Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199: Episode 17 – “Out of the Forest of Memory”

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 follow who I’m talking about.

In the last episode, the crew of the Yamato found an Iscandarian capsule with information on a subspace gate that will allow the ship to jump 30,000 light years, which will help them make up for lost time. But there’s one catch… the race that controls the satellite for the subspace gate is the Gamilas. Meanwhile, Yuki (aka Nova) wonders whether or not she really is an Iscandarian. Hearing people wondering about this out loud around her as well doesn’t help her inner turmoil.

Sanada (aka Sandor), Susumu (aka Derek Wildstar), and Yuki go on a mission to explore the satellite for the subspace gate. This episode has a strong focus on character development for Sanada, and we learn that he had been best friends with Susumu’s older brother, Mamoru (aka Alex Wildstar). Not only that, but Sanada drops a major bombshell: that Yuki and Yurisha Iscandar are two different people, but were involved in the same accident. There’s also another bombshell that Sanada drops about Yurisha… which I won’t say here what it is, so anyone who hasn’t seen the episode yet will be surprised by the revelation. We also learn of the connection that Niimi has with Sanada and Mamoru as well. I appreciate finally getting this backstory for Sanada, because it makes him a much more likable and relatable character. And by getting this backstory, it makes the audience really feel something for him in regards to an event that happens near the end of the episode. And through what Sanada shares with Susumu, Susumu finds out there were things about his older brother that he didn’t know… and I think this paves the way for a potential friendship of some kind to develop between Sanada and Susumu.

Early on in the episode, we also get to see the Gamilan side of the story briefly. Domel (aka Lysis) returns to the homeworld, only to learn that he is accused of plotting Desler’s (aka Desslok’s) assassination, and that his wife Elisa has been arrested for being part of an anti-government movement. Domel is sentenced to death. We only get one other scene of Gamilas after this, but it’s safe to say that Domel has not been executed yet. From what I saw in the other scene, I have a feeling that a particular Gamilan we met earlier on in the series will be coming to Domel’s aid. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the coming episodes.

At this point in Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199, the show does retain elements from the original series (in the case of this episode, the friendship between Sanada and Mamoru). However, outside of this, the story itself has no counterpart in the original series. This continues to be a successful reboot by retaining elements from the original series that are recognizable to fans of the original, but it has now found its own voice and its own story. I really am looking forward to seeing how this reboot continues to progress in its remaining episodes.

Additional posts about Star Blazers/Space Battleship Yamato:

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