by Kathy Clarkson and Anton Mei Brandt
Episode 3: The Last Day of Garmillas
Dessler’s fleet edges closer to their homeworld. Messages come through in bursts of heavy static, mentioning ‘large objects.’ On his flagship, General Talan informs Leader Dessler that it’s an emergency transmission from Garmillas. Dessler orders them to increase speed.
Meanwhile, on the planet’s surface the same type of spindly alien object we saw last time is pistoning into the ground, shattering Garmillas’ fragile crust. A Garmillas patrol lays down some heavy positron beam fire, but it doesn’t seem to do any damage at all.
[AMB]: A merging of new and old sets the stage for the impending tragedy. In the original work, Gamilas was already a dead, uninhabited planet at this point. The opportunistic Dark Nebula Empire took this opportunity to strip-mine what remained of the planet’s precious natural resource – Gamilasium – thinking it was free real estate. Dessler’s arrival and ensuing bout of rage ended their endeavor, but tragically the ensuing battle was too much for the planet to bear, resulting in its obliteration.
This time around, a completely new mecha (that appears to be a merger of the original New Voyage mining equipment and the tripods from Be Forever Yamato) makes a surprise entrance. Behold, the Dezarium hammer! Its purpose is simple: by pistoning the ground with its incredibly advanced hammer, it can both mess with the planet’s gravity and gather up its energy for future use, storing it in another dimension. But why? And how? Keep reading!
In the capital, President Hyss receives word that the objects emit an unknown type of energy, and based on preliminary reports these were not sent by the Bolar Federation, as one might have presumed.
While his fellow bureaucrats study a three-dimensional, holographic map of Garmillas, Hyss is told that energy from the objects is causing a chain reaction through the crust. Once it reaches their fragile inner core…the individual does not continue, but the implication is clear: it would truly be the end of Garmillas.
[AMB]: Garmillas’ remaining time keeps getting cut shorter and shorter, from a century in the 2202 flashbacks, to half that near the second half of 2202, to perhaps only a few hours in 2205. It’s almost as if the planet truly was fated to die at this point, both on a meta level because of how the original New Voyage depicts the planet’s end, but also in-universe. But was this always the plan in the reboot? According to head writer Fukui, it almost wasn’t until he realized how juicy the drama of this moment would be in the story, when factored against the reality we live in today.
Fukui: “The biggest event was the disappearance of the planet Gamilas. There was a suggestion that we shouldn’t do that, because it would be a huge problem if we adapted it to the world of the remake series, but we decided to go ahead with it. The planet the Dessler clan had worked so hard to protect and save would be easily destroyed. It’s such an atrocious development that I’d say the dramaturgy has collapsed under its own weight.”
“But this is a real thing now, isn’t it? We’re living in an age where once-in-a-century or once-in-a-thousand-year disasters like the Corona pandemic come around every day. I put aside for a moment the fact that it would be very difficult to depict such a thing. I made up my mind to do it. It felt like the outline had already been written. We basically decided to do The New Voyage event.”
Read more here.
“If not the Bolar, then who?” Hyss speculates aloud as reports come in of too many more spear-like objects to count. Then we see them racing from orbit and striking the surface in remote and populated areas alike. One of them hits near the ruins of the Imperial Palace, fallen over like a flower unable to support its own weight.
[AMB]: As much as the drama of this scene clenches my heart again and again, there’s a sense of thrilling excitement in the air isn’t there? New viewers unfamiliar with the original New Voyage will undoubtedly be both impressed and befuddled by Hyss’ comment that this new group of ships definitely doesn’t come from Bolar. It’s not a tangible threat they can deal with through diplomacy and guile, it’s an unstoppable cataclysmic event. And yet, the technology and scale of these hammers isn’t too dissimilar to what we saw with Gatlantis in 2202; massive insect-like structures, impenetrable shielding technology, dimensional wakes, blinding numbers… it’s almost as if these tools are based on the same Akerian tech Gatlantis had access to.
[KC]: Those hammers are very much like the weapons Gatlantis had, and I agree with you that it’s more of a plot clue than a stylistic preference by the animators.
[AMB]: The otherworldly sounds of the hammers swishing through the cosmos, the terrifying numbers that won’t stop, the desecration of familiar sights on Garmillas, and the music all swell up together into a concerto of unmitigated disaster. The former imperial palace, still wrecked, is rocked by an earthquake. The badlands in which Keyman and his mother Elsa grew up are shattered. And the new music, titled Battle for Planet Garmillas is fresh, thrilling and completely original. This track is one of the more memorable pieces from this New Voyage. But during early production, there was talk of perhaps only having new music in 2205. Director Kenji Yasuda shot down this idea:
“Music has a greater presence in this film than in a normal anime or movie. Personally, I thought that if we were going to make a new Yamato, one way might be to change the music, but without this music, it wouldn’t be Yamato at all. I was also concerned about whether the existing music would match the faster-tempo visuals, but when we actually played the music, I knew it was Yamato the moment I heard it! I was reminded of the power of music.”
“It’s also necessary to make the visuals more exciting so the music can be heard. This is the New Voyage I’ve been waiting for! There are scenes where the music plays at the exact moment you’re waiting to hear it.”
Read more here.
As the evacuation continues, Hyss is the last man left in the cabinet room. He wonders out loud about who is doing this and why, as one of his handlers tries to snap him out of it.
“Please, President Hyss, please hurry! This place won’t last much longer!”
As the ravaged planet suffers, a hospital ship among many in orbit suddenly explodes. Aboard the migration vessel rescuing Yabu’s family, Varna tries to calm her worried daughters while Oddo and some other passengers watch Garmillas engage with the mysterious attacker. Dessler’s Imperial fleet arrives, spearheaded by Berger’s Lambea and Frakken’s UX-01. Oddo recognizes his stepfather’s ship as He calls out to his mother, assuaging her fears.
“My dear,” she tells herself, hugging her children.
[KC]: This montage of destruction is somewhat reminiscent of the planet bombing they gave to Earth in the first series. I’m pretty confident it was intentional, considering all the other callbacks to original scenes we’ve gotten since 2199.
[AMB]: This isn’t Hyss’ first rodeo, either. At the end of 2199, he was the man in charge of evacuating the capital after Dessler lost his marbles. He stood by his citizens until the very end, leading these proceedings.
While Earth was admittedly the prime instigator in the Earth-Garmillan war, the Garmillan response was meticulously brutal. In this sense, the former perpetrator of indiscriminate bombings becomes itself perpetrated upon by an unknown, truly alien force. This adds an air of mystery: if Garmillas, with its ever-expansive empire and knowledge of waters way beyond its own borders, has no idea what this new enemy is, or where they’re from… then who are they? At least Gatlantis wasn’t a complete surprise to mystics like Burrel.
[KC]: This has to be terrifying for a people who thought they were the force to be reckoned with in the known universe.
[AMB]: Strong enough to build an empire, strong enough to fend off Gatlantis.
“How disgusting of them to target people who are in the middle of moving,” Berger rages.
“Let them feel our fangs as punishment for hurting our planet,” a stoic Frakken adds.
“Don’t let them get away with this! All ships, charge,” Dessler commands, indignant yet cool.
[AMB]: There’s a certain unique cool factor to Frakken and Berger diving headfirst into the ensuing conflict to protect their home. Their dialogue reflects their personalities while at the same time conveying the very same thoughts we as audience members share. It gives you hope.
Same goes for the increased focus on Hyss. As mentioned in previous episodes, these characters were originally not present at this point in time. Hyss had been killed by Dessler, Berger had fallen at the Rainbow Star Cluster, and Frakken supposedly originated from planet Galman in Yamato III. The gang’s all here now, ready to do their well-earned part to avert this unavoidable disaster, all to the tune of Dessler attack. Brilliant.
[KC]: If the original Dessler had Talan, Berger AND Frakken at his back the entire time, he would have exceeded all possible levels of coolness.
[AMB]: And a win rate to match.
As the Deusula III enters the atmosphere, its custom-made bridge flips over, revealing an assortment of heavy positron beam cannons. It immediately opens fire on the closest enemy, but doesn’t make a single dent. Lambea and the UX-01 concentrate their fire on a single target, which takes the barrage easily.
[AMB]: Frightening things, these Dezarium hammers. But don’t they remind us of something from our world? Piledrivers, perhaps…? Allow Professor Shinya Ogura to exposit on their development history:
“Initially, Harutoshi Fukui told us, ‘The machine that destroys Garmillas goes GAKON! GAKON! like the ones you see at building construction sites.’ That was the keyword. In the original New Voyage, Dessler comes back to Gamilas and finds a fleet of machines mining the planet. He takes a look and says, ‘What is that?’ I proposed the idea of an open-pit mining system that’s so big you can see it from space. I thought the ‘GAKON! GAKON!’ pile-driving machine should be part of the system.”
“However, this was a big misunderstanding. The point of Mr. Fukui’s image was not a huge system, but a network of pile-driving machines going ‘GAKON! GAKON!’ In other words, he wanted to come up with a weapon that could brutally shatter planets. From that point to the ‘Dezarium Hammer’ that appears in the story, he and I went back and forth about a thousand times. (Laughs)”
Read more here.
It is then that Berger and Frakken realize the solution simultaneously.
“No matter how strong the body is…” Berger posits.
“…if we destroy the base,” adds Frakken, as both ships direct their firepower at the base of the object, toppling it. Jubilation from Frakken’s XO Heyni ensues.
“How was that? You good for nothing! We’ll knock all of them down the same way!”
[AMB]: The dialogue between Dessler’s subordinates in 2205 is one of the highlights of this series, and it’s no wonder this became so important. In order to better prepare for the next work in the reboot, it’s necessary to form and establish stronger bonds between the men under Dessler’s command. By showing their interplay like this, characters like Frakken and Berger, who hadn’t interacted much in the past, accumulate enough camaraderie to better establish them as comrades under Abelt in 3199.
The decision to go from one hero ship (Deusula III) to three of them (UX-01, Lambea) not only ups the stakes in battle, but also mirrors Yamato’s new three-ship fleet.
[KC]: Oh yeah. I love everything about where we are now with these guys.
[AMB]: Here’s hoping we receive at least one major coping session with them. Have Berger and Frakken dish out stories about Domel. Let Dessler, Talan, and Gimleh sort out some Velte and Dietz baggage. Or perhaps… the surprise return of a one-eyed Göer?
[KC]: I don’t ever need to see that clown Göer again, but I certainly wouldn’t turn down more Talan content!
[AMB]: It happened before with Gimleh! It can happen again!
[KC]: I may not agree personally, but I suppose I would have to admit that Gimleh still had his uses to the story. Other than providing additional comic relief, Göer’s purpose had already been served.
There is little celebration, however, as Frakken observes; there are far too many of these alien objects inbound for this meticulous effort to be an effective strategy.
“The situation is dire. No, I mean hopeless. We don’t know what’ll happen next.” President Hyss tells Leader Dessler over the comms. “Today’s Your Excellency’s date of return. How could this be happening?”
[KC]: I’ll tell you how it’s happening, Hyss; if you want to wear the cape that billows dramatically in zero-G, you gotta balance that out with some real downtrodden moments. And the balance on Dessler’s Majesty Card is about to come due.
[AMB]: The tragedy never seems to end for this man. But as we’ll find out later down the line, this particular event was not his fault, and was completely out of his control. Sadly, because of his past experiences being known as the black sheep of the Dessler family, and his own attempt to snuff out the life of his planet, Abelt likely has mixed feelings about wearing the hero suit today.
Also, did you notice Hyss called Abelt his excellency? Likely a habit he’ll never truly shake off. One has to keep in mind that he’s likely been Dessler’s VP since Abelt’s late teens, watching him grow. Even at the end of 2199, he was unable to comprehend why Abelt was trying to destroy Baleras.
[KC]: I presumed that there had been some official reacceptance behind the scenes already, but it makes sense that this is just Hyss falling back into comfortable patterns.
Talan stares, aghast, at the image of Hyss and presumably the realization of what’s happening as Dessler urges the Garmillas President to let the remaining migration ships depart. With a glint in his eye, fists clenched, Abelt makes a personal request to Hyss as well.
“Hyss, you too should join them, before it’s too late.”
[AMB]: Just like Hyss did earlier, Abelt can’t help but fall into familiar patterns. Even though Hyss once held the position of VP under him, Abelt never once referred to him by this official title. Like he did with Gimleh, Dessler always referred to this man as “Hyss-kun,” using a disrespectful honorific. He uses it in conjunction with this very personal request, as he lowers his gaze so as to not meet Hyss’ eyes.
In other words, Dessler’s both acknowledging the shameful disgrace of his past actions, but at the same time can’t directly face the man he left behind to pick up the pieces. Like a child, he’s unable to confront his shame. Same thing happened with Dietz in Episode 1. There, he feigned a cool attitude to avoid facing his past. But here, the emotions well up and he almost manages to let himself cry. He’s sorry, but he can’t say he is, so instead he tries to persuade Hyss to evacuate properly this time around.
[KC]: It’s a very different take on Leader Dessler, that’s for sure. I still don’t like him more now, but I never expected to like him at all.
[AMB]: I believe the only time we ever witnessed Dessler crying in the original series was at the end of Final Yamato, when the ship sinks with Okita aboard to save Earth. 2202 depicted some forced metaphysical tears of the soul from the man, but that hardly counts.
Hearing this, Hyss’ strained expression softens, as does the timbre of his voice. Abelt clenches his fists, holding back any tears.
“I’ve heard that you changed. Looks like the rumors were true,” Hyss begins solemnly. “No, this new you must have been your true self all along. Bless the land that gave birth to us.” He raises his hand in salute. “Long live Dessler. Long live Garmillas,” he states, and signs off. Meanwhile, the strange objects continue their destructive onslaught.
“Save as many…save as many people of Garmillas as possible,” Dessler insists, voice trembling with emotion.
[KC]: Is Hyss laying it on a bit thick here for the viewers at home? Maybe, but I’m here for it. Forget about that punk from 2199, kids; Abelt Dessler has earned his place.
[AMB]: Hyss sure is, but there’s a dual purpose behind this. It’s true in part that this scene’s here to show the audience that Abelt’s partially forgiven, but it’s also here to wash away Abelt’s sins on a more personal level. Hyss is reassuring a youth once left in his care that he understands Abelt’s inability to voice his inner heart in public. Instead of forcing him to reveal that he always secretly cared more than he wanted to admit, Hyss instead does what he always did best in 2199; he states the obvious, something that used to earn him ridicule by the entourage. It’s bittersweet in the best of ways. An unspoken apology is left by Abelt, and in return he gained unspoken absolution.
[KC]: It’s an observation that makes me wonder if the surprise evident in Talan’s expression is all reserved for the assault on Garmillas.
[AMB]: For sure.
Suddenly, we are somewhere else. Myriad distant stars shine silently in the blackness of space as a piano can be heard, the audio recording scratchy, as in the very early days of broadcasting.
[AMB]: This is where things get REALLY interesting. That familiar piano tune playing on what sounds like a scratched vinyl record, its needle jumping in a trademark fashion? It’s Claire de Lune, by Debussy. In other words, an Earth record.
[KC]: And he refused a clean, digital recording. Fantastic. An alien hipster.
[AMB]: As we’ll come to see, Deda’s definitely an alien hipster. His boss though? Not so much.
This was the first scene from 2205 shown to select Yamato superfans in an early teaser screening. According to sound director Yoshida, the choice of human music likely holds the key to deciphering the mystery of the Dark Nebula Empire in 3199. According to him, it appears Fukui received the idea of including classical music not from Yamato Resurrection (which incorporated a couple of pieces in its soundtrack), but rather from Emperor Skaldart’s usage of Swan Lake in Be Forever Yamato, inside his throne room.
[KC]: I’m intrigued, so long as no one tries to save the Earth with pop music.
[AMB]: “We are the world… we are the children…”
[KC]: Hah! Okay I was really just making a dig at Lin Minmei.
[AMB]: Even better!
”Such a terrible noise, Deda,” says a voice. There is a dark, formless wall embedded with channels of red light.
“It’s a part of the charm,” someone, presumably Deda, replies. There is a figure seated in a chair. Bald. Muscular. Blue like a Garmillas and seemingly nude.
“Don’t underestimate it. Too much noise will ruin the melody. It’s the sign of a needle jumping.”
[AMB]: These guys come from Dezarium, a faction based on the Dark Nebula Empire from the original Yamato. Their new name is taken from their Be Forever Yamato homeworld, a massive technological hellscape. The “gachimuchi guy,” as Harutoshi Fukui called him in one of the official 2205 Youtube videos, is named Deda. He’s a short-lived minor antagonist from the original New Voyage. He’s talking to his superior from the same movie, Meldarz. What’s “gachimuchi” you ask? That’s the name given to the sub-culture of adult movies (from Japan, of course) that involves muscular males wrestling in a pornographic manner. Fukui probably made the comment because the first time we see him in 2205 he’s stark naked.
[KC]: I think my nickname for him is going to be “Garmillas Mr. Clean.”
[AMB]: Japanese and American memetics aside, Deda’s appearance first reminded me of Guardians of the Galaxy actor (and wrestler) Dave Bautista. The wrestler aesthetic is likely intentional, to subtly plant the idea in the audience’s mind that this man has physically perfected his body. In 2202, there was talk about mankind perhaps going so far with their integration of Gatlantean technology that they’d be able to mechanize lost body parts, or create completely functional humanoid androids if their 100-day war plan was a success.
This brings me to the needle jump. My personal pet Dezarium theory is that they’re future Earthlings, from another timeline where we won the war against Gatlantis by using the Time Fault. This would either mean that we abandoned Yamato to its fate on Zemulia, or perhaps voted against saving Yamato at the end of 2202. The pandora’s box that was the Time Fault (which, according to Burrel and Teresa was connected to different dimensions at its very bottom) gave Earth absolute technological prosperity and superiority, eventually emboldening the enlightened Earthlings to eliminate rivals like Garmillas and subjugate their lands, not unlike the fever of war the Japanese Imperial Army experienced during WW2. Why this Garmillas pivot? Because Meldarz will later claim that Garmillas and its people are eventually forgotten by history.
[KC]: Well we know from recent Captain Harlock manga that some version of Leader Dessler is still alive and well, so I call foul on that. So long as he lives and fights, Garmillas lives.
The being stands. “I’m aware of it, Your Excellency Meldarz.” With a fingertip across the brow, a digital HUD (heads up display) appears, discoloring his brows and eyes. “The recovery operation will be carried out without delay as dictated by the timeline. All the noise that’s not on the record will be erased.”
[KC]: I have a bad feeling about this…
[AMB]: When Teresa told Kodai at the end of 2202 it was imperative that he chose to leave her dimension lest the universe face dire consequences, this is what I believe she referred to: the emergence of Dezarium, a second coming of the same foolish self-destructive WME-equipped race that was the Iscandarians, a fear Starsha expressed as early as at the end of 2199. Zordar’s kind as a whole served as a similar warning against unmitigated development of android and A.I. technology.
[KC]: Confession time: I don’t remember much about the original Dark Nebula Empire at all. Were they the ones with the mechanical horses? I interpreted the “needle talk” as veiled threats of eradication due to our underdeveloped technology, but noting that we screwed up the timeline is a much more interesting angle.
[AMB]: The ones riding mechanical horses were the Dengil of Final Yamato, former Babylonians who left Earth in a spaceship provided by “demons” in order to escape the biblical flood, retconned to a deluge from the water planet Aquarius. Plenty of their imagery and concepts has been lent to Gatlantis and Teresa in 2202, and perhaps to Dezarium in 2205. Which brings me to a curious pivot…
Remember Zemulia in 2202, that race of demon-looking fellas who created the Gatlanteans a millennia ago, brought to ruin by a Jirellan-looking witch named Sabera? In our 2202 episode commentaries, we pointed out extensive connections between Aquarius/Uruk in Final Yamato with Akerius/Gatlantis/Zemulia in 2202, but we failed to accurately pinpoint what Zemulia could be based on. In my current university course on Western Esotericism, I noticed something peculiar…
According to famed occult author Helena Blavatsky, there were four ancient human root races/civilizations on Earth; the ethereal Polarians, the golden-yellow Hyperboreans, the sunken continent of dinosaur-coexisting-humans called the Lemurians, and of course the Atlanteans. If the Aquarian civilization from Final Yamato is meant to be the Akerian root species for the reboot, then it makes sense that the Zemulians (Lemurians) are the closest inheritors of their legacy.
[KC]: I just have to take a moment because I haven’t thought about Blavatsky in ages and I never expected her to come up in Yamato commentary, but it definitely relates!
[AMB]: Back to the needle: I believe Deda and Meldarz use the vinyl record to measure how much the current past they’re visiting is diverging from the line of events that eventually led to their creation. As we’ll find out later, Dezarium has come here to seize Iscandar for its technological treasures, perhaps in a desperate attempt to stave off some cataclysm in their timeline/future. Or maybe the fact that Yamato survives 2202’s events at all is the calamity that befalls them?
Teresa predicted that the harmony of the universe would fall to disarray without Yamato, meaning its existence is likely what’s causing the biggest amount of noise on their records. Deda enjoys the sound of the needle jumping because it sounds real, but Meldarz cautions against this, because indulging in this realness risks dooming their future.
[KC]: I’m excited about this theory of yours, and also a little bummed out. I may have to bow out of commentary for 3199 if that’s the case because time travel plotlines make my brain hurt.
[AMB]: Next set of commentaries will span 26 episodes, but I doubt the time/dimension travel storyline will cover the entire series. We still have Bolar and Galman to contend with.
[KC]: We all know that’s really what I’m waiting for. This may also be the right time to point out that 3199 does feel like more of a departure from the original series than the meatier, more sophisticated versions of the stories we know.
[AMB]: In some respects, yes, but head writer Fukui has assured audiences they’re partially backtracking on that idea:
“Initially, there was some talk that it would be okay to move away from the original series after New Voyage, but I thought it would be more important to keep following the original series. Be Forever will not deviate from that basic policy. However, the order of events may change, and shuffling may occur. I don’t think it will be completely different. But I think you will be surprised.”
Read more here.
Voice actor note: Deda’s voiced by Kosei Tomita, and Meldarz is voiced by Takaya Kuroda, both famous for their work in SEGA’s Yakuza (Like a Dragon) game series. Sound director Tomonori Yoshida has been part of the voice cast auditions for many years. Every now and then, he offers suggestions for whom he’d personally choose, but rarely – if ever – does he petition for a voice actor without even an audition. This happened with Deda’s voice actor, Kosei Tomita.
Deda walks off to stand on a platform, where his body is digitally encased in a form-fitting suit complete with a dramatic cape. A panel opens to reveal a command station in keeping with the dark walls and thin red lights theme.
[KC]: Very Sith-Lord-aesthetic this place has, although we know there’s nothing mystic about these folks.
[AMB]: He even has his own thorny throne. But let’s talk about the overtechnology presented to us. Deda has a body that would make even the most senior of body builders blush. He has no shame in being naked, perhaps indicating that the norm of wearing clothes isn’t part of their culture. He’s got a HUD that apparently gives him complete battlefield data feedback, and perhaps even the capability to physically control minor Pleiades ships – much in the same way Emperor Palpatine did in a movie I don’t want to talk about.
[KC]: That would be quite a tangent. I’m there with you in not wanting to go down that road, although I imagine we both have a lot to say. It is very Yamato of the Dezarium to still be so caught up in their humanity. Clearly their tech is well advanced, but the physical, biological form is still important.
[AMB]: Very much in line with Be Forever Yamato. In that movie, the Dark Nebulans were revealed to be literal skinwalkers, searching for replenished skin to maintain their faux human appearance. Underneath their skin, they were all machines who had once abandoned flesh to become perfect, immortal beings.
[KC]: Oh, I definitely missed that Yamato outing. And as a horror fan I find myself gravitating less toward thoughts of biotech like, say, the Terminator and more toward individuals like Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
“Great Pleiades, advance!” Deda yells, gesturing forward. Next, we see a massive, intimidating vessel bathed in red light.
[AMB]: And of course, just like in New Voyage, the first time we hear the Goruba theme in 2205, it’s attached to Deda’s flagship. This time, it has its own name, Great Pleiades! (Find its specs here.) Why does this name matter? Because it’s completely in English, further hammering home the point that these guys have Earthling origins. It’s not called the Dedalaze, or the Meldarzrusa. What is a Pleiades? In Greek Mythology, they were the seven sister nymphs. In reality, they’re an open star cluster close to the Taurus Cluster, just 444 light years away from Earth, placing it among the nearest star clusters to our planet. This is likely no coincidence.
[KC]: The evidence to support your theory is mounting! I have to say, I like the idea that they’re future Earthlings mainly because the color of his skin implies a possible merging of Garmillas and Earth folks, something I’ve been looking for since the beginning.
Back on Garmillas, the Hammers continue to destroy the surface of the planet. Hilde Shulz is forcibly taken onto a migration shuttle while she calls out to President Hyss. Calling him “uncle,” over and over, she struggles as he stoically watches over her safe evacuation.
“Too bad we couldn’t be a real father and daughter,” Hyss laments as her shuttle lifts off. Inside the shuttle, Hilde’s tears and pleas for her “father” seem real enough.
“Starsha,” Hyss thinks. “Please have mercy.”
[AMB]: As mentioned previously, Hyss has petitioned for Hilde to accept him as her legal guardian. For reasons likely related to her complex feelings about being a Zaltzian with a father who died in the line of duty, she never accepted his request. She calls him uncle here to signify that she still views him as someone close to her, but is unable to vocally express more than that.
According to what’s seen in 2199 and the 2205 mecha guide, the shuttle used here, and all over Garmillas, is an SDG61-L general purpose vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. During Garmillas’ time as an empire, these were used for general transportation, container conversion and so on. They are also known to have been used as fireboats in emergencies.
[KC]: I’m finally going to get my answer with regards to why Garmillas has such reverence for Iscandar. Do I like it? Yes and no, but I’ll share those details when we get there. For now, I’ll instead say that this is one gut punch of a scene in a series that is filled with gut punches. Kinda glad they only stretched it out over eight episodes.
[AMB]: Any more would have been overkill for such a tight script.
It’s fitting to hear Hyss be the one to express this reverence, too. Last time we saw him interact with Starsha was back in 2199, Episode 24, where he contacted her office to vouch for Yamato using the WMG in order to save Garmillas.
[KC]: That’s true. The original series loved the trope of Dessler being surrounded by relative incompetents since it wasn’t his show, but Hyss is a good egg.
On Iscandar, Starsha, Yurisha and Melda Deitz are witnessing the destruction of Garmillas’ core. Melda tells the Iscandarians that they have no idea the effect this will have on this planet, and urges them to take shelter immediately.
Yurisha looks to her sister for guidance, and Starsha delivers.
“Whoever it is, their target is not Garmillas.” She looks up to the sky. Yurisha gasps.
[AMB]: Starsha knows more than she’s letting on. This is the first time we hear of a secret shelter in 2205, but 2199 already told us it exists; it’s where “the rest of their race rests.” Keep this in mind. And of course she can’t help but empathize with what Dessler must be going through. After everything he sacrificed for his home, this is his unjust reward. And Starsha can’t do anything to help.
This scene effectively utilizes body language. Melda has strange ties to Garmillas. In her youth, it was a symbol of staunch oppression and inequity, a place that almost took the life of her father, who is currently on Galman, relatively safe. Yurisha fears what Starsha means by her statement, because she knows just like her sister that a gap of knowledge for the Iscandarians is a fearsome prospect indeed. She also infers Starsha’s true meaning here: Iscandar is the target, not Garmillas.
[KC]: Of course Starsha knows more than she’s letting on. She selectively omits important information like others breathe. Yes, she’s obviously distressed about what’s happening, but she’s the last person I’m going to pity. I haven’t liked her since she only had that one blue dress with the weird neckline.
[AMB]: We’ll later find out that she, like Dessler, struggles to allow her personal feelings to take precedent when inherited duties and past promises conflict. “What she wants and what she needs,” as Twin Peaks’ Dale Cooper would say, “are two different things.”
The devastation on Garmillas is unrelenting. Rivers of magma flood toward cities as objects explode, left and right. People are still on the ground, even as the last ships leave the atmosphere. As one river of lava splashes up onto a docking platform and engulfs an entire ship, Berger sees that they are truly at the end and orders all vessels to leave the planet at maximum combat speed. He’d stayed behind to pick up what few shuttles he could carry aboard Lambea.
[AMB]: Garmillas’ molten core is briefly seen extracted in New Voyage, but not more than that. Before the planet originally exploded, bursts of lava sprayed out of the planet’s craters. It’s a harrowing scene, reminiscent of the refugee rescue from Final Yamato, only this time Dessler’s in charge instead of Kodai. Berger’s a good man for staying until the end. Also, I believe this is the first time we hear Frakken refer to Dessler as “Soto” [fuhrer]. Before this, he’d been much less formal with the man.
[KC]: The Garmillas Wolf does his own thing.
Berger’s command carrier turns as his bridge crew informs him the Deusula III is still descending. Berger, Frakken and Hainey all gasp in disbelief, but sure enough, Dessler’s flagship is diving toward the planet’s surface.
“Your Excellency, it’s too dangerous!” A sweating Talan, braced to the side of Dessler’s command chair, implores him to turn around.
“Still more…There should still be many more lives we can save.”
An image of a collapsed ship and many bodies. An adult form lies over that of a child. A stuffed, double-tailed feline toy burns beside them.
[KC]: Abelt. Buddy. We’re good. That scene in the beginning, where you freed your ancestral planet? Seriously, 2199 is forgotten. You don’t have anything else to prove. Please turn around and don’t let anything happen to the most incredible handlebar mustache in the known universe.
[AMB]: A handlebar mustache bracing against a set of handlebars. How fitting. That feline toy is a plushie replica of the alien cat we saw on the Garmillan Jupiter base in 2199, Episode 3. I wonder if they managed to sneak out some of the native wildlife before the planet started imploding. Those kickass Harlock birds for example.
[KC]: My memory of 2199 is fuzzy on this; I know that Domel/Lysis had one of those birds in the original series, but did that carry through to the remake?
[AMB]: It did. He left his bird with his wife Eliza when he ventured to the Rainbow Star Cluster, and last we saw it was in Episode 25 of 2199, where it was still in her possession.
“Even one more…Just one more person…” Abelt’s passionate tone escalates as he thinks of his nephew Ranhart. His brother Mattheus. Himself as a small, frightened boy, swearing that fateful blood vow. “I promised. I promised to save the planet and the people of Garmillas. I did!” Dessler cries out and his ship suddenly turns. He spins in shock to find Talan at the controls.
“If that’s so, you must not die here in vain!” Talan barks over his shoulder as he speeds them away to safety. Dessler struggles to protest, but valiantly concedes.
[KC]: Oh, man, this is it. This is how they’re giving us the scene they took out of the new Gatlantis story. Talan to the rescue. You love to see it. I’m not kidding. I watched this scene over and over.
[AMB]: Talan’s best line in the reboot. Swaying the mind of his dear leader, Talan drags him out of his self-imposed punishment, an action prompted after witnessing Dessler’s true colors laid completely bare. Just like Kodai in 2202, Dessler seems to have had enough. He wants to die by the sword as penance for his failures and mistakes. But as Hijikata told Yamanami in the same series, there is no responsibility in death. You have to live on and face the consequences of your actions. At least a Garmillas farewell party is colorful…
There’s also another Final Yamato connection to discuss, connected to the movie’s refugee rescue on planet Dengil. There, Kodai almost kills himself and Yamato in a desperate gambit to save more lives than is possible, prompting his best friend Shima to stop him, asking who he’ll be able to save if he’s dead. Another great Shima scene stolen by another character!
[KC]: I have a friend whose favorite character is Shima, and we often commiserate over how our favorites don’t get nearly as much plot and screen time as we’d like. How will I face her now? I’m sorry, Peg!
[AMB]: And how about those vocal performances? Stellar and gruesome. Dessler voice actor Koichi Yamadera felt that performing as the disgraced leader in 2205 was one of the most difficult roles in his life. How does one balance the Dessler sound with the trauma enforced upon the man?
“The events that happen are so shocking that they shake you up emotionally. What I considered in terms of emotional expression was that I had to keep a little bit of Dessler-ness in it somewhere. I didn’t want it to be like, ‘I don’t care anymore,’ but I didn’t want to reveal everything, so I performed while putting the brakes on my heart. I didn’t release my emotions, so I was really tired afterward. It would have been much easier to play the role if I let go of my emotions and shouted. So I had to put a lot of pressure on my abdomen while acting. I think some of my blood vessels must have broken. It was really difficult to find the right balance in the ‘Because it’s Dessler’ part.”
Read more here.
President Hyss is walking down a corridor in the presidential estate with two aides, when it erupts in flames behind them. The building topples over. Hilde cries out, tears flying. Berger grits his teeth while Frakken and Hianey have an emotional moment of silence. Starsha watches from her observation window. Magma begins bursting from the planet’s core. Ships still too close to the heat erupt into flame while Oddo looks on in horror and Varna hugs her daughters tightly to her.
There is a blinding flash and a tremendous explosion. Then Garmillas erupts, its pieces scattering across the cosmos.
[AMB]: And there goes Garmillas, Hyss, and countless others in the blink of an eye. Hilde’s scream of terror, voiceless as the theme of Deda’s Great Pleiades begins to fade. Each image contains trace amounts of beauty, horror, and sadness.
[KC]: They really give the planet quite an end, with a ring and everything. The full Alderaan treatment. Let’s have a moment of silence.
[AMB]: The sequence itself is heavily inspired by the original destruction of Garmillas, shot composition and all. Dezarium is quite devious huh? In this work, their task is to seize Iscandar, but in order to return home to whatever dimension or timeline they come from, they need the energy of an entire star. That’s why they’re using Garmillas as a sacrificial lamb, much to our collective chagrin. Professor Shosuke Hayashi, from Kobe University’s Graduate School of Planetary Science, explains how he advised head writer Fukui on how to tackle this mecha scientifically:
“The key point here was Mr. Fukui’s emphasis on ‘GAKON! GAKON!’ (the sound those gigantic pile-drivers make). In fact, no matter how hard you hit the ground, at most the crust will only turn into fine sediment, and the gravity created by the mass of the planet itself would hold it together, even if it is crushed, so it would not scatter. In other words, in order to destroy a planet, you need to disrupt its gravity. That’s what the Dezarium Hammer is doing with its ‘GAKON! GAKON!’ The concept is that Dezarium’s ‘super-technology’ is used to disrupt the gravity of Garmillas. However, to be more precise, the Dezarium Hammer is not just disrupting the gravity, it also sucks out the ‘energy of the planet’ as Mr. Fukui says.”
Read more here
Dessler’s fleet sits amidst the debris. On his flagship, Dessler falls to his knees in a state of shock, unable to say the words.
“Garmillas… Garmillas is… the planet’s doom was preordained. For that reason, we kept spilling blood in war. Everything we fought for…everything…”
He thinks of Ranhart and Mattheus again in his grief, when reports are picked up of multiple distress signals being received from the remaining immigration fleet, landing on Iscandar.
[AMB]: Another scene picked straight from the original New Voyage, Dessler’s Bolero playing in the background and all. But here, Abelt’s less concerned with seeing Garmillas die, and more focused on how this failure of his broke the promises he made to his brother and nephew , both of whom laid down their lives for Garmillas’ sake.
A long, gruesome half-century long civil war was waged by uncle Erich and Mattheus, resulting in the latter’s death. Ranhart took a desperate gambit to save the universe so that Abelt could find a new home for Garmillas. An empire was sought by Abelt, who incessantly expanded at the cost of other starfaring species, all for nothing.
[KC]: I believe that I predicted in the much earlier days of 2202 that they were going to redeem Dessler beyond what we got originally, and this series is delivering. Lessons are truly being learned.
[AMB]: But will Dessler be able to live with the baggage he’s accumulated? That answer will be properly given in the last episode, much to your contentment, I presume?
[KC]: Yes, but I was really biting my nails over how this would turn out!
“Regroup the fleet.” Talan orders. “We will-”
“Iscandar!” Someone else on the bridge cries out and Talan and Dessler look up in horror as the report comes in. Iscandar has left the Salezar System’s orbit and is increasing its velocity. A blue forcefield has enveloped the planet.
“Is it because it lost its twin planet, Garmillas?” Talan asks. “But this speed is-”
“Follow,” Dessler orders him. ”Follow it!”
[AMB]: We don’t see it on-screen here, but one of the most iconic Yamato mecha has already made its first, invisible appearance. The Dark Nebulan Autoplanet Goruba! Using cloaking technology similar to the Ark of the Stars, and gravity manipulation technology similar to the Ark of Destruction, this devil’s machine is quietly pulling the planet toward a different star system for reasons we’ll explore in the next episode. That blue forcefield is its gravitational pull. So much incredible tech in one machine.
[KC]: Well they had to one-up Zordar.
[AMB]: And if my theory is proven correct, they did just that in their own version of the past. Another interesting tidbit in this scene is that the warp of Iscandar is completely intentional. In New Voyage, it was an accident.
The fleet pursues Iscandar as a distorted broadcast goes out: “To all Garmillas people in the universe, Planet Garmillas is gone. I repeat. Our home planet…Planet Garmillas is gone.”
[AMB]: As if taunting the audience, the last broadcast from Garmillas is garbled and scratchy, same as the Claire de Lune record played by Deda. Try to conceptualize how you’d respond to hearing about your home state / country being completely wiped off the face of the universe. A horrifying prospect. Add onto that the wartime confusion and technological difficulties, and you’ve got an allegorical scenario to what it must have felt to hear about Nagasaki or Hiroshima just vanishing in WW2. How did this moment make you feel the first time around, Kathy?
[KC]: Truth is, I don’t have a patriotic bone in my body, and in the real world find such devotion to borders rather ridiculous, but I readily accept this sort of loyalty and devotion in my space opera and it was gut wrenching. Mostly due to the ramifications for the Garmillas I care about.
The screen goes dark. Then we see a computer terminal flashing red in Garmillan letters. Sukeji Yabu sits in front of the screen, looking shocked. He steps out into Yamato‘s hallway to ask a couple passing science officers if they can take a look at his communications server for Garmillas, since it’s acting up. They completely ignore him, speculating as to why a traitor would act so friendly.
“It sure is odd for a Garmillan engineer like Yabu to speak Earth’s language,” one adds. They walk away.
[AMB]: Believe it or not, even characters with as little screen time as these two guys still get official names in the story documents. They are Fumihiko Sano and Yuu Kishida.
“Hi,” speaks a voice behind them. Yabu turns to see Domon at the other end of the hall, passing with his food cart. “If you don’t mind, I can take a look.” Yabu looks back at him in surprise.
[KC]: Do these jerks have character names? My boy Yabu already has more than enough to deal with right now.
[AMB]: You are correct. They’ve been background characters from the science division since 2199, and their names are Fumihiko Sano and Yuu Kishida respectively. And I agree on Yabu. His confusion at the server going down, the nasty looks and comments he receives, his ostracization… this can’t be the most healthy workplace for him. At least he has Domon, right?
[KC]: It was a good idea to put these two together, like I said. I think they could have even done a bit more exploration of the positive effects their friendship would have on one another.
Elsewhere, Yamanami is giving Kodai, Yuki and Sanada a presentation on the subspace gate between the Magellanic Cloud and the Milky Way Galaxy.
“It’s part of the most important infrastructure that supports the large migration of the Garmillas people to Planet Galman,” he tells them. “A Garmillas patrol fleet is protecting all of the gates in preparation for a Bolar attack. Our group will reach the gate in two days. After completing a ceremony with the Garmillas patrol fleet and passing through the gate, we’ll be in…”
“The Magellanic Cloud,” Yuki finishes for him. “One more step and we’ll reach Garmillas and Iscandar, won’t we?”
[AMB]: The gate they’re referring to is the Akerian space gate on Planet Balan, first introduced in 2199. Due to Yamato’s reckless, albeit necessary actions, the gate’s been irrevocably damaged. However, in the past six years, it appears Garmillan engineers have made some fine progress fixing the thing.
This journey is quite the nostalgia trip. That gate was where Sanada almost lost his life, bonding with Susumu about his dearly departed brother Mamoru, and revealing to Yuki the nature of her past amnesia. It’s overall a good memory for the three Captains. In this scene, we also get our first real map of the Bolar Federation’s relative size to the remnants of the Garmillan empire’s vanguard forces. It’s pretty big. Almost twice the size. But knowing Garmillas, quality beats quantity every day of the week.
[KC]: I could go for the cheap laugh here or the Star Wars reference. Needless to say, Dessler’s problems won’t be over when 2205 is.
“You’re right,” Yamanami agrees. “It’s almost like barging into someone’s yard, though. That said, Captain Kodai, has our fleet matured enough to stand on its own feet yet?”
“Not yet,” Kodai admits. “They’re talented in their own right, but still inexperienced. They’re educated, but still don’t understand the significance of operating the ship and its weapons. We still have a lot to teach in order for them to survive this severe interplanetary circumstance.”
As Kodai speaks we get a montage of scenes depicting day-to-day life on Yamato.
[AMB]: No wasted screen space in this space opera! Instead of still images for this meeting, 2205 takes the opportunity to explore the education of these space cadets. It adds a lot of color that some 2202 detractors felt was missing in that series.
[KC]: Chock full of content, and you better pay attention or you might miss something!
[AMB]: Tokugawa’s doing high maintenance exercises with the other engineers, Bando checks the WMG’s specs in person, Nagakura’s testing Raiden’s willpower in the gym, Tetsuya Kitano’s holding his first awkward class in tactics with the Cosmo Tigers as Sakamoto makes an ass of himself by raising a hand, agitating his senior Akira. And in the medbay Miyako has fallen asleep in front of the main terminal, with Dr Sado gently laying a blanket over her.
“The troublemaker as well?” Yamanami asks. Kodai reacts, but doesn’t respond and Yamanami continues. “Yamato has an uneasy atmosphere, including the situation around the engineer, Yabu. Could you tell me what you really think, Captain Kodai? What is your true intention in keeping Domon Ryusuke aboard Yamato?”
Again, we do not get Kodai’s response, but a short time later, Kodai is speaking alone with Yuki in the observation deck, with head navigator Ota keeping a watchful eye for eavesdroppers.
[AMB]: By only admitting yes-men to the crew, both professional and personal growth is stymied across the board. Okita knew this, and so does Kodai. In a meta sense, they’re avatars very counter to modern Japanese business practices, where conformity and yes-man culture is promoted in order to ensure social harmony (和). But Kodai, like Okita and Dessler, seeks absolution and punishment on a personal level. Hearing men and women of his age or older support the short-sighted Time Fault decision at the end of 2202 is all fine and dandy, but without support from the youth of today who might suffer dearly tomorrow, it’s all for naught. That’s why he wants Domon to decide whether or not his rescue from Teresa’s dimension was warranted, and if not, he’ll be his reaper.
“He’s like me,” Kodai says of Domon. “I couldn’t acknowledge the death of my brother a long time ago. He has the same look in his eye that I did when I was testing Captain Okita. No, his is heavier. His burden is heavier because he lost his father in exchange for my life.” Standing beside him, Yuki twists the ring on her finger.
“I don’t think I can prove myself enough for the sacrifice he made. As a captain, it might be the right decision to leave him behind. Even so, I…”
Without a word, she puts her arm around him and hugs him closer, her diamond glinting in the light.
[AMB]: She still wears the ring… that’s good.
[KC]: This is a callback to the original series, although there it was Kodai hugging Yuki to him, right? And she brushes him off her shoulder just as the picture is taken. So perhaps less a callback and more Kodai and Yuki’s relationship progressing.
[AMB]: Both. The scene you’re referencing, which also took place in the observation deck, was conspicuously absent from 2199. It wasn’t until Ark of the Stars that this scene was recreated, with Shima and Akira joining in. Kodai tries to pull the same move Yuki does here, but she pinches him, resulting in a dorky picture of the couple. This time, she shows Kodai that she remembers those times, and hugs him. There’s a similar scene in Yamato III as well.
Also, if nobody does yet, somebody should keep a tally on how often we bring up Ark of the Stars. That movie’s a goldmine for interconnectivity in the post-2199 world, connected to both 2199 and Yamato III. Kodai copes with Yuki in the place where they took their iconic couple photo in both the OG series and in Ark.
In another section of Yamato’s observation deck, Yabu is speaking with Domon.
“The episode about Kodai and Mori became a conversation topic among the people of Garmillas. The people of Earth are impressive for sacrificing the Time Fault to save the lives of two people.”
[AMB]: This scene originally had Shima and Domon speaking with each other, but this changed when Yabu’s return was cleared by Fukui. And yes, it is impressive of Earthlings to sacrifice the Time Fault’s pragmatic value in exchange for the moral virtue of saving the heroes Yuki and Kodai. Also, am I just seeing things, or are those digital plants being projected on the deck? Is this a deep cut reference to Yamato 2’s holodeck and greenhouse?
[KC]: Wow, I didn’t catch that, but it would not surprise me! And while I may feel some obligation to voice support for Shima here, since as I referenced earlier, I know what it’s like to have a character lose screen time in the reboot, I do very much like the use of Yabu and Domon together here.
[AMB]: Because it makes perfect sense, I have no room to complain either! Poor Shima. That said, what does Yabu’s voice actor, Cho, have to say about Yabu’s active return to the series?
“Yabu has mostly been overshadowed so far, so I was surprised to see him in the film. I didn’t know about it until I read the script. I had no advance notice from the staff that he would play such an active role. He’s not dead, he’s alive…and he has a family!
Basically, I don’t think Yabu has fundamentally changed. Like a corporate warrior, he does what he has to to make a living. There’s nothing cool about him, but he’s stubbornly trying to survive.
At first, the only thing that mattered to him was himself, but when he got a family, I think some of the things that were important to him changed. When you’re away from your family, you realize how important they are. I think he’s strong because he’s used to being knocked down. That’s a part of him that resonates with me in 2205.”
Read more here.
“It was just the momentum of the time,” Domon explains. “It’s called populism. It was a choice without conviction. That’s why people are scared of the possibility of another war. There’s even an outrageous rumor that the military manipulated the voting results.”
Yabu has to laugh. “Sorry. It’s funny that a traitor and a troublemaker are discussing politics on Yamato’s observation deck.”
“Forgive me for not being able to help you solve your communication problem,” Domon apologizes.
“It’s all right,” Yabu assures him. “I’m glad I can talk to someone like this.”
[AMB]: Do we think there’s any value to these rumors? I trust Domon’s assessment that it’s ridiculous to think the military would rig the vote against the Time Fault – they practically lobbied for it!
And Yabu’s right, it’s absurd to see these two misfits bond over politics aboard Yamato, though admittedly wholesome. His comment about “talking to someone like this” can also easily be inferred to mean, “I’m glad I have someone to vent my frustrations with in a relaxed manner.” It’s sweet.
[KC]: I couldn’t say if the votes were manipulated in the reality of the fiction, but I definitely think that the line was put in because that seems to be a common if not always true accusation that we see in our own reality.
[AMB]: That’s probably true. Fukui does have a penchant for including allusions to modern day struggles, both philosophically and politically.
[KC]: And yes, I am all in favor of the emotional and psychological benefits Domon and Yabu will hopefully experience from their bonding over being the mistrusted outsiders.
[AMB]: We’ve spoken about Domon for quite a bit, but not about his voice actor, Tasuku Hatanaka. A star in modern animation, he’s a young and fresh talent. Had he seen Yamato before this? And what does he think about Yamato?
“I’m not from that generation (who grew up with Yamato), but I knew the song, and the sound director I was working with told me about Yamato. It was not far from my mind. I felt the magnitude of Yamato‘s influence. However, I wondered if it was okay for a beginner to join in. I sort of felt like I didn’t have permission. But what is portrayed is a universal theme that’s familiar to all ages. What’s the right choice to make as a human being? I was able to be involved in this project, and it made me think. Its human drama is deep, and I felt the heat to the point of tears. I really like it.
At the core, it asks, what do you do for people who have lost their loved ones? It depicts very important things, such as issues between nations and the choice between life and death. To be honest, we in our twenties don’t have many opportunities to think about such things. Watching this film is an experience that we can gain, and it makes us think, ‘What choice would I make?’ Watching Kodai’s back, I couldn’t stop crying at times. We don’t have drinking parties at the moment because of the Corona pandemic, but when one of my seniors used to say, ‘Let’s go for a drink!’ I had doubts. But I found what they had to say was very interesting, and it made my heart beat faster. This may be similar to that experience.”
Read more of his thoughts here.
Something seems to occur to Domon.
“If my father knew that I was on Yamato he’d be so happy that he’d be jumping around. Once the Time Fault was gone, a small subcontractor like us couldn’t survive. As the company owner, my father wouldn’t vote for the rescue of Captain Kodai. But what he really wanted would be…” Domon thinks back to the day his father died, lying motionless on the highway.
“Accident or suicide; even now we’re still not sure. What’s for sure, is, he was exhausted from managing finances,” Domon thinks back to his father’s financial woes, with call upon call bringing bad news. The image of his slumped back, head in his hands seems to strike a chord in Domon’s heart. His mind wanders back to the highway incident.
[AMB]: This tragic fate of the small business company man is actually reflected in the character philosophy of Yabu, as described by head writer Fukui. Even without his words, one can still infer his fate as loosely connected to that of small businesses all over the world in the wake of the Covid pandemic. Men like Ryuzo could do nothing but accept where the tides of time were moving, and suddenly, one day, he dies. Here’s what Fukui had to say when asked about Yabu:
“I put the burden on Yabu of not knowing what would happen tomorrow. Now I can’t even remember what it was like without him. I thought about what our generation is going through now. I thought about ‘changing jobs.’ He was supposed to have been employed by one company (Yamato) and been safe for the rest of his life, but he was betrayed at every turn and cast away by his former employer. Now he’s working hard at a new company (Garmillas) and gets ordered to go to his old company for technical reasons. Everyone at the old place stares at him. But he has a family now, so he can’t quit.”
“It’s not like he’s going to lose his entire hometown, but at his age, he’s not sure if he’s able to leave. A lot of things could happen to his family due to health problems or something. I thought that if we could make him smile again at the end, the story would win. I was totally focused on that feeling.”
Read more here
“When I found him, he was still alive. He looked up at the sky and smiled. It was the very moment when Yamato returned from the higher dimension. ‘A hero who saved Earth.’ Be that as it may, bearing my father’s death in mind, the emerging hero appeared to me as a demon. Why did he smile?”
Back in the past, Ryusuke’s father Ryuzo casts a cursory glance at the sky, then at his son, a smile adorning his face in his final moments.
“You’ll figure it out,” Yabu assures him, clarifying when Domon looks at him curiously. “Oh, sorry. I feel like I can understand him because of who I am now. After all, you were with your father when he–“
[AMB]: What Yabu is inferring here is that one man’s hero can easily be seen as another man’s villain through a certain lens or perspective. We see this all the time in mankind’s historical wars. If you ask the French and the British what they think about Napoleon, you’ll get a broadly different (generally speaking) set of answers. Hero to the french, villain to the British. It’s a very postmodern way of applying critique through reflection and introspection.
Young boys like Domon, who grow up in plentitude and prosperity, have an easier time swallowing these concepts, than for example Shima did in 2199, at the height of misery for mankind. Domon can question the goodness of Yamato’s spirit, but Shima could barely get himself to accept that the EDF military shot first against Garmillas.
[KC]: Perspective is key.
[AMB]: Why did Ryuzo smile at the end? The answer is found in the last episode, with a major hint almost slipping from Yabu’s mouth here. What do you think he was trying to say to Domon?
[KC]: My takeaway was that it was just a general acceptance, and Domon is recalling it because he, too, is starting to come to terms with things.
[AMB]: Since we’re deep in spoiler territory, I’ll just point it out: Ryuzo was happy he had the opportunity to see his son one last time, by his side, as he passed away. We’ll eventually get the why, later.
Yabu is cut off when the door bursts open and a number of crew members runs through, dressing hurriedly. Sakamoto stops to fill them in.
“Hey, Domon, this is big! Planet Garmillas! Planet Garmillas was–”
Yabu’s speechless as we cut to Kodai and Yuki, who are equally shocked as Shima finishes telling them the same thing.
“…destroyed. The planet was under attack by an unknown enemy shortly before.”
In space we see Admiral Deitz’s fleet. His reaction on the bridge as he receives the news.
[AMB]: Dietz’ reaction is very much warranted. Even though he was once betrayed by the system he so dutifully served, he still loves his homeworld. At least he can feel safe, knowing his daughter Melda’s serving as an ambassador on Iscandar. Interesting to note is that his ship is staffed by common soldiers just like Berger’s Lambea, rather than imperial clones that we see aboard Dessler’s flagships in 2202 and 2205.
The BGM here is called Crisis of Iscandar, a New Voyage original rarely heard outside the movie, I think its inclusion here leaves a strong impact.
“But it’s unclear whether the attack was related to the planet’s destruction,” Shima continues, as images of EDF HQ in full panic flash by.
“We don’t know if the enemy was the Bolar Federation or not,” adds Niimi.
“The migration project had just begun, so…”
Aboard Yamato’s bridge, Ambassador Burrel yells into a headset as Serizawa looks on, perturbed.
“…The majority of the Garmillas people would have been caught in the planet’s destruction…most likely.” Shima finishes grimly.
[AMB]: But unlike Dietz, Burrel has a strong connection to Garmillas as a source of tradition and spirituality. The homeworld he gave so many years of his life to is gone in the blink of an eye, and as a former intelligence agency spook, he’s desperately trying to make sure a mistake hasn’t been made in reporting. Serizawa, who too knows the pain and fear of losing one’s home… he just quietly stands in the back, unsure of how to express his sympathies.
For Yabu, Garmillas was a found home, a found family. The idea that everything that managed to give him meaning in life could suddenly have died is devastating. To the observant viewer who can distance themselves from Yabu’s shock and grief, Shima’s comment verifies the strong possibility that his wife Varna and her kids may have survived among the refugees who crashed on Iscandar. Perhaps as if to toy with the audience, however, we aren’t given another glimpse of them until the very last episode, keeping new viewers in complete suspense. The cruelty of the breakdown of communication in wartime is on full display.
[KC]: The truth is that I had presumed the writers were going to triple down on tragedy and have them not survive.
[AMB]: How cruel would that be?
Back at his computer terminal, Yabu tries to connect with growing distress.
“Most of the migration ships appear to have been destroyed,” Niimi tells Kodai and Yuki. “A group of survivors has landed on Iscandar, but…”
Shima takes over. “Iscandar itself is in big trouble because it has left its orbit, moving out of control. The Dessler Fleet is in pursuit. An estimated 100,000 refugees have landed on Iscandar. We have no idea what kind of natural disasters are happening. I doubt the Dessler Fleet alone can save them.”
[KC]: I really love the way this scene is laid out. So much more time is spent on the impact if this news. Really emotional. Not that Dessler’s reaction isn’t up there, but I believe in New Voyage, the reaction of Dessler and the rest of his bridge crew is really all we got.
[AMB]: And for good reason. In the original work, Garmillas’ destruction was assured by both Dessler and Yamato’s personal war. They tore apart whatever sense of life and civilization there was left, so there’s not much personal connection left to the planet for anyone but Dessler in New Voyage. Here, it’s the living, breathing hub of a former empire, with dozens of planets still presumably under its wing. They have friends and allies who live there, whom they trust and respect.
The refugee situation, by the way, is to me at least a clear allusion to the same struggle presented in Yamato Resurrection. There, however, it’s not Garmillans migrating to a new home, it’s the entirety of Earth’s population migrating to planet Amal.
On Iscandar in the middle of a blizzard, retired Garmillas Captain Vance Baren is involved in repairs. “How could this be?” he asks the open air. Hilde turns to look at him. “Right around there, that was our home planet,” Baren says, reaching out. Even though it was dying, how could it go before me?”
[AMB]: Vance may be familiar to some observant viewers. In 2199, he famously acted as the drill missile pilot in the Rainbow Star Cluster battle, and later served with Berger in Ark of the Stars. We briefly saw him aboard Dessler’s Super Gelvades at the end of 2202, but since then, according to his character profile, he’s retired at the ripe age of 70, following Garmillas democratization.
There’s a clear parallel drawn here between a native, retired Garmillan Captain, and a Zaltsian refugee with unsure allegiances, both viewing the death of Garmillas in different ways. The shock of losing his home scars the battered Varen, whom we will later find out may have taken part in the destruction of planet Zalts, Hilde’s homeworld. The BGM in this scene, based on Azure Crystal from 2199, is called Sanctel. It’s an ominous, brooding variation that belies the darkness hiding in Iscandar’s underground sanctuary.
On the science behind the rapid climate change, we have professor Shinya Ogura to once more impart some helpful knowledge:
“In the original version of The New Voyage, the royal city of Iscandar was hit by a blizzard as the planet began to move. In the remake of 2205, we decided to verify this. We asked, ‘Is it possible for Iscandar, far from the sun of Salezar, to experience the kind of climate change depicted in the original?’ The first step was to find out. To answer this question, I consulted with Professor Shosuke Hayashi of Kobe University Graduate School.”
“The ‘Royal Palace of Iscandar in the midst of a blizzard’ scene can be considered as scientifically-possible climate change. The point here is that the entire planet does not immediately freeze over just because Salezar is far from the sun. The surface of the land will quickly cool down, but the heat stored in Iscandar’s ocean (latent heat) will not be lost so easily. The difference in temperature between the land and the sea creates wind, and the air moves rapidly toward the land. It is theoretically possible that the sudden cooling of the atmosphere toward the land will cause a snowstorm.”
Read more here
Inside the palace, Melda tells Starsha they don’t know why Iscandar is still accelerating or how badly the surface will deteriorate as a consequence. She implores Starsha to open up the entrance to “Sanctel,” beneath the royal capital, claiming this to be the only way to save the 100,000 Garmillas refugees.
“No,” Yurisha says to Melda’s surprise. “I can’t allow you to do that. It’s a sanctuary reserved for royalty. We cannot accept strangers who have not undergone the ritual.”
“Ritual?” Melda asks.
[KC]: Okay, what, now? That is not very Benevolent Space Goddess of you. Oh, wait, we’re talking about the woman who made the Earthlings confront her highly aggressive neighbor, who was trying to annihilate them, for the means of their salvation and then had the nerve to try to deny said salvation because Earth used her tech as a weapon to protect themselves from the aforementioned highly aggressive neighbor. So, yeah. I guess this is pretty standard Iscandarian B.S.
[AMB]: In Starsha’s defense, she left Yurisha to guide them away from active military engagements with Garmillas. Their task was to see past war and conflict, and to reach Iscandar without being blinded by thoughts of vengeance. Bearing in mind a millennia of watchful guidance, Iscandar initially viewed Earth’s decision to engage with the Garmillan military on Garmillas in 2199 (ep 23) as a sign of Earthling belligerence, and rightfully so. They were specifically told not to abuse Wave-Motion Energy, yet did so regardless, creating a weapon capable of the same self-destruction that eventually befell the Iscandarians.
Dessler makes the same point to Starsha when she calls to complain: “The ship you brought here uses WME as a weapon, as well,” he tells her, justifying his preemptive strike with a similar weapon (an amplified Dessler Cannon).
What Starsha saw in the Earthlings was their capacity to become what eventually broke Abelt, even if they had the same good intentions he initially had. Power hungry, perpetually evolving technologically superior beings who viewed war and expansionism as a tool to enforce peace.
In 2202, we see Earth almost treading that very same path, until Yamato’s actions convinced the powers that be to develop in a different direction. Was she not right in predicting that after we opened said Pandora’s box, we’d eventually use WME to snuff out countless lives, and later abuse the byproduct of the Cosmo Reverse System – the Time Fault – in order to mass-produce military hardware?
[KC]: It’s definitely an unfair indulgence on my part, because I do get judgey about Earth using Iscandar tech as a weapon, but I get judgey about Iscandar, too. Really, for a space opera, a genre that often lays things out in two dimensions, the lesson of this series is that much of the time, the “good guys” can do bad things and the “bad guys” can do good things.
[AMB]: Well said.
As for this “ritual,” it’s a necessity of a different kind. To join the spirits resting in the sanctuary, it really is necessary to perform the ritual. The normally cheerful Yurisha reveals why she’s opposed to housing migrants in the sanctuary by her demeanor; there’s something about the ritual that strips you of your humanity to some extent, a heavy price you shouldn’t force yourself to pay just because of pressing circumstances.
Iscandar’s pacifism, secret underground base of knowledge and weapons, and ancient past slowly unveiling itself are all elements borrowed from Yamato III’s planet Shalbart, which likewise refused to engage in conflicts because it had in the past subjugated the known universe with its advanced weaponry.
Berger, meanwhile, is leading a small vanguard chasing the runaway planet, determined not to let what remains of their people be whisked away. But they are barely keeping up at maximum combat speed, and Iscandar is still accelerating!
“It didn’t just leave orbit,” Berger muses. “There must be something ahead. What is it?”
An alarm goes off on the bridge. Multiple Geshtam signatures detected!
From the gates emerges a fleet of dark, red lit, triangular ships. Deda has arrived.
[AMB]: The new ships emerging here are Dezarium’s regular Pleiades and Hyades-class ships. Strangely enough, their warpout effect seems to have the same hull cooling feature as EDF ships. And based on what we can read about the Hyades-class, we can infer that those ships are remote controlled by the likes of Deda and his Great Pleiades.
Find mecha specs here
“Eliminate the noise,” Deda orders with a grin as the new ships open fire on Berger’s fleet.
“Who are they?” Berger asks in rhetorical indignation. “I see. They’re the owners of those spears. If so…” most of Berger’s ships manage to evade fire as they maneuver around to engage with this new enemy. “Don’t be afraid,” Berger calls out. “Unlike the spears, we can shoot them down!”
“Fan out, Berger!” broadcasts an alarmed Frakken, as he and an escort of four Dimensional Submarines bring Dessler’s flagship and its Dessler Cannon out of subspace. It fires its retaliatory beam, melting an entire enclave of Dezarium ships and grazing the Great Pleiades. Berger barely made it to safety.
“They’re the enemy who destroyed Planet Garmillas,” Dessler says, standing at his firing mechanism. “Don’t let even one ship escape! Annihilate them!”
[KC]: This whole scene? Very sexy.
[AMB]: Berger’s a brave, dauntless man. And aesthetically pleasing all around. I’m especially infatuated with the shot of Deusula III and its space submarine escorts fanning out! Speaking of which, there are four of them now! Their numbers increased back in 2202, and thankfully, not a single submarine’s been lost yet. Frakken’s a cautious and well-meaning commander, as evidenced by how he just saved Berger from certain death.
It’s interesting to note that, though the design documents for the Dezarium Hammers name them as such, they’re never named in 2205. Of cultural note it’s curious to hear Berger likening them to spears, rather than hammers or pistons. And even though Berger’s a valued ally, Dessler almost kills the man in his blind rage! Come on man, don’t let Domel-adjacent pals suffer his fate! This also happens to be the first time we witness the new Gesh Darbam, which is more colloquially known as the Dessler cannon. Mighty powerful piece of tech isn’t it?
[KC]: His Majesty does like his weapons of mass destruction.
[AMB]: Or perhaps weapons of mass protection?
We also receive more information about Dezarium here. Eliminating “the noise”? Deda’s not just referring to rabble here, but actually obstacles to the prosperity of whatever time(line) they hail from. And though their ships are technologically superior, they can still suffer physical damage! Still tough nuts to crack, though.
Back aboard the Great Pleiades, Deda takes note of the Dessler Cannon. A faceless subordinate reports that this falls under “situation prediction of 0.06.”
“Begin corrective action and share with all ships,” another responds. Deda rises from his thorny throne, stunned at Deusula III’s sudden emergence.
[KC]: I’m having another bad feeling. This is because Dessler just had a cool scene, isn’t it?
[AMB]: Possibly. Balance between joy and misery is necessary! What do you have to say about this whole “situation prediction” business? Personally, I think it lends further credence to our theory-crafting. Are they predicting future events? Or are they perhaps simply retracing their own past records?
[KC]: Honestly, I figured it was the energy of the Garmillas weapon being analyzed here, and the subtlest of hints that shooting that thing would be a big mistake.
[AMB]: That’s a very rational perspective. On another note, I just realized the “Great Pleiades” name might be a cheeky Gundam reference. In the original series, the great big red flagship of patriarch and dictator Degwin Zabi was called the Great Degwin.
“The needle jumped, didn’t it, Deda?” Meldarz taunts.
“It’s within the margin of fluctuation,” Deda replies.
“Then let’s get back to the original timeline.”
To the shock of all Garmillas present, Iscandar warps away. Talan is the one to voice their disbelief and dismay.
“It can’t be. A planet was forced to…Geshtam jump?!”
[KC]: A Quantum Leap reference might be tasteless but the visual effect is similar. It does glow with the same light that transports Dr. Sam Beckett! Hurry, Star Force! Iscandar is gone and there are only five episodes left!
[AMB]: With this, the needle has jumped. Deusula III was definitely not supposed to be here, as is evidenced by Deda and Meldarz’ dumbfounded reactions. On the “let’s get back to the original timeline,” line, one can easily interpret Meldarz to say “let’s return to the original timeline (as it once was).” Whatever deterioration has befallen their world is of urgent need of fixing.
Closing thoughts on this episode?
[KC]: The destruction of Garmillas was far more tragic this time around. Fortunately, so was Dessler’s redemption.
[AMB]: Surprisingly enough, 2205 lends itself much better to the episodic format than I believe 2202 did. I’d argue it’s best to view 2202 in its original Chapter chunks, rather than sporadic episodes. But here? You could have a wonderful experience no matter which road you go down!
This episode presented a harrowing, heart-pounding journey of excitement and tears! At first I was in disbelief that the 2205 staff had the guts to blow up Garmillas in spite of its importance to the world-building. But now I see it as the necessary evil required to motivate the Galman integration of Garmillan and Zaltsian citizens. The lack of Alterians does make you wonder what happened to them, though. Most likely, they returned to their home planet after the democratization of Garmillas.
All in all, this episode adapted about 13 minutes from The New Voyage and 3 or so minutes from Yamato III. Since this series has a few stragglers who have survived past their original counterparts, it’s reasonable to expand on the death of Garmillas and new story elements. So far, 2205 has adapted 41 minutes from New Voyage’s 95-minute length.
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
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
Yay! Finally episode 3 commentary. Though I figure that it would be impossible for any planet to wrap. I thought starsha would let the gamilans to take refuge in the city.
Dezarium has its own solution to the planet-size warp issue, explained in later episodes.
Seemingly by utilizing similar gravity core grappling technology as Zordar’s Ark of Destruction, their autofortress Goruba is pulling Iscandar with it, warping alongside it. As for the sanctuary… it’s a sacred place which requires a great sacrifice to enter, as explained in episode 7. Keep an eye out!
I can’t believe I didn’t notice that Pleiades is an obviously English name before. To make up for that, I notice that Pleiades and Hyades are both names of constellations, which fits with the naming scheme for the Andromeda class(though they all use ones that start with A).
Fancy that, you’re absolutely right! In Greek mythology, the Hyades were even half-sisters to the Pleiades… and both were daughters to the mighty Atlas.
The names Andromeda, Achilles and Antares are all names from Greek mythology too. Andromeda in particular was a princess and the daughter of the King and Queen of Aethiopia where the latter foolishly provokes Poseidon’s wrath by declaring her to be the most beautiful than the Nereids which caused her to be later punished by being striped and chained up on a rock to be sacrificed to the monster that Poseidon had unleashed before later being rescued by Persus.
Invoking the wrath of the gods by the prideful display of the Andromeda’s power on WMGs. You can’t help but wonder if history has poetically and ironically repeated itself by chaining Earth’s fate into two paths after the War with Gatlantis. Could Great Pleiades and Denzerium as a whole be part of that alternate darker path had Earth chose not to save Kodai and Yuki at the conclusion of 2202?
Yay another outstanding commentary full of nuggets!
A small addition to “In Starsha’s defense, she left Yurisha to guide them…” She sent Sasha too! Imagine the different journey Yamato would have had with both princesses guiding them?
Glad to hear you enjoyed reading it!
Indeed! And the reasons why, and her motivations for sending Yurisha afterwards, will be explored in episode 7. Who knows? Had Yurisha not entered a coma after her car crash, perhaps sending Sasha would have been superfluous. If not, however, Sasha sure would have been an exciting addition to the 2199 voyage…
I am not going to lie, when I learnt that 2205 was going to include the destruction of Garmillas and Iscandar jumping to warp again, I really wasn’t looking forward to it as I felt those moments really jumped the shark in the OG film, especially the latter part.
However upon watching the full episode, I was blown away at how much thought the production team went into making it actually work and still be meaningful to the story. Having Denzerium destroy Garmillas using those tripod hammers and using the collected energy to power up the Goruba to tow Iscandar beyond light speed was genius!
Yes it’s still a little far fetch to tow an entire planet. But hey, if the Tardis from Doctor Who can do the same to Earth, a gigantic space fortress can probably do the same. Especially since it’s been previously established that Gatlantis’ Ark of Destruction has the tech to carry multiple planets.
The destruction of Garmillas in 2205 reminded me of a couple of scenes from several Star Trek films I’ve seen. The massive onslaught of the arrival of the Denzerium hammers invoke the slow but brutal destruction of the USS Enterprise in Beyond (2016). The imagery of lava eruptions through the crust of Garmillas has some visual similarities with the destruction of the Genesis Planet from The Search for Spock (1984). And of course the entire scenario is also similar to the destruction of Vulcan from the 2009 film was also had a planetary drill involved (although technically the OG A New Voyage did it first).
The one new addition of 2205 that I especially love in this episode was how everyone outside of the Selezar System reacted to the news of Garmillas destruction which in the OG film I felt was rather muted and understated in the subject.
But in this one, you can really feel the sheer emotional impact of how sudden and shocking the disaster truly was. I got chills watching Dietz and his crew above Galman, Earth HQ, the main cast aboard the Yamato along with their government visitors and poor Yabu, all having their own responses and reaction to what had occurred. It was those same emotions of shock, denial, fear and grief that rocked the world countless times when the horrifically impossible had occurred. The loss of HMS Hood for England, The Attack on Pearl Harbor and the 9/11 attacks for America, or in Japan’s case the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki or even the recent Tohoku Earthquake in 2011.
Even though I knew this catastrophe was coming, I never expect it to hit me so hard. The line that old Baren said after Garmillas was destroyed really broke me… Kudos to his VA for such a memorable and heartbreaking performance.
“Even though it was dying, how could it go before me?”