Three Wacky Things about Be Forever Yamato
This film suffers greatly from a lack of Dessler (it’s Dessless?!). I think it’s the only major piece of Yamato I’ve seen where the Gamilas leader doesn’t show up (except in an old video sequence). Other than that, there are some wacky things to talk about.
These guys are rad, they descend upon Earth like there’s no tomorrow, which dives in well with their intentions. I love Matsumoto anime in which Earth gets invaded. According to what I’ve read, the Dark Nebula Empire in this film is the only alien force that actually reaches the invasion point in the entire Yamato franchise. I’m immediately reminded of other Leijiverse works in which Earth is literally fought over, like SPCH, Millennial Queen, and Adieu Galaxy Express 999. It’s always a chilling moment.
There’s nothing necessarily wacky about alien invasions, but the interesting thing here is that the vanguard of the invasion, paratroopers, reminds one (me?) a lot of the Darkwood’s abduction team in Interstella 5555. If you recall, in that film the Earl goes around the universe kidnapping musical talents, and the way he does it is by way of troops that look and act similarly to the Dark Nebula lads (the Dark Nebulans’ twin rockets that spit pink flames become in 5555 a single tank full of pink gas).
What gives?? Interstella 5555 takes place a thousand years before Be Forever Yamato, and this coincidence is terribly suggestive (of what exactly I do not claim to know). If anything it just reinforces the Leijiverse Integrated Timeline’s hypothesis that Darkwood’s gate to other worlds in intimately connected to the career of the Space Battleship Yamato.
II. Yuki is Missing and Kodai Doesn’t Much Care
I know fiction (especially anime) demands of us a good amount of suspension of disbelief. We’re supposed to assume emotions that the animators will not show, for reasons of time, or budgets, or whatever. But still, give me a break! The great Susumu Kodai escapes Earth and the love of his life gets left behind. Within a few minutes, Kodai seems to have forgotten about her. He’s so delighted to be back in the Yamato that it takes the appearance of a girl whose face is the spitting image of Yuki’s (courtesy of Leiji’s monomaniacal female character designs) for him to finally remember: oh yeah, the love of my life is probably dead!
That was a wacky scene, and I mean the bad kind of wacky. Kodai looks sad at various times later on but the damage for me is done!!
So Yuki and Kodai get separated, and each becomes an object of alien love. Both of these new relationships are decidedly wacky. Alfon the Dark Nebula officer looks like a young Dessler and is himself thoroughly convinced he’s living inside a shojo manga. Sasha falls in love at first sight with her uncle. LOL.
I did not find the Alfon death scene very convincing, but I did enjoy how they portrayed Sasha’s. The tragic decision that Kodai has to make here (tempered as it is by the knowledge that Sasha has been mortally wounded and perhaps even dead) is the kind of scene that Yamato does best.
Star Blazers praises this film to the skies. I was entertained, though I wouldn’t rate it that highly.