Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2202: Episode 11 – “Desler’s Challenge!”

I’ll 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 talking about.

Well, this episode made one thing very clear… Desler (aka Desslok) is ba-ack… and he’s back in a big way.

We see Mil, who appears to be a Gatlantean who has a direct connection to Zworder (aka Prince Zordar), assigned to be with Desler on a mission to prove himself to Zworder. This mission is to kill the Gatlanteans that the Yamato had spared, because they have developed emotions and want to get revenge. It was interesting to hear Mil refer to emotions as a disease, yet from seeing an earlier episode, we know that Zworder himself is capable of them. Even with his telepathic link to Zworder, Mil somehow doesn’t seem to pick up on this.

Meanwhile, Sanada (aka Sandor) holds a briefing for the higher ranking officers, because the transmission they received from Teresa (aka Trelaina) included encrypted information that gives the crew of the Yamato more information on what they can expect when they arrive at Terezart (aka Telezart).

Desler uses his technology from the first series to transport a bunch of ships to the Yamato‘s location and lure them into a trap when they perform a space warp. But it turns out Desler has more than one goal in mind with this plan. Not only can he carry out his revenge against the Yamato, but he can block Mil’s telepathic communication, so Zworder has no idea what Desler is doing.

I can’t say too much more without providing spoilers, except to state the obvious: the Yamato has to escape from this trap, because if they don’t, the series can’t continue. If you want specifics, you’ll have to watch the episode.

Over the course of this episode, though, Mil slowly starts showing some emotion, which shows that even he is not immune from this “disease.” And with what we saw at the end of the episode, it’s clear that Desler is going to be a more important player in the story now.

Desler’s return was part of the second story in the original franchise, but I think it’s even more impressive here than it was in the original version of this story. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this story will play out in the remaining episodes.

As a side note, a different version of the opening theme is used here. On the one hand, I’m glad it’s a version that incorporates vocals and isn’t just an instrumental like in the previous episodes. Unfortunately, I didn’t really care for the faster tempo or for the “tinkly” sound effects that appear in it. I know “tinkly” sounds kind of weird, but I can’t really think of any other way to describe it. Maybe I’ll become more adapted to this version of the opening theme after hearing it for a few weeks, but with this first listen, I found it to be kind of jarring. Oh well.

The new ending theme was kind of cool, though. The animation features Desler, and the song works well for Desler’s character. I’m looking forward to hearing more of this new ending theme song.

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