Daisuke Ono (voice actor, Susumu Kodai)
I want more people to see it, and hand it down from generation to generation for a long time. That’s the kind of work this is.
Kenichi Suzumura (voice actor, Daisuke Shima)
When I heard that excellent last line of Captain Okita, I realized, “this is over.”
Ono: The final chapter is here at last, but honestly I didn’t feel like it was over until the recording of the last episode. It feels like it’s been a long journey, doesn’t it? But after finishing the recording, while I felt a sense of accomplishment, at the same time I felt a touch of loneliness. Yamato was a part of my life for a year and eight months.
Suzumura: I don’t feel like it’s over. When I heard Captain Okita say “I said idiots!” in the first episode, I felt like “Yamato starts with that,” and I had a similar feeling when I heard the last line, “Earth…what great memories…” I felt like “that’s how it ends,” and I was deeply impressed when I realized that.
Ono: In the last episode, when Kodai talks about his memories with Yuki, it wasn’t only about their relationship, it took into account the whole journey of Yamato. You can think of the love of Kodai and Yuki as an extension of various events.
Suzumura: I was hoping that a wonderful partner for Shima would appear in the end, but it didn’t come true this time. I’ll look forward to it next time. (Laughs)
Ono: I tried as hard as possible to play Kodai in the beginning, but it all became clear in the end when he seemed to resonate more with the other characters. When Shima said to Yuki “welcome back” in the last episode, it was a tender line. On the other hand, Nanbu looked like he tried to say something and got interrupted. (Laughs)
Suzumura: I felt a heavy sense of duty at the beginning. The first Yamato TV series was a work that affected many people, including director Izubuchi, and it was the reason they were involved in the remake. But as I did it, I found room to enjoy it. My attitude toward the work changed from “I have to do this” to “I have fun doing this.” That experience was a first.
Ono: I think it’s rare to be involved with one work for a long time, and it meant I had time to face it slowly and carefully.
Suzumura: Shima came to know the truth of his father’s death, and his friendship with Kodai gave him the growth to overcome it. I think that was his point as a character. I was moved to tears in the scene of his last communication with his mother [Episode 7]. The work is structured as an ensemble drama with the spotlight hitting different characters at a time, and I thought it was great to let you feel drama for characters that don’t even appear on camera. In other words, they also have perfectly everyday lives. I felt that in the scene of Kato’s marriage party in the last episode.
Ono: That last episode was a strong ending simply because it showed such an everyday thing.
Suzumura: The safety of Yuki and the mystery of the Cosmo Reverse System gave the story another side with a sense of tension, too. There was a sense of relief with the party, that these people have been on a long journey, and it gave you a moment of enjoyment.
Ono: It began with a movie and became a TV series, and I’m glad a lot of people got to see it. In this way, when the ending came, more desire came out. I’d like more people to see it. It’s something that can be called “a good work” with confidence. I recommend it to various people, and everyone please recommend it to those around you, by all means.
Suzumura: Episode 20, which shows the battle of the Rainbow Star Cluster, has more than 500 shots. That’s an impossible number for a half-hour show. But that means it was made with great passion, a manifestation of the desire for younger generations to inherit it.
Ono: I want this work to be handed down for a long time.
Suzumura: We were able to complete a long journey this way. It was because we took the journey together with a lot of fans. Since we’ve both been given the opportunity to speak, on behalf of the many staff and cast members involved in this work, I want to thank everyone.
Ono: And thank you to everyone who gave it their support.
Suzumura: If there is another project, we’ll see you again. No, since it is Yamato, I believe it is certain.
Interview with Chief Mecha Director Masanori Nishii. Read it here
Earth was restored to its original blue appearance.