"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

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Spoilers for Chapter 3: "The Endless Voyage"

Cover of the Program Book for Chapter 3: The Endless Voyage.


Episode 7 "Bid Farewell to the Earth": The party thrown aboard the Yamato is based on the Earth-bound, "Line-crossing Ceremony" aka "Crossing the Line", the long-held martime celebration of traversing the equator. In 2199, this is for crossing the Heliopause, the outer-most area of our Solar System. This features elements from Episodes 10 ("We Will Return") and 14 ("Octopus Star Storm") of the original 1974 series.

Episode 8 "When You Wish Upon a Star": Combines some elements from Episodes 9 ("Asteroid Belt"), 11 ("Desslok Mines"), and 12 ("The Sea of Fire") of the 1974 series. Instead of being a complete invention of Dessler, the living "Ectogas" was instead created by manipulating a primordial lifeform from the Mirbelia Star System, and unleashed against the Yamato at Gliese 581, a red dwarf star approximately 22 light years from Earth.

The Dessler Mines in the original 1974 scenario, have been changed into "Dessler Torpedos". These special weapons are equipped aboard Shultz' flagship to drive the Yamato into the trap at Gliese 581. Thus eliminating the "magnetic space net", and combining the Gamlias tactical operations from Episodes 11 ("Desslok Mines"),  and 12 ("The Sea of Fire") of the original.

Episode 9 "A Clockwork Prisoner": Original Story. The reactivated Gamiloid, captured in Episode 5 of 2199, is dubbed "Oruta", ("オルタ", previously rendered as "Orta"), which is actually derived from the Japanese rendering of the English word, "Alternative" (from his designation as an "Alternative Reboot"). So, this automaton should therefore be rendered as "Alter" in English.

Episode 10 "The Cosmic Graveyard": Incorporating elements from Episodes 13 ("The Gamilon Pilot"), 14 ("Octopus Star Storm"), and 15 ("Galactic Whirlpool") of the original. When the Yamato enters the dimensional rift, it passes through a graveyard of ships. Eagle-eyed viewers may spot, among the myriad of derelict spacecraft, a lone Devastator — the horseshoe crab-shaped attack fighter belonging to the Comet Empire!

Aboard the trapped Gamlias Meltoria Cruiser EX-178 are Commander Valess Rang (ヴァレス・ラング), a "2nd Class Gamilan" from planet Zalts, and a pure-blooded Gamilan, Captain Palen Nerge (パレン・ネルゲ), of Dessler's Protection Squad (essentially, the Schutz-Staffel aka the SS). Tensions arise between the two men, when Rang decides to reach out to the crew of the Yamato, so that both ships may make it out of the dimensional rift, alive.

Lastly, the ecological restoration device offered to Earth by Queen Starsha of Iscandar, originally dubbed the "Cosmo Cleaner" or "Cosmo Cleaner D" ("Cosmo DNA" in the Star Blazers version), is now to be called the "Cosmo Reverse System" (コスモリバースシステム). This must sound much better to Japanese ears...

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 we'll be off to outer space, again, just like the first time!

(Some of the preceding information was gleaned from the Japanese YAMATO: 2199 Wikipedia entry.)

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