Space Battleship Yamato

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Space Battleship Yamato
Cosmoship Yamato vol 1.JPG
Cover of the first volume of the manga adaptation from the seventies titled Cosmoship Yamato.
(Uchū Senkan Yamato)
Genre Space opera, Military science fiction, Adventure
Anime television series
Directed by Leiji Matsumoto
Noboru Ishiguro
Produced by Yoshinobu Nishizaki
Written by Leiji Matsumoto
Yoshinobu Nishizaki
Studio Academy Productions
Network Yomiuri TV
Original run October 6, 1974March 30, 1975
Episodes 26 (List of episodes)
Cosmoship Yamato
Written by Leiji Matsumoto
Published by Akita Shoten
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Adventure King
Original run November 1974April 1975
Volumes 3
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Space Battleship Yamato (宇宙戦艦ヤマト Uchū Senkan Yamato?, also called Cosmoship Yamato) is a Japanese science fiction anime series featuring an eponymous spacecraft.[1] It is also known to English-speaking audiences as Space Cruiser Yamato; an English-dubbed and heavily edited version of the series was broadcast on North American and Australian television as Star Blazers.[2] The first two seasons ("Quest for Iscandar" and "The Comet Empire") of this version were broadcast in Greece in 1981-82 as Διαστημόπλοιο Αργώ ("Spaceship Argo"). An Italian-language version was also broadcast under the name Star Blazers in Italy, and a Portuguese-language version was successfully shown in Brazil under the title Patrulha Estelar ("Star Patrol") and Viaje a la Ultima Galaxia ("Voyage to the Final Galaxy") or Astronave Intrepido ("Starship Intrepid") in Spain and Latin America.

It is a seminal series in the history of anime, marking a turn towards more complex serious works and influencing works such as Mobile Suit Gundam and Neon Genesis Evangelion;[3] Hideaki Anno has ranked Yamato his favorite anime[4] and credited it with sparking his interest in anime.[5]

Yamato was the first anime series or movie to win the Seiun Award, a feat not repeated until the 1985 Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.


Conceived in 1973 by producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki, the project underwent heavy revisions. Originally intended to be an outer-space variation on Lord of the Flies, the project at first was titled "Asteroid Ship Icarus" and had a multinational teenage crew journeying through space in a hollowed-out asteroid in search of the planet Iscandar. There was to be much discord among the crew; many of them acting purely out of self-interest and for personal gain. The enemy aliens were originally called Rajendora.[6][7]

When Leiji Matsumoto was brought onto the project, many of these concepts were discarded.[8] It is his art direction, ship designs and unique style that accredit him in fans' eyes as the true creator of Space Battleship Yamato, even though Nishizaki retains legal rights to the work.[9]


The first season began airing in Japan on October 6, 1974. Set in the year 2199, an alien race known as the "Gamilas" ("Gamilons" in the English Star Blazers dub) unleash radioactive meteorite bombs on Earth, rendering the planet's surface uninhabitable.[10] Humanity has retreated into deep underground cities, but the radioactivity is slowly affecting them as well, with humanity's extinction estimated in one year. Earth's space fleet is hopelessly outclassed by the Gamilas and all seems lost until a message capsule from a mysterious crashed spaceship is retrieved on Mars. The capsule yields blueprints for a faster-than-light engine and an offering of help from Queen Starsha of the planet Iscandar in the Large Magellanic Cloud. She says that her planet has a device, the Cosmo-Cleaner D (Cosmo DNA), which can cleanse Earth of its radiation damage.[11]

The inhabitants of Earth secretly build a massive spaceship inside the ruins of the gigantic Japanese battleship Yamato which lies exposed at the former bottom of the ocean location where she was sunk in World War II. This becomes the Space Battleship Yamato for which the story is titled. Using Starsha's blueprints, they equip the new ship with a space warp drive, called the "wave motion engine", and a new, incredibly powerful weapon at the bow called the "Wave Motion Gun". The Wave Motion Engine (波動エンジン hadō enjin?) is capable of converting the vacuum of space into tachyon energy, as well as functioning like a normal rocket engine, and providing essentially infinite power to the ship, it enables the Yamato to "ride" the wave of tachyons and travel faster than light. The Wave Motion Gun (波動砲 hadō hō?), also called the Dimensional Wave Motion Explosive Compression Emitter, is the "trump card" of the Yamato that functions by connecting the Wave Motion Engine to the enormous firing gate at the ship's bow, enabling the tachyon energy power of the engine to be fired in a stream directly forwards. Enormously powerful, it can vaporize a fleet of enemy ships with one shot; however, it takes a brief but critical period to charge before firing.

In the English Star Blazers dub, the ship is noted as being the historical Yamato, but is then renamed the Argo (after the ship of Jason and the Argonauts). A crew of 114 departs for Iscandar in the Yamato to retrieve the radiation-removing device and return to Earth within the one-year deadline. Along the way, they discover the motives of their blue-skinned adversaries: the planet Gamilas, sister planet to Iscandar, is dying; and its leader, Lord Desslar ("Desslok" in the Star Blazers dub), is trying to irradiate Earth enough for his people to move there, at the expense of the "barbarians" he considers humanity to be.[12]

The first season contained 26 episodes, following the Yamato '​s voyage out of the Milky Way Galaxy and back again. A continuing story, it features the declining health of Yamato '​s Captain Okita (Avatar in the Star Blazers dub), and the transformation of the brash young orphan Susumu Kodai (Derek Wildstar) into a mature officer, as well as his budding romance with female crewmember Yuki Mori (Nova). The foreign edits tend to play up the individual characters, while the Japanese original is often more focused on the ship itself.[12] In a speech at the 1995 Anime Expo, series episode director Noboru Ishiguro said low ratings and high production expenses forced producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki to trim down the episode count from the original 39 episodes to only 26. The 13 episodes would have introduced Captain Harlock as a new series character.[13]

List of Episodes[edit]

Act 1: "The Quest for Iscandar" (1974 – 1975) (Time Period: 2199 – 2200)[edit]

  1. SOS Earth!! Awaken, Space Battleship Yamato (SOS地球!!甦れ宇宙戦艦ヤマト SOS chikyū!! yomigaere uchū senkan yamato?) (Original Airdate: October 6, 1974)
  2. Fire the Signal Gun!! Space Battleship Yamato Takes Off!! (号砲一発!!宇宙戦艦ヤマト始動!! gōhō ichi hatsu!! uchū senkan yamato shidō!!?) (Original Airdate: October 13, 1974)
  3. Yamato takes off!! The 296,000 Light Years Challenge!! (ヤマト発進!!29万6千光年への挑戦!! yamato hasshin!! 29 man 6 sen kōnen e no chōsen!!?) (Original Airdate: October 20, 1974)
  4. Astonishing World!! The Yamato Exceeds the Speed of Light (驚異の世界!!光を飛び越えたヤマト kyōi no sekai!! kō o tobikoe ta yamato?) (Original Airdate: October 27, 1974)
  5. Escape from the Floating Island!! The Wave Motion Gun Draws Danger Near!! (浮遊大陸脱出!!危機を呼ぶ波動砲!! fuyū tairiku dasshutsu!! kiki o yobu hadōhō!!?) (Original Airdate: November 3, 1974)
  6. Space Destroyer Yukikaze Sleeps on the Icefield! (氷原に眠る宇宙駆逐艦ゆきかぜ! hyōgen ni nemuru uchū kuchikukan yukikaze!?) (Original Airdate: November 10, 1974)
  7. Yamato Sinks!! Fateful Battle to Destroy the Enemy Stronghold!! (ヤマト沈没!!運命の要塞攻略戦!! yamato chinbotsu!! unmei no yōsai kōrya ku sen!!?) (Original Airdate: November 17, 1974)
  8. Yamato Braves Death!! Destroy the Reflective Satellite Cannon!! (決死のヤマト!!反射衛星砲撃破せよ!! kesshi no Yamato!! hansha eisei hō gekiha seyo!!?) (Original Airdate: November 24, 1974)
  9. Revolving Defense!! Asteriod Belt!! (回転防禦!!アステロイド・ベルト!! kaiten bōgyo!! asuteroido beruto!!?) (Original Airdate: December 1, 1974)
  10. Goodbye Solar System!! From the Galaxy with Love!! (さらば太陽圏!!銀河より愛をこめて!! saraba taiyōken! ginga yori ai o komete!!?) (Original Airdate: December 8, 1974)
  11. Decision!! Enter the Outer Defensive Lines of Gamilus!! (決断!!ガミラス絶対防衛線突入!! ketsudan!! gamirasu zettai bōei sen totsunyū!!?) (Original Airdate: December 15, 1974)
  12. No Way Out! The Wishing Star of Orion, Hell-Star (絶体絶命!!オリオンの願い星、地獄星 zettaizetsumei!! orion no negai boshi, jigoku boshi?) (Original Airdate: December 22, 1974)
  13. Hurry, Yamato!! Earth is Suffering!! (急げヤマト!!地球は病んでいる!! isoge yamato!! chikyū wa yan deiru!!?) (Original Airdate: December 29, 1974)
  14. Ordeal in the Galaxy!! First Launch of The year 2200!! (銀河の試練!!西暦2200年の発進!! ginga no shiren!! seireki 2200 nen no hasshin!!?) (Original Airdate: January 5, 1975)
  15. Desperate Escape!! The Yamato in A Different Dimension (必死の逃亡!!異次元のヤマト hisshi no tōbō!! ijigen no yamato?) (Original Airdate: January 12, 1975)
  16. Planet Bemera, The Underground Prison of Condemned Criminals!! (ビーメラ星、地下牢の死刑囚!! bīmera boshi, chikarō no shikei shū!!?) (Original Airdate: January 19, 1975)
  17. Charge!! Paranodon Attack Squadron (突撃!!バラノドン特攻隊 totsugeki!! baranodon tokkōtai?) (Original Airdate: January 26, 1975)
  18. Floating Fortress Island!! Suicidal Assault Team of Two!! (浮かぶ要塞島!!たった二人の決死隊!! ukabu yōsaitō!! tatta ninin no kesshitai!!?) (Original Airdate: February 2, 1975)
  19. Homesickness in Space!! Mother Sheds Tears for Your Sake (宇宙の望郷!!母の涙は我が涙 uchū no bōkyō!! haha no namida wa waga namida?) (Original Airdate: February 9, 1975)
  20. The Day the Sun Falls onto Planet Balan!! (バラン星に太陽が落下する日!! baran boshi ni taiyō ga rakka suru hi!!?) (Original Airdate: February 16, 1975)
  21. Domel's Fleet!! The Deadly Challenge (ドメル艦隊!!決死の挑戦状 domeru kantai!! Kesshi no chōsenjō?) (Original Airdate: February 23, 1975)
  22. Decisive Battle!! Fight For honor at The Rainbow Star Group!! (決戦!!七色星団の攻防戦!! kessen!! nana shoku seidan no kōbōsen!!?) (Original Airdate: March 2, 1975)
  23. Finally Arrived!! Crest of the Magellanic Cloud's Wave!! (逐に来た!!マゼラン星雲波高し!! tsuini kita!! Mazeran seiun hakōshi!!?) (Original Airdate: March 9, 1975)
  24. Deadly Battle!! Oh God, Mourn for Gamilus!! (死闘!!神よガミラスのために泣け!! shitō!! shin yo gamirasu no tame ni nake!!?) (Original Airdate: March 16, 1975)
  25. Iscandar!! The Dying Planet of Love!! (イスカンダル!!滅びゆくか愛の星よ!! isukandaru!! horobiyuku ka ai no hoshi yo!!?) (Original Airdate: March 23, 1975)
  26. Mother Earth!! The Yamato is Back!! (地球よ!!ヤマトは帰ってきた!! chikyū yo!! yamato wa kaette kita!!?) (Original Airdate: March 30, 1975)

Act 2: "The Comet Empire" (1978 – 1979) (Time Period: 2201)[edit]

  1. 2201: The Yamato Returns! (2201年ヤマト帰還せよ! 2201 nen yamato kikan seyo?) (Original Airdate: October 15, 1978)
  2. The Comet Appears; Remodeling the Yamato! (彗星出現・ヤマトを改造せよ! suisei shutsugen; yamato wo kaizou seyo!?) (Original Airdate: October 22, 1978)
  3. Earth's Crisis Awakens the Yamato! (地球の危機に起てヤマト! chikyuu no kiki ni tate yamato!?) (Original Airdate: October 29, 1978)
  4. Blast off to the Unknown! (未知への発進! michi e no hasshin!?) (Original Airdate: November 5, 1978)
  5. Open The Main Guns! Target: Yamato!! (主砲全開!目標ヤマト!! shuhou zenkai! mokuhyou yamato!!?) (Original Airdate: November 12, 1978)
  6. Heavy Fighting! The Space Cavalry (激戦!空間騎兵隊 gekisen! kuukan kiheitai?) (Original Airdate: November 19, 1978)
  7. Counterattack! The Invisible Space Submarine (逆襲!姿なき潜宙艦 gyakushuu! sugata naki senchuukan?) (Original Airdate: November 26, 1978)
  8. Spacestorm! Escaping is Impossible (宇宙気流!脱出不可能 uchuu kiryuu! dasshutsu fukanou?) (Original Airdate: December 3, 1978)
  9. Charge! Destroy the Yamato! (突撃!ヤマトを爆沈せよ! totsugeki! yamato wo bakuchin seyo!?) (Original Airdate: December 10, 1978)
  10. Crisis Relief! The Roar of The Wave Motion Gun (危機突破!吠えろ波動砲 kiki toppa! hoero hadouhou?) (Original Airdate: December 17, 1978)
  11. The Vengeful Demon; Lord Deslar (復讐の鬼・デスラー総統 fukushuu no oni; desurā soutou?) (Original Airdate: December 24, 1978)
  12. Will the Yamato Perish in the Cavity Planet!? (ヤマト空洞惑星に死す!? yamato kuudou wakusei ni shisu!??) (Original Airdate: December 31, 1978)
  13. The Fierce Attack! The Telezart Landing Operation (猛攻!テレザート上陸作戦 moukou! terezaato jouriku sakusen?) (Original Airdate: January 7, 1979)
  14. Counterstrike! The Discovery of Teresa (反撃!テレサを発見せよ hangeki! teresa wo hakken seyo?) (Original Airdate: January 14, 1979)
  15. Teresa: The Beginning of Love (テレサ・愛のはじまり teresa; ai no hajimari?) (Original Airdate: January 21, 1979)
  16. Teresa: Farewell to Love (テレサ・愛と別れ teresa; ai to wakare?) (Original Airdate: January 28, 1979)
  17. Teresa: A Disperse into Space! (テレザート・宇宙に散る! teresa; uchuu ni chiru!?) (Original Airdate: February 4, 1979)
  18. The Decisive Battle; All Ships Ready for Combat! (決戦・全艦戦闘開始! kessen; zenkan sentou kaishi!?) (Original Airdate: February 11, 1979)
  19. Yamato: The Collision Warp!! (ヤマト・激突ワープ!! yamato; gekitotsu waapu!!?) (Original Airdate: February 18, 1979)
  20. Yamato: A Daring Surprise Attack! (ヤマト・奇襲に賭けろ! yamato; kishuu ni kakero!?) (Original Airdate: February 25, 1979)
  21. Courage: The Death of Captain Hijikata! (壮烈・土方艦長の死! souretsu; hijikata kanchou no shi!?) (Original Airdate: March 4, 1979)
  22. Yamato: A Fight to the Finish! (ヤマト・徹底抗戦せよ! yamato; tettei kousen seyo!?) (Original Airdate: March 11, 1979)
  23. The Destined Showdown! (宿命の対決! shukumei no taiketsu!?) (Original Airdate: March 18, 1979)
  24. Deathmatch; Two Warriors! (死闘・二人の勇士! shitou; futari no yuushi!?) (Original Airdate: March 25, 1979)
  25. Yamato: The Urban Empire Invasion (ヤマト・都市帝国攻略作戦 yamato; toshi teikoku kouryaku sakusen?) (Original Airdate: April 1, 1979)
  26. Be Forever, Yamato (ヤマトよ永遠に yamato yo eien ni?) (Original Airdate: April 8, 1979)

Act 3: "The Bolar Wars" (1980 – 1981) (Time Period: 2202)[edit]

  1. The Destruction of the Solar System (太陽系の破滅 taiyoukei no hametsu?) (Original Airdate: October 12, 1980)
  2. War in The Milky Way (銀河系大戦 gingakei taisen?) (Original Airdate: October 19, 1980)
  3. Yamato Sets Sail (ヤマト暁の発進 yamato akatsuki no hasshin?) (Original Airdate: October 26, 1980)
  4. We Hit Mars (あの火星を撃て ano kasei wo ute?) (Original Airdate: November 2, 1980)
  5. SOS! Spaceship Rajendora (SOS!ラジェンドラ号 SOS! rajendora gou?) (Original Airdate: November 9, 1980)
  6. Fierce Battle! Planet 11 (激闘!11番惑星空域 gekitou! 11 ban wakusei kuuiki?) (Original Airdate: November 16, 1980)
  7. Planet Alpha's Rough Waves (アルファ星波高し arufa boshi nami takashi?) (Original Airdate: November 23, 1980)
  8. The Last Pioneer (最後の開拓者 saigo no kaitakusha?) (Original Airdate: November 30, 1980)
  9. Planet Barnard's Duel (バーナード星の決闘 baanaado boshi no kettou?) (Original Airdate: December 7, 1980)
  10. Dagon's New Fleet's Counterattack (ダゴン新鋭艦隊の反撃 dagon shinei kantai no hangeki?) (Original Airdate: December 14, 1980)
  11. Yamato in Danger! The Demonic Cygnus Airspace (ヤマト危し!魔の白鳥座星域 yamato kishi! ma no hakuchou zaboshiiki?) (Original Airdate: December 21, 1980)
  12. The Space Penal Colony (宇宙の流刑地 uchuu no rukeichi?) (Original Airdate: December 28, 1980)
  13. Dreadful! The Bolar Federation (恐るべし!ボラー連邦 osoreru beshi! boraa renpou?) (Original Airdate: January 11, 1981)
  14. The Dimensional Submarine Garuman Wolf (次元潜航艇ガルマンウルフ jigen senkoutei garuman urufu?) (Original Airdate: January 18, 1981)
  15. Yamato is Captured!! (ヤマト捕わる!! yamato towaru!!?) (Original Airdate: January 25, 1981)
  16. Deslar's Holiday (デスラーの祝日 desuraa no shukujitsu?) (Original Airdate: February 1, 1981)
  17. Deslar's Empire's Close Call (デスラー帝国危機一髪 desuraa teikoku kikiippatsu?) (Original Airdate: February 8, 1981)
  18. The Angry Sun (怒る太陽 okoru taiyou?) (Original Airdate: February 15, 1981)
  19. The Way to Planet Phantom (惑星ファンタムへの道 wakusei fantamu he no michi?) (Original Airdate: February 22, 1981)
  20. The Phantom Planet (幻の惑星 maboroshi no wakusei?) (Original Airdate: March 1, 1981)
  21. Shattered Hope (打ち砕かれた希望 uchikudakare ta kibou?) (Original Airdate: March 8, 1981)
  22. Farewell, The Star of Dreams (さらば 夢の星よ saraba yume no hoshi yo?) (Original Airdate: March 15, 1981)
  23. Fierce Battle! The Skalagek Star Clusters (激戦!スカラゲック海峡星団 gekisen! sukaragekku kaikyou seidan?) (Original Airdate: March 22, 1981)
  24. The Secret of Planet Shalbart (シャルバート星の秘密 sharubaato hoshi no himitsu?) (Original Airdate: March 29, 1981)
  25. Yamato, A Blast to the Sun! (ヤマト あの太陽を撃て! yamato ano taiyou wo ute!?) (Original Airdate: April 5, 1981)

Movie edition[edit]

The series was condensed into a 130-minute-long movie by combining elements from a few key episodes of the first season. Additional animation was created for the movie (such as the scenes on Iscandar) or recycled from the series' test footage (such as the opening sequence). The movie, which was released in Japan on August 6, 1977, was edited down further and dubbed into English in 1978; entitled Space Cruiser Yamato or simply Space Cruiser, it was only given a limited theatrical release in Europe & Latin America, where it was called Patrulha Estelar (Star Patrol, in Brazilian Portuguese) or Astronave Intrepido (Starship Intrepid, in Spanish), though it was later released on video in most countries.


Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato (1978)[edit]

The success of the Yamato movie in Japan eclipsed that of the local release of Star Wars, leading to the production of a second movie that would end the story. Also going by the name Arrivederci Yamato, Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato, set in the year 2201, shows the Yamato crew going up against the White Comet Empire, a mobile city fortress called Gatlantis, from the Andromeda Galaxy. A titanic space battle results in the crew going out on a suicide mission to save humanity. The film has been considered as a non-canonical, alternate timeline.

Space Battleship Yamato II (1978-79)[edit]

Viewer dissatisfaction with the ending of Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato prompted the production of a second Yamato TV season which retconned the film and presented a slightly different plot against Zōdah (Prince Zordar in the Star Blazers dub) and his Comet Empire, and ended without killing off the Yamato or its primary characters. Like Farewell, the story is set in the year 2201, and expands the film story to 26 episodes. This second season featured additional plots such as a love story between Teresa (Trelaina) and Yamato crew member Daisuke Shima (Mark Venture), and an onboard antagonism between Kodai and Saito (Knox), leader of a group of space marines.[citation needed]

Footage from Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato was reused in the second season, particularly in the opening titles. The sequence of the Yamato launching from water was also reused in two of the subsequent movies.

Yamato: The New Voyage (1979)[edit]

The television movie, Yamato: The New Voyage (a.k.a. Yamato: The New Journey), came next, featuring a new enemy, the Black Nebula Empire. The story opens in late 2201. In the film, later modified into a theatrical movie, Desslar sees his homeworld, Gamilas, destroyed by the grey-skinned aliens, and its twin planet Iscandar next in line for invasion. He finds an eventual ally in the Yamato, then on a training mission under deputy captain Kodai.

Be Forever Yamato (1980)[edit]

Main article: Be Forever Yamato

The theatrical movie Be Forever Yamato, set in the year 2202, sees the Black Nebula Empire launch a powerful weapon at Earth, a hyperon bomb which will annihilate humanity if they resist a full-scale invasion. The Yamato, under new captain, Yamanami, travels to the aliens' home galaxy only to discover what appears to be a future Earth—defeated and ruled by the enemy. Appearing in this film is Sasha, the daughter of Queen Starsha of Iscandar and Mamoru Kodai (Susumu's older brother).

Space Battleship Yamato III (1980-81)[edit]

Following these movies, a third season of the TV series was produced, broadcast on Japanese television in 1980. Its date was not mentioned in the broadcast, but design documents, as well as anime industry publications, cited the year 2205. In the story, the Sun is hit by a stray proton missile from a nearby battle between forces of the Galman Empire and Bolar Federation. This missile greatly accelerates nuclear fusion in the Sun, and humanity must either evacuate to a new home or find a means of preventing a supernova. During the course of the story, it is learned that the people of the Galman Empire are actually the forebears of Desslar and the Gamilas race. Desslar and the remnants of his space fleet have found and liberated Galman from the Bolar Federation. Originally conceived as a 52-episode story, funding cuts meant the season had to be truncated to 25 episodes, with a corresponding loss of overall story development. This third season was adapted into English several years after the original Star Blazers run and, to the dissatisfaction of fans, used different voice actors than did the earlier seasons.

Final Yamato (1983)[edit]

Main article: Final Yamato

Premiering in Japanese theaters on March 19, 1983, Final Yamato reunites the crew one more time to combat the threat of the Denguilu, a militaristic alien civilization that intends to use the water planet, Aquarius, to flood Earth and resettle there (having lost their home planet to a galactic collision). Captain Okita, who was found to be in cryogenic sleep since the first season, returns to command the Yamato and sacrifices himself to stop the Denguili's plan. Susumu and Yuki also get married.

The story is set in the year 2203, contradicting earlier assumptions that its predecessor, Yamato III, took place in 2205. Having a running time of 165 minutes, Final Yamato retains the record of being the Japanese longest animated film ever made.

Yamato 2520 (1994)[edit]

Main article: Yamato 2520

In the mid-1990s, Nishizaki attempted to create a sequel to Yamato, set hundreds of years after the original. Yamato 2520 was to chronicle the adventures of the eighteenth starship to bear the name, and its battle against the Seiren Federation. Much of the continuity established in the original series (including the destruction of Earth's moon) is ignored in this sequel.

In place of Leiji Matsumoto, American artist Syd Mead (∀ Gundam, Blade Runner, Tron and Star Trek: The Motion Picture') provided the conceptual art.

Due to the bankruptcy of Nishizaki's company Office Academy, and legal disputes with Matsumoto over the ownership of the Yamato copyrights, the series was never finished and only four episodes were produced.

Space Battleship Great Yamato (2000)[edit]

Main article: Great Yamato

A manga created by Leiji Matsumoto.

Dai Yamato Zero-go (2004)[edit]

Main article: Dai Yamato Zero-go

The second OVA series.

New Space Battleship Yamato, (2004, cancelled)[edit]

In March 2002, a Tokyo court ruled that Yoshinobu Nishizaki legally owned the Yamato copyrights. Nishizaki and Matsumoto eventually settled, and Nishizaki pushed ahead with developing a new Yamato TV series. Project proposals for a 26-episode TV series were drawn up in early 2004, but no further work was done with Tohoku Shinsha not backing the project. American series expert Tim Eldred was able to secure a complete package of art, mecha designs, and story outline at an auction over Japanese store Mandarake in April 2014. [14]

Set 20 years after Final Yamato, the series would have shown Susumu Kodai leading a salvage operation for the remains of the Yamato. The ship is rebuilt as the Earth Defense Force builds a second Space Battleship Yamato to combat the Balbard Empire, an alien race that has erected a massive honeycombed cage called Ru Sak Gar, over Earth in a bid to stop the human race's spacefaring efforts. A feature film to be released after the series ended would have featured the original space battleship fighting the Balbards' attempt to launch a black hole at Earth. Kodai, Yuki, and Sanada are the only original series characters who would have returned in the series.

Yamato: Resurrection (2009)[edit]

Although New Space Battleship Yamato was sent to the discard pile, Nishizaki began work on a new movie titled Yamato: Rebirth (宇宙戦艦ヤマト 復活篇 Uchū Senkan Yamato: Fukkatsu hen) (set after the original series), while Matsumoto planned a new Yamato series. However, additional legal conflicts stalled both projects until August, 2008, when Nishizaki announced plans for the release of his film on December 12, 2009.[15][16]

Set 17 years after the events of Final Yamato, Resurrection brings together some members of the Yamato crew, who lead Earth's inhabitants to resettle in a far-flung star system after a black hole is discovered, which will destroy the solar system in three months.


Live-action film (2010)[edit]

Released on December 1, 2010, Space Battleship Yamato is the franchise's first live-action film. Directed by Takashi Yamazaki, the movie stars Takuya Kimura as Susumu Kodai and Meisa Kuroki as Yuki. It was revealed originally that the plot would be based on that of the 1974 series.[17][18] However, an official trailer released during June 2010 on Japanese TV has also shown elements from the series' second season (1978).

2199 (2012)[edit]

Debuting in Japanese cinemas on April 7, 2012, 2199 is a remake of the 1974 series. Yutaka Izubuchi serves as supervising director, with character designs by Nobuteru Yuki, and Junichiro Tamamori and Makoto Kobayashi in charge of mecha and conceptual designs. The series is a joint project of Enagio, Xebec and AIC. Hideaki Anno designed the new series' opening sequence.[19]


With the retelling of Arrivederci Yamato as the open-ended Yamato II television series (ending in late 2201), Arrivederci Yamato was redesignated as a discardable, alternate timeline. The follow-on film, Yamato: New Journey, took place in late 2201; and its successor, Be Forever Yamato, in early 2202. Yamato III was commonly believed to be set in 2205 (several printed publications used this date, although it was never stated in the show's broadcast). But the following film, Final Yamato, was set in 2203. The opening narration of Final mentioned the Bolar/Galman conflict, implying that the date for Yamato III was to be regarded as some time between 2202 and 2203 (making for an unrealistic and compressed timeline).

It is not known if this change was due to the lackluster response to Yamato III, the production staff's dissatisfaction with the truncated series (additionally, Nishizaki and Matsumoto had limited involvement with it), or a mere oversight.

In 2220, the ship is rebuilt following the events of Final Yamato. The new captain of the ship is Susumu Kodai, who was the main character in the previous movies. This is canon, as it is set 17 years after Final Yamato. It is not known what happened between 2203 and 2220.

Space Battleship Yamato arcade game[edit]

Space Battleship Yamato was a 1985 Japanese exclusive Laserdisc video game designed by Taito which was based on the television series of the same name.[20][21]


The Space Battleship Yamato series generally involves themes of brave sacrifice, noble enemies, and respect for heroes lost in the line of duty. This can be seen as early as the second episode of the first season, which recounts the defeat of the original battleship Yamato while sailors and pilots from both sides salute her as she sinks (this scene was cut from the English dub, but later included on the Star Blazers DVD release). The movies spend much time showing the crew visiting monuments to previous missions and recalling the bravery of their fallen comrades. Desslar, the enemy defeated in the first season and left without a home or a people, recognizes that his foes are fighting for the same things he fought for and, eventually, becomes Earth's most important ally.

English title[edit]

For many years, English-language releases of the anime bore the title Space Cruiser Yamato. This romanization has appeared in Japanese publications because Nishizaki, a sailing enthusiast who owned a cruiser yacht, ordered that this translation be used out of love for his boat. However, in reference to naval nomenclature, it is technically inaccurate, as 戦艦 senkan means "battleship" and not "cruiser" (which in Japanese would be 巡洋艦 jun'yōkan). Leiji Matsumoto's manga adaptation was titled Cosmoship Yamato.[22][23] Today, Yamato releases, including the Voyager Entertainment DVD, are marketed either as Star Blazers or Space Battleship Yamato.

Star Blazers (1979) is a heavily edited dubbed version for the US market produced by Westchester Film Corporation. Voyager Entertainment released DVD volumes and comic adaptations of the anime years later.


  1. ^ "Leiji Matsumoto 2010 Interview". Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  2. ^ "Flying off to Iscandare for the Cosmo DNX! Can we defeat the Gorgons?". Retrieved 2008-09-10. 
  3. ^ "Yamato also caused a paradigm shift in animation. Departing from the usual plot of "good vanquishes evil" so common in children’s programming, it acknowledged the enemy’s necessity in attacking Earth: the Gamilons must relocate, as their home planet is doomed to die. The highly realistic design of "mecha" (meka) - mechanical vessels and weapons - also set the standard for the genre of "mecha-robot anime". Without Yamato there would have been no Gundam or Evangelion (pls. 30, 33)." "Space Battleship Yamato" entry in Little Boy 2005 ed. Takashi Murakami ISBN 0300102852
  4. ^ "Kazuhiko Shimamoto and Hideaki Anno". 2005-04-07. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  5. ^ "A Yamato Discussion with Hideaki Anno, Leiji Matsumoto, and Hiroshi Miyagawa; translated from the 1998 Railway of Fantasy Concert Program". Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  6. ^ "1973-1976 Timeline". Retrieved 2008-09-06. 
  7. ^ "Leiji Matsumoto 1976 Interview". Retrieved 2009-09-01. 
  8. ^ "Yamato X Harlock: Ships in the Night". Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  9. ^ "A Rainbow of Threads". Retrieved 2008-09-10. 
  10. ^ "Yamato Origins". Retrieved 2010-06-03. 
  11. ^ "Matsumoto's Yamato". Retrieved 2009-09-01. 
  12. ^ a b "Make way for StarBlazers". Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  13. ^ Fenelon, Robert. Yamato Forever, Animerica, Vol 3 No 8, August 1995.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "New Attempt at Yamato Anime Project Announced". Anime News Network. 2008-08-01. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  16. ^ "Brand New Day". Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  17. ^ "Noboru Ishiguro Confirms Live-Action Yamato in Development (Update 2)". Anime News Network. 2009-07-18. 
  18. ^ "Live-Action Space Battleship Yamato Film's Cast Listed (Update 3)". Anime News Network. 2009-10-02. 
  19. ^ "Evangelion Director Hideaki Anno to Design Yamato 2199 Anime Opening". Crunchyroll. 2012-02-25. Retrieved 2012-02-25. 
  20. ^ "The Forgotten Game 2". Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  21. ^ "1985 Laserdisc Game Part 2". Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  22. ^ "Cosmoship Yamato Part 1: The Leiji Matsumoto Manga". Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  23. ^ "Cosmoship Yamato Part 2: The Leiji Matsumoto Manga". Retrieved 2008-10-02. 

External links[edit]