Earth has been poisoned with radiation by invaders from outer space, and all life will soon perish. However, the Earth receives a message from Starsha of Iscandar, a distant planet, telling them to come and get the Cosmo Cleaner D which can save the Earth. The only ship that can make the journey is the Yamato, which has been unearthed from its centuries of slumber for one final journey.
I’ve already mentioned much of what makes Space Battleship great in my earlier post on the first five episodes: the enormous variety and ingenuity of vehicles, the sense of nostalgia, the fabulous music, the epic scale and the imaginative setting. All of that continues in the next 21 episodes. I’ll point out in particular that the setting doesn’t become stale by any means: as the journey progresses, the planets the Yamato visits become even more interesting until the journey culminates at Iscandar. The crew encounters plenty of unique alien species, as well as intriguing enemies among the Gamulus.
In the latter episodes, the story becomes deliciously morally ambiguous as well. For example, the Yamato ends up committing genocide in order to save the earth. This is the kind of show that really makes you think.
There’s this feeling to the whole show that’s hard to describe. The music contributes to it a lot. There are these grand, sweeping marches playing: the Yamato has a mission it needs to accomplish, and it will get done in the end. But there’s also this profound solitude as we stare into the vastness of space, and a sense of melancholy. Eventual victory is a necessity and a certainty, but so is loss along the journey.
- Plot / Script – A – Engrossing story, imaginative setting.
- Characters – B- My favorite is the captain— what a badass. The drunken robot is cool too.
- Production – B – Considering it was made in the 70s, its aged quite well. The music is still excellent by today’s standards, the animation less so.
- Overall – A-
Recommendations – Irresponsible Captain Tylor, Banner of the Stars, The Place Promised in our Early Days