In the distant future, the war between the human race and the Gamilon has taken its toll on the planet Earth. Constant bombardment of radioactive asteroids has rendered the planet's atmosphere uninhabitable. As a means of relief aid, Queen Starsha of the planet Iscandar offers the Earth Forces a device that can completely neutralize the radiation off the planet. For this task, the space battleship Yamato is launched from the remains of its World War II ancestor on a 148,000 light-year journey. However, the crew of the Yamato has only one Earth year to travel to Iscandar and back, or the human race will come to an end.
Space Battleship Yamato marks one of the most crucial watershed moments in anime. It is the science-fiction epic for an entire generation of anime fans, some of whom would end up working on future efforts such as Mobile Suit Gundam, SDF Macross, and many, many others. Its influence pervades nearly every science fiction anime series told in its wake, and its storytelling has most certainly stood the test of time.
That being said, it is important to note that Yamato has aged remarkably well. Where many older series’ can be hindered by comparatively poor animation qualities, a lack of detail due to shoestring budgets, and cheesy or outdated voice acting & dialogue, Yamato defies these expectations with its lush colors, smooth animation, and superb direction. Although many may view this title through a historical or nostalgic lens, Yamato maintains a flavor of relevancy that is nearly unparalleled within its genre. With only a small amount of patience, any viewer can begin this series and draw enjoyment from it. An eye for dated works is not necessary.
Although dating from 1974, the animation is rather astonishing. The color palette, though not as subtle (nor as varied) as many more recent titles, works perfectly for the story being told. Explosions are vibrant and lush, characters are detailed and emotive, backgrounds and details retain consistency even during periods of intense action. The art direction itself maintains a futuristic significance even by today’s jaded standards—and while the general consensus of the “vision of the future” has shifted away from the analogue, button & knob-filled grandeur of the mid-70’s, the gritty Naval-inspired designs of the eponymous ship retain the relatable aesthetic that the creators wished to establish.
The bombastic soundtrack is immediately memorable. Many auditory motifs help engrain the atmosphere of the show, coloring a wide range of moods and emotions that only serve to further draw the viewer into the experience. As these songs repeat themselves throughout the series, it isn’t long before the audience begins anticipating courses of action based on motif alone—sometimes these anticipations are accurate, however, too many of the key plot points avoid rigid predictability. The narrative’s flexibility gives the soundtrack an added edge by staying fresh regardless of the implied mood. Each scene presents variable interpretations for the songs to adhere to.
Its characters are immensely likable and heroic, though not without their own flaws and inner demons. Their characterization is precise and archetypical, avoiding many clichés while perhaps establishing many others. The premise, though arguably rather two-dimensional, is overshadowed by a heavy reliance upon the character-driven narrative, and its superbly developed cast supports this to an exceptional degree. The voice acting is similarly well executed, and most certainly adds a sense of conviction, fortitude, and dedication to the characters that would otherwise be lacking.
There are also many cinematic techniques that make their first notable appearances in anime through Yamato, particularly with how certain battle scenes are sequenced, shot, and edited together in order to form the perfect cohesive experience.
Before Ergo Proxy and Last Exile, before Evangelion, SDF Macross, and Gundam, before Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica, there was Space Battleship Yamato. It deserves its place among the elite. Recommended for any fan of science fiction and animation. read more
Well, this is my first review, so please go easy on me.
I came to be interested in the anime, since I like naval-related stuff, therefore, the name Space Battleship Yamato made me think about the very well known Battleship Yamato, the Imperial Navy's pride during WW2. I did not know ANYTHING about the anime before deciding to watch it. Now I know about it's well renowned reputation as a pioneer in the science fiction genre. It was also one of the first (if not first!) anime being broadcasted in the US (with a LOT of modifications). Luckily, I watched the original Japanese version. So here is what I think of it:
The Journey to Iscandar? I really asked myself what that could mean before I watched the anime. Well, I am not going to ruin the story, so all I am going to say is that the plot is pretty convincing (although there were some mistakes and WTF moments that were mentioned at the credits after each episode, provided by the subtitle company). Earth in danger of extinction and the revival of a WW2 battleship to help her survive? I wanted to see that! The bla bla part and the good action scenes are very well balanced and the actual bla bla parts are actually pretty interesting and (sometimes!) heart moving. The ending, although a little bit too fast I would say, makes you want to watch more of the anime and (thank God) many movies and 2 other seasons were made for it. I give the story a well deserved 9.
I had (still have) watched few animes before this one, but the first thing that shocked me when I started to watch is the artwork. It is so different from what anime is today! I could not stop laughing about the funky-retro-70s pants that the crew used and the relative simplicity of the artwork in general. But oh well, this was just in the first episode. I got used to that. In fact, the way Queen Starsha was first presented, for example, gave her an aura of mystery, which really suits her. The most amazing thing though is the design of the Yamato and the battle effects. Although pretty simple at first sight, they are good enough to give you a feeling of YAY VIOLENCE, EXPLOSIONS PEW PEW, which (despite the fact that I wasn't even born in those days) could have been very difficult and innovative in those years (it was 1974 after all, no Star Wars, no Gundam Wing, no nothing!). The exterior and interior design of the Yamato is also very very interesting and creative. I give art also a 9.
The sound... just one word: WOW. The opening already pumps you up and is already a good intro to the anime's epicness. The lyrics are perfectly suitable for the anime and we can't just forget the amazing voice of Isao Sasaki, an artist totally unknown to me before this anime. I watched many videos of him performing the Yamato theme (still today! he is almost 70 years old!) with the same enthusiasm everytime. I read that the opening theme became so popular, that it was informally taken as an anthem for the real Japanese Yamato. Anyways, back to the anime. The ending song (Makka na scarf) is as good as it's opening. Again, performed by Sasaki. Regarding the ambience music in the anime, it could not be better. They did a great job creating a space atmosphere around the Yamato. Battle themes, drama, happiness,... I really recommend to look for the whole Soundtrack CD. It is simply amazing! Sound deserves a perfect 10
The ship cannot navigate itself, obviously. The Yamato's crew is as epic as it's ship. The swiss-clock-precise Shima, the rebellious Kodai, the intelligent Sanada... Every crew member shows a complete different personality and talents, which leads to a very rich environment in the bridge of the Yamato and also in the rest of the ship. Yuki is not the common tv show girl. She is the only one aboard the Yamato, but she is responsible for Life Support and also the Medical Bay (together with the funny doctor Sado). She is not the regular woman that falls in love instantaneously with the main character, but she evolves together with him to actually reach that point. Queen Starsha's mysterious personality and history is something that makes her very intersting, even atractive to some point (her beauty is very different to how anime women are presented today). She is obviously very important, since the Yamato actually travels to hear her advice. Lord Desler is also very different from today's villian. Although cruel, he is extremely intelligent. He also sees the Yamato with respect and holds to a certain point a clean fight with the ship. A very interesting character indeed. Last but not least, Captain Okita. Without a doubt, the most misterious character. Always calm and even more intelligent than Lord Desler, he is in charge of leading the Yamato and it's crew. His unorthodox methods scare sometimes scare Kodai or Shima, but his authority is never questionated. Will he succeed? Ok, character gets a 9 from me.
From start to end, the anime made me laugh, be anxious, angry (Captain Okita's decisions and other stuff). I enjoyed every second of it. Whether Desler planned his strategy, the Yamato just blew everything up with the Wave Motion Gun or Analyzer teased Yuki, everything made the anime be watchable and worthy of my time. I did not toally like the ending though. Although it was good, it had a very WTF moment (which I shall not spoil) and I think the final parts were also a bit short. Anyways, enjoyment also gets a 9.
Retro anime, funky clothes, aliens attacking humanity, space battleships, guns and explosions? Hell yes! The anime, although it may look boring for today's anime fans, is still enjoyable and worth of watching. The depth of the story is also pretty astonishing, in my case at least. I recommend any sci fi or navy fan to watch this great time joy. I do strongly say you should watch the Japanese version, since the US one (known as Star Blazers) cut a lot of "inapropiate" scenes in that time (today, Space BB Yamato could be a good PG-13 as hardest measure, PG-7 I would say). The thing that makes me mad though is, that they renamed the Yamato as "Argo" which drops the epicness of the ship. Anyways, a must see!
(Note: English is not my native language. I'm sorry for any grammar / spelling errors).read more
Written by Leiji Matsumoto, I was super excited to watch this. Known as Star Blazers in America, its debut was in 1979 and the broadcast consisted of Yamato with its' two sequels. It wasn't until I re-watched the original Mobile Suit Gundam for the x-th time and wanted more space opera-type shows that I discovered Matsumoto's work. However, until now I had only watched his shows in scattered episodes never fully completing any of his shows.
Coming out in 1974, the art is very impressive compared to previous anime with minor hiccups occasionally cropping up. The music is pretty epic like that of old Soviet hymns, and consistent throughout the show from point A-B. And, who can say that bellbottom space pants are a bad thing?
Story wise, many have probably already seen the "Humanoid alien race attack Earth" plot line. However, there is for once, a clear-cut reason behind the alien attack, why there are mostly "kids" doing the fighting, and why the aliens (Gamilons) do what they do throughout the anime.
When it came to characters, no, they aren't too impressive, and are fairly one dimensional with little to no character development. That being said, it really doesn't matter. The main character doesn't really feel like the main focus. It's the journey and trials the Yamato must make to save Earth. "You" do see Kodai (MC) evolve as a human, the evil alien Desler be James Bond villian 101, Captain Okita be calm cool courageous savior of everything, and the best robot (Analyzer) I have ever seen in an anime in a long time.
As much as I enjoyed this, during the end of development, the staff had two projects going on at time. This made the animation staff crunch for the deadline, and made the ending extremely rushed. Very sad for almost a perfect space opera anime.
As a biased fan of mecha and space operas, this was an almost perfect show. I am definitely going to watch more Yamato anime. read more
Space battleship Yamato does not live up to it's reputation for me, however I see why people like it a lot.
Story (5.5)- For the most part the story's your stereotypical humans vs. aliens story. Though there are times when it rises above that. You might think the Yamato's plot amour (which was done to conserve the anime's budget) would sink the show however for the most part it uses interesting tactics to get out of the sticky situations the Yamato is put in. The aliens also have a concrete reason as to why they are attacking Earth. Yamato has influenced countless si-fi titles as shown by some interesting points occasionally like for example " Is it fair how the losers are treated ?", "Are the Gamilluans really that different form humans ?".
Characters (7.25)- Most of them are one note, however for the most part they are well written though. Kodai is a well developed character. Okita is the captain that supplies the interesting tactics that keep the Yamato's plot amour in check, and becomes a mentor for Kodai. Descular is the leader of Gamilon it's interesting to see his very authoritative aggressive personality sometimes create a paradox with his respect for the Yamato. Starsha could have been very interesting, however her character is not explored much. Mori was the worst character very little depth, and development, plus the bits of fan service.
Sound (7)- voice acting acting is good. The music is your standard 70's anime soundtrack.
Art (7) and Animation (8.5)- Animation is pretty impressive for the most part considering how old it is, though there are some odd facial expressions sometimes. The art looks fine.
Enjoyment (6.5)- The story occasionally is able to rise above, the characters are solid, good voice acting, and impressive animation and art for the time: made Yamato worth my time. Though it certainly has problems.
Overall (6.4)- The story is most of the time average, has a lot of bland characters, sometimes the Yamato plot armor is not kept in check, occasional animation mistakes, and the generic music hold it down. But the well written characters, and some standout characters, a story that occasionally becomes something more than usual, and impressive animation for its time: make it worth watching. read more
From the early days of VCRs and VHS to the era of digital editing, great strides have been made in the art of anime music videos. Explore the culture of the editors, and maybe you too can become part of the art. I have reached out to several famous AMV makers for comment.