Within the first six months of Yamato 2199 magazine coverage, the true standout for quality reporting was Great Mechanics DX magazine, published by Futaba Co. We followed them issue by issue here, but left out this portion of issue #21, which was published in June 2012 (see the rest of the content here). Fortunately, the information is timeless…
Mecha Scene magazine commentary
Space Battleship Yamato 2199 Chapter 1 was seen by a lot of viewers and became an excellent launch. It was followed by the DVD and Blu-ray release, and many people will enjoy Yamato 2199 once again. While looking back at Chapter 1 with Director Izubuchi and Chief Mechanical Director Nishii, they commented on highlights of the mecha portion. In fact, Yamato 2199‘s attention to detail corresponds with the HD era, and you will see the extent of those feelings here!
General Director, Series Supervisor Yutaka Izubuchi
Chief Mechanical Director Masanori Nishii
Space Battleship Kirishima
Nishii: The interior of this bridge is also Izubuchi’s.
Izubuchi: I asked Mr. Junichiro Tamamori to draw the outside area where it takes the most hits, and I drew the inside.
Nishii: As for this window, it seems Mr. Tamamori added a shutter to the design.
Interviewer: It’s a shutter frame.
Nishii: I think it was Mr. Tamamori’s idea to give it such a structure.
Interviewer: What is the intention behind including kanji characters on Kirishima‘s monitor?
Izubuchi: It’s meant to be older than Yamato. This touch was to give it a feeling of being from an earlier time. Kanji characters appear on Yamato, but they’re mixed with English letters.
Nishii: This is Mr. Izubuchi’s original drawing.
Izubuchi: When Kimitoshi Yamane’s design drawing of the bridge came in, I had already drawn this. (Laughs)
Nishii: Nobody else could draw it any more. (Laughs)
Izubuchi: On the bridge of Kirishima, we included a small secondary bridge in the rear where Kodai hands over the capsule.
Nishii: Here you can see people in the bridge windows. The Isokaze-type destroyer in the foreground is all hand-drawn.
Izubuchi: I wonder if you can see it through the last frame of the shot.
Nishii: You can see it on the Blu-ray.
Nishii: For this scene, there was no choice but for me to draw the movement of the gun turret, and I added details to Kirishima‘s hull by hand. Things like the mast weren’t in CG originally. It’s a hybrid of CG and hand-drawing.
Nishii: I drew the extensive detail inside Kirishima‘s hangar. I also drew the inside of the fracture where it was hit. It has the fine detail of a flashing strobe light.
Izubuchi: Although the recon craft entered in the underside in the original series, there was somehow not enough space for it there. That’s why the hangar was brought up to the side.
Nishii: Here’s my personal highlight. It has an old, weathered feeling, and it’s all hand-drawn. The touch of peeling paint looks great.
Izubuchi: I asked Mr. Yamane to design this as a one-off from the storyboard. The problem is where this window actually is on Kirishima. (Laughs)
Nishii: Here too, I think some out there may have spotted this already, but the hull of Kirishima is hand-drawn. Small details have been added, such as white lines indicating the position when the hatch is opened.
Izubuchi: Some may also have noticed that the Earth fleet has an analog feeling, and since viewers would look closely at it, I thought we should take care to put that feeling into it.
Izubuchi: Although this is the only appearance of the Earth fleet’s meters, Director of Photography Takashi Aoki did his best to crowd it in. This narrow bridge is good. In the old Yamato, the bridge gradually got bigger, and I thought it might become too big even if we set an exact size for it.
UN Space Forces Far East District Headquarters
Izubuchi: This is an original drawing by Makoto Kobayashi. He did the finished art. The entrance in the central area was in the original series as well. But we didn’t put meters on the wall since it was this size. Did anyone look for them? (Laughs)
Izubuchi: The control room here is designed by Takashi Watanabe. It’s a very good design. Mr. Aoki put in the panels and meters. After this is Yuki’s name plate on her chest, but since it was going to be seen on a big screen, we made sure to make what was written on it legible.
Space Assault Destroyer Yukikaze
Izubuchi: When you compare it up close, you can tell, but it is completely different in the case of DVD and Blu-ray.
Interviewer: I see. I understand it clearly.
Nishii: For example, there are the arrow markings for rescue. Also, there are instructions around the bottom of the windows, but the letters were omitted because they’d be too small to be readable. But in the design drawings by Junichiro Tamamori, all the characters are there in intricate notes.
Interviewer: Was hand-drawing added to CG here?
Nishii: No, the entire thing was drawn in freehand over CG.
Interviewer: Why is it that the beam weapons of the Earth fleet are not effective, but the torpedo is?
Izubuchi: As for that, there are enough experimental torpedoes developed for Yamato to put them on other ships, so they were installed.
Interviewer: How did Okita and the others fight at the battle of Mars prior to this?
Izubuchi: On Kirishima and the cruisers, there’s a vacant hole in the bow, which is a positronic impact gun (shock cannon). In order to shoot another warship with this, you have to use all of the ship’s energy in an attack to ambush the enemy. The engine would release all its energy in a single blow and would need time to refill before shooting again. That’s the image in my head of how a fight would unfold. But when the ambush was reversed in the battle of Pluto, they weren’t able to use this gun.
Nishii: In Mr. Tamamori’s design for the Yukikaze, the slits in the bow are the fire control room. There is also a slit near Yamato‘s second bridge, and that’s the fire control room of the pulse lasers.
Izubuchi: Yukikaze stays behind on the battlefield to act on its own. It very much caught the feeling in the original of Mamoru Kodai deciding to commit suicide. But it would miss something if he got the consent of the other crew members with words, so they show their acceptance of his decision by singing. Taking it from their song to a real sound, I directed it so that it changed to an instrumental in the BGM. I think it worked well if I do say so myself. It would probably be like this if it was a war movie.
Nishii: The opinion was that Yukikaze could turn quickly.
Izubuchi: But there was also the opinion that the original ships moved at great speed, and I gave this scene the feeling that Yukikaze wants to join the fleet as soon as possible here. In any case, no one seemed to worry about it.
Type 99 space fighter attack aircraft Cosmo Falcon
Izubuchi: This Falcon has the color scheme of the air defense corps. It’s only in Episode 2 that you’ll see colors closer to the Cosmo Tiger rather than the Black Tiger of the original work. In fact, there are only four color patterns for the Falcon this time.
Type 52 space-going fighter aircraft Cosmo Zero
Nishii: The Cosmo Zero has full details, such as markings and notes. The back seat is an emergency seat. This is also a hybrid of CG and hand-drawing. The landing gear and high-mobility unit (which you can see as an enlarged tank under the wing) are in CG, but the body was changed to hand-drawing.
Space Battleship Yamato‘s launch
Nishii: When Yamato takes off, the upper surface of the stabilizer wing is grey and the underside is red, for a two-tone color. This explains what some thought was a painting mistake when remembering the original work. This time, Yamato is painted like this intentionally.
Izubuchi: In the boarding scene at the third bridge, you can see how Yamato tilts prior to launch. Notice the sections wrapped in metal foil (around the launch bay for the ship-borne fighters) and how the primary and secondary thruster ports have caps on them in the close-up shot on the stern. I think you can get a good sense of the details if you go back and look again.
Izubuchi: Some may not have noticed, but there is a proper rail for the captain’s seat to go up and down. The mechanism is that the anchor mark is divided right and left with a rail that comes out. You can confirm it at the close of Episode 2.
Special thanks to Neil Nadelman for translation support.