As I always do, I will be using “aka” designations for the characters’ names, so readers who are only familiar with the English names from Star Blazers will know who I am referring to.
This episode opens with Misaki resuming her radio broadcast aboard the Yamato. With this broadcast, she is able to relay a narration for the audience to explain that two months have passed since they left Iscandar, and she looks back at what has gone on during that time. This is accompanied by visuals depicting life aboard the Yamato, and has a strong emphasis on some of the relationships that have developed. Personally, I thought this was an effective way to show and tell the audience what has happened to the Yamato crew after the end of the previous episode.
We also see the return of Desler’s (aka Desslok’s) propaganda minister, because her ship has engine problems and she is rescued by the Yamato. We see a brief interaction between her and Yuki (aka Nova), which was appropriate, since the tables were turned previously when Yuki was a prisoner.
After this, the focus shifts to the Gamilans. We see Admiral Ditz talking with some of the others who have taken over control of the homeworld since Desler’s departure. There’s a rift between the Gamilans, though, so it’s uncertain whether they can unite. Goer, in particular, has refused to return to the homeworld and wants to stay by Desler’s side. The commander of the space sub is sent to deal with Goer.
It’s decided that the Yamato will try to utilize the gate at Balun, which leads back to our galaxy, since that one wasn’t destroyed during the battle at Balun. But it turns out a trap is waiting for them there, with Goer and his ships on one side of the gate, and Desler and his forces on the other side. Thankfully, the space sub arrives in time to deal with Goer and allow the Yamato to pass through the gate. Unfortunately, it’s no better on the other side when Desler’s ship tethers itself to the Yamato and sends Gamiloids to board the ship.
I liked seeing the call back to Alter, the captured Gamiloid that Analyzer (aka IQ-9) had befriended earlier in the series. Thanks to this encounter, Sanada (aka Sandor) and Niimi have the data they gathered, which they ultimately use to thwart the Gamiloids.
But, the episode gets more intense when Desler himself boards the Yamato and encounters Yuki, who he recognizes as the prisoner who pretended to be Yurisha. This scene becomes very intense when his propaganda minister and Susumu (aka Derek Wildstar) get involved. By the end of this scene, Desler seems to have lost it, and Yuki seems to be teetering between life and death. Unfortunately, we don’t know Yuki’s fate by the end of the episode… what a cliffhanger!
And there’s a final confrontation between ships after Desler leaves the Yamato. This episode definitely ends with a bang, and not a whimper, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this story finishes next week.
For the confrontation on the Yamato, it feels like they basically took the idea of the plot from the final episode of the original Space Battleship Yamato, made some tweaks to it, and made Yuki and Desler’s parts even more dramatic. I thought the changes made to this plot point made things even more dramatic and worked really well. At this point, I’m actually enjoying seeing what elements still remain from the original franchise and how much the reboot was willing to change those elements. While the original franchise still has its charm, I honestly feel that the team behind this reboot have made the story more realistic and more relatable to today’s audiences.
I’m really looking forward to seeing how the ending of this reboot will compare with the ending of the original series. Obviously, it should be the same result of saving Earth, but I’m curious to see what final plot points will be utilized to reach that result.
Additional posts about Star Blazers/Space Battleship Yamato: