November 22-30: Theatrical Memorial Exhibition, Osaka
The king of all events for this weekend happened at Ario Yao mall in Osaka. A collaboration with Voyager Entertainment got them the 5-meter Yamato model as a centerpiece for displays and guest appearances. The displays included art panels, life-size character images, and finished model kits.
Most of the action happened from Saturday the 22nd through Monday 24th, which was a holiday weekend. During all three days, visitors had their first chance to see the recently-revealed virtual 3D Yamato using Oculus Rift viewers. Model-building classes and 2199 merchandise was also available, along with a prize raffle.
Each day during the holiday weekend also had its own special guest. Inoue Kikuko (Starsha’s voice actress) participated in a talk show on Saturday, Aya Uchida (Yuria Misaki) gave a Yamatalk on Sunday, and 2199 science advisor Toshihiro Handa gave a Yamato astronomy lecture on Monday.
Cosmo DNA actually had boots on the ground for this one; intrepid Yamatourist Daniel George was there and will share his experiences in his upcoming travelogue. Meanwhile, see a gallery of Twitter photos here and a photoblog with more pics here.
Get a look at the display panels on Youtube here.
Elsewhere in Osaka, an event went on that weekend called the Kogoshima-Nagasaki Dream Team Big Product Exhibition. This was unrelated to the Ario Yao Mall setup, but had its own 2199 connection, since the 1/100 Yamato model was on display (seen at right).
This revealed something not generally known before now: there are actually two 1/100 models in circulation. Evidence? The two pictures below were posted on Twitter from both cities on the same day.
If one wishes to look deep enough into Yamato history, this has a direct precedent. In 1978, Yoshinobu Nishizaki commissioned a 6.5-foot long “Precision Cut Model” for public events. A second was made in 1980. Beautifully engineered and made to last, they both still fulfill their original purpose today. Read all about them here.
November 24: Movie listings appear
Promotion is one thing, but the imminent approach of a movie REALLY gets real when theater websites start posting banners like this one, which appeared at Movieticket.jp. The rendering of Yamato was brand new at the time, but would shortly be seen again.
In case you’re wondering, “Roadshow” is the Japanese term for a wide release.
November 23: Shinjuku Piccadilly display
After the Tokyo-based 1/100 model finished its work at Yamada Electronics, it flew on back to the Shinjuku Piccadilly theater to take its place at a new Christmas-themed Ark of the Stars display in the lower lobby. Fittingly, the Yamato picture at the top of the tree is the same one that debuted online that day.
November 24: Family Theater reruns
Family Theater is a cable network that has broadcast every Yamato series and movie at some time or other, often in marathon sessions near the release of a new film. Case in point: streaming reruns of Yamato 2199 AND the remastered original series. The first half of each was available from November 24-27 and the second halves followed in December. 2199 was offered in its entirety on two days, December 6 and 13.
Visit Family Theater’s Yamato page here.
November 25: Anime On webcast #35
This weekly internet program is a talk & variety show about the world of anime hosted by two young ladies named Asagi Inagaki (left) and Yukari Yamaguchi (right). This episode (totaling a little under two hours) devoted 20 minutes to Ark of the Stars, which included the latest trailer, Yamato 2199 in 3 Minutes, and a discussion with publicists Katsuki Aoyama (left) and Hiroshi Kawashima (right).
At the end of the segment, the hosts were overjoyed to get free advance tickets and the poster that was on display throughout their conversation.
November 25: Hobby magazines, January issues
2199 coverage was light this month with only 7.5 pages total between Model Graphix, Dengeki Hobby, and Hobby Japan, but each of them published photos of the finished 1/1000 Nazca-class carrier model, which would be released on December 6. Other upcoming products were promoted, and winners of the Yamato 2199 modeling contest were revealed.
See all the pages here.
November 25: NTT Smart Connect collaboration
Theatrical and generational success are all well and good, but you REALLY know you’ve reached the big time when you hook up with a telecommunications company. NTT prides itself on high technology and contributing to environmental protection, both of which are qualities of Space Battleship Yamato. In coming months, they’ll be using 2199 characters in various media to promote their services. (And this turned out to be the next appearance of the new Yamato rendering seen the previous day.)
Visit NTT’s Yamato website here.
November 26: Art canvas announcement
Announced a month earlier at Yamato Crew, these two limited-edition art canvases by Kia Asamiya went on sale today. Made by the curiously-named Neutral Corporation Co., they measure about 12″ x 12″ and come stretched over a wooden frame. (They also come with advance tickets for Ark of the Stars for those needing some extra incentive.)
See them at Amazon.jp’s Yamato product page here.
November 26: Yamato 2199 Pia
Description contributed by Steve Harrison
Published to promote Ark of the Stars, this is a glorious 98-page picture book of new illos and some colorized design sheets. Collected here are all the Kia Asamiya illos from the recent Japanese re-broadcast of Yamato 2199 among all the other new promotional material. (Asamiya also did the cover painting, which is reproduced as a foldout poster.) There is also a very nice visual catalog of all the main merchandise (the stuff you can still usually get, as opposed to the Yamato Crew Premium fan club or theater exclusive limited material) for your collecting needs.
The thing that caught me most about this book, the first impression, was that it was a hard copy of some of the last few Cosmo DNA updates. That’s not a bad thing. The Asamiya art is fantastic. They’re available in a 2015 calendar as of October, but were I in charge these paintings would be an oversized one-print-per-month, with supplement text to tell the story of each picture. They’re that spectacular.
We still don’t have a nice “all in one” Roman Album-style book for Yamato 2199, but this is a nice item and well worth the price. It’s available from Amazon.jp here.
Pia is a publishing company that at one time had the most popular entertainment magazine in Japan. Now they publish just about everything you can imagine. Those who ordered the book from Pia’s online store got this free clear file with it, showing Kia Asamiya’s cover painting on one side and a trio of emblems on the back – giving us our first look at the sigil of the Gatlantis Empire. The clear file was also bundled with the book in theater gift shops.
November 29: Mecha Collection model kit #11
The Domelaze III became the latest addition to the mini-kit lineup, marking only the second time it has been released as a plastic model (following the gigantic 1/1000 version).
Since no version of the ship was released in the early years, its only precedent is the Megahouse Cosmo Fleet miniature, which came out in August.
November 27: Astro Ship Type Chronograph announcement
Yamato watches go all the way back to the production years, and some very high-end timepieces have appeared since then. This one is the closest we’ve come yet to Captain Okita’s chronograph, a limited-edition 40th anniversary commemorative (only 4,000 to be made) which will be released June 2015 by a company named IEI.
It comes with either a stainless steel or leather band, and will cost under $400 USD. See extensive photos at IEI’s product page here.
IEI (which stands for the boldly-named Imperial Enterprises International) previously released high-end commemorative Yamato coins and an equally impressive watch called the Cosmo Master, both in 2010. See them here.
November 28: Ark of the Stars
Youtube promotion starts
As the final 7-day countdown began, Yamato voice actors appeared one by one in short Youtube videos to promote the film. The first three (of 19) were Aya Uchida (Yuria Misaki), Takayuki Sugo (Captain Okita) and Hiroshi Tsuchida (Yamazaki). Click on the actor names to see their videos.
The photo at left of Daisuke Ono (Kodai) recording his segment appeared on Twitter the same day, and the rest of the cast had their say over the next several days. Rie Tanaka (Yamamoto) and Keiji Fujiwara (Enomoto) were added November 29, and Masato Kokubun and (Aihara) Rina Satou (Makoto) were added November 30.
See them all (and those who were added in December) at the official 2199 website here.
November 28: Ark of the Stars theater goods announced
As each consecutive chapter of Yamato 2199 arrived in movie theaters, they came with a new batch of products sold in theater gift shops. Eventually, they totaled up to a mountain of loot that has been catalogued here.
An imposing amount of new products accompanied the release of A Voyage to Remember in October (seen here), but they all come up short against the enormous haul that was announced on this day for Ark of the Stars. Most of it, as usual, comes from Froovie, a company that specializes in movie tie-in products, but Yamato Crew adds their own exclusives as well.
Many of the items fall into familiar categories, but offer fresh new artwork and combinations. See the complete gallery here.
November 28: Secret Files Set 2 announced
The first set of “Secret Files” (mini-pamphlets) came out week by week with A Voyage to Remember and were covered in the last report. On this day, it was announced that Ark of the Stars would have its own set, also given away to moviegoers once a week starting from the 6th, 13th, and 20th of December.
Supervised by General Director Yutaka Izubuchi, the contents are:
01: Threat of the Flame Strike Gun, tragedy of the Garmillas science slaves
02: Embers of the Izumo Plan, Ki8-type prototype air boat
03: The pilgrimage of Jirel’s people, the legacy of Akerius
Other freebies are being planned to keep fans coming back to movie theaters, which will be covered in our next report.
November 29: New scenes revealed
The Akiba Souken website posted a set of 17 new stills from Ark of the Stars, spotlighting the characters in various moods, most likely from early in the film before things get dangerous. Also revealed was a new child on the Garmillas side. Followup data indicates his name is “Milt Evans” and he is present on the Lambea. More to come, for sure.
See the entire set here.
November 29: Megahobby Expo
Megahouse throws itself this party twice a year (spring and autumn) in Akihabara, giving everyone an opportunity to see what’s new or what’s on the way. This is where Yamato fans usually get their first up-close look at a Yamato Girl figure, and the new ones this round were Akira Yamamoto mark 2, bikini Yuki, and Mikage Kiryu (all coming in 2015).
Of course, Megahouse also makes the Cosmo Fleet Special miniatures, one of which went on sale here for the first time ever: the “Warp Mechanic Model” version of Yamato. Its hull is molded in transparent plastic to reveal the internal sections as if the ship is in mid-warp. The general release date for this product has not yet been announced.
Special thanks to Cosmo DNA Community member “Antibiotic Tab.”
November 29: Ark of the Stars character guide
The biggest news of the day was a surprise update at the official 2199 website that revealed a brand new collection of character design art with descriptions relating to their roles in the film. And “surprise” is definitely the right word – familiar characters of old were added to the cast, and the choice of wardrobe renewed the guessing game for exactly what to expect on screen.
See the character page on the 2199 website here.
See the art with translated text here.
November 30: 1/1000 Yamato model, Cosmo Reverse System edition
Nearly two and a half years after the first 1/1000 2199 Yamato kicked off a new generation of models, this version reflects its appearance near the end of the story, with the Wave-Motion Gun plugged up and rerouted to service the Cosmo Reverse System.
November 30: Cosmo Fleet Special carrier miniatures
Megahouse’s CFSP lineup doubled in one day when the three Guipellon-class Garmillas carriers were released all at once. This move completed the ranks of the Domelus task force, with the Deusular II scheduled for the end of December.
Click here to see a photo gallery of all three.
November 30: Exclusive model kits announced
It was revealed in this month’s hobby magazines that the 1/1000 Nazca’s release was moved up to December 6 to match the movie premiere. On November 30, the official website confirmed that a few more kits would be available then as well. From left to right: Mecha Collection mini-kit #12 (Cosmo Falcon), a “metallic coating” version of the 1/72 Cosmo Zero, and two limited-edition “cosmo clear” versions of the mini Yamato and mini-Lambea.
Also spotted in November…
Anime World Star, a store that has created many a Yamato product over the years, offered these two felt panels (measuring about 8.25″ x 6″) featuring pop-out characters and jewelry chains to string them up. Some would doubtless find a place on Christmas trees in December.
Framed art prints
Daimaru and Matsuzayaka, two affiliated department stores, listed these two high-end framed prints of 2199 art for sale, produced by Traffic Promotion Co., Ltd.
UX-01 garage kit
Soy-ya, a garage kit manufacturer that has been associated with high-quality Yamato models for years, released an officially licensed resin kit of the Garmillas Dimensional Submarine this month, which first appeared in the pages of Dengeki Hobby‘s June 2013 issue.
Scaled at 1/350, it is made up of 50 parts (including a metal periscope) and comes with a custom base straight from Pluto.
Japan Sankei Tours
The tourism collaboration between Yamato 2199 and the Sankei (three most beautiful sights in Japan) is still ongoing. The Matsushima Tourism Association declares it loud and proud.
2199 display panels line the entryway at the tourist information office in Matsushima. These are probably the same panels we saw on the Matsuhima pier in Report 37. (Photos found on Twitter.)
Space Battleship Yamato has a continued presence in restaurants. At left is a photo posted on Twitter November 15, taken at Hakata Yakitori Yamato, which now has 40th anniversary coasters. (See more photos of the restaurant in the Yamatour 2013 travelogue.)
At right is something even more unusual, posted November 19 from Café Izumix in Kawaguchi City, Saitama Prefecture. According to the cafe’s blog, this is a gathering place for anime fans who like to build things, including both models and food. Here we see – yes – a custom-made Lambea cake.
Live Yamato Girls
It’s been a while since the Nico Nico webcasts were discontinued, and the real-world Yamato girls vanished with them. As we saw at the Yamada Electronics events this month, at least two of them are back, though the ladies within the costumes have been recast. It was revealed in a November 4 Twitter post from the Yamato Production Committee that the group is fully reformed, but with a brand new Mikage Kiryu taking the place of Kaoru Niimi.
It was indicated in the post that they gathered for a photo shoot to appear in “a certain magazine.” It was later revealed to be issue 50 of Weekly Playboy, which was published December 1 (though it’s doubtful the girls appeared OUT of costume).
Yutaka Izubuchi reappears
Last but not least, a rare glimpse of the man himself, General Director Yutaka Izubuchi. He hasn’t been completely silent this year, but interviews have been few and far between compared to when Yamato 2199 was in production and the media was constantly knocking on his door.
By contrast, he was so entrenched in production during 2014 that only the Premium Fan Club magazine Ship’s Log had access to him – and as we’ve seen month after month, he couldn’t say much. That evidently changed when this interview photo was posted on the Yamato Production Committee’s Twitter feed November 3. Very soon after this report was published, his silence would be broken in a big way.
Shinjuku Piccadilly lobby, November 28 (Photo posted by Twitter user “Mizunagi0905.”)