First Look: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 – A Must See for 2013!

宇宙戦艦ヤマト2199/Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199

Nearly four years ago, I decided to expand my classic anime education by watching the original 1974 anime series Space Battleship Yamato (not to be confused with the American rewrite using the same animation known as Star Blazers).  Despite some weaknesses in some of the episode stories and some deus ex machina moments, I found that the original anime series held up pretty well despite its age. Indeed, it left a nice impression on me so that I was eager to watch Space Battleship Yamato 2 (which wasn’t so good), Space Battleship Yamato Rebirth, and the Japanese live-action movie Space Battleship Yamato.  So, when I found a chance to take a gander at the new remake of the original series, I was all for it.

*MINOR SPOILERS*

Fans of the original anime will rejoice at a few things.  First, the writers are being VERY careful through the first two episodes to be faithful to the original anime series. Unlike the live-action movie, which made many changes to story and all, this anime series often pulls scenes and dialog straight from the original anime, only with a new, shiny look and feel to them that really rocks. While I didn’t mind the changes made to the live-action movie, many of which were done for time constraints, I appreciate the fact that the production team knows what is good about the original Yamato series and aren’t going to reinvent the wheel just because they have the power to do so.

That isn’t to say there aren’t changes, which brings me to the second aspect I think original fans will love.  Yuki isn’t the only chick on board. Indeed, the writers have Sado-sensei with a proper nurse instead of making Yuki be said nurse. Further, there’s another young woman on board, playing a new character, but I didn’t catch her name.  However, I will be interested in seeing where she goes with things. There’s a third female in the wings, who’s role and name aren’t stated yet, but there too, I look forward to seeing how this new character pans out.  Finally, there are the generic female crew members for background shots, which I appreciated as well.  I really couldn’t stand that Yuki was the only female, doing the work of thirteen people.

Other changes regard story logic, something that would rear its head in the original series.  For example, instead of being trainees on Mars, this time Susumu and Daisuke are sent there with purpose.  Susumu’s anger with Okita is now very understandable, but so is his acceptance of things.  Susumu (as well as Daisuke and the others) aren’t green recruits, but capable naval officers who have to step into leadership roles they weren’t expecting to have to fill.  I like that as well, though the anime doesn’t appear that it will waste more time covering that subject.  Also, Yamato‘s rapid deployment is MUCH better handled here, in my opinion.  I would say more, but I won’t spoil it.

The writers also cut things from the original script so that the first two episodes of the new series are actually the first three of the original. What was cut?  The lengthy history lesson about the original World War II battleship Yamato is gone. Also, Yuki’s guided tour of the Yamato and some of its pointless aspects are also removed. The parade is gone, but Daisuke still has his farewell with his little brother. Also, the riotous aspects are spoken of in news broadcasts in the background rather than time being spent showing them, which was also fine with me.  Basically, we are going to get the original story sans the pointless padding and cheese (such as Analyzer sexually harassing Yuki).

There is an addition to the series which I liked, especially if Yamato 2199 is successful and spawns the remake of Yamato 2.  Captain Hijikata, who commanded the Andromeda in Yamato 2, is part of the Japanese naval command staff and is the one who suggests to Admiral Okita (not Captain mind you) that he be allowed to command Yamato in light of Okita’s health. Other Japanese command staff members from Yamato 2 are here as well, which shows the production team is looking to the future in case they do have to remake Yamato 2.  Now there is continuity, and I hope the production team provides other little bits as well, such as possibly name-dropping the Comet Empire down the road.

Based on the first two episodes, Space Battleship Yamato 2199 has me VERY excited for its official release in 2013.  AIC and Xebec have put together a production team that understands the elements that made the original Yamato series cool and interesting.  While keeping the ship designs the same, and the character designs (down to the uniforms) very recognizable, they’ve stripped the waste and dribble of the original story, yet they remember to include classic scenes and moments to make original fans squeal with delight, and a new generation of fans go, “this is a cool series.”  Lord willing, I will be episode-blogging this remake of the anime classic.

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7 Responses to “First Look: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 – A Must See for 2013!”

  1. evgenidb says:

    Comet Empire? What’s this?

    Btw, the episode 3 should appear at the end of THIS month. As well as 4, 5, and 6!? Check anidb!

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      They (Comet Empire) are the main villains in Space Battleship Yamato 2.

      The way the Japanese are doing this series is very weird, but no doubt, this is to try to maximize the milking of the franchise factor. There are the “movies” that are apparently being released, which are just the TV episodes spliced together.

  2. thu ndergirl says:

    yes, I’m watching this at the moment. Usually I don’t like remakes, but I do think this one is awesome! 😀

  3. the Hoff says:

    Everything about this series has been done with a love for the original unseen in any genre of remake IMHO. There have been some truly outstanding moments so far that were underwhelming in the original but almost brought me to tears in this.

    Battle of Pluto was one of them.

    Breaking Yuki up into multiple characters works well here too. I am in love with Makoto, she brings such personality to the medical staff.

    Only one thing has bugged me so far, and that Yuki is so tsundere here. but I have overlooked it thus far as she seems to be developing her Kodai love.

  4. AstroNerdBoy says:

    I’ve still got to watch this, now that it is nearly a year later. ^_^;;;;;;;

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