The previous page of this report covered just the first three days in December. Days 4 and 5 had just about the same amount of activity compressed into the last 48 hours before the official premiere…
December 4: Cast messages
December 4: Rediscover Space Battleship Yamato
This was the first book of the month, and if you’re thinking the cover image looks a little “off,” there’s a reason for that. The Japanese title loosely translates as Now Talking Space Battleship Yamato, and it’s the most recent in a long line of unauthorized textbooks on the saga. (Thus, they don’t use licensed art on their covers.)
Published by Take [Bamboo] Shobo, it lists three authors (M. Takehara, Agila, and M.D.) and reviews the entire history of Yamato in 220 pages. It is the first of its kind published since the arrival of 2199, and covers all the stalled productions, such as Yamato 2520, Dessler’s War, and New Yamato.
The enticing blurb on the inner dustjacket sleeve reads as follows:
The universe is infinite, teeming with the variety of life. A work fades away, and another work is born…the breath of human drama is handed down from person to person for eternity. What is the “excitement” that Space Battleship Yamato ignites in our hearts? Here, the untold stories and themes of the work are thoroughly analyzed. Now, the greatest mysteries of Space Battleship Yamato are revealed. “Cast off…Yamato, launch!”
Since it consists of 100% Japanese text, it will be of interest to completists only, and if you happen to be one of those you can order it here.
December 4: 1/500 Chocolate Yamato
Something came out in every major product category this month, and also a few new ones – like this one-of-a-kind model sculpted entirely in chocolate. This story from the culinary website Entabe tells the story:
Cool! Chocolate Space Battleship Yamato – Chocolate Planet Garmillas and Planet Iscandar
To celebrate the premiere of Yamato 2199 Ark of the Stars (opening December 6), a 1/500 Space Battleship Yamato has been created out of chocolate by Motohiro Okai, chocolatier chef of Chocolat Boutique L’eclat, of the Rihga Royal Hotel (Osaka). It will be displayed at Namba Parks Cinema from December 6 to 14.
Space Battleship Yamato has been built at 1/500 scale, at a length of about 66cm (26″). Even its small parts were made of chocolate and assembled onto the ship’s body. The gun turrets are moveable, and LED lights are incorporated into the Wave-Motion Gun and the main engine nozzle.
“I wanted to bring it close to reality,” said Okai of his commitment.
The main guns and tiny pulse lasers alike are reproduced, and both the engine and Wave-Motion Gun light up!
Okai works with projects expressed with chocolate textures that include small parts. Previously, he built “Premium Formula” (2011), a formula-type chocolate car which incorporated an engine and radiator. His other works include a robot dinosaur skeleton named “Mechasaurus” (2012) and “Lantern,” which had a unique feel of antique metal.
Furthermore, when the movie is released on December 6, the popular “Planet Chocolates,” created by Chocolat Boutique L’eclat, will be sold at Rihga Royal Hotels in Tokyo and Osaka. This set of five pieces includes four planets from the Yamato series, and Yamato‘s bow Wave-Motion Gun reproduced in chocolate (“Shining Yamato 2199 Special of Space,” 2700 yen). Quantities are limited.
Side note: the Yamato 2199 “Planet Chocolates,” which first appeared back in August at the 2199 Summer Festival, were not a wholly original idea. L’eclat previously released this popular set of “Planet Chocolates” based on those in our own solar system.
December 4: Premium Night
This was the first chance to see Ark of the Stars on the big screen, at the Shinjuku Piccadilly Theater in Tokyo. Each theatrical chapter of Yamato 2199 was preceded in this same theater by a “Premium Night” (for Premium Fan Club members) that gave them a sneak preview, a stage event, and early access to merchandise – which in this case was only the movie program book. For the first time, this Premium Night was held on a Thursday rather than a Friday.
From Cinema Today:
Natsuki Kato shows off sexy Yuki Mori cosplay! The tight costume is “embarrassing.”
Report by Satoshi Kishida, Cinema Today
A premium screening of Yamato 2199 Ark of the Stars was held at the Shinjuku Piccadilly theater on the 4th, and talent Natsuki Kato attended in sexy cosplay of Yuki Mori, the heroine of the work. A big anime fan, Kato blushed slightly, smiled and said, “I’m happy to be dressed like this, but this outfit is so tight it’s embarrassing.”
When Kato appeared that day in the familiar yellow bodysuit from Yamato, some shouted that “she looks just like Yuki Mori!” The audience cheered loudly when they saw her cosplay’s tight body line.
“Of all the heroines, Yuki Mori is a beloved character and I’m glad to make this appearance today,” Kato said enthusiastically. “The new movie is an epic story, worthy of the 2199 series finale. Everything is impressive, from the men’s fighting scenes to the women’s romantic scenes. I get goose bumps every time the Yamato melody flows.”
On this day, comedian Keisuke Okada appeared in Captain Okita cosplay as “Captain Okada.” He shouted, “Comedy Wave-Motion Gun, FIRE!” and shared a memory with the audience: “When I watched Yamato for the first time in first grade, I was surprised by Leader Dessler’s blue face.”
A 1/500 scale Yamato fabricated in chocolate (with a total length of 66cm) also appeared at the event.
From a Shochiku press release:
Showbiz lookalike?! What happened, Okada? The Captain and Natsuki Kato
A premium screening of Yamato 2199 Ark of the Stars was held on Thursday, December 4. Captain Okada [Keisuke Okada], a character similar to Captain Okita, gave a presentation from the stage along with cosplayer Natsuki Kato, who looked just like Yuki Mori!
Also, a high-precision 1/500 chocolate model of Yamato appeared courtesy of the Rihga Royal Hotel, prompting Captain Okada and the others to cry out, “amazing!” and Yamato fans received the stage greeting with great satisfaction.
Keisuke Okada’s comments:
Comedy Wave-Motion Gun FIRE!! [Audience cheers] Waaa! “Captain Okita” is the best in showbiz right now, and some entertainers have similar names, but wait a minute! Doesn’t anyone think his name resembles someone else’s? [Audience cheers again] Nah. (Laughs) I remember watching Space Battleship Yamato in first grade, when it was broadcast for the first time. It was from Space Battleship Yamato that I first became aware of space. And Leader Dessler, too. When I first saw him, I wondered, “Does he have a hangover?”
Natsuki Kato’s comments:
This was an epic story, a worthy ending to Yamato 2199. The battle scenes for the men, the romantic scenes for the women, and whenever Yamato starts to move the theme song flows, and it’s really great!
(On the chocolate Yamato) It’s amazing! The bitter taste of the [dark] chocolate matches Yamato! The movie was worthy as the last chapter of the Yamato 2199 series, but this is worthy to be in a Christmas cake. (Laughs) Since it’s a work set in space with the theme of peace, I want everyone to watch it, from adults to children regardless of gender. And I think you’ll want to watch it all the way to the end credits without getting up!
Now that you know what was said, you’ll have an easier time following the video coverage of Premium Night here.
December 5: Cast messages
December 5: Ace Combat promotion
Bandai/Namco’s Ace Combat Infinity video game announced a collaboration with Yamato 2199 with a video promo that can be seen on Youtube here. Before you get too excited, they’re not adding Cosmo Falcons or Cosmo Zeroes to the flight lineup. Instead, it’s an “emblem drop” setup in which 2199 emblems can be added to the real-world fightercraft that already exist in the game.
The use of the term Star Blazers 2199 will certainly raise some eyebrows, but it’s almost certainly a marketing choice for English-language users.
December 5: Mainichi Shimbun article
A Twitter user named “Kourun” posted this image from the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper, a 3/4 page feature that summarizes Yamato 2199‘s progress from initial concept to the 2014 release of Ark of the Stars.
A paper copy of the article could not be obtained, or it would be fully translated here. Instead, you’ll just have to fall back on the 2199 timelines and reports here at Cosmo DNA. Sorry for the inconvenience…
December 5: Ark of the Stars novelization
Takumi Toyota returned as the author and Naoyuki Katoh returned as the cover painter for this novelization published by Mag Garden. (Both filled the same roles on the 2-volume 2199 novelization in 2013.)
There are no internal illustrations. The chapter titles are as follows: (1) A New Threat, (2) Homeward Voyage, (3), Planet of Silver, (4) Battleship Yamato, (5) Planet of Peace, (6) War with Gatlantis, and (7) Farewell Friend.
December 5: Family Theater reruns
In addition to the cinema, there was plenty of Yamato to be found on the small screen this month. Satellite broadcaster Family Theater started a new run of the 2199 TV series on this day, along with the first of three broadcasts of A Voyage to Remember (follow-ups on the 12th and 20th). They also broadcast the original 1974 series throughout November and December.
December 5: Kinema Junpo #1678
The magazine formerly known as Kinejun has had a long history with Space Battleship Yamato, distinguishing itself as the first mainstream publication to give it a cover story way back in 1978. Behind the chilling Gone Girl cover was a 4-page interview with Director Yutaka Izubuchi titled The 21st Century Yamato that Pioneered Possibilities.
Read the interview here.
December 5: Star Navi magazine
Elsewhere on the newsstand, this monthly astronomy publication from Kadokawa and Ascii Media Works featured a two-page essay by 2199 science advisor Toshihiro Handa titled Space Battleship Yamato Astronomical Research II. It was the followup to a previous article from the October 2013 issue (read it here), which covered the journey to the Magellanic Cloud.
This article picks up where that one left off, and can be read here.
December 5: 1/8 Mikage Kiryu figure preorders
This introduction to the newest figure in Megahouse’s Yamato Girls collection was perfectly timed to match her debut as a central character in the new movie. Preorders opened on this day with shipping promised for April 2015. Like some previous figures, this one is labeled “Ship Uniform Version,” leaving open the possibility of a future variant.
December 5: Manga chapter 31
This was the first new manga chapter to appear since September, since Michio Murakawa had to redirect his energies toward movie production and product package illustrations. A new installment would normally appear toward the end of a month, so this one could be considered either slightly late (for November) or unusually early (for December).
Either way, this 22-page chapter continues the adaptation of Episode 14 (The Witch Whispers) and greatly expands upon it with additional dream sequences. It appeared in the two usual places, the online digital manga sites Nico Nico Ace (cover shown above left) and Comic Walker.
See all the pages here.
December 5: Yamato Crew binder, Mark II
Members of the Premium Fan Club received a wire binder for their Ship’s Log magazines when they renewed their memberships in 2013. This year, Yamato Crew made a slightly-remodeled edition available for new signups. (Regardless, they still haven’t published enough issues to fill the first binder.)
That’s the end of the countdown to December 6. Continue to Report 40, which is entirely devoted to opening day!
(Yes, everything you’ve seen so far happened only in the first five days of the month.)