February 20: F-scale figures
Banpresto is well-known for high-quality toys made for crane-arm games that also often show up for regular sale in stores. Such is the case with these two 1/12 figures, beautifully sculpted and detailed without the sexualized overtones of the 1/8 Megahouse figures.
Standing 5.5″, these figures of Yuki Mori and Akira Yamamoto are the first to appear in what will hopefully be a continuing lineup that won’t stop with only the female characters. The balance of size and affordability would make this an ideal scale for an entire crew to fill up your shelf.
February 21: Yamato X Hello Kitty collaboration
Previously sold at the December 2013 Comiket and earlier this month at Wonder Fest, these products became available for regular sale at the Yamato Crew website. Above: Hello Kitty postcards and clear files.
Shopping bag, translucent posters.
Yuki Mori hug pillow cover, thermal bottle.
February 21, 22: Yamatalk Nights
The Yamato 2199 series is finished on the big screen, but Yamatalks will continue in its wake, according to this description from the official website:
On February 21 and 22, “Lots of Yamatalk Night” with Chief Mechanical Director Masanori Nishiii was held sequentially over two days at MOVIX Sendai and MOVIX Saitama. The event at Sendai was not only the first Yamatalk of 2014, but also the first to see fans visit from other prefectures, and it was greeted by great applause when it started after a long absence.
Moderator Kobayashi: What was your role on Yamato 2199?
Nishii: I’ve been involved as the Chief Mechanical Director on 2199 since the beginning. However, I looked at shots containing not only mecha but also characters, and oversaw the whole thing. I personally describe my role as “jack of all trades.”
A lot of questions came up about the forthcoming new feature film, which visitors were very interested in.
Nishii: the CG data that has was used for Yamato, Cosmo Zero, and Cosmo Falcon is now undergoing renovation for further detail-up. The field terminology for it is “Dog Entering.” (Laughs) In the new feature film, I think you’ll see mecha with scrupulous details.
Expectations for the new work have greatly increased. The teaser image of Yamato for the new movie, drawn by Mr. Nishii, was projected on the big screen and he gave detailed commentary. In both Sendai and Saitama, treasured anecdotes about female and male characters were related respectively:
Nishii: Initially, Hilde was only supposed to appear in the video message to Shulz, but after passionate requests by fans, we let her appear again.
Nishii: In fact, Yabu was not scheduled to reappear [after Episode 21] but the General Director said, “that would be a pity.” With that, it was quickly decided that he would reappear as a sailor on the UX-01. The idea was that Yabu was saved by Frakken, who was outraged about racial discrimination toward the people of Zalts, and as a result I thought it was a very convincing connection.
These and other colorful stories came up during the talk. There was a surprise at the end, a prize raffle by Mr. Nishii for Yamato 2199 Best Lottery products from a store near the theater.
February 22: 1/1000 Balgray carrier model
With this release, the Domel task force is half complete. This is Bandai’s second of three multi-deck Garmillas carriers, formerly known as “the green one.” Just over 16 inches long, it comes with a fleet of tiny Garmillas fighters (20 plus a squadron leader) and a larger Mecha Collection-size version.
See a photo gallery of the finished kit here.
See extensive photos of the kit and packaging here.
February 25: Hobby magazines, April issues
Wonder Festival and new model kit announcements from Bandai gave everyone plenty to talk about this month. Model Graphix and Hobby Japan only devoted 1 and 3 pages respectively to Yamato topics, but they were loaded with announcements including the new Mecha Collection mini-kits (April), Garmillas warships set 4 (April), an expansion set for the 1/500 Yamato (May), a 1/12 Analyzer model (June) and more.
See the pages here.
Dengeki Hobby, on the other hand, filled 16 pages with a photo and text feature that examined the entire Domel task force with a beautifully detailed-up Balgray taking the spotlight. An additional two pages plugged upcoming products.
See the pages (and a translated text feature) here.
February 25: Manga chapter 23
The digital Nico Nico Ace manga magazine #121 carried the next chapter of Michio Murakawa’s ongoing adaptation. This time he backed up from Episode 11 into Episode 10 in a beefy 28-page segment that brings Melda Dietz into the story.
See the pages here.
February 26: MV [Music Video] Part 2
This disc picks up where the first left off, specifically with Episode 14, and continues all the way to the end of the series in another 45-minute montage. More than half of the total run time is devoted to Chapter 7 (the last four episodes) where all the deepest drama can be found. Like all Yamato videos, it can be ordered from Amazon.co.jp or the more English-friendly CD Japan.
February 27: Star Blazers 2199 Volume 1 DVD & Blu-ray
This is the first volume of the much-anticipated US release of the series, sold online via starblazers.com and Rightstuf.com. It contains the first four episodes with the same English subtitles found on the original Japanese blu-rays, plus new subtitles in Spanish. The only name change is that of the series itself.
There are no extras on the disc, but bonus items include three character cards and (if ordered from starblazers.com) a 12-page magazine-size poster book. Five additional volumes are scheduled to be released bi-monthly through December 2014.
February 28: Comic Blade, April issue
Mayumi Azuma’s Red-Eyed Ace manga reached Chapter 8, a 28-page installment that expertly adapts the rival dogfight between Yamamoto and Melda from Episode 11.
See the pages here.
February 28: Space Battleship Yamato Ship’s Log #6
The month ended on a high note with another great issue of the Yamato Crew Premium “fun club magazine,” which showed its true value by breaking the first print news on the 2014 feature film. This 32-page issue also included a blip about Star Blazers 2199‘s debut in the US, extensive interviews with artist Masahiko Ohkura (Resurrection and 2199) and 2199 sound designer Tomohiro Yoshida, the first photos of the Analyzer model, a look back at the Mecha Collection mini-kits, another chapter in the biography of Yoshinobu Nishizaki, and more.
And without further ado, here’s the good stuff:
On February 4, the release time and newest image for the Space Battleship Yamato 2199 feature film appeared at the official site. As the editing work on this issue of Ship’s Log was wrapping up, a new comment arrived from Chief Mechanical Director Nishii. It is the first official statement to be released about the new movie. Furthermore, it is a Yamato Crew Premium exclusive. Also, we rushed to print the newest interview with General Director Yutaka Izubuchi, in which he talks about the progress and enthusiasm for the new movie.
The production staff is more enthusiastic than ever
The screenings and TV broadcast finished last September. Production of the new feature film was decided simultaneously with the end of the broadcast and work is proceeding. The staff did not “settle down (at the end of the TV series)” at all, and instead their enthusiasm has gone up for the feature film. The staff at the anime production company is “in a state of excitement,” and seems fired up to push the work forward. I don’t think your expectations will be betrayed by the Space Battleship Yamato 2199 feature film. Please look forward to it.
– Yamato 2199 Chief Mechanical Director Masanori Nishii
Treasured Junichiro Tamamori illustrations discovered!!
At the beginning of the year, a number of early illustrations were discovered at the home of Junichiro Tamamori.
The complete process for the finished designs can be seen in these rough draft illustrations, and concept documents with written notes from the early stage, which makes them very rare and valuable.
A large number of sheets make up this collection of illustrations, about 180 documents that are currently being organized. From the work that has been completed, we believe we can introduce them one by one beginning next issue, so please look forward to it.
Photo caption: The illustrations are filled with writing, making it possible to read a variety of Mr. Tamamori’s ideas.
I would like to make it a work that expands the world of Yamato and can be enjoyed into the future
Yutaka Izubuchi Interview
Interviewer: Let’s get straight to it, what’s the progress of the new feature film?
Izubuchi: Currently the status is that the script is almost in its final stage. After that we’ll make small adjustments, and the final draft should be complete by the time everyone receives this issue.
Interviewer: Does the storyboarding begin after that?
Izubuchi: That’s not how it goes. Usually, after the final draft of a script is done it shifts to storyboarding, but in the case of a long-form presentation like a feature film, we start storyboarding sequentially from the point of the finished portion, so we’ve already lead into storyboard work.
Interviewer: Are you drawing storyboards this time?
Izubuchi: I am. But since it’s a foregone conclusion that I would physically collapse if I did the whole thing (laughs), I decided to divide up the work this time. As I mentioned, in the case of a feature film, it’s more efficient to do the storyboards by division of labor, and we can take advantage of each person’s expertise by putting them in charge of scenes they can best bring to life.
Interviewer: How will the work specifically be shared?
Izubuchi: For example, I’m requesting people who are good at human drama and others who are good at mecha for those kinds of parts. Furthermore, there are also scenes that require “special production treatment” this time. This will depend on someone really good, so I think about how to make assignments that take advantage of each personality.
Interviewer: Some people wonder if the subject of this feature film will be Farewell to Yamato. What can you say in that area?
Izubuchi: As I mentioned in a previous Yamatalk, there is a reason Space Battleship Yamato 2199 is in the title. In other words, it is definitely a story of the trip to Iscandar, taking place in the year 2199. Because an adaptation of Space Battleship Yamato was miraculously revived with great effort, the world of Yamato steadily expands, and I’d like to make it a work that can be enjoyed into the future. Therefore, I’d like to approach it with patience.
This new logo was presented
for the first time on the back
cover of the magazine. Let’s
hope we see it attached to a
few other things this year.
Interviewer: So what can you talk about this time? People don’t want any spoilers, but just a little bit…(laughs)
Izubuchi: I can’t talk about the story…it’s probably better not to talk yet. It can be a pleasure to simply imagine what kind of thing it will be.
Interviewer: Understood. But won’t new characters and mecha appear? After Yamato launches from Earth, it’s not possible to replace anyone on the crew or produce new mecha on the ship…but aren’t they in an environment where they can naturally come in to contact with other Earth people?
Izubuchi: No, no, they’ll appear. I’ve thought that part through properly! Everyone will be delighted by the mecha and characters who are appearing. (Laughs)
Interviewer: So, everyone…no, I’ll enjoy imagining it myself without hearing any more.
Izubuchi: Please do that. It’s fun and exciting to imagine it, and I enjoyed that irritating period when I was a fan. (Laughs) It’s fun to let your delusions run free unrestricted in different ways. Everyone should take some time to enjoy the excitement and let your imagination run wild.
The details will gradually be announced on the official site in the future, and you know it will be irresistible. (Laughs) In the time before then, I think you can get excited talking about it with friends or on your own.
Interviewer: I’ll also enjoy the wait. It’s good to wait and anticipate, right?
Izubuchi: Of course. It’s a work that will not disappoint, and I’ll do my best to further expand the world of Yamato, so thank you in advance.
– February 14, 2014
Special thanks to Neil Nadelman for translation support.
Also spotted in February
No new doujinshi-related events happened during the month, so these are likely to be more fallout from the avalanche we saw at the December 2013 Comiket. (See the rest of that avalanche here.)
Flexible rubber mat
If you have articles of various kinds in desperate need of holding, Premium Bandai has the solution for you with this amazing new product. Measuring about 12″ x 19″, it will hold the HELL out of those various kinds of articles. Guaranteed.
On the cooler side of the Premium Bandai website, we find this impressive pair of watches, which turn out to be the first collaborative 2199 product between Japan and America; the hand-tooled leather bands are made by the Los Angeles-based Red Monkey Design Co.
Checking in north of $400 each, these handsome timepieces are definitely geared toward the higher-financed collector, but there’s no arguing with style. Get a better look at the Yamato version here and the Cosmo Falcon version here.
Continue to Report 30