The Anime #41, March 1983

Opening day of Space Battleship Yamato The Final Chapter is just nine days away! It is undeniably the last appearance of the Yamato series on a big screen. However, even if Yamato disappears, something will be left in our hearts. It’s an anime that has lived with us day and night for ten years, the many things about Yamato that have charmed us. Yamato, passing away forever…what grand themes will we see as it does?

What does Yamato leave behind!?

A Exploring the features of Yamato The Final Chapter

Story

Tense development of the story’s last scene…!

We’ve covered the lead-up to the climax. Planet Dengil is flooded with water from Aquarius and they aim at Earth as a land of emigration. To that end, Aquarius is artificially warped in a rush toward Earth. A lot of former elements of Yamato are included in The Final Chapter so far. First is the “crisis of Earth.” After Gamilas, the White Comet Empire, the Dark Nebula Empire, and the Bolar Federation, the crisis that follows is the Dengil fleet.

On the other hand, the “threat of nature” is also in Yamato. In Yamato III, it was the abnormal nuclear activity of the sun (though it was caused by a Galman-Gamilas missile). This time it is the appearance of Dengil and water planet Aquarius, an unprecedented story with tense development.

We have to evacuate into space to escape from Aquarius, but the Dengil fleet indiscriminately attacks the refugee ships. Though Yamato takes off in these circumstances, not even Captain Okita can think of a way to avoid the crisis.

Meanwhile, as the citizens are in a state of panic, Daisuke and Jiro Shima take a long-deserved break. We see the anguish of Kodai as he makes up his mind to step down from Yamato. Viewers will feel increasing tension. As Yamato launches, it could be said that the odds are not in their favor.

Setting

Yamato is defeated and Earth is endangered! An unprecedented double crisis

In this story, the settings are Aquarius, the true nature of the Dengillians, Yamato‘s defeat, Okita’s resurrection, and Yamato meeting its certain end, though that part is not clear.

80% of Aquarius’ mass is water, and it brings water to other planets that it approaches. It becomes the seed of life for a planet without life, and it is also a flood of death. However, the ancient Earthlings who fled its waters are the Dengil people.

It can be said that Aquarius divided the human race onto two paths. The current Earthlings, who have the quality of meeting life on other planets with love, wish for peace. On the other hand, Dengillians wouldn’t hesitate to abandon one of their own family for the sake of their own happiness.

The battle in The Final Chapter is a battle over the soil of Earth. It can be said that the extreme nature of Earthlings, so to speak, is represented by Kodai and Lugal. When we think of this concept for the final chapter of Yamato, there is evil lurking in the bottom of an Earthling’s heart – and we cannot disappear without crushing the seed of egoism.

The Queen of Aquarius admonishes that love is a trial. When the Earthlings of 2203 crush the seed of evil and overcome this trial, taking this one step will open the way to a bright future.

This is the theme that is likely to appear in the shadow of fierce battle and the brave figure of Yamato.


The figure of “love” depicted in Yamato is about to reach a conclusion. The beginning of a new love will last far into the future…!

B Yamato The Final Chapter
the four figures of love

Susumu Kodai, Yuki Mori

The love of this couple finally bears fruit –
a peaceful Earth

In the year 2199, Susumu Kodai and Yuki Mori became involved in the Gamilas war, said to be the biggest crisis in Earth’s history. They boarded Space Battleship Yamato to travel 148,000 light years one way, and began the journey together.

Before long, glimpses of each other were strongly branded onto their hearts. When peace came to Earth, they would marry and bring up a child, intending to grow old peacefully. However, peace on Earth never lasted long, and they went off into the battlefield of space on Yamato every time. Even if they didn’t get married, they were satisfied just to be together. But no, they only thought it was satisfying.

In 2203, Yamato takes off for the center of the Milky Way Galaxy to investigate an accident that occurred at the core solar systems. After someone attacks, everyone on board returns in an apparent state of death. In this situation, it seems that Kodai in particular, did not survive. Yuki sees Kodai through the eyes of a nurse and perceives that he is lost. A huge hole opens in Yuki’s heart. She points a cosmo gun at herself and tries to pull the trigger.

The Yuki of The Final Chapter is different from the former Yuki. Of course, we’re not saying that suicide is a good thing, but it results from her heart’s overflowing passion for Kodai. After Yamato launches into space under Okita’s command, Yuki turns up in an unprecedented form.

For example, in order to help Kodai fly out into a hostile area while injured, she jumps into the navigator’s seat of the Cosmo Zero. And after they find the enemy, Kodai loses consciousness from bleeding and the pain of his wound, and they return to Yamato.

Okita says to Kodai and Yuki, “Giving birth and raising a child is also a battle.”

The two are bound together in the last scene. With animation by Shinya Takahashi and the effect of glowing light, it should be a really beautiful scene. It will be sublime to show the feelings they have held for each other since the first voyage. There wouldn’t be a glamorous wedding after a war, but the men and women who survived while encouraging each other will show true love.

One type of Yamato love – that of men and women – will finally be realized here.

Daisuke Shima, Jiro Shima

Big brother and little brother – in each others’ heart even when far away

Jiro Shima respects his big brother Daisuke and wants to become a man like him one day. On the occasion of a holiday with his older brother, his favorite activity is to play soccer.

In The Final Chapter, there is a soccer scene with both Jiro and Shima. If the flood waters of Aquarius recede and the Earth eventually reappears, Jiro and Shima promise to play soccer together again. Then – Yamato again journeys into space.

On the first bridge, Shima thinks about Jiro as he grasps the control stick. This voyage will be far more dangerous. There is no guarantee that Shima will come back alive. And if, just by a slim chance, he should die, what sort of thoughts would Jiro be siezed with if he should be left alone?

While off duty, Shima writes a letter to Jiro. He doesn’t know if the letter, Yamato – or even he – will make it back. Eventually, Shima takes a serious chest wound in battle on the Dengil fortress Uruk. He manages to get Yamato free from the Dengil while hiding it from everyone. Behind the veil that gradually descends over his vision, he sees the figure of Jiro waiting for him on the distant Earth.

Jyuuza Okita, Yamato

For Okita, Yamato is a part of his own body

Juuzo Okita, a physicist, was the first captain of Yamato. At the time of the war with Gamilas, he led the combined Earth fleet and fought determinedly against the superior enemy. He planned the building of Yamato and left for the voyage to far-off Iscandar.

It was thought that Okita died on the way home from Iscandar, with Earth close at hand, but he was revived from a death-like condition with the latest medical technology. At the end of a long recuperation, he is reunited with Yamato so that they may both stand for Earth against a major crisis.

Yamato launches from Earth under Okita’s command and confronts the mighty Dengil fleet. Okita thinks of Yamato‘s crew as his own children. That was shown on screen in many places since Part 1, and the feeling is still strong in The Final Chapter. With compassion for Yuki and Kodai and sadness over the death of Shima, he still steels his expression and bears it as a tough commander in battle. It gives the feeling that he is the one and only person who can be the captain of Yamato.

Okita lost his immediate family in the fight against Gamilas. It can be said that the love Okita holds for his crew is also directed toward the 62,000 ton ship called Yamato.

Because Okita took the lead role in the construction of Yamato, it was also him who met the challenge of leading a 148,000 light year voyage. He must have quietly wrapped up the grief over his lost family into this huge space ship. The heart of Okita was integral to Yamato. Now, Okita has risen from the brink of death and rides on Yamato once again. After a long time, he has regained the heart that is necessary to fight on board Yamato, but he must still feel some sadness.

Yamato sank in 1945 off the coast of Bogasaki Kyushu, and in 2199 it was awaked for battle again. While Okita voyages with Yamato, he communes with the heart of Yamato.

– Soon, I want to rest. I want there to be a time when there is no fighting.

We wonder if Yamato would say this to Okita. Yes, Okita himself should want the same thing. However, Yamato and Okita join together in a fight again.

As mentioned several times in this magazine, the end of Yamato should be the end of war. A ship of destiny that has continued fighting should create a world in which no more ships have to fight. It is said that Yamato disappears in an explosion at the end, but how this contributes to peace is not yet known. Anyway, given Okita’s love for Yamato, the moment should be wonderfully expressed.

Aquarius and all life forms

The goddess of a lonely wander planet brings trials and cultivates life

The Queen of Aquarius represents the providence of nature in space. Nature both gives rise to life and also wipes it out in a rage. Life forms that survive great ruin begin to walk again into the future.

In space over time immemorial, Aquarius has rained down large quantities of water to bring life to planets, and this time it threatens to sink civilization in a massive flood.

The Queen of Aquarius says this is also a form of love. Indeed, it is depicted as a severe form.


The appeal of Yamato is on the screen! Many fans would say so. In The Final Chapter, the technique should expand across the big screen!!

C Production techniques that glorify the final voyage

Animation

Dengillians and the mecha of a mysterious planet in spectacular space

Anyway, it is magnificent. Thinking about the warp of Aquarius, the fortress Uruk, the movement of huge things related to smaller and medium-sized mecha, and even the human beings, a lot of exciting things will appear on the screen.

If anything, the faces of the characters are in the image of Farewell to Yamato, and Kodai has a popular new look in the story. Chief Director Takeshi Shirato, with art directors Kazuhiko Udagawa, Shinya Takahashi, and Yoshinori Kanada, form the extravagant staff of The Final Chapter. The power they will bring to the screen should not be underestimated.

The methods of how to get unique poses here and there for Kodai and the Dengillians, and for Yamato vs. the Dengil fleet, will be something new. Aquarius in particular comes from a great distance, and scenes of the surface (actually, the ocean), the color of the water, its floating continent, and the light of its warp should be spectacular.

The movement of Yamato from the ’74 broadcast and the traditional battle scenes should get more polish. The mecha warfare, both big and small, will be combined with great special effects.

Music

The theme song, insert songs, and BGM of Yamato is still attractive music

If you go to see Yamato The Final Chapter, you’ll want to stay in your seat until the very end. The theme that begins “Saraba, Chikyu-yo [Earth]…” flows at the end, newly recorded by Isao Sasaki. Producer Nishizaki says he wants everybody to sing the chorus by all means.

Other insert songs are used in the film too, and you can look forward to whatever image they produce. Of course, the BGM by Hiroshi Miyagawa will be worthy of The Final Chapter. The themes of Dengil and Aquarius will be something to hear.

Production

We should understand what moves the hearts of Dengillian from the expression of Lugal!

In one of the featured scenes, Lugal shoots his youngest son – the boy who was saved by Yamato – for his own agenda. A Dengillian shows cruelty toward even his own family by eliminating them for the sake of his own desire, and the movement of the eyes in just an instant expresses the outcome of father against son.

In addition, the scene in which Kodai says good-bye to Yamato is impressive, as well as the activity of Yuki in the Cosmo Zero.


Yamato is leaving. From the 1974 broadcast to today, our hearts fluttered, we shed tears, and were told something. Thank you! Yamato!!

D So that we do not forget Yamato

Regretful parting

Yamato touched us and we loved Yamato – and the day of parting has come

Since Space Battleship Yamato was broadcast in 1974, junior high students have become college students and members of society. And there are people who will continue to love Yamato through the years.

From Part 1 to Yamato III, a lot of stories have developed around the ship called Yamato, the lovers called Kodai and Yuki, and the love of space. It showed us many things. The emptiness of battle in Part 1 and the love of space through eternal life in Farewell. Dessler took the spotlight in The New Voyage, Kodai and Yuki believed in each other even while separated in Be Forever, and we saw Sasha disappear into space. In Yamato III, Domon, Ageha and others grew up like Kodai and Shima in their younger days, gradually becoming full-fledged figures.

And now comes March 19, 1983. Yamato will leave us and travel far away. Longtime fans of Yamato won’t be able to hide their sorrow, and new fans will probably want to follow it even more.

However, though we have enjoyed it for such a long time and though Yamato became a huge topic with every new premiere, it really should come to a true ending.

To the future

Even after Yamato ends, it will always be in our hearts…

“Though Yamato is ending, I sill like it. I think I’ll be a Yamato fan from now on.”
(Shinya Tanaka, Osaka)

Yamato is full of memories. I was a junior high student for Part 1, and this year I’m already a college student. In the meantime, it was fun as well as sad, and everyone seemed to wrap themselves around Yamato.”
(Kazuyo Nakamura, Nagano)

“Now it’s ending. I became a fan with Yamato III. I was only three years old for Part 1.”
(“Child of Daisuke Shima,” Tokyo)

Indeed, there is a variety of opinions and memories in Yamato. Some will keep their memories of Yamato inside, and others will still talk passionately. However, we all agree that Yamato was a great work.

In 1974, anime was still considered something for children, but junior and senior high school students received a story with the fantastic idea of a ship flying in space. In addition, Yamato had BGM [Background music] that could stand on its own, and it more than played the role of a pioneer.

The new work was produced on the basis of making Yamato in a new way again, further spreading the branches and leaves. But Yamato will never be forgotten.

“I won’t forget Yamato. Even if there is an anime that I’m able to absorb after becoming an adult, I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.”
(Keiko Takagi, Kanagawa)

Certainly, Yamato will be recorded on a page of our youth.

Afreco! Information

From February 22 (Tuesday) to 24, afreco [voice recording] for Space Battleship Yamato The Final Chapter was performed at Avaco Studio in Waseda, Tokyo. Along with the familiar Kei Tomiyama [Kodai] and the regular Yoko Asagami [Yuki], Isao Sasaki filled in for the ailing Hideo Nakamura [Daisuke Shima], and Taro Ishida enthusiastically performed the role of Lugal.

Also, Tatsuya Nakadai, the hero in Kagemusha, was chosen for the narration. We can look forward to what kind of narration will glorify Yamato, too.


Between Anime Interview

Eiichi Yamamoto

Anime is not the only kind of work that depicts human begins. It is also the inside, not just the surface.

Space Battleship Yamato reaches its final cruise, but this masterpiece by Mr. Yoshinobu Nishizaki (producer) was created and nurtured by Eiichi Yamamoto. Then Mr. Yamamoto gave his attention to the documentary The Known World (Nippon TV network) and continued on one blockbuster after another. This time, Mr. Eiichi Yamamoto is our guest.

I love haughty, cruel Desirees. But lately, there’s been a human revolution toward good guys.

Interviewer: First, please talk about how you came to meet Yoshinobu Nishizaki. And then about the building of Space Battleship Yamato.

Yamamoto: It was when I made Wansa-kun at Mushi Pro in 1973, just ten years ago. I was the chief director of that anime, and Nishizaki was the producer. There were just two directors at Mushi Pro. I became a freelance director in 1969, and I returned to staff of Mushi Pro for Wansa-kun.

[Translator’s note: Mushi Pro[ductions] was the studio founded and run by Osamu Tezuka.]

After Wansa-kun was over, Mr. Nishizaki and I had a relationship, and he said, “I’d like to do something else for TV, please give me your advice.” Aritsune Toyota joined us at the time, and after many questions and answers, the plan was made for Space Battleship Yamato.

Although I was supposed to be the chief director of Yamato at the beginning, even with all the planning I didn’t know when it would go to broadcast. Another job came up, so I wasn’t able to participate in the work of Yamato after all. Toshio Masuda was asked to step in and he was enthusiastic about it at first, but he suddenly started working on The Great Predictions of Nostradamus, so that was no good.

It went around and around until it finally settled on Leiji Matsumoto in the end. Mr. Matsumoto only took charge of the art design at the time, but the thought was, “Maybe he could be the director too?” and the staff was chosen.

Interviewer: When you had to take work on something other than Yamato, what kind of work was it?

Yamamoto: I was interested in documentaries at the time, and I started work on a professional visual recording production. I had to go abroad for the work, so I had to decline Yamato. But I also had a relationship with Mr. Nishizaki, so I couldn’t pull my hand out of it completely. I gave advice about production and took the role of a consultant.

Actually, my duties weren’t clear enough for me to be called a consultant. In short, it was something like, “If there’s something you need, I’ll give my advice.” In addition, I thought I might do a little script writing.

Although I was in on Yamato from the start, I only participated in half-finished form. In my head, I didn’t think of Yamato as my work. After all, I’m a producer and director, but what I did was different from directing…

Interviewer: So, how many scripts did you work on for the first series?

Yamamoto: I finished writing five or six of them on my own. I also added to and improved on things other people wrote, and there may have been quite a few of those.

Interviewer: Please tell me more about the kind of work you would do as a consultant, as you mentioned a moment ago.

Yamamoto: Usually I would go to the planning meetings. Scripts and storyboards would always be shown. What I’d be busy with would last through that stage. When the work began on the actual site, there’d be nothing left for me to do. Should I call it “shadow power?”

Toshio Masuda and Kazuo Kasahara were in some of those meetings, too [for Final Yamato], and people were in attendance who represented the Japanese movie world. Since my job was hard to explain and wouldn’t really impress the people in there, I was given the title of Associate Producer, which at least sounds cool.

Interviewer: In an interview with this magazine, Mr. Nishizaki said that without you, he couldn’t have created the characters of this story. He said…

Yamamoto: When I was at Mushi Pro, I didn’t think I was suited for “kid stuff” or “SF stuff.” Compared to the great master (Osamu Tezuka), there was a huge difference. It would have taken no small amount of study and effort to shrink that difference. Therefore, I didn’t intend to get involved in such genres.

However, when I watched the completed Yamato, it was both “kid stuff” and “SF stuff.” When I told Mr. Nishizaki, “I can’t do this,” he said, “Well, write the script, then.” If it was space opera, even I couldn’t write it. Not absurd things like an Octopus on Mars kidnapping a beautiful woman. Besides action and drama, you need a human story. You know, the falling-head-over-heels-in-love sort of thing. Then I could do it.

Therefore, if I did the script, I would just write those parts. However, the parts with various human characteristics were part of the pattern with Yamato. So as it happened, I wrote a considerable number of scripts for Yamato Part 1, and since we treated it carefully, it was said that the human drama element was stronger than usual for SF. It was like that from the start, so it couldn’t be changed later. That might be what Mr. Nishizaki meant when he said “Yamamoto made the story and characters, blah blah blah…”

Anyway, rather than make it like some sort of Superman thing, with slam-bang action and beating the enemy with a mighty “Yarg!”, it would be about regular people. Well, people with some talent who’d pit their lives and brains in their struggle. I thought writing something like that would be more interesting to me. I could only write it if it included something like that.

There was one more reason that I tried to help out on Yamato. Shortly before Mushi Pro collapsed, I made an anime called Belladonna of Sadness. It was a feature film. With this, Mushi Pro took a literary arts route similar to A Thousand and One Nights or Cleopatra, and it was made along those lines.

From the beginning, I didn’t think it would be much of a hit, and the results were exactly as I expected. (Laughs) After that, people began to say, “That guy just wastes money, he just makes stuff that doesn’t sell at all, he’s the guy who killed Mushi Pro.” I’m sorry to give such an unpleasant evaluation, but that’s the way it is. (Laughs) Since it was that sort of production, it was made in that manner. By all rights, I can brag that I’m the type of person who makes the productions that the world hands to him.

Therefore, even if it was just to make up lost ground, I really wanted to help out on Yamato regardless of whether or not I was on the staff. That was my original standing, and I wanted to prove it to myself as well as others. If they would say, “Yamato‘s a hit because he was involved,” then I could take satisfaction. Not that I’d say that. (Laughs)

Interviewer: By the way, which character in Yamato do you like?

Yamamoto: It’s Dessler. The one from Part 1. He’s aristocratic with a unique aesthetic. You could say it’s the same as Hitler. A person who wants to unify the world under his own aesthetic. He might resemble Oda Nobunaga in Japan. His thoroughness is good, as well.

From the perspective of humanism, that person would be “evil.” But going by his own self-justification, everything he does is “good.” When judged by conventional sensibilities, he is “evil,” but on the other hand, couldn’t we say he overflows with a very human appeal? Isn’t that how he was perceived in Part 1? After all, if Dessler gradually becomes a “good guy,” he becomes conventional, and I wouldn’t like that.

The movie called a big hit was initially a TV series!?

Interviewer: In the case of Yamato, the story was made by discussing it in meetings. Did it (the story) start entirely from scratch?

Yamamoto: Even at the time of the TV series, I did an outline of the whole thing. In the meetings we discussed how to divide it up into 52 episodes.

Interviewer: That’s how Yamato started out, but it was cut down along the way.

Yamamoto: 7:30 pm on Saturday was a time slot on Japan TV in which the ratings would never go up, no matter what. So, under the theory that having a title with “giants” in it might do something, they tried hitting it with a show called Samurai Giants, but got nothing. In this context, the Yamato pitch was made, and they figured, “Maybe this garbage will get the ratings up.” (Laughs) So we starting while thinking, “if this doesn’t work, it’s all over.” (Laughs) And, as expected, the numbers didn’t come. (Laughs)

So after that, I did a program called The Known World. If it had turned out to be bad, we could try to make a good show.

Interviewer: Well, it was doom and gloom on TV, but when the movie adaptation came out later, it caused a serious ruckus.

Yamamoto: Although the world was newly created, it was really done by re-editing the TV series. There were some newly-drawn parts, but this was only a small fraction. Toshio Masuda and I began the editing work separately, and along the way I looked at Mr. Masuda’s part and it was great. So we decided, “Let’s make it like Masuda did,” Yamato has to be about boy soldiers fighting gallantly. Mr. Masuda’s depiction of that was very good.

I think there’s a difference in that area between people who went to war and those who didn’t. That feeling was not intended in the script, but something more subtle oozed out. That part never came out from my direction.

Interviewer: Why do you think it became such a hit?

Yamamoto: It didn’t become a hit overnight. I think there were a lot of potential fans during the airing of the TV series. The number of such fans grew gradually. It was underground and invisible, like a grass-roots movement. People lobbied their TV stations for reruns, and that expanded the circle of popularity even further. I think that’s what lead to it becoming such a big hit as a movie. It was the same with Gundam.

Among the anime called hit series, there are many works that didn’t do very well at the time of their first broadcast. This was even true of Manga Tales of Old Japan and Doreamon. And Yamato, of course.

It was a really wasteful thing when it was discontinued after two blocks. [Translator’s note: a “block” in this case is a 13-episode segment. Two blocks added up to 26.] But if you’re a TV station, you have no choice but to cut its throat if the ratings don’t rise with two blocks. To tell the truth, it should have endured and continued to at least one year. But on that point there were all sorts of circumstances that prevented it…

From now on, I have to manage computers and video

Interviewer: You said earlier that your first interest was in documentaries. Do you think there can be a meeting point between documentaries and animation?

Yamamoto: This runs into the issue of animation being representative, and anime is usually about fantasy. The visual expression that comes out in the picture can be referred to as a deform. Disney movies, too, are mainly fairy tales. It could be said that this is the opposite of a documentary. The reason for this is that documentaries chase after facts. But anime has the power to replenish the parts you can’t chase after with a camera.

The human subconscious, for example. No camera can depict this. But it is often said that when a person with a mental disorder draws a picture, it can be quite good. Through such things, you can explore the person’s internal world. You could also say that this is a documentary. A world of inner reality depicted with a picture.

When you think of it that way, there is something new that animation could bring to the picture world of documentaries. I get the feeling that it would be fun to come up with ways to combine documentaries and anime. That’s the sort of thing that attracted my interest in documentaries.

The theme of Belladonna of Sadness was about the driving forces of the French Revolution. It was written by a historian named Jules Michelet about farmers who were terribly oppressed in medieval times. You could say the farmers were slaves.

When you drive a human being to the very limits in a repressed state, they’ll become deranged, right? At such a time, the true character of a person comes out. It’s like they say, “This is no joke” and turn serious. It’s especially common in women. I think such a thing is a kind of documentary. Of course, you can’t capture this with a camera. But you can with anime. My orientation toward documentaries came out of such things.

This kind of work depicts human beings. Right now it feelings like anime is in full bloom, but I’m not satisfied with it. It feels more like quantity than quality. Just how much you can mold people is a moving point. I want to depict this from the inside as well as the surface. Animation is one of the means to do that.

I’ve done a lot of work for TV recently. What’s attractive about it is that TV has a chance to be a point of contact with more people. Compared to TV, I think a movie feels like nothing more than mini-communication. If a million people see one, it gets hailed as a big hit, but if a million people watch a TV show, the ratings for that show are just 1%.

Interviewer: What do you think the future of anime will be?

Yamamoto: I have a feeling that people working in animation from now on will have to know computers and video. Of course, it’s TV also. When you say TV, I think “the future of anime” is impossible without a knowledge of electronics.

You can’t understand movie animation if you don’t know about film and developing technology, just as you can’t draw manga if you don’t have any knowledge of printing. Because pencils and paint have a wide range of possibilities, you have to learn about the technology for it. In times to come, animation will gradually spread out into new fields. That said, you can’t ignore the techniques of conventional anime. The techniques developed up to now have a flavor all their own. I hope that those who value them will use those techniques.

But I would say the one thing more important than that is what you choose to express with old and new techniques. That may be the number one question. How do you make anime connect with the general public? If it becomes a culture that widens the means of communication, it can enrich the life of the public. I think that anime has reached a big turning point now. You could say the same thing about both its technical aspects and its content.

Interviewer: By the way, what are the highlights of Yamato this time?

Yamamoto: In the end, it would have to be the climax where Yamato explodes. You may be interested to know, why does it explode? What happens to the crew? But on that note, you’ll have to enjoy waiting to see it in detail. (Laughs)

Interviewer: In the case of this Yamato, everyone says this is it, this is it, this is the end, but it doesn’t seem like the end. (Laughs) It’s clearly called The Final Chapter, but for some reason I can’t bring myself to believe it. (Laughs) What’s the truth in this area? This is the last question of the interview. (Laughs)

Yamamoto: Well. Even if it was said that Yamato doesn’t go off in a huge explosion, the plan is still in place. If I decide to make it, it’ll happen some day. But since it’s called The Final Chapter this time, wouldn’t all my struggles be for nothing if it wasn’t the end?

Left: Mushi Pro employees travel around the establishment. Mr. Yamamoto is at left.

Center: Scenery from the creation period of Mushi Pro.

Right: Jungle Emperor is broadcast in the United States!

Left: A Jungle Emperor meeting.

Center: This is no time to work.

Right: “Yes, who agrees with this plan?” “. . .”


Eiichi Yamamoto’s major works

Tales of a Street Corner (39-minute theatrical short)
Mushi Pro, 1962
Co-director with Yusaku Sakamoto

Mighty Atom [Astro Boy] TV series
Mushi Pro, 1963
One of the directors

Jungle Emperor [Kimba the White Lion] TV series
Mushi Pro, 1965
Producer, chief director

Jungle Emperor [Kimba the White Lion] (75-minute feature)
Mushi Pro, 1966
Director

A Thousand and One Nights (128-minute feature film)
Mushi Pro, 1969
Director

The Birth of Japan (TV series)
Mushi Pro, 1970
Director

Cleopatra (112-minute feature film)
Mushi Pro, 1970
Co-director with Osamu Tezuka

Belladonna of Sadness (89-minute feature film)
Mushi Pro, 1970
Director

Wansa-Kun TV series
Mushi Pro, 1973
Director

The Known World / The mystery of humanity’s birth
Video recording, 1976
Director

The Known World / The world of mummies
Video recording, 1976
Director

The Known World / The fifth ice age
Video recording, 1977

Great World Tour / The dinosaur kingdom
Video recording, 1978

Great World Tour / Rise and fall of the dinosaur kingdom
Video recording, 1982

The Known World / Mammalian evolution
Video recording, 1982

The Known World / From apes to humans
Video recording, 1983

The End

Special thanks to Neil Nadelman for translation support.

See Eiichi Yamamoto’s profile at Anime News Network here.

Read a 2013 interview with Eiichi Yamamoto here.

Return to the Final Yamato Time Machine

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