Soooo… remember how last week, I was wishing Crunchyroll would announce that they were streaming Space Battleship Yamato 2202? Well, it turns out they announced and began the stream yesterday (Wednesday, May 9, 2018). So, of course, I’m a happy camper!
Like I did with Space Battleship Yamato 2199, 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’m talking about.
We open with the character we know from Star Blazers as Prince Zordar, destroying a planet and its people. We never once hear his name in the episode, so I will wait to start using his original Japanese name until we finally hear it in the series.
We are also introduced to Teresa (aka Trelaina), and through a voiceover, she lets us know that warriors from Earth will be the only hope for defeating Zordar and his forces. It doesn’t take much to figure out that she’s referring to the Yamato and its crew.
We then see a joint force of Earth and Gamilan ships trying to keep a floating continent from falling into the hands of the Gatlanteans. The Gatlanteans had been referenced a couple of times during Space Battleship Yamato 2199, but this is the first time they’ve played more of a major role in the franchise. But in this joint fleet, we see that Susumu Kodai (aka Derek Wildstar) is now a captain of his own ship, the Yunagi. Some of the other Yamato crew members are under his command. Yes, I seem to remember the same kind of dynamic in the original second series of Space Battleship Yamato: Susumu being the captain of a new ship, with some of his former shipmates serving under him. But in this version, the stakes in which we see Susumu and his crew on their ship are much higher than in the original version. There wasn’t this massive battle taking place. I believe in the original, it was more of a routine patrol going on.
At Earth Headquarters, we see that Yuki Mori (aka Nova) is stationed there. We also get a shot of a ring on her finger, but at this point, I believe this is an engagement ring rather than a wedding ring. I especially think this because at one point, she refers to Susumu as “Kodai-kun.” If they were married, I expect she would likely be dropping the honorific.
The battle intensifies, and the commanders at Earth Headquarters tell the fleet to activate a plan that no one has heard of before, but has been preprogrammed into the ships. It’s revealed that the Andromeda, one of the newer class ships, is equipped with an impressive new Wave Motion Gun, and this new gun saves the day.
Not surprisingly, the members of the Yamato crew are pissed about this, especially after Captain Okita (aka Captain Avatar) had promised Stasha (aka Starsha) that humanity would not repeat the mistakes that Iscandar had made in the past with Wave Motion Energy.
Two of the ships from the fleet are damaged, and they warp back to Earth. A large Gatlantean ship, which had been playing possum, follows them in an attempt to crash into Earth. One of the top brass at Earth Headquarters looks like he’s going to crap in his pants as he realizes the gravity of the situation. It’s actually up to Yuki to get evacuations underway. Good job, Yuki!
Susumu has the Yunagi warp back to Earth, in an attempt to stop the Gatlantean ship. But thanks to a plan by Sanada (aka Sandor), the Yamato, which is currently under renovation, is able to save the day.
Right at the end of the episode, Susumu and his crew, along with Sanada and those on board the Yamato, receive a mind message from Teresa. For Susumu, this manifests itself in the form of a ghost of Captain Okita, which tells him to board the Yamato.
This new element of the Gatlantean ship trying to crash into Earth was exciting, and it added more to this portion of the story. In the original second series for Space Battleship Yamato, the stakes were nowhere near this high in its first episode.
So, basically, this first episode is setting up the basis of the story for this series. But it does it in such a way that it’s exciting to watch, rather than simply being an “info dump,” which was what the first episode of the second series of the original franchise was like. From the preview, it looks like the “info dumping” may be coming in the next episode. But with the way the reboot of this franchise has gone so far, I suspect the writers will have tried to find a way to make it feel less like an “info dump.” I’ll just have to wait until next week to find out.