Space Battleship Yamato – Live Action Movie

At first I was going to play off badbart’s comment in The Last Air Bender post until I realized that he said ‘Star Destroyers’. This, of course, meant the gigantic, triangular battleships in the Star Wars saga. When I first read his comment I thought he was talking about the American version of Space Battleship Yamato (Star Blazers).

Many of you youngsters probably haven’t even heard of Space Battleship Yamato/StarBlazers. This show was absolutely AMAZING when I was a kid. It aired in the mid-1970′s, right around the time that the first Star Wars film was kicking around. We would rush home after school and try to catch it on whatever UHF station was carring it. Back in the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area it was channel 33. Or maybe it was 27. I can’t remember because it was almost 30 years ago!

It turns out that this year they’ll be releasing a live action, $22M adaptation of the anime appropriately titled Space Battleship Yamato.

Click here to view the embedded video.

There are so many aspects to this story/film that it is like peeling back the many layers of an onion. According to wikipedia:

Set in the year 2199, an alien race known as the “Gamilas” (“Gamilons” in the English Star Blazers dub) are raining radioactive bombs on Earth, rendering the planet’s surface dead and uninhabitable. Humanity lives in refuges built deep underground, but the radioactivity is slowly infiltrating the underground cities too. Earth’s space fleet is hopelessly outclassed by the Gamilas and all seems lost until a message capsule from a mysterious crashed spaceship is retrieved on Mars. Blueprints for a faster-than-light engine are discovered inside the capsule, and an offering of help from Queen Starsha of the planet Iscandar in the Large Magellanic Cloud, who says that she has a device, the Cosmo-Cleaner D (Cosmo DNA), which can cleanse Earth of its radiation damage.

The inhabitants of Earth secretly build a massive spaceship inside the ruins of the Japanese battleship Yamato, the Space Battleship Yamato for which the story is titled. Using Starsha’s blueprints, they equip their new ship with a space warp drive, called the “wave motion engine”, and a new, incredibly powerful weapon called the “wave motion gun” which fires from the bow.

We were in awe of the wave motion gun when we were kids. We’d draw all of our space ships in our notebooks to have the gigantic gun in the front and, when we played on the playground, we always pretended that we would fire that behemoth and we’d act out the same type of firing sequence.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Think about how our minds were blown when we found out that the Earth forces built the Andromeda class fleet and it consisted of battleships with TWO wave motion guns! Even the English version had a catchy opening theme song that made all of us kids want to run around outside and pretend we were space explorers:

Click here to view the embedded video.

The story has everything: romance, robots, an environmental message, special effects, and an homage to history. Yes, the ship was named after that Yamato. Read up on it, kids! It’s interesting stuff!

It will be interesting to see how this adaptation works. They’ve Takuya Kimura (the 37 year old idol from the ‘boy band’ SMAP) as the lead and they’ve switched the gender of a few other characters. Other than those oddities it totally looks like a fun summer/spring popcorn flick. A little bit of spit and polish, some fancy new duds and this thing looks like it could be a winner.

Now if they only made a live action Robotech…