Published by Westcape Corporation, January 10, 1983
Before the premiere, I will say the true intention!
PRODUCER NISHIZAKI’S NEW YEAR MESSAGE
Everyone in the fan club, congratulations!
Happy New Year to everyone in the Space Battleship Yamato Fan Club. In the sexagenary cycle, 1983 is the year of the pig (wild boar). I’m sure there are many of you out there who were born under this sign.
I became a middle-aged man last year. However, no matter what year it is, it doesn’t affect the mind at all. Needless to say, there are now 70 days left until the premiere of Yamato The Final Chapter. Now, I may not have been born under the sign of the boar, but I once again make the resolution to literally follow the phrase “be as reckless as a charging boar.”
Let’s do our best together.
I would like to make a distinction for innocence
Everyone, as you already know, a total of nine Space Battleship Yamato titles have been produced: three TV series, three TV specials, and three feature films. [Translator’s note: there were actually just two TV specials at this point, The New Voyage and a Yamato 2 compilation, but a Yamato III compilation was being planned.] This spring, Yamato The Final Chapter will become the tenth. Yamato will disappear in front of everyone in the tenth work in the tenth year. As a creator, there is deep emotion that I can’t put into words.
At this point, all I want to talk about is my reluctance to separate, but I cannot afford that at present. When I let the warship that I created myself pass away in front of everyone at my own hand, it becomes very difficult to let it go without regret.
Just like all of you Yamato fans, I also like Yamato and find it irresistible. That being the case, I’d like to state clearly that this production isn’t being made with the fans in mind.
I say this to prevent misunderstanding, but in fact it was also the case when I made the first TV series ten years ago. All I wanted to do was make something good. I took great care with that feeling in the productions afterward.
That said, things came out that didn’t fully match my intention, and there many things that I reflect upon, and because all the responsibility for a work rests on the producer, I offer no excuses for the things that didn’t work. On the other hand, I always thought that I should make some kind of distinction. To that end, there was nothing else but to create a work that is “the Yamato of my thoughts.” That’s what I am putting into The Final Chapter.
Unfortunately, there is no time
In order to part with Yamato after being involved with it for ten years, there were a lot of things I had to put into it this time. However, since I had a duty to put an ending on it, I threw all my emotions into it. All the fans might scold me for saying such a thing, but I don’t want to give the impression that I’m just pandering to fans.
To give a report at present, we’re just starting to see the results of the art, the script, the storyboards, and the special effects, and I’m confident that we’re making something satisfying. However, just like on past Yamato works, the time we have to make the film is always last-minute. This is very regrettable. I can’t help but feel that “I want more time,” or “I want to postpone the premiere to summer instead of spring.” Still, past experience gives me confidence when I see the skeleton of what will become a theatrical anime.
In any case, I want you to understand that the feelings that I’ve invested in Yamato are bleeding into every corner of The Final Chapter.
How it gets evaluated is up to all of you
By the way, we recently received a letter from a 17-year old female fan saying, “Before The Final Chapter, I have a question about what I want this to be like and what I don’t what that to be like.” A certain magazine asked me to comment on it, and I politely declined. This was because I think the results of the work itself should speak for the producer. Despite the production process, it wouldn’t help anything if I answered, “I actually thought the same way, and I agree, and I intend to do so.”[Translator’s note: here Nishizaki speaks of the letter that was published in Animage #55, and answered by Eiichi Yamamoto.]
For example, someone who watched Farewell to Yamato at the age of 13 is now 17 years old, and one who was 17 is now 21. During that time, the impression and images one received will probably change to some extent. Moreover, it’s natural that a person’s viewpoint will change with their age, and will vary because of course everyone is different. I couldn’t possibly convince each and every person. Putting it that way, it becomes an excuse. All along the way, I’ve wanted to avoid making excuses like that.
And so, no matter how the fans might have taken the past productions, I think they should take them as they will. However, when it comes to the materials that make up the work, anyone who looks it it should see the same thing. Although anime is a composite art, it greatly reflects the thinking and personality of the producer, unlike in live-action. For that reason alone, I couldn’t make it live up to my intention if I didn’t believe that “this is the best way to do it, in this form.”
If you were to ask me, “Just who are you making this for?”, I’d have to answer that I want you all to see how I’ve lived my life these past ten years with Yamato. How it gets evaluated is up to all of you. It’s not something that I am entitled to say.
Breaking out of the rut is the most important point
However, if I may be so bold, as far as this final chapter goes for me, I’ve definitely felt the weariness of everything I’ve worked on since the first series back in 1973.
In other words, rather than being a producer on the first work, I was closer to being a director, so I couldn’t help but get into it on a shot by shot basis. This time, because I am serving as a producer and de facto director, I feel the weariness very strongly. To be frank, since the first work was so frantic and there was so much pressure because it was a TV series, I couldn’t afford to feel weary.
In this case, because I’ve strongly repeated to myself so many times that I want to make something satisfactory, on top of that having learned from experience the realities of modern theatrical films, the pressure is nothing like it was ten years ago.
TEXT AT TOP OF PAGE:
Just as the story of Yamato comes to an end in The Final Chapter in ’83, it is a time when we Yamato fans also stand at the starting point of a new future!!
Also, with any work that continues for a decade, the way it is built and seen will get into a rut. With that in mind, prior to beginning the production, I decided inwardly that “we’ll get out of the rut by starting from zero.”
I think the earnest, objective Yamato fans wanted it to end in 1977-78. But while there are people who say how much they love Yamato, I truly love it.
Because I myself love Yamato more than anyone. However, if there is a generation that graduated from one work, there may be a new generation that enrolls. For such a person, it can be said that the final edition must be a fresh surprise. There are fans who supported it for a decade and others who will become fans from the present. The rut is the arch enemy against satisfying both of them.
It should not become the basis for mania
Even though I’ve said many times that I make Yamato for myself, it does not mean in the least that I’m ignoring the fans. Yamato has a value in and of itself, but I have always been very moved by how it has secured its place in the cinematic world and been given value through the efforts of its loyal fans.
For that reason alone, I have an order for all the fans. That is, I will say that “I don’t want this to become an extreme form of mania.” I will say that I feel honored and privileged to be a producer, but on the other hand what I’m most afraid of is that you might become blind. This is the state of life that says only one generation is right, and it could encourage young people toward a tendency of intolerance. Where Yamato is concerned, this is not compatible with the essence of the work.
Although I built Yamato out of my own convictions, that conceit has been absolutely eliminated. Still, recent trends in anime have become severe. Too severe. Speaking critically, I have a feeling there are too many things being made too cheaply.
The chairman overdoes it?
Originally, anime was simply a genre that experienced rapid growth over the past ten years at most. That being the case, the strain has started to show.
However, I’ve become tired of making anime in such a situation. For that reason, when I’m finished making this work, I intend to separate myself from anime production for a while. If a new theme and story come up, I’ll get excited about production again, but I am committed to not bring out another anime work for at least three years.[Translator’s note: despite this commitment, Nishizaki couldn’t shake the anime bug. He began to develop his next anime production, Odin: Photon Space Sailor Starlight, in April ’84 and it was released in August ’85. In October ’84, he announced his intention to make Dessler’s War and Yamato Resurrection.]
In that sense, I’m thinking of The Final Chapter as my last anime work. Whether or not this is accepted, it is a difficult problem. The technical know-how of anime production has accumulated steadily over the last decade, and since it is being made as a true theatrical anime based properly on that know-how, I’m sure it will be proven on the public stage.
Finally, a last word. I often hear that “recent anime has become boring.” To those people, if I may be so bold, I’d like to say that, “Among them, Space Battleship Yamato is special.”
At the same time, I hope that for you 1983 becomes a year without regret when you can come to think, “It was good to see The Final Chapter.” Anyway, let’s do our best.
New Year’s Day, 1983
Another Yamato topic, theme song recording hit report!!
Yamato screen theme launch!!
Aiming for March of this year, production progressed at a steep pitch with the recording the Yamato Final Chapter theme songs, carried out in the presence of Chairman Nishizaki while he was busy making music.
Love Supreme by Junko Yagami
The voice of Yuki’s heart was sung clearly and earnestly.
The music of Yamato has a common image
The recording of Love Supreme was performed by Junko Yagami in the state-of-the-art Columbia studio last December 18.
Ms. Yagami is famous for her ability as a singer/songwriter, and she took up the challenge of her first screen them in The Final Chapter with great enthusiasm.
“I wanted to sing for a movie just once. I really like musicals, and I’ve always been drawn to songs in this area. I don’t do much acting or dancing, but I thought it would be good if others could move with my song behind them, because I understand so well how songs act as background.”
“Because my songs in particular have a large scale of poetry and melody, I thought it would be nice to have one flowing behind a big screen. I’ve imagined myself as a live-action actress, but I get the feeling I’m not. I wonder if my voice would match. So, when I heard about anime, I thought, ‘Ah, this is it’.”
When asked for her impressions about movies like Yamato, she said, “This is like a ‘dream’ for someone my age. I really like the sea, so when Producer Nishizaki tells me, ‘Think of space as a big, shining sea,’ I can empathize with that.”
Ms. Yagami’s song expresses the feelings of Yuki for the first time in Yamato. Love Supreme refers to a transcendent love.
“Because there are many people who have not yet found their love, I poured all of their thoughts into this and sang it with feeling. It is a song of the feeling of love all women yearn for.”
RIGHT SIDE OF PAGE:
Kodai and Yamato and Yamato Ten Year Tribute by Isao Sasaki
Kodai (I) and Yamato is exactly the right song for Mr. Sasaki
Yamato is the symbol of my 30s
When speaking of the Yamato song and Isao Sasaki, he is truly one of the faces of Yamato.
“The end of Yamato after ten years is an end for me, as well. There’s a pain that comes with this whole ‘I’ll get off here, by myself,’ thing. It’s like I’m leaving after ten years…”
“Just as I’m completely absorbed by my singing, Mr. Nishizaki seems to be absorbed with doing something that he likes. So perhaps that’s a good place to leave it.”
In addition to Kodai and Yamato this time, he has newly recorded Space Battleship Yamato, which has continued as Yamato‘s unifying theme song.
“This time, one chorus is sung as a ballad, and two are sung in a normal tempo. Lately, I’ve really been into ballads, and I think I’ve managed to put real feeling into this ballad-style Yamato.”
Finally, Mr. Sasaki has this to say about ten years of Yamato:
“I think each generation thinks differently about Yamato. For me, it feels like something that touched me in my 30s. My 30s were colored by anime, starting with Gatchaman. So, if you were to say the 30s were my youth, I think Yamato would be its symbol.”
LEFT SIDE OF PAGE:
Rainbow to Tomorrow and Love of Two by Tranzam and Tomoko Kuwae
The meeting is harmonious. The song is full of emotion.
A vast song, a fantastic sound
The songs made for The Final Chapter total five pieces: Kodai and Yamato and Yamato Tribute ~ Poseidon by Isao Sasaki, Love Supreme by Junko Yagami, Love of Two by Tomoko Kuwae, and Rainbow to Tomorrow by Tranzam and Kuwae. The music of Yamato is the best among anime music — it is a true pleasure. Tranzam and Ms. Kuwae peformed the recording of Rainbow to Tomorrow on December 15.
Speaking of Kuwae, she made her debut in 1979 with Stop Motion of My Heart. She went all out to win music awards, including Rookie of the Year in the categories of songs and ballads. However, rather than being seen as idol talent [pop star] her singing ability has an authentic feeling. This is the first time she has met the challenge of a song for a movie.
Speaking of her solo Love of Two, she said, “It’s a very dramatic song. It’s not just a beautiful song about the relationship between a man and a woman, it’s a closeup of the whole beautiful surface, and I think it contributes to the feeling of dreams and romance in Yamato.”
Tranzam is a 5-member Japanese pop band. Since its formation in 1974, it has been active in performing songs for commercials, such as Coca Cola and House Food Products, and they are already responsible for over 100 songs. Other than commercials, they are also known for the hit Beautiful Sunday, and they burned with enthusiasm to meet the challenge of their first movie.
The Final Chapter visual information
One highlight of The Final Chapter is the storyboards by director Takeshi Shirato.
We comment on the story with the first publication of layouts for the film!![Translator’s note: the literal Japanese term for storyboard is “picture conte” (short for “continuity”) and layout is “original pictures.”]
This time we have some very popular information on the Yamato Final Chapter. We will follow the first half of the story with highlight scenes taken from storyboards and layouts. Of course, Chief Director Takeshi Shirato did the storyboards, Chief Animation Director Kazuhiko Udagawa supervised the drawing, and some also comes from the hands of Art Director Shinya Takahashi! Last time we went up to the point where Yamato discovers Aquarius, but this time we do greater service by introducing the sortie of Yamato up to the encounter of Juuzo Okita and Susumu Kodai.
Scenes from the first half such as the cause of Aquarius’ sudden acceleration, the purpose of Dengil, and the encounter of Okita and Yamato‘s crew come up intensively. And Kodai, who resigned as captain and left Yamato at one point gets back on board as combat group leader again, and Yamato flies off to its final battle. The story finally comes to a climax.
The year 2199. Yamato was revived as a space battleship from the bottom of the dried up Pacific Ocean. Captain Okita launched with 144 people against the Gamilas who had violated the Earth with radioactivity. Yamato was always the trump card of the Earth Defense Forces as one enemy struck after another, such as Gatlantis and the Dark Nebula Empire, playing out its mission supported by the hearts of Earth’s people. Now a crisis approaches Earth, as great as when Yamato was revived, and it will fulfill its last mission by the hand of Juuzo Okita…
Special thanks to Neil Nadelman for translation support