ANIME THEATER: Summary and analysis of episodes from Series 1
Space Battleship Yamato The Final Chapter
Simultaneous Nationwide Release in March ’83
A story in which Susumu Kodai steps off Yamato…!!
Checking points of interest in The Final Chapter!
Yamato is an active-service battleship of the Earth Defence Force space fleet
The battleship Yamato, which became a ruin of the Pacific, was revived as Space Battleship Yamato, which sails through outer space by the Wave-Motion Engine. It launched to save an endangered Earth from extinction by the attacks of the Gamilas forces. In Farewell, the ship was nearly decommissioned as obsolete, and went on a mission wearing the disgrace of a traitor. In Be Forever Yamato, it burst out of the asteroid Icarus and launched on an emergency toward the enemy’s mother planet.
Looking back on the past works this way, the situation of Yamato in the beginning brought great meaning to later story development. In addition, the appeal of the concepts surrounding Yamato is one of the charms of the entire saga. From the position and situation of Yamato in The Final Chapter, we asked Producer Nishizaki about important points in the entire movie, sprinkled with speculation from the editorial department.
Interviewer: What kind of position does Yamato have in the Defence Force this time?
Nishizaki: The concept is that after coming back to Earth in Be Forever, Yamato goes into active service as the flagship of the Earth Defense Force fleet.
Interviewer: Who is the Captain of Yamato at this point in time?
Nishizaki: It is Susumu Kodai. After all, he is the most familiar with Yamato.
As a messenger to save the Earth in Part 1, wearing the stain of rebellion in Saraba, and challenging the enemy as just a single warship in Be Forever, Yamato always launched in the midst of drama. However, this time Yamato seems to launch on a completely different trip from those so far.
Nishizaki: It is heard that the Galman-Gamilas Empire is on the verge of extinction because of a galactic collision, and Yamato rushes there as the only ship to investigate. It for exploration only, not to go into battle.
A veteran art director since Farewell.
The current situation is behind schedule. We started drawing from when the storyboard was done. Drawing meetings will finish at the end of October.
It’s in 70mm, so the screen is larger this time, and although a lot of highlights are included, we needed to animate a lot of it on 2’s instead of 3’s to keep the lines of the machines from collapsing.
The staff and I struggle with the sense of duty to make this work look better than the previous ones. Since the relationship of Kodai and Yuki deepens, it will become closer to the interplay of the early days.
Concern about two people – can Kodai and Yuki get married this time?
By the way, there is great interest in Susumu Kodai and Yuki Mori. How will it be depicted?
Interviewer: First, what kind of life does Yuki Mori have?
Nishizaki: As before, she usually acts as the secretary to the Defense Force commander. This time, she in particular is not on board when Yamato goes out for its first investigation. She doesn’t board the ship ’til the very end.
Interviewer: Then it seems Yuki Mori’s presence decreases. Do you touch on part of Kodai and Yuki’s private life, like their popular date in Farewell?
Nishizaki: That’s a part left to the imagination of the people who will see it. (Laughs) It doesn’t appear on screen, but because they are lovers, they go on proper dates. Their relationship is still platonic, but…
What Susumu Kodai fans care the most about in The Final Chapter is whether Yuki Mori will put on a wedding dress. What comes to mind here is the several interviews before now in which Mr. Nishizaki said “even after a fight, there is the battle of a new life.”
Nishizaki: About the relationship of these two, I think that some kind of ending must be shown, but as for myself, I’m still undecided. There could be a wedding ceremony…but I’m still thinking about it. Whichever choice is made, I don’t want it to be half-baked. I think you can look forward to it, though.
Kodai submits his resignation and steps off Yamato?
One of the topics in The Final Chapter is that Captain Okita revives. However, if Susumu Kodai serves ably as Yamato’s captain, how will Okita and Kodai be depicted?
Interviewer: If Captain Okita is revived, what on Earth happens to Kodai?
Nishizaki: Although I can’t speak about the details at the present stage, Kodai resigns as captain because of a certain incident. He decides to step off Yamato. However, Kodai cannot throw away Yamato so easily. This area becomes part of the drama.
It seems that this will become quite serious. Kodai inherited the spirit of Okita and fought along with Yamato no matter what happened. He steps off Yamato after the investigation voyage, so he might possibly have made a mistaken order that could have lost Yamato itself. Kodai would have an unusually strong sense of responsibility if that happened, so I imagine that he’d take the responsibility and return to the ship.
What kind of form does the revival of Captain Okita take?
Interviewer: Besides Kodai and Yuki, what happens to the other crew members?
Nishizaki: Sado runs a veterinary clinic and is not in the Defence Force, and the others are all on duty on Yamato.
If this is the case, it’s a place to be very concerned about what kind of form Captain Okita appears in.
Interviewer: Does the EDF commander introduce him?
Nishizaki: No, he does not make the introduction. I can’t tell you how he will reappear.
Interviewer: You said that Captain Okita would not be revived as a clone, but could he still be a robot or cyborg?
Nishizaki: No…it’s probably best that I put this more clearly. Okita is a real fresh-and-blood human being. And this is related to your previous question; the commander knows about Okita.
The Dengil design image is a Spanish style?
With the Gamilas Empire in part 1, the Gatlantis Empire in part 2, and the Dark Nebula Empire in Be Forever, we can always feel the culture of the enemies in Yamato.
Interviewer: The enemy this time is Dengil, and they seem to have a medieval Spanish style.
Nishizaki: That’s partly right, but also partly wrong. The basics of the Dengil design policy are in the satellite city Uruk. There is a very mechanical look in the design at first, but on the other hand there is a mountain on Uruk, and a Ziggurat, and there is also something reminiscent of history, such as the image of a demon. Tsuji Tadanao and I worked out the basics to come up with an original design. You could say that Lugal has some charisma and there are also some religious elements. As we were trying to work out how to add in a whiff of that, it occurred to us that historical elements should be incorporated into the music and design.
However, it’s not correct to say they all have the same design, since the enemy that comes out in the beginning is entirely different from the enemies in the latter half. It has the same atmosphere as the difference in clothing design between the Nazis frontline troops and the guards.
Mecha designer who is playing an active part after working under Leiji Matsumoto in the front lines.
I’ve participated in Yamato since Yamato 2. I’m only in charge of mecha on the Earth side. It’s about 90% done now. Although it is an Earth battleship that appears this time, the basis of the image is an S1-type steam locomotive of the Pennsylvania railroad. At first I considered things that didn’t have the form of a ship at all, but it’s in that form because the producer wanted it to be modeled on a ship. As the body image of mecha on the Earth side, I think it is an extension of what has come before.
Space disasters and the fangs of invasion hit the Earth one after another
Interviewer: What is the situation surrounding the Earth or the Earth Defense Forces in this movie?
Nishizaki: The Earth has finished healing the wounds of Be Forever Yamato. In the story, the Earth Defense Force is not very important. How can the Earth be saved from a crisis of flooding? As the story proceeds, we learn which is the real enemy.
Interviewer: “Which is the real enemy?” There’s another enemy besides Dengil?
Nishizaki: Even if it is on the water planet Aquarius, the truth is not understood until about halfway into the story. From there, it becomes increasingly clear in the second half. There is an enemy called Dengil that opens fire, but on the other hand, what is the relationship between Dengil and Aquarius? The story is presented from the assumption that this would be the first question.
Producing the Yamato sound also looks back at ten years!
More than anything, Yamato’s other attraction is music.
Interviewer: Has the main theme song already been decided?
Nishizaki: Something is underway that will be an appropriate milestone for Yamato’s ten years. Currently, Mr. Yu Aku is writing lyrics for Kodai and Yamato, which is about the two of them, and Junko Yagami’s song is about Yuki’s feelings toward Kodai, that at last he is all hers. I’m producing the music, which will have the style of an anthem for youth without giving the names of these two.
Interviewer: What about BGM, or other records?
Nishizaki: I think the musicality will become clear in the Theme Music Collection we’re making now. There are 14 tracks in all, and I think it will be released around November.
The Final Chapter reaches specific stage production methods
Interviewer: What is the production status of the film?
Nishizaki: The storyboards are not finished yet, but animation is already underway. Storyboards, designs, animation, art, and special effects all proceed simultaneously while shifting little by little. It comes together in the editing, and I intend to finish a good thing.
Interviewer: This method of putting it together by editing is more like making a live-action movie than making anime.
Nishizaki: That’s right. The structure is like stage production. Therefore, nothing is missing. It’s natural for me since I originally came from stage productions, but there seems to be some confusion in the field. Rather than being forced to get sloppy at the end, this should give us a better result.
Anyway, this form is suitable since it is the last Yamato, and I want to make it the crowning glory.
Special thanks to Neil Nadelman for translation support.
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