New Work re-check from Storyboards!!
To be released by the Toei System in March ’83
The revival of Juuzo Okita, the status of Kodai and Yuki’s love, the life and death of Dessler, the true nature of water planet Aquarius and Dengil; various subjects are hidden in Space Battleship Yamato The Final Chapter, which is now in production. This month, we’ve obtained storyboards and new scenes from The Final Chapter, and we can think about how the story expands from there to the screen. We have a comment from Kazuhiko Udagawa, who is busy supervising animation. We also have an interview and comment from Mr. Isao Sasaki just after he recorded I and Yamato, the latest theme song from the Yamato series!
Yamato‘s ten years – I continued to sing the theme song and now I sing for The Final Chapter…!
We asked Mr. Isao Sasaki to talk about his memories of Yamato‘s ten years and its music just after the recording of I and Yamato on December 20.
Sasaki: The recording of the first theme song certainly took about six hours. An anime [song] usually takes only one hour, but in the case of Yamato, Mr. Nishizaki had such a solid image it was difficult to satisfy it. I think the main theme and The Scarlet Scarf are both still masterpieces.
This time, I and Yamato sings the feelings of Kodai, and I think it is worthy of The Final Chapter. Yamato is a work where you can sense the feelings of the many staff members. I can feel it on my side, and I’ll be glad if you can sympathize. My image of it is something like a living thing that fights and loves continuously.
Depicting quiet parts and active parts
Scenes that use new technology bring a three-dimensional impression to the screen!
The “Yamato staff room” at Toei Animation studio in Nerima, Tokyo is busy animating The Final Chapter. We visited with Animation Director Kazuhiko Udagawa to hear about the highlights, including the overall image.
Interviewer: This is the only Yamato being planned for 70mm, which means the screen design should be different from a standard TV series.
Udagawa: Of course, the layouts are done based on 70mm. Also, we consider that it will be seen in Vistavision [widescreen] size. Overall, I’d like to bring a three-dimensional impression to the screen. It’s not an extreme change, but we deform it before it goes to the screen. Doing this, even in the sections where we aren’t drawing it from a low angle, it still gives the impression of one.
Interviewer: From the data that has been announced about The Final Chapter so far, the highlights should be considerable – and new technology had to be developed for some scenes. For example, we can expect the warp of water planet Aquarius and the battle of Dengil vs. the Earth forces to be 70mm spectacles on the big screen.
Udagawa: How could we depict planet Aquarius – that was tough. Since it plays a major role in the story, we thought about it in many ways. We did repeated effects and photographic tests. Also, the staff wanted to make something technically new rather than using traditional means, so please look forward to it.
Interviewer: Speaking of traditional Yamato, from the days of Part 1, there is a power and reality to the battle scenes that astonishes the fans. It can be said that this is already a Yamato tradition.
Udagawa: That image has solidified considerably. How to express the power of the weapons on the Dengil side is a big point. However, we wanted to depict something different than we’ve seen before to make it more interesting. Also, since we’re showing fleet vs. fleet battles alongside hand-to-hand combat, I think it will be different and powerful.
Interviewer: It’s not clear where these scenes will appear, but it is said that there’s a lot of excitement in the latter half.
Udagawa: The plan was for the drawing to be completed by January, but in reality it has been delayed. Because the production system has everything moving forward simultaneously, the state of the storyboard is that they’ve reached Part E (the ending). If it gets the OK we can start drawing it immediately, but I think it would be better if this was a summer release rather than spring. (Laughs)
How do you represent “quiet parts” in the midst of a battle!?
Other than scenes with important motion, such as Aquarius and the battles, the parts of the story involving Okita, Kodai, and Yuki become the center of attention for fans. Their action and psychological portrait are an important point that expands the story of Yamato, particularly in The Final Chapter.
Udagawa: The most important scenes started in December, and the drawing climaxes in January. The most important scenes are concentrated in the second half in particular, so I’ll be putting all my energy into them and leaving nothing in the reservoir. (Laughs) As for scenes of Yuki, they are all entrusted to [character designer] Shinya Takahashi.
Interviewer: In the fight against Dengil, Yuki and Kodai fly together in the Cosmo Zero. (Some scenes are shown below.)
Udagawa: The main characters exist within the motion that is called “battle.” Conversely, you can convey emotional content in the quiet parts, but how do you do that? Producer Nishizaki and I hope to boil this down into the images. Please also look forward to these character scenes.
Left: Pinup using the cover art from this issue. Right: Ad for Animedia specials on Godmars and Final Yamato.
Special thanks to Neil Nadelman for translation support