Yamato Year 2022

What happened with the classic Yamato saga during the year 2205 reached its finale and 3199 quietly went into production? Here’s where we round it all up for look back at how we looked back.

This page covers Cosmo DNA highlights, Publishing, and Heroes Hill. Each page links to the next, but in case you want to jump to a topic: Events | Online Action | Fun Finds | Music

Welcome, 2022

When Yamato 2202 Chapter 4 arrived in theaters (January 2018), this coaster was one of the items you could buy at theater gift shops. The initial version had a typo on it, and Yamato Crew offered replacements free of charge if you mailed yours to them. It is unknown how many fans took them up on this. Those who didn’t had a unique comemorative item for 2022.

Yamato Crew issued a “Happy New Year” postcard that showed up in fan club members’ mailboxes early in the month. Character Designer Nobuteru Yuuki stepped up on January 6 with his own version (above right) to mark the Year of the Tiger. (Visit his Twitter page here.)

Cosmo DNA Highlights

The “Secret” fan club, 1991-2001

The official Yamato fan club set very high standards throughout its run from 1977 all the way to 1991. So what happened next? A new group stepped in to pick up the slack, and they lasted another ten years. Read their story here.

Vintage Report series begins

This series answers the question, “What if Cosmo DNA existed in real time during the production years?” Everything is chronicled in the order it all happened, bringing history to life in a whole new way. As of this writing, we’ve only reached 1978, but the amount of newly-rediscovered information is already staggering. In all modesty, when this series concludes it will be the most extensive record of Yamato history anywhere.

Find the whole series here

The Lost Journey webcomic

An extended fanfic webcomic by Dasha KO! The Lost Journey begins after the Bolar Wars arc. This is a “classic adventure” in the spirit of the Iscandar series. There’s a mystical techno-planet hiding a menace and the crew will have to discover its secrets.

Read it here

If you’d like to have a paper version on your shelf (who wouldn’t?) Dasha has you covered! A limited number of printed books is now available! Drop her a line here to enquire about price and availability!

Book translation: Space Battleship Yamato and 70s Japan

Throughout its long history, Yamato has been the subject of repeated analysis with one textbook after another examining the phenomenon, but this one stands out for the depth of its exploration. Author Hiroyuki Arai thoughtfully explores aspects of the series with passion and intellect, enriching them with cultural and historical context.

Read it here

Special Message

Cosmo DNA reached an important milestone in the month of August. Click here for a special video that describes it in detail.


April 28: “Yamato Goddesses” interviewed

From issue 14 of the Star Blazers/Yamato Fan Club magazine (April 2022): very rare interviews with Sasha’s voice actor Keiko Han and singer Mitsuko Horie. Both cited their Yamato experience as a career-changer, and both recounted remarkably similar moments from the recording booth.

Read it here

June 7: The Men Who Created Gundam

This manga, published in English by Denpa in June 2022, belongs on the shelves of Gundam fans, Yamato fans, and general anime fans alike. It’s a satirical biography of how Mobile Suit Gundam was made, with a lot of comedy overlaid onto reality by artist Hideki Owada. Gundam was the next giant anime hit after Yamato, and numerous connections between the two ensured that many Yamato references would be part of the story – including the apocryphal scene above.

Don’t wait another moment; click here to order your copy from RightStuf today!

August 25: SF Magazine No. 753

Japan’s SF Magazine has a long and venerable history, having been in print for over 60 years. While it is primarily a writer’s magazine featuring short stories and novellas, it has also provided an important platform for artists; specifically the collective known as Crystal Art Studio which evolved into the one and only Studio Nue. That was the subject of this issue’s cover story, marking the 50th anniversary of the revolutionary design group that helped propel Space Battleship Yamato and many other legendary titles.

Over 60 pages were devoted to the studio’s history with a comprehensive timeline, interviews, and lots of rare illustrations from their early years. The cover painting by the great Naoyuki Katoh put a lot of very high-visibility mecha into a single image for the first time and ignited a deluge of pre-orders that sold out the initial print run before the magazine even went to press. A second print run was quickly arranged to meet the demand.

Order a copy from Amazon.co.jp here.

See Naoyuki Katoh’s collected Tweets about the cover here.

Hero’s Hill

Our annual salute to those who have embarked on the next voyage

October 1: fashion designer Yukiko Hanai

Turn your thoughts back to 1978. As one who made a habit of thinking outside the box, Yoshinobu Nishizaki hired haute-couture designer Yukiko Hanai to contribute her talents to Farewell to Yamato. Not all of her contributions would be used, but she ended up creating Yuki’s beloved pink daywear and a crew T-shirt (below) that would become a real product. More importantly, she became a visible part of the production crew, one of the first women (if not THE first) to be seen in that capacity.

After studying fashion illustration at the Setsu Mode Seminar and working for an advertising company, she became an independent designer in 1964 and opened her own studio. She launched her own self-named brand and continued to present collections from 1970. She designed many uniforms for All Nippon Airlines, banks, securities companies, department stores, and schools. She departed Earth at the age of 84, but her design team carries on her legacy.

October 30: manga artist Yuki Hijiri

Best known for his long-running Locke the Superman series, Yuki Hijiri got his start at 17 years old, creating a 100-page Locke manga for a doujinshi in 1967. From there, he launched into a career that took him all over the genre spectrum and even into anime when Locke made the jump in the 80s. For a brief moment, he also took part in the 1974 arrival of Yamato when he drew a 6-chapter manga serial for Terebiland magazine.

It bore the distinction of being the only Yamato manga that never got a reprint, but tireless efforts brought it back to the public eye right here at Cosmo DNA.

He continued to work until he contracted Parkinson’s Disease in 2020 and decided to retire in 2021. Sadly, he succumbed to pneumonia on October 30 at the age of 72. We’re extremely fortunate to have gotten his personal account of the Yamato project in 2010, and more besides; read that enjoyable interview here.

December 6: 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, the latest of which is a generous 2-disc collection titled Best of Anime Song Debut 50th Anniversary Best – Z Show. Order it from Amazon.co.jp 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

Continue to EVENTS

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