I was impressed when Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2202 began streaming so quickly after the end of Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199. Unfortunately, because the streaming caught up to where the movies in Japan were around the halfway point of the series, we ended up having to wait about six months before we could see the second half of the series. With that large gap in time, I admit that it’s harder for me to remember a lot of what happened in the first half.
From what I remember of the first half, I recall that I enjoyed the political intrigue that was presented early on with the Earth’s government and military. Their interactions with the Gamilans were also quite telling. While the upper brass of the military were jerks in the original version of this story, I felt that Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2202 helped to better define these characters and help to explain why they were acting like jerks.
I thought Lieutenant Keyman was a nice addition to the story and the cast, especially after learning the truth of who he was in the second half of the series. I also appreciated how he ended up being integral to Desler’s redemption and thought this was a more realistic redemption than the one he had in the original story.
Another thing I appreciated was the fact that Teresa and her powers were defined here, so what Teresa does near the end of the series makes sense to the audience as soon as it happens. In the original, Teresa and her powers weren’t clearly defined, so what she did near the end almost felt like that it came out of nowhere as a kind of “deus ex machina.”
I also liked the fact that Zworder and his people were given a race name and what kind of a race they were. Zworder’s motivations were also solidly defined and made sense.
When all is said and done, I think that Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2202 did a fantastic job of adding depth to the original version of the story, and also incorporated the new elements and characters introduced in Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 to help add more “meat” and depth to the story.
Probably my one real complaint about this version of the story, though, is that Yuki deals with amnesia yet again. Yuki with amnesia or Yuki in peril seems to be a consistent theme between both Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 and Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2202. But even with that, I still appreciate the fact that this new version of the franchise incorporates more women and gives several of them prominent roles.
But when you watch the last episode, be prepared with a hanky. I’m not going to say exactly why you should in order to avoid providing major spoilers. I’m just going to say that you should, because that final episode gets emotional.