Space Battleship Yamato 2199 is a remake of the 70s anime Star Blazers -Space Battleship Yamato. This 26 episodes space opera series came out in 2012
The year is 2199, and the Earth has been all but destroyed by meteor strikes sent by an alien enemy, the Gamilas, an enemy whose face no one has ever seen by the series’ beginning. The rare survivors are living in underground cities while space battles still rage in the solar system, but scientists are giving humanity one year before it is for all intents and purposes extinct. There is, however, hope: another alien planet sent a message, promising to give people from Earth a macguffin to restore the planet’s environment. A ship (you guessed it, the Yamato) is sent to retrieve it, and the series follows the crew as they race towards their goal, finally meeting their enemy on the way and maybe getting an understanding of them; a good part of the series is also devoted to the political situation among the enemy Gamilas, where things aren’t as simple as they seemed.
I really enjoyed the show, for several reasons, listed below:
- First of all, it looks absolutely gorgeous, which I think is worth pointing out. The battle scenes are truly impressive in particular, and manage to be both quite gripping and very legible.
- Since we’re on background aspects, the music is also truly great. There are some rather melancholy pieces, this one for example: <a href="http://<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Owa7H9OZj9s" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen>http://As for the opening song, it’s a delightfully cheesy one from the original anime, made to resemble a military sea shanty. It definitely grows on you.
- Which leads me to the main reason I loved this show: I’m an absolute sucker for Master and Commander like stuff. As a kid, I read all of Hornblower, all of Bolitho, reread them in my teens and then again as an adult. And this series definitely caters to my taste in that regard. There’s everything: the wise captain; the dashing young lieutenants; the more taciturn first lieutenant; the grizzled and wise petty officers; an honourable enemy… I could go on. The vaguely mystical macguffin in itself isn’t that important, I really loved the character interactions. As you can see from the image above, the starships themselves look very much like actual ships ; there’s even a submarine equivalent with a crew straight out of das Boot. It’s also quite fun that most of the Earth characters have names drawn from Japanese history, which does spoil a couple story arcs actually.
- The action is quite thrilling, while still having a lot of quiet character moments that are really welcome and often moving. If I had to describe the show, I’d say it’s a bit like Battlestar Galactica, except I actually liked the characters.
I guess that if you don’t like the type of naval stories novels I described, this show might not be for you. I’ll note also that the main character (one of the dashing young lieutenants I mentioned) is a tad irksome in his dashingness. The resolution also I found a little too pat, and maybe a bit rushed. But it didn’t make me feel like I wasted my time watching it.
Weeb level: 2/10. It works as a standard military fiction, anime or not.
Fanservice: 3/10. It’s all very proper. Some sweet young couples in there even. The women’s uniform are a bit tight, but nothing deliberately fanservice-y.
Quality: 8,5/10. It’s reallly great people. Watch it. I’m taking a couple points off for the ending, but it’s terrific.
Where to Watch: Funimation. For the Europeans, Wakanim.
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