Love and Youth Live in Yamato
At the end of 10 years in the public eye, Yamato‘s newest journey begins…
It has been said that Yamato Captain Juuzo Okita revives. So, while he is busy with production, Producer Nishizaki speaks on the humanity of Okita in Part 1.
Interviewer: Why does Captain Juuzo Okita revive?
Nishizaki: Don’t take the thing called Okita’s revival too seriously.
Up until now, while Susumu Kodai and Yuki Mori have grown up, the end of Yamato (the ship) has not been depicted very much. After Farewell to Yamato we had trail and error, but nothing quite fit.
On the other hand, in the original Space Battleship Yamato, there is the part where Juuzo Okita revives the battleship Yamato. How could we give Yamato its crowning glory? When making the distinction of who is worthy to be the final captain of Yamato, I’d like you to think that it can only be Okita. It means, “Yamato is a warship, and a great warship needs a great captain.”
Interviewer: What was the Okita of Part 1 trying to say?
Nishizaki: Okita bet his life for the sake of all the people on Earth. Therefore, even when a man meets with difficulties, “don’t give up until the very end” and “a man must be a man” was what he demonstrated.
Interviewer: Then, what was the role that Okita played?
Nishizaki: To stake his life on his sense of duty, not for a personal grudge. Okita taught that in the act of leading the ship. And just before his death in Episode 26, there was a scene where Okita shed tears while looking at his family photos. Although he also had love for his family, you have to achieve a mission even if you sometimes push it to the point of death. The biggest thing that Okita accomplished was to bring up Susumu Kodai in a variety of ways.
Interviewer: When Okita appears again in The Final Chapter, what will his role be?
Nishizaki: There are two major themes in Yamato. (1) hope for the future of the human race must absolutely not be lost, and (2) “love” is the origin of all things. Okita was a father at the right time to an incomplete boy named Susumu Kodai, and made him grow up as the captain of the ship.
However, Susumu Kodai’s life is not only in Yamato. Farewell to Yamato ended with the form of giving up one’s life for another person. That was good at the time, five years ago. However, though it is valuable to risk one’s life for another, there is also a life from that point on, and a new battle. There is a presence, a father for example, that you must surpass by all means. Therefore, the presence of Okita as the captain is indispensable in teaching this to Susumu Kodai.
Junko Yagami appointment decision!
Aiming for an everlasting song
Interviewer: When talking of Yamato, we can’t forget the wonderful music. It is said that Junko Yagami debuts as a singer in The Final Chapter.
Nishizaki: I decided to appoint Junko Yagami. I chose her because she has a very clean image and she’s a calm, hard worker, and from this you get the image of a person who is attentive to others.
Of course, she’s a very good singer, but when I think about the ten years of Yamato, her age generally fits in with people who became fans in the days of Part 1. So she empathizes with those fans, and I decided to appoint her with that in mind.
Interviewer: What will Yagami-san sing about?
Nishizaki: There has not yet been a song that describes the “feelings of Yuki.”
Interviewer: How about Isao Sasaki?
Nishizaki: When I think about ten years of Yamato, I must have him sing something. So the main thing is to find a way to combine Sasaki with Yagami. Because this will bring an end to Yamato‘s ten years, I will get them both to do their best.
The love that arose in the fire of war
Yamato‘s journey was always full of hardships, but despite the obstacles love grew between Kodai and Yuki.
Susumu Kodai and Yuki Mori.
These young lovers are the suitable practitioners of Yamato.
Through a long and painful journey, these two became strongly connected…
Along with the revival of Captain Okita, the biggest concern is the love of Susumu Kodai and Yuki Mori.
Susumu’s parents died, and when he lost his older brother he ended up alone in the world. His hatred for the Gamilas over the deaths of his family members hardened him to seek revenge. It was Yuki who brought warm feelings to his heart.
He met her for the first time in the underground city, and something stirred in Susumu’s heart. This resumed as a crew member of Yamato. He became gradually fascinated by the sight of Yuki as the life group leader, concerned with the physical and mental health of the crew. By the time he realized it was love, it didn’t take much longer.
Yuki went to Planet Beemela in search of food supplies, but was taken captive. However, she learned that the people of Beemela suffered under the tyranny of Gamilas. When the rescue team fought the people of Beemela, Yuki turned on them and shouted that they were just food thieves. While the men fought, Yuki appealed for heartfelt understanding. Yuki showed true gentleness by not treating others as weak.
While interacting with Yuki, Susumu began to grow little by little. Yuki was also attracted to Susumu as he grew into a man. She jokingly revealed her feelings while taking a souvenir photo. She shed tears for their act of bringing Gamilas to ruin. Susumu came to keenly realize the emptiness of war and the preciousness of love.
In the last battle with Dessler, in order to protect her beloved Susumu from the approach of radioactive gas, Yuki activates the incomplete Cosmo Cleaner D. The radioactivity was purified and Dessler was repulsed, but the thin air generated by the Cosmo Cleaner took Yuki’s precious life and she fell. But the miracle of Okita and the love of two people brought Yuki back. The Earth once again regained its blue color…
The origin of Yamato‘s launch
Space Battleship Yamato set many records since its launch, and it became a source on which to build today’s golden age of animation. Its starting point was a plan book. In this 1cm-thick proposal, the characters and the form of Yamato were very different from what was finally broadcast, but it was packed with novel concepts and a heavy drama.
Caption: The cover page, bridge deck, and a female character from the Yamato TV plan book.
(Read the entire text of the plan book here.)
If it was Okita who nurtured a man’s true strength and kindess in Susumu Kodai, it can be said that Yuki brought his attention to the seeds of love. Thanks to Okita’s vast heart and undaunted emotional strength, the small love that bloomed between them grew into a great human love.
Nishizaki: In other words for people, human being-to-human being starts with person-to-person. Love is born from there. There are various forms – love between a man and a woman, between parent and child, between two neighbors – but the thing underlying them is, in a word, love.
Susumu inherited Okita’s great love for humanity and stood up to a crisis of space in Farewell. This was because he began to be aware of the great love of the universe. Yuki did not approve at the start. To go down the road of battle during a time that was reserved for the happiness of an approaching wedding must have been unbearable for a woman. Susumu did not want to involve his beloved in a fight again. However, Yuki sent him off and then also quietly boarded the ship. She wanted to be with her beloved forever, and was happy even though their journey would be painful. Susumu noticed this. It was the same for Yuki.
Nishizaki: Universal love was depicted in Space Battleship Yamato in the past, but on the other hand we depicted personal love. I’ve always depicted the love between men and women.
Seeing the figure of Yuki’s love when defending her beloved, Dessler forgot his hatred and walked away. Dessler felt a strange friendship for Susumu, who was his fated enemy. Because this friendship protected Iscandar in The New Voyage, it was inherited by them as friends who fought together. In Yamato III, even when Dessler built a new interstellar empire in the galaxy, that friendship did not fade. Dessler is unlike Okita, but watches the love of Kodai and Yuki with wonder.
Nishizaki: As I said earlier, the love between man and woman has always been depicted in Yamato. Since this work will bring an end to Yamato, it must have the conclusion of the love between Kodai and Yuki. It becomes the beginning of new love. To put it another way, what’s the point of universal love if you can’t love a member of the opposite sex?
Let’s share new information about how the production
of The Final Chapter is progressing smoothly
The Origin of Life, the Sea
Expectations for The Final Chapter are growing day by day. We asked Producer Nishizaki for the latest information.
Interviewer: Has it already been decided to produce it in 70mm?
Nishizaki: The final decision has not yet been made, but 70mm is my intention. We’re continuing to run tests on the production side for that purpose. However, the number of theaters where it can be shown in 70mm are limited, and we’re having talks with the theater side now. After all, because it is the finale, I think it should be seen on a big screen.
Interviewer: Although a planet called Aquarius seems to appear in The Final Chapter, what kind of meaning does it have to the story?
Nishizaki: This can be said about all the works of Yamato, but the life philosophy that flows through the roots of the story says that “Human beings are reborn and continue being reborn.” When making this Final Chapter, if I didn’t include the portion that flows throughout the works of Yamato, it would not be a finale.
When I consider the birth of life and what is called water, the sea is inseparable from its origin. Therefore, when Aquarius appears as the planet of water, we decided to give it a godlike being, so to speak, the Queen of Aquarius. Queen Aquarius exists to give life to human beings, and though I can’t talk about it in detail, this will have a significant impact on the ending for Kodai and Yuki.
Interviewer: As the ruler of Planet Dengil, a Lugal parent and child appear. Was this parent/child setup conscious of the relationship between Okita and Kodai?
Nishizaki: No, that’s not the case. Depicting the relationship of two people of planet Dengil, a parent and child, was set up to make it easier to depict their society.
Kodai must surpass Okita to become an adult, but there is no such thing established between the Lugal parent and child.
Interviewer: I think there are many Dessler fans among Yamato fans. Does Dessler appear this time?
Nishizaki: He appears. But I’m not yet at a stage where I can talk about his appearance. Dessler is the character I empathize with the most.
Since Part 1 is the starting point of The Final Chapter, the consciousness of Dessler and his beginning awareness of love is represented by the line, “is this the thing called love?” He is tied to Kodai by a “strange friendship” which is regarded by Earth as an “alliance,” so his appearance will be conscious of that. However, Dessler will arrive in the form of a guest appearance.
Producer Nishizaki’s enthusiasm for The Final Chapter
comes out when he talks about its progress…
A Perfect Work
Interviewer: How complex is it while making The Final Chapter, and what are you most careful about?
Nishizaki: It’s good because it’s the culmination of ten years, after all. I earnestly want to make it with confidence, and moreover I think that I must. Speaking from a technical standpoint, aside from manga animations, once your running time is over an hour and a half, it’s a drama.
If that is not recognized up front, it will only be a half-hearted work. Because the techniques of TV and movies are totally different, a theatrical film must be supervised by a producer with know-how and ability, or I don’t think you can make something that can be watched by everyone.
Specifically speaking, the three elements of “story, sound, and picture” must be integrated in the script stage so the work can be made ready for sound.
Although it is called animation, you can’t make a drama with only a picture. Of course, the art itself is a very large element, but the dramaturgy is more important than that, with the thing called introduction, development, turn, and conclusion.
To make a work that can be enjoyed by junior high and high school students, sound emerges as an important element on top of these two.
Going back to what I said earlier, if one of those things were more vital, there must be a sound image from the start. That’s what animation is all about. There is a sound image in my head and I think about the script from there, which leads into the storyboards. Otherwise, I can hardly create a work that makes an impression on people.
With respect to Yamato, the method I just described was the structure that was carried out, and it’s the same this time. In my head, the sound image of the entire story already exists. Although I’ve only talked about the technical side here, I intend to make The Final Chapter a work that can stand up as a theatrical piece.
Please look forward to it.
Special thanks to Neil Nadelman for translation support.