Yamato 2199 Episode 7 commentary

by Luis Cotovio and Daniel George

Episode 7: Farewell to the Solar System

(Japanese Name: 太陽圏に別れを告げて / Taiyou-ken ni Wakare wo Tsugeru)

Director: Koji Yoshikawa

Running time: 24m 41s (21m 00s without credits)
Opening Theme:

  • (Cinema/Home Video): Uchuu Senkan Yamato by Isao Sasaki
  • (TV): Uchuu Senkan Yamato by Project 2199

Ending Theme:

  • (Cinema/Home Video): Scarlet Scarf by Isao Sasaki
  • (TV): Love Words by Mika Nakashima

The battle-scarred Yamato passes one of the billions of asteroids that populate the outer edge of Earth’s solar system. Okita is in his cabin, thinking about the events of recent days. His thoughts are interrupted by Aihara, who alerts him to an incoming communication from UNCF HQ.

[DG]: This is the first episode where the story does not continue on the same day or the next day. The preview for this episode says that there are 355 days left, meaning that going by the date of Operation M2, this episode picks up on or around February 21, 2199. This is reasonable since (a) repairs need to be made to the ship, and (b) more importantly, the Heliopause is three times as far from the sun as Pluto, so after finishing up at Pluto, they were only 1/3 of the way out of the solar system.

It should be noted that at around 80 AU from Pluto to the Heliopause being traversed in around 6-7 days (assuming the course of this episode happens over 1-2 days) gives them an average speed of .077c, substantially faster than the average speed taken to get to Mars. This is common sense given that they have a much greater distance to accelerate through… not that the differential is proportional. This could be explained by their ongoing repair work, finding a balance between building speed and keeping it safe for repair crews to do their job.

[LC]: This is the first time the episode title is shown at the beginning. The only other instance of this will be in episode 26.

[DG]: I like the effect of the asteroid just rolling over the top of the superstructure. Precision navigation! Also, it’s noteworthy that it looks like Okita is already struggling with discomfort due to his illness.

Chief Todo congratulates them on reaching the edge of the solar system. Okita says this is but the first step on their long journey to Iscandar but Todo says that their victory at Pluto has lifted the people’s moral back home. Just knowing that Yamato is heading for Iscandar helps them to keep going.

[DG]: Observation: Serizawa could be on the Olympic “standing there” team. Did he have any reason to be there other than, “Hey, I’m still here, menacingly silent in the background”? That’s probably his intent.

[LC]: In the manga adaptation, Chief Todo still has time to describe a slightly bleaker version of the situation on Earth. And Serizawa actually says something.

This is the first time the name “Cosmo Reverse System” is used. In the original, it was called “Cosmo Cleaner D” and in Star Blazers “Cosmo DNA.”

He encourages them to move forward to retrieve the “Cosmo Reverse System” and that everyone on Earth awaits their return. Communications are interrupted due to the heliopause’s interference, and Aihara sets off to try and regain the signal via hyperspace communication.

[DG]: The term “Hyperspace Communication” made me wonder if it was a throwaway line. On one hand, you’d think that if they can’t communicate beyond the heliopause even with such technology, that it’s just a buzzword. On the other hand, later in the episode we see what must be the result of Aihara’s efforts to bring it online. If they still can’t communicate beyond the Heliopause, their implementation is heavily flawed. We see that Gamilas can communicate between Gamilas and beyond Balan in realtime with a high quality signal.

I guess in the end, the term “hyperspace” doesn’t have the same definition in Yamato that it does in other sci-fi realms. Rather than being synonymous with “warp space,” it’s a long-range signal booster. Of course, the realtime communication with Earth also implies that the signal is being transmitted in realtime, which as we discussed back in Episode 1, would be considerably faster than the speed of light; it would have taken five hours for communications to reach Earth from Pluto space. From the Heliopause, it would be closer to fifteen.

Niimi is alone in the lab when Chief Ito pays her a visit. She says he must have a lot free time, and he responds that unless there’s trouble on board, security doesn’t have much to do. This also seems to be the case with Niimi, at least until they reach another star system.

[LC]: Although we’ve seen him lurking about in a few occasions, this is the first time Ito actually has any dialogue. It’s also the first time we see his shifty eyes “open” which, strangely enough, makes him even creepier.

Ito says he heard she’ll be serving as ship’s counselor, asking if she will spend some therapy time with him. She tells him to stop joking. As he looks at the data she’s been studying, he hints that since communications with Earth will be impossible once they pass the heliopause, the captain should let the crew send one final message home, though that might just make everyone feel homesick. They exchange a complicit look and Ito leaves. Niimi puts her personalized mug down, where we can read the inscription “PROJECT IZUMO – Staff Only.”

[LC]: This scene is the first hint at some sort of relationship between Ito and Niimi. It also shows that Ito’s creepiness goes beyond his looks. Although she manages to stand her ground, Niimi seems less than comfortable in his presence. What seems to be flirtatious advances are actually meant to induce that discomfort. Ito is quite a master at psychological games and manipulation.

[DG]: I always thought Ito was awfully good at mind games for a plain old security officer.

[LC]: It is a funny detail that even though the situation back on Earth was dire, the guys in charge of the Izumo Project still had the courtesy of giving people personalized mugs. But seeing how nearly everything aboard Yamato is custom-made, perhaps it’s not such a strange occurrence. If nothing else, it serves to keep the merchandise taps flowing.

[DG]: This is the first time we’ve seen Kaoru’s connection to Project Izumo, but it’s not the last time that we see it in the immediate future. They just want to start hammering it into your head early on.

Kodai and Yuki board the main elevator. After some small talk about the crew schedule, Yuki asks him about the cryptic question he made at Enceladus, having deduced that he was talking about Sasha. He confirms that their resemblance did baffle him. As Yuki thinks aloud how Sasha gave her life to bring them the Wave-Motion Engine’s activation core, Kodai recalls there’s supposed to be another Iscandarian, the one that brought the Wave-Motion Engine plans a year earlier. Yuki confirms this, saying her name is Yurisha Iscandar.

[LC]: As the scene starts, Yuki presses the elevator button numbered 10, the bridge level. Given the existence of negative numbers, we can assume level “0″ is not at the “bottom” of the ship – presumably bridge number 3 – but somewhere along the ship’s center line.

[DG]: I found that this scene did a number of things: (1) it advanced the Yuki/Kodai friendship, (2) It referred to past events within the story, which seemed to be done more frequently than in the original, and (3) It also got you thinking about Yuki’s identity again.

They reach the bridge, and as they leave the elevator they’re surprised by news that the captain has decided to allow any crew member to make a call home before they cross the heliopause.

[LC]: A minor animation error occurs as Yuki faces the elevator doors. The background plate is set a bit too high in relation to Yuki. Either that or she’s crouching down…

Sanada says they’ll also hold a line-crossing ceremony as they leave the solar system. Kodai is puzzled as to how a ceremony held when crossing the Earth’s equator will work in space. Okita says its more of a symbolic thing meant to ask for the ship’s safety and help morale.

As the repair crews start their work on the ship’s hull, the party begins. Makoto is flustered at being the only one who showed up in costume, having been tricked by sneaky Ota into believing it was a tradition of the line-crossing ceremony. Ota sneaks out before the furious Makoto can spot him. Shima and Shinohara are amused, and warn her of Ota’s mischievous ways – and that she’s too trusting. Kato arrives wearing his traditional monk robe and compliments her. This calms her down, at least for now.

[LC]: Even though it’s a wide shot, this is our first view of the repair barges and the hatch from which they launch. There are only a couple of shots of this hatch open throughout the series.

[LC]: Makoto’s bubbly and casual personality makes her an easy prey for naughty Ota. As for Kato, I first though he had been pranked too, but that is actually the religious robe used by the monks in his family. Although he has left the monastery to join the military, he still observes the tradition and wears the attire to this kind of ceremony, much like his chant to call upon luck.

In the manga Makoto isn’t the only one who falls victim to Ota’s costume prank. Though she didn’t go full costume, Akira appears wearing a set of cat ears and holding a cat collar. Ito ends up getting inspiration from Makoto’s ordeal and has rookie Hoshina wear a maid costume as some sort of initiation.

Okita takes the stage to address the crew, thanking them for their efforts during Operation M-2 and urging them to look ahead, toward Iscandar and their ultimate goal.

[LC]: Another minor animation snafu: in the first shot of Okita on stage, his mouth is drawn way too small, leading me to call him “Walrus Okita.” Curiously enough, Nobuteru Yuuki’s key frame art has the mouth in correct proportion. (click the image above left for a comparison)

This episode takes an opportunity, presented by the need to crowd the halls where the celebration is taking place, to introduce secondary characters who will gain some more screen time later. Besides the previously-introduced nurse Kasahara and navigation officer Hayashi, we meet Miki Saijo (ship affairs division), Fumihiko Sano (technical division) and Tanaka (accounting division).

But the one that stood out from the moment he appeared, long before being officially identified in episode 13, was Tetsuya Kitano. Kitano is another preempted character, brought from the movie The New Voyage where he boarded Yamato along with Tasuke Tokugawa and a group of other rookies fresh out of the academy. Curiously, although he was originally a member of the navigation division and assigned to assist Shima, he spends more time in Kodai’s gunnery station during the mission. So in 2199 he’s part of the tactical division.

Doctor Sado tries to coax Analyzer into having a drink, but the robot says he can’t. Akira gazes at Kodai when Hirata arrives to offer her a cup of tea. He tells her he was Kodai’s classmate at the officers training academy. She thanks him for agreeing to her transfer request. He tells her that if she ever gets tired of being a pilot, she’s always welcome back. He smiles as he notices she’s no longer paying attention, distracted by Kodai leaving the room.

[LC]: The manga takes a few cues from the original with Kodai doing some wandering around and going to the engine room, exchanging some words with Tokugawa and Yamazaki. At that point, Okita is looking at the Automatic Pilot chamber hatch. Kodai heads back to the party, where we find him in this scene, before deciding to help the repair crews.

Outside, Iwata complains that the repair crews can’t call home. Toyama responds that it can’t be helped since ship repairs take top priority. As he cries out to his sweetheart, Akemi, Chief Enomoto tells them to keep the chatter down while on duty. Iwata apologizes as Kodai arrives on site.

[LC]: 2199 gives a bit more focus to the work required to repair the ship after a battle. In the original series, the ship would suffer damage and, outside a few notable exceptions, appear fully repaired in the following episode – or sometimes in the following scene. And the exceptions I mentioned seemed to arise from the plot needing an excuse for the ship to be delayed or to have people in jeopardy. This is one aspect greatly improved in 2199, where the repair crews are used consistently. But don’t fret, it doesn’t mean there aren’t some problems associated with this. More on that later…

Enomoto is surprised to see Kodai and asks if he needs something. Kodai says he’ll switch places with one of the men so he can call home. Enomoto is about to ask if he’s sure when he realizes Kodai’s motives. As he prepares to choose one person to call Earth, Akira arrives and tells him to chose two.

[LC]: It’s funny how Enomoto keeps forgetting his once pupil is now his superior officer, constantly correcting his posture toward Kodai as that reality hits him. Funnier still is the fact that Kodai doesn’t even notice or care about Enomoto’s breaches of protocol.

The repair crew recognizes Akira as Kodai’s wing in the latest battle. Enomoto jokes on the improvement of Kodai’s ways with women, which goes right over the young officer’s head. Enomoto chooses deckhands Saeki and Kishima, both of whom got married shortly before being shipped out, to call their families.

Sanada is alone in the lab, running analysis on the garmilloid remains, when Okita walks in. Sanada asks if the captain needs anything but Okita says no and apologizes for interrupting. He leaves and a puzzled Sanada returns to the task at hand.

[LC]: True to character, Sanada devotes this time to work instead of going to the party. Another detail that probably goes unnoticed is that he doesn’t seem to call home, which led me to notice that we never knew of any family for our beloved brainiac. Kodai is truly not an isolated case, and that shows more than ever in 2199.

The always cheerful (not) Yabu heads for the party, seeing a group of women in costume. He snarks at the cosplayers’ silliness before noticing Okita coming down the hall. He stands to attention as Okita passes, immersed in thought.

[LC]: One has to wonder if the flurry of cosplaying crew members doesn’t stem from Ota’s prank on Makoto. Another question is, where the hell are these costumes coming from?! Its doubtful they would have been allowed to bring such a thing onboard. Given the further examples of non-standard attire that keep popping up throughout the series, the most likely possibility is that, much like the O.M.C.S. produces food, a similar device provides other things – in this instance, clothing.

When the party is over, they simply take them back for reprocessing into something else. This idea is not that far fetched, since even the standard uniforms must come from someplace. It might even explain where Akira got the pilot uniform back in episode 4. Being in the accounting department, she would have easy access to the device.

Since we’re identifying characters, click here for a better look at the five lady cosplayers. Their names are, from left to right: Sato and Chizuru Miyazawa (tactical division, under Enomoto), Umeda, Shinoda and Minegishi (accounting division).

[DG]: The cosplaying girls reminded me of an episode from Moretsu Pirates, in which the cast also dons similar kinds of costumes as part of the story. Moretsu Pirates is a sci-fi comedy/drama anime which aired in Japan during the first half of 2012, right when 2199 was in production, and in its early stages of release. Maybe this is something the common staff members brought with them from that show?

Yamazaki is in the engine room’s control center running some checks. Okita comes in and he asks him if anything is wrong and if he needs anything. Okita says no, apologizes for bothering him, and leaves.

[DG]: Interesting that this time it’s Okita and not Kodai that’s skulking around the ship. One of many examples of “it’s not all about Kodai” that 2199 emphasizes.

A group of people waits in line near the comm room. Yuki is supervising while Tokugawa and Shima are at the head of the line. They talk about their families, Tokugawa recalling that Shima’s dad died years ago in the first encounter with the Garmillans. The door opens and a crewman comes out, joyfully saying his son has just been born and that he blew his time on just trying to come up with a good name for him. Yuki turns to Tokugawa and tells him it’s his turn.

[LC]: This scene is taken almost verbatim from the original, right down to the crewman’s section color and how he spent his alotted time.

Inside the booth, the image of Tokugawa’s son Tasuke and granddaughter Aiko appears on the screen. He asks where Aiko’s parents (Hikoshichi and Kikuko) are, and Tasuke tells him they went to stand in line for food. Aiko says she’s hungry, and Tasuke tells her to wait just a bit longer. He reluctantly admits that because food isn’t available as often, they went to get it in the black market. Tokugawa can’t believe his ears, but a visibly distraught Tasuke says they had no other choice. Aiko asks her grandfather when he’ll be back. He tells her he’ll return in a year, and that’ll he’ll bring back presents for her. As his time comes to an end, a tearful Tokugawa tells his son to be strong and look after Aiko, and that the future of Earth lies in the hands of young people like them.

[LC]: Much like the original, this is quite an emotional scene for Tokugawa. The main change is that in the original it was Aiko’s parents who talked with him, and Tasuke wouldn’t appear until The New Voyage. The couple simply described the worsening conditions on Earth without actually being directly involved. Having them go through this ordeal personally brings the whole thing closer to home, and has a much more profound impact.

Shima is in the other booth, and when the screen activates he’s greeted with the image of his brother, Jiro. He asks for their mother and Jiro tells him that she went to the hospital to visit their aunt. Shima is sad that he might not see his mother, but tries to keep a cheerful face for the sake of his brother. He promises that he will see his mission through, like their father would have wanted, and that he’ll return to Earth, no matter what. He asks Jiro to take care of their mother.

[DG]: Trivia: Aiko and Jiro are both voiced by the same voice actress, Mikako Komatsu. Komatsu voiced the lead role in Moretsu Pirates, which had a lot of common staff with 2199, and was in production around the same time period.

As the counter runs into the final seconds, Shima’s mother arrives home. Jiro tells her Shima is on the line and she must hurry while shima desperately begs for more time. Saori comes into view as time runs out, giving Shima only a brief moment to see her. He sits in the darkened room in tears.

Kodai and Akira carry on their repair assignments. He asks her if she has already called home. She says no, but that it’s okay. Kodai notices her eye color and wonders if she’s a Marsnoid, which she readily confirms. She tells him her grandmother was born on Mars. The Second Inner Planets War occurred right around the time she was born, and after that her family was forced to relocate to Earth.

[LC]: Marsnoids having red eyes is a bit of a stretch. Aside from giving Akira and others like her a striking feature, it’s a bit implausible that they would actually have such a characteristic just by being from Mars. Such a trait would have to arise either from evolution or artificial manipulation. Unless those born on Mars were subjected to some sort of genetic treatment or other artificially-induced change (for reasons we never learn), evolution would require a lot more than just a couple of generations to bring that into effect, not to mention a specific environmental need for it. So, other than looking cool on Akira and serving another homage to Hideaki Anno’s Rei Ayanami… no!

[DG]: This establishes that the Second Inner Planets War occurred circa 2180. Was it that Akira and her family alone were forced to move to Earth, or was it the entire population? Was it due to the damage caused to the colonies, or government mandate from Earth? Maybe the prequel that Yutaka Izubuchi occasionally expressed an interest in making might shed some light on this in the future. It also makes me wonder how Marsnoids were treated upon their return to Earth, whether there was any racial segregation or general derisive treatment by the Terran population.

Kodai asks Akira if she has family back on Earth. She tells him that almost everyone in her family was killed by the planet bombs, except for her brother who became a pilot and died in combat. Kodai tells her she’s just like him.

Nanbu is talking to his parents and is confronted by the photograph of a beautiful young woman. He asks them if that is some sort of joke. His mother says she’s the daughter of the owner of Morita Pharmaceuticals, and that his father also knows a high-ranking official who has a nice daughter. Nanbu ask his mother to consider their current situation.

[LC]: Nanbu’s parents are Kōzō and Tokiko Nanbu.

His father tells him that’s he’s the one who’s not grasping the situation; he must do as he’s told and take over their company. Nanbu refuses, saying he’ll choose his own wife. Nanbu’s mother tries to calm both their tempers and simply tells Nanbu to return safely. After the screen goes blank, Nanbu says he has already found the one he wants for his wife.

[LC]: These are more changes from the original, Nanbu switching places with Yuki. Yuki’s mother was the one trying to show her daughter photographs of candidates for marriage. Here, Yuki’s “involvement” is only as the target of Nanbu’s affections.

Nanbu’s father is the owner of Nanbu Heavy Industries. Though not much is known about the company’s size and overall structure, we’ll learn that the company was involved in Yamato‘s construction.

[DG]: Poor Nanbu. You really don’t have a hope in the galaxy of marrying Yuki. If she hasn’t shown interest in you by now, you’re well-locked into the friend zone.

As Nanbu leaves, Yuria Misaki comes into the communications control room where Aihara is supervising. She tells him only about 28 more people are left to call home. He congratulates her on having her idea for an onboard radio station approved by the captain. She says he was very nice for doing so, and also for letting everyone call home. Aihara says that wasn’t the captain’s idea, but rather…

[LC]: The manga has quite a risquée sequence featuring Misaki and Hoshina fast-tracking their relationship, including their first, quite steamy, kiss.

Niimi is confronted by Ito, who figured out she’s the one behind the idea of having the crew call home. She dismisses it, but Ito knows her actual intentions, which for now remain a mystery to us. He asks if she shouldn’t be making a call herself. Ito then points out that Niimi has a fan who is staring at her – none other than Yabu, who tries to play it cool when she stares back at him.

[DG]: Australian fans might find this frame (above right) amusing… Yamato Beer. Given what Sanada implies about how the OMCS works in Episode 3, the Australian colloquialism, “Getting on the p***” to refer to drinking booze (often heavily) seems to be both literal and colloquial here.

Nanbu comes into the mess hall, clearly looking for someone. Kato and Shinohara observe that he needs to relax. Shinohara offers Kato some beer, but he points out he can’t drink. Shinohara tries to convince Kato, who is stubbornly refusing to call his dad, to change his mind. Kato says his dad will just tell him how he has to take over the temple. Shino recalls his own dad (an alcoholic?), who died in the first wave of planet bombs, and who he hated for always yelling at him. But now he thinks of him a lot and misses him… even the times he yelled. Kato is touched by this and decides to go.

Kodai and Akira are replacing damaged energy coils when he asks her why she didn’t sign up for the air-wing from the start. She explains that Kato would not allow her to. Kodai asks why, and she tells him that though he doesn’t show it, Kato is more sensitive than most to matters of life and death.

[LC]: The label on the part being installed by Kodai reads “Type-99 Wave-Motion Coil – Nanbu Heavy Industries,” along with what I assume is a manufacturing date of July, 2198. The involvement of Nanbu’s family’s business in the construction of Yamato was hinted in Junichiro Tamamori’s mecha design work early on, as can be seen in one of his best-known illustrations. Eagle-eyed fans quickly noticed the name inscribed in the port catapult. Check it out here.

It’s strange that if you really pay attention to the wide shot of the repair crews in this scene, other than Kodai and Akira, no one is doing anything… at least to the right. The guy on the upper left corner is just floating there with that grab arm. The one below him seems to be soldering metal plates while they’re still in their rack. The ones above Kodai and Akira are spot-welding a plate to the hull, but it just seems to be placed wrong. Guess it all just serves the purpose of making the shot look busy, as long as you don’t look too closely.

[DG]: I can’t help but wonder what these energy coils are for. If they’re for distributing energy through the ship, that’s an awfully foolish place to be putting them. It doesn’t look to have a lot of armor plating protecting that section. Maybe it’s part of the WM Shield generation system?

Kato sits in the comm booth, silent. On the screen is the stern face of his dad, eyes closed. The seconds tick away with the two men sitting in silence. As the final seconds run out, the old man opens his eyes, looks at his son and simply tells him to “come back alive.” Kato says he will, just as the screen goes blank. Sitting alone in the dark, he thanks his father.

Akira says she thinks Kato didn’t want her to die in combat like her brother, who was a good friend. Chief Enomoto interrupts the brief silence and ask the duo if they can go help out on the port side.

[LC]: The placement of Enomoto’s men in this shot serves at least the purpose of looking funny as hell.

Nanbu continues his search for Yuki. He finally spots her, but as he rushes forward he’s cut off by Ota, frantically trying to escape a still mad and visibly drunk Makoto. Hilarity ensues. Yuki laughs at the scene, but her attention is diverted outside as she watches Kodai and Akira.

[DG]: Yuki, are your eyes turning a little green again?

Ota and Nanbu are caught in Makoto’s grip, but Ota manages to break free and run for the hills with Makoto giving chase. Nanbu is dismayed when he realizes Yuki is gone. She sits in one of the comm booths, talking to Admiral Hijikata. He says she looks well, and asks how Okita is doing. Yuki says the captain is doing fine, and thanks Hijikata for taking such good care of her over the last year. He simply smiles and tells her to come back alive.

[LC]: And the Yuki/Yurisha plot continues to burn strong. Here we learn that Yuki was under Hijikata’s care for the last year. This timing gave more credence to the theory that she might be Yurisha. Funny that Hijikata’s final words to her seem to totally take it the other way, since if he expects her to “come back,” it kind of tells us she is actually from Earth. But the episode is not done playing with this just yet.

In the manga’s version of this scene there is a bit more dialogue and Yuki is seen holding the golden device we saw her with back in Episode 2.

Okita is in his cabin looking at his family photo when Tokugawa knocks on the door. He says Yamazaki mentioned the captain had dropped by the engine room. Okita seems a bit embarrassed until Tokugawa asks if he was looking for the bottle of sake he’s carrying, prompting a smile from Okita. The two men sit of the floor, drinking the sake and reminiscing about their long years of service together. Their first ship was Defense Ship #36, a tiny old vessel with no name, just a number. How young they were…

[LC]: 2198 seems to have been quite an eventful year. Not only did Yurisha arrive with the Wave-Motion Engine plans and set big things in motion, here we learn that something happened to Okita himself “a year ago.” Though not much is revealed, when Tokugawa enters the cabin he sees Okita holding a photo of himself, his son and a woman who was never identified (his daughter or daughter-in-law?) and says “it’s been a year already?” Though there’s not much information about Okita’s family, we do know Okita’s son died a while back in Operation K2, also known as the Second Battle of Mars. This is the one that drove the Garmillas back and forced them to enact their Planet Bomb strategy. It makes Tokugawa’s remark a bit of a mystery. The only other explanation that makes sense in this context is that something happened to the woman in the photo, though since nothing more is revealed, it makes the line a bit pointless.

Tokugawa wonders how many young men have fallen since then, while the two of them kept living. Okita says he can’t allow himself to count those lost lives and that people’s lives are more than numbers. All that they can do as survivors is to ensure that the young ones still have hope for tomorrow. Tokugawa agrees it’s all they can do to atone for the lives they’ve taken.

[DG]: While the corresponding scene in the original featured Kodai, the replacement of Kodai with Tokugawa not only gives rise to learning more about Tokugawa’s friendship with Okita, but also exposes one more thing these men share: survivor’s guilt for all the young sailors who perished while they survived.

[LC]: A book seen here on Okita’s desk is Crime and Punishment by Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. The book pops up again in Episodes 16 and 19, where the symbolism of its narrative is hardly a coincidence.

The sound of a harmonica echoes from the rear observation deck. Kodai plays as Yuki comes in. Yuki congratulates him for his work with the repair crews and he says he didn’t have anything to do. Yuki asks why he didn’t call home, and he tells her there’s no one left for him to call.

Between his work with the repair crew and this scene, the manga again returns to the original’s roots with two different takes. The first one has Kodai, alone in his quarters where he went to get his harmonica, flashing back to the day his parents were killed. The second has Kodai paying a visit to the captain in his cabin for a talk, heading down to the observation dome prior to Tokugawa’s arrival.

Kodai asks Yuki if she was able to call home, but she answers that they’re both the same. Kodai apologizes, but she tells him there’s no need since he couldn’t know. She says she can’t recall her past, having no memories prior to the past year.

[LC]: What did I tell you? 2198 was a real doozy. And they keep stoking the Yuki/Yurisha fires…

In the original, Kodai’s drama was laid a lot thicker than here. It was really angst-driven and would seem dated. But not only is 2199’s Kodai a lot less hotheaded, we learn that he’s far from being the only one aboard with no family back on Earth.

Misaki’s voice comes through the ship’s PA system, announcing the eminent crossing of the heliopause and the end of onboard festivities. She sets the jingle for YRA Radio Yamato, the project Aihara had mentioned earlier. As Misaki announces her first song, we see Niimi quietly passing by outside. To provide some mood to the farewell event, Miz
saki says she’ll play an old hit song. The song is The Scarlet Scarf by Isao Sasaki.

[DG]: The additional detail of seeing Niimi through the door of Misaki’s “studio” was a nice touch. She appears a little angry. Perhaps Ito said something else unpleasant to her since her previous scene?

The screens in the halls where the crossing ceremony took place are now filled with the image of Earth, a reddish and barren reminder of what they must achieve. Enomoto and his crew have finished their work and enjoy some rest as they listen to the song, as do Hirata and his staff, busy clearing the party venue. Sanada continues at his desk in the lab, his loneliness broken by the presence of Analyzer gazing at the Garmilloid remains.

[LC]: Though the song used in the original was also The Scarlet Scarf, it was used as a BGM instead of source music, making this a sort of “breaking of the 4th wall.” A real-world ending song for the series becomes part of the in-story reality. In the original, the version used as BGM was an instrumental, replaced in Star Blazers by an original rendition of the theme with humming and the phrase “We will return again! We will return!” You can view the Star Blazers scene here.

Yamazaki in the engine room and Kato, Shinohara and the other pilots also listen to the song, immersed in thought. Akira comes out of the shower. Doctor Sado sits in his office making a toast to a screensaver of his beloved Mii-kun. In her quarters, Makoto gets out of her maid costume, spinning ’round happily. (Or drunk as kite, who knows?!)

[DG]: Or maybe in love?

[LC]: Instead of just toasting a screensaver, the manga shows Doctor Sado talking to the neighbor lady in who’s care he left Mii-kun, and gets to exchange a few words with his beloved cat.

Nanbu is slumped unconscious over a table, his face covered in doodles. This is courtesy of Ota, who is back to his misdeeds with Aihara as his accomplice. The screens at Shima’s station indicate Yamato has crossed the heliopause, but the Navigation Officer is distracted by memories of his family, gazing upon his father’s good luck charm.

The sake has made Tokugawa fall asleep, and Okita doesn’t wake his friend as he puts on his hat. Yuki and Kodai say farewell to Earth, the young man shouting out into the stars, “WE ARE GOING TO COME BACK!” as Yamato leaves the solar system.

Alone in the dark comm booth, Niimi sits before the image of General Serizawa, who tells her she’s the Earth’s last hope and that he is counting on her. She simply nods in agreement.

[DG]: In this episode, they’re really hammering home the Project Izumo connection. Are they foreshadowing something here? Only time will tell.

[LC]: As a final note, remember how most of the episode revolves around the fact that once they pass the heliopause they won’t be able to call Earth again? If Shima’s display is correct, Yamato has now passed outside the heliopause. Yet Niimi seems to be talking to Serizawa just fine without a hint of interference. So… either we’re not seeing this in sequence, or Niimi’s cell phone provider is truly spectacular.


A trap waits in the skies. Dark clouds gather, and up ahead, a red sun looms. Its mouth is filled with burning fire, and its arms are Hell’s crimson flames. Fire one blast to break through an inescapable trap and effect an impossible escape.

Next time: Wish Upon a Star.

There are 343 days left before humanity becomes extinct.


Official website of Yamato 2199
Yamato Crew website
Chapter 3 Trailer

Episode 7 credits

Screenplay: Hiroshi Onoki
Storyboard: Hidetoshi Yoshida
Director: Koji Yoshikawa
Chara Animation Director: Eiji Ishimoto
Chara Chief Animation Director: Nobuteru Yuuki
Mecha Chief Animation Director: Masanori Nishii

Series credits

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.

One thought on “Yamato 2199 Episode 7 commentary

  1. “[LC]: Though the song used in the original … was used as a BGM instead of source music, making this a sort of “breaking of the 4th wall.” A real-world ending song for the series becomes part of the in-story reality.”

    Point of information: The technical terms here are “diegetic” vs. “non-diegetic sounds,” those which occur within the world or “narrative sphere” (e.g., the cantina band in Star Wars) vs. those they can’t be heard by the characters, respectively. This style of reuse was previously heard in Battlestar Galactica, when the 1978 theme song reappeared as the Colonial anthem in the 2004 remake.

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