Space Battleship Yamato Review — A-

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

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7 thoughts on “Space Battleship Yamato Review — A-

    1. I just saw the Arcadia of my Youth film… it was pretty darn good. I’ll add the Yamato sequel movie to my list as well.

  1. I am so glad someone else likes Space Battleship Yamato this much. It is one my favorite series, but I feel that it has been unappreciated by many anime fans.

    And I absolutely agree with you on the moment when the Yamato destroys Gamilas. That was such powerful stuff, that I have not seen in many animes.

    1. Glad you liked it! Have you been watching the new version at all? The first episode was pretty good, although it’s nearly identical to the original but with better graphics, so it may not be worth your time.

      1. I watched the first episode/movie of Yamato 2199. The story seemed the same to me, but I have heard speculations that the ending might be different. I will continue watching it as it comes out.

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