As I always do for these write-ups, 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.
We’re now up to Episode 13, so if this runs for the same number of episodes as Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199, then this should be the halfway point of the series.
We get to see an interaction between a Gatlantean and the clone he is “raising.” This Gatlantean is named Gorland, and his clone is named Noll. Noll is being trained and prepped to become the next Gorland, and as part of this training, we see Gorland showing Noll how to hunt and wipe out sand dragons. During the hunt, Gorland tells Noll how love and caring about offspring or parents is a narcissism. Near the end of the sequence, we see a baby sand dragon mourning the loss of its parent, and Noll, with tears streaming down his face, shooting the baby sand dragon. To me, this makes it pretty clear that the clones are “born” with emotions, but that over time and through training, they are taught to suppress their emotions.
Noll later asks someone if the Gatlantean who “raised” them ever held them. The other Gatlantean says no, and the audience can see that Noll’s expression looks a little sad. Near the end of the episode, though, there’s an interesting interaction between Gorland and Noll that I never expected to see, and it made me realize that no matter how much Zworder (aka Prince Zordar) tries to suppress emotion among his troops, that he isn’t truly succeeding at it. I wonder if this could potentially contribute to the villains’ downfall by the end of the series.
Meanwhile, aboard the Yamato, Susumu Kodai (aka Derek Wildstar) is trying to interrogate Sifar Sabera, who was taken prisoner during the previous episode. Unfortunately, his efforts don’t really go anywhere because Sifar doesn’t take him seriously. But Dr. Sado (aka Dr. Sane) has run some tests on her, which show that she is human and has the ability to bear children. These test results seem to fly in the face of what Susumu has been told about the Gatlanteans. Later, Keyman tells Susumu not to bother interrogating Sifar, and that he will take on the responsibility. But we all we see him get out of Sifar is that she’ll keep his secret.
Hijikata (aka Captain Gideon) and the high-ranking staff of the Yamato meet and discuss a plan to get past the Gatlantean missile fleet that is at Planet Terezart (aka Telezart). A plan is formed and put into motion, which, surprisingly, includes firing the Wave Motion Gun. It’s surprising in this series, of course, because Susumu has been reluctant to use it because of the promise Captain Okita (aka Captain Avatar) made to Queen Stasha (aka Queen Starsha). During the battle that ensues, Susumu’s past reluctance to fire the Wave Motion Gun plays an important role, and we get to see him struggle about following through on this portion of the plan. This is a very pivotal moment for Susumu’s character growth in this series.
I will provide one little spoiler here: during Susumu’s struggle about the Wave Motion Gun, Hijhikata says he will accept Susumu’s offer of acting as the captain of the Yamato. It’s good to know that going forward, Hijikata will be there in more than just an advisory role. Susumu is obviously not quite ready for a captain’s responsibility, and he will now have Hijikata to watch and learn from. I’ve really appreciated seeing Susumu have these flaws, since the original version of this story from the original franchise made Susumu’s transition to a leadership role seem too easy. I think the way this reboot has handled this has been much more realistic.
From the preview, it looks like our protagonists will finally be making contact with Teresa (aka Trelaina). I’m looking forward to seeing what this encounter will reveal, as well as how the story will progress from here.