As usual, I will be using “aka” designations for some of 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.
The episode opens with Captain Okita (aka Captain Avatar) recording a captain’s log, and I believe this is the first time we’ve seen him do this. This log allows the writers to provide some exposition so the episode can get to the “meat” of the story faster. The Yamato crew meets with the rebel forces on the prison planet; while they gain some important intelligence and a liaison through this meeting (Melda Ditz, the Gamilan who had been a prisoner aboard the Yamato earlier in the series), the Gamilan rebels will not join with the Yamato in reaching Iscandar. The Gamilan rebels have their own mission to free the other prison planets, and there are still some key differences between the two groups.
Unfortunately, during the recording of the captain’s log, Okita starts reaching for his heart and slumping over. In a later scene where Okita is being checked by Dr. Sado (aka Dr. Sane), it’s pretty clear that the captain’s condition has gotten worse. Sado’s nurse confides in Sabu (aka Conroy), but makes it clear he has to keep it secret.
On the Yamato side of things, we see Melda trying to adapt and fit in with the crew and experiencing life on the ship. Seeing Melda’s reaction to eating a parfait for the first time is quite amusing. In the captain’s log, we learn that the Gamilans see Iscandar as an object of respect, so we see how Melda believes she needs to treat Yurisha like a goddess rather than as a person. Speaking of Yurisha, we start seeing a different side of her.
We also see how conflicted Susumu (aka Derek Wildstar) is about the upcoming mission. While their mission is to go to Iscandar, it’s known that Yuki is on Gamilas. When a mission to rescue Yuki is suggested, he turns it down, saying they have no reason to attack the Gamilans. However, we later see him looking at the suggestion again and he’s obviously very torn. While he wants to follow the mission to the letter, he also believes that Yuki needs to be rescued. With what happens right at the end of the episode, though, I think not engaging the Gamilans is no longer an option.
On Gamilas, we see the kidnapped Yuki (aka Nova) interacting with Desler (aka Desslok). Early on in the episode, it’s still believed that she is Yurisha. But the second-class Gamilan and the propaganda minister figure out the truth. When this is pointed out to Desler, though, he’s not upset about it. In fact, it helps his goal, which is to fool his people into believing that Yurisha has agreed to unite Gamilas and Iscandar.
When Desler makes the announcement at Domel’s (aka Lysis’) memorial, we finally get to see our first glimpse of Queen Stasha (aka Starsha) of Iscandar. She’s watching the memorial service, and is obviously surprised by Desler’s declaration.
At the end of the episode, the Yamato warps into the Salezar system, and they can actually see Gamilas and Iscandar. The Gamilans launch their first salvo right as the episode ends. What a cliffhanger!
It’s exciting to see how close the Yamato is to reaching its goal, and realizing that the series is almost over. I’ve been enjoying this ride immensely, and am a little sad knowing that it’s going to be over in just a few short weeks. As of this writing, FUNimation Entertainment has said they will be streaming an English dub of Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2202, but there has been nothing from Crunchyroll about whether or not they will stream a subtitled version of the series. I’m hoping that they’re waiting until Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 comes to an end, and then announcing that they will be streaming the next series. I’ll be quite sad if I can’t see the next series in its original Japanese language.