As I have done for the previous nine write-ups, I will be using “aka” designations for the characters’ name, so readers who are only familiar with the English names from Star Blazers will know who I am talking about.
After not seeing the Gamilans at all in Episode 9, they return in a big way in this one. In fact, the episode with Goer getting chewed out for his failure to execute Desler’s plan back in Episode 8. As Goer tries to blabber and shift the blame, his higher up reminds him that “failure” is not a word in the Gamilas dictionary. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this line, and I have a feeling that it won’t be the last. I suspect this phrase is going to be used a lot to emphasize a Gamilan’s failure. After this communication, Goer is informed that they have lost contact with a ship carrying an Imperial Guard Information Officer on board. Goer doesn’t care, though, because he has now become obsessed with destroying the Yamato in order to restore his honor in the empire. This seems to be a running theme so far: when a Gamilan becomes disgraced, they become obsessed with whatever they feel was the cause of their downfall. But after what happened with Shultz, I can only imagine that this obsession isn’t going to end well for Goer.
Meanwhile, the Yamato tries to execute a warp, but it doesn’t go as it normally does. They become stuck in the one nanosecond of the ship’s warp. While this is happening, Misaki finds herself inexplicably drawn to the automatic navigation room, and something strange happens to her. When Yuki (aka Nova) is sent to investigate the automatic navigation room, she finds Misaki passed out on the floor. From the visuals that were shown, I expect that there’s more to what happened here than meets the eye.
When the Yamato comes out of its warp, however, the ship appears to have fallen into a dimensional rift. They discover that there is Gamilan ship also trapped in the rift. This leads to the Yamato crew’s first contact with a Gamilan, when Lower Storm Leader Melda Ditz is sent on board to serve as a negotiator. The Gamilans know a way to get out of the rift, but they must have the Yamato‘s cooperation if both of them are going to make it out. I was pleased to see yet another female Gamilan that wasn’t a serving girl for Desler (aka Desslok). 🙂
At this point, much of the episode focuses on whether or not the Yamato crew feels they can trust the Gamilans. This is especially true for Yamamoto. Before the warp, we saw her looking at a pendant on a necklace she’s wearing, and having a flashback of giving it to her brother. We later see a flashback of when Kato (aka Conroy) gave her the necklace back after her brother’s death. Through a conversation with Ditz, we learn that the Gamilans believe that the Earthlings attacked them without a formal declaration. The Yamato‘s crew believe that she’s lying about this, which only adds to their doubts about the proposal. But Okita (aka Captain Avatar) decides he will trust the Gamilans. I really like how Okita represents common sense and wisdom in the series. He may not be a perfect character, but he understands how to act appropriately and when to act.
I don’t want to say too much more about the plot, except to say that Goer manages to insert himself into this situation. However, with what happens at the end of the episode, I expect Goer will be in even more disgrace with Desler than he already is.
The closest counterpart this story has in the original Space Battleship Yamato is the “first contact” episode. However, there are some major differences. In the original, a male pilot was captured in a battle situation, and Susumu (aka Derek Wildstar) was the one having flashbacks about his past and having a hard time adjusting to the Gamilan’s presence on the ship. Here, a female pilot comes to the Yamato as a negotiator, and it’s Yamamoto having problems with this first contact instead of Susumu.
Even though Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 is starting to noticeably diverge from the original Space Battleship Yamato more with each passing week, I feel that this divergence is a good thing. To me, this is how a reboot should be done. While I like being able to easily recognize that this is Space Battleship Yamato, I also appreciate seeing what new layers and dimensions the reboot is adding to the original story.