Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199: Episode 23 – “One Man’s War”

As usual, I will be using “aka” designations for character names, so readers who are only familiar with the English names from Star Blazers will be able to follow who I’m referring to.

This was quite the action-packed episode! In fact, there was so much action that there really was no downtime for the audience to catch its breath before the next event happened. I’m trying to figure out what I can say about this episode without giving away too many spoilers.

We finally get a scene of Queen Stasha (aka Queen Starsha) of Iscandar calling up Desler (aka Desslok) and interacting with him. From the subtext of Desler’s interactions with the holographic Stasha, it’s obvious that he’s very interested in her.

The episode also reveals the Gamilans’ newest weapon: the Desler Cannon. It’s basically the Gamilan version of the Wave Motion Gun. But Captain Okita (aka Captain Avatar) figures out how to counteract this.

As the episode progresses, it’s clear that Desler is so desperate to defeat the Yamato that he’s willing to sacrifice his own people in order to achieve his goals of universal conquest. This was a far cry from how Desler was portrayed in the original Space Battleship Yamato anime.

But I was so happy when Captain Okita gave Susumu (aka Derek Wildstar) the mission of recusing Yuki (aka Nova). Yursiha’s pout when she was first being left out of the mission was cute, and it was effective… because Okita allowed her to escort Susumu on the rescue mission.

But Yuki isn’t a damsel in distress in this episode. She shows her agency when she comes up with a plan to take down the Desler Cannon. You go, girl!

On the down side, though, Okita’s health starts failing him even more during this battle. I’m sure his health issue will be playing an important role in these final episodes, just like it did in the original series.

For those who know the original Space Battleship Yamato, they will realize that the Desler Cannon was the weapon that Desler used on the Yamato right as it returned to Earth. Its appearance here and what happens at the end of this episode guarantees that the ending of this version of Space Battleship Yamato will be different in some respects when compared with the original.

The preview makes it clear the next episode will be the Yamato arriving on Iscandar, which means there are still two episodes remaining after that. I have a hunch, from something that was established in this series a few episodes back, about a final conflict the Yamato could encounter before returning to Earth. It’ll be interesting to watch these remaining episodes to see whether I’m right on my hunch or not.

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