by Luis Cotovio and Daniel George
Episode 6: The Sun Sets on Pluto
(Japanese Name: 冥王の落日 / Meiou no Rakujitsu)
Director: Shunsuke Tada
Running time: 24m 42s (21m 01s without credits)
- (Cinema/Home Video): Uchuu Senkan Yamato by Isao Sasaki
- (TV): Uchuu Senkan Yamato by Project 2199
- (Cinema/Home Video): For Those Who Know the Beautiful Earth by Aki Misato
- (TV): Love Words by Mika Nakashima
[DG]: Episode 6 is an immediate continuation of the end of Episode 5. Since there is a one-day difference between their respective previews. Episode 5 began on February 15 and finished on February 16, where this episode picks up.
[LC]: The episode opens with a replay of the previous episode’s final scenes. It is the only episode in 2199’s run that will do so. In the movie version the scene simply transitions seamlessly from Yamato‘s sinking to Shulz and Ganz observing it from their control room.
Yamato sinks in Pluto’s ocean, under the watchful eye of Shulz. Ganz quickly congratulates him for the success of his attack strategy, and for how they can report their victory to General Goer with their heads held high. But Shulz knows Goer would just claim the victory as his own and decides to go directly to Lord Dessler himself.
[LC]: As in the original, Shulz reports his victory over Yamato prematurely. The major difference is that now he is a second-class Garmillan who reports to a senior officer, Goer (little attention was given to military hierarchy in the original). By going directly to Dessler, he is taking a bigger gamble than before, not just for going over his military superior but also his social superior.
[DG]: Shulz would have theoretically still been under Goer/Geru in the original series, as the latter was still in charge of the sector before Domel took over. As you said, this time around, they’re paying more attention to details such as military hierarchy and protocol.
Far in the depths of space floats the Great Imperial Planet Garmillas, home world and capital of the empire. Lord Dessler’s palace towers over the surrounding city, Balerus.
[LC]: This is our first view of Planet Garmillas itself, labelled here simply as 惑星ガミラス – Wakusei Gamirasu – which translates to “Planet Garmillas” (or Gamilas, if you go by the old, and more phonetically correct, translation). In future labels, this will change to 大ガミラス帝星 – Dai-Gamirasu Tei-Hoshi – which translates to the more pompous “Great Garmillas Imperial Planet (literally Star)”.
Dessler’s seat of power, the capital city of Garmillas and the empire, is finally given a name, バレラス or Balerus. Dessler’s imperial palace is the center piece of the massive city, another excellent design upgrade by Makoto Kobaiyashi.
High up, the Garmillan leader enjoys the pleasures of the enclosed hot springs. As he leaves, he’s greeted by his aid and minister of propaganda, Miezela Celestella, who informs him Shulz wishes to give his report.
[LC]: Dessler’s bathing facilities have been quite expanded from the original, which featured a single large hot-tub, to a veritable indoor hot-spring. This also serves to convey just how large Dessler’s palace is. Although no actual size has yet been specified in any official materials, later scale comparison with Yamato puts the tower’s height in excess of 5000 meters – being conservative. This could almost be called Dessler’s city rather than palace.
Dessler fan service, anyone? Though the original also featured a bathing Dessler, makes the more risque move of having him stand up, cutting away at the right time. The manga takes it a step further by actually showing Dessler’s imperial buttocks.
In the manga, the bath scene is used when Hyss reports Shulz’s defeat. The first appearance of Dessler and Garmillas in the manga is the initial scene of Episode 8, with the events of episodes 5, 6 and 7 taking place as a sort of flashback.
Dessler doesn’t seem to recall the name, so Celestella reminds him of the position the Colonel currently occupies as commander of the advanced base on Plat [Pluto]. Dessler recalls giving the mission of conquering Terron [Earth] to a brigade of second-class Garmillans. Minutes later, Dessler is in his throne room alongside Celestella and his second in command, vice-president Redof Hyss.
[LC]: Here we meet a new character on the Garmillas side; Miezela Celestella is Dessler’s aid and minister of propaganda, and will have quite a significant role as the story progresses. Although she is a high-ranking government official, Celestella is not a Garmillan. She is identified in her biographic materials as being from planet Jirel, belonging to an almost extinct race of which only two confirmed members are known to exist. More details on her story will be uncovered in future episodes.
Another Garmillan expression to add to our growing list. “ILUN PHUZERON” which roughly translates to “Your Excellency” or “Your Lordship”. Also, after the planets of our solar system, it’s our star’s turn to get a Garmillan name. “ZAL”, a derivation of “SOL”, which is the word for Sun in certain languages – mine included – deriving from latin.
Shulz presents himself. Hyss chastises him for contacting them without Goer’s approval but Dessler seems amused by his daring. Shulz reports on the fierce battle they fought against the Terrons FTL-capable ship Yamato and its subsequent sinking on Plat.
DG: Here is also where we see the first appearance of another old enemy from the original series: Redof Hyss, previously known only as Deputy Leader Hisu – a thinly-veiled reference to Hitler’s Deputy, Rudolf Hess. However, unlike other Garmillas characters based on Nazis, Hyss’ status as a “token” vice-president with a business, rather than military background, is in stark contrast to that of his Nazi namesake. Rudolf Hess fought in World War I, was wounded in combat on several occasions, and was even trained as a fighter pilot very late in the war, much too late to see action in combat despite being posted to a fighter squadron in October 1918. In 1941, while Deputy Fuhrer under Hitler, he piloted a fighter plane to England as part of a plan to broker a peace deal. His plane was shot down and although he survived the crash, he spent the rest of the war imprisoned. He would later face trial alongside other key Nazis at Nuremberg, where he was found guilty of crimes against peace and spent his remaining years in prison before committing suicide in 1987.
Maintaining his pose, Dessler drinks his wine and asks why Shulz requested a hearing for something so trivial. Visibly embarrassed, Shulz says he wanted to provide a small additional glory to the upcoming celebration of the Empire’s foundation. Shulz is pleased when Dessler says he will remember his loyalty. Hyss dismisses Shulz, who hails the leader as he hangs up.
[LC]: Right from the start, Dessler proves himself a master at deceit and manipulation. Though he knows nothing about Yamato or any related events, he keeps his pose in front of Shulz, denying the second-class Garmillan his moment of glory. It is nice that he at least recognizes the officer’s loyalty and throws him a bone.
With his underling gone, Dessler drops his act of disinterest and asks Celestella if she had any knowledge the Terrons had crossed the light-speed barrier. She claims this is the first time she has heard of it, and asks Hyss if he knew anything. Hyss embarrassingly denies it, prompting a disdainful comment from Dessler which amuses his courtesans.
[LC]: It seems Goer kept his word and kept all Yamato-related information under wraps. Much like in the original, precocious reporting ends up being Shulz’s undoing.
[DG]: When I first saw this episode, my view was that these women were Dessler’s elite guards – inspired at least in part by the ninja-like women seen in Domel’s court-martial in the original series, and possibly also by former Libyan dictator Muammar Ghadaffi’s all-female elite guards.
Pensive, Dessler simply smiles and gazes through the skylights of the throne room at the shining blue planet above them.
[LC]: Any long time fan knows exactly what that planet is. We first see it in the Balerus establishing shot above Dessler’s palace, and now we actually focus on it. All that’s missing is a big fat label like the one in the original to identify our beloved Planet Iscandar. Although Iscandar’s proximity to Gamilas was meant to be a plot twist at the end of the series, they pretty much spoiled it by clearly identifying it with a screen tag in an early episode. Star Blazers omitted this, preserving the suspense despite the planet being easily identifiable. 2199 maintains the mystery for newcomers, but teases us older crew members.
Though his call to Dessler didn’t go as anticipated, Shulz tells Ganz their leader was pleased by the report and that he promised to reward them accordingly. He comments on how foolish the Terrons were, and how they could have lived like their people, if only they had surrendered to Garmillas.
[DG]: Shulz’s mindset here all but confirms to me that he’s lived most or more likely all of his life under Garmillas rule. To his mind, it’s illogical for Earth to resist Garmillas’s might.
[LC]: Shulz’s statement does sound a bit odd. Though it gives us the impression that at some point Earth was given the chance to surrender peacefully to the empire, this is a bit of a contradiction with what we’ve already been shown and with events that will be revealed. Given what we’ll discover in those, perhaps the Garmillas intended to force Earth to surrender when they arrived, but changed plans after the first encounter went south.
Above Pluto, the two Zeros arrive at their operation zone with Yamamoto in a slightly off-character good mood.
[LC]: The UNCF’s anthem, The Galactic Pilot, seems to be quite a popular song. We already saw the crew of Yukikaze sing it as they charged head-on to their expected doom, and Chief Enomoto trolling it at Enceladus. Now we hear Yamamoto joyfully humming it. That’s a hit in my book.
With the assistance of S.I.D., Kodai overlays the available data of suspect heat sources onto geographic data, and the two begin their sweep.
[LC]: This is the first time we see the S.I.D system in operation. A new feature in 2199, it serves as the fighters’ personal AI, much like a bodiless Analyzer minus his quirky personality traits. It assists in several tasks like navigation (as seen here), especially in the complex launch and docking procedures. The only support craft not equipped with S.I.D. is the Cosmo Seagull. Although no official materials have given a designation to the acronym, my personal take on it is [Pilot] Support Interactive Device.
Meanwhile, at the site of Yamato’s apparent demise, exploding scattered debris conceals the relatively unscathed ship that now sits at the bottom of Pluto’s ocean. But although they averted destruction, the damage to the ship’s hull is still quite severe.
[LC]: This is our first look at Hangar #3, where the Cosmo Seagulls and Type-100s reside. Pity that it’s in a sorry state at the time. A nice continuity detail here is that the support crane behind the Seagull is empty, as one of the them was destroyed in episode 4.
Chief Enomoto rallies his crew to begin repairs. Key bulkheads are sealed to stop the water’s advance while fire control crews go to work in other areas.
[LC]: In an episode of firsts, we now have a less fortunate one: the first onscreen crew casualty. The unfortunate fella glimpsed above right falls into the “unconfirmed” category, since we don’t actually see him die. But with three possible outcomes of this situation and only one playing in his favor…well, odds are he’s dead. But don’t fret, the first “confirmed” casualty is coming.
In the medical section, Dr. Sado is busy tending to the wounded. He asks for Makoto, who is lending first aid elsewhere with Yuria in tow.
[LC]: Here we see three medical officers assisting Doctor Sado. Much like the female nurse uniform, the male nurse uniform also differs somewhat from standard. Only two of these medical officers are named in the official materials available thus far. The woman seen talking to Sado is Maki Kasahara. One of the men is Satoshi Komiya. These two are seen most often throughout the series.
Makoto does her best to assist the many injured. Chief Ito and Hoshina watch them as Yuria wonders how the enemy managed to find them, but Makoto can’t offer any answers.
[LC]: “Snake Eyes” and “Wonder Kid” could lend a hand instead of just sneaking around. Right from the start, you feel there’s something fishy about Chief Ito.
In the engine room, Yabu reports to Yamazaki that there are no problems with the engine, and wonders how long they’ll have to stay at the bottom of the ocean. In his usual pessimistic tone, Yabu expresses his dismay for the mission. Yamazaki responds he will never allow another of his ships to sink and that he has entrusted his life to Okita. That’s all they can do for now.
[LC]: Ah, Yabu, always the life of the party.
Here we get a hint about chief Yamazaki’s past, which will come up in unexpected twists in later episodes. The officers next to Yamazaki are Tomoharu Saotome (left) and Mitsuru Yoshida (right).
[DG]: Many Yamato history buffs will recognize the name Mitsuru Yoshida. He was the sole surviving bridge officer from Yamato when she sank on April 7, 1945, and was author of the first-hand account of that fateful day, Requiem for Battleship Yamato.
[Author’s note]: I didn’t get much chance to review this commentary, as I finished writing my contribution while I was flying to Japan for my 2014 trip. I’d wholeheartedly recommend reading this book to all Yamato fans and those interested in the Japanese battleship Yamato and naval/military history in general.
In the CIC, Sanada and Niimi have figured out the Garmillas attack pattern. After he grew suspicious of the amount of debris surrounding Pluto, Sanada had Niimi run a scan which revealed the enemy satellites. From there, they theorized the enemy uses them as relays to bend the energy beam, allowing them to hit their target anywhere on Pluto. This means that if Yamato surfaces, they’ll be easily targeted again.
Okita asks if it’s possible to calculate the satellites’ timing and predict their attack. Niimi says she’ll try. Sanada hopes the explosive camouflage they detonated in the last shot tricked the Garmillas into thinking Yamato sank, but Okita knows it’s only a matter of time until the enemy uncovers their trick. He trusts that Kodai and the other pilot will come through, at which time Yamato will strike back.
[DG]: Niimi seems to be pleased that Shima has figured out the conclusion of her analysis before she could reveal it herself.
Nanbu’s statement about the enemy being able to target them as soon as they surface made me think about the tactic used by Yamato in the original to triangulate the location of one of the beam satellites; they would surface and wait for the gun to hit all the satellites before sinking back down, where the beam dissipated as it struck the water. The writers chose not to use that tactic here. Does this mean that they don’t think the beam would dissipate?
[LC]: Sanada’s mention of “explosive camouflage” is a bit odd. We saw him suggesting something to Okita right after they landed on Pluto. Since they were shot by the Reflex Cannon shortly after, it’s doubtful they managed to erect any type of structure on the outer hull. The only theory I can come up with is that Yamato’s hull plating has sections that can be rigged to explode if the need arises. Or some sort of reactive armor is used to disperse the energy of direct impacts and reduce damage. (Then again, it could have just been unrecycled garbage.)
At that time, the Falcons proceed with the operation. Shinohara’s quip to Nemoto about Akira is blocked by SID, who warns that radio silence is in effect. He tells “Navi-baby” he knows, much to SID’s confusion.
[LC]: As I mentioned earlier, SID’s AI is not as evolved as Analyzer’s. Its voice recognition parameters in particular are a lot more limited, making it unable to recognize Shinohara’s colorful nicknames or Kato’s chant.
Elsewhere, Kato’s SID is also confused; it doesn’t recognize any of the lieutenant’s vocal commands, which are actually his Bhuddist chant. He warns Kato that they’re approaching their target. Kato lifts the EM restrictions and tell his wingman, Sugiyama, to follow him. But just as Sugiyama responds, his Falcon is shot and destroyed.
[LC]: See? What did I tell you? The first “confirmed” crew death. As I mentioned in episode 5, Sugiyama’s name foreshadowed his fate. In the original, he was part of the team lead by Kodai to assault the enemy base. He was killed inside the Reflex Cannon room, shot by an enemy soldier. (The second encounter with Gamilan soldiers in the show, after the episode on Titan.) Nemoto, who died of electrocution in the original, survives this episode.
As SID reports the loss of Bravo 3, Kato manages to avoid the AA fire and dives in to attack, believing he has found the enemy base. Shulz receives a report of enemy fighters over one of their environmental plants, but believes them to be rogue survivors of Yamato. He orders a squadron of interceptors to deal with them.
[DG]: The fighters scrambling from the main base are designated DDG-110 Zedora II fighters. Their armaments consist of 8 cannons/machine guns of calibers of 7.9mm (2), 13mm (2), and 47mm (4), as well as up to six missiles. An interesting design feature here is the centerline dorsal fin directly in front of the cockpit. This could potentially be a major distraction and blind spot to the pilot, so one has to wonder whether there’s a virtual cockpit employed on this fighter. The shape of the fighter is reminiscent somewhat of both the SR-71 Blackbird recon plane and the Macross universe’s VF-4 Lightning III.
The numeric designation is a clear reference to the Luftwaffe’s Messerschmit Bf 110 twin-engine heavy fighter. It is interesting to note that the Zedora II has the same 7.9mm guns that the Bf 110 carried in its day. The Zedora II appears to be the mainline interceptor of the Garmillas Military. Its name in 2199 is descended from a fighter craft designed by Yutaka Izubuchi for Yamato III, called the Zeadora. Its name, in turn, was based on Germany’s World War I fighting ship Seeadler.
A minor piece of coincidence to the subjects being discussed in this episode is that Rudolf Hess was flying a Bf 110 when he was shot down and captured over Britain in 1941, ending his role in the war and almost certainly saving him from the gallows at Nuremburg.
Nearby, the two Zeros continue the search when they receive Kato’s communication claiming he has found the Garmillas base. Kodai is quick to respond, but Yamamoto tells him to wait. She was looking at the nearby auroras and spotted a strange glow. As Kodai looks at the aurora, they spot the interceptors launched from the base coming out from behind it.
Aihara receives Kato’s signal identifying “Object 5” as the target. Sanada is worried, since they’re not certain of it being the Garmillas base, but Okita says wars can’t be won without taking chances. Chief Enomoto reports the Wave-Motion Shields and gravity control systems have been repaired.
[LC]: Makes sense that they didn’t turn the ship upside down until now. With the artificial gravity offline, it would have been a bit of a mess.
Okita addresses the crew and tells them to prepare for undersea combat operations. Yamazaki and his men jump into action. Okita gives the order to elevate Yamato. Slowly, Yamato comes back to life, rising from the sea bed.
Meanwhile, Kodai and Yamamoto head for the crater above which they saw the Garmillan interceptors breach the aurora. The Zeros speed along a narrow passage in the crater wall. Suddenly, SID signals a massive energy surge ahead.
[LC]: Not really sure why the Zeros fly into this tight crevasse. The interceptors flew straight through the auroras without problem. A possible explanation would be to hide their approac,h but they don’t make an effort to remain hidden once they’re through.
Instruments go haywire as a flash of bright light envelops them. Once the light is gone, Kodai cannot believe his eyes; below them is a massive alien complex. He has no doubt they have found the Garmillas base.
[LC]: A musical note here: part one of the original series’ corresponding episode ended with the exact same cue.
In the command center, Shulz is informed that the base is being raided by two enemy craft, despite the stealth field being fully operational. Ganz is wary of the situation, but Shulz is confident they have nothing to fear from mere fighters.
[LC]: The shot with the base’s AA guns seems off. Either they are gigantic, which is doubtful since a single missile takes them out, or there were some composition and scale issues.
After evading and neutralizing the AA guns, the Zeros proceed to destroy the stealth field emitters. This causes the auroras concealing the base to fade away, leaving it fully exposed. Shulz hardly has time to react as another signal is detected at the site where Yamato was sunk. The ice layer covering Pluto’s ocean is breached by a red behemoth.
[DG]: Shulz can’t believe that the base has been discovered despite the concealment field. He doesn’t seem to understand that launching fighters from within the field would indicate something behind it, if an enemy pilot just happened to see them appear out of nowhere…
Ganz wonders where this submarine craft may have come from, but Shulz quickly recognizes it as Yamato’s underside. This spells trouble for them. Having already reported the ship’s destruction to Dessler, now they must ensure its demise. Cursing Yamato, Shulz orders the Reflex Satellite Cannon to be prepared once again. As the satellites are programmed, Shulz tells himself that his report was just slightly premature, confident that this time he will sink the enemy for good.
[DG]: In a very short time, Shulz has gone from a scenario of total victory to Murphy’s Law kicking in at lightspeed. He’s lost his camouflage and now the ship he reported sunk is alive and well.
Shulz reverts to the only tactic he seems to have come up with – using the Satellite Reflection Cannon. He seems to have rested on his laurels too much. Sure, repurposing the tool that makes planet bombs was a stroke of genius, but he seems to think it will now redeem him following his premature victory claim. The panic is becoming evident in his thought process and voice.
[LC]: In the original, Yamato assumed the upside-down position after it sank, in order to trick the Gamilas into thinking they were finished. Here, with no underwater cameras to worry about and with the gravity control system off, it was wiser to wait.
The rationale behind such an unusual position is actually quite sound. Not only has the upper hull already sustained severe damage due to the previous hits, the ship’s underside has the thickest armor. Also, the staff thought – correctly, if I do say so myself – that “it looks cool, like a submarine!” And as seen by Ganz’s reaction, it also takes a while to realize that it’s actually Yamato.
In the ocean, the missile silos ahead of the third bridge open up, readying to fire. Aihara orders Kato to retreat to a safe position. But surrounded by enemy fighters, Kato is having a hard time complying.
[LC]: The missile launchers on the ship’s underside use the same missile type as the “smoke stack” launchers. Though we see eight of them being used in this episode, there are two extra launchers behind the third bridge. This change was based on the Playstation games redesign by Kazutaka Miyatake. At one point, there was a will to place more weapons on the underside, but the idea was scrapped as it would be too big a design change and would no longer be Yamato.
As Aihara attempts to call Kato, Kodai radios to report his find and request Yamato’s support. Okita congratulates him and asks if they spotted any large weapons. When Kodai says no, Sanada surmises the weapon must be hidden underground or in the ocean. Kodai and Yamamoto are ordered to stay on-site to confirm the weapon’s location. When Kodai asks how, Okita says they’ll only need their eyes.
[LC]: The missiles were initially targeted at the environmental plant. In the manga, they destroy the target. Here, as Kodai radios the correct base location before they fire, they retask the missiles for another mission.
Kato is disappointed by his error, but too busy fighting off the enemy interceptors. Fortunately, he’s soon joined by Shinohara, Nemoto and the remaining Falcons, and they proceed to dispatch the enemy with brute force, prompting Shinohara to say “they look like a bunch of thugs.”
[LC]: This aerial combat scene reminds me a lot of some in the original, just the way the planes criss-cross through the shot…
The Garmillas complete their target solution and begin deploying the satellites. Niimi and Analyzer spot the satellites’ movement and initiate their track, pinpointing the one they want to target. Nanbu readies the AA Interceptor missiles for launch. Okita gets on the periscope and targets the intended satellite. The missiles are fired and speed toward their prey.
[LC]: The periscope is a nice touch, and gave the animators an opportunity to once again counter the original’s “Okita Static Hat Syndrome”.
I wonder if firing eight missiles at the satellite isn’t a bit overkill. I bet one would have gotten the job done. Not as spectacular, but it would save ammo.
The Reflex Cannon fires once more, allowing Yamamoto to visually locate it. As the beam bounces off the satellites, Yamato’s missiles race toward the last satellite in the line. The beam quickly approaches, but before it can connect, the missiles destroy the satellite. The beam continues harmlessly into deep space.
Okita witnesses this through the periscope. As he raises it, Yamamoto sends them the coordinates necessary to target the cannon. Realizing the enemy has learned how to avoid their fire, Shulz has the satellites realigned to strike Yamato from its blind spot.
[DG]: The firing solution display shows us that the Garmillas base is almost on the complete opposite side of Pluto. This means that Yamato has a lot of distance to cover to destroy the RSC.
Shulz is making a big assumption that just picking a sequence “outside their effective range” is going to yield results. The problem now is that the element of surprise is lost, which severely degrades the weapon’s effectiveness. All Yamato needs to do is fly in erratic, unpredictable patterns.
As the Reflex Cannon charges, Okita orders Shima to level the ship. With Ota’s assistance, Shima gets the space gyros reversed. The starboard ballast tanks empty, rolling Yamato back to its upright position. Nanbu has turret number 1 loaded with Type-3 rounds set with time-fuses. The time has come for Yamato to strike.
With impressive skill, Nanbu get the turret aimed on target and Okita give the order to fire. Turret 1 unleashes the salvo of Type-3 shells which describe a large arch across the Pluto skies, striking the bay where the Reflex Cannon hides, just as it unleashes its energy torrent.
[DG]: This whole battle sequence, from Kodai and Yamamoto finding the base and observing the cannon, through to Yamato blasting it with the main guns’ shells (complete with the sideways drift from the recoil) are a huge tribute to the IJN Yamato.
This is how the original ship was designed to operate; the scout planes would launch (from the dorsal catapults much like the Zeros do) and locate targets beyond visual range. They would send coordinates to Yamato, which would train its guns on a target it could not see. The same procedure informed battle scenes in the 2010 live-action Yamato movie.
[DG]: The IJN Yamato had a range of 42 kilometers when firing at 45 degrees. Here, a combination of significantly lower gravity, a much thinner atmosphere, a larger caliber gun, and 250 years of technical advancement in cannon technology means that hitting something with shells on the other side of a planet doesn’t sound so far-fetched. Moreover, it’s tactically sound; the ship is a good distance away and using ballistic rounds (instead of beam weapons) doesn’t expose them to line-of-sight from the RSC. This is a much better and lower-risk tactic than we saw in the original series.
The shells land directly in front of the baffled Garmillan soldiers, and their time-fuses reach zero. The Reflex Satellite Cannon explodes and a plume of black smoke rises over the base. Kodai flies over the ash cloud and reports the weapon’s destruction to Yamato, much to the joy of the crew. Okita says they will now proceed to destroy the enemy base and orders Yamato to take off. The battleship takes to the skies just as the Reflex Cannon’s last beam approaches, narrowly missing the ship.
Shulz stares at the main screen in disbelief, watching as fire and smoke rise from the site where the Reflex Cannon stood. “This can’t be happening,” he mutters as a surge of water from the blast hits the command tower.
[DG]: Mr. Murphy has now gone to plaid for Shulz. His masterpiece weapon is in flames and things are about to get even worse…
Alarms blare as the Garmillas spot the enemy approaching rapidly. Ganz realizes the seriousness of the situation and cautions Shulz that they should evacuate. As long as he survives, he will be able to restore his honor. Although dismayed, Shulz accepts that he is out of options.
Yamato approaches and trains its cannons on the base. Nanbu confirms all targets are locked. At Okita’s command, the mighty ship rains death from the skies, all its forward turrets unleashing barrage after barrage of artillery fire. Its upper missile launchers come ablaze, releasing air-to-surface missiles.
[LC]: This is the first time we see the terrifying destructive power of Yamato in full – if we discard the little incident with the Wave-Motion Gun and count only standard weapons use. We saw it fire a couple of shots here and there, but now it truly earns the title of battleship. The use of artillery shells instead of the shock cannons makes it all the more awesome.
The Garmillas base is rocked by detonations as Shulz’s command ship and escorts take off. The rest of the fleet would follow, but a direct hit by one of Yamato’s Type-3 rounds sends one of the Kelkapias careening into one of the IPBM’s.
[LC]: One has to question the intelligence of whoever decided to have so many IPBMs stored in such close quarters, in the same place where the fleet is kept. This was a disaster waiting to happen.
In the manga, Kodai and Yamamoto have a more active role at this point. Instead of having the launching ships hit by shells from Yamato, the Zeros fly into the hangar and begin blowing stuff up.
A chain reaction lays waste to the massive underground hangar, the massive explosion eventually erupting into Pluto’s surface. The Garmillas base is no more.
[DG]: This scene made me wonder how many of the 120+ ships that opposed the Earth Fleet in Episode 1 were stationed here, and how many jumped in from elsewhere. While we only see a dozen or so ships here, several of the domed underground docks go up in flames, and it looks like each stored a significant number of ships. On one hand, it seems unnecessary to have so many ships based in a region where the planet is being bombarded from long range, and the enemy military is outgunned (until Yamato deploys). On the other, the fleet looked to be under Shulz’s command at Pluto (with the same paint job as his battleship). Having all but four of those destroyed before leaving dock would make Shulz’s defeat all the more horrifying to him.
Yuki spots the escaping ships, and Okita orders the main guns switched to shock cannon mode. The two Kripiteras are quickly dispatched. The Destria leaves the command ship and turns to face the enemy. Yaretora, who is commanding it, urges Shulz to escape as he covers his retreat. Ganz orders the switch to Geschtam Navigation.
[LC]: The manga elaborates a bit more on Yaretora’s final stand and even gives a wink to the original series. The Destria fires a couple of direct hits. Unfortunately for Yaretora, they bounce off the Wave-Motion Shield. Though hit several times and heavily damaged, the Destria charges forward, heading straight toward Yamato in a kamikaze-style attack (much like Shulz does in the original). Yaretora’s efforts are for naught, as a final shock cannon blast blows the Destria to pieces, right in the nick of time.
[DG]: We see two enemy ships fall to converged shock cannon beams, but the Destria is taken out with three individual beams. By the time the beams hit, the Destria was past the minimum distance for the beams to converge. Another possible explanation is the intent to hit it in several places rather than one to maximize the chance of a catastrophic hit.
[LC]: Here we get the classic “Yamato-villain-fades-to-white-as-he’s-blasted-away” shot. I lost count of the times they used this in the original saga.
The Destria-class battleship charges toward Yamato, but a stream of shock cannon energy strikes it as Yaretora reels in horror. Shulz witnesses this just as Le Chevalier warps out.
This sense of loss felt by Shulz and Ganz when Yaretora dies is something the original series didn’t focus on until somewhat later in the series.
[LC]: Here we get to see a Garmillas ship perform a Geschtam-in for the first time. Though both Geschtam and Warp navigation are basically the same thing, just differently named, the way Geschtam is portrayed differs a lot from Yamato’s warps.
Okita contemplates on the victory they just achieved, happy in the knowledge that no more Planet Bombs will strike Earth. Kodai radios in as he and Yamamoto fly back.
Planet Garmillas: Vice-President Hyss reports to Lord Dessler on the recent events. Dessler is not pleased that Shulz chose to retreat, claiming that is not a word in the Garmillas dictionary. He tell Hyss that Shulz must follow the Garmillas motto of “victory or death” as punishment for his failure. Hyss agrees and leaves. Alone, Desler ponders the Terrons…
Yamato leaves Pluto’s orbit, heading for deep space. Shima congratulates Kodai for their success. Kodai’s thoughts go out to Mamoru; “We did it, Brother!” Okita orders Yamato to return to its original course and to accelerate to “combat speed 1.” Yamato heads out of the solar system.
[DG]: Back in the Episode 2 commentary, I stated that Yamato Launches From the Earth would only be used for key events in 2199, and never in its entirety. Here we hear its last stanza, which was not played in Episode 2. Not for the last time, it marks a significant milestone in Yamato’s journey; their first major victory against Garmillas, and cessation of Earth’s bombardment. By obliterating the base, they’ve also potentially saved themselves a lot of trouble when they return.
As Yamato pulls away from Pluto with Charon in the distance, it’s probably a good point to remind everyone that in reality, they’re not yet even a third of the way out of the solar system; the heliopause is more than twice the distance from Pluto to the Sun, and they have considerable damage to repair before they can look at leaving the system.
This episode shows Okita had a better read of the situation and a better ability to adapt and use the weapons at his disposal. This is undoubtedly the reason Domel will later value Okita as such a strong opponent.
With different emotions in each of their hearts, the crew of Yamato now leaves the solar system behind. Before them lies a galaxy no human has ever seen. Say a prayer for those who set sail, and a goodbye to those left behind. Let your feelings be heard. Farewell, Earth. We will return! We will return!
Next time: Farewell to the Solar System.
There are 355 days left before humanity becomes extinct.
Episode 6 credits
Screenplay: Shigeru Morita
Storyboard: Hiroyuki Kobe
Director: Shunsuke Tada
Chara Animation Director: Rishi Nagayuki
Chara Chief Animation Director: Akihisa Maeda
Mecha Animation Director: Dai Onami
Mecha Chief Animation Director: Masanori Nishii
Original Story: Yoshinobu Nishizaki
Planning: Shoji Nishizaki, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, Satoshi Kono
Original Character Design: Nobuteru Yuuki
Guest Character/Prop Design: Shinichi Yamaoka
Mecha Design: Junichiro Tamamori, Yasushi Ishizu, Kiminori Yamane, Yutaka Izubuchi
Set Design: Takeshi Takakura, Makoto Kobayashi, Takashi Watanabe
Concept Design Support: Kazutaka Miyatake
Chief Director: Akihiro Enomoto
Director of Photography: Takashi Aoki
Art Director: Minoru Maeda
Video Editing: Emi Onodera
Color Correction: Rumiko Suzushiro
Music: Akira Miyagawa, Hiroshi Miyagawa
Sound Director: Tomohiro Yoshida
Sound Effects: Mitsuru Kashiwabara
Chief Mecha Animation Director: Masanori Nishii
CG Director: Takashi Imanishi
General Director: Yutaka Izubuchi
Production: Space Battleship Yamato Production Committee
Production IG, Bandai Visual, Xebec, Bandai, Bandai Namco Games, Voyager Entertainment,
Tohoku Shinsha Film Corporation, Shochiku Co. Ltd., OLM, Lantis Co. Ltd.