March 2015 was slightly less busy than February, but was peppered with interesting developments on multiple fronts as the home video release of Ark of the Stars got another month closer. Fans who wondered if the movie soundtrack would be limited to Blu-Ray Audio format got good news when a CD version was announced for release on the same day as the video, May 27.
Here’s everything that crossed the radar scope in March.
March 1: Concert 2015, day 2
Whereas two performances took place on February 28, there was only one on this day. But the third time through was probably the best overall in terms of performance, and the souvenir swag was still plentiful. (Click here to jump back and read earlier coverage in Report 43.)
As mentioned therein, a new batch of exclusive concert-related merchandise was available, including a 28-page program book, a limited-edition CD single, clear files, and more.
Click here to see the program book from cover to cover.
Click here to see the other souvenirs.
Two different entertainment websites published these impressions afterward. The first is from Presepe:
Concert 2015 report
Akira Miyagawa Presents Yamato 2199 Concert 2015 was held for two days at the Maihama Amphitheater, Saturday February 28 and Sunday March 1.
Akira Miyagawa was in charge of the music for Yamato 2199 , which started in theatrical event screenings in 2012. He took a new approach to arrange and shape the original music into the “Yamato Sound.” In order to relive the journey of Yamato through music, the first part of the concert was based on A Voyage to Remember, and after a short break select pieces from Ark of the Stars were performed in the second part. It was a special opportunity to experience a live performance that recreated the story by an orchestra of sixty musicians that originally recorded it.
The opening was adorned by the calm melody of The Galactic Route performed by wind instruments. The Universe Spreading Into Infinity was the second number, featuring the beautiful scat vocal by Yucca. Yamato Sleeps in the Setting Sun was followed by Yamato Departs the Earth, strongly reproducing the scene of Yamato‘s launch.
The middle portion started with the Garmillas national anthem, Praise Be Our Eternal Glory by a mixed chorus of forty people, then the desperate struggle against Domel was recreated with Cosmo Tiger (Wan-dah-bah), Yamato Advances, and Yamato Into the Vortex, raising strong feelings.
Lobby display of the available merchandise, old and new.
The last scene evoked the sentiments of Dessler and Starsha with Dessler’s Isolation and Encounter in the Void. With this, Yamato safely arrived at Iscandar and the first part ended.
The second part started with a beautiful violin solo for the Yamato 2199 main theme, but the power of the tympani rose immediately after that. The air changed completely with Barbarian Invasion. Then Ms. Kazuko Hashimoto appeared for Whisper of Jirel. Memories of Ark of the Stars piled up as scenes from the story were revived.
Later in the second part, Decisive Battle – Yamato, Garmillas, Gatlantis lead into The Ark Returns to the Sea of Stars, Separation, and Setting Sail, the same order as the songs were heard in the finale of Ark of the Stars. There’s no way a fan could sit in the audience without getting heated up.
At the end, Yucca and Ms. Hashimoto joined in a mixed chorus rendition of Great Harmony ~ for Yamato 2199 and the Earth was shown on screen with the phrase “ambition.” As the Earth’s color changed to blue, few could escape feeling it in their heart and shedding a tear as well.
Space Battleship Yamato laid the foundation for an anime boom that made anime music just as popular as anime itself. Many people have enjoyed the music of Yamato in concerts over the past 40 years, and this one was another step forward.
PART 1: A Voyage to Remember
The galactic route
The universe spreading into infinity
Yamato sleeps in the setting sun
Yamato departs Earth
Yamato big river theme
Gathering the fleet
Garmillas Dimensional Submarine
Praise be our eternal glory
Cosmo Tiger (Wan・Dah・Bah)
Yamato into the vortex
Presidential office – dying hope
Ambition (an ambitious youth)
Encounter in the void
Crossing the beautiful ocean
PART 2: Ark of the Stars
Yamato 2199 main theme (concert 2015 arrangement)
Gatlantis surprise attack
Seeding ship of Akerius
Whisper of Jirel
Time of awakening
Decisive battle – Yamato・Garmillas・Gatlantis
The Ark returns to the sea of stars
Separation – setting sail
Great Harmony 〜 for yamato2199 (concert 2015 arrangement)
Space Battleship Yamato
Far right photo (L to R): Yucca (vocalist), Akira Miyagawa (composer/conductor), Kazuko Hashimoto (vocalist)
From Anime Anime:
Fans felt the heat from the dramatic music of Yamato 2199 in a live concert
The soundtrack music from the Yamato 2199 series was heard live in Akira Miyagawa presents Yamato 2199 Concert 2015 at the Maihama Amphitheater on February 28 and March 1. The same musicians who performed it for film and TV gathered for the concert.
Inheriting the will of his father Hiroshi Miyagawa, Akira Miyagawa took the helm to arrange and compose the music. Bringing Miyagawa together with all the performers again had the feeling of a dream being introduced to the fans of Yamato 2199 music. It’s difficult to get everyone together for something of this nature, and the opportunity to introduce raw soundtrack music with advanced techniques and no processing made this a precious concert experience.
The music for the Yamato 2199 series is a combination of Hiroshi Miyagawa’s original scores and completely new music by Akira Miyagawa. The concert was split into two parts to follow the voyage of Yamato with music. The first half was called A Voyage to Remember, and the second presented select pieces from the soundtrack of Ark of the Stars. This incorporated many of Akira Miyagawa’s new pieces and changed the heavy flavor of the music to a contemporary pop atmosphere. The technique wonderfully embodies the world of Yamato, allowing one to feel the skill of two generations, parent and child.
Along with the music, the theater itself had a fantastic atmosphere. Many scenes were projected onto a screen behind the orchestra, which was exciting for the fans. The audience was pumped up even more by three encore songs. Prompted by Akira Miyagawa saying, “everyone sing along,” they joined in on The Scarlet Scarf, The Galactic route, and the Yamato theme. Everyone knows that unique song, and it was exciting for old and new fans alike.
The concert will be released June 10 on CD and Blu-ray Audio from Nippon Columbia.
Lobby display for digital Hi-res Yamato music.
Left and center: On March 4, Twitter user “Hikari” shared her impressions of the concert with these sketches,
apologizing that she didn’t know how to draw musical instruments.
Right: On March 24, the Hyper Hobby website posted this cartoon report of the concert by “Moo Nentaira.”
Click on each of the images for an enlargement.
Muss i denn limited edition CD single
Nippon Columbia, GES-15070
Japanese lyrics: Toshiaki Okamoto
Arrangement: Akira Miyagawa
Singing: Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus
This unique disc was an exclusive for top-price ticket holders who attended Yamato 2199 Concert 2015 on February 28 and March 1. It is a direct reproduction of an antique record of German folk songs owned by Captain Okita in Ark of the Stars. The album jacket is exactly as it appears on screen, completed with simulated wear around the edges.
The disc contains three variations of the German folk song Muss i denn [Must I then], one with vocals and two instrumentals, all heard in the movie soundtrack under the name Wakare [Separation]. Sound Director Tomohiro Yoshida had this to say about it:
this is an old Swabian folk song from the rural southwest of Germany. Although it was originally a love song about a temporary separation from a lover, it was later often played as a war song or a marching song in its native country, and was heard in Das Boot (1981) in a scene at the start of the voyage. Toshiaki Okamoto, a composer who was involved in the founding of the Tamagawa Academy, translated the lyrics into Japanese as a song about parting with a friend.
As a song that originates outside Space Battleship Yamato then, other performances of it can be found, such as these on Youtube:
Saraba saraba waga tomo
Shibashi no wakare zo ima wa
Saraba saraba waga tomo
Shibashi no wakare zo ima wa
Mi wa hanare yukutomo kokorohahitotsu
Itsu no hi ni ka mata ai min
Sa kikumase waga tomo
Goe awase utae ya wakarenouta o
Itsu no hi ni ka mata ai min
Sa kikumase waga tomo
Farewell, farewell my friend
I’ll say goodbye for now
Farewell, farewell my friend
I’ll say goodbye for now
Even if the body goes, the heart remains
I will see you again someday
Godspeed to you, my friend
We sing a song of separation together
I will see you again someday
Godspeed to you, my friend
March 2: Battleship Musashi discovery announced
From the heights of Yamato music, we go to the depths of the Phillipine Sibuyan Sea for a discovery that made world news: the wreckage of IJN Battleship Musashi. Commissioned in 1943, Musashi was the twin of IJN Yamato, which always made her a subject of special interest among Space Battleship Yamato fans. (The name was eventually adopted for a ship that briefly appears at the end of the Yamato Resurrection Director’s Cut.)
Fascination with the ship was re-ignited when Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen announced on March 2 that his exploration team located the wreck and shared ROV footage to prove it. (Unfortunately, like Yamato, she’s in too many pieces to rebuild in case of alien invasion.)
You might wonder if anyone in Japanese media made a Space Battleship Yamato connection, and they most certainly did. Click here for a translated article from Spa magazine and a wealth of links to related info.
March 2: 1/8 Akira Yamamoto figure version 2 announced
The Yamato Girls figure collection from Megahouse has come a long way and is still going, but has certainly been overbalanced by multiple versions of Yuki Mori (with at least one more to come). Now, everyone’s second-favorite Yamato Girl is getting another shot.
This new version of Akira Yamamoto measures just under 8″ tall and comes with both an optional flight jacket and Nanbu Type 97 pistol. She is scheduled for release on July 31.
March 4: Music from Yamato 2199 CD
Akira Miyagawa conducted the 109th concert of the Osaka City Orchestra on October 28, 2014 in a program that combined Yamato music with other pieces (see more info in Report 37 here), and on March 4 we were lucky enough to get that concert on CD. The 75-minute disc contains four non-Yamato pieces (two by Miyagawa and two others including Leonard Bernstein’s suite from On the Waterfront) and about 34 minutes of score from the original Symphonic Suite Yamato and Yamato 2199. Most can be found on the 2012 concert CD, but the arrangements are slightly different here.
Akira Miyagawa explained the genesis of this particular concert in the liner notes:
The Osaka City Orchestra moved to the harbor from Osaka Castle Park, which had been its home.
I was upset at first. I even thought of it as humiliation. However, the city had been noisy. The move was finished and the new members gathered quickly. I held meetings after practice each night and worked out future voyages. (If there are musical instruments, you can have music anywhere.)
I would get off the train in Shin Osaka station and make the connection to the south harbor. Without a doubt, the harbor was bustling with activity. Sea breeze…smell…the oil of ferry boats…I could hear the sound of the sea. (It was the sound of the harbor’s own orchestra.)
A strange explanation came into my mind. Harbor…sea…ship…people coming and going…music…dance…brass band…what wonders can be found there?
From the forest (the castle) to the south (the harbor)…the city sound was reborn. Hundreds of professionals rushed in to audition, but only nine people stayed as newcomers. The tone of the city sound was inherited in this way.
There is a long history of music in a single line on the page. Certainly, it is engraved into those lines and phrases.
All right, I’ll make the music of the harbor. As a starting point, I always liked the scale of Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, from the early 20s. Then, how about my own Overture Kaigen! It was originally orchestral music similar to a piano concerto, and whenever it is played I get the image of a “trench.” It feels like the distance between the sides of a deep ravine, and it has the sense of wanting to cry out.
Also, I’d like to make Shinpei Nakagawa’s Ships leaving the harbor part of our repertory by all means.
And speaking of “ships” there is “Yamato.” Where Yamato music is concerned, I’d like the Osaka City Orchestra to be known as the “homeland.” We’d also proudly adopt this into the program!!
The guideline was set. It was time to get absorbed into the production and lavish it with great care. The orchestra of the harbor! The music of the Osaka City Orchestra!
– Akira Miyagawa
Osaka City Orchestra Musical Director
March 7: RIP, Shinji Ogawa
The Yamato 2199 cast unfortunately experienced its first loss when Shinji Ogawa, the voice of Commander Todo, died on this day. He was known for roles in Cowboy Bebop, Patlabor, Dragon Ball Z, Giant Robo, Yu-Gi-Oh and more. He was also the regular Japanese dub voice of actor Michael Douglas. Read more about him at Anime News Network here and see a list of his credits here.
“A Chance to go 2-Dimensional”
Charity auction announced
Anime Japan is a yearly convention for the anime industry, and with the next one coming up later in March, production companies found interesting ways to contribute to a charity auction for earthquake reconstruction.
Production IG’s contribution was this: the winning bidder of the Yamato 2199 auction would be drawn into this image of the bridge, in place of a crew member of their choice. They would be rendered in the same uniform, adapted to male or female as necessary. In other words, they’d become a member of the bridge crew in 2-D form.
March 11: Concert merchandise at Yamato Crew
New 2199 products had been created for sale at Concert 2015, and two of them subsequently migrated over to the online store at the Yamato Crew website: a Cosmo Navy notebook and a set of clear files with art that previously appeared in the fan club magazine Ship’s Log.
Get a better look at the clear files (and other concert goodies) here.
March 12: Wave-Motion Gun for the Five Senses campaign
As mentioned in Report 43 last month, the 2199 Production Committee launched this campaign to help generate buzz on Twitter for Ark of the Stars. To enter, Twitter users were invited to use the hashtag “I want to fire the Wave-Motion Gun”, which would qualify them to win five prizes themed to match the five senses: home video equipment, a bottle of Dr. Sado sake, an aroma diffuser, or a towel set. Each prize would be signed by Yuria Misaki’s voice actor, Aya Uchida.
On March 12, photos of Ms. Uchida autographing the video equipment (above) were posted on the Production Committee’s Twitter feed.
Ark of the Stars
It’s always fascinating when modern Yamato history lines up with something from the past, and it happened again when Yamato Crew announced new developments for Ark of the Stars.
On this day it was revealed that revisions to the film had been completed for the Blu-ray release (May 27) and this new & improved edition would be shown in a limited theatrical run on April 10 (in Tokyo) and 11 (in Osaka and Kyoto) with Director Yutaka Izubuchi and other staff members on stage at all three screenings.
As a side note, the third volume of the Yamato 2199 Complete Works hardcover book set would be delayed by these revisions. Coverage of Ark of the Stars in volume 3 had to accomodate the revisions, so publication was delayed by a month to May 27 (same release date as the home video and CD soundtrack).
Adding to the anticipation, Character Designer Nobuteru Yuuki posted this photo on Twitter April 3 showing his gigantic stack of layouts from the film. His caption read:
“These are all the revisions for Ark (not including partial corrections that didn’t require redrawing). The low pile in the front and half of the large sheets in the back were done for the Blu-ray edition. Since they were direct animation revisions, they had to start from layouts, but plenty of repairs were done.”
So what’s the parallel with the past? Final Yamato came out in March 1983, and shortly afterward Yoshinobu Nishizaki announced that many scenes in the film would be revised and the new & improved edition would get a limited theatrical run…in Tokyo and Osaka.
March 15: NTT spinoff side story, chapter 1
In Report 43, we announced the beginning of an online collaboration between Yamato 2199 and telecommunications company NTT. It kicked off with the prologue to a “side story” at NTT’s website. In March, that side story officially began with Chapter 1. The concept is very similar to the 2012 collaboration with Maeda Construction Company that lead to the fascinating backstory of how Yamato was excavated and launched. (Read it here.) In this case, the backstory is about Yamato‘s internal electronics systems.
See NTT’s original post here. Translation follows.
In 2199, personnel from information processing facilities that supported the underground cities immediately gathered together with experts from research institutes and private manufacturers alike under the term, “robust information processing system of the Yamato Plan!”
Among them were the figures of Ryo Tanigawa and Yu Sato of NTT Smart Connect. They were both born engineers who ranked on the cutting edge of computer technology in 2199. Tanigawa was appointed as team leader. In front of the elite who gathered in the conference room, he nervously opened his mouth.
“There isn’t much time left to us…”
Silence followed. Sato cried out energetically.
“All we can do now is push ourselves to the limit to do our best! We’ll give it our all until Yamato sets sail!!”
To be continued
Before the Yamato Plan – information processing system supplemental case
1: Deep and quiet pursuit
The technological history of humanity is a history of crime and punishment.
From the era of the rise of IT in the beginning of the 21st century, there came the second IT revolution in the 2050s which gave rise to the AI revolution in the 2080s. According to previous predictions, AI and humanity reached an interdependent symbiotic relationship.
Afterward, as information processing approached its utmost limits and with no large-scale upheaval occurring, it continued with steady growth up to the year 2199. After 2100, humans began to take up a principle to no longer directly intervene in the autonomous development of computers. In a word, they entered a time of “trust.”
Only when a decisive judgment was needed to influence the future of technological revolution, a human ruling was requested. This developed based on the logic that humans were relied upon to make final decisions.
By their judgment, a new independent computer algorithm was produced with a programming language and the arrangement of a wide area network that functioned faster and more efficiently than the human brain. Humans could look on from the sidelines. Without their interference, the computer side naturally provided a useful information processing system that reached an ideal state.
A computer does not understand the concept of poetry. When it does, it will develop an advanced information processing system that reaches the level of a human being, and may perhaps go beyond. However, in these 200 years, no sign at all was seen of a computer understanding emotions in the true sense of the word.
In this time of crisis, similar to cases in the past, priority was given to the basic concept of presenting the case by simulating the situation. The terminal was shown a great variety of examples from the past 200 years, but considering that humans had now encountered extraterrestrials, the feeling was that there was no precedent.
“There is no way,” Sanada muttered. “Mankind first encountered extraterrestrial life forms in 2191. Sometimes I wonder what might have been if it hadn’t been the Garmillas.”
The terminal light pinged. It began to display a case from the past as an alternative.
It focused on the point of how a system could recover quickly if it became unusable by examining the first half of the 21st century in detail. The practical application of a cloud system came up as the first candidate. Of course, it was unusable as is…
An alternate plan began to form, guided by the past example. It was connected with a development concept from that time, designed to “make peoples’ lives safer and more enjoyable.”
“Across time, mankind aimed for the same path as the system designers, didn’t we?”
Sanada decided on a policy. In order to carve out a future, there was no shame in staking one’s reputation on the examples of past cases.
“I agree too,” Niimi agreed quickly.
Would it not be a praiseworthy act to borrow wisdom from the past for the sake of human dignity?
A confidential call came in from Captain Okita. It was clear to him even before the far-reaching voyage of Yamato that taking damage while underway was predictable, but he wanted to have confidence in a methodology to restore the system and avoid stopping the journey “no matter what.” The contact from Captain Okita was just one short word, “ask,” but that was enough for Sanada.
The busy Sanada had research to direct, so he entrusted the continuation of the study to the United Nations Space Navy and returned to his work. The members of the UN Space Navy read Sanada’s report and began to move.
A set of 9 clear files released by NTT