and satellite channel, which has become Yamato’s home on Japanese TV over the past few years, announced on March 1 that it would devote its entire broadcast day to the saga on April 6, one day before the premiere of 2199 in theaters. Their announced programming consisted of the first episode of the new series, a TV special titled Special Public Celebration: New Yamato Launch Declaration, and then ALL the original episodes from Series 1 and Series 2.

Yamato 2199 Launch Event

As explored elsewhere on this website, Space Battleship Yamato has a long, storied history of public events that brought the fans into direct contact with the cast and crew. It was a tradition upheld for Yamato Resurrection and the live-action movie. And the debut event for 2199 outdid them both.

Click here to read all about it.

Continue to Report #4

See and read more at August Ragone’s blog, The Good, The Bad, and Godzilla

February 18 entry (News Roundup)

February 19 entry (New Characters)

February 20 entry (Promotional Trailer)

February 23 entry (Stills from episode 1)

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