"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

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Blu-ray & DVD Release Follows On July 26th


Promo heralding the final two chapters and the television broadcast.

Opening in sixteen Japanese cinemas this weekend (up four from the previous theatrical release), is the highly-anticpated 6th Chapter of the SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO: 2199 feature films, REACHED! THE LARGE MAGELLANIC CLOUD (Totatsu! Dai Mageran) — featuring the decisive confrontation at the Rainbow Star Cluster in order for the Yamato to complete her mission. The release of the Blu-ray and DVD will follow on July 26th, while the 7th and final chapter, AND THE SHIP SAILS ON (Soshite Fune-wa Yuku), will follow on August 24th.

The amazing 120-second Chapter 6 trailer with English Subtitles!

Conceived as a remake of the classic 1974 series, known in the US as STAR BLAZERS, the story follows the "Quest for Iscandar" story arc, with a number of changes and additional characters, but entirely grounded in the original look and sound, to great dramatic effect. Where other remakes fail, YAMATO: 2199 soars — going above and beyond the term "remake" — exceeding all expectations and pulling the viewer, both old fan and those discovering Yamato for the first time, right into the drama, action, and top-shelf animation.

Juzo Okita, Captain of the Space Battleship Yamato.

While the story may be familiar to Old Skoolers, Supervising Director Yutaka Izubuchi (RahXephon) has not only gained their respect in keeping the basic designs of the original intact, from characters to ships, but also adding to that universe, making it larger in scope and far richer in depth. All the while retaining key elements and incidents, as a first-generation fan, Izubuchi has made it surprisingly fresh without sullying our memories, and manages to strike all the proper cords — in a truly sincere and non-manipulative way.

General Domel of the Great Gamilas Empire, the Wolf of Space.

Izubuchi truly loves what he calls "First Yamato" and that shines through in every facet of the production, and makes YAMATO: 2199 brilliant — pulling elements from not only the wealth of movies and teleseries, but also from various abandoned story ideas, manga adaptations, novels, and other official Yamato ephemera of the first wave. This allows YAMATO: 2199 to stand on its own foundations — and if I dare say, it's the best science fiction anime in decades. But, as another first-generation fan (before Star Blazers), I'm prejudiced.

What is the mysterious past of Operations Officer Yuki Mori?

Using a business model made popular by GUNDAM UNICORN, YAMATO: 2199 was planned as a 26-episode series, which would be cut into a series of seven feature films, screened for two weeks in select theaters every two months, with respective home video releases following six weeks later (as individual episodes). The series began weekly broadcast this past April on MBS television network affiliates to cultivate a third tier of viewers. This success has helped to fuel the production, giving fans a sense of involvement.

Bandai's new 2199 SOC of the famous space battleship due in winter.

Other platforms promoting the new series has included special online previews and VOD sales. Not only has this contributed to the success, but so has the careful and calculated planning and release of a wide variety of merchandise, including items sold exclusively in theaters — including limited edition Blu-rays and DVDs. Hobby monolith, Bandai, has also followed suit with a series of high-quality model kits, with more on the way, including Bandai's third large-scale diecast and plastic Soul of Chogokin edition of the Yamato coming this winter.

Vol. 6 jacket art by Nobuteru Yuuki featuring Dessler and Celestra.

The home video release of Volume 6 will contain a total of four half-hour episodes (19-22), plus a selection of special features, clocking in at 126 minutes of content for ¥8,190 for the Blu-ray (BCXA-0490, Region-free) and ¥7,140 for the DVD (BCBA-4321, Region 2). The DVD will be presented in 16:9 Anamorphic, Dual Layer, and Dolby Digital Stereo. Conversely, the Blu-ray will be presented in AVCHD, BD50G, 1080p, 16:9 Anamorphic, and Linear PCM Stereo.

Veteran illustrator Naoyuki Kato's exciting first pressing slip cover.

Special Features will include an Audio Commentary with voice actors Akio Otsuka (General Domel), Shinpachi Tsuji (Bem Haidern) and director Izubuchi, a Chapter 4 Digest, Commercial and Promotional Video Collection 2, Theatrical Feature Previews Part 2, and a special insert booklet. Both releases will feature the same jacket art by character designer Nobuteru Yuuki, and a slipcase by legendary Yamato illustrator, Naoyuki Kato. While the DVD contains all of the same extras, only the region-free Blu-ray boasts the most special feature of all: English Subtitles.

Here are the episodes included in Chapter 6/Volume 6:


Episode 19. THEY'VE COME (彼らは来た): Finally. the Yamato reaches the Large Magellanic Cloud, therein lies their destination: Iscandar. Meanwhile, Lord Dessler of the Great Gamilas Empire plans to block their way, and orders the infamous General Domel to intercept them. But, what secret orders has Dessler bestowed upon Domel?

Episode 20. UNDER THE RAINBOW SUN (七色の陽のもとに): In a treacherous area of the cosmos, known as the Rainbow Star Cluster, the Yamato faces Domel's carrier fleet. In an all-out battle, the Yamato knuckles under the mercy of Domel's clever strategy. In a dire situation, Captain Okita takes a desperate measure...

Episode 21. PLANETARY CONCENTRATION CAMP #17 (第十七収容所惑星): Planet Reputapoda is where the Great Gamilas Empire imprisons its dissidents and prisoners of war. Far away from the homeworld, the institutionalized abuse of prisoners is routine, until the ship of the Inspector General of Gamilas arrives...

Episode 22. HEADING TOWARDS A DISTANT STAR (向かうべき星): The Yamato heads for Iscandar, the Star of Hope. But, it is revealed that it is a binary planet — with Gamilas! So, their destination has taken them right into the center of enemy territory. Calling all hands to battle stations, Captain Okita orders a direct warp to Iscandar...

You can pre-order your copy of YAMATO: 2199 Volume 6, here to visit Amazon Japan (with English language support)! Stay tuned to this blog and the Cosmo DNA website for more news and information on SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO: 2199 as they develop — and soon, we'll be off to outer space, on shiny discs of blue!

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