Space Battleship Yamato 22

Uchuu Senkan Yamato Episode 22
宇宙戦艦ヤマト Ep. 22 (TV, Anime)

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

As Yamato enters the battle site, General Domel has Carrier One launch all of its fighters. Yamato‘s fighters detect the enemy fighters and engage, pursuing them away from the battleship. Domel then has Carrier Two launch all of its fighter-bomber craft (likened to dive bombers). They position themselves behind Domel’s command ship where the Instantaneous Material Transporter activates, sending waves of bombers to Yamato. Yamato is taken completely by surprise and as a result suffers a great deal of damage. Susumu and the Black Tiger squadron are recalled to the ship, Susumu angry that they’d been tricked into leaving the Yamato without air cover.

Susumu’s fighters chase off the fighter-bombers, destroying several in the process but again they leave Yamato‘s perimeter. As such, Domel orders the torpedo bombers from Carrier Three to launch. They take up position behind Domel’s command ship and again, the Instantaneous Material Transporter sends them right to Yamato, where they fire their torpedoes into the already damaged battleship. Again, the frantic recall is sounded as Yamato‘s main turrents and anti-aircraft guns are being taken out of commission. A frustrated Susumu returns with the Black Tigers to chase off and destroy many of the torpedo bombers.

Because the Black Tigers are low on fuel and ordinance, they are forced to return to the hanger. Domel has Battle Carrier launch its heavy bomber, which contains the giant screw missile. As soon as all the fighters are in, the bomber is transported to Yamato, where it fires its screw missile. The missile doesn’t go off on impact as it hits the opening for the Wave Motion Gun. Instead, it stars slowly drilling its way in. Sanada and Analyzer enter the missile to attempt to get it to go in reverse before it explodes.

The heavy bomber returns to Battle Carrier and since they have 15-minutes until the drill missile explodes, he has his fleet move to Yamato‘s position. Sanada and Analyzer continue to work on the drill missile while repair crews attempt to restore Yamato‘s radar. However, the repair crews are killed when Battle Carrier turns its flight deck into a gun platform and opens fire on Yamato. Yamato is in bad shape from the pounding it continues to take and with 30-seconds until the drill missile explodes, Domel tells Gale he praises Yamato for fighting so well.

Inside the drill missile, Sanada and Analyzer have managed to rewire it so that it now is backing out of the Yamato at a fast pace. Before the enemy fleet can react, it hits Battle Carrier and exposes, sending it out of control into one of the other carriers which also explodes. Because of the formation the Gamilus fleet was in, those explosions catch the final two carriers, ultimately destroying them as well. This sudden turn of events shocks Domel and Gale, who’s command ship barely escapes destruction. Domel orders the command ship to attack Yamato. They drop a few bombs (looking like depth charges) but in the end, Domel sees that he will have to attach his small ship to Yamato and detonate, thereby hopefully destroying it.

Yamato cannot escape from Domel’s ship, which attaches itself to the bottom of Yamato. Domel makes communication with Yamato. Domel gives his praise to Captain Okita. Okita says that he doesn’t want any more casualties on either side, who’ve fought so hard for their home planets. As such, he asks to be allowed to continue to Iscandar. Domel says that he cannot allow this even if it means his death. He gives a verbal salute to Gamilus and to Earth before starting his ship’s auto-destruct sequence. Okita has the lower decks evacuated as Domel’s ship explodes. While the explosion causes even more damage to Yamato, the ship is still functioning.

The crew dons space suits and has a funeral on the deck of Yamato for all of the crew who died in the recent fight before limping on to Iscandar.

Thoughts/Review:

With so much action, it isn’t surprising that this episode decided to skip the normal lengthy recap as well as the normal OP and play the OP music with new animation at the end of the episode.

When I consider that this episode was done in 1975, I have to say that the level of animation is very impressive. It is clear that the animators were trying to give the Battle of Rainbow Star Cluster a World War II feel. Once I understood what the production team were trying to accomplish here (and being a WWII buff, that was clear for me to see), that aided in my giving a pass to space dive bombers. Lets face it, dive bombers in space are completely worthless as are the depth charge bombs of Domel’s command ship. However, that didn’t matter to me simply because I was into the episode. When an episode can bring you in like that, one can overlook certain flaws and moments of unbelievability — the suspension of disbelief.

I do admit that it is a bit hard to swallow the Gamilus fleet being so easily destroyed while the Yamato took some amazing damage (including the loss of all its gun turrets and the Wave Motion Gun) and even a suicide bombing and survived. The show has shown a knack for having magical, instant repairs to any damage encountered but I hope that the next episode still shows the Yamato in very bad shape and in need of assistance.

Anyway, this is a good episode. Tons of action, great animation (especially for a 1975 TV series), and a nice tribute to the naval battles of World War II.

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One Response to “Space Battleship Yamato 22”

  1. […] such, I can say that the animation at times is quite good. I think back to the battle sequence in episode 22. The amount of work that went into animating the attack on Yamato by the Gamilus forces is clear, […]

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