Yamato 2205 Episode 1 Commentary

by Kathy Clarkson, Anton Mei Brandt, and Tim Eldred

Before we get started: with our past commentaries, we intentionally waited until there was an official English-language release. I made the editorial decision to wait until the end of 2022 for some news of 2205 getting an import, and to proceed if we didn’t hear anything. And we didn’t hear anything, so we’re proceeding. That means, of course, that reading this commentary will spoil the entire story for you. On the other hand, if you’ve already secured and watched your own copy, this can stand in as a translation until something official eventually turns up.

Episode 1: A galactic war is about to break out! Gather the Yamato fleet!

We open on a colorful panorama of galactic space. Abelt Dessler is speaking.

[KC]: I’m going to jump right in here because it amuses me to disrespect His Majesty and say that I am thrilled to be back doing commentary for this series! It’s been quite a while since we wrapped up 2202 and I hope all is well. Also really looking forward to getting into what is arguably to date the most pro-Garmillas of the stories in this entire franchise.

[AMB]: Likewise! We wrapped up the series commentary for 2202 almost two years ago as of this writing. Feels like it was yesterday. And yes, as you say, this will be a very Garmillas-centric story; much to your own delight I presume!

[KC]: It’s no secret that I wanted this after all the Dessler family background I got from 2202.

[AMB]: This should be a given at this point, but while we will do our best to catch any viewer up on the minutiae of 2202’s story, we will refrain from writing extensively about it. If there are any questions about these elements, please post them here or take a trip back to the 2202 commentaries.

[KC]: Yes, there are definitely some references to 2202 plot elements in 2205, so while we will be touching on a few things here and there, I am going to presume that those reading along are familiar with the story so far.

“The infinite universe. Within the twinkling lights of these countless stars, there are many forms of life.”

[AMB]: The proceeding narration by Dessler is taken word for word from the opener of the original New Voyage. This trend of parsing out the narrator’s role in the original series to in-universe characters began in 2199, when Yuki recited the original Series 1 narration. In 2202, Zordar altered the original narration at the start, then returned to its roots at the end. As a narrative trick, it not only serves as a quirky callback to past titles, but also works in reassuring older audiences that the core of the original work won’t be neglected.

[KC]: I know folks that would disagree, but for the most part I have been enjoying familiar plots being reimagined. Of course I am basing this off of the fan reaction to 2202 and thinking of those who did not appreciate the liberties taken with Zordar’s backstory. You and I are in agreement that the adaptations and expansions are welcome enhancements, but not everyone is. And not to play our cards too soon, but we also both already know that 2205 is going to take some sharp left turns.

[AMB]: All this said, we don’t discourage anyone who happens to disagree with what we’ll say here. Quite the opposite, in fact! Sometimes we’ve been wrong on technical details, and other times our theories and conclusions haven’t sat well with fellow fans. This is natural, and we invite anyone to engage who wishes to enrich this experience! These commentaries are conversations, after all.

[KC]: Agreed. I’m very comfortable with my bias, but I don’t expect everyone to share it.

Armored tanks rumble down a snowy, icy path where ruined structures line the road. Figures in tattered cloaks and garments carry small children and possessions under the observation of armed men in uniform. The uniforms are unfamiliar, but we get a close shot of one of the cloaked figures and see that they are blue-skinned. Dessler’s voice continues.

“Love…Hope…Ambition…War…”

[AMB]: First impressions are key. At this point, no music is used to inform us of where we are, or how this location is connected to any previous story in the reboot, nor the original saga. We’ve seen the icy moon of Enceladus in 2199 before… but a snowy planet? Intrigue builds for a grand reveal. Fans of Yamato III should already be aware of a singular possibility: a Bolar Federation planet.

In the original saga’s third series, the Bolar Federation was a large conglomeration of green-blue Slavic-esque races united under the tyranny of forced unity. It was led by President Bemuraze [Bemlayze in Star Blazers], who had a penchant for severe and cruel punishments to stomp out counter-revolutionary thoughts. Their union, a not-so-subtle allegory to the Soviet Union before its downfall, served as the primary antagonist in Yamato III’s second half. What role could they play this time around?

[KC]: Hopefully a more coherent one. Like many American fans, I was disappointed with the story we got originally. Fair warning that this will probably come up A LOT.

[AMB]: Is this concern related to Yamato III’s messy production issues, or the change in dub direction? Or perhaps something else entirely? As a Scandinavian Matsumoto fan who only ever had the opportunity to watch Starzinger and Galaxy Express 999 in Swedish, my experience with the Star Blazers dub from across the pond is limited. Though I am tangentially aware of the initial backlash to Yamato III.

[KC]: Initially for me, it was the voices. The O.G. voice actors brought such iconic charm to the characters that they proved irreplaceable. Series 3’s cast just didn’t measure up. You can read interviews with the original game changers here.

As a Gamilon fangirl in general and a General Talan fan in particular, having his character demoted in the Star Blazers dub to “Sergeant Masterson” was a real bummer. Yeah, we can see that he has Victorian facial hair, but the man already has an established name and reputation, you monsters.

A bit later on I talk about Dessler’s character arc being rather anticlimactic and disappointing in Series 3, but one other thing I will mention here is the plot feeling very disjointed in general. It was not until many years later that I learned of the original plan for the series to be twice as long as the previous two, only to be cut in half while in progress. Reminds me of some of the problems faced by Blake’s 7 (a BBC space opera), but I don’t want to digress.

[AMB]: The reboot saga has done its best to spread out the kernels of Yamato III throughout, so whatever’s done with the original source material will likely be both fresh and new.

One of the blue-skinned figures dashes from the line and makes a run for it. An armed guard, eyes glowing red in their helmet, raises a weapon of some sort. There is a piercing sound and the figure drops to the snow, the bundle they were clutching falling open to reveal a number of small, identical clay idols.

“Despite housing all of them, the universe continues to exist endlessly in silence.”

[AMB]: As if vetting the audience for their previous knowledge, the tantalizing image of a familiar stolen goddess is revealed. Slaves, executions, deadly slave collars, blue folk secretly praying to religious idols… this has to be Planet Galman.

Yamato III originally took place after the first two series and films. In Yamato 2, Dessler’s journey ends with him vowing to rekindle his capacity for love. New Voyage ends with his homeworld’s destruction, and loss of the woman he loved, Starsha. Only then, after having lost everything, does he properly set out on his promised journey to find his race a new planet to call home. This planet would end up being the Gamilas’ ancestral homeworld of Galman, located somewhere within the Milky Way Galaxy.

Upon its rediscovery, Dessler finds it is occupied by the Bolar Federation, which had taken upon itself the task of enslaving Galman’s aboriginal population. For salvation and deliverance, they pray to the Goddess of peace and pacifism, Mother Shalbart. In her stead, Dessler makes an entrance, violently overthrowing the Bolar regime and instigating a large-scale galactic war. Not only does this scene borrow from Yamato III in themes and story, it directly references the Yamato III narrator’s swift and efficient introduction of the Bolar Federation administrators.

[KC]: Yamato III provided a great solution to Dessler’s search for a new home, but it never sat very well with me that the man who spoke so nobly of love and making a change is as fascist as ever when we get a glimpse of his new empire. That parade? Yikes. Look, I love the cape, too. That doesn’t mean he gets to learn nothing but be the victim this time around because we (not so) secretly dig authoritarianism. I can’t wait to see what 2205 does with this, since 2199 went Full Adolf and 2202 did all kinds of mental and plot gymnastics to bring us an Abelt that seems to genuinely not want to do this anymore.

[AMB]: To bring viewers up to speed: 2199 took many cues from Yamato III in its depiction of Garmillas and its social structure, stirring these into the reboot. Dessler was depicted both as his young, brash and mentally unstable self from the first series, but also as the idealistic Roman-esque dictator who believed autocracy and imperialism to be necessary for galactic stability.

[KC]: Abelt and I are good. I will always be partial to the original character, but 2202 really goes out of its way to give us a sympathetic and somewhat younger version of our favorite totalitarian. Plus, to be honest, Abelt may be on a road to succeeding where his predecessor failed.

[AMB]: I concur with your assessment that Abelt would rather not fill the shoes of the iron-fisted dictator anymore. Back in 2202, he did tell his nephew Ranhart that if the people wanted another Dessler to lead them, it should be him. But for reasons related to Ranhart’s exit from the story, it soon won’t matter what Abelt wants for himself. Duty binds him.

We move inside what looks like a cathedral, most of which is empty and in shadow. Bathed in light at the far end of the hall is an extremely tall version of the same statue. The eyes have crumbled or been blasted away.

“Because it is so vast, the universe sometimes leads us to coincidences that can only be called miracles.”

[AMB]: At the end of 2202, Dessler sets out on a journey to find a new home for his people. In the original saga, this journey was necessitated by the complete destruction of Garmillas. But that story element is no more. Sure, the planet is on the verge of dying, but last we heard it has at least 50 years left! As a consequence, 2205’s writing team – once again spearheaded by Harutoshi Fukui and Hideki Oka – sped up the introduction of Galman to coincide with the forthcoming story beats from the original New Voyage.

[KC]: Yes, these are the guys I want filling in these blanks for me. One part nostalgia, two parts fresh new take.

[AMB]: Agreed! This time, they’re also joined by Yuka Minagawa, who wrote the 2202 novelizations, as well as the entire script of Age of Yamato. They’re all fans of the original work, just like us.

Due to 2202’s impeccable finesse at sowing seeds for future storylines from the original saga, the early accommodations for both the New Voyage journey of discovery, and the quest for a new homeworld gave rise to a melding of stories for 2205. This early introduction to (what we can only presume to be) Mother Shalbart’s statue is by no means a simple reference, and is likely meant to sow seeds for future stories to be told in the next series, Rebel 3199.

[KC]: How this Dessler handles worship of this figure by his military officers will be telling.

[AMB]: He originally had quite the temper when it came to religious worship, didn’t he? This time around, he’s shown incredible reverence and love for the Iscandarians. Though perhaps seeing another tribe of Garmillans worshiping another idol just might be what tips him over the edge in the future. On that note, any idea why the statue’s eyes are gouged out? Was it done out of irreverence by the Bolar occupiers, or is it a conscious design choice to show that her justice is blind?

[KC]: I don’t believe that the smaller statues dropped by the Galman who makes a break for it and gets his collar activated had their faces disfigured. It could be artistic coincidence, but I doubt it.

[AMB]: Then let’s settle for the slashed eyes being part and parcel of the Bolar menace. That said, some upcoming 2205 plot developments will lend credence to the idea that this Galman idol might originally have been an Iscandarian herself.

A line of uniformed people sits at the base of the statue with armed guards standing along the sides. Kneeling before the statue is a large gathering of individuals in ornate robes.

[KC]: Based on the design of the costumes, the statue business and the original Series 3, I’m going to say that these guys are likely priests, but officially we don’t know who they are yet.

[AMB]: Priests, clergymen, or radical fundamentalists… one thing’s for sure: they pray to someone, or something akin to Mother Shalbart.

Between these two groups stands Dessler of Garmillas.

“Don’t you think so, ladies and gentlemen of the Bolar Federation?” Dessler asks with the smallest hint of a smile. The familiar twang of a cimbalom fills the scene with music. “As I’ve explained repeatedly, Planet Galman has an ideal environment for the survival of the people of Garmillas. It’s a miraculous match.”

[AMB]: Before more pertinent music is played in this new interpretation of The New Voyage, we receive the Bolar Federation theme. Arguably one of the most memorable pieces by Hiroshi Miyagawa, its presence is signified by a traditional Belarusian folk instrument called a cimbalom. Hiroshi’s son Akira is once more in charge of both conducting and composing the reboot’s score in 2205.

[KC]: I think it’s an incredibly well done piece of music, reminiscent of genuine Slavic compositions, and it makes me feel sad because of the haunting melody of the cimbalom and because I know what’s coming. But there’s another theme coming up shortly that I’m far more attached to.

[AMB]: Involuntary humming, commence! The Bolar Federation theme does carry a heavy sense of melancholy, doesn’t it? Hopefully, with as much promise and mystique as this leitmotif carries, the reboot will fully explore the rise of the Bolar Federation in greater detail than the original works did.

The members of the Bolar Federation that Dessler is addressing do not seem impressed. Or happy. We see the outside of the building they’re standing in, and the architecture is indeed reminiscent of Garmillas. Above the building floats a Bolar ship.

[AMB]: Eagle-eyed mecha fanatics will easily recognize the ship as a Bolar Heavy Spacecraft Carrier, this time illustrated by the legendary mecha designer Miki Akitaka, who for whatever reason took a special fancy to this particular design. But this ship design isn’t his first rodeo in the reboot: he was sneakily tasked with designing the “mysterious alien ship” (in reality, a Bolar Battleship Type B) salvaged on Mars in the prequel portion of Age of Yamato, a technological leap that led to the two interplanetary wars of the pre-Garmillan war era of Earth’s spacefaring history.

Famous for his work on Gundam ZZ (alongside 2199 director Yutaka Izubuchi, and 2202 Mecha Designer Makoto Kobayashi), Akitaka was thrilled to be offered the part of designing the mecha for both the Bolar Federation and the incoming Dark Nebula Empire faction. As a fan of the original New Voyage and Be Forever, this job was a dream come true for Akitaka.

The Bolar ships are noted in the 2205 mecha guide as constructed with concealment technology, meant to aid in consistent traversal through “dense interstellar matter.” What this hints at is yet unknown.

“No matter how vast the universe is, there’s sure to be no other planet that will fit the criteria so well.”

[AMB]: In an odd return to the old, the Yamato reboot surprisingly chooses to take real world cues in its depiction of a new antagonistic force. The church that serves as the Bolar Federation’s impromptu meeting hall is, at least to me, clearly inspired not only by Garmillas, but of Moscow’s famous castles and churches. So too are the Bolar garments, hats and tanks (likely inspired by the Russian army). Though less so the tanks; they’re still mainly inspired by Yamato III.

[KC]: It’s interesting because while a number of similarities exist between the Garmillas military and Germany between World Wars I and II, their ship design, architecture and civilian clothing is pretty Alien Space Opera.

[AMB]: Exactly. The reboot’s staff have made it expressly clear in the past that tenuous connections to the real world’s wars and conflicts should be avoided, if possible. It’s for this reason that we never got to see the sinking of the original Yamato in WW2 for 2199, nor the Musashi on-screen in 2202. We did get to see a bittersweet commemorative re-sinking of the reconstructed original Yamato in Age of Yamato, however. Neat callback.

[KC]: It makes sense, but you’re right that they’re drawing inspiration from Russian design.

Back inside, we now see those kneeling from the front. Their expressions are grim and they wear jeweled collars.

“That’s because the people of Galman and Garmillas are siblings that share common roots. There’s a theory that this planet could be the origin of the Garmillan people. But let’s leave the past out of this for now. For Bolar, this place is one of many resource planets located in the middle of nowhere. I believe your loss will be minimal. In exchange, Garmillas will forge an alliance with Bolar, and we’ll do our best to help you expand.”

[AMB]: In Yamato III, planet Galman’s citizens were said to be the Gamilas’ ancestral people. By mere fluke, Dessler rediscovers this ancestral homeworld, somewhere in the Milky Way, during his search for a new home in the wake of the original New Voyage.

On the topic of where Planet Galman is in 2205, Yamato’s esteemed SF researcher and concept writer Shinya Ogura gave us the scientific answer in the 13th volume of the Japanese Star Blazers fan club magazine:

“As mentioned in the program book for Chapter 1, Galman is located in the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy. There is a good reason for this. Recent studies have shown that the components of the Large Magellanic Galaxy and the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy are identical. In addition, there is a theory that the two galaxies were once a single companion galaxy that broke up long ago. In Chapter 1, Dessler said there is a theory that the Garmillas and Galman people have a single ancestor. By linking the causality with the actual formation of the universe, I think this statement becomes more realistic.” (Read the article here.)

To the shock of one of the robed figures, Dessler takes a knee before the Bolar leaders, who look down at him with a mixture of contempt and boredom.

“I’m left begging for your help,” Dessler finishes. “In order to save the people of Garmillas, who are on the brink of extinction. Please.”

There is a flash of Mattheus Dessler as Abelt remembers his older brother and the oath he swore as a boy. Then the sharp sound of metal hitting stone as the Bolar Governor tosses a collar to the ground before him.

[AMB]: Background note: 38 years ago, when Dessler was an 8-year old boy, his curiosity doomed him to make a fateful promise with his older brother Mattheus, and to commit to a blood oath. He’d unwittingly overheard his uncle – and unifier of Garmillas, Erich – speak the truth about Garmillas’ fate as a dying planet, and how it had about a century left in its lifespan. Abelt’s choice at that point was either to die, or live the rest of his life carrying the burden of this secret; to seek a new home for Garmillas.

[KC]: Clearly, this is a Dessler who has learned a lesson or two in humility. I really like the movement effect they use as he provides this show of deference. And the way his cape is perfectly laid out on the ground like he’s in a wedding photo? Doctor Strange’s Cloak of Levitation wishes it was Dessler’s cape. On a less frivolous note, Dessler has always been a pretty intuitive character, but I don’t think we ever learn whether he hoped the Bolar would accept his offer or not.

[AMB]: Though I’m sure he secretly hoped they would be stupid enough to reject his deal, he likely saw a peaceful alternative as preferable in the post-Gatlantis war era. Both the EDF and Garmillan navies are likely still severely crippled, so nobody stands to benefit from another such conflict. But let’s say they did agree to his terms. What are the odds he was planning to betray them later down the line?

[KC]: I’d like to think that a Dessler who has learned his lesson wouldn’t be planning a double-cross. That being said, I’m sure Abelt still considers Garmillas citizens (and himself in particular) to be generally superior. It’s not betrayal if they ultimately recognize his greatness and put him in charge. Actually, that’s more the mindset of the original character. So long as his people are taken care of, and his promise to his brother is fulfilled, I don’t know how important it is to Abelt that he remains in charge. He has said more than once that he doesn’t really want the job.

[AMB]: He expressed such feelings in his heart-to-heart with Ranhart in Teresa’s chamber, after all. He wants to be done, but he can’t quit until he’s redeemed himself and saved his race. Which is why I’m partially inclined to believe he’d rather not see the people of Galman remain slaves any longer than necessary.

[KC]: Oh, he is almost certainly about to make the Bolar very, very unhappy.

“The Bolar Federation’s Permanent Administration is indeed generous. We’ll have mercy on Garmillas. Dessler, pick up the choker.”

The robed figure who had been shocked earlier looks on with resentment. The Bolar governor continues.

“Alliance? How preposterous. You’ll work as Bolar’s hands and feet until-”

Dessler abruptly stands. So does one of the Bolar.

“You’d better not be thinking of anything foolish! Your ship is surrounded by our fleet!”

Dessler remains there, eyes closed and serene, as the Bolar continue to point and shout at him.

[AMB]: The first man (middle chair) speaking down to Dessler is named Vilke Boroze (or Birki Burroughs, if you wish to romanize it). The man to Vilke’s right is his snarky secretary Cheff Rebarus (Or Čech Levals).

In Yamato III, these men were in charge of Planet Berth, another slave and resource colony under the Bolar Federation’s iron grip. Boroze issued orders and Rebarus carried them out, most often in the form of executions. Boroze’s failure to quell a prisoner uprising would later end with President Bemuraze completely annihilating Planet Berth – with Boroze and Revals still on it – as punishment.

This retributive justice was a common trend in the Bolar Federation, often used to demoralize citizens/prisoners from committing future uprisings. Sound familiar? This story element has been borrowed by 2199, both for its prison planet episode, as well as for Gimleh’s destruction of Altera in Episode 15.

Read more about how the reboot saga has found unique ways to resurrect the past here.

[KC]: He’s so chill and they’re so indignant. This is going to be spectacular.

[AMB]: Poor odds, outmatched, outnumbered, surrounded on all sides… if Dessler makes it out of this unscathed, such an act would be spectacular indeed.

“You might be thinking of a surprise attack with your famed Dessler Cannon, in case this negotiation breaks down.”

We see a fleet of Bolar ships in orbit surrounding Dessler’s newest flagship.

“But we’ll sink your ship the moment you start charging energy! Now, King of Garmillas, it’s your move.”

[KC]: Don’t give him a move, you fool. This is his show right now!

[AMB]: Hearing Dessler referred to as “King of Garmillas” might have purposefully revealed the Bolar Federation’s lack of distinction between classes of authoritarianism, imperialism and monarchy. To them, as a galactic federation, autocracy as a whole might simply just be defined as one element. Or perhaps their own leader – undoubtedly still Bemuraze from Yamato III – is their King? So many questions!

But an even better one remains: since the Bolar Federation is unpleasantly aware of the destructive capabilities of Dessler’s “famed Dessler cannon,” does this mean that the Bolars and Garmillans have encountered each other before? Or perhaps that the Bolars have extensive knowledge of the Garmillans? Maybe Dessler’s first contact with the Bolars was a brutal skirmish, taking place between series?

[KC]: Spoiler Alert! Well, not exactly, but just a few moments from now, this episode will reveal that the Garmillas and the Bolar have certainly heard of one another, whether by direct conflict or reputation.

[AMB]: Mecha note: Dessler’s new flagship (the “Super Gelvadez-class space transport”) was first seen at the very end of 2203AD, in 2202’s final episode, cruising towards what can now be presumed to be the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy. According to 2205’s mecha notes, sometime after the war with Gatlantis – likely within the half-year time gap between Episodes 25 and 26 of 2202 – Dessler reached a diplomatic settlement with Garmillas’ democratic government. In exchange for pursuing his quest to find a new homeworld, this new ship class (based on the famous Gelvadez-class) was commissioned on behalf of Admiral Gul Dietz to serve as Dessler’s new flagship.

It’s described as a very large ship, planned and built independently on the 23rd Arsenal colony planet. It was designed to transport supplies and personnel over long distances, built with the intention to explore exoplanets. It’s exactly the kind of ship Dessler would need to aid his search.

Thanks to this curious tidbit of information, we can now decipher Dessler and the democratic faction on Garmillas’ last, wordless scene in 2202: Dessler was inaugurating his new flagship.

Mecha notes for 2205 can be found here.

[KC]: Something I’ve been speculating on as to how they were going to handle since Admiral Dietz remained with President Hyss while General Talan took off to search for Abelt.

[AMB]: Eagle-eyed viewers should also be able to spot Dessler’s even more famous core-ship from 2199 (rebuilt by Gatlantis in 2202), resting comfortably on the Super Gelvadez’ hull. In the original saga, Dessler’s blue flagship disappeared between Yamato 2 and New Voyage, inexplicably replaced by a red Gelvadez-class ship.

“Let’s forget about your rude display,” Boroze pipes up. “The choker…pick it up.”

Among the robed men, the one we have seen reacting begins to draw an ornate dagger from his side, and is stopped by the significantly older Galman next to him, who addresses him as Kíl.

Kíl starts to protest, but both men turn in surprise as Dessler begins counting down from five (in Garmillan).

When he reaches zero, the flagship he has left in orbit explodes.

[KC]: KA-BOOM!!! This time, Dessler is not the antagonist of the story. Things can finally go his way. You love to see it.

[AMB]: I sure do! Now tell me Kathy: how does it feel to hear your supreme leader counting down in Garmillan, something we haven’t heard since 2199? And what would you say if I were to tell you that Kíl’s full name is… Kíl Keeling? Surely the name rings some bells?

[KC]: Always with the drama, that one. That is interesting since there was a Keeling in the background of 2199. I guess his family goes way back. I will talk about him at length a bit later.

The energy wave blows away the Bolar ships, literally. The atmosphere in the building is charged. Robed Galmans begin looking around in surprise while their Bolar slavers start to panic. The Bolar leaders are informed that communications have gone down. Furious, Boroze rises from his seat, demanding that Dessler tell them what he did.

Dessler smiles and shrugs dismissively, saying nothing. The familiar opening strains of Dessler Attacks kick in as Dessler’s *brand new* flagship – the Deusula III – activates its SMITE system, warping in dozens of Dolcia torpedo bombers for a sneak attack. They make quick work of the stunned Bolar vanguard, then quickly turn back. Dessler’s main forces follow suit, all appearing in Bolar space to do battle.

[AMB]: In a surprise turn of events, Dessler scuttles his own flagship, downing the iconic core ship from the original saga! The hostage becomes the hostage taker, as an EMP knocks out the Bolar Administration’s ability to communicate with their fleets, and by extension their far-off superiors.

[KC]: Remember earlier when you were asking me about music I’m attached to? This is the expression on my face right now.

[AMB]: The original bad boy enters the stage with his most famous theme. Not only that, we get some iconic real-world inspired dive bomber sound effects in connection with the Snukas; a reference to Dessler’s original dive bombing operation against Yamato near the end of Yamato 2! Back then, he also used his iconic SMITE warp system to blindside our hero ship. Because 2202 chose to adapt Abelt’s final charge against Yamato closer to Farewell’s depiction, we never got this moment from Yamato 2. Until now.

Fomto Berger, commanding his beloved Gaipellon-class Lambea, leads a frontal assault with multiple Kripitera-class destroyers. From aboard Dessler’s new flagship, General Talan launches squadrons of Snuka dive bombers. The resulting battle is terrible for the Bolar and wonderful to behold.

On Galman’s surface, the Bolar garrison of spaceships and ground forces musters in response, delayed by the ensuing chaos. Before they can depart, however, Garmillan torpedoes destroy the Bolar airstrip. A familiar periscope peeks out from under an icy lake, from which Lieutenant Commander Frakken observes the chaos. He announces that their job is done and they can enjoy the fireworks. Beside him, his ever-present right arm Gol Hainy chuckles gleefully.

“Poor Bolar,” he says. “Times have changed.”

[KC]: Back to your hypothetical about these two having clashed prior to this, I’d still say this could be interpreted either way. Perhaps more clues will follow.

[AMB]: Either way, Frakken’s definitely staked out this place beforehand. This operation was airtight – pun intended!

Berger originally never had the chance to fight side-by-side with Dessler, instead perishing at the Rainbow Star Cluster in the original saga. A dream scenario come true! His Lambea was last seen in Ark of the Stars, where it suffered catastrophic damage at the hand of the Gatlantean mercenary ship Megaluda. It’s been undergoing extensive repairs ever since, which is why Berger had to settle for a leased Garmillan-esque Andromeda off-shoot back in 2203’s war with Gatlantis. Lambea’s been upgraded with tons of heavy weaponry, making it a strong supporting unit for the Deusula III. It is now formally designated as an experimental “Heavy Arms Unit”. It’s currently supported by half a dozen blue imperial Kripitera-class destroyers, formerly part of Gimleh’s Imperial guard. This helps to visually reiterate Berger’s 2202 appeal to politics, solidifying him as a die-hard conservative.

Frakken’s wipeout of his Bolar opposition, on the other hand, is another dream scenario that never quite made it into the original Yamato III. Canonically speaking, Frakken’s the only commander in the original saga to have ever bested Yamato, lived to tell the tale, and never since been beaten. Sadly for him, once his job was done in Yamato III, he never made another appearance, not even to fight the Bolars on Dessler’s side.

[KC]: Another spinoff idea wasted.

Above the cathedral on Galman, Dessler’s new flagship has arrived with a couple escort ships, each aiming their spotlights on the Bolar HQ. Inside, the Bolar are furious with Dessler. Weapons are drawn and aimed in his direction when laser fire suddenly cuts through the Bolar from the crowd of kneeling Galmans. Three Garmillas soldiers hidden within the group reveal themselves.

[AMB]: Keep these spotlights in mind for later…

Declaring them animals, the Bolar who will shortly be identified as Governor Boroze lifts a device (like the one the soldier outside used earlier), but it is shot out of his hand by Dessler himself. The Galman slaves look on in amazement as the scene unfolds.

[AMB]: This scene brings to mind two disparate elements, first and foremost being the original promotional poster released for 2205 Chapter 1. In it, Dessler’s depicted with his golden gun, in a pose reminiscent of the one he made in 2199 Ep 25, where he explains to Yuki the necessity for war and utilitarian sacrifices as a means to save his people.

In the 2205 poster, he says this: “Even so… to ‘live’…”, the meaning is left ambiguous, but the connection to 2199 is stark and apparent. Factoring in his promise to Ranhart in 2202, of how he will seek a new home that knows the value of love and peace, it becomes grimly clear that he’s willing to cross some moral boundaries to attain said home. Bolars be damned.

[KC]: He’s always been about making the necessary sacrifice.

[AMB]: The second disparate element I was about to mention is Dessler shooting Boroze in the shoulder. In Yamato III, it’s Rebarus who gets shot in the shoulder by a Yamato crew member, preventing him from issuing the order to execute prisoners. 2205’s Boroze however, lives to tell the tale.

[KC]: I think the fact that Abelt shoots to wound is significant.

[AMB]: Hey… that’s right!

“So, this controller activates the poison injection of the chokers,” Dessler muses, the device now in his hand. “How ridiculous.”

He turns to the Galmans, lifting the device high. “Brothers, the time of endurance and obedience is over.” Dessler presses a button on the device and all of the chokers simultaneously open. The Galmans tear them off and throw them to the ground. Dessler continues: “The history that lies ahead will be made by people with blue blood and blue skin, working hand in hand.” Then he turns to look over his shoulder at the Bolars. “You lot deserve nothing but fear.”

[AMB]: These chokers are a new element introduced to the story, and an effective one at that. Hard sci-fi at its harshest, but perhaps uncannily realistic. To force obedience on a planet-wide scale, it’s no surprise that a tool such as this would be implemented.

[KC]: Very much a part of the genre.

[AMB]: Would anyone be surprised to learn that Dessler’s freedom declaration was lifted from the original Yamato III liberation of planet Galman? No? Then let’s move on.

In this moment, Dessler’s essentially declared war on the Bolar Federation by forcibly seizing one of their outermost colonies and sending their pitiable governor home in a sorry state. Seeing Rebarus genuinely care about the man must mean he has some redeeming features, albeit not favorable ones to the Bolars. While this scene will be the last we see of him in 2205, don’t expect him to vanish come 3199 (which begins in the year 2207).

It’s interesting to note that Dessler distinguishes between the Galman people’s blue skin, and the Garmillan people’s noble blue blood. This is likely because, whereas the Galmans have been persecuted for the color of their skin, the Garmillans have been genetically disenfranchised by their unique blood. Come the end of 2205, however, Dessler will see that his kind’s likeness to the Galmans runs more than just skin-deep.

[KC]: Did you think there was something more to that? I figured it was just his eloquent way of tying Garmillas and Galman together in his speech.

[AMB]: Perhaps a bit of both. Maybe he just sees a chance at establishing himself at a new home, one not connected to all the trauma he’s faced in the past. Is Dessler going to build his own Thanos farm in the future?

Kíl looks down at the purple blood on his hand and makes a resolute fist. “This is the first step to nation-wide liberation,” says the older man next to him. “Let’s go, Kíl.” He heads off while Kíl stares at Dessler and the rest of the Galmans talk animatedly around them.

“He deserves to be the king,” Kíl says passionately. “A true king who unites the people of Galman and Garmillas.”

Dessler stands before them, brilliant light from the battle outside streaming down around him as his iconic cape flares out dramatically. He addresses his fleet in orbit as the Bolar governor is let go, free to leave in his ship.

“It all starts now. Planet Galman was liberated through your hard work. Leaving our dying planet Garmillas behind will mark the start for our grand plan of migrating our entire population to Planet Galman. Our fleet will temporarily leave this place in order to assist the emigration.”

[KC]: Wow, laying it on a bit thick aren’t we, Your Majesty? It’s okay; you’ve earned it.

[AMB]: Told you the spotlights would come in handy. The man was preparing for a flashy show before his speech had even started! The SFX for scenes with intense lighting will from here on out look strangely real, and that’s because Director Kenji Yasuda chose to implement real-world lighting in some scenes. This calls back to the original New Voyage’s implementation of the very same animation techniques.

Before moving on from this portion of 2205’s story, Kíl Keeling and the Elder are worth some attention. The old man, simply referred to as “Elder” in the character guide, is leader of Planet Galman’s Priest Clan. They ruled Galman for thousands of years before the Bolar showed up, a long-running tradition that sets them up to perhaps be an echo of Yamato III’s planet Shalbart, which we know has already lent many of its unique concepts to the current portrayal of Iscandar and its people. The character guide even goes so far as to claim that the Elder would gladly use the Garmillan people as shields, were the Bolar negotiations to break down. And Keeling? Believe it or not, he was created to serve as our direct counterpart to Yamato III’s Keeling. Even though… you know…

[KC]: Uhm…Abelt’s blood is purple. We’ve seen it a few times, now. This Keeling thing seems bizarre until I remember that the writers of 2199 are not the same as 2202 and 2205.

[AMB]: It’s only bizarre until you realize that those very same writers included 2199’s Keeling in 2202. Even gave him a brief speaking role. Perhaps they realized that the most obscure of background characters might fail to have the same impact in 3199, unless he’s reinvented from the ground up? Or, perhaps they will play on the pair sharing surnames in the future, to make a point about how one’s pious worship of Dessler, and another’s religious worship of Mother Shalbart is not dissimilar?

[KC]: Could be. Still strange for there to be two Keelings and not have Gaidel, the original Dessler’s number one fan, represented by name at all when characters like Frakken and Keeling have been included from the start of the reboot.

[AMB]: Strange indeed. That said, Gaidel’s DNA was clearly combined with that of Göer and Gimleh for 2199 and 2202, so in a way most of his core value has already been adapted. Even the idea that he has a personal connection to Frakken was just handed over to the new character Dietz. That said, characters like Gaidel (but not Dagon) were actually on the drawing board for 2205, as were Ageha and Shiro Kato. Because of the script getting denser, they were cut to make room for other players in this story.

Dessler is now seen back on his flagship, General Talan at his side and imperial guard clones manning the consoles.

[AMB]: There’s a nice bit of consistency here, seeing the imperial guard clones still serving Dessler after saving his life at the end of 2202.

[KC]: You mean those soldiers Talan sent in that killed Miru, when Dessler was no longer in danger, and compelled Zordar to hit the self destruct button?

[AMB]: They did their best out of loyalty and love. What more can I say?

[KC]: No judgment. I’m just still amused that Talan is indirectly to blame for the final showdown with Gatlantis.

[AMB]: They probably deserve to be judged a teeeeny tiny bit…

“I’ll leave the Dietz Fleet, dispatched from the home planet, to guard Planet Galman.”

On his own flagship, a golden Zoelguut, Admiral Dietz salutes.

[KC]: I brought this up earlier. Dietz wasn’t in 2202 much, and in 2199 it was never quite clear to me whether his loyalty was to Dessler or Garmillas. He clearly stayed with Hyss, and as you explained, Dessler and Hyss came to an agreement, so I guess Talan isn’t going to get in trouble for going AWOL to search for Dessler back in 2200.

[AMB]: 2202 had a lot of story threads and new characters to juggle, so many 2199 characters were left as benchwarmers for 2205. Dietz was a close ally to the Dessler regime, with a friendly bond to Wolf Frakken, but was sadly cast away as yet another scapegoat in connection to Domel’s phony trial by Gimleh’s imperial guard. Of course, it was never intended for Dietz and Domel to serve any extended sentences. They were sent to prison on a temporary basis to embolden the blue blood military faction led by Zoellick to enact their failed coup attempt.

Sadly, while Domel’s sentence could be dealt with in a timely manner, the release order for Dietz (if it was ever sent) never reached his prison planet before Yamato arrived. For all we know, Dietz and Dessler have never had the opportunity to hash things out, as becomes apparent in Dessler’s brief but dismissive comment about Dietz to Talan.

At the end of 2199, Dietz was served by two colorful men named Lance Larkin and Orto Dolmen; the pair that protected Melda as Dietz’ friend Helder was being interned on a flimsy basis. We haven’t seen them since Dietz ordered Talan to scour the galaxy for Dessler remnants, and they don’t show up in 2205 even though their designs clearly originate from the original New Voyage.

[KC]: Is that how it happened? Dietz sent Talan out, they just didn’t expect him to find Dessler himself? In any event, it’s nice to see these 2199 characters being tied back into the story. And yeah, he may have sounded dismissive, but I think Dessler may simply be genuinely confident that Dietz can handle whatever the Bolar choose to throw at him.

[AMB]: On that, we’re in full agreement.

On the mecha: another piece of internal consistency is faithfully maintained! Back in 2199, it was established early on that the highest ranking military officers – like Domel and Zoellick – each had their own brand of Zoelguut, in a different color scheme. Domel’s was pure white, Zoellick’s was pure pink, and Ambassador Varel’s in 2202 was white with purple Akerian patterns. Now we finally see Dietz’ golden-hued variant.

It’s also in this scene that we see the final piece of Dessler’s new fleet: the Gaiperon-class Balmes, a sister ship to the Schderg from 2199 that’s been in Dietz’ custody until now. Since the original New Voyage established that Dessler needs a green carrier deck by his side, we received it once more.

“Dessler Fleet, set course for Planet Garmillas.”

Dessler’s flagship heads off with its contingent of ships. On the bridge, Dessler is having a drink while Talan speculates that the Bolar will likely return for Planet Galman. Dessler is confident that Dietz will hold out and Talan shifts focus.

“It’s strange…finding a planet like this after only two years of wandering. That moon looks almost like…”

Talan does not finish his sentence, but from the music and our own eyes we can see the resemblance to Iscandar.

[AMB]: Keep this observation in mind as the story moves forward. It’s more than just a coincidence that this planet’s moon is so similar to Iscandar.

[KC]: If only the Yamato franchise were like the Star Wars franchise. We would get a television series of what happened during those two years.

[AMB]: We sure would! But were we to get something akin to a Star Wars-esque spinoff, I’d rather have an Andor over a Book of Boba Fett, or a Rogue One over a Last Jedi, if you catch my drift. And on another note, how do you feel about Talan becoming Dessler’s full-time second-in-command in the reboot?

[KC]: Andor was amazing and I definitely prefer “Rebellion Era” stories, but I don’t want to fall down that discussion hole. As for Talan, it’s nice to see him getting recognized as a command-level officer since they chose to cut his cool original Comet Empire series escape scene from 2202.

[AMB]: Duly noted. Though that prison break scene was swiped by Keyman in 2202. So… Talan: A Brother Story when?

[KC]: Another one for the spinoff list.

“I forgot to tell you,” Dessler is solemnly watching a hologram of his nephew, Ranhart Dessler (AKA Klaus Keyman), as the moon of Galman looms in the background. “When you find a new planet, please plant some maleidel flowers. Mother loved them. I’ll look for a planet with it. That way, I’ll know which. I hope to see you on our new home planet someday.”

“Ranhart,” Dessler says softly as the hologram ends. “I can finally fulfill my promise.”

[KC]: Who’s chopping onions in here?

[AMB]: Unfortunately for Abelt, he made some hefty promises to many an estranged family member over the years, and now has to carry that weight regardless of what he thinks.

[KC]: The cape has reinforced shoulders.

[AMB]: Haha, touché. Now, this message from Ranhart isn’t the first one in the reboot. Age of Yamato revealed that he left quite a few entries behind for various crew members. Some were included in the movie, and some we have to presume will never see the light of day. Here’s hoping Akira received one. On the topic of those flowers, don’t forget to look out for Garmillan flowers going forward. They might just play a role.

A different but familiar holographic face appears: Susumu Kodai.

“Those were his last words to you, which were discovered in Yamato’s data bank after it had made it home. Earth still glows blue because he protected it. Leader Dessler, where are you right now? I hope this message reaches you.”

Then the transmission ends. Dessler smiles fondly. “That boy from Yamato…”

[KC]: Ah, I see what you did there, sir.

[AMB]: This scene shares a connection to Hideaki Yamamoto’s first script draft for the original New Voyage. Yuki and Kodai were to get married on Hero’s Hill, way before the planned ceremony we see in Final Yamato. But Kodai feels as if the sacrifice of Kato and other compatriots in the war with Gatlantis, invalidates their right to marry into happiness. Ringing any bells? In 2199, this concept became Kato and Makoto’s marriage on Yamato, exchanging roles with Kodai and his then presumed-deceased partner, Yuki.

Among the heroes Kodai thinks of is Dessler. His visage flares in his eyes, as he asks himself: “Where did Dessler go…?” With that, we cut to the suave space dictator, a complete reversal of what we see here in 2205.

We transition to December 31st, 2203. Yamato returns from Teresa’s dimension to Earth, carrying Kodai and Yuki. An unseen crowd of supporters chants the ship’s name. On a highway, far removed from the audible fanfare, a young boy cradles a dying man. “Yamato,” he scowls. The on-screen text transitions from 2203, to 2204, and finally back to the present: 2205.

[AMB]: And the full title fills the screen at last! Space Battleship Yamato 2205 [Star Blazers], A New Voyage. Many of you might already be aware that the reboot’s timeline hasn’t always presented itself in a clear fashion. This changed with the release of the Age of Yamato movie, which clearly set Yamato’s return in the last episode of 2202 to be on December 31st, 2203. Since that episode took place 6 months after the main conflict, it’s reasonable to presume that most of 2202 happened in that year. At least 2202 began in the winter of 2202.

[KC]: That first image of Yamato coming through the curtain of light with the music and the starburst is highly reminiscent of the Star Blazers logo and I am certain it’s not by accident.

[AMB]: Neither am I. In fact, this whole “return to chanting support” element is likely inspired by two things: (1) The series 1, Episode 3 scene, where hundreds of people chant and cheer as they witness Yamato’s crew parading to take the helm of the ship. (2) The planned scene where parades and chants in Yamato’s honor were to be held at the start of the original New Voyage, celebrating the ship’s victory against the White Comet Empire. This scene, originating from one of Hideaki Yamamoto’s draft scripts, was sadly scrapped.

As Yamato’s own Tetsuya Kitano surveys a batch of fresh recruits engaged in rowing exercises before Earth’s media, we’re treated to a view inspired by the real-life Kure harbor. There are three docked ships, two of which are new to us: Asuka and Hyuga. The son of former Yamato engine chief Tokugawa bickers with his friend Bando, as the boy we saw from the freeway silently paddles along.

[AMB]: Originally a fellow newbie himself, Kitano’s already an established character in the reboot. Though his screen time has been sparse, he’s risen to become Yamato’s new Chief Tactical Officer in place of Nanbu, who will now serve aboard another ship. This leaves the spot of gunner open for a new candidate.

Among the actual new recruits we meet here are Heiji Bando and Tasuke Tokugawa. They will be properly introduced soon enough, so other than to quickly point out that Tasuke was sneakily introduced with his kid sister Aiko in 2199, let’s focus on the beautiful landscapes depicted, and how the peaceful, serene color palette harkens back to the original New Voyage.

[TE]: In the theatrical program book for Chapter 1, writer Hideki Oka said the following: “This time, Yamato is woven into an ‘urgent yet refreshing ensemble drama’ with the largest number of characters in the series. There aren’t many Yamato stories that look good under a blue sky. The New Voyage was the only one. I wanted to make sure we didn’t lose sight of that.” (Read the full interview here.)

Another unique aspect of this sequence was that it was actually inspired by art drawn by a fan named “Admiral Kinoshita.” (It’s pictured above right.) In a Yamatalk for Chapter 1, Mr. Oka explained that he was deeply moved by it: “The scenery of Kure is depicted here, and the thoughts of the fan who drew it more than 15 years ago are reflected in 2205.” And in case the location doesn’t ring a bell, Kure is the port city where the original IJN Yamato was built. Read more, and also find “Admiral Kinoshita’s” response here.

Aboard Hyuga’s bridge, Commander Todo receives a debriefing on the readiness status of the two new ships, delivered by newly-appointed Captains Shiro Sanada and Yuki Mori. They’re to join up with Defense Fleet 65 early the next morning. When asked by Todo how comfortable she is in her new role and recent triple-promotion, Yuki confidently commends Asuka‘s specs and the crew’s skills.

[AMB]: Captain Yuki is on the job, dressed in a combination of her Final Yamato formal attire and her Yamato Resurrection Captain’s coat and cap. She’s reasonably concerned about her triple-promotion, but as her character profile suggests, she tries not to let her environmental circumstances and past affect her capacity to fulfill her role as a supporting Captain for Yamato, and Kodai. Writer Fukui argues that, because she’s what could arguably be described as an emotionally mature woman, she’s taking the post-Teresa’s dimension trauma much better than Kodai is.

On the mecha: Aside from the frigate-class patrol ship remnant from Serizawa’s WMG fleet, which we last saw a few of cleaning out Earth’s oceans in 2202’s last episode, we’re properly introduced to two new EDF ships: the [DAOE-01] Supply Ship Asuka, and [DCV-01] Battle Carrier Hyuga. Hyuga’s forte is air power; Asuka’s is supply and defense.

[TE]: It’s interesting (and gratifying) to note that the design for both of these ships is very closely based on a new vessel designed for the Yamato Playstation games by Studio Nue veteran Kazutaka Miyatake. Over a decade before the reboots got started, he put a lot of thought and energy into what a reboot might look like and invented some very appealing designs. It’s good to see that they had a lasting impact.

Todo asks Yuki a personal question: “Had a chance to see Yamato’s Captain recently?” She answers with a sullen “no.”

Purportedly, media vultures refuse to let up on Yuki and Kodai, ever since the historic choice made by Earth’s people to forsake the Time Fault in exchange for a chance to save the heroic pair. Though optimism initially soared, the recent bout between the Dessler Fleet and the Bolar Federation on the newly discovered planet Galman has made the media rounds, and fear of war is growing.

[KC]: So Earth doesn’t want to fight alongside Garmillas any more than they wanted to fight against them in the first place.

[AMB]: Diplomacy for the sake of stability is rarely as easy as we’d like. Any open support of Dessler’s actions could make Earth a prime target, as our planet lies but 70,000 light years away from the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy. Meanwhile, Garmillas lies a whooping 168.000 light years away.

Given that Earth no longer has the Time Fault… as much as I’m loath to praise mass-media opportunists, they’re currently doing a decent job, I suppose. It’s not dissimilar to the souring of public opinion in the face of the recent disaster in Afghanistan. Fukui pointed out that this event had uncanny similarities to how 2205’s storyline progressed (read that interview here). That said…for God’s sake, just let Kodai and Yuki lead a happy life!

[KC]: I feel obligated to be overly critical of Earth, but you’re not wrong.

Defense Fleet 65, Todo explains, is a diplomatic peacetime delegation, set to revisit Earth’s stout post-war allies: Garmillas and Iscandar. Though some may mock the fleet as a mere publicity stunt, Todo asks them to pay this no mind, seeing as the fleet and its fresh recruits are in Yuki and Sanada’s capable hands.

“We must avoid any situations where those kids have to be sent to the battlefield.”

[AMB]: Given that Todo almost lost his own daughter to the harrowing fate of being a guinea pig for the G-Plan in 2202, I can’t blame him for being cautious about putting Earth in the crosshairs once more. When he sees these fresh new recruits, he likely sees a young Saki, full of hope and optimism that isn’t easily regained. Also, this thought comes to mind: how long has Earth been aware of the Bolar Federation? The mecha and character guides explain that they don’t know much, but they are aware of the Bolar.

[KC]: I think EDF Intelligence has improved with the Garmillas alliance, but I doubt that Earth became aware of Bolar independently.

As the sun sets and the seagulls cry, Kitano – still surrounded by a media team – informs his cadets that their six-month training voyage begins early next morning, so they should take the rest of the day to enjoy themselves.

The two paddle-buddies from earlier, Tasuke and Bando, excitedly chatter about their new assignment to board Yamato. But their daydreaming is interrupted by two envious co-cadets, mockingly calling them representatives of the publicity fleet’s splendid reputation. Rumor has it that Tasuke was picked because of his father, Yamato’s dearly-departed Chief Engineer Hikozaemon Tokugawa.

[AMB]: For Tokugawa to succeed his father, it surely must be a dream come true. But will he be able to fill his father’s shoes? In the original saga, he’s the only original crew member (other than Kodai) to make it through to Resurrection. Others have either passed on, changed assignments, or retired at that point. Now, these two brats are messing with our sweet boy. Are their concerns warranted? Can we infer a reasonable concern of nepotism in the EDF hierarchy? Or are they simply envious? Tokugawa does get assigned to Yamato’s engine room after all.

A world building note: Based on Kitano’s “six month training voyage” statement, we can infer that modern EDF technology (as well as the existence of Balan’s Akerian warp gates) allows Yamato to make its way to Garmillas and Iscandar in only three short months. In 2199, this journey took six months.

Bando defends his friend’s honor, claiming Tasuke earned his assignment by merit. Their adversaries don’t buy it. Since they too tried their best, why didn’t they receive proportionate honors? “If your father was a Yamato crewman,” they tell Bando, “… you could have been assigned to a position that would stand out more.” Bando’s fuse is lit, and the verbal sparring turns physical. Taking heed, both Tasuke and their mutual friend Miyako try to break up the fight, but to no avail. Domon, meanwhile, just lets the scuffle proceed.

[AMB]: A bit informal, but this is our introduction to another Yamato III alumni: Miyako Kyozuka. She was part of the wave of new recruits introduced in that series, though she hardly had an opportunity to speak or take part in it due to the aforementioned production issues. The only people who would remember such a short-lived character are diehard Yamato fans, or those who noticed that someone had to take over Yuki’s duties in the medbay. The ponytail girl next to her remains unnamed, but some fans in Japan pestered the anime staff for her name. Her popularity was even publicly noted in one of the two premium Amazon Q&A CD’s released with the limited edition Blu-rays for 2205.

After tumbling down the lower decks, Bando informs the man of his own father’s demise aboard the Andromeda-class ship Achilles, which served in the war with Gatlantis. The two-way scuffle almost turns into a four-way brawl, but is stopped by Yamato’s newly appointed security chief Hoshina. He threatens to kick out any troublemakers, quickly diffusing the tension.

Amused by this display, Yamato’s former bridge crew (Nanbu, Ota, Aihara and Shima) make their presence known, commending the new cadets’ spirits. The two troublemakers quickly disperse out of respect for their commanding officers. Daisuke Shima, now newly appointed XO of Yamato, gives Tokugawa’s son some words of advice, then sends his group on their way.

[AMB]: Heiji Bando, another Yamato III alumni, was originally part of the engineering division. He joined Yamato alongside Miyako, Domon and others. His nerdy gait often betrayed his fearless competence, and that’s on full display here. Achilles was one of the first five Andromeda-class ships manufactured by the Time Fault, and last we saw, it was being refitted above Mars in 2202 Ep 22. Based on Bando’s anger, we can only presume the worst of fates awaited the ship as Earth took a last stand against Gatlantis.

The fight here takes direct cues from another scene in Yamato III: a bar fight! Some crew members are given shore leave on a frontier planet, and Shima decides to check up on them. Characters who will later make an appearance, such as Raiden, Sakamaki and Nishina partake in a brawl, ending with Shima and Kodai stopping it. At that point, Kodai realizes the human connection Shima has with his fellow crewmates, and rightly promotes him to XO of Yamato. This is what solidifies this connection, seeing as Shima’s now been promoted… to XO.

Miyako quietly admonishes her thick-headed buds. It’s at this point that Hoshina takes note of the elephant in the room: the quiet, dispirited Domon, who quickly takes his leave. There’s been a definite tension in the air. Not just aboard the ship, but on Earth as a whole, ever since the war with Gatlantis concluded. Encouragingly, Shima posits that a quick warmup voyage should straighten out the new crew, but for this to happen they need their Captain. Hoshina rightly asks of his whereabouts, and Shima can only imagine one place… Hero’s Hill.

[AMB]: The war with Gatlantis has really left some deep scars, and it’s rewarding to see this depicted. In the original New Voyage, the rushed production schedule (this was a recurring issue) forced many accommodations to be made to the TV special, from scenes to entire story elements being omitted. In at least a few of the story drafts, we were supposed to see or hear more about the rate of reconstruction following the war with Gatlantis, but this only tacitly materialized in brief words from Sanada. Thankfully, this idea was given a full episode to cap off 2202, crafted as a memorable climax to a modern classic.

Kodai drops off a bouquet of flowers at Okita’s tombstone, announcing tomorrow’s departure.

“We’re heading for Garmillas and Iscandar. It’s the route you and I took six years ago. But everything has changed. Including the Earth…and me as a person.”

Traumatic memories from the war with Gatlantis flash by, visibly shaking Kodai to his core. Impassioned, he raises his head to ask Okita a question about himself, but is interrupted by Yuki’s arrival. She knew he’d be here. Kodai lodges a half-hearted appeal to professionalism at Yuki, asking if she should be here. She tells him she’s here to support him in his trying times, and the pair embrace.

[AMB]: Here are the 2202 memories Kodai recalls: (1) his decision to save Yuki when faced with Zordar’s devil’s choice in Ep 9, (2) witnessing the death of Captain Hijikata in Ep 24, (3) realizing that Klaus Keyman had betrayed him in Ep 15, and (4) the moment when Kodai almost gave up on living, floating inside Teresa’s dimension in Ep 26.

[KC]: No disrespect, but Okita has nothing on Kodai, and Kodai will never see it.

[AMB]: What could Captain Kodai have tried to ask here? For guidance, or validation? The topic reveals it all: six years ago, Kodai joined Okita as a fresh recruit on an ill-fated odyssey across the stars, ending in Yamato losing its previous Captain, but winning the day. Okita had the strength to bear the brunt of all his scars, physical and emotional, with barely a complaint. But how will Kodai fare as Captain of Yamato?

Sure, Kodai’s had a brief stint as interim Captain in Ark of the Stars, then later Captained the Yunagi in 2202, and very briefly as the interim Captain of Yamato following Hijikata’s death. But to repeat the same voyage Okita did, with fresh new recruits, eventually to be confronted by Starsha over Earth’s abuse of Wave-Motion Energy… that’s what I believe he was going to ask. “Am I fit to be Captain of Yamato?”

[KC]: I’m also pretty sure that’s what he was about to ask. Kodai may be more conflicted now than ever. He has already said it; everything is different, including himself. He repeats Okita’s voyage in the literal sense only. The mission and the players are none of them the same. I think it’s unfair of Kodai to hold himself up to Okita as if all other things are equal, when it’s really more like the flip side of a coin. But it makes sense for him to do it.

[AMB]: If only he can learn to rise above the challenges like his devoted partner has, and simply move on. Though for that to happen, he needs to have his wish for punishment and admonishment validated. Don’t worry readers, it’s coming, big time!

On the music side of things, our first New Voyage BGM track makes its sneaky entrance: Meditation ~ with love. A variation of this piece was composed for 2199 Ep 26, for the scene where Yuki’s revived. It was the first time we heard the leitmotif Great Love in the reboot saga, and its early introduction to the franchise was welcome. Its effect in 2202 and 2205 only increased in scope.

Sunset turns to night as the pair catches up on the recent past. Unbeknownst to both the media and us, Kodai and Yuki have officially been going steady for at least a few months. Kodai points out that a paparazzi might flash them at any moment, but Yuki can’t fault them.

“It can’t be helped. After all, we’re the most expensive couple in the world.”

It’s true. As Kodai points out, the Time Fault is gone. Exchanged for their lives, in spite of its functions supporting everything from the post-war economy to Earth’s military strength. He admits to Yuki what’s been weighing so heavily on him.

“I’m responsible for that because I tried to stay in the higher dimension.”

Yuki doesn’t want him to rue the blessing he’s been given, and Kodai understands.

“I know. It was a decision made by everyone on Earth, and I’m grateful. But I have to bear the responsibility for the cost Earth had to pay for the rest of my life.”

[AMB]: Let’s address the legacy of 2202 before we move on. Why does it matter that these two are back together? Why does Kodai take responsibility for the Time Fault’s destruction?

In 2202’s second half, a serendipitous whack to the back of Yuki’s head brings back all her old memories, from before her amnesiac car incident with Yurisha (prior to 2199). In an ironic twist, this caused her to lose any memory from after said incident, including her relationship with Kodai. As fate would have it, she would eventually fall back in love with the man, only to later – in Teresas’s dimension – reunite both her regained and lost memories, becoming whole again. If we were to believe 2205, the pair officially got back together sometime in 2204. Their love life has been a bumpy ride.

In 2202’s final episode, a distraught Kodai (and Yuki, though reluctantly on her part) are stuck in Teresa’s dimension. Kodai’s had enough of war and bloodshed, and losing Yuki’s memories of him and inadvertently causing the death of Zordar and the Gatlantean genocide was too much to bear. We’ll omit the details for brevity’s sake, but essentially, a plan is hatched by former Yamato crew members to bring Kodai and Yuki back, and it works! The energy it took to get there required the entire output of the Time Fault, so Earth put it to a vote. A majority chose the heroic pair over the Time Fault, and the rest is history.

[KC]: I have poked a lot of fun at Yuki’s ongoing amnesia plots, but in truth these are the kinds of things that happen when you’re an epic heroine in an epic tale.

[AMB]: And now, after all these trials and tribulations, Yuki finally gets the chance to fulfill the promise of her Resurrection-self! (Unlike Resurrection, which is still suspended until further notice.)

Calling out from the dark of night is a mysterious young man, responding to Kodai’s plea. “Can you really?” he asks. “Can one person really shoulder all responsibility for the entire human race?” The boy then runs away before our pair can figure out his identity. Seeing Kodai’s tormented gaze, Yuki comforts him.

[AMB]: Another deviation from the original saga! The boy is obviously Domon, but let’s leave his angst for later. Why does this return to Hero’s Hill feel so different from the one in the original New Voyage? Where’s the rest of the crew?

[KC]: Kodai and Yuki have one life-altering shared experience that even the rest of Yamato’s crew can’t relate to.

[AMB]: Except for Akira, I suppose? She too went to Teresas’s dimension, but unlike Kodai she didn’t get to return with her lover in hand.

[KC]: True, but she was also rescued, whereas Kodai and Yuki stayed behind. Plus, I don’t believe Teresa’s metaphysical dialogue was shared with anyone other than Kodai.

[AMB]: True that. Now let’s catch everyone up to what happened in the original New Voyage around this point.

Originally, what followed Yamato’s return to Earth was a short time skip, depicting what happened to the crew members who didn’t partake in the last battle at the end of Yamato 2. As they get discharged from the hospital, Sanada commends Earth’s efforts at rebuilding so quickly. Shortly thereafter, the surviving bridge crew visits Hero’s Hill to honor Okita. Once there, we’re introduced to the previously-unseen Tasuke Tokugawa, who pays tribute to his father.

This scene was already adapted in 2202 Ep 26 but for two key points: a deleted scene from the original New Voyage where Shima gets a visit from his kid brother Jiro (still absent, just as he was in 2202), and Tasuke’s appearance at Hero’s Hill.

So what could the staff do this time around? They took a very short scene between Yuki and Kodai from Yamato III’s first episode and changed the location from their skyrise home to Hero’s Hill! Just like in Yamato III, Kodai’s not too stoked about his promotion to Captain, but Yuki tells him he’ll do a great job, and embraces his arm.

With all that history out of the way… is this one of Yuki’s best new outfits or what? In New Voyage and Yamato III, she wears a pink dress and choker combo. For 2205, her getup’s been modernized.

[KC]: I am definitely liking the new look. The details on her skirt in particular. Subtly futuristic. Made me think of Garmillas fashion, actually.

[AMB]: Another loss for Akira…

Meanwhile, a Garmillan Kripitera-class destroyer exits warp near Earth’s Moon. The familiar face of Sukeji Yabu greets us.

“It’s the Moon! Looks like it’s been restored quite a bit.”

The moon’s reconstruction is impressive, and to Yabu’s eyes it first appears as if some modified version of Yamato is leading the charge. He quickly realizes it’s Ginga and boards it, leaving the Kripitera to warp away.

[AMB]: In 2202, Zordar blew up half the Moon. The damages were extensive. Apocalyptic, even. By 2202’s last episode (December 31st, 2203), Ginga’s work on restoring the Moon had made miniscule progress. By our calculations, it was going to take about 6 years from that point on to fully restore Luna to its full glory. At this point, it’s been 2 years at most. Now, how are they going about performing this task? I’m no expert, but Professor Shinya Ogura is:

“In the main story, the restoration of the destroyed moon is depicted. It looks as if the Experimental Ship Ginga is doing it. Actually, when the moon was destroyed, its center of gravity shifted so much that it started vibrating due to eccentricity. So the first thing to do is restore its “celestial equilibrium.” It’s a difficult phase of mass accumulation, like correctly fitting together all the pieces of a scattered puzzle.

It could be the Cosmo Reverse’s super-technology processing ability that helped to create a path to the balanced image that had to be measured. However, it’s not just Ginga that is occupied with restoring the Moon. At the stage when restoration begins, it would be the work of a major general contractor. This is the stage of ‘steady and far-reaching civil engineering work.’ That’s when we move to humanity achieving reconstruction on its own.”

LEFT: Age of Yamato‘s scriptwriter, Yuka Minagawa, asked Mr. Ogura to calculate the “Moon collapse rate.” According to Mr. Ogura’s calculations, about 21% of the Moon (1,5338 tons) was lost. The calculation is based on the depiction of the “destroyed moon” in Yamato 2202. As you can see, the calculation is the result of diligent work of combining three methods: real Moon statistics, how to calculate the volume of a sphere, and how to calculate the volume of a cone.

RIGHT: Illustrations showing restoration of the Moon and the work procedure. The “standby orbit” (blue line) is where the secured lunar debris is accumulated. The multiple “spiral trajectories” (green line) show where debris is dropped and settles in each built-up area. This can be seen in the aircraft exercise scenes around the Moon. (Read the full article by Shinya Ogura here.)

Aboard Ginga, Yabu is briefed on his next assignment by Captain Saki Todo and XO Megumi. Due to the engineering skills he’s accumulated during his time with Garmillas, Yabu was originally ordered to serve on Ginga to implement Garmillan technology, but plans have changed.

“‘Given recent developments of interstellar relationships, any demonstration of technological exchange with Garmillas should be discouraged.’ That is the brass’ decision.”

[KC]: Wow, it’s gonna be like that, then? Okay.

[AMB]: If a Garmillan emissary, carrying Garmillan-licensed tech, outfits EDF ships with said technology, this could be grounds for the Bolar Federation to declare war on the Earth Federation. In Yamato III, Earth walked a similar tightrope between supporting Galman-Gamilas (the new name of Dessler’s empire, based on Galman), and the Bolar Federation. Where did Yabu get his skills? According to 2199, he was Hikozaemon Tokugawa’s top student, an ace in his field. Sadly, he was too easily influenced by his own pessimistic outlook on life, and was swayed by bad actors (with admittedly good intentions).

To circumvent diplomatic troubles, Yabu’s experiment will have to take place outside Earth’s official jurisdiction (outside the Solar System). As luck would have it, Defense Fleet 65 is set to leave for Garmillan/Iscandarian space. Its flagship? Yamato. This comes as an understandable shock to Yabu.

He goes to his temporary lodging to log the day’s proceedings in what appears to be fully fluent Garmillan.

Back on Ginga’s bridge, the crew bring us up to speed on Yabu’s career: After partaking in a mutiny on Yamato in 2199 in favor of the Izumo plan, he eventually found his way to the Garmillans, who accepted him on the flimsy pretense that he was a Zaltsian. During his six years as a Garmillan citizen, he’s become an expert in military secrets, putting his previous engineering skills to good use. It’s for these reasons that he’s been chosen to head this experiment, in spite of his previous crimes.

“And he’s bringing it (the experimental technology) to Earth?,” asks Chief Navigator Mina Ichinose.

“Maybe it’s a reward for his contribution to Garmillas’ migration policy?” tactical chief Urara Kusakabe confers.

XO Megumi then imparts a final word to the Captain.

Yamato, of all places, will be like hell for him.”

[AMB]: As viewers might recall, Yabu was unknowingly left on the prison planet in 2199. From there, he joined up with Wolf Frakken aboard his UX-01, as one of his many lost wayward souls. In 2202, he was still there, powering up the space submarine’s new tech. Now, he’s to return to Yamato.

[KC]: Yabu’s back! Here’s a great example of the quality television we would get if Yamato got the Star Wars treatment. I want a show about him and the crew of Frakken’s dimensional sub. I hope we get more in 2205 than just a vague reference to what he’s been up to and some xenophobic hostility. I remember referring to Frakken as “The Blue Captain Harlock” because of his long hair and flashy, piratical scarf. I thought it was interesting to have a character who seems to reject rules and regulations but is unwavering in his loyalty to Dessler. I’m really happy to see all the cool scenes he’s getting in the new series and I still want him to have a spinoff show.

[AMB]: It’s interesting to hear how Yabu’s contributed to Garmillas’ migration policies during his short stay. On his character profile, he’s listed as 40 years old, and in the EDF’s military records he’s officially listed as killed in action.

Lying on his bed, Yabu flips on a digital photo. It’s a picture of him, his wife, and her three children all smiling. Thinking to himself, he says everything’s going to be all right. Even if it’s a tough time for Garmillas right now, they don’t have to worry about anything.

“Did you know? When you feel the worst, something wonderful is right around the corner. Your dad is doing his best, so hang in there.”

Back on Garmillas, full scale emigration is taking place. Hundreds, if not thousands of ships are waiting in orbit for a long, long voyage. Hundreds of thousands of people, citizens of all creeds, all await their turn to leave the dying planet. A loudspeaker informs them that the next evacuation ship will depart as scheduled, and that first class citizens should step forward. Yabu’s family is doing their best to catch up, lined up next to the main queue.

[AMB]: Amongst the various migratory ships are many references to the first Yamato series. The new medical ships, co-produced by Earth and Garmillas, are based on a Garmillan ship design from Episode 14. The huge caterpillar transports were originally used in Episode 16, to transport produce from Beemela, the Bee planet. The smaller civilian ships were originally used in Episode 17 to aid Göer’s ship on Balan, as he mind-controlled the local Balanodon population. And lastly, the huge skewers are towed by repurposed giant bombs! (See a design comparison here.)

[KC]: Okay, so it looks like we’re going to get a story arc for Yabu here, and I am excited as hell about it.

[AMB]: Yabu’s become a father. Well, technically not by blood, at least not yet. As we’ll later find out, he’s become a stepfather to these kids, and a husband to this woman. Their names are: Varna Skertz (mother), Odo (10 year old boy), and Liza/Reza (8 years old). This is from where Yabu’s new surname in 2202 originates. Oh, and that line of his? “When you feel the worst, something wonderful is right around the corner”? It’s a mantra that carries the core of this finely crafted experience.

The Democratic Government of Garmillas has convened an urgent meeting. At this point, only 30% of the population has been evacuated, putting them way behind schedule. Prime Minister Hyss, deep in thought, orders them to prepare for announcing a state of emergency. This shocks the council. Hyss explains why:

“The core’s meltdown is increasing at an accelerated rate. It’s no longer a matter of 50 years into the future. Five years… no, inform the people that there will be a catastrophic meltdown within 5 months.”

A lone councilor begins to question the prime minister’s judgment, but Hyss barks back that this is the only way they can save as many people as possible. A heated discussion commences as Hyss’ adopted daughter Hilde looks on in pain, then turns her head toward Iscandar.

“Is the life of our planet really going to end?”

[AMB]: Among recognizable ministers from 2199 are, from Hyss’ left: Hidore Zarume (Annexation Administration Minister), Nerun Keeling (Chief of Staff), a new face, Logue Moram (Justice Minister), Zenis Dash (Imperial Bank Governor), Guerlain Mooren (Public Administration Minister) and a new face.

This is all kinds of interesting, because Zarume, Keeling and Moram were all part of Gimleh’s Dessler remnants faction in 2202. The fate of these three lends further credence to the idea that Heydom Gimleh may have been spared the gallows, much to my own delight. In fact, I personally believe we get a small cameo from Gimleh in the next episode or two. Stay tuned!

[KC]: In the second shot of them around the table when Hilde is looking into the room, one of them appears to be Talan, so I don’t know how much we’re supposed to read into the presence of certain individuals from Dessler’s old regime. Apart from Gimleh, they may just be bodies filling chairs. Also, I could be bitter about not getting what’s going on with Garmillas politics, both in the sense of understanding and show content.

One interesting thing to note for me is that way back in 2199 they named one of these guys Keeling. In the original version of this tale, Keeling shows up in Yamato III as one of Dessler’s officers, recruited from the liberated planet Galman. He turns out to be an ass and a straight-up traitor in The Bolar Wars Extended, and he gets knocked out by General Talan, which you can all check out here.

Now in 2205 we meet a Galman just recently liberated from the Bolar Federation by Abelt Dessler, who is quite ready to accept Dessler as leader. That person’s name is Kíl. Since you’ve also pointed out that his last name is Keeling, I suppose Gimleh isn’t the only member of Dessler’s old inner circle who matters to the plot.

[AMB]: Talan for all! Though in all honesty, that’s likely just a low resolution shot of one of these ministers. I even double-checked the footage and the positioning of each minister. Maybe whoever you saw was Histenberger, another Yamato III alumni who made minor appearances in 2199 and 2202?

But yes, the lack of extensive exploration of these named, important ministers of the Garmillan government so far in the reboot has been the unfortunate consequence of tightly-packed stories. There’s simply no time for them. If that’s the cause, I think I speak for us all when I implore the staff to at least make a 2199-esque chart of their respective allegiances going forward. For those of you unable to wait for such a thing, I point you in the direction of our 2202 here Ep 26 commentary, where we do our best to reason with these named ministers’ fates, groupings and futures.

On a character design note: Hilde’s no longer dressed as a working maid of the Hyss family. Instead, she’s wearing what looks to be larger-sized garments based on her original appearance as a young child in 2199. What can the character profiles tell us about Hyss and Hilde? More than they previously did.

Apparently, Hyss once had a wife and a child, but they both died in the past. This was in part what inspired him to initially become Hilde’s guardian at the end of 2199, and ever since they’ve had a strained but loving familial relationship. He’s asked if he can formally adopt her, but she’s withheld her answer for fear of hurting his status as prime minister. I personally interpret this to mean yes, because even if some time has passed since the end of the Dessler regime, for a pure-blood like Hyss to adopt an “honorary Garmillan”… it would be a PR disaster, and he’d lose popular support in parts of his cabinet.

Speaking of his cabinet, where is Eliza Domel (Domel’s wife) and Doram Boshrem, the defense minister? I was among many users on Twitter who pummeled the staff (gently) for answers about Eliza and Neredia’s (Berger’s sister in law) whereabouts, both of whom make no appearance in 2205. This has worrisome implications, for reasons we’ll explore in Episode 3.

[KC]: I’m disappointed to see both Dessler’s fleet as well as the democratic government still touting a class system.

[AMB]: Some policy changes take time, especially in a large galactic empire. Dessler used to push for second-class citizens’ rights, but he’s been gone for a while. At least Hyss seems to have a good head on his shoulders.

Planet Iscandar, Imperial Capital: Isc・San・Aria

In Isc San Aria’s palace, a meeting is convened between Queen Starsha, her sister Yurisha, and their on-duty Garmillan ambassador Melda Dietz. Melda reveals that, as far as they know, Planet Galman remains under Bolar control. This uncertainty reveals the reason behind the previous contentions at Hyss’ meeting: the evacuees could be vacating to their own deaths, to a raging battlefield. Lowering her head, Melda expresses her belief that were this to be the case, Iscandar would have to act as temporary shelter for the migrants.

“So the dispute over Planet Galman has escalated that much…,” Yurisha says. Starsha closes her eyes in disbelief, responding.

“The more he tries to redeem himself… the more he sins.”

[AMB]: Likely due to Abelt’s EMP, we see a realistic portrayal of information deficiencies in wartime. For all they know, Hyss’ state of emergency might be sending Garmillan citizens to their grave at Galman. Yurisha – now dressed in formal Iscandarian attire – speaks to her sister about the Galman dispute as having “escalated,” implying that Iscandar has some knowledge of Planet Galman that Garmillas didn’t know prior to this. Hold onto this thought, because it will be fleshed out by the end of this story.

[KC]: Unpopular opinion? Starsha needs to step down off that high horse.

[AMB]: I take it you’re referring to her reference to Abelt’s sins? Honestly, based on how she words herself here, I take it she’s referring to her own sins as well, some of which are dark and gruesome, as we’ll learn later. Let’s just say this: part of what drew Starsha to Abelt at a young age was his pure willingness to do what’s right, and make up for the mistakes of his ancestors. Unfortunately for the ill-fated pair, they’ve kept sinning in spite of promises to do better. For Starsha, her decision to give WM-energy to a fledgling race of humans might inevitably come to doom the galaxy. To Dessler, instigating a conflict with the Bolars for short-term gains might break the back of both Garmillas and Earth’s navies before this is over.

[KC]: In my defense, I already know her secret and I don’t consider liberating his ancestral homeworld from slavery to be a short-term gain.

[AMB]: Ah, I meant to say instant gratification on behalf of long-term gains. By instigating said conflict to save the people of Garmillas some time, he might invite a full-frontal assault to Galman’s doorstep. Then again, he at least tried his hand at diplomacy, so it’s the Bolar Federation’s loss. Yeah, you’re right.

On Earth, the morning for Defense Fleet 65’s departure has arrived. A military parade is held in honor of Yamato’s fresh recruits. Marching drums, fireworks and trumpets support the marching youths. Among them are these recently introduced characters: Tasuke Tokugawa, Heiji Bando, Ryusuke Domon, and Miyako Kyozuka.

Serving aboard Hyuga’s bridge: three new Analyzer AU19 units (among 40), former YRA radio host Yuria Misaki (promoted to Chief Radar Operator), former Yamato Communications officer Yoshikazu Aihara (promoted to Ship Operations Captain), Yamato’s former Vice-Navigator (promoted to Chief Navigator), Namio Sakamaki (Chief Tactical Officer and former Main Battery Captain aboard Yamato), and of course the Commander Second Class Captain Sanada.

Serving aboard Asuka’s bridge: the newly appointed Captain Yuki, Tactical Officer Nanbu, and Yamato’s former linguist Mikage Kiryu (promoted to Technical Officer).

[AMB]: Promotions for everyone! After the Herculean effort they all put in during the war with Gatlantis, they’ve earned it. A military parade is held that matches the feel and style of the ones held in both the New Voyage and Yamato III, ending with the recruits’ boat ride from New Voyage.

One of the new faces we catch a glimpse of is Tactical Officer Sakamaki, who originally served as the Chief gunner in Yamato III. In the reboot, this honor has been retroactively fitted to his resume, confirming that he served in the same position throughout the voyage to Iscandar. For the Battle of Mars, during the war with Gatlantis in 2203, he served aboard a Dreadnaught, earning himself a long-distance firing record.

The new Analyzers all fulfill various tasks aboard the Hyuga from fire control to catapult management and supplies. The likely reason for their inclusion in 2205 is because new robot companions were introduced in Yamato III and then quickly forgotten! They all had the same feeling to them as junkyard astro mechs from the original Star Wars trilogy, and while they were unique for sure, I’m glad we got a couple of happy Analyzers back, still voiced by Cho, the iconic anime voice actor.

Of lesser note, but still important, is the cordial relationship we see between Captain Yuki and her new Chief Tactical Officer, Nanbu. The two were an item at the start of 2199 (according to him), and Nanbu was going to forsake his arranged marriage (to a woman connected to his father’s company) to woo Yuki. As we all know, he lost out to Kodai.

Another crew member aboard Asuka is Mikage Kiryu, a close friend to the departed Saito Hajime, whose own lover Nagakura still draws breath aboard Asuka. Seeing them serve aboard the same ship has potential to make up for the lack of reunion between Kiryuu and Saito in 2202, but it won’t happen in 2205. Perhaps in 3199

During preproduction, materials were prepared for 2205 to determine which of the old characters would appear. Here’s a list of original saga characters, ranked in terms of priority of introduction based on a grading system: Domon A | Tasuke Tokugawa A+ | Shigeru Sakamoto B | Tetsu Kitano A | Bando B- | Raiden C | Sakamaki B (It was written, “He is weak in fights, but has a big heart. He is a big brother.”) | Nishina B- | Ageha B+ | Keel | Gaidel | Iscandar Shadow Royal Family. (Read the source article here)

As the parade fades into the background, Yamato’s Head of Security Hoshina receives a vidcom call from his wife, Yuria. She’s asking what’s taking him so long, worried she’ll be late for the assembly if she’s left hanging for much longer. Apparently, he’s researching Ryusuke Domon’s background, and he just found a promising lead. Hoshina calls Captain Sanada to relay the information.

“Domon Hightech?” Sanada asks.

“It was affiliated with the military and manufactured parts used at a factory in the Time Fault. Domon Ryusuke is the sole son of the company president, and he’s been assigned to the combat department on Yamato.”

[AMB]: Viewers unaware of the character profiles released for the reboot series might not yet be aware of Hoshina and Yuria’s marriage off-screen in 2202, but at least the pair feels like a married couple. I’m sure the only reason their marriage wasn’t shown on screen, other than lack of time, was to not take any thunder away from the Yuki and Kodai drama. First seeing Makoto and Kato married in 2199 during a moment of grief, only to hear about Yuria and Hoshina getting married during an even worse time? That would break poor Kodai more than necessary.

As Sanada responds, a media team captures video of Yamato‘s new recruits being waved off by their friends and family. Apparently, Domon Hightech went out of business in the wake of the Time Fault’s collapse. Its president, Ryuzo Domon, purportedly committed suicide. Hoshina quickly corrects the record, claiming that it was supposedly an accident, and merely a possible suspected suicide.

“His son will be on Yamato?” asks Sanada, as the boats full of new recruits make their approach. To their side, the large unmistakable shape of Yamato rises up from around a nearby hill, impressing the youths.

[TE]: Yamato‘s first on-screen appearance passes quickly, but it’s loaded with meaning. For starters, it seems to be inspired by a 1981 feature film titled Imperial Navy in which the original IJN battleship emerges from behind a range of hills at the same angle. But more importantly is something so subtle you might have missed it: the direction of travel. Harutoshi Fukui explained it in a March 2022 Yamatalk event:

“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 Director Yasuda made Yamato change direction so we could do both.” (Read full coverage of that Yamatalk event here.)

Sanada argues that, given the nature of Domon Hightech’s connection to the Time Fault, Ryuzo’s son Ryusuke shouldn’t have been given an assignment aboard Yamato, since said ship is responsible for the company’s collapse.

[AMB]: The financial aspect of 2202’s end is given due diligence, and we finally understand what supposedly happened at the start of this episode on the highway: Domon Ryusuke found his father, collapsed either from suicide or an accident. Speaking of Domon, a completely new theme was composed for him. The BGM playing here is a prelude to the softer versions of it. Yamato’s New Voyage is certainly set to become a FRESH New Voyage, as promised by Fukui in countless interviews!

Note: Seeing Yamato depicted from bow to stern here in the water, is a reference to another cut scene from the original New Voyage!

“It can’t be,” exclaims Sanada. Images flash by, from Yamato’s new bridge crew to its Captain, and finally Domon, his hand placed firmly on a gun. He stares menacingly at the ship of his misfortune, muttering Yamato’s name, inaugurating whatever plan he might have in store for its Captain.

[KC]: This kid coming aboard Yamato to avenge his dad has to be one of the most operatic plotlines this space opera has ever portrayed. Overall, this is a great start to the new series.

[AMB]: I couldn’t agree more! Fresh ideas mixed with old themes; a young boy taking Kodai’s seat from 2199 as the kid who wants accountability from Yamato’s Captain for (supposedly) being responsible for a family member’s death. We know from previous viewings that it goes farther than a small fistfight on the ship’s bow – as in Yamato III – so that’s worth some points, at least.

Oh, and did you notice any familiar faces among Yamato’s new bridge crew? Among them were Sho Yamazaki, Yamato’s new Chief Engineer. In the original saga, he was introduced in The New Voyage, but for the reboot they managed to sneak in a pretty memorable character arc for the man all the way back in 2199. This made perfect sense, given the fact that his New Voyage introduction came with the retcon that he’d always just been there, just never seen.

Seated behind him is Captain Yamanami, last seen in 2202 and participating in this voyage as an observer. He’s still here ahead of the original timeline, where we didn’t meet him until Be Forever. In that incarnation, he was described as an old friend of Okita and Hijikata, as well as an instructor at the space soldier academy. He serves the same function on this trip. It appears that the reboot Yamanami inherited the looks of Captain Miki, an obscure character from the Farewell to Yamato PS2 game character. See that design here.)

Fan favorite Kaoru Niimi also returns, replacing Sanada as Chief Technology Officer. In 2202, she suffered terrible wounds from a Gatlantean self-destructing in her lab, and would later only have the chance to serve aboard Prometheus and Ginga throughout the series. Miki Saijo serves as Yuki’s full-time radar officer replacement, and Haruo Nishina (newcomer from Yamato III) serves as the ship’s Gunnery Chief. According to his character profile, he was among many veterans set to serve aboard Yamato, before Garmillas bombed most of them in 2199 Ep 2. Just like in Yamato III, he’s good friends with Namio Sakamaki from Hyuga.

Two more obscure fellows remain: Jun Ishikawa (the redhead from Ark of the Stars) replaces Aihara as Chief of Communications, and Hayashi from the navigation division now serves as Chief Navigator in place of Ota.

[KC]: Thank you for the breakdown!

[AMB]: This episode adapted about 11 minutes of the original New Voyage’s 1 hour 35 minute run-time (of which 3-4 min had already been adapted by 2202), and about 5 or so minutes from Yamato III. The rest of the episode’s content was completely new, owing to Fukui’s wish to prioritize crafting a sequel to 2202, over a strict adaptation of The New Voyage. A new ending song plays for all 8 episodes of 2205, but for this one episode it runs without visuals. As a consequence, let’s leave an in-depth analysis of it until next time.

Coda

Theatrical release: Space Battleship Yamato 2205, The New Voyage Chapter 1: TAKE OFF contained episodes 1-4. It premiered in Japanese theaters October 8, 2021

Japanese video: Theater-exclusive Blu-ray October 8, 2021. Standard Blu-ray & DVD November 26, 2021

Series credits

Writer: Harutoshi Fukui
Scriptwriter: Hideki Oka
Director: Kenji Yasuda, Satelight Studio
Character Design: Nobuteru Yuuki
Guest Character Design: Chiziru Kobayashi, Takahiro Kishida, Kiyoshi Tateishi
Mecha Design: Junichiro Tamamori, Yasushi Ishizu, Mika Akitaka
Prop Design: Kio Edamatsu
Art Directors: Hiroshi Aroku, Yusuke Ikeda, Kenichi Tateto
Color Designer: Kumiko Nakayama
Director of Photography: Shinya Matsui
CG Animation Director: Hiroyuki Goto
Editing: Ryoko Kaneshige
Music: Akira Miyagawa, Hiroshi Miyagawa
Sound Director: Tomohiro Yoshida
Executive Producer: Shoji Nishizaki
Production: Yamato 2205 Production Committee

10 thoughts on “Yamato 2205 Episode 1 Commentary

  1. It was a pleasant surprise that this season started with a vamped-up Bolar this soon in the reboot. A little peculiar is Dessler’s allusion to only Galman being perfectly suitable for Garmillon people. Does that mean Zaltzians can live on Garmillas but Garmillon cannot live on Zalts?

    • Given the circumstances, and what’s been depicted up till’ now, it’s probably safe to say that Zaltzians and Earthlings come from the same subset of genetic heritage from the Akerians. Knowing this, we can infer that they are indeed capable of living mostly anywhere. But that’s just how I read it!

      • Speaking on the subject, I’ve been wondering why the Zaltzians didn’t move back to their home planet instead of joining the rest of the Garmillans on their immigration to Galman? This brings up questions on what the current status of the other second class planets in the Large Magellanic Cloud like Zaltz itself (if it’s in the LMC).
        Considering the extreme distance from the LMC and the Milky Way, could those particular worlds be set up for independent states similar to how the former colonies of England gain independence and later became part of the Commonwealth? I know it’s not addressed in 2205, but it’s some food for thought in terms of world building in the post-2202 world.

        In addition, I’m curious to ponder on how the second-class citizens will be treated when they reach Galman. Considering the blue-skin indigenous residents were promised by Dessler himself that their future will be built by both Garmillans and Galmans, having the paler skin Zaltzians added into the mix unexpectedly may raise some questions and tensions between both Galmans/Zaltzians. Whether or not 3199 addresses this issue, it makes me worry a bit for Yabu’s family’s future.

  2. Wow! I didn’t know the majority if not all the Garmillian immigration ships were based on minor Garmillas ship designs that appeared in the OG aside from that yacht that was based on one of those OG Galman or Garmillas destroyers. That’s a really good catch!

    Although I am disappointed that the Neu Balgray wasn’t making an appearance in 2205, The more I think about it, it actually makes sense for Berger not to use her for the mission to liberate Galman. With her design being of Terron/Earth origin, it would have given the very angry Bolars the impression that Earth is actively supplying high-value arms to Garmillas in their new invasion/war effort and would see them as a direct ally of Garmillas and a significant threat as well.
    Berger could have easily kept Neu Balgray as his flagship due to the WM tech superiority in terms of firepower and durability, but instead chose his old ride possibly out of respect of his Earth allies in order not drag them into a war they had no wish or business to be part with. He might be a die-hard Dessler loyalist/conservative, but you got to respect his consideration towards his allies even though it denies him a technological edge on the battlefield. So hats off to him.

    As for the Lambea herself, Initially I had mixed feelings for this radical refit to a Guipellon-class multi-deck carrier as I saw it as a ‘We have a Gelvades-at-home’ kind of joke of a conversion. Slapping some large caliber positron triple turrets and a modified deck level to house several torpedo tubes is a nice firepower upgrade, but I’m not entirely convinced whether it’s enough for her to realistically fight alongside escort type ships in a surface battle and survive. Especially her armor isn’t upgraded.
    But upon learning it was THE Lambea herself and not some random Guipellon, I was genuinely surprised and delighted to see an old named Garmillan ship return to the spotlight in this fashion. Previously only the Desular flagships and UX-01 were the only Garmillan ships to have been given the honor of making a comeback in a new Yamato series. But with the unexpected return of the Lambea in 2205, it not only has solidified her position as Berger’s personal flagship, but also as one of the most famous Garmillan ships in the franchise. Still the refit’s practical use is still questionable but wow what a career that old purple Guipellon has and I hope to see it continue into 3199!

    As for the rest of Dessler’s current fleet, I was genuinely surprised he didn’t had any Gelvades-class ships at his disposal. Especially as we saw during the events of 2202 he had like nine red ones. In fact, most of his ships in this fleet for 2205 are mostly older units. The first-gen/non angled flight deck Guipellon-class carrier Balmes, Destorias, Kriptieras and a few old Gaiderol-class battleships that later show up in the next few episodes. It might be due to budget priorities or possibly there were just too many ship models to render in this series as there are four interstellar factions to feature so they picked the classical icons. But according to the official 2205 art book, the newer Harizard-class from 2199 was supposed to make an reappearance but was never seen on screen for 2205. Nor does the converted D-class immigration ship that appears in the mecha guide. Although to be fair on the latter, I don’t think Earth would be supplying any ships to Garmillas after what Dessler did at Galman… A shame they never got use or seen but given the political context in-universe it’s understandable.

    • They sure were!

      The Neue Balgreys were, to my knowledge, only leased, so it makes sense that they’d be returned to Earth in the post-war cleanup. Besides, the last we see of the ships in 2202.24, they’re limping away with multiple stab wounds from Gatlantean swords. I personally loved the CCC-class, but it is what it is. The bigger question though… if Lambea’s back, then where’s Neredia? On the topic of Lambea… To a sailor, luck means a whole lot! And the Lambea? Lucky as the devil himself.

      On the topic of the ships seen at the end of 2202 (at the end of the year 2203): Context provided by the “Super Gelvadez-class” entry in the 2205 mecha guide is worth pointing out. That final shot of “Dessler’s fleet” in 2202? It depicts two red Gelvadez-class ships, what we can now presume to be the blue Super Gelvadez, seven blue Zoellguut ships, and one UX-01.

      Episode 16 of 2202 gives us a pretty good view of Dessler’s main fleet: it consists of two red Gelvadez, ten Kripiteria, and ten Haizerad. In other words: no UX-01, and no Zoellguuts. The logical conclusion we can draw, then, is that the scene in 2202’s finale depicts Dessler being safely escorted to Garmillas (for both the escorts and the escorted) for the negotiations described in the Super Gelvadez mecha entry. His core ship – which was last docked on Talan’s red Gelvadez – is now on the Super Gelvadez for that reason.

      On the topic of the Haizerad: it shows up in episode two of 2205. The ship that wishes Dessler a great journey home is a Haizerad, and we can see a couple more leading the immigrant fleet as vanguards. More of them can later be seen leading the outgoing immigrant fleet on Garmillas. That said, as you say, I’m not sure we ever get to see the converted D-class on-screen. We’ll keep a lookout though!

  3. I’m still kinda mad that Yuria and Hoshina never got a proper wedding on screen, but its understandable. I do with they would mention it in the show now though, especially with Hoshina getting lots of screen time in 2205 part 1. The pair is really cute, and I love how we at least got a small scene of them. They’re an underrated couple for sure.

  4. It’s great to see Lambea again, I have a soft spot for “Grand Old Lady” types of ships, and Lambea feels like she qualifies.

    Also interesting to note is that her refit makes her look even more like Akagi/Kaga in their original 1920s configurations, with two large gun turrets on one of the middle flight decks and a bridge under the top flight deck.

    Hope they make a Mechacolle of her.

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