October 20: Nico Nico Live program #27
The show was dormant for three weeks after the simulcast for episode 26 and the big farewell party on September 29, then came back with this new one-hour show. The hosts were Momoko Miyauchi (as Makoto Harada) and Rio Nanase (as Kaoru Niimi). Much of the time was spent catching up and reporting current news. In a review of the top ten ratings for the final episode, the city of Hiroshima landed the prize. Ratings for each individual episode had been reported on previous simulcasts, and Hiroshima consistently took the lead. (The main reason being that 2199 was not shown in theaters there.)
The girls relived favorite memories of the last few simulcasts and showed off some photos to the viewers. At left, a celebratory dinner after Episode 26 with director Izubuchi and character designer Nobuteru Yuuki. At right, an audience photo from Decks Odaiba for Episode 25. The Shinohara cosplayer can be seen at left.
The Yamato Girls foldout poster from the November issue of Comic Blade was unfurled and Ryo struck a matching pose with Niimi. When Momoko went to do the same, she realized she’d forgotten to put her belt on, leading to much scrambling and laughter.
Sayako Toujo popped in at one point to say hello, and wasted no time pranking on Momoko…
…then she reappeared in her full Yuria Misaki outfit for the last few minutes of the show. Some goofing around, then the closing salute, and another episode was in the can. Going forward, new Nico Nico programs are scheduled every two weeks.
October 20: Treasure Festa
While live Yamato Girls were doing their thing on Nico Nico, resin and plastic ones were front and center at this one-day hobby show which travels from city to city, this time in Kobe. Whereas the All Japan show the previous weekend was a showcase for mainstream manufacturers, this one specialized in short-run garage kits and a respectable number of them were devoted to Yamato.
See a photo gallery here.
October 21: Success Party
The Yamato 2199 Production Committee threw themselves a much-deserved party to commemorate the successful conclusion of the series, filling a hotel ballroom with close to 400 people from all corners of the production. Photos from the event were extremely rare, found only on Twitter. Singer Aira Yuuki tweeted the one above left, saying there were non-stop smiles during all the backstage stories that were told. Yamato Girl Rio Nanase was impressed by the cakes, two of which she shared with her own Twitter followers.
October 22: Manga chapter 19
The online issue of Nico Nico Ace #103 gave us the next segment of the farewell-to-Earth party, adapted and expanded by Michio Murakawa from Episode 7. Romance, tragedy and cosplay all get their moment in this 32-page chapter.
See the pages here.
October 24: UNCF Crates
A company named Groove Garage endeared itself to Yamato collectors everywhere when they opened up pre-orders for these customized collapsible storage crates, to become available in late November. How better to store all that stuff you’ve been amassing since 2199 got started? (Or much longer in some cases?)
October 24: Music Poll
For close to a decade, Akira Miyagawa has conducted his own Yamato Suite countless times at live concerts, an arrangement of four primary themes written by his father: Overture, Yamato theme, Battle, and Great Love. On October 24, his sheet music publisher Hustle Copy announced his intention to arrange a new Second Suite to debut at a concert by the Siena Wind Orchestra on December 8.
Hustle Copy’s website solicited the opinions of Yamato fans by posting this poll to ask for everyone’s favorite four selections from the music catalogue in order of preference, all chosen from live numbers heard in the Yamato 2199 Orchestra Big Ceremony 2012 concert. Voting stayed open until November 15. It’s quite common for Akira Miyagawa’s concerts to find their way to CD, so it’s not unlikely that we’ll hear the results somewhere down the road.
October 25: Chapter 7 video release
Yamato 2199 Chapter 7, titled And the Ship Sailed On, was released on DVD and Blu-ray October 25, finally allowing the entire world to finish the voyage begun 18 months earlier. See the entire Chapter 7 video package here.
The Yamato Crew limited edition came with two extra bonus items: recording scripts for episodes 23-26, and and a rare trading card with original artwork.
Yamato Crew’s exclusive storage boxes (below left) for DVD and Blu-ray sets sold out long before the video was released, and are now being offered for ridiculously high prices in online auctions. The DVD storage box included a separate disc in its own case (below right) containing a music video for Chapter 7’s end title song, Star of Love by Nana Mizuki.
Another significant point that set the Chapter 7 home video apart from its predecessors was that it finally gave everyone a chance to see the complete version of Episode 25. The TV broadcast version had additional footage not seen in theaters, but this one had even more. See a side-by-side comparison of each version of Episode 25 here.
Lastly, Chapter 7 was also deemed important enough by Bandai Visual to get its own foldout flyer, which offered a capsulized version of the entire series on the inside (below) and put a teaser for the 2014 movie on the back (above left).
October 25: Hobby magazines, December issues
Hobby Japan and Dengeki Hobby reduced their volume of Yamato coverage in these issues, but still had new products to announce thanks to the All Japan Model Hobby Show and the imminent release of Garmillas Warships set 3 from Bandai.
Dengeki‘s article ran seven pages with CG test shots of the tri-deck carriers, color images of the three new Mecha scale mini-kits, and a fantastic custom figure of Wolf Frakken.
Hobby Japan devoted four pages to Yamato with color photos of Alpha-Omega’s Makoto Harada and the first look at Megahouse’s Melda Dietz, both from the 1/8 Yamato Girls figure lineup
Model Graphix gave 2199 its usual four pages with shots of Garmillas set 3 and other upcoming Bandai models.
See all the pages from these issues here.
October 25: Hyperweapon 2013 Special
Hyperweapon has gotten several honorable mentions on this site in the past. It is a semi-annual showcase for the work of designer/director/modeler Makoto Kobayashi, who has been involved in Yamato projects since the early 90s when he contributed to the first round of conceptual design for Resurrection. He changed publishers (from Model Art to Great Japan Pictures) for this edition, but his unique blend of intricate detail, progressive yet retro design, and interesting English is as rich as ever.
Most of the 128 pages in this volume are devoted to an alternate world of Kobayashi’s own creation, populated by his own flavor of mecha and airships. The cover image depicts his own personal Yamato, reconceived as an airborne battleship, and that only scratches the surface of Kobayashi world (which also includes a flying train numbered 999).
Hyperweapon also covers the artist’s anime-related works, so Space Battleship Yamato gets 18 pages in this book, from 2520 to Resurrection to 2199. Some of his best Yamato art from previous editions is reprinted here, and 2199 gets eight pages with designs of the Garmillas capital city and an exclusive look at Yamato‘s boats beyond their very brief, blink-and-you’ll-miss them appearances in the anime. There we saw only the Tsukuba, but it also has a twin named Shiratori. Kobayashi designed them and presents CG renders (shown above) here for the first time.
Read the Yamato content of this book here
October 25: “Let’s Make Big Yamato Art” Mosaic
This was the payoff of a campaign announced in September: for a limited time, fans could submit their photos online to be part of a huge Yamato-themed montage. And when they said “huge,” they weren’t kidding. On October 25, the Yomiuri Shimbun [newspaper] published it as a massive foldout on a single two-sided sheet measuring just over five feet long.
On that day, the same website that solicited the photos published a searchable version of the mosaic. Participants whose photos were accepted received an e-mail directing them here. Clicking on the pink button would open a page containing the finished product, and a code number provided in that e-mail could be entered in the search box to home right in on a specific picture. (Enter the numbers 502132 or 844131 and click on the “ID” button to find members of the Cosmo DNA community!)
The announced goal was to gather 10,000 individual photos for the mosaic, but since some images repeat and others were generated in-house, it appears they fell a little short. Regardless, it’s still one for the history books.
The back of the printed version contained another never-before-seen image, a gigantic full-color map that tracked the entire 2199 voyage to Iscandar and back.
Subsequent to its appearance in Yomiuri Shimbun (only in limited areas of Tokyo), the same printed copy of the mosaic and map were offered by Yamato Crew for the price of shipping.
October 25-27: Panorama Event
On the other hand, if your travels took you to Akihabara, you could get a copy of the mosaic (referred to as a “panoramic newspaper”) for free. On Friday and Saturday, the Yamato Girls set up camp outside the monolithic Yodobashi Camera department store in Akihabara and handed out copies to everybody who wanted one – all for the cause of promoting Chapter 7’s arrival on home video. They did the same at Yodobashi’s Umeda store on Sunday.
See a gallery of event photos here.
October 25: Pin Set
In November 2012, the Premium Bandai online shop opened up pre-orders for this unusual set of lapel pins consisting of an 8″ long Yamato (in three segments) and seven different crew insignia. A release date was never given, but out of the blue the finished product began arriving in mailboxes almost a year later. Better late than never?
See one recipient’s photo blog of the pin set here.
October 26: 1/1000 Garmillas Warships Set 3
Bandai’s latest model kit delved into completely untapped territory here with a trio of 2199 craft that had no precedent in the 1974 series. From largest to smallest, the set consists of the Meltoria-class Astro Battle Cruiser (11″ long), the UX-01 Dimensional Submarine (5.6″), and two “mecha collection” scale Czvarke fighters in both red and green.
See a gallery of finished kits here.
See extensive photos of the packaging here.
October 30: Comic Blade, December issue
The fourth chapter of the Red-Eyed Ace manga was published in this issue, an 18-page chapter by artist/writer Mayumi Azuma that actually pulled even with Michio Murakawa’s adaptation of the farewell to Earth party from Episode 7. (Of course, a lot of material had to be skipped to accomplish this, but the timing is interesting.)
See all the pages here.
October 30: Soul of Chogokin Yamato USA pre-order
For the first time in almost twenty years, Diamond Distribution’s monthly Previews catalog offered a new product to be sold under the Star Blazers name. Bandai’s forthcoming Soul of Chogokin die-cast toy will ship to American stores in March 2014, and if your wallet is up to the task, it can be yours.
If you happened to have missed this listing, check with your retailer about placing an order anyway – the window may still be open for a while.
October 30: Yamato Plan Records Collection
Fans have been longing for a classic Roman Album-style guidebook for Yamato 2199 since the series began, and Kadokawa Publishing finally delivered with this weighty, 128 page volume. (“Records Collection” intentionally echoes the title of the famed “silver books” published by Office Academy on the original series.) Here’s part of a review by superfan Steve Harrison, quoted from our forum:
Yamato Plan breaks the series down into the same chunks seen in theaters, seven “chapters” with episode numbers. We get a recap, with character and mecha model sheets relevant to that episode, but not much in the way of frame grabs.
Scattered throughout is lots of two-page art [reprinted from other Kadokawa publications such as New Type and New Type Ace.] Also, for the plamo otaku, there is a number of two-page illos using existing kits and a ton of Photoshop to recreate visuals from the series. It’s surprisingly effective.
There is coverage of the various model kits, interviews with key staff, and a nice black & white section filled with charts, graphs, timelines, tables of organization, and tactical overviews of battles. It’s not a perfect book; for some reason, everybody seems to want to erase the line art of Yamamoto before she was granted pilot status, and we don’t get to see all the uniform changes for the characters.
October 31: Garmillas Design Sheets Collection
Those wanting the complete package of animation designs found solid gold with Mag Garden’s “Earth” collection back in July, and this companion volume seals the deal. Formatted exactly like its predecessor (even matching the page count of 264), it also comes with a slipcase to keep it freshly preserved.
Over half of the book is devoted to mecha design with the rest covering characters, environments, Gatlantis, Iscandar, other planets, and staff interviews. Additionally, hardcore Garmillas devotees will enjoy knowing that two pages are devoted to the native tongue with a full alphabet and spot translations.
Other than lack of funds, there is simply no reason to spend your life without this book and its companion. And despite the publication delays, we should all be extremely grateful Mag Garden decided not to cram everything into one volume.
October 31: Novelization, Part 1
Lastly, another long-standing Yamato tradition was honored with the publication of the first 2199 novelization, also from Mag Garden. The wraparound dust jacket by Studio Nue’s Naoyuki Katoh is brand new, but since the interior is text-only, this one is for completists only. It covers the first half of the series in 344 pages, adapted by author Takumi Toyoda.
According to reviews on Japanese blogs, the writing gives more attention to the characters’ inner feelings (which is more suitable for a novel) and the story stays entirely on the Yamato side with Melda Deitz as the sole Garmillas character. Presumably, that framework will continue in the concluding volume, scheduled for publication December 27.
A surprisingly large number of doujinshi emerged this month, with no major doujinshi-related event to link them to. But the winter Comiket is less than two months away, so another deluge is inevitable.
See the October doujinshi gallery here.