Space Battleship Yamato 2205 Report 31

Yamato‘s 50th year on planet Earth got off to a great start with the long-awaited reveal for REBEL 3199 Chapter 1, the arrival of 4K Farewell to Yamato in theaters, various live events, and well-wishing for the eventful year to come. Here’s everything that launched us into 2024…

January 1: New Year’s greetings

Happy new year messages rolled out on social media from the home office on the first day of the year. Yamato Crew posted a stern looking Captain Okita (saying “Happy New Year”) and manga artist Michio Murakawa marked year 50 on Instagram.

Murakawa’s art was also used for the annual Yamato Fan Club postcard (photo posted on Twitter by Paorin), and Character Designer Nobuteru Yuuki gave a nod to the year of the dragon. Though he was careful to point out that this image of Sasha is NOT from REBEL 3199. Follow him on Twitter here.

Photo posted on Twitter by Koromo

January 1: Asahi Shimbun article

Readers of this newspaper were treated to a full-page article titled Why 50 Year Masterpieces Never Fade Away, written by anime commentator and original Yamato superfan Ryusuke Hikawa. It was almost exactly the 50th anniversary of Heidi Girl of the Alps (Jan 6) with Yamato to follow in October. The ratings rivalry between the two is well-documented, with Yamato decidedly on the losing end, but history wrote a different story afterward.

At the bottom of the page was, naturally, an ad for Farewell to Yamato in 4k, just four days away from its premiere.

January 3: REBEL 3199 Chapter 1 announced

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.

January 3: Magmix article #1

Obviously, Yamato isn’t the only classic anime series to hit 50 in 2024. We’ve already been reminded that it’s a golden year for Heidi as well, but there are others to consider. A writer for the Magmix website gave us an entertaining rundown of five titles to be aware of.

Read it here

January 3: Yamato movie in 4K on Star Channel

It was a big month for viewers of Japan’s Star Channel with the premiere of the first Yamato movie in 4K only a week after it closed in theaters. Both the 1977 edition and the 1978 recut edition were shown multiple times throughout the month on Star Channel’s affiliates.

It was accompanied by the HD remaster of Series 1, which ran from Monday through Friday starting January 8 and Saturday night marathons starting on the 13th. Farewell 4K and Series 2 would follow in February.

January 4: Magmix article #2

The second Yamato article in as many days popped up on Magmix, this one asking (for about the millionth time) why a spaceship would keep the shape of a seagoing ship. This time, however, it also provided some thoughtful answers.

Read it here

Photo posted on Twitter by marrobru15

January 5: Farewell to Yamato 4K remaster in theaters

As it happens, this wasn’t the world premiere of Farewell in 4K; the initial remastering was completed and given a very limited screening in 2019 (read about it here). However, there were some differences; Imagica, the studio that did the work, put it back into the mill and ran it through an upgraded process after they handled the first movie. This gave the film a further boost, as described in an in-depth interview here.

The program book and theater merch carried over from December, so the rest of the story is told by the fans in these comments, collected from Twitter…

I remember all the scenes and lines. Still, I cried.bashiyan2012

The seats were almost full! On the first day at the Shinjuku Piccadilly, there was applause after every screening.aoi2199

I rented the video many times and used to watch it often. I never thought I would see it on the big screen!Yanroncha

As expected of longtime Yamato fans, they didn’t make a single sound during important scenes. Trustworthy.cityhunterAA

I’ve seen it many times, but it’s especially powerful and moving when you see it on a big screen in a theater. (I feel like I said that last time…)SORAI

It’s been more than ten years since I actually watched Farewell. In my opinion, the unfolding story in the first half is quite interesting, even from today’s perspective.merumeru1701

Photos posted on Twitter by Morisawa and Inrin

I’ve seen it many times, but it’s been a long time since I last saw it on the big screen. I don’t think there are many works that receive a lot of applause at the end. I was once again impressed by the detailed portrayals of the characters.KIYO

I watched it for the first time in my life. I thought the work would convey to future generations the precious memories of Yamato, who fought to the death for family, loved ones, and country. That’s why we realize we have to live and fight together with Yamato.rukatakko

I have mixed opinions about the ending, but the direction, animation, and music were all top notch. Of all Yamato content, including the original, remake, and live-action version, I personally think Farewell is the best.marrobru15

I think I shed more tears than at any other movie I’ve ever seen in the theater. Toward the end, I could hear the sound of tears being shed in various places in the theater, and I was filled with emotion thinking that it must have been like that back then.S Meijin

I was the only one there in my 30s, the others were all in their 50s and 60s. I finally got to see the giant battleship on the big screen. I recommend watching from the front seat, even if you have to look up.konakanaCRZ

In the minds of Farewell supporters, Yamato2, New Voyage, Be Forever, Final, and Resurrection have all disappeared. Be careful if you talk about them in a cheerful manner, as you may be targeted with murderous intent.KEI-mk1

Yoko Asagami’s happy voice makes me laugh. I was moved by the bravery of Kodai and his friends as they stood up against an overwhelming enemy and died. I couldn’t watch Captain Okita’s words at the climax without crying. The best page from my youth!otoyanNARA

I haven’t seen it in a movie theater since 1978!! I know everything about the development, dialogue, music, and I memorized it, but I don’t care how many times I watch it! I cried! Thank you for the 4K remaster!NABEchan

Photos posted on Twitter by S Meijin and Nonnon

The clear picture is based on the original, so Yamamoto’s elbow sticks out, and the message at the end is from the first-release version. The music is also a restoration of a monaural sound source, which really shines in theaters.fa_tachibana

I was 7 years old at the time of release. When I went to see it with my parents, I think all I thought was, “Yamato is so cool.” But when I watched it again on the big screen at this age, I found that the story touched a lot of heartstrings. I almost burst into tears.masatoshi-sagami

Although I’ve said that I love Yamato, I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve only seen the remakes, so this was my first time watching Farewell. Yep, I cried. Kodai and Yuki, I wish you happiness in space.pkmn1997

HDR 4K is great after all. In the area where the orange ghosts appear, only the area around the captain’s seat is brightly lit, and the surrounding area is dark as if it blends [into the theater itself]. A flash of light and the sound of an explosion followed. I can’t stand it. You have to see this in the theater.TOM2199

Before watching it, I didn’t think there would be much to it, since I knew how it would unfold, but I enjoyed it. It was really amazing…the atmosphere inside the theater was more unified than I’ve ever felt before, and it was the first time I’d ever seen a movie where no one tried to leave during the end credits.pincet_no_3410

I followed the example of a proper old man and watched the 4K remaster of Farewell. I’m not from the real-time generation, so this was actually my first time. It’s hard to see these days, and it’s an irresistible performance. The music that I can enjoy thoroughly is truly amazing. The White Comet theme that rumbles is the best!MAJIKONOV

Many people in my age group were there. It’s amazing that it was made decades ago by painting cels in anime colors. It’s still incredibly hot. Hiroshi Miyagawa’s musical accompaniment is the best. When I was in elementary school, I was stunned, but now I’m crying all over the place.ShiuichiTsuzure

Photos posted on Twitter by Amachi Papa and Sorai JS

The colors were so beautiful that it looked exactly like a cel image. You can clearly see the reverse thrust of the main battleships during the Earth fleet’s multi-formation. The sound is also clear and impressive. A clear screen that makes you feel like you’re there, and a sound that combines power and silence. Wonderful. I can’t believe I get to see this again in a theater for the first time in 45 years. I am overwhelmed with emotion.kanaeyokosuka

When the film was released in 1978, it was 33 years since the end of the war, and there were still memories of the war and folklore about it from elders, so for people at the time, I think that ending must have resonated more deeply in their hearts than it does for us 45 years after its release.

It changed Japanese film history. Among the Yamato series, this is the masterpiece among masterpieces. As expected, I failed the “I won’t cry” challenge. I cried three times, even though I must have watched it many times. Once again, the synergy between production and music is amazing.sumikojo

Yuki is just so cute and energetic. In the early department store scene, I started crying thinking about the fate that would happen after that.

Overwhelming visuals of the city empire. The impact on the big screen is incredible. The images are of course amazing, but the sound is also amazing. I’ve watched it dozens of times, but I was surprised to hear sounds I’d never noticed before. The music sounds good and gives me a new impression.Amachi Papa

There was a time when I couldn’t cry even when I saw this movie, but this time I watched it in a theater for the first time in about 46 years, and I shed a lot of tears. The beauty of the picture is as expected from the trailer! It truly felt like a “moving cel image.” The shot where Teresa’s praying figure appeared for the first time in front of Telezart took my breath away at how beautiful it was!

The clarity of the sound is also noteworthy! The sound has become much denser, and scenes such as the ignition of the Wave Engine are even more powerful. The lines are clear enough to highlight the actors’ performances, especially in the scene with “Here we go!” The sound pressure itself seemed to increase, and my heart was shaken!M.T

The 4K release of Farewell brought an interesting tidbit out of the trivia vault. It fully restored the 1978 version of the film for the first time. Up until now, only the 1979 re-release version has been available on video. What’s the difference? A caption screen after the end credits.

Both of the caption screens are shown here, 78 on the left and 79 on the right. Here’s what they say:

1978 caption

Thank you for loving Yamato
It will never be seen again
But it will certainly live forever
In your hearts and in your souls

1979 caption

Thank you for loving Yamato
Goodbye everyone…
As long as you live, Yamato will live forever
When you think of Yamato, always remember this
You can only be happy when you make others happy…

Why two different captions? Because in 1978, they thought this would be the last Yamato story. Even with the second TV series on the way, they initially assumed it would end the same way. It wasn’t until late 78/early 79 that it was decided to end the series differently and keep going. At that point, “it will never be seen again” was patently untrue, especially since the ’79 edition premiered in theaters just two weeks before The New Voyage premiered on TV.

Photo at right posted on Twitter by TOM2199

January 5: Week 1 theater handout

Like the first movie in December, Farewell would run for three weeks in 36 theaters. Each week featured a free gift for ticket holders while supply lasted. The first gift was a card featuring the original movie poster art.

January 5: Farewell to Yamato 4K Blu-ray, limited edition

Once again, you had the option to take the movie home with you that very day, thanks to the limited edition Blu-ray set. It contained the film on both standard and 4K discs along with an internal booklet. This constitutes the regular edition, which will go on sale March 27. (Preorder it at here or CD Japan here.)

Photos posted on Twitter by X0_BR and capsule_agila

But the real prize for dedicated fans was the bonus item that made it a limited edition: a 300-page book containing the complete storyboard for the movie by Yasuhiko Yoshikazu. It was offered in digital form on previous Blu-ray in 2013, but until now it had never been issued in print.

January 5: REBEL 3199 flyer in theaters

As immersive as it must have been to see Farewell in all its glory, some part of every fan’s brain must have been buzzing with another item that had just shown up, the flyer for REBEL 3199 Chapter 1, Dark Invasion. (Not to mention the teaser that accompanied it.)

Again, get up to date on all the REBEL 3199 Chapter 1 news here.

January 5: Movie review

Writer Yoshinori Nozawa was the first to pen a review of Space Battleship Yamato in 4K, and he was also first out of the gate this time. His article on the NOTE website took an insightful dive into the media environment that followed Farewell in 1978.

Read it here

(And if it whets your appetite, you can always take an even deeper dive in the Cosmo DNA Vintage Reports here)

January 6-8: Five Universities Joint Model Exhibition

Back in the world of solid objects, there was yet another model exhibit. It was held in Akihabara, Tokyo with work from modelmakers at five regional universities. As always, Yamato models were there to represent.

See a photo gallery here

January 8: Sapporo Chikaho Model Exhibition

The last day of the Five Universities show crossed over with a one-day display created by the Hokkaido modeling group HOBAS in the underground walking space at Sapporo City Center.

Get a better look at it here

Inset photo posted on Twitter by neginuki. Photo at right posted by ayaka19790825

January 12: Week 2 theater handout

Farewell 4K’s second week began with a new gift for ticket holders, a plastic ticket sleeve modeled on the original 1978 version with a REBEL 3199 reminder inside.

January 19: Prize lottery

As the third and final week commenced, the Yamato Production Committee announced a prize campaign for those who applied and posted about it on Twitter to help get more customers into theaters. The prizes (awarded by lottery) were the promo flags unveiled in November and five pairs of original-style movie posters.

January 19: Week 3 theater handout

The last theater handout was a set of three postcards with key images from the film. Photo at right posted on Twitter by chihiroo2202.

January 23: Star sighting (again)

The stars returned for another screening! On this day, singer Yamano Satoko posted this photo on Twitter with the following caption:

At the invitation of Kazuko Kawashima [at far left], Yuka Yaedon and I went to see the 4K remastered version of Farewell to Yamato at the Shinjuku Piccadilly. I remember seeing it at a movie theater in Namba [Osaka] a long time ago. Even after the ending, I couldn’t stop crying. Kenji Sawada’s song was also included.

Unless you’ve been asleep for the last 50 years, you probably know that Kazuko Kawashima was the original “voice” of the stars when she sang the original vocal for the Infinite Universe theme. The voice that struck a billion hearts.

Their friend Yuka Yaedon (also a singer) posted her own photo with this to say:

As was the case with the Space Battleship Yamato movie, I was moved every time I heard Kawashima-san’s beautiful voice. Kenji Sawada’s singing was also wonderful. It was such a luxurious time as we talked about our impressions after watching the show.

January 25: Official Tweet

On the final day of the three week run, the Yamato Production Committee closed the curtain with the following message to everyone on Twitter:

The 4K remaster of Farewell to Yamato, Soldiers of Love finished showing today. Thank you very much to everyone who watched. We hope you continue to enjoy the Space Battleship Yamato series, which has reached a milestone.

January 28: Comic City 150

A month after the latest Comiket, Tokyo Big Sight hosted the next doujinshi-centered event, Comic City 150, for one day only. At least one Yamato publisher was on hand, LoneWolfMM, who posted the photo above.

January 28: Live concert

How about some live music to close out a month? On this day, the Elysion Philharmonic Orchestra delivered a concert at Kurume City Plaza in the southern prefecture of Fukuoka. Their playlist included selections from NHK historical dramas, Galaxy Express 999, and Hiroshi Miyagawa’s 4-part Yamato suite.

The photo at right was posted on Twitter by concert bass player Araki Takuto, who said, “After the performance, with concertmaster Keiichi Asago [right]. Not only was I able to play some of my favorite songs, including Space Battleship Yamato, but it was also great to learn that there are many bands in rural areas that enjoy the music I love, regardless of whether they are professionals or amateurs.”

Visit the orchestra’s Twitter page here and see a Yamato rehearsal video here

Also spotted in January

Fan art

Artwork posted online in January was both warm and powerful. See the character gallery here and the mecha gallery here.

Fan manga

There was something extra special to be found in January as well, and Cosmo DNA is pleased to bring it to you in English. Fan artist Yayayanoya published a 10-page story titled Homecoming, which imagines a moment between Sanada and Saito on the way home from Telezart.

It is presented here by kind permission of the author.

Fan models

Winter weather must have kept a lot of modelers at home, because the volume of kits posted on social media in January was enormous. See them all here: Gallery A | Gallery B

Look, up in the sky! It’s a Yam! it’s a Toe!

It is, in fact, a paper Yamato kite, photographed at a January 13 by Twitter user Shocker Fisher. The event was the 55th Tonegawa Takoage Festival in Toride City, which specializes in kites of all shapes and sizes. Visit the event website here.

Meanwhile, back at the office…

The return of Yamato movies to the big screen jogged the memory of Twitter user takahisa_8, who posted these interesting photos with the following comment:

It seems that this desk is still in use at some stores of the former Yamato Shaken [Car Inspection] (currently Car Convenience Store Club). I wonder if it might come up for auction as a used item?

A quick backgrounder: in what had to be a top five “strangest anime tie-ins ever” contest, Yamato Shaken did a cross promotion with Leiji Matsumoto’s Dai Yamato Zero-Go way back in 2002. Locations were decorated in Dai Yamato regalia, including these desks that look like they came right off someone’s bridge.

See more photo-evidence of this forgotten tie-in here

Fan Artist Profile

Time to meet another of the talented and dedicated Yamato fans who delivers some of the amazing artwork we see here in the character galleries month after month. (Hot tip: enter the words “character fan art” or “mecha fan art” in the search bar to bring all the galleries to the top.)

Admiral Kino

1. What was your first Yamato experience?

My parents did not let me watch the 1974 TV broadcast, but I saw it for the first time in a rerun a couple of years later.

2. What is your favorite aspect of Yamato?

The design of the mecha does not fade away even if you
see it now.

3. Are you a Yamato collector?

I collect discs and plastic models, though not many.

4. What is your most treasured Yamato item?

A poster of the first movie when it was released in theaters in 1977.

5. What are your favorite drawing tools?

I draw with a tool called CLIPSTUDIO.

6. Where can your work be seen?

I mainly use Pixiv and Twitter. I sell my books at Japanese doujinshi events such as Comiket and through mail order.

7. Does your family share your hobby?

Yes. My wife and I often watch anime together.

8. Please tell us something about your life outside your art.

I haven’t been able to go on many trips recently, but traveling is nice. It is interesting to get a glimpse of the lives of various people in different places from where I live. It also has a positive effect on my paintings.

9. Are you involved in Yamato activities with other fans?

I am usually alone in my activities. But I consider all Yamato fans, including Yamaket participants, as my friends.

10. What do you hope to see in a future Yamato anime?

I want to see a new story. Someday, when the remake is finished, I would like Yamato to embark on a new adventure.

11. What is your favorite anime after Yamato?

This is a difficult question. There are so many interesting works from all ages and cultures that it is difficult to narrow it down to just one. If I had to pick one, I would say The Great Adventure of Space Pirate Mito.

12. What would you like to say to Yamato fans around the world?

Thank you for loving Yamato from far away. Even though we are far away from each other, we are all Yamato friends.

13. What should everyone know about Japan and its people?

I think the majority of Japanese people are not so different from you, even though we speak different languages and live in different countries. I wish you a peaceful life.

Yamatunes for January

Yamato theme performed by Maizuru naval band
Instrumental | Song
Yamato theme on two pianos
Click here

Yamato theme performed in C major
Click here
Farewell to Yamato finale music, piano solo
Click here

The Universe Expanding into Infinity, cover version
Click here
Final Yamato Digital Trip, complete album
Click here

Piano cover: Yamato in Flight (from Be Forever)
Click here
Piano solo: Dog Fight from Yamato 2202
Click here

Blue Noah theme, live performance
Click here
Star Blazers opening title, Arabic version
Click here

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