The episode begins with Captain Hijikata ordering the crew to abandon ship, since the Yamato is unable to maneuver and is closer to crashing into the White Comet. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to evacuate, and we spend most of the episode not knowing what has happened to these characters and to the ship.
A lot of the episode focuses on the crew that escaped being brought on board the Ginga, which is a Yamato class ship that Sanada helped develop for exploration purposes. Unfortunately, it’s now become a military vessel. The other differentiating thing is that the Ginga is run by the AI (another Analyzer-like robot, expect this one is black instead of red). Outside of the crew members of the Yamato, everyone else on board the ship (including the captain) are very unemotional and just do what the AI recommends. There’s a certain sense of “coldness” aboard the Ginga‘s bridge. We also learn during this section that the captain of the Ginga is the daughter of one of the high-ranking military officials.
Kato also gets some focus here. When he awakens aboard the Ginga, the first thing he does is grab and gun and point it at his head. Fortunately, other crew members nearby grab him and take the gun away. One of Zworder’s representatives contacts the Earth’s government, and they learn about what Kato did and how they have a cure for the children who have acquired illnesses that are connected to what had happened in the aftermath of the Gamilans’ planet bombs. The government is furious that Kato sold out his ship in order to save his child, and he’s thrown in the brig. Later, when an opportunity for a pilot to take on a suicide mission comes up, Kato takes it in order to atone for what he has done. But in the end, he somehow survives the suicide mission. He’s so distraught over what he’s done and wants to die, and he becomes frustrated when he avoids death yet again. The last scene we see of him, he looks up to the sky and asks something to the effect of, “Why won’t you let me die?”
Right near the end of the episode, we see what happened to the Yamato and the crew members who were still on board. It appears they somehow ended up on a planet somewhere else and didn’t crash into the White Comet. But something strange happens, and it appears Yuki has lost her memory. Poor Yuki seems to keep having issues with losing her memory.
At this point, the Space Battleship Yamato 2202 story is so drastically different from the original telling. However, I think I’m enjoying this version much more. I feel there’s a lot more “meat” here, and much more character development and plot twists. I’m looking forward to seeing how the story will progress in the next episode.
Additional posts about Star Blazers/Space Battleship Yamato: