Yamato 2205 Report 30, Part 2

Back up to Part 1

Photos posted on Twitter by jm3xpf

December 21: Skypa Vol. 213

Here’s another of those portmanteaus Japan is famous for: “Skypa” is short for “Sky Perfect.” It’s the name of this monthly magazine, Sky Perfect TV Premium Hikari. It’s a viewer’s guide for satellite networks, published by Kadokawa. It’s been decades since the original Yamato poster art appeared on a magazine cover, but here we are again.

The 1-page article inside updated everyone on Star Channel’s ongoing Yamato marathons; all three TV series had been running in order with Yamato III nearing its conclusion (it finished on December 29). The back cover promoted the 4k movies, both of which would appear on Star Channel in January and February.

December 21: TV Guide Web

Star Channel itself got the word out on the same day via the TV Guide website, delivering the news along with a new interview with Isao Sasaki in which he added to what was learned at the December 10 talk event.

Read the interview here

December 22: Star Channel promo video

Star Channel wasn’t content with the printed word to get the news out; they also rounded up writer/superfan Ryusuke Hikawa to talk about Yamato‘s impact in the 1970s and produced a 6-minute documentary that included interviews with the 4k engineers.

See it on Youtube here

Meanwhile, Bandai released a 15-second ad to promote the re-release on Blu-ray of Series 1 (remastered version). See it here.

December 23: Theater handout, week 3

The third and final week for the movie’s tenure began with a new giveaway: this set of three postcards featuring classic scenes. The film would officially close on the 29th, but there was something special in store right after that, so keep reading.

December 25: 2024 Yamato calendar

Reliably published by Yamato Crew every year since 2013, the 2024 edition is a 7-pager measuring about 14″ x 20″ that appears to offer a series chronology to match all 12 months. It’s available from Yamato Crew’s online store here, but you’ll need a Japanese friend to buy it for you.

December 28: Farewell to Yamato 4k trailer

With the first film now nearing its final day, Bandai Namco peeled off the second half of their 4k trailer for its own mini-launch to keep everyone on their toes.

See it on Youtube here

Photos posted on Twitter by daikoku_10 and s_meijin

December 30 & 31: “1977 version” 4k screenings

Here’s the “something special” mentioned earlier: the day after Yamato 4k closed, an alternate version of it opened! For just two days in just three theaters (in Tokyo, Osaka, and Aichi), fans could see the original 1977 version of the film. How is this different from the version that had just closed? It had an alternate ending referred to as the “Starsha death version.”

It’s explained in detail here, but the summary is that just after the first TV series wrapped production in 1975, the animation team produced alternate footage in which Yamato arrives on Iscandar to find a hologram of Starsha rather than Starsha herself. An automated system hands over the Cosmo Cleaner, and the ship departs. This is what 1977 audiences saw in the first release of the movie.

A year later, “live Starsha” was restored to the film for its first TV broadcast, and that became the standard version from then on.

The “Starsha death version” footage is no secret; it’s been a regular bonus feature on video for decades, and it was remastered for the 4k Blu-ray as well. (You can even watch it right now on Youtube here.) But this marked the first time it was actually re-incorporated into the movie and projected on a big screen since 1977; a remarkable gift to the fan community.

December 30: Secret calendar?

Curiouser and curiouser. This photo was posted on Twitter by Kio [Edakio] Edamatsu, a well-known member of the Yamato design/animation team whose work has been posted many times here at Cosmo DNA.

His caption read: I received a calendar for 2024 from Bandai Namco Pictures Inc. Thank you! In June, Kodai seems to be waiting very hard.

From this we can speculate that it’s a limited edition calendar, a gift from Bandai Namco to its many employees and associates. One the right side is the 2023 version, which featured Kodai and Yamato in a 2205-based image. The new one specifically cites 3199 instead, which unofficially makes it the first color image of Kodai from the new series. More news on this as it happens.

See Edakio’s original post here

December 30: Osechi boxes arrive

All the way back in August, we learned of a unique holiday gift that would be delivered at the end of the year. To quote from Report 26:

Osechi is a traditional New Year’s feast with a wide variety of seafood decoratively arranged in a 3-tiered box. Each piece has its own special meaning, and the entire package can be very ornate. To commemorate the approaching 50th anniversary, Takashimaya’s online store is offering a Yamato-themed Osechi for New Year’s parties, complete with a Yamato-themed box cover and wrapping cloth.

Those who placed their preorders before the November 4 deadline received their prize on this day and shared the joy with us on Twitter. They arrived frozen with instructions to thaw them in a refrigerator for 24 hours, at which point the real celebrating could begin.

See a photo gallery here

December 30 & 31: Comiket 103

The world’s biggest bi-annual comic-related event came around again at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center, where fan-made doujinshis [fanzines] can be found on just about any topic. Yamato ‘zines always make a showing as these photos attest. They were posted on Twitter by umiushi2201, an artist whose work has been seen many times here in our fan art galleries.

This year, his latest works in the P.S. Story spinoff series were joined by the latest volumes in the long-running Galaxy Navy series produced by fellow artist Takeshi Oka of Studio Galaxy Navy.

Meanwhile, Takeshi Oka himself had a table of his own with even more of his latest works. He created the cover illustration for the latest issue of P.S. Story (shown below), which is what led to this superhero team-up.

December 31: Fukashima Minpo article

Katsumi Itabashi is one of those guys who isn’t as well known as he should be. As a manga assistant to Leiji Matsumoto, he specialized in mecha art and design. We first saw his work in Yamato 2 and in all the productions that followed, not to mention the many iterations of Galaxy Express 999 and Captain Harlock. The Fukashima Minpo newspaper brought Itabashi into the spotlight on December 31 with the following article…

The Brilliance of the Universe and Dreams, Delivering the Thoughts of a Master Artist

Mecha designer Katsumi Itabashi to show his video at Fureai Science Museum Planetarium in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture

Next fall, the starry sky of Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture, will be filled with the magnificent world of science fiction. Katsumi Itabashi, 72, a mecha designer from Tokyo who supported the works of manga artist Leiji Matsumoto (who passed away in February this year at the age of 85), will show a video of his work.

This original video, using illustrations of spaceships and other objects, will be shown at the Koriyama Fureai Science Museum Planetarium, where Mr. Matsumoto served as honorary director. Itabashi was involved in many masterpieces, including Space Battleship Yamato. He is grateful to his lifelong mentor and hopes to convey his encouragement to the next generation in this 15-minute film.

“I would like to carry on Mr. Matsumoto’s passion for conveying the fascination of space and the importance of having dreams.”

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of planetariums. Mr. Itabashi proposed to the Science Museum that the film be shown to coincide with this milestone. The concept is “Fly into Space.” Each of the spaceships, people, and other illustrations that Mr. Itabashi has drawn are shown in motion, and a story is woven with narration. The spherical planetarium is said to be less distorted than a flat screen, enhancing the immersive experience. The screening is scheduled for one day only, and a talk event is planned on the same day.

“Mr. Matsumoto was someone I admired,” said Itabashi, recalling his high school days. He was fascinated by manga and illustrations set in space. In his junior year, he wrote a letter to Matsumoto and showed him a manga he had created, and he was hired as an assistant. At one point, he took up a different profession, but a few years later he was contacted again by Mr. Matsumoto.

“I’m going to make a movie and I’d like you to help me.” It was Galaxy Express 999, which was released in 1979. Afterward, they worked on numerous films together, and the master artist called him “a great genius of drawing mecha.” Itabashi also helped to create illustrations of 999, which are displayed at the Science Museum.

During his tenure as honorary director, Matsumoto participated in events at the museum almost every year, interacting with visitors and contributing greatly to the museum’s business through his work, such as “creating a science museum where people can dream of space.” He designed the museum’s mascot characters Angelna and Minyan, and also served as a prefectural ambassador. The Koriyama Science Museum is a special place for Mr. Itabashi, who has watched such scenes from the sidelines.

“Mr. Matsumoto often said that he wanted not only children but also adults to have dreams. I’m sure he’ll see this from somewhere in the universe.”

With Matsumoto’s wishes in mind, the work will be the crystallization of their thoughts, projected on a large screen.

Curator Kyouhei Ando said, “For children who have not seen Mr. Matsumoto’s work, Mr. Itabashi’s art should be fresh to them. I hope that the exhibition will be enjoyed by parents and grandparents of all three generations, and that their dreams and yearnings for space will be passed on to the next generation.”

See the original post here. Visit Mr. Itabashi’s Facebook page here.

December 31: New Year’s Eve “Silver Star” concert

Here’s another holiday tradition that deserves to go on for years to come. From the official description:

The “Silver Star Concert” on New Year’s Eve is an annual event. This year’s program will be a fitting end to the year, filled with music that evokes a variety of emotions, such as the importance of nature, the preciousness of life, joy, and sadness. This year’s symphonic story “A Flutter of Snow” is an orchestral work written by Akira Miyagawa, inspired by Paul Gallico’s book, which describes a woman’s life through the life of snow.

Akira’s daughter Chiko performed on piano, and two Yamato pieces were on the playlist: the second movement from Symphonic Suite, and – for the first time we know of – Birth of a New Galaxy from Be Forever Yamato. For sure a taste of things to come in 2024.

December 31: Official Tweets

New Year’s Eve Twitter posts brought an especially memorable month to a close. The first one was from the Yamato Production Committee, with this caption under the scene shown above:

Although the Space Battleship Yamato 4k 1977 version was shown in limited theaters for a short period of time, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone who watched it. We look forward to your continued support next year.

See the original post here

Two messages appeared on the Twitter page for the browser game Voyagers of Tomorrow, both wishing everyone a happy new year in slightly different words.

See the Okita post here and the Yuki post here. Play the game in English here.

December 31: REBEL 3199 flyer

Talk about going out on a high note! We were told to expect Yamato 3199 news at the end of the year, and HERE IT IS! Out of nowhere, this flyer was leaked early by someone on Yahoo Japan Auctions, giving the premiere date of July 19 for Yamato 3199 Chapter 1.

We got a LOT more information just two days later. Enough, in fact, to fill up a whole new REBEL 3199 report! See it here.

So there we have it! Bring on 2024!

Also spotted in December

Fan art

Having Yamato back in theaters energizes fans the way nothing else can. And you could feel that energy in all the art posted online in December. See a character gallery here and a mecha gallery here.

Fan models

Plastic was flashing, glue was squirting, airbrushes were fizzing, and models were coming off workbenches by the gallon in December. See the output here: Gallery A | Gallery B

What about Hyuga?

Hachette took December off from the 1/350 Hyuga model with five volumes still to go. Hyuga itself is complete, as shown in these glorious photos posted on Twitter by sousui.

The remaining volumes will contain various in-scale aircraft we haven’t seen yet. Hachette has promised to ship the final five in January and February.

Fan Artist Profile

Time to meet another of the talented and dedicated Yamato fans who delivers some of the amazing artwork we see here in the character galleries month after month. (Hot tip: enter the words “character fan art” or “mecha fan art” in the search bar to bring all the galleries to the top.)

Ha-chan (Eight_07_07)

1. What was your first Yamato experience?

Be Forever Yamato was my first experience of Yamato in a theater, since then I became a fan.

2. What is your favorite aspect of Yamato?

Great storyline, well developed characters and battle scenes. (It means everything!)

3. Are you a Yamato collector?

I am not a collector.

4. What is your most treasured Yamato item?

Video tapes of Final Yamato (the 35 mm version) and Be Forever (with English subtitles).

5. What are your favorite drawing tools?

Water colors (Kusakabe Harmonia and Holbein). Basically, I draw on iPad or with water colors. I am not an artist, but enjoy drawing a lot. It would be nice to connect with Yamato fans through fanart. (Hot tip: Ha-chan is fluent in English, so reach out on Twitter!)

6. Where can your work be seen?

On Twitter and Pixiv.

7. Does your family share your hobby?

Yes, they do.

8. Please tell us something about your life outside your art.

I am a medical writer.

9. Are you involved in Yamato activities with other fans?

Not now, but I want to collaborate with them in the future.

10. What do you hope to see in a future Yamato anime?

I’m looking forward to watching 3199, and I hope they continue to make the next generation of Yamato (a completely new series).

11. What is your favorite anime after Yamato?

Galaxy Express 999.

12. What would you like to say to Yamato fans around the world?

Let’s enjoy 3199 together!

Yamatunes for December

1978 single: Starsha, Thoughts Among the Stars
Click here
Yamato God of the Sea cover by “Crane”
Click here

Yamato theme cover by “Arika”
Click here
Yamato theme, street piano performance (with improv)
Click here

Yamato theme, piano solo
Click here
Yamato theme medley on piano
Click here

Yamato theme performed by string quartet
Click here
4th movement of Grand Symphony, 2021 performance
Click here

Yamato theme played at JFA soccer game (Part 1)
Click here
Yamato theme played at JFA soccer game (Part 2)
Click here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *