Published by West Cape Corporation, March 19, 1983
Translation by Michiko Ito
On the occasion of The Final Chapter…
What (on earth) Was Yamato to us?
By Yoshinobu Nishizaki
I want to strongly state that the lives of those who fight on while believing in the future will become brighter.
The Main Point
Since the broadcast of the first TV series in 1974, with the enthusiastic support of the fans, Space Battleship Yamato has produced nine titles, including three TV series, three TV specials (two of which are compilations) and three feature films.
Since the project started in 1973, ten years have elapsed and therefore I wanted to create a feature film to commemorate the tenth anniversary and also complete the saga. First, as a producer, my greatest responsibility to the series is to answer a question that has been posed since Farewell to Yamato. It will also be an answer to those fans who asked us to make more Yamato. That is, Final Yamato will re-confirm what Space Battleship Yamato has been all about here on Earth…and what it has meant to all of us.
Here, let’s think about the raison d’être of Yamato, to affirm the existance of romanticism beyond the limits of space, which science defines as cold and inorganic. By that connection, the Earth will be saved and mankind will have a tomorrow. Yamato shows that the way to achieve this is to fight, believing in the human race and the future, never giving up in a desperate situation, and putting everything at risk. Throughout its fight, Yamato has presented love, friendship, humanism and sacrifice as the most important issues.
The first interior page spread included this foldout page.
Also, Yamato has strongly confronted the issue of mankind’s existence. That is, the idea that humans are merely foolish creatures who use science for conquest and have repeated a cycle of massacre and destruction ever since they stood on two legs and filled their hands with weapons. In the 20th century, human beings experienced two world wars and a pessimistic world-view has occupied mainstream thought after the onset of environmental pollution and destruction of the ecosystem. Also, in such a society as Japan which experienced rapid economic development, people have stagnated in exchange for a stable lifestyle, and the idea that one’s life is pre-determined from birth has brought on a sense of powerlessness. The cynicism and violence seen among the younger generation is a reflection of this pessimistic trend.
In such a social condition, Yamato has consistently shown that an inhuman situation can be overcome. Though it may not be easy, mankind has the wisdom and capacity. Yamato has kept saying that what we need is the fight in which one risks everything and never gives up. The main theme of Yamato is this optimistic view of the world as well as mankind.
Susumu Kodai, the leading character, represents the theme. By boarding Yamato, he has learned that the purpose of a life is to fight and to love. But someday Kodai will have to live up to this on his own, leaving the battleship behind. Therefore, the final story must depict this reality.
To satisfy the theme that the lives of those who fight for the future will be bright, Space Battleship Yamato will sink, of its own will, into the ocean of space. This is not a sad ending. This is the peaceful sleep of a hero after winning a bright future. This is what The Final Chapter was meant to be.
A powerful, large-scale animated epic, worthy of “Final” in both name and reality!
The Yamato saga, which has not only taken an immortal place in the history of animation but has also left a powerful memory of youth in peoples’ hearts, finally reaches a conclusion at its tenth anniversary.
In the summer of 1978, a feature film compilation of the first TV series was released in Japan, triggering the “anime boom.” Moreover, in the following year, Farewell to Yamato, which was called “the eternal masterpiece,” was an unprecedented hit and became the year’s social phenomenon for all of Japan. Furthermore, in the summer of 1980, Be Forever Yamato was released. By these three titles, Yamato established an astonishing record of ten million viewers.
Final Yamato, the last chapter of the saga which has been supported by enthusiastic fans across the nation, shall conclude the story and thus, in name and reality, will be regarded as the finale of Yamato.
One highlight of Final Yamato is that Susumu Kodai and Yuki Mori, who have grown up with Yamato, are finally bound together. Another highlight is that Yamato, which facilitates their bond, meets a heroic end. Moreover, the story, full of great scale and power, is worthy
of a finale by including the revival of Captain Juzo Okita, who was thought dead. There is also the reappearance of the old enemy Dessler, Shima Daisuke’s death in battle, the gigantic city planet Uruk, the water-planet Aquarius, and the battle with the enemy nation Dengil.
Veteran staff members including Producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki, Leiji Matsumoto, Toshio Masuda, and Tomoharu Katsumada participated in this project, and it is particularly noteworthy that the famous writer Kazuo Kasahara joins the staff to enrich and dignify the story.
Also, Yamato has been famous for the high quality of its musical score, and in Final Yamato the music makes another great contribution. In addition to irreplaceable composer Hiroshi Miyagawa, the prolific musician Kentaro Haneda was appointed to help create the score. One of the pieces has a variety of melodies originating from Spanish music, combined with the soundtrack to satisfy the ears of fans. As for the main theme, this film brings together vocalists from three different record companies, including Isao Sasaki, familiar for his powerful vocals, Junko Yashiro, Transam, and Tomoko Kuwae. Each singer brings their own special talent to a variety of songs such as a ballad for Kodai and Yuki, mid-tempo eight-beat music, and songs that praise youth. It is worth noting that each piece has strong appeal to the younger generation.
In terms of animation, the film freely uses new visual techniques, including “scanimate.” To express the phenomenon of Yamato sailing through space, the staff brought great passion to the challenge of stretching these techniques to the limit. Yamato is first and foremost an animated epic, and these visual techniques will further strengthen this point.
Final Yamato, which has more touching and dramatic developments than any previous title, shall remain as another eternal masterpiece and will live forever in the hearts of those who witness it.
Kodai and Yuki are maturing, becoming independent as warriors of love. Kodai is all men, and Yuki is all women.
In my life, I have always had dreams which I cherished. Creating Space Battleship Yamato was one of those dreams.
Yamato starts with a scene of the ship flying in the sky. A huge, ocean-going ship is made over into a spaceship. The story involves young boys and girls who join in the journey to find their own souls.
During the Great Age of Discovery, a passion for adventure drove humans to unknown places to find happiness. Now that there are no more unknown lands on Earth, the alternative is space. We can say that space offers us a new frontier.
My dream was to explore the infinite potential of humans by depicting a ship flying through space. I expressed my year-long dream in the work of Yamato. At the same time, I have emphasized the importance of trusting each other and fighting for a brighter future, believing that this will open up a new vista. However, to love one another is the premise of that.
Love is something easy to say, but difficult to carry out. Love is not necessarily pleasant. Some are wounded, killed, or lose their social status or money as a consequence of loving someone else. There are cruel and merciless aspects of love. I believe that we can gain true happiness only after we overcome those difficulties and hardships. We may refer to them as trials. Therefore, trials are more important to us than anything else. They are God’s blessing and love.
I would like you all to understand the essence of love at the end of Yamato‘s ten years. I also would like to demonstrate that to understand the essence of love and become independent is the growth of a human. We see this through Yamato, Susumu Kodai and Yuki Mori. Kodai is a gentleman and Yuki is a lady. Both have matured to be independent as soldiers of love. The true mission of Yamato will be complete only after reaching this goal. In this sense, Final Yamato will become a cherished memory for those who are seeing it for the first time, as well as for those who started the journey ten years ago.
Thank you very much for your long dedication to Yamato. After you see this movie, let’s move forward into the next stage of our lives together.
Queen of Aquarius
The legendary, eternally beautiful queen of the migratory planet Aquarius. It is said that humans used to live on Aquarius, which now threatens Earth with diluvial doom. However, all we find now is only a trace of their civilization.
He used to be captain of Yamato. However, he resigns his rank to accept the responsibility for taking major casualties in the first battle against the Dengil Empire. Nevertheless, he cannot leave Yamato, and he boards again to defend the earth as a combat chief.
She is the leader of Yamato‘s Life Support Team and a radar operator. She boards Yamato with her beloved Kodai, and continues to support him. Being the only woman on Yamato, she also serves as the ship’s nurse. She has the courage to take action and to sacrifice herself for all the others. She is a kind and beautiful fighting woman.
Commander of Battleship Yamato. Although he succumbed to radiation sickness after Yamato‘s first mission, he now returns to his position to replace Kodai and fight against the Earth’s new crisis. He was the first captain of this ship, and a great veteran. Okita, being calm and decisive, is the only man who can lead Yamato through this crisis.
The leader of Yamato‘s Navigation Team. He confronts hardships together with Kodai as his best friend and confidante. He leaves his younger brother Jiro behind on Earth and fights for the day when they can be reunited to play soccer again. However, he dies before his dream can come true.
The leader of Yamato‘s Technical Team. He is an expert scientist and his knowledge is astonishing. He supervises strategic plans and the care of equipment, and assists Kodai and Okita. While fighting, he also develops a countermeasure for the deadly Hyper-Radiation Missiles of the Dengil.
Yamato‘s Communication Team leader. Being homesick, he showed mental weakness in the first series. However, after experiencing many wars with Kodai and the others, he has now matured into an indispensable member of the team.
Chief of the Radar Section of the Navigation Team. As Shima’s right hand man, he closely monitors all of Yamato‘s surroundings. He is also an expert at the complex calculations of warp navigation.
Chief of the Gunnery Section of the Combat Team. He assists Kodai and takes his place when Kodai sorties in the Cosmo Zero. His intimate knowledge of weapons and armaments allows him to quickly analyze the enemy’s military power.
A staff member of Yamato‘s Engine Team. He is the second son of the late, great engineer, Hikozaemon Tokugawa. Although he is clumsy, he has a great enthusiasm for his job. Since he boarded Yamato with the ambition of becoming a greater engineer than his father, his skills have improved. As a result, he has become the right hand of Chief Engineer Yamazaki.
The doctor of Yamato‘s crew. Though he is a heavy drinker, his skills as a doctor are unparalleled. He is an old friend of Okita, so they don’t need many words between them. He is always accompanied by his cat, Mi-kun.
A multi-function, all-purpose robot. He excels in research and analysis. His head and body parts can separate. In his free time, he enjoys drinking with Dr. Sado and lifting girls’ skirts. In this sense, he is very human and is considered a mascot among Yamato‘s crew members.
The chief engineer of Yamato. He used to serve under Tokugawa as manager of the engine team. After Tokugawa’s death, he was promoted to the chief’s position. A born engineer, he loves Yamato from the bottom of his heart and pays careful attention to maintenance even in downtime. Shima trusts him strongly.
Captain of Yamato‘s Cosmo Tiger Combat Team. He is the younger brother of Saburo Kato, who was killed in the war against the White Comet Empire, and was Captain of Black Tiger Combat Team. Respecting Saburo’s spirit, he decided to board Yamato. His flying skills are the best on board, and his skill as a mechanic is first-rate. He never shirks the maintenance of his beloved fighter.
Earth Defense Forces Commander-in-Chief. He is an old friend of Okita, and understands him very well. Having absolute faith in Yamato, he cares for the crew as if they were his sons. He is a warrior who has kept his position since the first crisis of Earth.
The Captain of EDF Battleship Fuyuzuki. He accompanies Yamato, commanding the eight surviving battleships from the war with Dengil. He is a brave warrior who sacrifices himself to protect Yamato from Hyper-Radiation Missiles.
Lord of the Galman/Gamilus Empire. He used to be the enemy of Yamato, but over the years he has developed a strong friendship for Kodai and great respect for Captain Okita.
Emperor of the Dengil Empire. From his command center on the city satellite Uruk, he plots the invasion of Earth after his home planet is flooded and destroyed by Aquarius. He is cold-blooded, has formidable technology, and is determined to achieve his plan by every conceivable means.
The son of Emperor Lugal. Following his father’s orders, he commands the Dengil fleet and routes both the Earth Defense Forces and Yamato with Hyper-Radiation Missiles.
The Chief of Staff
A Staff officer whose task is to develop strategy for General Lugal. After losing a battle against Yamato, he escapes from the flagship with General Lugal and returns to Uruk, abandoning their fellows.
He is the only Dengilian saved by Yamato from the deluge caused by Aquarius. He is hospitalized on Earth, but he stows away on Yamato when it launches. His young eyes then witness the entire battle.
Dengil Forces (Above red zone)
1. City Satellite Uruk
Length just over 20 km, the City Satellite is made of stone, though one section is comprised of a warp mechanism. Mineral energy is drawn from the mountainous underside and taken to the central section.
The Pre-Noah emerges in the event of Uruk being destroyed.
3. Stone Rocket
Hidden aboard the City Satellite. If Uruk is destroyed, it breaks into four sections, at which time the stone rocket appears. Its design is based on a traditional saucer-shape.
4. Giant Battleship
Also acts as a carrier for the Lugal II Fighter. Armaments include 4-barrel gatling cannons, impulse cannons, ten 2-barrel large-scale lasers, and a 3-barrel gatling cannon.
5. Mother Ship
Length 2025 meters. Has the capacity to replenish large vessels such as spacecraft carriers, battleships, and submarines. Equipped with depth charges, laser weapons and gatling cannons.
6. Lugal Mark II
A large-scale fighter and anti-ship craft. The Lugal II can be guided from the command center of Uruk.
7. One-Man Flying Saucer
A one-man circular craft flown by a pilot who fires a 3-barrel gatling cannon from this position. The primary function of the One-Man Flying Saucer is to act as escort for the Lugal Mark II Fighter.
8. Spacecraft Carrier
Of all the ships in the Dengil fleet, this possesses perhaps the most unusual form. Jets enter the carrier from beneath the stern, are refueled and rearmed, then exit via the bow section.
9. Mecha Horse
Sent out to do battle upon reaching a new planet, these beasts fight with a raging fury. They are tethered in the core of Uruk.
10. Small-Scale Fighter
Armaments include two laser beams and four hand-guided missiles. This craft is highly maneuverable.
11. Large-Scale Fighter
Length 26 meters. Armaments include one missile slung under the fuselage and a 3-barrel gatling cannon mounted to the rear of the cockpit. Three small missiles are positioned on each wing.
12. VTOL Fighter
Stationed in Uruk, their primary role is to protect Mecha Horses and Lugal Mark II aircraft.
13. Medium-Scale Battleship
Length 324 meters. Armaments include 4-barrel gatling and impulse cannons and four 3-barrel gatling cannons.
14. Space Submarine
This craft possesses two Hyper-Radiation Missiles, each of which could destroy Yamato.
15. Space Submarine Mother Ship
The Mother Ship’s powerful armaments include a large-scale, 3-barrel gatling cannon and twelve 3-barrel gatling guns.
Earth Forces (below red zone)
The design of the Earth forces has not changed much through the years. The contrasting designs of the Dengil forces’ ships is seen in those which resemble the design of Uruk, and therefore reflect cultural patterns. Dengil vessels which approximate those of the Earth’s fleet indicate more modern technology.
16. Space Freighter
Container-style space freighter. Maximum length 1053 meters. Carries supplies essential to life-support for humans leaving Earth.
17. Medical Ship
Its specially-designed wing doors allow injured to be laid out and treated once the craft is in motion.
Primary function is as an advanced guard for Yamato. Can stop powerful missiles directed at it, and possesses an impressive range of weaponry.
Fires a large missile from the front aperture, which splits into smaller missiles on release. Armaments include 16 pulse lasers and two torpedo tubes. A special feature is the automatic bridge allowing passage between this vessel and Yamato.
20. Large-Scale Shuttle
Available for transferring private citizens to space colonies.
21. Cosmo Zero
22. Space Battleship Yamato
Length 265.8 meters, width 34.6 meters, height 77 meters. This version of Yamato differs very little from its predecessors. Only the distinctive motif of earlier versions is missing. The Battleship seeks to deter those who would threaten peace.
Right side: Columbia music ad
Left bottom: ad for This is Animation books from Shogakukan. Right bottom: ad for novelizations from Shueisha
Right bottom: ad for VHD video discs from Japan Victor
Planning, Original Story, Script, Director, Producer
I have directed all my passions into Yamato for the last ten years. Therefore, I am very confident that this is the best and most ultimate work. All I can think of now is gratefulness for those who joined the production. Thank you very much for your cooperation.
Co-creator, Concepts, Supervisor
There finally comes the time to say good bye to the characters, who are my other selves, and the great voyage in this grand ship, Yamato. Although it was a temporary voyage, I have many passionate memories of it. I say goodbye to Yamato with deep emotion. Goodbye Yamato!!
Final Yamato is a drama of growth in which we see the shift in generations, when children trade roles with their parents. The story of the movie is a very suitable finale. This work is the concentration of all the creators’ physical and mental labors. This was also a drama of growth for us in which the team spirit was born out of struggles, failures, and successes.
Chief Director, Storyboard
For me, Yamato is something like an unmanageable girl. I could not handle this very well at the beginning. However, as I finished each work, I found myself maturing. This is the last Yamato. Each storyboard is full of my enthusiasm for this work.
We, the middle-aged, have to maintain our mental youth and energy forever. For me, Yamato is the work that supports my wish to stay young. To those who were involved in the production of Yamato, I was very happy to spend time with you for the past few years.
It is the duty of young people to long for beauty and challenge society, encouraged by graceful ideals. In a sense, Space Battleship Yamato is a symbol of the youth. I will support Yamato, which continues forward despite all the odds, with my nostalgia.
No other producer surpasses Mr. Nishizaki in his sense for music that seizes the audience’s mind. I have devoted all my energy to this work, for the chance to enjoy working with him again. I believe that the music in Final Yamato is the best in the Yamato series.
Ah, Yamato! This magnificent world of fantasy. I am very proud to join this great work as one of the creators. I have infinite affection for this deeply moving work. Let’s enter the world of the screen together.
It can be said that the ten years in which I was involved in the production of Space Battleship Yamato were filled by my respect for the producer. Learning about the miracle of applause generated by peoples’ passion is deeply meaningful to me.
Chief Animation Director
It has been twenty years since I started my career as an animation artist. I was very devoted to Final Yamato, and I gave all of my energy to it. The entire staff made a huge effort in a tight schedule. Seeing the outcome, I like to think it was a challenging work.
I am now exhausted, as if this work drained all of my energy. But I was one of those people who was attracted by the magic of Yamato, so I was prepared for a huge amount of work. I am relieved to have come to the end. Now I can finally sleep well at night.
Since Final Yamato emphasizes the visual aspect, I made it a work of great uniqueness. Before, I followed the vision of Mr. Matsumoto and Mr. Nishizaki. This time was a greater visual challenge, but I am satisfied with my work. Please pay attention to the images of the planet Aquarius.
Although ten years have passed, I feel like I started this work yesterday. My heart is filled with satisfaction. I once promised Mr. Nishizaki I would take the position of director, but I had to take on other projects, which bothered him. Since then, I have supported this project from the side as an associate producer. Yamato turned out to be a long-running series by the graces of directors Masuda and Matsumoto. I am happy about this fact.
If life is a cycle of meeting and parting, these past ten years were full of great meetings. When I met producer Nishizaki for the first time, his passion awakened my imagination, and Yamato revived my youth. I had been involved in live-action films for a long time, but Yamato gave me an opportunity to experience a totally different world. I feel sad to extinguish Yamato from the screen forever. I believe, however, that if you are moved by the maturing love between Kodai and Yuki, then the goal of this work is achieved.