Three Leijiverse Updates (Yamato, Desigze, Mahoroba)
A. Tiptoeing around the copyright issue
I’ve speculated on this blog on the possibility that there had been some sort of arrangement between the parties in the Yamato copyright dispute. This is a vexing subject and one I usually avoid but I do want to comment on a couple of developments.
First I have to say that my blog has been guilty in the past of simplifying the issue. I’ve talked as if it’s a battle between Matsumoto and Nishizaki. The truth is that Tohoku Shinsha, the film production company, is as big if not a bigger player than the former two. At some point Nishizaki sold at least some of his Yamato rights to Tohoku and so we have a three-way battle. Now, if you look for info on the Space Battleship Yamato 2199 reboot series, you’ll note that Tohoku Shinsha is listed among the producers of this show, so apparently Shoji Nishizaki has managed to appease the company so the project can be greenlit.
In an unrelated yet related story, a small company called Art Space is coordinating exhibitions of Leiji Matsumoto’s art. The president of Art Space is blogging the process of collaboration with Leiji, and yesterday he had an interesting piece on Yamato [here]. Basically, the president wanted to include some Yamato art in the next exhibit, but he knew that even though the artwork was Matsumoto’s, Tohoku Shinsha had rights to it and could complain if not consulted. So the president first talked to Leiji and then headed to Tohoku Shinsha to request permission to include the work. He was at that point prepared to pay some money if Tohoku demanded it. As it turns out, the film company accepted without any compensation. The president comments that they were probably surprised that Art Space had gone to the trouble to meet them first.
Long story short, there are no hot battles raging at the moment, but the copyright issue is still a mess.
B. There is no excuse for Desigze to suck as an anime
The Francophone Leijiverse forum Albator SSX has been gathering all sorts of great intel on the Zero Desigze pachinko slot game. Recently they’ve posted a bunch of screenshots and two longish gameplay videos. See this page [here].
Having looked through the screenshots and both vids, I get the impression that the game has a nice, meaty story already in place. There are mysteries, backstabbing as multiple factions vie for control of the galaxy, etcetera etcetera! Anyway, there is simply no excuse for the upcoming anime to suck, considering how well the game seems to play out.
We have a nice screenshot of what promises to be the newest annoying friend robot in the Leijiverse: Browser. Behold:
This next screenshot is clearly of a Mechanoid character (think back to Count Mecha and co.):
Did I mention already Zinba is cool?
I have mentioned in earlier posts that the Earth of Zero Desigze is under corrupt, evil leadership. One of the rivals of Earth is a so-called Planetary League. Here we have a screenshot of two officers in the Planetary League Fleet:
The man is called Casecoin [hopefully not related to Ozma's Sam Coin, though Sam's older brother was cool] and the woman is called Alberta. Other names in the Fleet include Alling, Ryneberg, Guder, and Kondo. All Germanic except for the obviously Japanese Kondo (a common surname). There was a famous Imperial Japanese Admiral called Kondo BTW.
The videos reveal a bunch of little details. Earth forces are hell-bent on conquering outer space (beyond the Solar System?) and they have a super-cannon called Cyclops. The heroes’ Space Battleship Himiko has the Trinity cannon to counter them. The Planetary League ships seem to be painted egg-shell yellow (freaky, but I kinda like it!). The one thing that remains a complete mystery to me is the place of the heroes (Zero and the Himiko crew) amidst all of these factions. Are they independent or what?
C. No Mazone in my Mahoroba??
The Albator SSX forum has another great thread dealing with the Mahoroba film project [here]. Recently two members, CeLeBaN Le Vert and Captain_Harlock, compiled all of the information out there on the project, analyzed it and included their own research. The result makes for a great read and I totally recommend it. It’s in French, but quite frankly that’s no excuse. Feed it into Google Translate and if something isn’t clear you can always ask me to clear it up
One of their most interesting finds is that the early information that Mazone were scheduled to appear in the film was inaccurate. This is not to say that there won’t be Mazone (there’s always a chance) but that the initial announcement did not mention them.
The forum thread includes all of the character pics we have so far. Interestingly, the captain of the Mahoroba will be called Kondo, just like the admiral in Zero Desigze. The character design for Wotan is exactly the same as in Harlock Saga, a fact that delights me to no end. Brünnhilde is a redhead, this totally shocked me!
Then there’s Haken. Now, I blogged this guy’s name as Hagen. Both versions of the name were floating about in 2ch. As Hagen, I immediately assumed he was the Hagen in Harlock Saga/Ring of the Nibelung. But no, the name is Haken, no Hagen. And CeLeBaN and Harlock have pinpointed this to be a reference to a man called Tony Harken in Danguard Ace.
Lots more to say about this, but we’ll do it another time. Later!