Cover for Space Battleship Yamato movie

Space Battleship Yamato – Live Action Movie Review


Cover image for Space Battleship Yamato DVD
If you were a fan of the original animated series of “Space Battleship Yamato”, adapted into “Star Blazers” in the United States at the height of the Star Wars popularity circa 1979 this movie almost couldn’t possibly disappoint.

The live action Space Battleship Yamato brings back all the thrill of running home from school to catch the next episode before my parents came home from work.  The producers even kept the iconic opening theme which instantly throws any fan back to those stolen childhood afternoons.

Synopsis from cover: “In the year 2199, Earth has become a wasteland after five years of radiation attacks from an unseen alien enemy called the Gamilons. Even though survivors have remained safe under ground, the radiation is slowly beginning to reach them. One of the survivors is Kodai Susumu (Kimura Takuya), who picks up a mysterious device one day while hunting for scrap metal. After discovering a map to a planet inside the device, the military sends out its last battleship – the Yamato – to the planetin the hopes that it’ll be the key to save humanity. Kodai, a former soldier himself, joins the Yamato crew and quickly proves to be a worthy team member. With only a year left before the end of the Earth, what will the Yamato crew find at the end of their long and perilous journey?”

The beginning of the movie is almost spot on (music and all) to the original 26 Quest for Iscandar episodes, but pretty soon you notice a bit of storyline compression.  That is to be expected when trying to package such a large series into a two hour space of time, but then about three quarters of the way through they really depart quite a bit from the way the original story was told.  The new angle was interesting, and had I not seen the original series I would not have been disappointed at all.  It did leave me to wonder why they chose to take it in that direction.  I miss Desslok.

The CGI is spectacular, the Yamato (Argo) looks perfect, and the acting is pretty good, some of the scenes near the end are dragged on a bit, but that I would attribute to the director’s personal style/taste.

I guess this film left some room for a sequel from an ambitious director,  perhaps “The Comet Empire” where Desslok could make his evil appearance ruling the universe with an androgynous fist.

In the end I would give it a three and a half – four star rating, but an absolute must see for any fan of the original animated series.

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