Yamato Year 2023

If for some reason you were trying to avoid hearing about the classic Yamato saga in 2023, your work got harder as the 49th anniversary approached. The passing of Leiji Matsumoto in particular brought more attention than usual, and the historic return of the original 1977 movie to theaters at the end of the year put Yamato on everyone’s radar again.

Here’s our annual lookback at a very eventful year.

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The 4k Revival | Media Coverage & Online Activity | Heroes Hill | Ends & Odds | Music | Yamatunes for 2023

Cosmo DNA content

Vintage Reports

Getting local matters out of the way first, the lack of a new remake in 2023 opened up more time for legacy content, led by the Vintage Reports. The research process for these has been a revelation with many new discoveries that greatly expand our previous knowledge. This has resulted in the single most detailed “Yamato biography” ever published.

In 2023, the Vintage Reports covered the amazingly prosperous period of January 1978 to April 1979 (encompassing Farewell to Yamato and the broadcast of Yamato 2). Find them all here.

Toei Chairman Noriyuki Tada on the Yamato movie

From Como le va magazine: Toei Pictures Chairman Noriyuki Tada shares his memories of the 1977 Yamato movie. As a young staff member of Toei at the time, he got hooked on the TV series before the movie came along, and his account fills in some interesting details in the Yamato success story.

Read it here

Yamato movie on Fuji TV, 1978

The “hidden story” behind the movie’s first TV broadcast is still one worth telling, because it represents both Yoshinobu Nishizaki at the peak of his power and Yamato at the peak of its popularity. Here that story is told in two 1978 news articles.

Read it here

Inside Academy Studio, 1978

The announcement of Farewell to Yamato for the summer of 1978 galvanized a whole new media culture into existence. When Academy opened its new production studio in September to make Yamato 2, reporters were there, ready to give everyone a chance to see where the magic happened.

Read it here

Office Academy brochure, May 1979

A unique time capsule of anime history, and a portrait of Yoshinobu Nishizaki’s company at its most ambitious phase. Later history painted a slightly different picture, but here you can read and enjoy what can only be described as a gloriously optimistic document.

Read it here

1980 Lookback with Writer Hideki Oka

2202 and 2205 scriptwriter Hideki Oka looks back at the progressive year 1980 and recounts his impressions as a fan in the “target generation” who closely watched Yamato in real time.

Read it here

1980 Lookback, mecha designs

Mecha designers Arashi Ishizu and Mika Akitaka look back at the progressive year 1980 and share their impressions as fans while also commenting on the evolution of mecha design in the remake era.

Read it here

Final Yamato novelization, 1982/83

Of the four different Final Yamato novelizations, the one most strongly remembered was published by Tokuma Shoten in the “AM Juju” library. Written by Keigo Masaki and illustrated by animator Yoshinori Kanada, it is presented here chapter by chapter in English.

Read it here

Book translation: Space Battleship Yamato and 70s Japan

Throughout its long history, Yamato has been the subject of repeated analysis with one textbook after another examining the phenomenon. They are all tempting targets for translation, but this one stands out for the depth of its exploration.

Read it here

Haruka Takachiho vs. Yoshinobu Nishizaki: FIGHT!

SF writer Haruka Takachiho is a founding member of the famous Studio Nue. In 2022, he took to Twitter to relate a previously-unknown account of his stint as negotiator for the design work of Farewell to Yamato in 1978. His opponent? Producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki. And it’s definitely a tale for the ages.

Read it here

Nishizaki vs. Matsumoto, 2002

The story of the legal battle over Yamato‘s authorship is a sketchy one with many details still unknown more than 20 years later. But fleeting glimpses of it can still be found in the sparse media record of the time. This magazine article offers one such glimpse, shared here with the kind permission of its writer.

Read it here

Dream-Science Laboratory essay index

Writer/Researcher Rikao Yanagita has been publishing books and delivering lectures for decades, bringing a scientific perspective to what we see in anime and manga. Presented here are various essays that shine a scientific spotlight on what we see in Space Battleship Yamato.

Read it here

Yamato music talk, 2023

This collection of music-based conversations includes a look back at Yamato music history with Akira Miyagawa from Showa 40 Man magazine (February 2023), and the feelings of talented musicians who performed with him in twin concerts, interviewed in Sarasate magazine (May 2023).

Read it here

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