I’ll be using “aka” designations for the characters, so readers who are more familiar with the English names from Star Blazers will be able to follow who I am talking about.
This episode makes clear early on that while there is a truce between Earth and the Gamilans, that it is an uneasy one. The Earthlings managed to capture a still living Gatlantean from the battle in last week’s episode, but had said nothing to the Gamilans, who now have an embassy on the moon. By the time the Gamilans find out about it, it’s too late to warn the Earthlings that the Gatlantean soldiers are designed to self-destruct when captured. At the inauguration ceremony for the new Andromeda class ships, there’s a bit of a tiff between the high-ranking Earth officials and the Gamilan representatives, with each side trying to not-so-subtly blame the other for the incident with the Gatlantean. This actually plays an important role a little later in the episode. And in one scene that takes place in one of the newly rebuilt cities, we see a robot cleaning graffiti off of a wall that clearly shows that not all of the Earthlings have accepted the Gamilans as allies.
I was actually wrong last week when it came to the relationship status of Susumu (aka Derek Wildstar) and Yuki (aka Nova). They actually ARE married at this point in the story. YAY! We get to see them interacting together after Susumu is chewed out by the upper brass for his actions in the previous episode. Yes, Susumu did break regulations, but he did help to save the Earth. I was a little frustrated by Susumu being disciplined for his actions. But the interactions between Susumu and Yuki during this section were rather amusing.
I was glad to see the scene at Captain Okita’s (aka Captain Avatar’s) grave that was in the original version of this story. But thank goodness Dr. Sado (aka Dr. Sane) wasn’t giving his cat sake. With this scene, we not only see the Yamato crew that’s currently on Earth gathering together, but we also learn that most of the people assembled had a vision of someone dear to them who has passed on say that they need to board the Yamato. Yuki tells Susumu privately that she didn’t have a vision of any kind. It’s also made clear through the dialogue in this scene that the Yamato crew members are unhappy with Earth’s government for putting Wave Motion Guns into the new ships, even though Captain Okita had promised Queen Stasha (aka Queen Starsha) that Wave Motion Energy would not be used for combat again. Also, they question at the way the Earth and its cities have been rebuilt. There’s definitely dissatisfaction with the government among the crew of the Yamato.
Sanada (aka Sandor) shares information with Susumu and Shima (aka Mark Venture) regarding an unusual comet and a communication that came through the solar system at the the same time they had their visions. The data goes haywire, and the three of them see an image of a woman kneeling in prayer, and hearing her voice. When information is pieced together, Susumu is determined to find a way to save the woman, since she is obviously in need of help. Shima, however, tries to argue with him about it, and making a point that the government has probably realized that the Yamato crew has been having these visions.
We see Shima’s concern realized when Susumu is followed by government agents. Susumu receives some unexpected help from one of the Gamilan ambassadors from earlier in the episode, which leads to Susumu being smuggled to the Gamilan embassy on the moon, with the hopes of getting more information about the mysterious message from the woman. From the preview, it looks like this encounter and exposition will be taking place in the next episode.
There’s also a brief scene of Kato (aka Conroy) and Makoto with their young son, who was born with space radiation sickness. Kato is absent a bit from his duties so he can watch over his son as he goes through treatments. Knowing that the Yamato crew will have to eventually leave in order for the story to progress, I wonder how this development will affect Kato and his ability to rejoin his crewmates. While Makoto was also a member of the crew, I would see her staying behind to be with her son. But I suspect we will see Kato being torn between staying on Earth with his family and reuniting with his Yamato crewmates and going back into space.
Right at the end of the episode, we learn that the leader on the comet object, who we had seen in the previous episode, is Prince Zwordar (aka Prince Zordar). We also learn that the comet object is known as the Imperial Star Gatlantis. Hmmm… is there potentially a connection to… the Gatlanteans? With such similar names, I suspect that there is. In which case, it’s kind of neat to realize that we did hear a couple of passing references to this race back in Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199, which would mean that this new enemy doesn’t seem to come out of nowhere, unlike in the original version of the story.
While the original version of this story showed heightened tensions between Earth’s government and the Yamato crew, Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2202 takes these tensions and kicks it up several notches. I find that the version of the tensions being presented here are much more realistic.
I’m really looking forward to seeing how the story of Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2202 will progress when compared to the version from the original Space Battleship Yamato franchise.
Additional posts about Star Blazers/Space Battleship Yamato: