December 6: Ark of the Stars opening day
On this, probably the single busiest day in Yamato history, Ark of the Stars could be seen by anyone in range of a Japanese movie theater, along with a historic amount of related activity. This report is entirely devoted to December 6.
Shinjuku Square display
Shinjuku has been mentioned many times in previous reports and travelogues. As the home of the Shinjuku Piccadilly Theater, it’s become a home base for public events. Prior to this day, a huge Ark of the Stars billboard was erected in the square just outside Shinjuku’s massive JR train station, but daily commuters were surprised to find that the 5-meter Yamato had been placed in front of it during the wee hours of the morning. It remained there for the weekend, flanked by display panels and a video monitor that looped promotional material.
At one point, a Twitter user managed to catch the trailer on the huge Alta-vision screen that overlooks the square (opposite the movie display). The continued presence of Takuya Kimura (live-action Kodai) on a billboard above this screen made it a real Yamato trifecta. For fans walking through the square from the station to the Piccadilly, this would have been the first of many thrills the day had in store.
See a gallery of photos here.
Click here to see the entire collection of cast messages on the official 2199 website.
The countdown images shown at the beginning of Report 39 reached a payoff in the pages of the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper when Yamato burned its way through for this full-page ad.
These photos were posted on Twitter. Click here to see a nice, big scan.
Fans who jumped through hoops for special tickets and made it to the Shinjuku Piccadilly for the first show of the day (9 am) got to see a very special stage greeting by the three most prominent female voice actors of the cast, backed up by the all-new lineup of Yamato Girls in their first public appearance since the October premiere of A Voyage to Remember.
From Cinema Today:
For Yuki Mori’s voice actor, Yamato love doesn’t stop!
Coverage: Masaki Sakata
The opening day stage greeting for Yamato 2199 Ark of the Stars was held on the 6th at the Shinjuku Piccadilly Theater. Female voice actors Houko Kuwashima (Yuki Mori), Eriko Nakamura (Mikage Kiryu) and Aya Uchida (Yuria Misaki) took the stage as cast members. “Yamato love” overflowed from their words, and they conducted a ceremonial prayer with the Yamato Girls for the movie to be a big hit.
Yuki Mori’s voice actor Ms. Kuwashima was full of emotion, saying, “I’ve been involved in this work for two years and eight months, and doing the voice recording had the feeling of being on Yamato’s crew. ‘Let’s do our best to make this work well!’ It was like tasting the thrill of riding on Yamato. Our feelings were strangely in synch with the story.”
Continuing, she appealed to the audience by saying, “The pride in the anime techniques gathered up in this work can be boasted to the world, and every time I see it from the opening scene I want to get on Yamato. Everyone should come to the theater many times and get on board Yamato, too. You want to taste that thrill many times, right?”
Yuria Misaki’s voice actor Aya Uchida expressed her Yamato love by saying, “Yamato seems to be in hot demand, and these great works are created with love. It was inherited from the original Yamato in the form of 2199, and if more and more people come to love the work called Yamato, it can be handed down to the next generation and become even bigger.”
Mikage Kiryu’s voice actor Eriko Nakamura delivered her passionate message to the fans by saying, “I’m happy that I was able to bring one ending to everybody, and I think it demonstrates that it’s not impossible to bring some new developments to Yamato in various ways. Please give your support so that new Yamato adventures can be delivered after this.”
Female cast members take the stage for the opening day greeting for Yamato 2199 Ark of the Stars
On December 6, the latest Yamato 2199 feature film Ark of the Stars was released nationwide in 89 theaters, and an opening day stage greeting was carried out in a Tokyo theater. The speakers were Houko Kuwashima (Yuki Mori), Aya Uchida (Yuria Misaki) and Eriko Nakamura (Mikage Kiryu), and the familiar “Yamatalk Night” MC Osamu Kobayashi.
This was the same theater that held event screenings for each chapter of 2199 and carried out a stage greeting every time, but this was the first time for these particular cast members. It was also the first time all the guests were women.
It has been two years and eight months since the series began. The cast has participated for a long time, and they were filled with deep emotion at this new premiere event. Looking back on the series, Ms. Uchida, who is in charge of the radio program YRA Radio Yamato, spoke first.
“For a novice like me to talk about Yamato made me nervous, but little by little I got the feeling that we could all enjoy the ‘new Yamato’ together.”
Ms. Kuwashima talked about playing the dual roles of both Yuki Mori and Yurisha in the story.
“Yuki alone was a full job, but I had to play Yurisha as the same person even though she was a different person. That’s a lot of pressure for an actor,” she confessed.
Aya Uchida said likewise about the role of Yuria. Before Yurisha herself appeared, there was a point where Yurisha possessed her character.
“I couldn’t let Yurisha down,” she said, “so the pressure was huge.”
Eriko Nakamura had the challenging role of serving two roles in this new feature film. She said that she watched the others take on dual roles in the TV series, and wanted to meet the challenge as well.
“I think it was thanks to the two of you that I could meet this challenge as an actor,” she said.
Word has it that one of the highlights of the film is the activity of the younger crew members in powerful battle scenes, about which Kuwashima said, “The theme is about inheritance [of Yamato], and it is inherited successfully.”
Regarding the return home, Uchida said, “There’s a quiet part where you can get a glimpse of everyone relaxing.”
The unique appeal of Yamato is the fact that fans have followed its long journey. At the end of the stage greeting, each person had a message for the fans.
Nakamura: “It’s been a long two years and eight months since 2199 started, and I’m very grateful to have been a part of it. Please give your support so that new Yamato adventures can be delivered after this.”
Uchida: “This work was inherited from the original Yamato to the form of 2199, and if more and more people come to love the work called Yamato, it can be handed down to the next generation and become even bigger. Thank you for continuing support!”
Kuwashima: “I’ve been involved in this work for two years and eight months, and doing the voice recording had the feeling of being on Yamato’s crew. Right from the opening scene, everyone wants to ride on Yamato all the time. There are a lot of highlights, like battle scenes and unique enemy characters, so please see it in the theater many times. Thank you very much for today.”
Afterward, the Yamato Girls in cosplay joined the three speakers in the center of the theater, and the traditional New Year’s breaking of the barrel was done amid the cheers of the audience.
All backstage photos posted on Twitter
From Yamato Crew:
Ark of the Stars December 6 opening day stage greeting report!
The opening day stage greeting for Ark of the Stars was held on December 6 (Saturday). On stage were Houko Kuwashima (Yuki Mori), Eriko Nakamura (Mikage Kiryu) and Aya Uchida (Yuria Misaki). They spoke about their feelings for the work and their worries for the male characters. Finally, they had a ceremonial prayer for the success of the movie now that it has managed to arrive safely on Earth, and performed the New Year’s breaking of the barrel with the Yamato Girls. The venue swelled with the excitement and chanting of the audience.
Finally, I got the offer to do a stage greeting. My voice was heard from Chapter 1 to Chapter 7, so I was relieved to get the call. (Laughs) Time for the women!
“Inheritance” is a theme in Yamato. The crew has grown up since last time, and I thought it was cool to see this from the view point of Yuki Mori and Kodai-kun. At the time of the TV series, I had two roles…the director took a reckless turn. The role of Yuki Mori alone was already a full job, and it really got serious when he said ‘Yurisha, too.’ (Laughs) When I think about two people who look alike in the whole wide universe, a magnificent romance opens up, doesn’t it?
I’m really glad to celebrate the opening day. Doing the voice recording on the TV series had the feeling of being on Yamato’s crew. The pride in the anime techniques gathered up in this work can be boasted to the world, and you can see it from the opening scene. I think the individual Garmillas characters and the new Gatlantis characters are wonderful, and I empathize with each one. I’ll be glad if you can visit the theater many times to taste the grand scale and thrills.
My name is Nakamura, and I play Kiryu. This follows from the TV series, and I’m glad to be able to come for this opening day stage greeting. Before the release of the movie, I was also added to the YRA Radio Yamato group, and I learned a lot from doing the radio show. I also got a lot of help from everyone in the voice recording. When I saw you both [Kuwashima and Uchida] take on dual roles in the TV series, I also wanted a challenge. This was a great challenge for me as an actor.
(Asked about her favorite character) Personally, I like Berger.
It’s been a long two years and eight months since 2199 started, and I’m very grateful to have been a part of it. I’m happy that I was able to bring one ending to everybody, and I think it demonstrates that it’s not impossible to bring some new developments to Yamato in various ways. Please give your support so that new Yamato adventures can be delivered after this.
This is the first time I’ve done a stage greeting for Yamato 2199, and I’m very happy to be here today. I’ve been in charge of YRA Radio Yamato from the very beginning. For a novice like me to talk about Yamato made me nervous, but I’ve gotten a lot of messages from the younger generation to the original Yamato fans, and we’ve all studied the Yamato series together.
(Asked about her favorite scene) I really like the scene of Captain Okita and Kodai relaxing together and smiling while they talk. The captain says, “I wonder if I could make a request to Misaki-kun for the radio,” and that scene made me really excited.
I personally looked forward to this new feature film very much. I think it’s wonderful that love is depicted throughout the series. The theme is inheritance by the younger generation, and Yamato 2199 inherited it from the original Yamato. Furthermore, if it can be handed down to the next generation I think it can become even bigger. I’ll be glad if everyone loves Yamato.
Shinjuku Piccadilly Theater
The lobby of the Piccadilly was graced by the banner shown above, but this photo was taken several days later after the crowd was long gone.
Opening day was quite a different story, when a huge line circled the entire lobby toward the theater gift shop. As recounted in the Yamatour 2014 travelogue, those who didn’t come for the first show of the day were here for the merchandise. But while they were waiting, there were a few distractions.
Namely, a glass case filled with model kits that had been either built or customized to match the ships seen in the film.
Next to that was a separate display showcasing the winning entries from the Yamato 2199 modeling contest sponsored by Yamato Crew, Hobby Japan, and Dengeki Hobby magazine. As you can see, they still haven’t agreed to spell it “Gamilas,” “Garmillas,” or “Gamillas.”
Whether or not you were there to buy something, you didn’t leave empty handed, since every ticket holder received the handout pack shown above left. A new round of “Secret File” handouts began on this day, follow-ups to the four that had been created for A Voyage to Remember in October. As before, each contained extra story information. The first was titled Threat of the Flame Strike Gun, tragedy of the Garmillas science slaves. Read the translated text (for all the Secret Files) here.
Bundled with Secret File 01 was a brand new booklet from Bandai titled Yamato 2199 Plamodel Official Guidebook 2014. This was the second catalog of its kind, a full-color 12-page roundup of the entire model kit lineup.
Also on hand was a free 4-page flyer from Megahouse showing the Cosmo Fleet Special miniatures and Yamato Girls figures.