Space Battleship Yamato 2205 Report 18

The final month of 2022 ticked up a bit with a flurry of live events and the triumphant return of Michio Murakawa’s Yamato 2199 manga, both online and on paper. Here’s a roundup of everything Yamato fans tuned into as they counted down to 2023.

December 1: One Earth Mission concert

We have to take a little ride to link this to Space Battleship Yamato, but we’ll get there in the end.

On the first day of December, renowned Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa led the Saito Kinen Orchestra in a live performance for a special audience: JAXA astronaut Koichi Wakata, stationed in orbit on the ISS. The connection between the two was described thusly on the event’s website:

In Japan’s history of human space activities, JAXA marks its 30th anniversary in 2022 since astronaut Mamoru Mohri took his first space mission. The Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival, which is the home of the Saito Kinen Orchestra, also marks its 30th anniversary this year. The music will reach astronaut Koichi Wakata in space, and we will sense on a global scale that we all live on the same planet — One Earth Mission.

What music do you suppose was chosen for this expansive effort? If you just answered “the Yamato theme,” the answer is…not quite. Instead, it was Beethoven’s Egmont Overture. So what’s the Yamato connection? That same piece was used in the soundtrack for Yamato Resurrection. So if you frame this subjectively, you can say that a piece of Yamato movie music was performed live for an astronaut in space. See? We got there.

Now take a moment to visit the One Earth Mission website where you can watch the performance itself and learn more about this unique event.

December 3: Live Yamato suite

Here’s more music to start the month off right! On this day, the 12th concert of the Shin-Yurigaoka General Hospital Music Department was streamed live on Youtube. In pre-Covid world, their performances took place in front of a live audience, but for the second year in a row they put it online for the whole world to watch. They opened with the Yamato suite and continued on with several others, concluding with Gustav Holst’s The Planets. For an encore, they performed a theme from E.T.

See the complete concert on Youtube here.

December 6: Akiba Souken poll

Today, another fan-created popularity poll closed at the Akiba Souken website, and we learned who were the favorite characters in Star Blazers Lambda. These polls tend to be unpredictable, and this one didn’t disappoint. The lead character, Yu Yamato, came in second to the mini-maintenance droid Mifune, who won by a wide margin.

Click here to the see the rest of the results for yourself.

December 6: RIP Ichiro “Aniking” Mizuki

Ichiro Mizuki wasn’t directly connected to Yamato, but if Isao Sasaki somehow hadn’t been hired to sing the original theme song, Mizuki might have been next in line. He matched Sasaki beat for beat in the 70s in a sort of tag-team match from one anime theme to the next. Best known for Mazinger Z, he captured countless others such as Tekkaman, Combattler V, Voltes V, Captain Harlock, and Lupin III, justly earning the title “Aniking.”

Tragically, he lost a running battle with lung cancer on December 6. Heartfelt tributes came pouring out of Japan and around the world after his loss. He is, quite simply, irreplaceable.

Dozens of albums filled with Mizuki songs have been released since the 70s, and there’s a new one on the way as of this writing: a 2-disc collection titled Best of Anime Song Debut 50th Anniversary Best – Z Show is scheduled for release on January 18. Order it from here or CD Japan here.

Read more about his passing at Otaku USA here

Listen to him sing the Yamato theme with Mitsuko Horie here

See an entire Ichiro Mizuki concert on Youtube here

December 7: 1/350 Diecast Gimmick Model, Vol. 194

Hachette’s ever-growing Hyuga model got a big piece this week, a huge belly panel large enough to cover an adult human face. Coupled with a large metal brace, it added up to a satisfying hunk of ship.

See Hachette’s instruction video here

See an unboxing video here

See a modeler’s blog here

December 10: Newtype magazine

It’s an oddity of the Yamato remake series that, contrary to the vintage years, most of its followers do NOT read monthly anime magazines. That makes a Yamato appearance in one of them very noteworthy. In this issue of Newtype, it got the nod in a half-page illustration supplied by Michio Murakawa to announce the imminent return of the Yamato 2199 manga. (Keep reading.)

December 14: 1/350 Diecast Gimmick Model, Vol. 195

The second volume for December provided the parts for a distributor box, which would be assembled and installed in the lower aft section as a source for all the local fiber optics to plug into.

See Hachette’s instruction video here

See an unboxing video here

See a modeler’s blog here

December 16: Yamato 2199 manga Chapter 53

We’ve been waiting for this news since June 2017, and here it is at last: a NEW CHAPTER of Yamato 2199 went online on this day! The story resumed in the period leading up to the epic Rainbow Star Cluster battle with 14 pages by Michio Murakawa, who hasn’t missed a beat during the years he was pulled away to work on Yamato 2202.

Chapters will be posted monthly at both Web Newtype and Comic Walker.

See the new chapter here

Read a new interview with Michio Murakawa here

December 17: Event news

The name of the event is Journey of Hope, Space Battleship Yamato Series Doujinshi Sale. It was announced as a sub-section of Comic City Tokyo 149, a convention scheduled to take place in July 30, 2023 at Tokyo Big Sight, where the massive Comiket takes place twice a year. That’s quite a step up from the modestly-sized venue for Yamaket, so it will be interesting to see if the increased visibility leads to increased turnout. Obviously, we’ll keep watch.

Meanwhile, visit the announcement website here

Photo above right posted on Twitter by Ishimototake141

December 18: Comic City Spark 17

The latest Comic City convention came right up at Tokyo Big Sight the day after the Journey of Hope announcement. It is unknown how many Yamato doujinshis you could find there, but at least one stood up tall and proud: the latest issue of Yamato Crew Everyday, assembled by superfan (and Yamaket organizer) Kiyo1205. It is the first issue to boast cover art by the great Tomonori Kogawa.

Another pair of doujinshis turned up from an artist who goes by the online handle 0ooCoo0. That name hasn’t turned up in previous fan events, so let’s watch for it in the future.

December 21: 1/350 Diecast Gimmick Model, Vol. 196

Construction moved to Hyuga‘s gun deck in this volume, providing major parts for the portion that will seat both of the main batteries.

See Hachette’s instruction video here

See an unboxing video here

See a modeler’s blog here

December 24: Birthday celebrations

This day marks two significant birthdays in Yamato world, one imaginary and one IRL. The imaginary one belongs to Yuki Mori. The Yamato Production Committee honored her with a birthday Tweet reading:

December 24th is Christmas Eve and Yuki Mori’s birthday. In 2205, she is the captain of the ship where she sometimes kindly, sometimes strictly, watches over Kodai. What fate awaits her in the next story, 3199?

The IRL birthday belongs to Character Designer Nobuteru Yuuki. It was marked on Twitter by at least two posts; one from Yuuki himself (left) with the caption, “I turned 60. Thank you to everyone who has supported me up to now. And thank you for your continued support, both public and private!”

See the original Tweet here

The other post (right) was a charming fan illustration posted on Twitter by Chihiroo2202, who wrote, “Happy 60th birthday, Nobuteru Yuuki. Thank you for creating so many wonderful characters! It’s exciting and fun! Take care of your health and do your best in your next job.”

See the original Tweet here

Find larger versions of both images at the end of this page.

December 26: Yamato 2199 manga Vol. 9

Welcome back, manga! The 9th collected volume of 2199 was published by Kadokawa on this day with a new jacket illustration by Mecha Designer Junichiro Tamamori. The content was roughly equivalent to episodes 16-18, reprinting material that was originally published in 2017 and not collected before now. It included a handful of new and revised pages.

Each fresh volume opens the door for reprints of previous volumes, and certain stores offer bonus postcards and illustration papers as incentive items. Prior bonus items are shown on the display sign in this photo (posted on Twitter by mohsan).

This time, three bonus items could be found if you looked hard enough for them. (Photo above posted by Aoi2199.)

Photo posted by Ocha Maruzen

Order your copy of volume 9 from here or CD Japan here.

December 28: 1/350 Diecast Gimmick Model, Vol. 197

In the last volume of the month, accessory parts arrived for the gun deck to bring it to completion, both top and bottom.

See Hachette’s instruction video here

See an unboxing video here

See a modeler’s blog here

December 30-31: Comiket 101

The biggest comics convention in the world convened for the 101st time at Tokyo Big Sight. Yamato doujinshis could be found there as usual, as indicated by these online ads:

Posted on Twitter by Umiushi2201

Posted on Twitter by Kiyo1205 and Kuroneko Works (Pixiv page here)

See extensive photos from Comiket 101 (mostly cosplay) here.

December 31: New Year’s Eve music special

You know him, you love him. Isao Sasaki rocked the house with the Yamato theme to close out 2022 at the 6th annual Momoiro Singing Match. This annual event is hosted by the idol group Momoiro Clover Z, who invite other singers to a massive musical bash at the Nippon Budokan theater in Tokyo. Everyone is divided into red and white teams to compete for audience popularity. Their 2022/2023 late-night special included 50 other acts, including our favorite guy.

See his performance here

December 31: New Year postcard

The final gesture of the year came from the Yamato Premium Fan Club in the form of this New Year’s postcard to all the members, with a new illustration by Michio Murakawa. It also happens to be the first product to sport a Rebel 3199 logo, so make of that what you will.

Also spotted in December

2023 calendar

Yamato Crew revealed six pages from the latest calendar in their online store. This is a more subdued version than we’ve seen in previous years, using Michio Murakawa’s illustrations from the end credits for Yamato 2202 Chapter 4.

Fan art

The character art in December hit on some common themes, such as Yuki Mori’s birthday and the observation of Christmas. The mecha art hit the same theme as always: “Yamato mecha is really awesome.”

See the character gallery here and the mecha gallery here.

Fan models

The output for December was off the charts in all directions, as if it was a contest. The good news is, we ALL won. See the latest models here: Gallery A | Gallery B | Gallery C

It belongs in a museum

What you see here is perhaps the single rarest Yamato collectible; a proposal for the first TV series, spotted in a store somewhere in Miyazaki, Japan, and posted on Twitter by teruru2047. It was written in the summer of 1973 by Eiichi Yamamoto (before Leiji Matsumoto joined the team) and it is believed that only 80 copies were produced to pitch the show. The exorbitant price tag converts to over $17,400 as of this writing.

Photos posted on Twitter by Enouchi

Want to see and read what’s inside? Click here.

“I’m a model train enthusiast”

This entry might belong in a model gallery, but it’s unique enough for special attention. A modeler with the Twitter handle “Electric Express” produced this charming throwback to August 1980, when a single commuter train in Tokyo was renamed the Yamato-Go to deliver fans to theaters on the premiere day of Be Forever. The specific type of train car is indicated as an 8003F.

Visit the modeler’s Twitter page here.

Fan Artist Profile

Time to meet another of the talented and dedicated Yamato fans who delivers some of the amazing artwork we see here in the character galleries month after month. (Hot tip: enter the words “character fan art” or “mecha fan art” in the search bar to bring all the galleries to the top.)


1. What was your first Yamato experience?

When I was in elementary school, I watched the first TV series on reruns. I remember coming home from school and being glued to the TV.

2. What is your favorite aspect of Yamato?

I think I was absorbed by it even as a child because it depicted various human character behaviors, which was unusual for mecha anime at the time. The new series has made the characters even more distinctive and appealing.

3. Are you a Yamato collector?

When I was a kid, I spent my pocket money buying notebooks, pencils, and books. Now I look for setting collections and illustration collections for drawing reference. Plastic models are out of my jurisdiction. (Laugh)

4. What is your most treasured Yamato item?

The second volume of Yamato 2202 Complete Works because there is a design picture of the Dessler family. This is the art book I reference most in the creation of my works.

5. What are your favorite drawing tools?

For digital artwork creation, I use iPadPro. For analog work, I use MontvalCanson pulp paper, ARCHES cotton paper, MISSION GOLD CLASS by Mijello for paints, Copic liners, and Pigma pens. For dipping pens, I use the old-fashioned G-pen, round pens, and Kabura pens. I feel like I can’t start without all of them.

6. Where can your work be seen?

Twitter and Instagram. My original paintings are also exhibited in galleries and museums. I would be very happy if you could see them along with our social networking sites.

7. Does your family share your hobby?

No, not at all (laughs). Yamato is my haven, so I’m not thinking of sharing it. I don’t plan on sharing my family’s hobbies, and I don’t have time for that.

8. Please tell us something about your life outside your art.

I was the captain of my mom’s soccer team for over 10 years before I started painting. I stepped down last year due to increasing injuries and limited activities due to Corona. I still love to watch soccer games. I love watching sports in general.

9. Are you involved in Yamato activities with other fans?

Although it’s not every time, I participate in the Yamato-only event Yamaket under the circle name “Goennichi.” Also, I try to participate in off-line meetings that I am invited to.

10. What do you hope to see in a future Yamato anime?

It’s old masterpiece that was made in various ways and then abandoned. I know there are some ties to the past, but I sincerely hope that the young and new staff will complete Yamato‘s voyage while incorporating the “present.”

11. What is your favorite anime after Yamato?

Demon’s Blade and The First Slam Dunk.

12. What would you like to say to Yamato fans around the world?

I think it’s a rare recent SF work in which robots do not appear, and the stage is a future world that continues from the present day. The fact that it is set in space and has a very large scale is also appealing. Let’s keep an eye on their journey.

13. What should everyone know about Japan and its people?

Japanese people do not take the initiative to participate in political activities. Although it may be embarrassing for people from other countries to see this, we have never forgotten the warmth and sympathy we received from people overseas when we met with various disasters. I believe that in the near future, our country will definitely be able to contribute to world peace.

Yamatunes found in December

Isao Sasaki performs Yamato theme, 1978
Click here
Isao Sasaki performs Yamato theme, date unknown
Click here

Isao Sasaki performs Yamato theme, 2006
Click here
Anime song concert montage (Yamato and others)
Click here

Yamato theme performed live by Animetal
Click here
Fight for Liberty by Uverworld, music video (2199 TV theme)
Click here

Yamato theme, jazz piano version
Click here
Yamato theme rearranged, Electone organ
Click here

The Scarlet Scarf, piano cover
Click here
Until The Day of Love piano cover
Click here

Yamato themes on Electone organ
Click here
White Comet theme performed by Bravo Orchestra
Click here

Before we sign off…

Happy new year, crew! Are you wondering where we are in the runup to Yamato 3199? Here’s some math to help answer that question…

The gap between the end of Yamato 2199 (Ark of the Stars) and the start of Yamato 2202 (Chapter 1) was 27 months.

The gap between the end of 2202 (Chapter 7) and the start of 2205 (Part 1) was 31 months. This included a 4-month Covid delay, so if 2205 had premiered as originally planned, the gap would have been 27 months.

If we assume from this that it will take 27 months to get us from the end of 2205 to the start of 3199, the premiere would be May 2024. May is an EXCELLENT month to visit Japan, so that would be a good thing.

On the other hand, we have no idea where they are with development. It’s at least as big a story to grapple with as the others, so it could easily take the same amount of time to produce. Or maybe they got a head start, since Harutoshi Fukui wrote his proposal for it at the same time as 2205.

Until we have official news, it’s all guesswork. But based on the math alone, it’s doubtful we will see it this year. Let’s hope they’re lining up other things in the meantime. Whatever happens, Cosmo DNA will always have something to scratch the Yamato itch. There’s lots of great stuff in the oven for 2023!

Continue to Report 19

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