During this whole Coronavirus lockdown period, a vast majority of us have been cooped up at home. What was meant to be a simple two weeks has turned into over a month… Now, that’s besides the point, I’ve actually used that free time to clear up my anime backlog. That anime is Space Battleship Yamato 2199, or Uchū Senkan Yamato back in Japan.

So what is Space Battleship Yamato? Thats very simple to answer, they even tell you the entire plot in opening.

Original / Romaji LyricsEnglish Translation
Saraba chikyuu yo tabidatsu fune wa
Uchuu senkan YAMATO
Uchuu no kanata ISUKANDARU e
Unmei seoi ima tobidatsu
Kanarazu koko e kaette kuruto
Te wo furu hito ni egao de kotae

Farewell, Earth, the ship that is departing is
The Space Battleship Yamato
It departs now to Iskandar,
at the end of the cosmos, bearing its fate.
“We will come back, no matter what it takes”
Answer with a smile to the waving people

Ginga wo hanare ISUKANDARU e
Harubaru nozomu
Uchuu senkan YAMATO

Going far from the Galaxy towards Iskandar
A faint gleam of hope
The Space Battleship Yamato

The original Space Battleship Yamato which aired in Japan back in 1974 consisted of a whopping 26 episodes, and in a way served as the basis for Sci-Fi Opera oriented anime such as Gundam and Macross.

Like the original, the remake has a total of 26 episodes as well, but unlike its original counterpart, the visuals and some parts of the story has been vastly improved for a newer generation. That’s not to say fans of the original can’t enjoy it too.

The Crew and Atmosphere

One of the biggest reasons that drew me to watching this was it’s similarities to western science fictions shows like Battelstar Galactica in terms of action and drama. Additionally, with the premise being Earth under constant threat from a more technologically advance race of aliens, extinction of the human race being a possibility, and the mature themes that it undertakes makes Yamato stand out from other Sci-Fi animes. However, its not to say its devoid of anime tropes, they’re still there as well

Second to the action has to be the crew of the Yamato itself. The story dynamic of the ship’s crew is almost similar to what you can find in western Sci-Fi. Think of as a combination of crew of the Enterprise from Star Trek: The Next Generation and the crew of the Battlestar Galactica (shows which I love growing up). You’ll find episodes where the crew must overcome challenges by only coming together as a team. And, of course, the straight up Sci-Fi space battle episodes are quite entertaining in their own right.

Visuals

Space Battleship Yamato 2199 is certainly one of the most beautifully stunning anime I’ve ever seen. There is an excellent use of color and the animation is perfectly fluid.  But the best thing about how Yamato 2199 appears visually is the stunning attention to detail. From the flash of an explosion to the hundreds of individual rivets on a passing ship, everything is clear and beautiful. And the way ice crystals form on the ship after a warp jump and then crack and shatter in perfect clarity is downright jaw dropping.

Welcome Changes

I know I’ve used the word remake a few times already, and yes that what this anime really is. One of the many ways for a remake a remake to stand itself apart from its counterpart is by making changes. Some liberties were taken to improve upon the story. While its mostly identical, the pace is much quicker, certain plots were moved around to keep the audience in anticipation.

Conclusoin

So far, Space Battleship Yamato 2199 is a remake done right. The pacing is great, the art is beautiful, and it manages to be true to the original story framework while still managing to update it for the newer generations of anime fans. In other words, if you like space opera anime, this is definitely one you shouldn’t skip. So, basically, if you love science fiction, large scale space battles, romance, drama and all of that in anime form, this is something for you.

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