Anime World Order Show # 117 – We’re Off to Outer Space And Maybe Missing Our Flight

After a many-year hiatus we’ve got Tim Eldred back, now of the relaunched and restored Cosmo DNA 2.0 to talk about Space Battleship Yamato 2199.

Show notes later. My Otakon flight leaves in an hour and you’re supposed to BE at the airport an hour early…

25 Replies to “Anime World Order Show # 117 – We’re Off to Outer Space And Maybe Missing Our Flight”

  1. There are multiple Yamato series available for streaming on the XBox 360 Manga app. If I just wanted the core story without any reboots or sidestories, what’s the proper order?

  2. Really? You haven’t been downloading anything by bittorrent? There’s so much good stuff being subbed nowadays; you’re missing out. [Perhaps you misunderstand. What current shows worth watching are being fansubbed that are not being streamed legally? The best fansub projects are generally for older projects. –Daryl]

  3. Ah, this was pleasant surprise! Tim Eldred is always a very good guest and the AWO hosts did a good job on their end too.

    I’m currently a little behind on Yamato 2199 myself because I prefer to reduce the wait between episodes during my own viewing schedule, but so far I’ve been very impressed by this project, despite not knowing too much about the Yamato property beforehand. I was only generally aware of its historical importance and little else. Context was missing and this new production has done a lot to sell me on the whole concept and its universe.

    In fact, it even made me curious enough to pick up the Voyager box set of the Yamato movies. Obviously they won’t be exactly the same thing and I’ve heard the first film isn’t necessarily the best possible compilation of the original TV series, but I’m still willing to give them a watch at some point in the near future.

    Btw, I do believe Daryl’s spot on about 2199 appealing to people who enjoy shows like Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Admittedly, this is indeed a little more sci-fi oriented for obvious reasons and clearly deals less with political philosophy, but the combination of an epic scope space adventure with well-executed intrigue works wonders.

    1. One of the things so interesting about Yamato 2199 is, it’s *almost* like watching the original series from the Gamilas point of view. Almost. We sure get a ton of new detail on Gamilas and the politics and so on. Of course there are still other questions raised that we likely won’t see any resolution to, so oh well.

      I suspect if they do make Yamato 2201 (or whatever, I recall Izubuchi saying the second series happens too close to the first to be realistic for his liking) we’ll get a f**kton of politics in the Earth Defense establishment. I can’t wait.

  4. I’m glad Yamato 2199 is such a hit in Japan. Sells tickets, sells BDs, and it seems like there’s gonna be more smut at Comiket 84 than the other recent ones. Looking forward to that.

    Generally, I also find the remake more watching and approachable than the 1974 series. I was very hesitant at the beginning when the first episode felt beat for beat the same, but where it’s gone in story, characterization, and pace makes it a better series than the original.

  5. I watched the first episode. I thought it was a sequel, but now that I know that it’s a retelling I’ll watch the rest.

  6. Daryl is an insightful writer, and he did a very good job explaining why anime fans should check out, especially once it gets its old articles back this August 15. Space Battleship Yamato is the ultimate case study for understanding the origins of the anime industry as we know it–to see how the “anime” and the “industry” part evolved together. As Daryl points out, it’s important not to just keep repeating the same info that’s out there on the internet–you should also try to add information to the system by seeking out and translating old articles, interviews, etc. That’s what has done.

    I did want to comment on Daryl saying that Yamato was “50 years” or a “half-century” ago. He may have been thinking about the fact 2013 is regarded as the 50th anniversary of anime on TV, but Yamato premiered in 1974, which is 39 years ago. I’m sure we would agree that eleven years makes a big difference in an industry ^_^

    Years ago (I think it was in one of the early Ozone Commandos comics), they parodied the premise of Yamato, where the Commandos receive a message that promises a gadget they need, if they will come and pick it up, “but for some reason I can’t send it to you.” If I recall correctly, in Yamato, the message capsule sent by Queen Starsha to our solar system tells us how to build a faster-than-light drive so we can reach Iscandar and retrieve the Cosmo DNA to cleanse the radiation from Earth; so why didn’t she just tell us how to build the Cosmo DNA and save us the trip?

    If I remember, Starsha has a philosophical reason for not doing so that’s revealed eventually, but now that I think about it, even as a practical plot point, just knowing how to build the Cosmo DNA wouldn’t do Earth much good–it would still be under the same continuous siege by the Gamilas that had forced everyone to move underground in the first place. The only way to really win was to smash the Gamilas militarily and then heal the Earth, and that’s why the Yamato had to go forth on its journey.

    1. It was about the journey and Earth proving worthy of survival. It’s made much more obvious in Yamato 2199 and the artificial limitation seemingly imposed- to wit, Iscandar sent the plans for the Wave Engine but the ‘spark plug’ had to be provided separate. I have no idea if the Earth Command was able to analyze that device in a way that allows its duplication. This is a HUGE stumbling block as it means Yamato is the ONLY Wave Energy powered ship in the inventory!

      Iscandar seems to be horrified that Earth developed the Wave Motion Gun, there was a scolding about “Wave Energy is not meant for war!” that has a hint of hypocrisy to it. As you say, ‘curing’ the Earth means nothing if Gamilas is able to keep droppin’ them bombs (and Gamilas-forming seeds) over and over.

      1. Steve, you mentioned that the new Yamato is more of a hard-SF series than the original. One issue that gets raised in alien-invasion stories is why the aliens have chosen Earth as their particular target (other than for the obvious reason that the audience resides there ^_^), when, as a starfaring race, they could have presumably had their pick of countless worlds to convert into an analogue of Gamilas, including ones with no intelligent life that can fight back. Do they present a rationale why it had to be Earth specifically?

      2. In 2199, not yet. There may well be a BIG SPEECH by Desslar where he spells it out, but they may just completely gloss over it.

        My bet would be an old theory put forth in SF back in the ’50 and ’60s, that the Human Being is so much a part of the Earth’s biocycle, so ‘tuned’ to the specific temps and gravity and day/night cycle and most specifically the Earth/Moon (or Tellus/Luna to be very precise) tidal cycle.

        See, Tellus/Luna is considered a ‘twin planet’ in some circles, a fairly rare dance of delicate balance of masses.

        The thinking is that Homo sapiens may go to the stars but once there may well die out, unable to successfully reproduce. It may well be that the ONLY place Mankind can reproduce is on Mother Earth. Tides, day/night cycle, magnetic fields, solar radiation, atmosphere mix, these and other factors may well bond Mankind forever to the cradle.

        And Gamilas/Iscandar is also a twin planet. It may well be Gamilas Scientists have discovered this is true and the only way to have limitless growth of the Gamilas race is to find those rare Twin Planet worlds.

        I note with interest that there’s a comment about the Gamilas Machine Soldiers. about how they’re becoming ‘more and more common’.

        So, who knows. I suspect we’re not going to get answers to everything, and this is one of the reasons I cry bitter tears of shame that there aren’t ‘artbooks’ being made like the old heyday of Yamato, the Roman Albums et al. The recent Mag Garden published ‘Earth Establishment sheet’ book is nice but there’s not ENOUGH, not like those glorious hardcovers that Academy/West Cape used to produce.

        (and per one of Tim’s comments, one of those ‘unused concepts’ from the original series is the different classes of Gamilas citizens. That’s pretty much been used intact. 🙂 )

  7. Talking about Japanese blu-rays with English subtitles on them – they are not only meant for US fans who is in the same A region as Japan, some of those blu-rays are actually region free (like “Ghost in the Shell: Arise 1”). And thus available for any fans who watch anime with English subs. And when Japanese companies combine this technique with the “oversees distributors have to wait for a year until they can do their blu-ray releases” then I would guess they sell more and more blu-rays to oversea markets.

    And some of the English-speaking territory’s distributors are not happy about that – for example take a listen to the MangaUk podcast (about at the 01:01:36 mark) where they talk about what they call “grey exporting”.

  8. I asked my boyfriend who didn’t really care about Yamato until I dragged him to that Walter Amos panel how many episodes someone should watch to get into the show. He agrees it’s 3 because episode 3 is the first firing of the wave motion gun.

  9. I was able to get the first four BDs of Yamato 2199 and I love just about every minute of it. Of course, I’m right in the sweet spot of the primary demographic for Yamato so my opinion might be suspect.

    BTW, great meeting Daryl & Gerald this past weekend. It’s always going to be memorable when the evening includes a raving Ed Chavez.

  10. Great review… I wouldn’t mind checking out both versions, but the Yamato 2199 version does sound way smarter and interesting, so I might check that out first.

    Considering you seem to be fans of Osamu Dezaki, I’m surprised you haven’t reviewed his Treasure Island adaption, it’s fantastic stuff.

  11. First saw Yamato 2199 at Anime Los Angeles 2013. I had some free time and was tired (cosplaying is rough sometimes :P), and they were showing the first two episodes in one of the movie rooms. I started watching randomly and gradually got more and more hooked.

    As per as the show, I’d agree on the first two episodes being enough to try and hook someone to the series. I’d never seen nor heard anything about Space Battleship Yamato prior to that day. I will mention that I enjoy LoGH and enjoy playing the SRT series to death, but I think I was most attracted to this show because of its throwbacks to the older show while still being a remake. The OP is of an older Japanese singing style, but I love it all the same.

    Always makes me wonder what I missed growing up on Toonami, Digimon, Hoshin Engi, and Evangelion instead of epic frontier adventures shows like this one. 🙂

  12. I watched the original Yamato series last year, I enjoyed it and have been wanting to watch 2199. I have been contemplating importing the Japanese Blu Ray sets once they are all out.

    I haven’t watched series two of Yamato yet, i’ve been meaning too though. Should I try and work out the continuity/watching order with the movies between the series? I assume that info would be on

    1. I might suggest buying the Japanese Blu-Ray discs that are out now rather than waiting for a collected set.

      Right now appx. $70 gets you 4 episodes (except the first disc which is only 2 episodes), so 7×70= $490 plus shipping, which is no question a painful price BUT, buy it just one disc at a time and it’s a pain that’s spread out. And it’s a good time to start on that collecting because the 7th and final disc will be out in Oct.

      Given how Bandai Entertainment likes to bone everybody, it would not surprise me at all if a collected box set would run $600, maybe even more. Why? Because they can. Plus shipping gets into crazy range.

      Now, saying that, I have no doubt whatsoever that when Yamato 2199 is collected into a box set it’ll come with amazing stuff. It’ll be worth the price for the hard core fan.

      There are all manner of unanswered questions about the expected Box collection of Yamato 2199. Will it be the episodes as they exist now, or the slightly altered episodes running on Japanese TV (there is a recap montage added at each episode and different ED credit animation, for two items)? Would a Blu-Ray collected box set still have the English subtitles? Would the live-action ‘wrapper’ package for each episode as seen on NicoNico be included as extras-from what I can tell they’re pretty goofy but there’s some steller cosplayers doing the bits like a talk show, so it would be fun to see.

      Questions, questions, all to be answered in good time, hopefully. 🙂

  13. The first two movies are out of continuity with the TV series. The second movie makes this perfectly clear by the end. The second series is a remake of the second movie (and is far superior to both the movie, and the first tv series, which suffered from horrendous pacing problems.) What you do is watch the first two series, then watch Yamato: the New Voyage, Be Forever Yamato, the third series, then Final Yamato, then Resurection. Then read Star Blazers Rebirth on and just enjoy it, because it’s fucking amazing.

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