My Anime Magazine, October 1982 issue

The final moment comes at last for Yamato, which left passionate
memories of youth in the hearts of many people!!

Queen of Aquarius character decision draft has just arrived

Text in yellow box: The water planet Aquarius exposes Earth to a crisis of flooding. People lived there once, but seem to have gone extinct, leaving only traces of their culture. And there, forever beautiful, is one queen. The Queen of Aquarius. Is she really a friend or a foe to Earth? Her identity is shrouded in mystery. The design is by Shinya Takahashi.

City Satellite Uruk

Caption at upper right: The perimeter and underside are covered with rock, and a Megalopolis is formed from buildings on the surface that comes to a super-end. A satellite of Planet Dengil.

Yamato to launch again on a grand scale already gets a great response!!
To be released March 1983, simultaneously nationwide

The Final Chapter counts as the fourth Yamato theatrical movie. Since the first film, which caused a sensation by appointing a live-action director and integrated music and pictures, each new round has become a hot topic.

Farewell to Yamato, which appointed theme song singer Kenji Sawada and clothing designer Yukiko Hanai, is still considered a timeless classic. With Be Forever Yamato, the sudden change of picture from Vista to Cinescope was tried with Warp Dimension. The Final Chapter will also escalate the technical side of Yamato by presenting 70mm large screen animation for the first time in Japan, and production is underway in earnest.

And not only will it be in 70mm, it introduces a computer to make never-before seen screen images, and an effort has also been made to effectively use laser light on film. Because 70mm is four times the size of Vista, multi-stage construction is needed since the depth is calculated to be four times greater.

Looking at it this way, this is likely to be an extraordinarily monstrous work. However, 70mm is not an entirely good thing. Every corner of the screen must be carefully minded with drawing and the computer, and if there is even a slight mistake with the newly-adopted techniques, such as the introduction of lasers, it will be projected at four times the normal size. Therefore, camera tests are repeated over and over. Although a top-notch staff has come together one by one for The Final Chapter, the struggle to complete Japan’s first ever 70mm anime cannot be overestimated.

This magazine asked questions of many people involved with making the finale. Each staff member shared their thoughts on The Final Chapter. We intended to introduce the story here, but truthfully, in addition to this introduction, we were told so much that it unfortunately had to be omitted due to limited pages. But we’ll introduce it at another time when the opportunity arises. Because of the tight schedule this time we didn’t have the chance to interview every staff member, but we intend to hear all their stories. We’ll keep you readers informed. We’re sure the passion of the staff for The Final Chapter will come through.

The meaning of Yamato culminates into something much more impressive than we’ve seen previously, and The Final Chapter will be presented on such a grand, dramatic scale that its name will become an eternal masterpiece of anime history.

These are the people who make Yamato The Final Chapter!!

Hear the passion of the staff
toward the finale

1. Yoshinobu Nishizaki
Planning, original story, executive producer, writer and director

Impossible orders have been given to everyone on the staff, and they are all doing well. Given the theme of The Final Chapter, not a single staff member is discouraged. I think, after all, they are professionals. When such people come together to make a single work, it brings great happiness to a producer.

Some staff members have been involved since the first series and others have not, and I can say that what they all have in common is that they are hard workers. Because it takes money to make a movie, I think it is the duty of a producer to appoint such good people.

2. Leiji Matsumoto
Original story, design, general director

I think The Final Chapter must end properly and in such a way that it will leave no regrets. I am prepared and ready to tackle it to that end.

Up until now, Yamato‘s style of melodrama, and the tone of the story about the men’s ship in the first series has become diluted. We are returning to that starting point again, to the mood of the first Yamato, and I intend to make something that regains that backbone.

Yamato is already ten years old. As time has passed, the thoughts applied at the beginning have thinned out. I think that distinction should be properly made here.

3. Toshio Masuda
Overall director, script

I admire the figure of Mr. Nishizaki who devotes himself to Yamato, and we’ve been together since we started the interesting work of reconstituting the first production into a movie. Since Mr. Nishizaki has a deep hunger, he has developed an amazing mind, and what seems great to a common person is unfit for him. The story is packed with various ideas, and I will try to make it luxuriously.

The idea of a water planet is interesting. There has been nothing like it so far, the legend and origin of life, and it is concerned with blessings, trials, and other such things. Suffice to say, Mr. Nishizaki always wants something philosophical. It is not absurd for me to say there is also romance in Yamato.

4. Hiroshi Miyagawa

Because the world of Yamato‘s film music belongs to Producer Nishizaki, I have been writing music that generally follows what he says. For example, when he tells me to make the theme song and the word Yamato appears twice in the initial lyrics, if the first Yamato is written in a high note, he’ll go so far as to make requests like, “Keep that Yamato low, and then sweep higher on the last Yamato. So, first Yamato low, last Yamato high.”

I’ve been writing music for 30 years, but Yamato has been the toughest. It’s been said that this time I’m to write music for 5 billion years ago. I’ll write music that I’ve never seen or heard. Ah, woe is me.

5. Yu Aku

It’s shocking that I’ve been involved with Yamato for ten years, and though they came and went without me noticing at all, I feel that this will be a great thing again. When I was writing the lyrics, at first I didn’t know what to do, so I read the proposal, and using the printed notes as I went along for explanation, hearing the producer’s excited voice in person fiercely motivating me, I’d say to myself, “Okay, let’s amplify that a bit more.” And so it dawned on me that this process worked best.

As we approach the end and the climax builds, the music has to swell with it. This swelling music is, I guess, the big theme this time.

6. Tomoharu Katsumata

The scale is much larger this time. There is the galactic collision, the water planet and the last moment of Yamato. Simply rotating the white galaxy in Be Forever Yamato was pretty hard, but this time such things are the norm. Since The Final Chapter will absolutely exist on such a scale, right now I’m thinking about how to do it.

7. Aritsune Toyota
SF concepts

The first Yamato was a space thing and became an opinion leader, but it turned into a love story and its SF foundation became diluted. This time, arrangements are being made based on such ideas, including the naming of Aquarius and the concept of a sea flood, and I expect to see visual innovation.

8. Kazuo Kasahara

Yamato thoroughly belongs to Mr. Nishizaki, and I believe it couldn’t get started if not for his imagination. I was merely standing on the sidelines, just arranging the story. Are children today in an uneasy situation? When young people want to get affirmation from somewhere, this work will act as a tranquilizer.

9. Hideaki Yamamoto

The theme of The Final Chapter is said to be the son surpassing the father. In other words, Kodai moves beyond the presence of Okita as his father, so it is a story of growing up into an adult. In contrast with the positive parent-child relationship of Okita and Kodai, there is the negative example of the enemy Lugal and his son. The son is obliterated by the parent. Such positive and negative relationships will be a highlight of the story.

10. Takeshi Shirato
Chief director, storyboards

This time, the heart of The Final Chapter is the trio of Okita, Kodai, and Yuki. I think Kodai surpassing Okita as an adult has become the basis for the story. I am committed to the making of beautiful scenes of the fantastic pictures described by the words. I will also devise battle scenes based on those lines.

11. Kazuhiko Udagawa
Chief animation director

Japan’s first 70mm big screen animation will have a lot of highlights. There are spectacle scenes made by the full mobilization of the technical staff. The work will become very intense. We intend to create the feeling that this will be the definitive Yamato.

12. Tsuji Tadanao
Conceptual design

Although I mainly did the enemy mecha and settings up until now, since Yamato has been the unit of measure when making previous productions, I feel it has gotten too big. As we go back to basics again, I intend to understand and establish the dimensions of Yamato.

13. Geki Katsumata
Art Director

Because the field of art has recently come to be regarded as important, it is said that it brings in power. Beautiful to behold, spine tingling, a world I want to see appear, It’s fantastic. Aquarius will be the biggest struggle. I would like to make it look most beautiful.

14. Shinya Takahashi
Animation director

I did character design for the Dengil boy of the enemy side and the Queen of Aquarius. When designing the queen, because I could not break Leiji Matsumoto’s original image, I looked for places to mix it into the drawing. Rather than a flesh-and-blood human being, I expressed a godlike image.

15. Yoshinori Kanada
Animation director

In any case, when doing Yamato, apart from what passes and what doesn’t, I think I should give it all I’ve got. However, since it is a work with a lot of episodes, I draw a lot of images and I reject those that aren’t good enough. Only selected scenes will make it to the screen.

16. Katsumi Itabashi
Mecha design

This is like having a toothache, but since it’s the last time, I can put up with it. Since the internal settings of Yamato are rearranged quite differently from the former works, please look carefully. I think that the contradictions in the mecha function have decreased overall.

17. Kazunori Tanahashi
Assistant director

The highlight is action. There are many showy places in the picture, but I think a fine human story is contained between them. The technical aspects are greater than in previous works, and the demands to make it rise above the ordinary to be something special are hard.

A Yamato Final Chapter flyer has been made. Secret design documents are on the back, such as the city satellite Uruk, Aquarius, and the huge battleships of Lugal Junior.

Translator’s note: the design of this flyer closely matches that of the article that appeared in this month’s issue of The Anime. It may be coincidental, but it’s also possible that the two were designed by the same individual or studio.

18. Masao Shimizu

Photography is truly the work of an unsung hero. Because this is the last department, we get the burdens. Our work will probably never happen on schedule. Therefore, we’re always clogged up and topsy-turvy. This is our fate.

19. Nobuyuki Sugaya

The Yamato world is generally quite dark, and when several cels stack up, a scene gets dirty. Depending on how much you do that, how do you avoid losing detail in the scene? To get back to the original concept, I think your only choice is to shoot each scene cleanly one frame at a time.

20. Hideki Takayama
Effects director

I was on two previous Yamato productions, and they were hard work. I think it will be hard this time, especially because it is in 70mm. Various parts, including the animation, require intricacy. Because it will be immediately apparent if we cut corners, we can’t cut any corners.

21. Hiroyuki Ikeda
Assistant director

The works of Yamato are huge, so I think I need a little more time to understand them. However, I want to make a work of enduring appreciation for the people who go to see movies casually, and since a staff has gathered that can accomplish this, please look forward to it.

22. Kazuichi Tsurumi
Strategy concepts

I think up until now some of the previous battleship concepts had contradictions, and my intention this time was to organize it in that area. However, the schedule was squeezed hard. From my standpoint, I wanted the opportunity to play around with the settings for the whole world, not just the mecha. I wanted more time.

Translator’s Note: read Tsurumi’s draft of battle strategies here.

23. Masayuki Saeki
Production coordinator

I have a sense of duty not to depart from the previous works, and the same thing wells up from the staff. The scale was very big when I read the script this time. I’m looking forward to how the excellent staff might show it.

24. Koji Sekiguchi
Production progress

As for current progress, designs will be finished soon. Checking of the storyboards is about one-quarter finished, and we’re in the phase where drawing has started for the beginning. We’re behind the original schedule, so the last department will bear the brunt of it.

25. Masaya Tokuyama

We’re at the stage of making an image poster to promote the tone of the work, and it will begin to move in September and afterward. Although it is still in the concept stage, we’re planning a big Yamato event that anyone can participate in. I’m thinking about it. Please look forward to it. Of course, this is also work.

26. Tsuneo Ninomiya

In my case, I wanted to work on a 70mm feature, so I asked Mr. Udagawa and was allowed to participate. This is my first time on Yamato, and I hope my work can live up to the previous ones. The scale is huge this time, and it’s the big finale, so please watch it.

27. Hoshikawa Nobuyoshi

It’s in 70mm this time, and managing it is my challenge. Although I am Mr. Udagawa’s assistant, I am also drawing some scenes. I like the face of Sanada drawn by Mr. Udagawa. Not just Sanada, but they way he draws all the other characters, too.

The End

Special thanks to Neil Nadelman for translation support.

Continue to the next article

Return to the Final Yamato Time Machine

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