Vintage Report 5: August 1977

The whole world changed for the better in August 1977, and that is not an exaggeration. With the August 8 premiere of Space Battleship Yamato, the entire anime industry in Japan experienced a seismic shift that still gives us aftershocks today. In this report we’ll go through that pivotal month one step at a time and see how the future began.

First flyer

Save the Earth! Aiming for Iscandar in distant space, Yamato is now on a journey of adventure roman

This slogan adorned the first official movie publication, a flyer that was available as a free handout in Japanese movie theaters (a practice that continues today). The art on the front was a composite image with Yamato painted by the great Naoyuki Katoh of Studio Nue. This particular image would not endure, however, since it didn’t quite match the ship seen on screen.

This was where “adventure roman” was first attached to Yamato, a term that would bedevil international fans for decades. What was “Roman” about this? First, it wasn’t named after Rome. Pronounced “ro-MON,” it was a Japanese interpretation of “romance.” But not the “love story” kind. It evoked the romance of the open sea and the discovery of new worlds. Sort of synonymous with “fantasy.” That’s how we get “Adventure Roman.”

The back of the flyer covered the highlights of the story and the fact that America and Europe had already signed on for the journey. Below that were two ads. One for the trilogy of novels coming out from Sonorama Publishing (the first volume arrived July 20), and one for the drama album LP from Nippon Columbia (July 25), which was billed as a “soundtrack” because the term “drama album” didn’t exist yet.

Below the ads was the lineup of four theaters that would begin showing the film in Tokyo on August 6: Shinjuku Toei Palace, Shibuya Tokyu Rex, Ikebukuro Tokyu, and Ginza Tokyu. Showtimes were 11am, 1:30pm, 4pm, and 6:30pm. At the time this flyer was printed, those were the only screens that had been lined up. Watching that information evolve from one source to the next is an easy way to track the fortunes of the film.

The magazine ad at right represents a transitional moment; the flyer art was now replaced by the official key art for the movie poster, but the theater information is still the same. Therefore we can pinpoint it to late July. The phrase “Simultaneous screenings in Europe, the US, and Japan” has been added to the slogan to give it some extra hype. And it was already working.

August 1: Novelization Vol. 2: Yamato Struggle Volume

Just twelve days after volume 1, everyone could grab the next part in both hardcover (left) and paperback (right). The hardcover ran 192 pages with color and B&W stills interspersed throughout, whereas the paperback was 240 pages with only 32 pages of color stills. Storywise, they covered TV episodes 11-20, from the Dessler mines to Planet Balan. Most of this material would not be seen in the movie.

August 1: Manga Shonen August issue

The main attraction this time was a 4-page color featurette to promote the movie. There was already great anticipation in the fan community, but no one yet had a clue how much.


Text in the blue box above:

Fulfilling the hopes of men and all of humankind, Yamato soars through the skies once again!! Fans can look forward to the long-awaited Space Battleship Yamato feature film, to be shown at four theaters on August 6 in Tokyo. So this magazine releases a big present to readers in advance!!

The Yamato feature film was produced in response to enthusiastic requests from fans, a fascinating work no one can miss, which was introduced in the May issue of this magazine.

Yamato heads into space, backed by that famous song! Kodai, Okita, and Shima face trouble, fight, and find love in a man’s way of life!! It’s a solemn, splendid space drama made by a passionate, first-rate staff. In one important scene, Susumu Kodai, who was invited to Iscandar, rides on a band of light. It is a beauty unique to animation.

Running time 2 hours, 8 minutes (tentative).

Translator’s note: The “band of light” reference was in regard to one of a handful of new scenes that had been animated for the end of the film. More info about them below.

August 1: Fantoche #7

Fantoche was the first magazine of any kind to publish a Yamato cover story, back in April 1976. Now they were here again to offer support in the last week before the premiere. Issue 7’s cover promoted an in-depth interview with the producers at Tatsunoko Studio, but there was also a big bold Yamato ad on the back cover (with the same 4 theater listings)…

…and this 2-page spread on the inside that seems to have been designed to look like a fan-made doujinshi with hand-lettered text. This montage included news of new footage that had been created for the end of the film and the latest news flashes about products and foreign sales. Whether or not this was meant to capture the spirit of fan reporting, it sure had that flavor.

This would be the last issue of Fantoche for some time; it would be briefly revived in 1979 for four more.

August 1: Kinejun No. 714

On this day, Kinejun became the first mainstream magazine to pick up the story. The title is a contraction of Kinema Junpo, which translates to Cinema Bi-weekly. Still in business today, it always delivers in-depth movie news from around the world. This issue offered a two-page summary of the film and a single-page commentary from none other than Leiji Matsumoto. He had already offered comments in newspaper articles, but it marked the first time since his 1976 Fantoche interview that he spoke about Yamato at length.

Read the article and comments here.

August 3: advance screening

Here we have a very rare historical nugget indeed, a postcard promoting an invitation-only preview screening (probably for the media) that took place August 3 at Yamaha Hall in Tokyo. It was the second of two known previews, the first of which happened on August 1. But no other artifacts have yet surfaced to expand the info.

In 1977, August 3 fell on a Wednesday. The next day, the most diehard of all fans began turning up in front of theaters to begin the wait. On Saturday, the destined moment finally arrived.

August 6: Premiere day

This was, at last, the day the future began. While Tokyo slept, fans gathered in front of the designated movie theaters, which had expanded from four to six in just the last few days. As seen on the second version of the flyer (above), two more had been added in anticipation of greater turnout: the Ueno Tokyu and the Shibuya Tokyu Masterpiece Theater. In fact, a seventh venue was opened at literally the last minute. On the morning of August 6, the lines outside both Shibuya theaters were so long that the Shibuya Pantheon was quickly added to relieve the pressure.


Crowds warp around the block at Ginza Tokyu

Word of this unprecedented turnout reached the media early in the morning, and reporters quickly mobilized to cover it for newspapers and magazines. Over the coming days and weeks, details and anecdotes in one story after another would chronicle an event that came to be known as the “Yamato Boom.” Additional theaters would join the lineup at a dizzying pace and the film would essentially remain in “roadshow” (circulation) status for the rest of 1977.


Theaters in Shinjuku and Ueno

The most important impact, though, was completely invisible, at least at the start. For over a decade, animation studios, sponsors, and broadcasters were convinced that animation (called “terebi manga/TV comics”) was strictly for children. Despite occasional attempts to change the formula, they had seen no evidence to the contrary. If the Yamato Boom were to be fictionalized, it would tell the story of a man who set out to break that stranglehold with an experimental TV series of his own. After being turned away at every door, he would move heaven and Earth to turn that series into a movie to bring the real audience out into the light of day.

Intentional or not, that’s what Yoshinobu Nishizaki accomplished. After this explosive response, no one could claim that anime was limited to children, because the evidence was right in front of them. The business model had been overturned. It was the moment when anime went mainstream.


Theaters in Ikebukuro and Shibuya

This was also the moment when the word “anime” entered the national lexicon of Japan. It already existed within the industry, and now that mainstream media needed a new term for this phenomenon, “Terebi Manga” would no longer do. That term took a couple more years to fade, but “anime” was here to stay.

See more photos of the opening day crowds here

The new footage

Those who had seen the TV series were in for a surprise when the movie got down to its final minutes. In order to speed things along, the production team developed a new sequence to replace Episodes 25 and 26. In this version, when the crew got to Iscandar, they were met by the hologram of a long-dead Starsha who gave them the Cosmo Cleaner D. In what amounted to an epilogue, they got it working and returned to Earth without incident (notwithstanding the sad demise of Captain Okita).

“Hologram Starsha” was not actually a new idea. It was based on her appearance at the end of the original novelization by Arashi Ishizu, published in 1974/75. You can read it in its entirety here.

There wasn’t enough money in the budget to shoot this segment on 35mm film (like the TV series), so 16mm was used instead, which made it grainier than the rest of the movie. But it was the first new Yamato animation anyone had seen in over two years, so complaints were minimal. When the movie was broadcast on TV a year later, the ending was replaced with TV footage and that became the standard for all future releases. After that, the “hologram Starsha” ending could only be seen as a bonus feature on home video.

Read more about the new footage here.

See some of it on Youtube here.

August 6: movie program

A full-color 24-page program book was sold in theaters, offering a treasure trove of stills and data no one had seen before. It was apparently intended for overseas sales as well, since it sported the Space Cruiser Yamato title and most of the text was presented in both Japanese and English. For some reason, the production commentaries were not translated at the time, but you can read them in a cover-to-cover presentation here.

August 6: theater goods

Today it’s common practice for a Yamato movie (or almost any movie) to be accompanied by merchandising in Japan, but this was still a novel idea in August 1977. Theaters had only a smattering of products to sell (mostly manufactured by Tokyu Recreation) and were overwhelmed by the demand.

Excerpt from The Law of Anime Hit Movies (2012):

“Character goods and other products were sold at a stand,” said Ikuo Aida, then an assistant manager at the Shibuya Masterpiece theater. “I’d never dealt with such a thing back then. Sales of handkerchiefs were especially good, and we needed to get more and more. Why did they sell so much? There were 20 pieces in one package, and they were sold one at a time, so I had to pull them out of the bag properly and sell them one by one. (Laugh) I wasn’t used to that.”

Although it’s a given that popcorn and cola are seen as part of the viewing experience in modern cinema, products sold at the stands in 1977 weren’t much more than program books, and they didn’t provide a theater with much income. But the sales of Yamato character goods were terrific. “I think about 40% of the box office take came from the souvenir stand,” Aida said.

Anime movies for teens sounded delicious. For theaters, that was the moment when a new source of revenue other than ticket sales was developed.

“The main things sold were character goods, pencases, shopping bags, and stationery. We didn’t originally put out very expensive items. They were 500 yen at most. [About $5.] Since the customers were junior high and high school students, they usually had about 1000 yen to spend.”

See a catalog of Tokyu Recreation products (and much more) here

August 10: Novelization Vol. 3: Yamato Restoration Volume

Four days after the movie premiere, the last book in the trilogy arrived in both hardcover and paperback from Sonorama. The hardcover spanned 192 pages and the paperback ballooned up to 256. Both got Yamato through the Domel battle, past Gamilas to Iscandar and then home to Earth. Again, both included stills but the hardcover was much more generous in that respect.

August 10: Weekly Sound Journal

Yamato coverage was heavy in newspapers by this time, but magazines were just starting to deliver their own reports. One of the first came from Weekly Sound Journal. It was short, but contained information found nowhere else in Yamato history…

Deepening Affection for the film Space Battleship Yamato

While anticipation for the Space Battleship Yamato movie was rising, a “fan gathering” was held with a packed audience at 1:00pm and 3:00pm on July 30 on the rooftop stage of the Mitsukoshi main store in Nihonbashi. It was co-sponsored by Nippon Columbia and the film’s production company, Academy. Eighty percent of the audience looked like high school girls, holding record bags that they had bought at the sales event.

On the stage, Isao Sasaki, who sang the theme song Space Battleship Yamato and the closing theme The Scarlet Scarf, performed with the composer Hiroshi Miyagawa conducting a more than 40-piece orchestra. Yoshinobu Nishizaki, who planned, conceived, produced, and directed the production, told the audience the story behind the production process and its origins, and fascinated them with the background music of the main scenes.

On August 1, a preview screening was held at 6:00 p.m. at Nissho Hall in Toranomon, for many people involved in production. The audience thoroughly enjoyed the 2 hour and 10 minute film. The anticipation for Yamato and the degree of attachment and obsession for fans has only grown stronger and deeper.

(end of report)

The “Fan Gathering” described here hit two significant milestones: the first official Yamato event of any kind, and the first live performance of Yamato music in front of an audience. The photos shown here (found online) are very likely from that event.

See larger versions here.

August 11: Weekly Sankei magazine

Derived from Sankei Sports newspaper, Weekly Sankei gathered up sports and entertainment news in a gossip-style format. Five days after the premiere, not enough time had passed for weekly magazines to get articles about it into print, so pre-release content was still working its way through the mill. As an example, this issue of Weekly Sankei ran a 2-page color spread with the following text…

Popular TV anime made into a movie!!

It is the year 2199. Earth is under attack from the planet Gamilas. Humans built an underground city to fight against the attack, but the radioactive contamination from planet bombs has killed all life on the surface, and is now affecting the underground as well. Only a little more than a year remains until the end of mankind.

At this time, the peaceful planet Iscandar offers a helping hand. “If mankind wants a future, it must be brave enough to come and get our radiation removal device.” But Iscandar is 148,000 light years away, and Gamilas is waiting for them along the way. Time is critical!

Space Battleship Yamato is entrusted with this difficult mission. The battleship Yamato, which ended its tragic life in World War II, has been revived as a Space Cruiser. Its weapon is a devastating cannon that can smash an asteroid with a single shot. The crew of 114 consists of Captain Juzo Okita, young space warrior Susumu Kodai, navigator Daisuke Shima, idol Yuki Mori, and others.

Fly, Yamato! Fight, Yamato! The journey to Iscandar and back, a round-trip journey of 296,000 light-years, has begun.

The anime Space Battleship Yamato, which aired three years ago on Japan’s Yomiuri TV network, has been reworked for the cinema by producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki and directed by Toshio Masuda of Tora Tora Tora and Human Revolution fame. The screenplay is by Eiichi Yamamoto (Jungle Emperor and Cleopatra) and Keisuke Fujikawa (Moomin, Mazinger Z).

The music by Hiroshi Miyagawa and the art design by Leiji Matsumoto are not to be missed. The dreamy minor melodies and the beautiful women depicted by Leiji Matsumoto will take the viewer on a journey of romance and adventure. This is an SF adventure drama depicting the lives and “love for humanity” of the men who face all difficulties to save Earth and finally achieve their goal.


Ticket voucher for Hamamatsu Cinema, with five screenings per day starting August 13

August 13: Week 2 begins

It had already been announced in July that one week after the Tokyo premiere, Yamato would open in other cities at Toei theaters. Plans were modest in the beginning, but more screens were booked as quickly as possible after the explosive opening week. Just two more venues were added in Tokyo, but another 11 opened elsewhere.

And this was just the beginning. By the end of August, an additional 52 theaters across Japan had booked the film. Even more jumped on in September and October. After a slowdown in November, business picked up again for the holiday season in December. If you knew where to go, you could find Yamato on a big screen almost every week through the end of March, 1978.

August 15: Kinejun No. 715

Kinejun‘s issue for the second half of the month didn’t yet have any substantial coverage, but it was definitely in the works. Instead, they described and summarized the movie in their bi-weekly roundup of what was playing in theaters. And they apparently weren’t too worried about spoilers…

Space Battleship Yamato

Explanation:

From a total of 26 episodes broadcast on TV from October 6, 1974, Toshio Masuda (of Human Revolution) reconstructed and directed this film, focusing on the way of life of the men who set out on a journey with the future of humanity at stake. Yoshinobu Nishizaki (Wansa-kun) serves as executive producer, planner, and original concept. Screenplay by Eiichi Yamamoto and Keisuke Fujikawa.

(Vistavision, Eastman Color)

Summary:

It is the year 2199. The Earth, once praised by the Soviet cosmonaut Gagarin who said, “the Earth is blue,” is on the verge of extinction. Threatening to invade Earth, Gamilas rains planet bombs down upon us and the human race is forced to move underground. But even there, radioactive contamination is relentless, and the end of the human race is only a year away.

In such a time, a message comes from the planet Iscandar, 148,000 light-years away in the universe. Iscandar has a radiation removal device, and they want us to come and get it. Based on the blueprints of a Wave-Motion Engine sent along with the message, the WWII battleship Yamato is secretly rebuilt into a space battleship. The plan is to go to Iscandar.

When Gamilas learns of this plan, Yamato is forced to dodge their attacks and launches on a round-trip journey of 296,000 light years. During the warp navigation test between the moon and Mars, there are enemy attacks. Thanks to the efforts of Susumu Kodai and others, the test is a success. A missile base on the floating continent is smashed by the Wave-Motion Gun. Yamato also wipes out the Gamilas base on Pluto.

Dessler, leader of the planet Gamilas, directs General Domel to stop Yamato‘s advance. In a decisive battle, Yamato is able to defeat Domel, although the underside of the ship is heavily damaged.

When Yamato is just one step away from victory, Gamilas and Iscandar are revealed to be double planets. In order to reach Iscandar, Yamato must pass through Gamilas. The post-war battle of Yamato begins. Dessler’s plan is to lure Yamato to the sulfuric acid sea of the planet Gamilas. Yamato struggles, but under the order of Captain Okita, who is now collapsing from illness, the Wave-Motion Gun fires at a volcano. Magma covers the ground. Now, a planet perishes. Why couldn’t it coexist with Iscandar?

Yamato arrives at Iscandar and, in accordance with the will of the now-dead Starsha, loads the radiation removal device and hurries home via warp. Soon, Mother Earth appears in front of Yamato. Amidst the joy of Kodai and others, Okita quietly breathes his last.

August 16: Weekly Playboy No. 33

This was the weekly edition of the famed men’s magazine, which spent most of its pages on news and entertainment. It took an unusual approach for its first Yamato article, publishing a one-page profile on the man who made the film instead of the film itself. It was a first for anyone in the anime industry and another signal of how quickly things were evolving.

Entering the global film market with Yamato

Yoshinobu Nishizaki conceived, produced, and directed Space Battleship Yamato

• I am more of a writer than a merchant. I am that type of producer.

• I like ships. One day, I suddenly thought it would be nice if a battleship could fly in the sky…

• People need love. SF adventure action and love are the themes.

• In times of need, it is useful to have a greedy appetite for everything.

He likes boats and has the fastest cruiser in Japan with a top speed of 38 knots. You might think he’d be too busy with work for boating, but he goes to Izu every weekend. He also enjoys skiing, diving, hunting, and many other hobbies. He has worked as a jazz commentator, stage and nightclub host, coffee shop boy, bartender, orchestra manager, music producer, secretary to a certain financial figure, company president, and more.

“I’m interested in everything and I’m quick to get involved…someday it will come in handy. Maybe I’ll learn to fly an airplane next time.”

He is a cool performer.

August 20: “Stereo manga” radio drama

If TV reruns, novelizations, and a feature film still wasn’t enough to scratch your itch, you could also resort to radio. Stereo Manga Space Battleship Yamato was first broadcast as an 8-episode serial on NHK FM starting August 20. Each 13-minute episode included a singer, a narrator, and the first-ever stereo sound mix for a Yamato production. Fans were a bit disappointed that the actual sound effects from the TV series were not used; instead, real-world sounds were heard for guns firing and such.

All the episodes of this unique presentation have been unearthed and can be heard at NicoNico here:

Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4
Episode 5 | Episode 6 | Episode 7 | Episode 8

Note that this was entirely different from the historic full-cast radio drama that would be broadcast on All-Night Nippon in December. We’ll get to that one in due time.

August 20: Iscandar Vol. 4 doujinshi

If there was ever a right time to get your fan club’s doujinshi out into the world, this was it. Cosmo Battleship Yamato Connection published issue 4 at the height of the Yamato Boom, a 44-pager with a generous selection of production art, fanfic, and commentary.

See it from cover to cover in the doujinshi archive here.

August 21: Weekly Myojo magazine No. 34

Here, at last, the true journalism began. Weekly Myojo was a culture and entertainment magazine that put reporters right into the belly of the beast, sitting with moviegoers in the overnight lines to see the film on day one. They wrote their findings into a very insightful 3-page article under the headline Suddenly Space Battleship Yamato Surfaces, The Secret of Crazy Popularity.

Read the article here.

Another article ran in the August 28 issue, but a copy has yet to be obtained.

August 22: Weekly Heibon Punch magazine

Hot on Myojo‘s heels was this rival publication. It was oriented toward men, but their 4-page Yamato article took an even broader approach than Myojo‘s, quoting production staff and fans alike. In fact, both of these magazines went out of their way to credit fan clubs for helping make the phenomenon happen.

Read the article here.

Read more about Heibon Punch here.

August 23: Cross-promotion

This mini-flyer promoted two things. On the front, movie screenings that would begin August 23 at the Okayama Central theater. On the back, Nippon Columbia promoted the Yamato drama LP and a huge 4-LP omnibus titled The History of TV Manga Theme Songs. Columbia would eventually release eight volumes in this series, all of which went in chronological order. Of course, Yamato took its place on one of them.

August 25: Playcomic magazine

Pivoting off the name Playboy, Playcomic was a weekly manga magazine for mature readers, though erotic content took a back seat to humor and SF such as Leiji Matsumoto’s Eternal Story of Jura and Space Pirate Captain Harlock, which would be animated the following year. This issue included a bound-in “Cinema Poster.”

August 30: Weekly Playboy No. 35

This was the last magazine to cover the movie’s inaugural month, but plenty more were on the way. The article this time was short but full of positivity…

Space Battleship Yamato: 20 records and 100 posters

Cooperation from Nippon Columbia, courtesy of Academy

Nowadays, there are probably no young people who do not know about Space Battleship Yamato. It is a feature-length science fiction anime that was broadcast on TV three years ago and has just been remade for the theater. In the film world, The Exorcist in 1974, Towering Inferno in 1975, and Jaws in 1976 were popular, but this time, Space Battleship Yamato is the topic of the year.

The story is set in the year 2199, when humanity is on the verge of extinction due to planet bombs from the planet Gamilas, which plots against Earth. Then a message arrives from the planet Iscandar, 148,000 light-years away, asking them to retrieve a radiation-removal device. So Yamato launches. The story depicts how Yamato fends off the attacks of the Gamilas and brings the device back to earth safely.

The film has become surprisingly popular. We are presenting the soundtrack record and poster of this film. The record, in particular, was inundated with pre-orders for 130,000 copies before its release. Please apply now!

Also spotted in August

One more doujinshi that earned the distinction of appearing in August 1977 was Yamato Graphic No. 1 from “Yamato Fan Alliance Ushichaman.” It appears to have been a parody manga, but a physical copy has yet to be found, so it’s just a guess. However, cataloging these things is MUCH easier when the publishing date appears right on the cover.

Newswatch: Headlines and highlights for August

For the sake of posterity, all of the press and magazine coverage for the Yamato movie was indexed in Office Academy’s Space Battleship Yamato Complete Records books (commonly known as the “silver set”). This allows us to see how newspapers and magazines reacted to the emerging phenomenon, which must have seemed to come out of nowhere. Here are headlines and highlights from that index.

(Translation note: “shimbun” means “newspaper.” The literal translation is shin/new • bun/hearsay)

With a big movie that is a big hit, Battleship Yamato is making a great start, and 100,000 advance tickets have already been sold. Will teen girls make fun of you if you don’t watch Space Battleship Yamato?
Sports Nippon, Film Summer Festival, August 1

Space Battleship Yamato is a lively topic of conversation due to TV reruns, exploding sales of LP records, and the release of a movie.
Asahi Shinbun, August 5

Anime boom is in full swing
Nihon Keizai Shimbun, August 5

Space roman movie Space Battleship Yamato and America’s Star Wars on the verge of “unprecedented earnings”
Mainichi Shimbun, Saturday Report, August 6

Even blockbusters pale in comparison! Why is it so popular…
Hochi Shimbun, August 6

Yamato” a total success!
Sports Nippon, August 7

Yamato” explodes in popularity in search of midsummer dreams and coolness
Hochi Shimbun, August 7

Fast Forward! Space Battleship Yamato
Tokyo Chunichi Sports, August 7

“Battleship Yamato” is strong!
Nikkan Sports, August 7

Yamato” is invincible!
Daily Sports, August 7

A different kind of anime!
Tokyo Shimbun Echo, August 8

This is a masterpiece, a first-class animation film.
University Newspaper, Viewing Desk, August 9

Space Battleship Yamato‘s continued success
Sports Nippon, August 9

The Growing Affection
Weekly Music Journal, August 10

Battleship “Yamato” Surfaces in its 33rd Year: Oneness with the Screen, Excited Spectators!
Tokyo Shimbun, August 11

Popularity is worldwide
Hokkai Times Entertainment, August 11

Producer Nishizaki himself is surprised by the big hit and the spectacular roman he received.
Hochi Shimbun, August 11

Teenagers are dazed by the “Yamato soul” theme song
Daily Sports, August 12

Interesting and imaginative idea Space Battleship Yamato
Asahi Shimbun, Nagoya, August 12

The Yamato boom is unmissable, so it’s been made into a movie.
The Yomiuri Shimbun, August 13

The movie is a big hit and boom is at its peak.
Osaka Nichinichi Shimbun, August 13

“Battleship Yamato” revives, more than ever popular in movies, records, and publications
Hochi Shimbun, August 14

Producer Nishizaki plays four roles, leading the charge
Tokyo Chunichi Sports, Today’s Face, August 15

1,500 people rush to the invitation ticket distribution for Space Battleship Yamato, causing a big commotion.
Chunichi Shimbun, August 17

Isao Sasaki resurfaces in Space Battleship Yamato
Sankei Sports, August 17

Japanese films are fighting a good fight in the summer movie season, and at times Space Battleship Yamato has become a huge hit and the biggest topic of the summer
Mainichi Shimbun, August 17

Do you remember? The passionate blood of Yamato!
Weekly Heibon, August 18

The overflowing “dream and adventurous spirit” of the combination of human and mechanisms is interesting.
Wive’s Journal, August 19

Infinite Fantasy Movie Space Battleship Yamato
Nagoya Times Ekimae, August 19

Tremendous popularity among young people. Similar to “SL” and “Supercars”
The Chunichi Shimbun, August 19

A future version of “Journey to the West”? Or is it? It’s fun to use your imagination freely.
Daily Sports, August 20

The business spirit of Space Battleship Yamato
The reason for its irresistible appeal — the appeal of mechanisms, the presence of a father figure that has faded in the modern times, and the discovery of human potential.
Nagoya Times, August 20

The “Battleship Yamato” is revived in a life-and-death crisis of human existence.
New Kansai Shimbun, August 20

A large number of young people lined up for Yamato, attracted by its justice and courage
The Nishinippon Shimbun, August 20

The target was Space Battleship Yamato, and young people rushed to movie theaters
The Asahi Shimbun, August 20

Yamato‘s amazing popularity
Mainichi Shimbun, August 20

A rare occurrence occurs in the movie industry in summer. Space Battleship Yamato is a big boom in Kyushu
Sports Nippon, August 21

Space Battleship Yamato, which was on the verge of sinking, breaks the jinx and makes a great comeback!
Tokyo Sports, August 21

Space Battleship Yamato is a movie that brings the coolness of “battle” to boys and girls, and the nostalgia of childhood to adults.
The Nishinippon Shimbun, August 22

Producer Nishizaki is already fighting for a sequel.
The Yomiuri Shimbun, Western Edition, August 22

Space Battleship Yamato invites you to an unknown world.
Tokyo Shimbun, August 23

Leader Dessler Banzai. The true man, Captain Okita Juzo.
Kurikuri, August 25

Long lines for “roman.” A novel roman with a theme of a future space war attracts young people.
The Yomiuri Shimbun, August 27

For the generation that doesn’t know about war, Yamato, which travels to the end of the universe hundreds of thousands of light-years away, is a bigger craze than supercars.
Osaka Nichinichi Shimbun, August 28

The haunted popularity of Space Battleship Yamato is likely to trigger a huge animation boom.
Weekly Myojo, August 28

A hot young audience lined up all night long and brought their own food to fight against the rain.
New Kansai Shimbun, August 28

Super popular Space Battleship Yamato. Fan clubs publish magazines to communicate with each other.
Mainichi Junior High School Newspaper, August 29

During the long rainy summer vacation, the anime movie gets the last laugh
Yugan Fuji, August 30

As an expression of dreams, roman, adventure, and love, the idea of a ship flying in the sky was born, which led to the battleship Yamato.
Information and Communication, August 31

What’s Next

September and October bring more of everything: the next wave of media coverage, the first Roman Album, doujinshis, new products, and validation for those who had kept the fires burning since the start. See it all in Vintage Report 6 here!


For further reading:

One fan’s negative review of the movie

Yoshinobu Nishizaki talks about opening day

A detailed account of the opening in The Law of Anime Hit Movies


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *