As usual, I will be using “aka” designations for the characters, so readers who are only familiar with the English names from Star Blazers will be able to understand who I am referring to.
The good news: this episode is not weird like last week’s. The bad news: this episode gets dark rather quickly.
The episode begins with Director-General Gimleh and his fleet at a planet called Alteria. There’s been an uprising, and the governor has been unable to stop it. Gimleh’s answer: shoot the governor and annihilate the planet. Oh, yes… and he makes these important decisions while calmly sipping on a cup of tea. I hate the smug look on this guy’s face, and I wished I could smash his teacup. We see the teacup in a later scene as well, so it appears that drinking tea is one of his traits.
Meanwhile, Gamilan patrols tease the Yamato by coming close and then turning back. Each time, this prompts a red alert, and the crew is exhausted from having to be on red alert so much but not actually doing anything. Not only that, but the OMCS is down, so food is having to be rationed. We also see the potential love triangle between Susumu (aka Derek Wildstar), Yuki (aka Nova), and Yamamoto early on in this episode. Yes, the crew is definitely becoming frustrated and demoralized… which is all part of Domel’s (aka Lysis’) plan to try to defeat the Yamato.
Misaki is also acting strangely. She’s changed her hairstyle, and starts questioning and talking about the Wave Motion Gun in technical ways that she normally wouldn’t. There’s definitely something off about Misaki at this point, and now the mystery is why she’s acting so differently.
Niimi sees on a map that Iscandar gave them that there’s a system called Beemela nearby, and that this would be their best bet for replenishing food and water. We later see Niimi talking with the skeevy security guy, because he’s looking for information on Yuki. Some interesting things are revealed that add to what we saw in last week’s episode, and it seems to destroy a theory I had about Yuki right at the beginning of the series. And after this, Niimi seems to be coming on to Shima (aka Mark Venture). We’d seen some hints dropped earlier on in the series that Niimi wasn’t entirely working for the mission’s best interests, and her actions with the skeevy security guy and Shima make this more blatantly obvious.
But it’s not only the Yamato crew that has problems in this episode. On the Gamilan homeworld, we see rebels being followed by guards… and the location the rebels flee to has an interesting family name on it. Also, Desler (aka Desslok) decides to make a surprise visit to Balun… but his ship explodes and it appears Desler has been assassinated. Woah… I didn’t see that one coming! This is definitely a departure from the original Space Battleship Yamato!
The episode culminates in an epic battle between Domel’s fleet and the Yamato. Captain Okita (aka Captain Avatar) finally returns to duty… hooray! But just as it seems the Yamato is done for, something surprising happens… Domel’s fleet is ordered to return home immediately right before they can finish off the ship!
Hoo boy… this episode has really made it clear that we are not watching the original Space Battleship Yamato. Its dark tone, as well as the political intrigue that is brewing on both sides, makes this abundantly clear. The preview for the next episode makes it look as if the political intrigue for the Yamato crew will be a major part of the story. It will be interesting as I continue to watch this series, to see how the changes will continue to affect the storytelling and plot. Obviously, the story will have to end with the Yamato crew being successful in its mission, but the excitement of watching the episodes for me now is seeing how, with the changes in plot and characters, the story will ultimately end up reaching that conclusion.
Additional posts about Star Blazers/Space Battleship Yamato: