Like I always do, I will use “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.
I was happy to see the space fireflies, which appeared in the Iscandar story arc in the original Space Battleship Yamato franchise be used again in this reboot. After watching this episode, I have to say that the use of the space fireflies in this arc was much stronger than in the original franchise.
In this story, the fireflies presented a danger on two fronts. One was that they were hypnotizing the crew and heightening their emotional states. So for Susumu Kodai (aka Derek Wildstar) and Saito (aka Sergeant Knox), this led to an emotional confrontation. Fortunately, it didn’t evolve into a brawl, because Keyman helped Sanada (aka Sandor) find a particular frequency to broadcast through the ship to neutralize the hypnotizing. It was obvious to see who was hypnotized, because their eyes turned red, just like the fireflies. But it’s interesting to note that Yuki (aka Nova) was broken of the hypnotism before the frequency was broadcast, when someone mentions to her that Susumu and Saito seemed to be gearing up for a brawl. Somehow, the mention of Susumu broke her hypnotized state. For other crew members, the hypnotism either heightened other emotions (such as sadness) or it made them nostalgic for things from the past.
But, it turns out the fireflies, since they were released from the canisters, were also starting to wreak havoc on the Wave Motion Core. Fortunately, Dr. Sado (aka Dr. Sane) and Analyzer (aka IQ-9) are able to save the day here as well.
Outside of the fireflies, we see that some interactions of the Gatlanteans early on in the episode, and we learn some important information through dialogue that Zworder (aka Prince Zordar) has with one of his men. It’s an info dump, but it also lets us see Zworder having some real interaction with other Gatlanteans. Part of this info dump, though, reveals that a “pure copy” has infiltrated the Yamato. From what we’ve seen in previous episodes, it’s clear who the “pure copy” is. Near the end of the episode, she has very interesting interaction with Keyman.
We also got to see Hijikata (aka Captain Gideon) a little as well in this episode. At one point, Yuki goes to him with concerns about Susumu, and we got to see a fatherly side of him that he shows toward her, since he was the one who took her in when she had amnesia from the accident that took place before the first series ever started. Later, Susumu tries to offer him the acting commander job, but Hijikata refuses, saying he’s a defeated man. But he does agree to continue going on the voyage with them. I really like Hijikata’s portrayal so much more here compared to how he was portrayed in the original Space Battleship Yamato franchise.
We also see the Yamato, her crew, the Space Marines, and Hijikata all receiving a message from Teresa (aka Trelaina) of Terezart (aka Telezart). With this message, Susumu is determined to continue on the mission to Terezart, even if it means they will approach the White Comet, which is in the ship’s path to Terezart.
We also had a very interesting “stinger” right before the preview for the next episode. While I knew this particular character would have to be returning, since it’s an important plot point from the original franchise, I still hadn’t expected it quite yet, and especially not through a “stinger” scene. I’m excited to see this character back, and from the preview, it looks like the next episode will be seeing this character facing off with the Yamato.