English: Star Blazers 2199
Synonyms: Space Battleship Yamato 2199
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 7, 2012 to Sep 29, 2013
Duration: 25 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 8.611 (scored by 8783 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
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Nov 23, 2013
In recent times, one becomes wary when they hear the word 'remake' or 'reboot'. Audiences have reluctantly witnessed so many beloved series, stories and characters get butchered in misguided and unnecessary attempts to be recreated.
Thankfully, I am happy to say that Yamato's 21st century rebirth is done faithfully, respectfully, and masterfully.
First, there is the story (9/10). Yamato's story is timeless - the people of Earth are fighting back against an alien threat to bring their planet to slavery or extinction. Humanity's last hope lies in the battleship Yamato, its crew, and a mysterious technology brought to mankind from a distant alien race of people called Iscandarians. Their destination - lightyears away, on the planet of Iscandar. In their path lie many obstacles, and every one a piece of the story and the puzzle. In this respect, Yamato's story is not difficult to understand, and is something you can appreciate at any age in any time. There are many developments and nuances that shape the story beyond its simple premise as the show develops, however. For the most part, it faithfully follows the original plot, and while I can't comment on specifics, I know enough to say that with confidence. It is not overly complicated or complex - there are also many things that are left to the imagination for the sake of not boring the audience. If you accept them for what they are and don't complicate them, it is, for the most part, flawless. This is, after all, a fictional universe.
Now for the art (10/10). There has been some fuss over the stylistic changes from the original Leiji style of Yamato to the remake. However, I find them to be a perfect blend of the retro style and modern style - which still brings an incredibly refreshing artistic flair to Yamato that isn't seen anywhere today. Even if one were to miss the original style, I think it would be impossible to truly recreate it exactly unless you had all the original animation staff, and that is too much to ask for a 40-year old series. Nobuteru did an excellent job of revisiting the style of Leiji and bringing it to a modern audience.
The animation is absolutely stunning. It's quite obvious there was a high budget for the series, and they use it in all the right places. Let's be honest - in the 70's, many of the technical challenges that came with animating epic, large-scale space battles were difficult to tackle with the technology of the time. While many are impressive, it's easy to see where they struggled to achieve their true vision. In 2199, the ships are 3D models, and CGI comes heavily into play during battle scenes. There was a time that this spelled bad news for mixing with 2D animation, when CGI suffered from a "video game cutscene" syndrome. But with today's technology, 2199's CGI is absolutely stunning, and blends beautifully with the show and the backgrounds. Every ship is masterfully crafted and detailed, and every nuance of the ships and the weaponry is nothing short of perfection. The excitement of every battle scene leaves you speechless. Fans of spaceships, fighter jets and miscellaneous mechanical things will be filled with nothing but glee.
The character and 2D animation is equally as important, and is treated that way. There's a lot of expressiveness in every character, and it shows. There's a bit of fanservice and moe here and there, but nothing overdone. Yamato takes itself seriously when it has to, but it also has a bit of fun when it's appropriate.
The music and sfx (10/10) adds another layer of immersion to the world of Yamato. The soundtrack is a lot of re-recordings of original Yamato tracks, with that 1970's sci-fi trumpets and backing vocals that many may remember fondly. If not, it's something that you hear very rarely these days, and is absolutely perfect for this series. It's enough that the opening is one of those songs you just can't skip - the rest of the soundtrack is equally inspiring.
The sound effects, voices and ambiance is also well done. My favorite bits are definitely the sounds of the ships and the weapons during battle. There's nothing quite like hearing a flurry of lasers, rockets and explosions - and of course, the awe-inspiring Wave Motion Gun.
The characters (9/10) of Yamato are stunning examples of common archetypes. There are brave heroes, loyal comrades, tragic villains, and everything in between. There is a very large cast of Yamato, so I won't dive into every character, but while many characters may seem stereotypical at first glance, Yamato never attempts to clearly define the difference between good and evil - at times, you will sympathize with the enemy, and you will question the motives of the heroes. It's one of those important aspects that helps separate the wheat from the chaff in this aspect. Still, there is a very classical story at hand, and with it come classic characters. But they are not as hollow and predictable as one more cynical may come to believe.
Overall, there is not much more to say. I gave enjoyment a 10/10 because I always found myself looking forward to the next episode of Yamato - and when they came (the waits were quite long for those following the series release), they were over so soon because I enjoyed every moment.
It is quite clear that the creators of Yamato 2199 had great respect for the source material and made every effort to craft a remake worthy of the name Uchuu Senkan Yamato. And in every aspect I would say they succeeded, and brought a story that deserves to be retold to a new era, taking advantage of the tools they have today that its original creators did not to remake Yamato in its full glory. And although the eye-candy visuals of space warfare are a spectacle in their own right, Yamato 2199 never loses sight of the story it is trying to tell and the cast that we want to root for, which is where many remakes of this era falter.
This is a very rare and important piece of animation history - one that I believe deserves to be viewed and appreciated by everyone. I would recommend this series to absolutely anyone, even if they are not fans of sci-fi. If you want an example of a remake done right - this is it. read more
Apr 3, 2015
The story takes place in the far future, where aliens called Gamilas are trying to invade Earth by bombarding the planet with meteors. All hope seemed lost for humanity, until two young officers managed to get a transmission from a planet faraway called Iscandar. In this transmission, it was said that there was still hope for the planet, and if humanity managed to reach Iscandar, they’d be given a device that could restore the Earth to its previous state. With this new ray of hope, humans leave it up to their newest spaceship: Space Battleship Yamato and its crew, to make an epic journey of over 160.000 light years and retrieve this device. It will be a journey full of hope for humans, and also full of despair. Along the way, Yamato will have to face countless enemies from the invading alien empire that wants to destroy humanity’s only hope.
The plot is simple and straightforward, and allows for the themes to be explored quite nicely. The first thing that many people would think is that all the focus would be on the human’s side, and that the aliens would just be an evil invading group, but that’s not how it worked: not only were the aliens very well developed and fleshed out, the possibility of befriending said aliens instead of necessarily becoming enemies with them is explored in a really interesting fashion. While I wouldn’t call their morality necessarily “gray”, it allows for the audience to at least understand their point-of-view, and not just consider it a random enemy that humans have to defeat. The conflict is indeed very well explored, as both sides have enough screen time for the audience to understand where they come from, though that won’t stop you from rooting for humanity. Besides the enemy aliens, the Yamato crew also has to deal with problems from the inside, humans who aren’t completely convinced about the existence of Iscandar, and thus would rather find a new planet for humanity to live.
The structure of the anime is very good for the most part, as it is linear and doesn’t mess around, though some episodes did feel a bit “filler”. These episodes did develop some characters though, and they did contribute to the story with themes of their own, so they aren’t useless by any means. The confrontations with the Gamilas are very well done, and Yamato shows not only spaceships exploding, but also what’s happening inside, as well as the commanders ordering the crew around. This gives us an insight about how their battle strategies work, and what they’re thinking. The story feels focused, and is not only entertaining, but also extremely interesting, because of how slowly it delivers information throughout its duration, making you question several things. The final thing worth mentioning is how “nostalgic” it feels when some characters speak of the Earth from years before it was attacked. They want to save the Earth not only for themselves, but for future generations to be able to feel how they did in the past, and this goal is very nicely explored throughout the show.
The artwork and animation are extremely good, they feel recent and fresh, though I do have a complaint when it comes to this: the CGI in a certain episode looked REALLY awful, I don’t even know how that happened… besides that, there were few problems in this regard, and the character designs were really varied and appealing. The spaceship models were kinda generic, with the exception of the Yamato, which looks FANTASTIC. During the battles, you’ll be awed at how great they look, as the animation is especially good in those. The opening theme is epic and describes the journey very well in its lyrics, being extremely appropriate for Yamato. The ending song isn’t as memorable, but is still good in its own right. The rest of the soundtrack consists of very memorable tracks that still play in my mind once in a while, and they’re good both in and outside the anime. The sound effects are also really good, from the spaceships shooting to the explosions, everything sounds right. Overall, the production values were really good, and I feel like this really made an impact about my appreciation of the show.
And then we have the character cast. Now, the cast is really huge in Yamato, as there are a lot of humans in the Yamato, plus all of the enemy alien commanders. These characters felt real, despite some of them lacking development, and most of them got fleshed out enough for the audience to care about them. Kodai Susumu was one of the young officers who detected the first transmission of Iscandar, he saw most of his family die in a bombardment that the aliens did several years ago, making him despise the Gamilas. He also lost his brother when he went on a mission to Pluto and never returned. The other officer is Shima Daisuke, who also went through a similar situation and lost his father on the first contact with the aliens. Commanding the Yamato is Juuzou Okita, a veteran with a rather peculiar battle style. He teaches the young officers a lot of things, including how a soldier sometimes has to go against orders if he feels he’s doing the right thing. The interactions between the characters are also very well done, and through dialogue we get to know their insecurities and problems, including the traumas some of them have due to the Gamila’s attacks.
Another thing that makes the characters much more humane is how they constantly think about the loved ones they left on Earth. Either because they look at pictures of them or because they still have fond memories, they want to see them again, they want to be with them, and that further gives them motivation to return in one piece. These moments not only help fleshing out the characters, but it also improves immersion, as you’ll see the Yamato crew as more than just “actors on a stage”. On the alien’s side, some enemies are really bland and predictable, especially in the first episodes, but that changes in the second half, where enemy commanders have honor and respect for the Yamato and their accomplishments. There’s also the leader of the empire, Aberdt Desler, who seems like a dictator who rules with an iron fist at first, but is later much better fleshed out, as well as his reasons and goals. It’s a really strong character cast in the end, and even though it wasn’t possible to flesh out everyone in 26 episodes, the director did a great job with the screen time available.
I’d say I had a really great time with Yamato. The first episodes felt a bit slow, but after the story started to develop, I got addicted to the show and watched 16 episodes in a row, as I really wanted to know what’d happen next. Whether it was the epic battles, the sad moments, the cheerful moments, I felt what the characters were feeling, and felt happy when they succeeded. Yamato definitely has a very high entertainment value, not only because of its epic premise, but also because of how it develops; how it doesn’t treat the audience as stupid and manages to be subtle in character development, and heck even the small amounts of fan service it has are subtle. It’s a really great anime, and I want to express my thanks to the staff, as I probably wouldn’t have ever enjoyed this amazing story without the remake, since I hadn’t heard of it before. I’m also extremely hyped for the movie that aired back in December of last year, which has yet to receive a translation. If you’re a sucker for shows where humanity is put to the test at every corner, this is definitely the anime for you, as it uses this premise very well and takes it beyond what one would normally expect. However, I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re expecting a really deep and complex anime, because Yamato isn’t any of that. It’s an epic journey among the stars, full of hope and dreams for mankind.
Nov 19, 2013
Space Operas are very rare now a days in the anime industry. Just as the quality of mecha anime and it's audience has been downgrading and declining in favor of slice-of-life, ecchi and harem genres, space operas were always being overlooked at. After almost at least 40 years, one of the space opera classic during the 70's was given a chance to have a remake in order to introduce the series and gain a wider audience in today's anime community. But does the show itself succeed? Let's check it out:
Just as the title implies, the show is set during year 2199 and the once blue, green and thriving with life planet earth has been reduced to a radioactive wasteland because of the Garmillas aliens which forced the remaining population to hide underground. However, a friendly alien race from the planet Iscandar contacts the human race and gives them blue prints to build a powerful space battleship capable of retrieving a device to clean planet earth before humanity disappears. As they resurrect the long sunken ship yamato, they then applies the alien technology that they got from a messenger that came from Iscandar, transforming it into one of the most epic and greatest ship that will venture through the sea of stars to save their home planet. Enter Space Battle Ship Yamato.
Now i know most of you will think that the premise is pretty similar to Macross but the latter was aired during the 80's specifically after the success of an another behemoth called Gundam while the original Yamato was aired during the 70's. So therefore Yamato was the one who influence Macross. As i already said from the synopsis, this is a light years journey to Iscandar from planet earth and it will take a year in order to get through Iscandar and they also must retrieve the device in immediately before planet earth is forever doomed. As such we will encounter many kinds of phenomenon and typical issues from this long journeys such as trust issues, food shortage and of course battling their enemies, the Garmillans as they opposed the ship to reach Iscandar. Tactics to fend off enemies were heavily used and while the tactics many not be that good as LoGH, it still managed to give the feeling of unpredictability of the battles, plausibility of the tactics that were used and you will always be in the edge of your seat with the epic space batles that were occurring in your screen and backing it by great animation and intense old school soundtrack. The series also dealt with mature themes such as racism, genocide and politics. There is also fanservice in this series. Oh, i didn't mention that? But don't worry the fanservice in this series is not like in your ecchi show where it's distracting. The fanservice actually have some subtility. For the most part.
The characters were no slouch either. They were interesting and likable for the most part and the character interactions were well-written and probably the main forte of the characterization of the show. The way the Yamato crew interact is just fun to watch. Oh sure there are some characters like our main protagonist, Susumu Kodai who sometimes acts like an angsty teen and some characters do too but they don't exaggerate to the point that it become annoying. They still act accordingly to the situation and maturely to many situations. Many of the stuff that happens throughout their journey have challenged the Yamato's crew beliefs about the war and this anime is also not entirely black and white where humans are automatically good, and the garmillians are automatically bad. There are both good and bad people from each side and some good and bad decisions and deeds that both the Humans and Garmillians have made. Okay, maybe i'm saying the obvious but it's still worth pointing that out. The female cast are also strong individuals for the most part so don't worry about some very useless ass female characters that you mostly see.
Overall, the story is great and the characters were interesting, likable and fun to watch to. If there are criticisms that i would give is that there are some more potential that the series overlooked. With a good world building that the show created, that show could have last in more than just 26 episodes and that is why some scenes in the series felt rushed, some characters are really lacking for being fleshed out and development, and there are some very questionable decisions during the end BUT it didn't really detract for my own personal enjoyment. The original Yamato is also only 26 episodes and most people would rage quit to a series which is over 30+ episodes anyway so 26 episodes is still fine as it's still be able to tell a great story in a series which the scale and world building is pretty big.
The studios that brought to us the animation are studio Xebec and AIC. The animation, the crisp of the characters and design, heck even the CGI are just fucking stunning and beautiful. Although some might say differ about the CGI but i didn't really find any problem with it as it really works perfectly to the scenery of the series and the CGI only made the battles more epic and engaging. The director is Yutaka Izubuchi who is known for directing and creating RahXephon. He was also responsible for the character designs of Gundam Wing. Hideaki Anno worked on the story board. If you didn't know who he is then you're probably living in a cave. Akihiro Enomoto whom have worked as the key animator in Char's counterattack also worked on this anime. Anybody here whom have watched Char's counterattack knows that the battles there were simply one of the best mecha battle and the animation was just absolutely gorgeous. Akihiro also brought his forte into this series as the key animator in most episodes so therefore the battle scenes, as i mentioned before, were engaging, terrific and epic like Char's counterattack. It feels like real space ships are really battling it out. As most of the budget were used in the CGI and the battles, the character movements felt really poor in many episodes but you know what? Most of the episodes they spend were sitting in the ship anyway. Just trying to point that out.
Catchy and old school. Seriously, the opening song and the first ending song were retro songs during anime of 70's but it really fits perfectly well during the series(There are several different versions of the opening. The first opening is the classic version while the other version is still the same only much more modernized). I really appreciate how they decided to bring a retro song as an opening to a modern remake now it's stuck to my head and i can't stop humming it whenever i'm taking a shit or taking a shower. The OSTs that was used were also very catchy and old school but still felt intense during the battle scenes. The voice acting is also very well done. Ono Daisuke as the voice of Susumu Kodai who also voiced Sebastian from Black Butler, Kuwashima Houko as the main heroine, Mori Yuki who also voiced Tomoyo Sakagami(Clannad) and Clare(Claymore), Yamadera Kouchi as the main antagonist, Lord Desler who also voiced Spike Spiegel from Cowboy bebop, Otsuka Houchuu as Shiro Sanda who also voiced Jiraiya from Naruto and other famous VA's. Aside from the the opening songs, the OST's while catchy doesn't really warrant to be listen on it's own which kinda of a shame.
After watching LoGH and this, i am now craving for more space operas. This anime has many things that i could hope for. Engaging story, fun and interesting characters, beautiful ladies, epic and compelling space battles with great animation and a satisfying ending. It's really a shame that despite being a remake of a classic with great animation, anime like these is still being overlooked at the anime community today. Hopefully in the future, more anime fans would be able to watch this series and this is one of the primary reasons why i'm doing this review right now. Whether you think this anime is great or not is still up to you of course but if you find this review helpful(which i doubt) and decided to watch the anime and think the anime is good, then please do recommend this to your friends. Then maybe there is hope for more space operas in the anime industry and for this sub-genre to completely not die in the anime realm. Well, it really won't because of LoGH(Although there is also only a handful of people who have watched this) but you get my point anyway.
Story: 9/10 - Epic and engaging journey to save planet earth.
Characters: 8/10 - A great cast and fun characters to watch to. Character development is there but lacking a bit due to the length of the show but characterization is solid.
Animation: 9/10 - It's Fluid in the battles and the CGI is good.
Sound: 8/10 - Nostalgic old school music and soundtrack.
Enjoyment: 10/10 - Never failed to entertain me and didn't make me bored while marathoning the whole thing.
Final Verdict: 9/10 - Amazing anime and a great space opera. read more
Dec 7, 2013
The premise of “Space Battleship Yamato 2199” is a simple one.” An interstellar war against a mysterious Alien race known as “Gamilians” (who btw toooottaaallly aren’t alluding to Romans) has Humanity near extinction and the earth nearly uninhabitable in the course of 8 years. Humanity has given a valiant effort, but is not on par with their enemy. Who by the way has shielding technology and interstellar flight. But, there is hope, another alien race known as Iscanderians (the totally not alluding to Greeks people) give them the power to arm one ship with their ultra advanced technology. They must now seek out Iscander and gain a device know as the cosmos reverse system to save the Earth. This mission is then dubbed “The Yamato Project” and our noble crew heads out. The Majority of the show is the crew of the aforementioned super ship “Yamato” heading out to Iscander, while encountering harsh resistance by their Gamilian foes. The show does develop as it goes on. There are a few twists and we get to learn all the races motives and reasons. Still it’s not a very complicated show; which in a way is where its charm lies. It’s very much akin to well “Star Wars”. It’s an enjoyable show with very stereotypical, but well developed characters. Its key level of enjoyment comes from the premise. The one ship vs the galaxy, and wits win the battles. It feels during these times much like an episode of “Star Trek”. There are great moments of tactical fun in almost every battle. They usually survive by using some tactical hat trick. It’s the quick thinking, and patch work of the crew that make this show truly a gem. Its great scale, its fun battles, its tense moments make for an overall fun and well written plot that eventually ends in satisfaction; it’s just a treat to enjoy. (9/10)
The animation was handled by “Xebec” studios, which is a sub division of production I.G. I really cannot say anything bad about the animation. It just seems neigh perfect. Great effort was put into recreating the feel of the show. It did not use the original style, but went for a modern approach. It used CGI for ship battles, and normal safe, but detailed animation for everything else. All is just great. The CGI is some of the best I’ve seen in anime (though not U.S Tier CGI, cus America loves the stuff). It provides some AMMMMAZZZZZINNNG space battles. The animation is well done and details from the original show are kept correct. Not really many flaws in sight (that is unless you don’t like CGI) (9/10)
Music was Handled by Miyagawa, Akira, who’s probably most well know work is… Kirby Right Back at Ya. What I will say he brought in the right people for the job (as the compositions were handled by various artists). The openings were both well done. The first is a rescored/ revamped version of the original. The 2nd a modern original Op made by “UVER world” dubbed, “Fight for Liberty”. Both the ending themes were also done well, and both present a classic and gentle tune to the show. The Osts though truly shine. Every Ost fits the moment, from sad, to happy and just plain epic. One of my personal favorites of the Ost’s in the show is the main theme. The main theme is a sea shanty rehash of the 1st opening that sets the tone for most of the battles. It’s simply called “Space Battleship Yamato 2199” (srlsy I want to take on the Garmilian armada right now…. Come at me bro). The other end we have the “Garmilian National anthem” it perfectly fits the nation and its proud people. It’s epic and proud; it creates some of the greatest moments in the show. Such as when you seen their fleet rise up and this anthem plays …. simply wonderful. What the show does lack in sound is the variance. The Osts pretty much are the same group played over and over again. They are no doubt excellent, but after 26 episodes it can try one’s patience. The Osts in Space Battle ship Yamato are simply great when they need to be. Yet, they are used over and over. All in all it does install a feeling of “retroness” that few can match with its sound track. Thus sound gets a (8/10).
With a great ship, you need a great crew. That is what the crew of the Yamato delivers in full. They are really are just archetypes, the main character with loss, his best friends, the staunch captain, and the super logical science officer. Yet, somehow these characters remain somewhat interesting; this is due to the excellent development. Each is stereotypical, but each learns, gains, and looses throughout the show. It’s the crew with there well written interactions goes about the marry task of 1 VS all. With great heroes you got to have some great villain’s, right? Yes, and in many ways the villains outshine the heroes in both motivation, and in charisma. They are in my opinion much akin to Kligons (though much better dressed). The Garmilians also get their development; they are humanized, but not enough that you root for them instead. They have families, and reasons to try to keep the peace within their empire. It adds some very interesting clashes in ideals between the apposing races. The characters in Yamato each get their time and development. The reasons for their actions are clear to the viewer; though their characters are extremely stereotypical. This in its own way adds to the retro vibe that Yamato installs, but also somewhat hurts it (but hey they are the originals)….. (8/10)
“Space battleship Yamato 2199” is truly a treat. Its simply fun, and installs a sense of “retro” upon you. It uses well developed archetypes, fun and interesting plot twists, and great art /sound, to create an excellent remake of a timely classic. Very few shows recently have matched Yamato in overall enjoyment and quality. Yamato, is no perfect show, but is damn well better than most things right now. It is an anime not to be missed for both its fun and charm.
Nov 19, 2013
Remaking a classic is a pretty dicey proposition. Remaking a benchmark title is madness. Thankfully, the creators of Spaceship Battleship Yamato 2199 threw caution to the wind and faced the challenge head on. The result is a loving tribute to the 1974 anime that’s faithful without slavishly rehashing it.
Story wise, things are identical. An alien race, known as the Garmillans, have pummeled the Earth with radioactive bombs. The effects appear irreversible until a second alien race arrives from the planet Iscandar with a miracle cure. The catch? The cure is only available on Isacandar. To get it, the Earth needs to send a ship across space. And not just any ship–an old WWII battleship remade and outfitted with Iscandarian technology. Sounds simple right? Travel several hundred light years to an unknown world with a superior enemy trying to stop you. Oh, yeah–do it in just one year. If you don’t bzzzt. Time’s up. Point of no return.
You’d think keeping so much of the original would hurt the series–make it predictable. It doesn’t. Yamato 2199‘s writers–and probably its storyboard director, Hideaki Anno of Evangelion fame–do a fabulous job reimagining the series. Each of the show’s 26 episodes feels fresh yet familiar. Yes, key events can differ, but never radically so.
As for the leads–all the old favorites are back, beautifully reimagined by Yoshinobu Nishizaki. Yamato Captain, Okita, Susumu Kodai, Yuki Mori, Shiro Sanada, Daisuke Shima, Dr. Sanada, are all on board. The cast has a few new female additions, notably 2nd Lieutenant Akira Yamamoto, a brash pilot with a chip on her shoulder, Kaoru Niimi, a new science officer, and Yuria Misaki, a warrant officer who also runs a shipboard radio program. Likewise, the Garmillon ranks have a couple of fresh characters to play with. Their inclusion adds depth to the show, providing interesting points of view separate from the main characters without detracting from them.
The Yamato itself has never looked better. Crisp, clean lines, more realistic perspectives, and fluid animation will delight Yamato fans old and new. And the battles? Breathtaking in a way not possible in 1974.
How will modern anime fans feel about a new-looking, old-feeling throwback? Time will tell. Yamato 2199 lacks cutesy romances and harem situations. It doesn’t do super deformed often or blatantly. It avoids comic relief and adorable mascots. And you won’t find a whiff of brooding angst. What you get is an epic tour-de-force. A story of gargantuan heroism and courage unlike anything else in anime. Yamato hasshin!!!!
5 out of 5 stars
Reposted from Another Castle with permission. Review at thisisanothercastle.com read more
Sep 18, 2013
Scamp: Space Battleship Yamato is a TV series from 1974 by Leiji Matsumoto (well, mostly by Leiji Matsumoto, although it’s complicated) about a spaceship travelling across the universe captained by a man with a very impressive beard. It’s one of the most influential anime ever made, considered the point from which anime started to turn towards more serious and complex stories. I shall now ask you to completely forget all of that because instead we’re going to talk about Yamato 2199.
Yamato 2199 had a bit of a strange airing run. Each batch of episodes were first released in theatres as single movies, starting in April 2012, and later released in batches of 4 on home video. It wasn’t until April 2013 that its air run on TV even started. We’re 22 episodes in now, with the final 4 episodes to be released in October. Barely anyone in English speaking fandom is watching it, probably due to its weird release schedule and lack of availability. Which is a shame because it’s a complete remake that requires no knowledge of the original. It’s also a shame because it’s a damn fine anime.
Shinmaru: What really gets to me most about Yamato 2199 is how important everything feels. Not important in the sense of grandness of scope (though there is plenty of that in the series), but important in the sense that everything matters, no matter how small the role a person has in the show. Everyone has a story to tell, thoughts running through their mind, and a heart beating strongly in their chest. The damn doctor barely does anything but get drunk as hell and make sure the captain doesn’t keel over before the Yamato accomplishes its mission, and he’s one of the best characters in the show. Yamato 2199 gives folks like the doc time to breathe and kick it with the captain to philosophize over a few drinks even though every episode counts down the time until the Earth is totally screwed. It’s a classy show like that, you see.
It’s always a challenge to juggle a cast like this so expertly, but Yamato 2199 makes it look easy. Everyone gets the proper time they need to make the intended impression. Every interaction has the potential to be incredibly interesting, so when a character shows up who hasn’t been around for an episode or two, it’s like seeing a good friend who swings by every so often to tell a fun story. That warmth and familiarity is what really stands out to me when I think about the Yamato 2199 cast. Amazingly, the series has established that camaraderie on both sides of the conflict — battles are more agonizing than ever now, because I don’t want to see anyone die. They’re all so wonderful! Except for that fuckhat security officer, that is.
Scamp: The appeal is very similar to that of Star Trek or Mass Effect in the way the character interactions play out. During the down moments you get to learn more about the characters as they sit around and chat. The discussion can be everything from big philosophical discussions about where they are going and racism against aliens to little things like relationships and the weather. These play into the usual climactic battle scene in each episode and arc, so you actually care about what’s going on both on a personal character level and broader plot-level. It’s really well paced, hitting your with the big dramatic moments at exactly the right moments so you understand just what it means to everyone involved when it happens.
As Shinmaru said, they even manage to do this with the aliens. They’re a racist, fascist militaristic regime, but they somehow still feel human…err, I mean Garmillian. They have dreams and beliefs and friends and fears. Even the big boss, who originally appeared comically evil, has wormed his way into my heart through his loyalty and trust in certain commanders. You can start to see why these people admire and look up to him so much. There’s a touch of the Reinhard from Galactic Heroes about him, and that’s not just because of the blonde hair and fabulous cape. But seriously, fuck that security chief.
Shinmaru: That Mass Effect comparison definitely works, particularly if you’re talking the first game, which feels a bit more old-school science-fiction than the other two in the series to me. It hearkens back to when science-fiction was often about pure exploration — worlds, people, concepts. It’s a journey to find and pick at the hard truths of the world. The Yamato has no choice, but to barrel toward its goal, but along the way, the crew cannot help but think about that journey. Are they doing the right thing? Are they doing this for the right reasons? The answers to those questions and others — if, indeed, answers even exist — are rarely easy or pleasant.
You’ve probably gathered by now that this is not an entirely black-and-white affair. There are of course good and bad people on both sides of the battle, and good and bad deeds alike have been wrought by the Garmillians and humans. The hands of neither side are truly clean, but there is great dignity to the way people examine themselves and their beliefs. In the vastness of the universe, there is no absolute right or wrong; the Yamato crew comes to discover this time and again, and yet they press forward, unremittingly, if only because they must.
Scamp: The giant pitched space battles can look a little odd. I attribute this to the CG animated ships looking eerily similar to the ships in Futurama, so at the start I couldn’t take any of the battles seriously. Thankfully as the story progressed, I grew to care about the characters and by extension the battles. Now they could make the battles just be cardboard cutouts of identical ships going pew pew pew with no attention paid to who hits whom with their laser beams (otherwise known as the Legend of the Galactic Heroes approach to space battles) and it would still be riveting viewing.
If there was one criticism I could level at the show, it’s that it’s a little strong on the male gaze. The original Yamato had only one female on the entire ship while Yamato 2199 has several, so congratulations for progressing beyond the standards set in the early 1970’s I guess. The women do all have the exact same body type, packed into a skintight catsuit while the men all wear more sensible uniform. The camera really does like to focus on their shapely backsides. I don’t mind this as much as I’m letting on. It is a really great arse. I just wish the arses varied from girl to girl.
Shinmaru: Yeah, I didn’t think the battles looked amazing at first, either, though they definitely looked a cut above most everything else that employs CG. But I’ve grown fond of the battles, even when they’ve done ridiculous stuff like have a ship that acts like a submarine in space through means I won’t mention here. Or maybe that’s why I enjoy the battles so much. But, yes, the battles grow in intensity and spectacle throughout the series, and once Yamato 2199 puts the screws into folks on both sides, then they’re that much more harrowing.
I’m incredibly excited to see where the series wraps up with four episodes to go. There have been some great reveals regarding the nature of the Garmilas culture and how that relates to their intentions in the war that leaves me with little idea how everything will turn out in the face of the Yamato’s mission. There are so many possibilities; the only thing I am sure of is that the ending will be quite bittersweet, and it’s a feeling that Yamato 2199 has long since earned. The depth of character, story and craft give it a punch that is rare in many mediums, much less anime. I’m clamoring to see the conclusion, but I know I’ll be sad for many reasons when it’s finished. read more
Feb 10, 2013
This is the remake of the first anime space opera, made back in 1974. Since I have already made a review for the original version, I will only mention the differences and how they compare.
First of all, I am not against remakes if they are at least two decades apart and if they have something new to offer without taking out the magic of the original. In this case there were four decades since the first version but this anime was made at the same time the live action movie was out. Why did they make two versions so close to each other? Weird. Not that the movie was bad in any way but it sure changed a lot of elements to the point it felt like a different story altogether. This anime on the other hand kept things almost the same and only tempered with minor details and aesthetics, so it manages not to annoy any fans of the original.
- The animation is a collaboration of two studios, AIC and Xebec. They are notorious for their bad production values and below average shows, yet in this case we have a very weird exception where they did a splendid job. It looks brilliant! This was such a surprise for me.
- The direction is done by Izubuchi Yutaka, who was an assistant to dozens of famous sci-fi titles over the years, including the third season of the older Yamato. His only previous directing work as in Rahxephon, which had an amazing concept but was otherwise completely boring and badly presented. I was expecting a lousy job but again I was amazed to find it he actually did pretty well this time. I guess it was studio Bones at fault and not his talent at fault.
The first thing everybody will notice is how the faces are not Leiji-like. It can sort of disappoint some retro fans but to be honest most new viewers would simply hate that style. Also, Ozma was completely Leiji-styled and we all saw what a waste of time that was, so leave the style to be modern. I got used to it after only half an hour.
Character faces aside, everything else is left the same in terms of artwork; ship, uniforms, robots all look the same. They have also been upgraded to include ten times more details instead of leaving all minor characters like blobs in the background. It also corrected the color mistakes the older version had. Remember how they forgot to draw the aliens with blue skin in the first episodes?
Aesthetics aside, it looks plain gorgeous in everything from environments, to explosions, to smooth animation. This is how perfection is supposed to look like. It really matters when you have ten times more time and budget to make an episode, than just one week and a few pennies.
The soundtrack is basically an upgrade of the original, still ballads with more flavors in musical BGM. Unless you expect new songs in a remake, you will love the new more dynamic versions of the classic themes.
Ok, sure, it’s the age-old classic story of an alien invasion. The Earth people create a super spaceship and go to beat the aliens and find a way to rebuild their planet. As simple as it sounds, it has a lot more things to it, from taking the time to flesh out all the major characters, as well as to expand into other themes, such as patriotism, honor, and propaganda. Those themes were present in the original as well but definitely were undermined in favor of space exploration and rather dull dialogues. So although the main plot is as basic as it sounds, each episode usually branches out to include various interesting side stories of human drama. Also, you now feel that there are far more planets with civilizations out there, from colonized human planets, to systems the aliens conquered.
This of course can work negatively, since in the older version it was jusy Earth and Gamilas the only planets which could support human life. Now we are just a backwater planet, and a minor conquest instead of a vital area that will help the aliens to survive by migrating from their dying planet. In a similar way, there are many areas on the planet which don’t feel like they are under immediate threat by the aliens, as they all were in the older version. I mean there were families which were discussing the heirs of their busyness and the global bombings felt like minor set backs to them instead of horrifying mass extinction of life. So the scope of the story has spread to include far more planets, which is good, but at the same time degraded a lot the importance of the main two warring factions. The results of the war just don’t feel like they will signal the death of a whole race; the losing side can just migrate to a different planet for all we care.
But aside from this minor degrading, everything else is pure gold and no episodes were useless so far.
While everybody still has the same roles as before, they feel far more fleshed out here, with more elaborate backdrops and characterization. A major plus is how you now feel that several secondary characters are important to the plot as well, besides the main five. Especially when it comes to the female characters, you now get a handful of dynamic women in various key positions, such as pilots, announcers, and enemy representatives. The older version was also supposed to have had many women on board the ship but from a point on they removed them completely and replaced them with genderless blobs, so they will save time in drawing. All you were left were a couple women in the roles of platonic girlfriends and deus ex machinas. So once again, a major improvement was done.
What may seem a bit off though is ho cute all the girls are. Not oversexualized and indecent or anything but surely they are all so perky, with skin tight uniforms and innocent looks. Ok, all Leiji omen were treated as such too, but they ere few and major. Over here every girl is like it popped out of a non-erotic dating sim. Nothing particularly bad but it feels like fish out of water in a grim setting where entire solar systems are enslaved and planets are wiped out. Just saying.
As far as remakes go, this is amongst the best I have seen in my whole life. Although it doesn’t feel as grim and serious as the older version, it does a much better job in improving visuals, story complexity, and character depth. It is rather saddening to see how unnoticed it is by the fandom, as everybody was deifying complete trash shows like Sword Art Online, and didn’t give a damn for a much superior show such as this. Proves once again how we are full of tasteless retards. We haven’t had a good space opera for over a decade and it easily ranks as one of the better anime that were made in recent years.
I just hope they are not going to remake the later seasons or movies. They were just inferior rehashes of the first season and any improvements they had over the first season have already been present in the remake. They have absolutely nothing to offer besides weird weaponry and Desler changing moods like he doesn’t know what he wants. Maybe the Black Nebula part would be fine to remake but everything else is completely passable.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 9/10
General Artwork 2/2 (looks great)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic)
Backgrounds 2/2 (detailed)
Animation 2/2 (overall very good)
Visual Effects 2/2 (overall very good)
SOUND SECTION: 9/10
Voice Acting 3/3 (fitting with the feeling of the series)
Music Themes 4/4 (great)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)
STORY SECTION: 7/10
Premise 1/2 (typical)
Pacing 2/2 (fine)
Complexity 2/2 (many good side stories)
Plausibility 1/2 (so-so)
Conclusion 1/2 (I suspect cheesy)
CHARACTER SECTION: 6/10
Presence 1/2 (generic)
Personality 2/2 (rather cheesy but well founded)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there)
Development 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
Catharsis 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
VALUE SECTION: 8/10
Historical Value 3/3 (all-known)
Rewatchability 2/3 (high if you like its style)
Memorability 3/4 (a very well made remake)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 7/10
Art 1/1 (looks splendid)
Sound 1/2 (great songs)
Story 2/3 (feels generic but plays out nicely)
Characters 3/4 (they are generic but play their parts nicely)
VERDICT: 7.5/10 read more
Jul 12, 2014
There's drama, space battleship combat, intrigue, romance, loss, love, hope, despair, inspiring and despicable characters, great music (I love the intro, its like nothing else out there in this age of anime), great interstellar scenery and locals, and so much more. The way the combat is played off as a mix between spaceships and battleship-era naval combat is an amazing style choice. The true definition of a "space opera." Its almost a shame I've watched this now as everything else I watch that tries to be anything like it will likely never be quite as good.
Could I nit-pick the show if I really wanted to find something "wrong?" Surely. Nothing can ever be "perfect," but for me personally Space Battleship Yamato 2199 comes close. I enjoyed it thoroughly, from start to finish, and for once feel truly satisfied by the end of the show. I don't need to see more, I don't think anything was left out, and I don't disagree with the choices made. read more
Dec 27, 2014
The story and characters have an epic potential but I don't know whether it is because it is an old anime or what, but the story has many holes, characters behave really shallowly a lot of times and the anime create really artificial moments in order to evoke a certain emotional reaction in the viewer. All of this makes you feel like the authors treat you as a dumb, not demanding or 12 years old viewer who can't catch all those obvious flaws.
For example the crew needs to go asap to one place, but they debate whether to go to 2 other places before hand and they decide not to go to not waste time. But 10 seconds later the ship's engine melt and they have to go to one of those places and after fixing the engine they suddenly decide to go to the other 2nd place.
Or in a big fight in a really intense moment they portray a main character like he died from a heart attack and then 10 seconds later he is standing next to them completely fine with a doctor confirming everything is fine.
There is a lot of stuff in this anime like this that turns you off even though you really wish everything would be polished, because the story and characters have an epic potential if made right.
The sound/music in this anime really suck ass, they are simple and like from 1960 but because you think the story and characters will develop so well you don't care about the sound, until you realize the story and cast falls short and they you feel disappointed even by the sounds and soundtracks. read more
Jan 22, 2015
People praise this anime saying that this remake was made from an classic of an old anime. Now I see what they were talking about. I agree with them. This anime is awesome!
When many people, hear remake or "reboot," they get turned away but I assure you that this anime will meet your expectations and then leave you wanting more.
There is a strong story here. The planet Earth is fighting for it's survival, against an alien threat. Either extinction or slavery. But hope isn't gone for humanity. Battleship Yamato was built, in order, to travel across the universe to the aliens, Iscandarians, who brought a mysterious technology. They made it possible for the humans to build the Yamato. Obstacles are presented throughout their journey, expiring more bits of the story and the puzzle. The story isn't hard to understand but it is nonetheless enjoyable to watch. There are many developments and annoyances that help shape into something more than the simple premise of the story. For the most part, it follows the original plot, I cannot say what but I can say it follows it confidently though. It is not overly confusing or complex - there are also many things that is left for the audience to ponder and wonder so the they are boring them. If you expect more out of the anime and come in with a clear mind, you will be happy and see a flawless anime.
The art was beautiful. Visuals were amazing. It was like a breath of fresh air when compared to other anime. Originality.
I have no complaints with the sound. It was on point.
There is a big cast of characters in this anime. Sometimes when that happens, it can ruin shows. But this isn't the cast. You see the brave heros, loyal comrades, tragic villains, and whatever else in between. Some characters may seem stereotypical but it soon changes as you watch more. At times, Yamoto, doesn't define the difference and you can sympathize with the enemy, questioning the motives of the heros. It's important that it separates the wheat from the chaff in this aspect. Still, there is a classic story at hand and classic characters. But they are not as hollow and calculable as one more suspicious may come to believe.
This anime has a lot going for it. The story was awesome. A lot of the music was from the original, which was nice. Characters were awesome and I loved seeing the characters change and grow. There were different types of emotions being experienced.
I thoroughly enjoyed this anime. I am happy to say I recommend this to anyone because it is that AMAZING. It's an awesome remake of an classic anime. It is very much re-watchable. It deserves the praise that it gets. I hope everyone else enjoys this anime as much as I did. read more
Jul 31, 2013