The Anime #37, December 1982 issue

It’s not “The World is Evil!”, what’s important is how to triumph over it. Because I have continued to have this feeling through ten years, I was able to continue making Yamato.” This time, considering the Yamato Spirit that has supported Yamato for the last ten years, we talked with Producer Nishizaki and the writers.

Yamato 2 big special features

The True Spirit of Yamato

In the upcoming Yamato Final Chapter, I want to reflect and reconsider the life of Kodai.

As Space Battleship Yamato The Final Chapter is in full-scale production, our expectations increase. We spoke to Producer Nishizaki about how the end of Yamato will be depicted and what can now be said about the story.

Interviewer: What would you say is the main part of the story this time?

Nishizaki: In the end, it’s the drama of Kodai’s growth from a boy to a young man. But if you think of the hero as the material of the story, there is no empathy for Kodai himself. Since Kodai does what I myself wanted to do in my boyhood, you can empathize with his actions. For example, when he laments the death of Yuki in particular. But I also still have a personal fondness for Dessler. (Laughs)

Interviewer: Given the fact that Yamato has been around for ten years, I think there’s a lot of meaning in how the growth of Kodai has been depicted.

Nishizaki: That’s right. When I reflect on it, Kodai wasn’t such a strong boy before his parents were killed. That’s why for him it became a war for revenge. He started to show talents that he hadn’t noticed until then. When he first appeared, he didn’t know much about feelings or human society. And he bore a grudge against Okita over the death of his brother. However, it was depicted so that the humanist part of him could emerge.

Interviewer: That’s Kodai’s charm.

Nishizaki: Well, he had a gentle side since he originally wanted to become a biologist. His various faults were corrected by the presence of Okita. The importance of acting for the sake of others and persevering for a purpose proceeded through part 1. However, in believing that winning was right above all, he realized his mistake in the surprise ending. He felt true kindness and awoke to love in the end.

Susumu overcomes his trials through the Yamato Spirit

Interviewer: What would you say you are specifically trying to depict in The Final Chapter?

Nishizaki: It depicts the relationship between the ship and the captain. Kodai may or may not be suitable as the captain, as in the beginning.

Kodai became the acting captain in the first work, but it wasn’t because he came in equipped with the qualifications to be captain. He grew up and learned more about the world. The situation was that Okita collapsed and he became the acting captain. He continued to gradually grow as a captain in subsequent works. However, whether or not he was really suitable as a captain wasn’t shown.

Kodai is too much of a humanist to be a captain. Thus far in Yamato, we haven’t depicted the downside of it. It will be shown in the upcoming Final Chapter.

Interviewer: Why is a humanist unfit as a captain?

Nishizaki: When you’re a captain, you have to think first and foremost about the ship and the crew, even if people are dying in front of you. Even knowing that, Kodai would go to the rescue rather than abandoning them. That’s a mistake on account of being a humanist.

For example, if they help the people of Dengil in the movie, a third of Yamato‘s crew will die. They only manage to help just one boy of Dengil. As a result, Yamato takes a big hit during the return and Kodai himself is on the verge of death. He somehow narrowly escapes. His mentality is full of regret, and feels he is unfit as captain. Those are the feelings behind him tendering his resignation.

Interviewer: Then Kodai can no longer be on Yamato.

Nishizaki: Well, Kodai had never left Yamato before now. When he leaves, he notices for the first time what a big presence Yamato has had in his life. Besides, he puts in his resignation during a time of emergency when Earth could be destroyed. How can he bounce back from this setback? The drama begins from this place of failure.

Interviewer: Captain Okita has a bigger presence because of this situation.

Nishizaki: That’s right. Because being a simple soldier is good enough for Kodai, he wants to get back on board Yamato. A song called Me and Yamato will symbolize such a feeling. Along with the original Captain Okita, he’s able to get back on Yamato as a combat group leader again. The commonality with Part 1 comes out of Kodai’s viewpoint there.

Interviewer: Therefore, Kodai grows up under Captain Okita.

Nishizaki: That’s right. It becomes the foreshadowing to notice the difference between Yamato and humanism, which is both a handicap and an advantage. So, while the story jumps by his own hand in the end, he has to separate himself from his beloved Yamato. He overcomes this bitterness and realizes what he has to do. He regains his purity as the captain from that.

He’s grown so much, and for the first time Kodai and Okita are able to arrive at a point of agreement. No matter what, Okita was necessary for that. It was also my own way of giving Yamato its crowning glory.

Report / The event to encourage Yoshinobu Nishizaki

A party to encourage Producer Nishizaki and commemorate the 10th anniversary of Yamato

Anime, music and publishing; celebrities from these various fields and Yamato gathered at Hotel Okura in Tokyo on October 22 for an event to encourage Yoshinobu Nishizaki and commemorate the 10th anniversary of Yamato. It was held in recognition of Producer Nishizaki’s service in continuing to make Yamato for years and revolutionizing the anime world, and also to encourage The Final Chapter for next year.

More than 600 people gathered from the anime, music, and publishing worlds, not to mention the film industry, to make for a grand party. A Yamato carved out of ice was displayed in the center of the meeting place, and seafood caught by Producer Nishizaki himself was offered.

The event began with a greeting from Toei president Shigeru Okada, the representative sponsor. A toast was given by Tokuma Shoten president Yasuyoshi Tokuma. Hiroshi Miyagawa conducted a medley of Yamato music, Isao Sasaki sang, and Leiji Matsumoto gave a greeting of his own.

In addition, there was a portrait corner with Yamato animators. One guest after another asked for portraits by Yamato‘s core animators Kazuhiko Udagawa, Takeshi Shirato, Shinya Takahashi, and others. As you’d expect, the line was long since many people had crowded in to commemorate the party. “Anime is fun,” a certain person remarked.

Space Battleship Yamato is the anime that received the support of the fans for ten years, and it’s a pleasure to look forward to the continuing activities of Producer Nishizaki and his staff.


A conversation with the staff that laid the foundation of Yamato!!

Talking about Yamato

Four people from the main staff who built Space Battleship Yamato‘s underlying theme and premise talk about brainstorming The Final Chapter, the planning of Yamato, and articulate the theme by which the Yamato series continues to live. A staff discussion about The Final Chapter! What kind of secrets will emerge? This special conversation, part 1 of The Anime‘s third anniversary, is not to be missed!!

As mass entertainment, Yamato should earnestly pursue an image of purity…!!

Interviewer: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule today. In which part of the Yamato series did you each start to participate?

Eiichi Yamamoto: I’m one of those who participated in the original planning.

SF writer, participated in SF concepts for all works of Yamato.
His books include
Afterglow of Mongol.

Participated in the planning stage of Yamato from 1973.
Previously worked for the art department of
Mushi Productions. Japan video recording producer.

Aritsune Toyota: I also started with Part 1.

Hideaki Yamamoto: I started with Farewell to Yamato. It was the second work.

Kazuo Kasahara: I’m the rookie. (Laughs) I’m working on Yamato for the first time.

Interviewer: What kind of work do you each see Yamato as?

Eiichi Yamamoto: Putting it simply, it must be SF action. At the planning stage, I thought about making it “fun SF action.” At the time, most SF had a cold, metallic feel, so rather than adhering a scientific nature the ship leaps out into space because it’s fun.

Hideaki Yamamoto: I guess Yamato equals the Nishizaki spirit. Although it’s an SF thing in space, all the men are at the end of their youth, and I think it has a message about how to live.

Aritsune Toyota: It’s a love story. There aren’t many SF writers who step out from behind that curtain. (Laughs) However, the producer was reading translated SF in the early days, and it was a thing of Nishizaki.

Kazuo Kasahara: I’m part of the war generation, so I feel nostalgic. (Laughs) I think Yamato is different from a simple adventure story. Rather than just fighting, various themes appear, such as human love and hate in extreme situations.

Hideaki Yamamoto: It’s a mass entertainment work. It earnestly pursues interesting things. Before Yamato, space was depicted as inorganic. For example, people from space were completely coldhearted. There is warmth and humanity in Yamato, so it’s more like a fantasy.

Scriptwriter. Participated in the anime Blue Noah.
A core member of the staff from Farewell to Yamato
The Final Chapter.

Playwrite. A self-described former navy man. We look forward
to seeing how he makes use of that.

Aritsune Toyota: It doesn’t have the scent of literary SF.

Eiichi Yamamoto: I don’t actually know much other anime, so I can’t make a comparison to Yamato, but it’s a pioneer in various ways. There’s also the militaristic aspect of Yamato, but it never glorifies war and never wants to. Rather than fighting, we try to show a way of life at the limits.

Hideaki Yamamoto: Well, you can use a variety of words such as love, but basically it’s fun SF action. If you look at it scientifically, it creates a human world in inorganic space. These three ways of carefully depicting human beings are at the root of Yamato. Couldn’t we also say that the fans support it because of this?

Aritsune Toyota: It’s an SF work, but the scent of SF has been removed from it.

Kazuo Kasahara: I think Yamato is a positive affirmation of the status quo. In other words, even thought there are a variety of anxieties, this reality is the best one. I think it acknowledges the importance of confronting reality without trying to escape from it.

Kodai and the others have the power to attack between life and death!!

Interviewer: I’d like to hear about The Final Chapter. When did you start on it?

Eiichi Yamamoto: In May of last year. But I joined about two months late. It first began with the brainstorming.

Interviewer: What sort of things did you talk about?

Eiichi Yamamoto: I started with the theme theory of Okita’s revival.

Hideaki Yamamoto: Yes. The biggest highlight this time with the fate of Yamato…the idea of it exploding was proposed by Mr. Kasahara. Toshio Masuda and I agreed with it, but Mr. Nishizaki was opposed to it at first. The results are a pleasure to see. (Laughs)

Aritsune Toyota: I came up with the idea of Aquarius and the galactic collision. The Final Chapter is divided by these two concepts. First, space-time is distorted by the galactic collision and time goes to pieces, and the idea was that the old Yamato would appear.

Kazuo Kasahara: Mine was a theme thing, that love is a trial of providence to be overcome, and I wanted to make the claim that it brings you into harmony with nature. I got Mr. Nishizaki to accept it. I wanted to say that, instead of running away from the social absurdity of hatred, it’s important to look at it as a trial and live on.

Eiichi Yamamoto: The cast of Yamato is made up of young people, youths such as Kodai, and they have the power to attack between life and death. As Mr. Kasahara said, the world doesn’t go as planned, and even Kodai has to face up to that.

Eiichi Yamamoto: Human beings are born to find happiness, but even if you strive for it, it isn’t a guarantee. But you have to believe in it. You have to believe in other people to carry on. A belief in human beings is a belief in the future. Yamato has always talked about that.

Interviewer: Thank you very much.

At left: an ad from this issue of The Anime for the book to be released later in the month.

The End

Special thanks to Neil Nadelman for translation support.

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