May 2014 showed a slight drop in activity after the Art Exhibition created a rush in April, but is destined to be remembered as the month we all learned where 2199 is going next. This helped quite a bit to ease regrets about May being the first month in quite a while that didn’t bring us a new Nico Nico webcast or a chapter of the Red-Eyed Ace manga (both of which were discontinued in April).
Nevertheless, here’s all the stuff that happened in this intriguing month…
May 1: Hyper Hobby #189
This month’s spread was simpler than usual with a news roundup of the Art Exhibition (which closed on the 7th), recent Yamatalks, and all the latest model kits. The next two releases in Megahouse’s Cosmo Fleet Special series got some special attention.
A Domelus III will be released July 31, a so-called “desktop size” display model measuring about 6.5″, along with a to-scale Yamato miniature measuring 2.75″. On September 30, we’ll get a battle carrier with its own drill missile ship. Unlike the Domelus, this one will be in scale with the previously-released CFSP Yamato, and the drill missile will fit inside its Wave-Motion Gun.
May 2: Domelus III model kit pre-orders
Speaking of Domelus III‘s (Domelii?) the Yamato Crew website debuted some new money shots of the forthcoming 1/1000 behemoth and opened up preorders for about $130 US (though they only ship to Japan – you’ll need to rely on Hobbylink if it has to cross an ocean to get to you).
The features of the Zelgut-class dreadnought were listed as follows: over 28″ long when built, rotating turrets, separating “command ship bridge” with optional teleport equipment, color-coded parts, clear parts for lighting, can be dismantled for storage (good!), and a separate support stand. Late July release date.
May 3: Mecha Collection model #5 announced
When Bandai finally relented to fan demand and announced the Domelus III earlier this year, modelers began to wonder if the door was also open for a 1/1000 Deusular II. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility, since the ship is supposedly about 100 meters shorter, but for now we have to content ourselves with a smaller version in Mecha Collection size.
Yamato Crew published the first CAD images on May 3, showing an astonishing amount of detail for such a tiny kit. (Keep reading for more.)
May 7: Cosmo Guardian app for iOS
After its initial release for Android, this version of Cosmo Guardian became available for download, opening up a whole new world for iPhone and iPad users in Japan. For the rest of us, there is this cool website.
May 8: Music news
Music has always served as one of Yamato‘s strongest assets, and with this announcement, it appears that Yamato 2199 is returning the favor – and gaining an official orchestra in the bargain.
From the Osaka Daily News website:
Yamato 2199 boosts the voyage of Osaka City Sound
The Osaka City Orchestra (City Sound) made a fresh start as a private organization in April. Although there have been difficulties with finances and attracting customers, a powerful helper has appeared. The newest anime in the popular Space Battleship Yamato series was made by the Yamato 2199 Production Committee, and the power of its content is transmitted to support the launch of the new City Sound.
The opportunity began with the Yamato 2199 Orchestra Big Ceremony in November 2012. Hearing this concert, Yamato‘s producer Miko Gunji said, “I was impressed by the shock that came from the impact of that sound.” Physically sensing the appeal of City Sound lead him to offer cooperation.
By utilizing the work of Yamato with its many fans, the expected effect is to improve the power of outreach. When the regular concert was announced in March through the Yamato 2199 website, the result was that it sold out. Between Voyage of Recollection in October and Ark of the Stars in December, there are plenty of elements to attract attention.
“The content has the power to attract attention, and I want to encourage you to take advantage of it,” Mr. Gunji said. Akira Miyagawa, who wrote the music for Yamato 2199 and acts as the music director of City Sound, said “Let’s cross the sea together” to emphasize this partnership.
R to L: Akira Miyagawa, Mikio
Gunji, and Secretary of the
Orchestra Koji Tsuji. The
was announced at a concert
that was held on the 5th.
From Yamato 2199.net:
Yamato 2199 Supports the voyage
of the new Osaka City Orchestra!
Collaboration between animation and an orchestra, May 5, 2014
The Osaka City Orchestra and the Yamato 2199 Production Committee launch a new tie-in!
The Yamato 2199 Orchestra Big Ceremony, held in November 2012, gave the Osaka City Orchestra a performance opportunity to connect with Yamato 2199. In fact, Akira Miyagawa, who composed the music for the project, has also been appointed music director of the Osaka City Orchestra. From this connection, a tie-in development has begun! Please look forward to future collaboration such as posters and public performances of Yamato 2199 music conducted by Mr. Miyagawa!
Comment by Akira Miyagawa
The Osaka City Orchestra is a “ship.” Their new headquarters is the ATC [Asia-Pacific Trade Center] which faces the harbor. From now on, their music will set sail from here every day. What kind of voyage awaits them…?
A proposal of support came from a certain organization which felt a sense of intimacy with them, the Yamato 2199 Production Committee. It isn’t simply a matter of spending money, it is the proposal of a partnership to cross the sea together. They both met in November 2012 at the Yamato Orchestra Big Ceremony. This large orchestra of 120 people attracted not just Yamato fans but also music fans. Their sound is suitable for Yamato.
When I think of my love for the Osaka City Orchestra and Yamato music, no other orchestra can play it in front of an audience with such a deep understanding. This orchestra is worthy of Yamato music! Now, the reborn Osaka City Orchestra boards Yamato to share their wisdom and continue bringing the sound of humanity to Osaka!
May 13: Yamatalk Screening Event
After a stretch of traveling Yamatalk events, this one returned to the home base of the Shinjuku Picadilly theater for a special screening of episodes 18-20 and conversation with MC Osamu Kobayashi, Shigeru Morita (scriptwriter for 19 & 20), and Takao Kato (director of 18). Both were chosen to appear because they’ll be working on Voyage of Recollection together.
At right: video signage for the event at Shinjuku Picadilly.
This was a rare opportunity to see the magnificent Rainbow Star Cluster battle on the big screen again, but the real attraction was the first chance to view a new teaser trailer for the forthcoming feature films Voyage of Recollection and Ark of the Stars.
Friend-of-the-website Gwyn Campbell was there and reported that the crowd was asked to keep quiet about what they’d seen. He broke that rule by sharing a single word: GATLANTIS. But the voluntary news blackout proved to be very short indeed. (Keep reading.)
May 15-18: Shizuoka Hobby Show
Shizuoka is the home base of Bandai, and in May it becomes the annual site of the highly-acclaimed Shizuoka Hobby Show, which is actually two events in one. There is the professional show with displays from Bandai and other major companies, and then there’s a “satellite” show with displays from private collectors and modeling clubs. Yamato products always figure strongly in both.
The Bandai booth was loaded with new and upcoming goodies, including a fully-built Domelus III, the 1/500 Yamato expansion parts, and all the Mecha Collection mini-kits. The big surprise was a first look at the prototypes for Mecha Colle kits 6-8, all from the Comet Empire side. These are set apart from the other 2199 models in Bandai’s lineup for being based on hand-drawn designs rather than CG data. (Since they appeared only briefly in the anime, CG models were not made.)
See more photos of the Bandai booth here.
May 15: Teaser trailers
The long wait that began last October when the 2014 feature film was announced got its first payoff in April with the news of Voyage of Recollection and Ark of the Stars. Following in the footsteps of the original 1977 blockbuster, Recollection (coming October 11) will be a compilation of the 26-episode series. Ark of the Stars is a new story set within the timeframe of Yamato 2199 and featuring a very familiar enemy.
The teaser trailers and artwork seen two days earlier at the Yamatalk event came to Youtube and the official websites, and the following description was offered for Ark of the Stars:
A hidden story from the year 2199 is revealed now!
In 2199, Yamato was departing from the Large Magellanic Cloud.
Calm air flowed between the crew, who had received the “Cosmo Reverse System.”
At the edge of the Large Magellanic Cloud, Yamato encountered a mysterious fleet that suddenly appeared.
They called themselves “Gatlantis” and demanded that Yamato be handed over.
Yamato was in a hurry to return to Earth and avoid combat.
But an unknown entity appeared to block their path.
Yamato warped out in the nick of time, but before their eyes appeared the figure of a planet floating in a strangely-colored (light grey) space…
Coming December 6 (Saturday)!
Yamato fever swept around the world in reaction to this, leading many fans to the hasty conclusion that Ark of the Stars would be a remake of the Comet Empire story. When the facts caught up to the hype, everyone was reminded that it is a wholly original side-story that occurs within Yamato 2199. A remake of the second series has yet to be announced, but a project like this certainly sounds like a bridge to the future.
See the Voyage of Recollection trailer here
See the Ark of the Stars teaser here (The brief narration reads “Our enemy is…Gatlantis.”)
See them both back to back here
Read the Anime News Network report here
May 15: Home video preorder
The day held one more surprise in when preorders opened for Voyage of Recollection on DVD and Blu-ray, a full five months before the film’s arrival. The packaging will follow the same format as previous 2199 videos with a slipcase by Naoyuki Katoh (above left), sleeve art by Nobuteru Yuuki (above right), and English subtitles on the Blu-ray. The run time is indicated as 150 minutes. Extra features have not yet been announced.
Once again, a limited edition with a storyboard book will be sold in movie theaters starting October 11, and a standard edition will follow on November 21. The standard edition can be preordered now at Amazon.co.jp or CD Japan.
May 16: Advance ticket sales
The deal got even sweeter the next day; now, not only could you preorder Voyage of Recollection 5 months early, you could also buy tickets for Ark of the Stars 6 months early. Special premiums enticed fans into making this advance purchase: a set of four cards (measuring about 4.75″w by 5.5″h) with artwork by the primary staff members.
Above left: Character Designer Nobuteru Yuuki. Above right: General Director Yutaka Izubuchi
Below left: Chief Mechanical Director Masanori Nishii. Below right: Mecha Designer Junichiro Tamamori
Fans could obtain one of these cards with each 1500 yen ticket purchase from a Shochiku-affiliated movie theater, or get a set of all four for about $60 when buying from the Yamato Crew website.
Fans who turned up to buy the tickets in theaters were delighted to see advertising already underway; these photos were posted on Twitter May 17.
May 16: Movie flyer
With a new movie always comes a new flyer. This double-sided foldout flyer promoted both films.
And in case you’re one of the few remaining individuals who don’t know that Yamato 2199 is already available on home vid, it contains a reminder.
May 24: 1/1000 Schderg model kit
Familiarly known as “the blue one,” this model fills out the carrier portion of Domel’s task fleet. In the background of the story, it is said to be the first of the multi-deck carriers, serving as the base model from which the others vary.
It measures about 16″ long when built and comes with a fleet of 36 1/1000 scale Dolcia torpedo bombers (35 standard, 1 squadron leader). A bonus kit of the Dolcia is also provided at Mecha Collection size.
See a photo gallery of the kit here.
See the packaging here.
May 24: Mecha Collection model #3
The Garmillas Destria-class Astro Heavy Cruiser came up as the third of the Mecha Collection mini-models, though the box simply names it “Garmillas Battleship.” A little under 5 inches long, it was the only ship of its kind in the original 1979 lineup.
A comparison of the old and new version shows how far model engineering has come in the intervening time.
See more photos here.
May 24: Hobby magazines, July issues
Coverage this month was top notch in both quality and quantity. Dengeki Hobby Magazine devoted 11 pages to Yamato, starting with upcoming product announcements (including a first look at Megahouse’s Miki Saijo figure), a 4-page photo feature on a massive Garmillas drydock diorama by famed modeler “Wild River” (Naoto Arakawa), two pages on a homebound Yamato model, and two more on the new Schderg carrier. As a nice bonus, they also announced August as the publishing date for their next Yamato 2199 Modeling Guide.
See the pages from Dengeki here.
Hobby Japan publishes a Yamato cover story at least once a year, and even though Yamato didn’t dominate the cover, the article fit the bill nicely by setting a new record at 31 pages. The features included a 1/500 Yamato with all the new expansion parts, a lavish look at the 1/1000 Balgrey and Schderg carriers, Mechanic Collection kits 1-3, a fantastic diorama of the collision on Garmillas, all the new products displayed at the Shizuoka Hobby Show, and a quick news roundup on the forthcoming movies.
See the pages from Hobby Japan #541 here.
May 24: Model Graphix #356
Yamato only got one page in Model Graphix this month with upcoming model kits and movie blurbs. Better than zero.
May 27: Manga chapter 26
Michio Murakawa delivered a meaty chunk of manga this month, a 30-page segment that dug into the emotional core of Episode 11. It was published online at both the Nico Nico Ace and Comic Walker websites.
See the pages here.
May 27: Space Battleship File, Anime Edition
Gakken Publishing launched this remarkable paperback seemingly out of nowhere, a full-color, 224-page compendium that delivers exactly what it promises. Starting with all the ships of Yamato 2199, it crosses several anime territories to cover the Mobile Suit Gundam fleets and all the highest-profile SF anime from the 70s to today, including the works of Leiji Matsumoto. Each vessel gets its own page or two-page spread.
May 27: Ship’s Log #7
The newest issue of the Yamato Crew Premium Fun Club magazine delivered the new movie announcements (though nothing exclusive), an 8-page report on the Yamato 2199 Art Exhibition, a new 6-page interview with mecha designer Junichiro Tamamori, a Cosmo Tiger pinup by Masahiko Okura (below), Bandai model news, a retrospective on Yamato 45rpm singles, the 5th part of the ongoing Yoshinobu Nishizaki bio, and more.
Once again, the magazine is only sent to subscription addresses in Japan, so you need a friend there to get it for you.
May 31: Hyper Hobby #190
Despite the big movie news of the month, Hyper Hobby gave Yamato only one page in the July issue. It teased upcoming products, including a teaser photo of the 1/8 Miki Saijo Yamato Girl figure from Megahouse. If you knew where to go on May 31, you could also see her for yourself…
May 31: Mega Hobby Expo 2014 Spring
Sponsored by hobby company Megahouse, this one-day event takes place periodically in Akihabara and provides a showcase for new and upcoming products. Shown above are two that took fans completely by surprise, variations of the Cosmo Fleet Special Yamato miniature. At left is a clear “warp” version with interior parts and at right is a repainted version as the ship appears in dimensional subspace. Neither has a release date yet.
The upcoming 1/8 Miki Saijo figure got her first public viewing, along with the mini Yamato Girls from Megahouse’s Petit Chara Series. Release information is still to come with these as well.
Visit the event’s official website here.
See more photos here, which include additional prototypes for the Cosmo Fleet Special lineup.
May 31: Yamato 2199 World Summer Festival announcement
Anyone with plans to visit Osaka in mid-August (be ready to sweat!) ought to consider entering the Space Battleship Yamato 2199 World, taking place at the Rihga Royal Hotel Osaka Summer Festival, August 14-16.
The early descriptions match those of a similar event from the summer of 2013: a Yamato Cafe will reproduce the OMCS menu from the story (though presumably with different ingredients), including the famed Magellanic Parfait. Various materials will be on display, including the 1/100 Yamato model that was first seen at the April Art Exhibition. There will be a Plamodel Corner, where fans can buy model kits and learn how to build them. Special products will be sold, including some new festival items. Additional plans are afoot for a voice actor talk show and a live music concert. Ticket sales opened on June 1 at major ticket vendors in Japan.
Yamato 2199 World will share this weekend with another event called the World Astronaut Exhibition with space-themed attractions and events.
Also spotted in May
1/48 Czvarke garage kit
This was one of the under-reported fan-made products that debuted at Wonder Festival 2014 in February. Bandai is likely to release this craft eventually, probably at 1/72 scale. This 1/48 version from garage kit maker J Factory would be substantially larger, about 32cm (12.5″) in length.
A handful of doujinshi appeared this month, the highlight of which was a manga depicting Kaoru Niimi instructing her crewmates on the fine art of model building (below right).
Also popping up on the radar this month was a series of imaginary paperback covers by an artist with the online handle of Shimokata. Crafted in the style of adventure novels, they are titled with the traditional kanji form of Space Battleship Yamato 2199, the “author” is Yoshinobu Nishisai, the “publisher” is either Kadokawa Shoes Library or Tsunoyama Library, and they even feature “Obi” strips. Shimokata began posting these striking images on Twitter in April and has created one for each 2199 episode in succession.
Click here to get a good look at everything he’s done so far.
There is no shortage of Yamato 2199 cosplay products in Japan, but for some reason they reached critical mass this month when an enormous variety flooded online auctions.
Click here to see more in one place than ever before.