Yamato, the Beacon of Hope and Harmony, an Anime Review: Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2202: Ai no Senshi-tachi

The remake of Uchuu Senkan Yamato is a series that I had hoped would have gathered the much needed attention from the Anime community. But, as much as I wanted the series to be recognized, series like Uchuu Senkan (or Star Blazers in English) have always been a prime example of Animes that could go big, but is often left out. Although, the second season this time pale in comparison with the first season, it is nevertheless a series that should be kept in our radars, and one that I’d reckon not to be missed out by fans or non-fans alike. The second season much like the first season revolves around a spaceship called Yamato that ventures into deep space reaching out to the voices in need of help. The series picks up from the end of the first season where earth 3 years after the war with the mighty Gamillas, is once again thrown into battle with a foe unbeknownst to them, and Yamato sets out yet again to find a solution to prevent mankind from going into extinction. However, this time with the help of a higher being, a goddess one might say, have called upon the Yamato to lead the battle and prevent the extinction of the human race.

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The story of Yamato, is a story of love and how love can at times be a force of destruction, and at times the cure, the panacea to conflicts but also a catalyst to conflicts (hence, the title Ai no Senshi-tachi, “Warriors of Love”). It is a conundrum. And there are those who have come to the conclusion that to avoid, or to render conflicts to grisamber, we ought to be void of love and emotion. In the series, those who are opposed to the very concept of love chose to punish those filled with love, and to eradicate such feelings in all its entirety as it is the bringer of conflicts. And conflicts lead to death. Kodai, the main protagonist is a person who has come to accept the fact that to resolve whatever incongruity one might have with the other, it is to be resolved with compassion and kindness, and to avoid as many deaths as possible. There must be a way to peace other than war. However, to many others, this is nothing but ideals and that the world can never escape from injustice. If deaths were to come, it will come nevertheless. It is Kodai’s perseverance and resolution to not just help but to solve any issues amicably with as few deaths possible that has garnered him the ire of many of his foes, but at the same time gathered many to rally with his spirit of righteousness and pacifism.

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Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2202’s story is simple and it is not mired with over-complexity. But, there are always times where you would expect more. A little more than just simple pacifism. The story picks up quite slow at the beginning with a couple of episodes into, things get more interesting. It is funny to note that at the beginning you see Yamato and her crew blasting off their enemies without ever reloading. Perhaps in the future mankind has developed weapons that require no ammunition? Perhaps weapons that could collect surrounding particles and shoot out plasma? Wait till slightly near the end of the series and you might see otherwise. You’d notice that the weapons do run out of bullets. And… things happen. That might make some viewers scratching their heads at times. Not to mention parts of the Anime that tend to explain certain things that happened in a scientific way where it could be a little overdone. Especially regarding the wave motion gun and how the energy could influence space time. I understand though, as these are still necessary and coherent to the story. Overall, the story is not enough to keep you on your toes, but it is good. Don’t expect anything great or a major mind blowing twist that would shake you to the core.

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Character wise, the cast are all good, and I think the voice actors played their role really well. You do see character development here and there and how a couple of things have changed since the first season. The characters are not as shallow as one would think, but there are some depths to them particularly Kodai. I like Kodai and his equivalent Mori Yuki. They are not my favourites, but their appearances are always assuring. Though, it is quite evident that more focus were given to Kodai than Yuki. Compared to the first season, the development of relationship between the two were much better. The intention or so I believe is to really flesh out Kodai’s character especially after the promise made to Iscandar, and how Kodai as a person would overcome the tough situation he is often in knowing that his decision unto anything could betray Iscandar’s trust in him and people’s lives could be lost. So, if you are looking forward for other characters like Yuki (I especially did not like what they did with Yuki this time in the series), Akira or Shirou to be fleshed out, you… might be disappointed. I wish they could, but 26 episodes may not be enough. I won’t spoil you here, but know that there are some characters that were present in the first season, may not be as heavily present in this season. As for why they are all well.. Japanese despite being in the United Nation’s Earth Defense Force, let’s just leave it at that. One of my other problem is in relation to the characters in a way that, the character designs are well… very good and I like them a lot. But, you could see that they are leaning more towards the female characters. You have big sized guys, heavily bodied hair guys, old guys, all kinds of guys, but the ladies are straight up super models in this series. They are often dressed in sparkling tights – guys don’t get that – and are slender. Generally speaking, really good looking. The production team really had their priorities sorted huh? Well that is probably (and I presume) because the majority of the viewers are guys. So, this may not sit well with some viewers. Don’t get the wrong idea, I am a man myself, I am not to say that I don’t like it, but I hope the same could be done to the guys in the series.

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Susumu Kodai

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Yuki Mori

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Hikozaemon Tokugawa

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Akira Yamamoto

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Hajime Saito


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Sakezou Sado

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Miki Saijou

Source: Characters

For the soundtrack, they really have done it well. This is one of the few series that I just have to respect the amount of resolve that came in with the decision to retain a couple of things from the past. Specifically the ambience and the soundtrack the series has to offer. As you may be aware of, this series is a remake of the 1970s Uchuu Senkan Yamato. And the soundtrack really takes you back to the past. The sound of blasters, OP and ED, they are all reminiscent of the past. I am really pleased that they went with that. If the series ever gets a sequel (highly unlikely IMO), I do hope that they maintain this attitude towards sound production.

I have very few complaints with regards to the animation. Some repetitive shots were used, and there were a couple of awkward positioning at times particularly the characters. One thing I like, and I am not sure if it is me or if I am having problems with my eyes (perhaps it’s time to change to a new pair of glasses) is that during some dialogue scenes, you see movements at the back of the scenes… like slight shaking? I cannot really explain this well, but these are small attention to details that I like about the series. It is probably because the ships are moving thus, the background shakes? Or is it just a coincidence, and it is just shaky cam? Well, they are good nevertheless. CGI is overall okay, nothing bad about them, so you don’t have to look at other things when a battle goes on. Speaking of which, the battle scenes were done pretty well considering the fact this season is 26 episodes long. They have been very consistent with the battle scenes. Colours are overall suitable to the mood and the ambience of the Anime. Also, there are a lot of details going around hence, animation is great.

Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2202 is without a doubt an Anime I respect, it stays true to its core bringing out some elements of the past that plays well into creating an atmosphere that befits the very nature of the series. The story is good, while the animation and soundtracks are great. A little hiccup on the story and character side especially the fact that many side characters were not fully fleshed out in the series. The narrative could have been better but, compared to the first season it’s a little lacking. All in all, it is still a series that should not be ignored. A 7.5/10.

If you know Japanese, you can watch them at a really cheap price via DMM, Rakuten. No subtitles though… you might be able to catch one through Crunchyroll or Funimation. However, I cannot verify this, as they are all unavailable in my country. If you think you enjoyed the Anime, you can also support them by buying their Blu-rays or DVDs. They are really expensive. Perhaps wait for a discount yeah?

Amazon: Part 1 (Ep 1 – 13), Vol.1, Vol.2, Vol.3, Vol.4, Vol.5, Vol.6, Vol.7

CDJapan: Everything here.

One thing to take note though, if you are not into science fiction or space drama, you might not be able to enjoy the series. Despite that, do give an episode or 2 a try first, who knows that it might just be your cup of cake?

Official site: http://yamato2202.net/

More information here: MAL; ANN; AniDB; AnimePlanet

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