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.


I. The Dark Nebula Paratroopers

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.

Top: Be Forever Yamato / Bottom: Interstella

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!!

III. Love?

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.

~ by Haloed Bane on January 2, 2012.

9 Responses to “Three Wacky Things about Be Forever Yamato”

  1. The first time I watched this, I had Pink Floyd in the background when they entered the double galaxy and they switched to that weird aspect ratio. Nothing against Miyagawa, but it fit rather nicely.

  2. Supposedly, in the theaters, they literally widened the amount of screen the film was being projected on. So, in a theater, you would be watching the film, and as they enter the Dark Nebula, some curtains would pull away to show more screen..then the aspect ration would change. You get flooded with the HUGE galaxy of light on more screen that you know what to do with.

    At least that is what I hear. You can’t get that in a TV screen…at least not effectively with my VHS tape of the movie. The aspect ration just changes, but you basically just get black mates and everything seems smaller than it was before.

    As for Kodai’s reaction to Yuki…I’m guessing someone slapped him after he tried to jump off the shuttle to get her. You do see him attempt to go after her but I think Sanada grabs him and pull him inside as they close the door. It is a fair distance to the asteroid field from Earth, so he’d have a little time to calm down. Mission first, save the Earth. Course they thought they would be heading right back to Earth, so best guess is he thought he’d get whatever it was Sanada had to fight the aliens with, come back and find Yuki. Only after he finds he needs to go out to save Earth do things start to hit him. That and finding his brother died (again) and finding his niece is on the ship…and having to tell her her father is dead. Kodai has a lot on his plate…and has to save the Earth. Yuki or no Yuki. She’d want him to save the Earth, and he knows it.

    Yuki is the one that seems more likely to end her life if Kodai is dead, and yet she lives on in hope of saving the Earth. Somehow.

    At least that is what I see. (Movie was long though. Final Yamato is longer. I think it was the longest anime movie for a long time at over two hours and forty minutes)

    • Well, your explanation is logical and heroic, but in the end I think what you say about the slap works best. I mean, seeing your beloved stay behind (likely to get killed, possibly worse than that) and just proceed to do the logical and heroic thing, well, you need to get slapped pretty hard there 😀

      I think of it in terms of Harlock. Do you see Harlock doing this? I don’t. But then again Harlock is a pirate and he’ll condemn the world if it means saving Mayu etc.

  3. Not Sanada..he’s on Icarus…must have been Aihara or Shima that pulled him into the shuttle. It has been a few years since I watched it last

  4. In Kodai’s defense, when you live in a universe where every woman looks the exact same, it’s easy to forget even your true love.

    • Yep. It’s funny how everytime I’m ready to believe that within the Leijiverse characters see each other as looking very different, Matsumoto throws me a scene like this where it’s evident all women look the same and not even the in-universe characters can tell them apart.

  5. I think it is on Tim Eldred’s site that has pictures from some sort of Matsumoto special for the then upcoming Millenium Queen series. It has mixed live action and animation. Including a meeting of Mastumoto and the hero women he designed…being newly introduced Yukino (Promethium), Starsha, Sasha, Yuki Mori, Maetel, and Emeraldas. So you get a few scenes with all six women on it. They are really similar, with Yuki Mori being the one that looks the most different only by virtue of her shorter hair style. (Kei Yuki was not present for some reason).

    • I’ve seen that, yeah. I dare say Leiji manga shows more variation in women, though it’s really subtle and you have to get used to it. Then when character designers adapt his work for the screen they sometimes tend to gloss over the tiny subtle differences.

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