"There is so much writing in English on Japanese cinema that can't be accepted at face value — not because the writers are careless, but because the differences in culture and language are just too intricate. When I see August Ragone's name on a piece of writing, it gives me permission to place my faith in it completely. Among Japanese fantasy film historians, he's the best working in English." —Tim Lucas, Video Watchdog

Friday, August 24, 2012

New Trailer, Isao Sasaki Returns, and More!


The official website, Yamato Crew, has just been updated with a cornucopia of news on the ongoing SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO: 2199 series, including the brand-new trailer for Chapter 3, opening in Japanese cinemas on October 13th (click here for a higher-res version hosted on Yamato Crew). While it is no news that the original vocalist, Isao Sasaki, returned to the studio to record fresh arrangements of the late Hiroshi Miyagawa's theme song, and the original ending theme song, "The Scarlet Scarf" (under the baton of the composer's son, Akira), it is news that the classic romantic tune will now be the official Ending Theme for Chapter 3 (episodes 7-10)!

Previously, it was stated that this new recording would only be used as an "Insert Song" (perhaps heard in a few episodes, either vocal or instrumental), so this is great news for long-time Yamato fans. The new version of "The Scarlet Scarf" can be heard in the brilliant trailer for Chapter 3 (posted and linked above, features an actual ending, as the original simply faded out), which carries the preview solely with Sasaki's signature crooner — with full emotional punch for those of us who grew up with Yamato!

Speaking of Yamato music, an epic concert has been announced for this coming November 10th, entitled "Yamato Symphonic Band: Great Ceremony of 2012". Akira Miyagawa, at the baton, will. conduct the Osaka Municipal Symphonic Band, and the Toke Civic Wind Orchestra, for two full performances featuring the music of YAMATO: 2199. Vocalists will include the aforementioned Isao Sasaki, Aira Yuki, and Aki Misato, singing their respective songs for YAMATO: 2199. According to the press release:

This music, referred to by fans as the "Miyagawa Sound", should be handed down from generation to generation. And now, the son of Miyagawa, Akira Miyagawa, has inherited this sound from the past, and will be sitting at the piano, accompanied by his "Yamato Symphonic Band". Now, leading the past into the present with "emotion" and "music", this new Miyagawa Sound will resound the name "Yamato" throughout the galaxy!

In addition to the full performance, audiences will be treated to a special bonus: a world-premiere screening of Episode 11 of YAMATO: 2199! Produced by Bandai-Namco Live Creative and Voyager Entertainment, the "Yamato Symphonic Band: Great Ceremony of 2012" will be held at the amazing Maihama Amphitheatre, located near the Tokyo Disney Resort.

In even more music news, the first full Original Soundtrack album for YAMATO: 2199 has been announced for release this coming November 7th, featuring Akira Miyagawa's re-recordings of his father's original score, plus his new cues, all heard in the new series. While there are no other details at press time, the CD will retail for ¥3,000, and will be the first in a series from Lantis and Bandai Visual. Speaking of Yamato soundtracks, a two-CD set of music from the Director's Cut of SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO: RESURRECTION, featuring previously-released tracks, as heard in the re-release of the 2009 feature film (soon to be issued on DVD and BD in the US from Funimation) is now available from Columbia Records (formerly Nippon Columbia), featuring 47 tracks, ¥3,360.

Of course, all of this is in addition to the current pair of CD singles for the songs of YAMATO: 2199 from Lantis, retailing for ¥1,200 each, and the 24bit 96kHz, Blu-spec CD reissue series of the 30 original Yamato soundtrack albums, "Yamato Almanac", which just launched this past July, to be released over a two-year period, and will retail for ¥2,625 each.

With the premiere of Chapter 3: "The Endless Voyage", the film will be playing in two additional cinemas to meet with the demand for YAMATO: 2199, thus bringing the total number of nationwide theaters up to twelve: MOVIX Kameari in Tokyo and the Osaka Station City Cinema in Osaka. Meanwhile, on Opening Day, the Shinjuku Piccadilly Theater will be hosting their third "Yamatalk Night", with a "Gamilas Invasion": On hand will be voice actors Koichi Yamadera (Lord Aberto Dessler) and Yosuke Akimoto (Vice Commander Redoff Hiss). Yamadera has an extensive resume, and is perhaps most well-known as "Spike Spiegel" from COWBOY BEBOP (1998) and "Ryoji Kaji" in NEON GENESIS EVANGELION (1995).

Veteran Akimoto has enjoyed a long and esteemed career with roles such as Siegel Clyne in MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM SEED (2003) and Lord Alberto in GIANT ROBO: THE ANIMATION (1993). Before his Anime  career, Akimoto was an on-screen actor, who was featured in several tokusatsu series: The Dark Scientist who creates Hakaida in Episodes 36 & 38 of KIKAIDA (1972), Genshiro Shiranui in Episodes 1, 2 & 4 of IRON KING (1972), Dr. Iwamura in Episodes 33 & 34 of SUPER ROBOT: RED BARON (1973), and many more. The two VAs will be joined on stage by Supervising Director Yutaka Izubuchi. Times for this live talk before the screening of Chapter 3, are to be announced.

Stay tuned to this blog and the official Star Blazers website for more news and information on SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO: 2199 as they develop — and soon, we'll be off to outer space, like we never have before! Again.


mathetes1963 said...

August, is there any scuttlebutt whether Funimation's BD release of "Resurrection" will be the original, the Director's Cut, or both?

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