Yamato 2199 Report 38, part 2

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November 14: Music news

The first big news item of the month came on this day when several sources published an announcement about the next chapter of Yamato music: the 40th Anniversary Best Track Image Album. Some of Japan’s top musicians assembled to record covers of classic Yamato scores, most prominently violinist Taro Hakase (who previously recorded and toured with Celine Dion).

The best part was the opportunity to actually hear what was to come on this intriguing new album. Two promotional videos were released on Youtube by Hakase’s own music label, HATS Unlimited. (The name is a contraction of Hakase Taro.)

See the 1-minute version here, and the 3-minute version here. (Both have slightly different content).

Related to this, a short YRA Radio Yamato video also appeared here, and a STUNNING excerpt from a studio recording session for Ark of the Stars appeared one week later here (with Akira Miyagawa conducting). An actual soundtrack album can’t be far behind.

The following article was published November 14 by Akiba Souken:

Taro Hakase participates in the theme song of Ark of the Stars,
the new Yamato 2199 feature film!
“That mesmerizing melody of Yamato” on violin

It has been announced that Taro Hakase will participate in the theme song for the anime movie Space Battleship Yamato 2199 Ark of the Stars, which will be released December 6.

It is based on the first TV series made by a new staff in 2012, and is a completely new feature in the big hit Yamato 2199 series. Yamato 2199 A Voyage to Remember was released in theaters on October 11, a special compilation of Yamato 2199 Chapters 1-7 from a new perspective. The festive mood is growing as the premiere draws closer, and a live-action Hollywood version named Star Blazers (working title) is even going into production, to be released in 2017 or 2018. It has become a surging wave of deployment.

Producer Takefumi Haketa and violinist Chisako Takashima,
photo posted on Twitter Nov. 14

This time, it has been decided that the world-famous violinist Taro Hakase will participate in the main theme music for Yamato 2199. In addition, the music label HATS, for which Taro Hakase himself acts as the General Music Director, will release a cover album of Yamato music on December 3, titled Space Battleship Yamato 2199 40th Anniversary Best Track Image Album. As a bonus, Aya Uchida (Yuria Misaki) and Eriko Nakamura (Mikage Kiryu) will record a special HATS edition of YRA Radio Yamato that album buyers can download for a limited time.

Participating artists: Taro Hakase (violin), Hiroki Kashiwagi (cello), Iwao Furusawa (violin), Yukie Nishimura (piano), Weiwei Wu (Erhu), Chisako Takashima (violin), and Yuji Toriyama (guitar).

Guest artists: Takefumi Haketa (piano/guest), Norie Suzuki (vocal/guest).

Arrangement: Takefumi Haketa, Yuji Toriyama, Hiroki Kashiwagi

Taro Hakase comment:

When I heard about this for the first time, I couldn’t believe it. “Who would have thought I’d play the strong image of this song on violin!” I was surprised, and excited at the same time that “I can play the melody of Yamato that mesmerized me as a child.” I really consider it an honor. At my age, I have to think of each and every one of the jobs I’ve done in my life as linked together, leading to this, so I’m really happy about it.

Despite it having an older image, I absolutely want to make a sound that hasn’t been done yet. It’s very nostalgic, but when I hear it it’s exciting. Therefore, it also has a feeling of contemporary beat and rhythm, and when it’s put together with Akira Miyagawa’s deep view of the world of Yamato, everything follows. In order to play the melody on one violin within the gorgeous orchestration, the challenge is to compete with the orchestra for “an intimate sound.” Also, because the image of the song is strongly associated with a singing voice, the scales attached to the lyrics are really tough. This is some serious music. (Laughs)

Shoji Nishizaki (planning producer) comment:

I was more impressed with the finished sound than I expected. I’ll be very happy if the fans of the old days and those who became fans with 2199 can all enjoy it.

Voice actors Aya Uchida and Eriko Nakamura record
the YRA program, photo posted on Twitter Nov. 14

Track list

01. Space Battleship Yamato 2199 (Taro Hakase, Akira Miyagawa, Takefumi Haketa)
02. Overture (Takefumi Haketa)
03. Birth (Yuji Toriyama, Takefumi Hakata)
04. Scarlet Scarf (Nori Suzuki, Hirko Kashiwagi, Takefumi Haketa)
05. Iscandar (Hiroki Kashiwagi)
06. Hope to Tomorrow (Chisako Takashima)
07. Sasha (Yuji Toriyama)
08. White Comet (Takefumi Haketa)
09. Hero’s Hill (Weiwei Wu, Hiroki Kashiwagi)
10. Thoughtful people (Memories) (Iwao Furusawa)
11. Dessler the Rival (Takefumi Haketa)
12. Great Love (Yukie Nishimura, Weiwei Wu, Hiroki Kashiwagi)
13. From Yamato with Love (Yukie Nishimura, Yuji Toriyama)

Music: Hiroshi Miyagawa (except track 13 by Katsuo Ono)
Licensed by Voyager Music Publishing Co., Ltd.

Left: CD cover art. Right: promo flyer for the new album, photo posted on Twitter Nov. 16

November 15: 1/8 Yuki nurse figure

Yuki Mori was a nurse in the original Yamato series, but that role went to Makoto Harada in 2199. Megahouse showed us what a nurse Yuki might have looked like with this new figure in their Yamato Girls lineup.

The pink version was announced earlier this year as an exclusive from the Yamato Crew online store. The white version was sold exclusively through Yamada Electronics stores at a special event to launch a new Yamato 2199 game, coming right up:

November 15: Yamada game launch

Yamato 2199 apps and games for mobile devices have been popping up steadily since the series launched in 2012, and Yamada Games launched a new one titled Journey to Iscandar at a special event. It was an all-day affair that took place at Yamada Electronics in the shopping district of Ikebukuro, Tokyo. An 8-hour webcast on Nico Nico allowed anyone in the world to see it live (or afterward for a week).

The host was gamer girl Aimi Sekiguchi (above right), who played a demo for the crowd over several hours, and her special guest was model Yuuri Morishita who appeared for the second time in Starsha cosplay (her debut was at the premiere of A Voyage to Remember, as seen in Report 37).

Photos from Yuuri Morishita’s blog.

The following report was published on Game Watch later that day:

Yamada game, mobile web game
Space Battleship Yamato 2199 Journey to Iscandar

In this launch event, Yuuri Morishita faces the “game boss” as a sexy Starsha Iscandar!

The Yamada Game platform, which develops social games managed by Yamada Electronics, has started service for the new mobile web game Yamato 2199 ~ Journey to Iscandar. To commemorate the start of service on November 15, a tutorial was played at Yamada Electronics at the Ikebukuro Mobile Dream building. Players can level-up quickly, and the impression is that “it proceeds fast, it’s exhilarating, and relieves stress.”

Journey to Iscandar is a card battle game in which cards with beautiful graphics are collected and nurtured. You can vicariously relive the story’s “mission.” When you win a battle between players, the energy becomes currency in the game, and you can scramble for six different kinds of “treasure” to earn rewards.

It is possible to play against another group of players called a “fleet,” and “fleet battle” is also available. This battle becomes a “fleet vs. fleet” game on a larger scale, and rewards are earned by the number of victories.

A deck is comprised of up to nine pieces, and it is possible for a deck to be uniquely sprinkled with Garmillas forces that are not found in the anime. Strengthening of a card’s parameters and skills is obtained by equipping it with reinforcements, and it is possible to build a deck with your own original cards. You can also win a super rare card when you achieve a higher ranking, and real prizes can be won, such as figures and model kits.

The game OS is compatible with Android 2.1 and iOS 4.3, and basic play is free. Currently, the title is exclusive to Yamada Games.

The event included Yuuri Morishita in sexy cosplay as Starsha Iscandar, and Yamato Girls also participated in cosplay of Yuki Mori and Akira Yamamoto. Morishita said, “Although I was familiar with Space Battleship Yamato as a child through my father and my two brothers, I fell in love with Yamato recently [via the 2199 broadcast]. I think I will love it more by taking advantage of this game.”

Morishita played a tutorial of the game and quickly rose through levels, saying, “It’s fun to level-up so quickly. I thought it would be for people who are more familiar with games, but this is easy for a beginner to understand. I like to cook, so maybe I can play it while the stew simmers, between searching for recipes on my iPad.”

The 1/100 Yamato model was on display throughout the day.

See more photos of the event at the Game Watch article here.

Visit Yamada’s website for the game (which includes a promo video) here.

November 16: Model Press report

The day after the Yamada Game event, a website named Model Press (which seems geared toward news of your favorite Japanese pinup idols) published more photos of Yuri Morishita and commented on her costume, which was fighting gravity all day long. Translated text follows:

Yuri Morishita wears “the raciest in her 9 year career” sexy costume like a “reverse kabe-don”

[Translator’s note: click here for the definition of that term, since there is no English equivalent.]

Pinup talent Yuri Morishita showed off the sexiest costume she has worn in her nine-year career at a Yamada Game event on the 15th. She was there to commemorate the release of Yamato 2199 ~ Journey to Iscandar, appearing in cosplay as Starsha of Iscandar, of whom she is herself a fan. Her chest was on the verge of slipping out of this revealing costume, and even she was amazed by it, saying, “This a racier outfit than usual for pinup photography. I’ve had my career for nine years, but this costume is the sexiest.” (Laughs)

During the event, she chose men from the audience for a “planned kabe-don,” which also had the implication of a “reverse kabe-don” by Morishita herself. She excited everyone at the event by choosing a line straight out of Yamato: “Shall we go to Iscandar together?”

Morishita made the wild claim, “It was like I was getting kabe-donned. I like it when those sadistic-type guys get forceful with me.” As far as which Yamato series character she most wanted to get kabe-donned by, she claims it’s Captain Okita. “I love older men. The captain’s 50 or 60, right? I’m flexible!” she said with a laugh and an inviting smile.

See the article and more photos here.

Special thanks to Neil Nadelman for translation support.

November 16: Akira Miyagawa, Untitled Concert

Untitled Concert is the name of an actual concert. More precisely, it’s a real program on TV Asahi that broadcasts concerts with no name. Akira Miyagawa is a frequent and popular guest conductor, and the hour-long performance broadcast on this day included high-energy renditions of Yamato Into the Vortex (BGM1, track 21) and Cosmo Tiger 2199 (BGM1 track 31).

November 18: Phantasy Star Online 2 collaboration

In September, Sega made an announcement that Yamato 2199 elements would appear in the multiplayer online game world Phantasy Star Online 2, and on the 18th a promotional video was released showing the latest updates – which include decorative props and costumes for your characters. Actual 2199 characters appear to be present in the environment with participation from some of their voice actors.

See the 5-minute update video on Youtube here.
(Yamato elements start at :40)

Click here to see a gallery of images from the update.

November 21:
A Voyage to Remember video release

The arrival of this film on Blu-ray and DVD sounded the promotional starting gun for the runup to Ark of the Stars, now just two weeks away. The content of the disc was identical to the theater-exclusive version released October 11, except for the absence of the storyboard book. Read all about it in the Yamato 2199 videography here.

At right: those who bought their copy of A Voyage to Remember from the Yamato Crew website got a two-volume voice actor script for the film, identical in format to those bundled with the regular 2199 discs from the online store.

Sofmap, one of the countless media stores in Akihabara, won the day with this gigantic backlit mural to promote the new release and Ark of the Stars (photo posted on Twitter Nov. 21). The Yamato image is one of Naoyuki Katoh’s box art paintings.

November 21: Battlefield Infinity announcement

Another month, another mobile web game announcement. As of this writing, the image above is all that exists (at this website). It will be distributed for Android and iPhone (Japanese OS only), but not even the manufacturer name is known yet. Stay tuned!

November 21: Yuki Mori figure announcements

Bandai grabbed everyone’s attention at the end of October when they revealed an exquisite new set of 2199 figures (in the “Figuarts Zero” product line) at a Tamashii Nations event, but gave no further information about them until this day, when it was announced that their Yuki Mori will roll out in May 2015 with two different hairstyle options. Size will be 15cm tall (about 6″, roughly 1/12 scale), but price is not yet known.

See larger photos here.

Meanwhile, Megahouse announced a reissue of their first 1/8 Yuki from the Yamato Girls lineup, to appear in February. This time she will come with bonus postcards derived from “photographs” taken on the ship.

See more information here.

November 21: Official site update

After far too long a hiatus, the official 2199 website updated its mecha section to show us the ships we’ll be seeing in Ark of the Stars, including – for the first time anywhere – a clear look at the new “Magna Flame” ship and specs for all current Gatlantis mecha.

See the images on the site here. See them with text translations here.

November 21:
TV special announcement

Starting with Yamato Resurrection in 2009, TV specials have accompanied many of the new film premieres. And here comes another one…

From Akiba Souken:

Commemorative special program on Yamato 2199 feature film Ark of the Stars to be broadcast on 11 stations!

The navigators are Aya Uchida and Eriko Nakamura

The animated feature film Yamato 2199 Ark of the Stars will premiere in theaters December 6, but it has been decided to broadcast a special commemorative program titled Theatrical celebration!! Yamato 2199 Ark of the Stars Launch SP to celebrate the film’s release. Navigators Aya Uchida and Eriko Nakamura, voice actors for Yuria Misaki and Mikage Kiryu, will introduce the work and the voice cast during its premiere week. It will contain segments like Yamato History in Two Minutes and messages from the music staff, such as Akira Miyagawa and Taro Hakase.

[Various broadcast times listed from December 3-13]

Eriko Nakamura comment

I really enjoyed the special compilation movie Yamato 2199 A Voyage to Remember that was just released. The great power of humanity in Yamato is told on the big screen…and that passion continues to be shown. The love for Yamato has not changed in 40 years…love through Yamato…I want everyone to see it in a theater by all means.

Aya Uchida comment

The people who are fans from the original Yamato generation, and those who became fans with 2199…to all people who are Yamato fans…an original! Since it is completely original, I think anyone who watches it will break out in a sweat. Please see it in a theater by all means!

November 22: Sendai City Transportation Bureau collaboration

The history of Yamato is dotted with unusual product tie-ins, and this one breaks new ground again. From November 22 to December 19, six subway stations in Sendai played host to Ark of the Stars promotional displays, and visitors to all six could win prizes in a “stamp rally.” Participants would collect ink stamps in a booklet and turn them in for a special clear file and Ark of the Stars card case (to hold a transporation swipe card called an IC card).

In return, Sendai’s public transportation system got a special boost from Starsha herself in a promotional video seen on video monitors in trains and stations. Anime footage was culled from Episode 2 with a rewritten script. The voice actors for Starsha and Okita read new lines instructing Sendai commuters in the use of the IC card. (It’s called “ICSCA” for short, and it’s probably not a coincidence that this sounds a heckuva lot like “Iscandar.”)

See the video here.

Posted on Twitter: the ad playing on a station monitor (left) and a Stamp Rally booklet with one stamp acquired.

Found on Twitter later in the month: promotional displays in a train station and a train car.

November 22-24: Yamada Electronics event

One week after the game launch of Yamato 2199 ~ Journey to Iscandar, the Yamada Electronics store in Ikebukuro, Tokyo had a weekend-long sales event to mark the arrival of A Voyage to Remember on video.

The two new Yamato Girls were back, along with the mighty 1/100 model. Prize raffles were held for advance Ark tickets and memorabilia previously sold in theaters, such as tissue boxes.

The grand prizes were these three original character drawings, autographed by Michio Murakawa.

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