July 2014 was a BIG month with a lot of BIG things going on in all areas of Yamato land while artists and animators toiled away on the 2199 movies and watched their deadlines creep ever closer.
A record number of live events swept over Japan (plus two in America), a major campaign with a tourist company kicked into motion, new products popped up everywhere, and of course the REALLY big news happened in the model kit world.
Here’s how it all went down…
July 1: Hyper Hobby #191
The 20th anniversary issue of Hyper Hobby (shown at right) packed its cover with everything under the Rising Sun, but Yamato 2199 got its standard two-page spread of event and product news that encapsulated recent releases and announcements (many of which were featured in Report 33).
Most eye-catching were the products at the upper left, a set of “Petite Yamato Girls” figures and the 1/8 Miki Saijo, all forthcoming from Megahouse. As for everything else, keep reading.
July 4: Photo Petite cel phone app
Yamato Crew posted this new graphic to promote additions to this smart phone app, which allows users to add character faces and the 40th anniversary logo to their pictures. Get a better look at it on the Yamato Crew website here.
July 4: Promo postcard
Tohoku Shinsha Film Co., the master licensor of the Yamato franchise, distributed this postcard at the Tokyo International Book Fair. Meant for general promotion, it sends customers to the official 2199 website.
July 5: Anime Expo presentation
For the second year running, Voyager Entertainment’s satellite office in Los Angeles had a presence at the USA’s biggest anime convention. As mentioned in report 33, the most unexpected news was the announcement that the forthcoming 2199 compilation movie (US title: A Voyage to Remember) will have its first US screening in L.A. October 24 and then go on tour elsewhere.
Cosmo DNA Community member Thomas Tipping was there in his Captain Okita regalia (pictured above with US spokesperson Shiori Kawana, who was out of uniform this year), and reported that the presentation consisted of the “next episode” trailers from Star Blazers 2199 discs 1-3, the teaser trailer for the 2199 movies (Voyage of Rememberance and Ark of the Stars), Episode 10 of the series, and the music video for Star of Love by Nana Mizuki.
He also took photos of the Yamato 2199 model kit display at the Bandai booth; see a gallery here.
July 5: Yamato 2199 World announcements
The Summer Festival is an annual gathering at Rihga Royal Hotel, the “home hotel of Osaka,” which bundles together several separate events under that title. This year, one of those events will be Space Battleship Yamato 2199 World. Based on publicity announcements published at the hotel website July 5, it will revisit and build upon the many events that have taken place over the last year.
Above right: hotel lobby display being installed on July 22.
Summer Festival 2014 will be held August 14-16, and the following attractions are on the agenda for visitors to Yamato 2199 World:
Voice actress Aya Uchida (Yuria Misaki) will be on hand for a talk show August 14, and science advisor Professor Toshihiro Handa will deliver a lecture on the astrophysics of the series. Yamato 2199 goods both new and old will be sold in a gift shop.
A walk-through exhibit will include two of Naoyuki Katoh’s live-painted Yamato murals, the 1/100 Yamato model, display panels featuring animation art (sample at left) and scientific commentary. Trailers will also be shown, and the Osaka Orchestra will have a promotional corner. This is the orchestra that announced an alliance with Yamato 2199 in May, and they will perform a live in concert on the last day of the event.
A “Plamodel corner” will hold hourly sessions in which a professional modeler will instruct ten participants at a time in the art and science of how to build kits from the miniature Mecha Collection series.
A Yamato Photo Studio will allow visitors to combine their image with characters and scenes from the anime. A captain’s uniform will be available to adult participants, and photos can be output either as posters or on T-shirts at the gift shop.
A hotel café will be made over as Yamato Café OMCS with meals straight off the ship’s menu. Customers will have to reserve their seats in advance for one of three sessions throughout the day, since only 30 meals will be prepared per session. The options will include the famed Magellanic Parfait (above right), Space Navy Curry Rice, Solar Wind Fried Rice, Astro Potato Hamburgers, Yamato Beer, Yamato Cider, and other drinks named for specific characters.
Elsewhere in the foodie world, something quite unique will be offered: chocolate planets. Here to explain is a July 30 article posted on AnimeAnime:
Earth, Iscandar, and Garmillas from Yamato 2199 beautifully modeled in chocolate
There are a number of impressive planet scenes in Space Battleship Yamato 2199. There are Garmillas and Iscandar, the bright red Earth on the verge of destruction after an attack from Garmillas, and also Starsha. These planets have become chocolates based on their on-screen image. Chocolate Boutique Leclat, a chocolate shop in Osaka’s Rihga Royal Hotel, has produced the Brightness of Space Yamato 2199 Special with their motif. Availability will be limited to three days, August 14-16, five pieces for 2700 yen.
Chocolate Boutique Leclat also makes luxury chocolate products that mimic the appearance of the planets, called planet chocolates. Eight planets and the sun are beautifully reproduced in superlative flavors. This time, they are making a Yamato 2199 version consisting of five pieces: Earth on the verge of destruction, Planet Iscandar, Planet Garmillas, and the blue Earth. To further enhance the uniqueness of this product, Yamato‘s Wave-Motion Gun is also applied in chocolate.
Earth of the verge of destruction has a chocolate texture with the crunch of hazelnut to represent the changed ground after the Garmillas attack. Yamato‘s Wave-Motion Gun is made of bitter chocolate with 58% cacao to express the energy of the Wave Engine and the metal parts of the body. Garmillas is rendered in shining green and garnished with gold leaf, with two refreshing layers of white and black mint. Iscandar is covered by ocean, but since sea salt is difficult to obtain, it is finished with caramel and the “salt of Okinawa.” Finally, the blue Earth is made of Leclat’s most popular chocolate.
Sales of these attractive products are limited to 200 sets per day. All sales must be over-the-counter, since reservations and deliveries are not possible.
Visit the Summer Festival 2014 home page here
See the Yamato 2199 World (and World Astronaut Exhibit) home page here
July 5: Japan Sankei X Yamato 2199 Collaboration
“Sankei” may sound like a company name, but it’s actually a word meaning Three Views. It refers specifically to the three most scenic sites in Japan, and a Yamato 2199 connection has been forged to each one. Organized by JTB (Japan Travel Bureau) this information published by the Japan Sankei Tourist Association provides some helpful background:
A Space Battleship Yamato and Japan Sankei Tourist Association
collaboration project has been realized!
The Japan Sankei were first introduced when Neo-Confucian scholar Shunsai Hayashi performed a pilgrimage of the nation in the Edo era and considered these three outstanding landscapes the “monuments of Japan.” What they have in common are the azure sea and the deep green pines. Regarded as the hometown of all Japanese, they have long been beloved as famous places to visit at least once in a lifetime. Since it was established in December 1974, the Japan Sankei Tourist Association has been committed to the promotion and protection of these landscapes, the pride of Japan, for over 40 years. July 21, the birthday of Shunsai Hayashi, was established Japan Sankei Day.
Because of its name, Space Battleship Yamato has been called a presence that resonates with the hearts of the Japanese. Therefore, in response the mutual 40th anniversary of these blue seas from the perspective of protecting the green home, Space Battleship Yamato and the Japan Sankei Tourist Association will join together to carry out a variety of events from this July to the spring of next year.
Sankei 1: Tango Amanohashidate
Between the Sea of Japan and the inland sea of Aso (also called the Sea of Yosa), a sand bar was built up by the currents to form a natural land bridge. Its total length is about 3.6km, and approximately 8,000 lush black pines grow there. Sand flows from the Sea of Japan into Aso on the Tsushima ocean current, and sediment flows out to Aso on the Nodagawa river. It is believed that this unique geographical feature was formed over thousands of years. Although the view from Karakasamatsu Park is famous, it is also fun to cross on foot. Northern Kyoto is also called “Kyoto of the Sea,” and its many attractions include ship harbors, hot springs, and excellent cuisine such as winter matsuba crab.
The Tango Land and Sea Transportation company has a two-part Yamato 2199 tie-in. Starting June 30, tour buses wrapped in Yamato regalia went into service (as covered in the last report). A simulated graphic is shown above. See photos of the actual bus here.
On July 5, the collaboration went aquatic when special commemorative round-trip tickets for the tourist boat Seagull went on sale.
Illustrated by Yamato 2199 manga artist Michio Murakawa, they are part of a package that includes a clear file and design documents. See the full set here.
QR codes provided access to smart phone downloads of wallpaper and a pre-recorded tourist narration by Daisuke Ono (Susumu Kodai’s voice actor). Additionally, Ono and voice actress Aya Uchida (Yuria Misaki) recorded narration for passengers on the Seagull.
This collaboration is scheduled to run through March 31, 2015. Visit the website here.
A separate tie-in with the Yamato 2199 Art Exhibition will take place September 20-22. After visiting the Art Exhibition in Osaka, the Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair, and a related talk show, fans can visit Amanohashidate in a tour organized by JTB. Yamato 2199 planet chocolates are planned as a souvenir.
Sankei 2: Miyajima of Aki
Miyajima [Miya Island] has been worshipped as a god from ancient times. Its main peak is Mt. Misen with its lush primeval forest, which tops the Island of Gods that floats on the Seto Inland Sea. To represent Miyajima, Taira no Kiyomori built it into its current form about 850 years ago, and the architectural beauty of Itsukushima Shrine is still proud in the 21st century. (The island itself is also called Itsukushima.)
It is an important asset to understand the spirit of Japanese culture, and is recognized as a World Heritage Site. Also, when you visit Itsukushima Shrine, it is recommended to check the calendar for high and low tide in advance. Although the shrine is fantastic at high tide, the walk to the Torii gate at low tide is very attractive. In addition, the 360-degree Mt. Misen observation deck was renewed last December. The great history and folklore museum of Miyajima, the panorama of the temple town, the rich cultural heritage, and the beautiful blazing red autumn leaves of Momijidani Park are attractions you don’t want to miss.
(1) Narration by Susumu Kodai and Yuria Misaki on ferry boats to Miyajima from Hiroshima.
(2) JTB is organizing tours for October 28 and 29, visits to Miyajima after attending a concert by Akira Miyagawa conducting the Osaka Orchestra. Yamato 2199 planet chocolates are planned as a souvenir.
Sankei 3: Rikuzen Matsushima
The scenery of lush green pines growing on more than 260 large and small islands in Matsushima Bay is a completely picturesque Japanese painting. The landscape changes its expressions richly every morning and evening, and throughout the four seasons, and countless visitors come to seek healing. Not only that, but at the time of the Great Tohoku Earthquake [March 2011], this large number of islands acted as a natural breakwater, protecting the Matsushima Bay area from the tsunami. Its value grows beyond that of a merely aesthetic subject.
Also, in December of last year, Matsushima Bay was certified by UNESCO’s Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club for the first time.
The voice actors for Susumu Kodai and Yuria Misaki provide narration for sightseeing boats with such appeals as, “damage has appeared in the pine growth due to extensive breeding of black-tailed gulls.” To return the area to its original state, they ask for cooperation with a no-feeding policy.
July 10: Puchi (Petite) Yamato Girls preorder
First sighted at the Mega Hobby Expo on May 31, this set of six deform-style Yamato Girls has been announced for release from Megahouse in late October. Fans in Japan who preorder their set from the Yamato Crew website will receive a special trading card.
Get a closer look at the set here.
July 11: New Art Exhibition goods
After the first Yamato 2199 Art Exhibition closed its 2-week run in Tokyo, it was announced that it would soon begin traveling to other cities. A few days before the second run opened in Kumagaya (Saitama Prefecture), the event’s official website added new products to its alluring goods page: six signed prints by Kia Asamiya and one by Michio Murakawa, which is titled “To the Sea of Stars.” Five of the Asamiya images are new to the lineup, but have appeared in the end credits of recent TV reruns.
Get a better look at them here (click on the images to enlarge).
July 13: Naoyuki Katoh live appearance
July 13 was the last day for the Yamato 2199 Exhibition (a different event than the Art Exhibition), which opened April 5 at the Shotaro Ishinomori Memorial Museum in Tome City. The occasion was marked by a personal appearance of the great Naoyuki Katoh, one of Japan’s foremost SF illustrators and Yamato 2199‘s chief package artist. (Katoh can be seen as Cyborg 009 above right, shaking hands with his famous creator.)
The event was heavily attended by fans of all ages. Alongside 2199 producer Mikio Gunji, Katoh spoke at length about the process of creating the works seen in his newly-released Yamato 2199 art book, particularly his study of current printing techniques for the best reproduction.
After the talk, Gunji used a rock-paper-scissors tournament to narrow the crowd down to ten lucky people who received sketches from Katoh, and then he entertained everyone with a live-sketch of Yamato before finishing with an autograph session.
See an extensive photoblog of the event here.
July 14: Kyoto International Manga & Anime Fair promotion
The Kyoto Manga & Anime Fair is scheduled for September 20 and 21, and Yamato 2199 will be part of it again – starting two months early.
Promotion began July 14 on two subway lines in Kyoto, and commuters on the Karasuma line found themselves surrounded by Yamato images. Other popular anime titles were chosen to decorate additional subway cars.
July 15: Exhibition at Shiroishi Castle
Fresh off the truck from the Shotaro Ishinomori museum, the Yamato 2199 Exhibition re-opened at Shiroishi Castle in Miyagi Prefecture. A 2-sided flyer for the event is shown above
The Yamato 2199 Production Committee posted this photo to its Twitter account the day before, reminding everyone that the staff had only a single day between venues to make everything presentable. The event would stay open through August 31.
July 16: Art Exhibition in Saitama Prefecture
The second run of the Yamato 2199 Art Exhibition opened in Kumagaya City, held at the Kumagai Yagihishi department store. About 120 art pieces were displayed in this redux of the first exhibition in Ikebukuro, Tokyo.
Manga artist Michio Murakawa made a personal appearance on July 20 for a signing that was limited to 100 participants. No photos were allowed, but a Twitter user named Saeko Mimatsu posted this image afterward. (The Moon evidently covers up sensitive info.)
The exhibition closed on July 24, and is scheduled to reopen August 13 for its next stop in Niigata.
Click here to continue to part 2