Over the weekend I did my duty as a Japan blogger and went to see the Space Battleship Yamato live action movie, and it was definitely an enjoyable experience. A big budget remake of the classic anime of my youth about humans traveling in a reconstructed Japanese battleship to a distant star, the movie succeeded at bringing the story to the big screen without losing its soul, unlike certain Hollywood anime crossovers I could name. The themes of the classic show were updated nicely, including Gamilas and Iscandar being changed into two sides of the same planet, and the Gamilas aliens are now actually aliens. The writers were smart enough to take cues from the second season of Yamato (the Comet Empire), which was loved by many fans. It’s easy to see new influences that have crept in, including the “Battlestar Galactica” look and feel of the ship, and the formerly demure Yuki (Nova) being updated into a rough fighter pilot, ala Starbuck. The producers apparently had a crush on the movie Armageddon, too, and the closing theme of the film is sung by the vocalist of Areosmith. (I didn’t even know he was an anime fan.) I have many fond memories of having to stay home from school with the measles and passing the time watching Star Blazers while drawing flip-book animation on every notepad in the house, and I was really happy to be able to enjoy Yamato in a new way.
The new Yamato film was great.