That bang you heard on January 3, 2024 was the sound of REBEL 3199‘s promo campaign bursting out of Asteroid Icarus and raining new information down on an eager public. We got a release date, poster art, a teaser trailer and more, all of which is dissected here.
Let’s start with the basic data…
Chapter 1 release date: July 19, 2024 | Chapter 1 title: Dark Invasion
Staff: pretty much the same as 2205, but with some interesting changes
The first version of the site, an extension of starblazers-yamato.com, appeared May 15 (2023) with a selection of design art and storyboards that were revealed in a special Yamato 2202 screening two months earlier. That version of the site has now been replaced, but it is preserved here with all the text newly translated to English.
A read-through is recommended before you continue.
The updated site now greets you with a very handsome key image by master illustrator Kia Asamiya, whose Yamato cred goes back to the late 80s. Click here to visit the site now.
Your eyes do not deceive you. This is a direct homage to the classic Be Forever poster from 1980. See a textless version at the end of this page.
The version with text on the right is identical to a flyer released in theaters on January 5 to accompany the 4k remaster of Farewell to Yamato. The red headline reads Fifty years of “Rebel.” The white text is Writer Harutoshi Fukui’s message about the story. Both are covered farther down the page.
Format and chapter title: the seven-chapter theatrical format of 2199 and 2202 will be repeated. The title of REBEL 3199 Chapter 1 is Dark Invasion, which requires a little bit of scrutiny.
The name of the enemy in Be Forever Yamato is 暗黒星団帝国 (Ankoku Seidan Teikoku), which literally translates to Black Star Cluster Empire. For easier parlance in English, it’s traditionally been rendered as Dark Nebula Empire. The title Dark Invasion is in reference to that name. However, in Japan the “koku” part of “ankoku” translates literally to “black.” If we want to avoid difficult explanations going forward, Dark Invasion is the safer version. Adding to the muddle, we don’t know yet if the name “Dezarium” has permanently replaced “Dark Nebula Empire,” so there may be some more nuances to wrestle with down the road.
There are several sections of the official site, but only a few currently have content. Let’s tackle them one by one…
The INTRODUCTION page starts with a message from O.G. superfan Ryusuke Hikawa and comments from the main staff members…
50 years of “REBEL”
The story of Space Battleship Yamato enters an unprecedented realm!
This film is an ambitious work that adds new interpretations to various elements of the third theatrical film Be Forever Yamato released in 1980, and reconstructs it into a series of 26 episodes. Does the title “3199” mean a thousand years from now? What is the secret relationship between Dezarium and Earth, which appears as an antagonist? The surprise shown at the end of the previous film continues to grow.
The drama is also enhanced. Yuki Mori is captured by the enemy officer Alphon, and Susumu Kodai is unable to escape his own guilt. Their love is put to the test of separation. In addition, Starsha’s orphaned daughter Sasha is also heavily involved. A fierce battle full of tension unfolds as all the characters act with their own will, and the meaning of the battle is once again questioned.
What does the keyword “rebel” really mean? If we recall, the story of Yamato began with “rebellion against a hopeless fate.” In the world of this work, which has been dramatically scaled up to include a war among interstellar nations, it is now time to pay attention to the actions of Yamato and its crew as they demonstrate their “REBEL”!
Ryusuke Hikawa (Anime & Tokusatsu Researcher)
General Production Supervisor / General Writing Supervisor
Twelve years have passed since the start of Yamato 2199. The entire staff would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of you who have been with us on this long voyage.
This work, Be Forever Yamato REBEL 3199, is a story that Harutoshi Fukui, who serves as general director and series composition, has been developing for the past five years. Coincidentally, this work seems to have foreseen the tragedy and chaos brought about by the violence that is currently occurring on Earth.
Yamato and the people of Earth are overrun and at the mercy of a gigantic “enemy,” but they are determined to fight back. We must live. I and all of you are living with various circumstances. Please witness the new voyage of the Space Battleship Yamato, a mirror of our own.
(This is the text that appears on the flyer image)
Yamato is a story of resistance.
Resistance against others who unilaterally violate our boundaries and force us to submit.
Resistance against irrational natural disasters that ravage people and society.
As we face and fight against them, we sacrifice our freedom and humanity and lose sight of what we were trying to protect. We don’t understand. We resist human folly, which is on the other side of the coin from kindness.
Half a century has passed since the ship first set sail, and the story of that resistance is becoming a reality that will determine our tomorrow. The story of the Space Battleship Yamato, now in its 50th year, is told in such an era. All the staff members are putting their hearts and souls into creating this story.
Please look forward to it.
(See his credits at Anime News Network here)
My heart trembles at the realization that I am destined to be involved in the the same Be Forever that I saw with my late father when I was a child.
It is a core work for me, one that is close to my heart.
I will do my best to ensure that the names of past directors are not tarnished.
Thank you all for your kind support.
1980, when Be Forever Yamato was produced, was also the time when my father, Hiroshi Miyagawa, began working with Kentaro Haneda. Some of the music they created made me think, “Only Mr. Haneda could have been played this…!”
This time, because I am trying to recreate something that combines the wisdom and skills of so many people, I have come to think that I want to struggle together with the next generation. Therefore, for REBEL 3199, we invited Shu Kanematsu, a pianist and composer who I have been watching for several years, to participate.
I am very grateful to him for creating sounds that I could not have come up with on my own. The original music is reproduced more highly, and the heavy parts are even heavier and sharper. We are now entering a phase where we’re not just reproducing the appearance, but also the spirit of our predecessors. We hope you will enjoy it.
The year is 2207 A.D. Two years have passed since the annihilation of Gamilas and Iscandar.
Suddenly, a mysterious giant object, the “Grand Reverse,” appears in the solar system.
Despite the best efforts of the Earth Defense Forces, the “Grand Reverse” easily breaks through multiple layers of defenses and descends into Earth’s new capital city without hesitation.
Swarms of descending soldiers appear without a sound. Multi-legged tanks land. In the blink of an eye, the capital is overrun. Is there no way for Earth to resist?
At that moment, the crew of the old Yamato fleet receives a top-secret order. “Rally to Yamato!”
Then a mysterious singing voice is heard. A mysterious man mutters, “I’m back.” What is the invader’s surprising identity?
With the fate of mankind at stake, the voyage of the Space Battleship Yamato now begins into a time and space never before explored.
Original Story • Yoshinobu Nishizaki
General Production Supervisor / General Writing Supervisor • Shoji Nishizaki
General Director • Harutoshi Fukui
Director • Yamato Naomichi
Series Composition/Screenplay • Harutoshi Fukui
Screenplay • Hideki Oka
Character Design • Nobuteru Yuuki
Mechanical Design •
Junichiro Tamamori, Yasushi Ishizu, Mika Akitaka
CG Producer • Hiroyuki Goto
CG Director • Masasuke Uechi
Music • Akira Miyagawa, Shu Kanematsu, Hiroshi Miyagawa
Sound Director • Tomohiro Yoshida
Animation Production • Studio MOTHER
Animation Production Cooperation • Satelight
Distributor • Shochiku ODS Division
Production • Space Battleship Yamato 3199 Production Committee
Many of these names are familiar to us, but others are new since they are affiliated with Studio Mother. Production of Yamato 2205 was handled by Studio Satelight, which now assists Studio Mother.
REBEL 3199 has been booked into 66 theaters, the largest number of the entire remake era.
Fans can now purchase advance tickets for all seven chapters at once from a company called Major. The first advance ticket image was painted by the great Naoyuki Katoh, whose Yamato cred goes all the way back to mecha design for Series 1.
Click here and watch it right now! Then come on back for some analysis.
Just ten shots and a title image. Not a lot to go on, but it already creates a checklist of mysteries.
Dezarium’s “Great Reverse” (formerly known as the Hyperon Bomb), plows through cannon fire from a fleet of Bolar ships.
In the past, these two factions had no contact that we know of. Now they share the same moment in time. Further proof that this story will be a mashup of Be Forever and Yamato III.
An eye, almost certainly belonging to little Sasha, glances away at something. Then we see three Earth ships suspended over Mars, powering up their WMGs: a Dreadnought type, an Andromeda type, and a Hyuga-type carrier.
Kodai speaks. A fleet of unmanned battleships flies in formation over Earth. Most are the smaller Ajax type. Only the one in the rear is the larger Gladiator version
Yuki looks alarmed. Maybe she’s wondering what happened to her captain’s uniform. Then we see what is unmistakably Yamato bursting out of Asteroid Icarus. If we get all the way to this point by the end of Chapter 1 (just 2 episodes if they follow past format), it will almost exactly match the timing of Be Forever, in which the ship launches at nearly the 45 minute mark.
The title image is perhaps the most intriguing, a direct homage to Yamato III. Theoretically, this now puts the “runaway sun” story into play. But how? Will Dezarium do something to the sun? Will it be accidentally damaged by a stray shot, as in Yamato III? And how lucky are we that we get to ask these questions?
That brings this report to a close, but since only seven months remain until the premiere, we should see the next one pretty soon!
And now, here’s that art you were promised.