<em>Space Battleship Yamato</em> trailer <em>Space Battleship Yamato</em> trailer

Space Battleship Yamato trailer

It’s going to be a Happy New Year for fans of Star Blazers and cheesy Japanese live action science fiction flicks (which I am):

  • I honestly hate when they do commercials like this. When Gibli made one for Mr. Bug goes to town it made enough sense to understand. I don’t get this jump, jump, jump to a new scene crap.

    Although when I heard “Battle Ship Yamato” I got a little excited, I know that name from somewhere.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    They just put out an animated film last month, now we’re getting a live-action one too, damn!

  • Holy crap! Why didn’t I know about this until now!?

    I grew up on Star Blazers, way back in the late ’70s. It’s one of the things that got me into animation in the first place, it was so different from, well, everything else on TV in those days. Oh, man, I have to see this now.

  • Feh.

    Why do I have the feeling that if this exact same footage, shot for shot, was revealed from an American movie producer, absolutely everyone would be screaming “OH MY GODDD THEY RUINED IT HOW DARE THEY!!!”

    But hey, it’s Japanese movie, so that instantly equals perfect, right?

  • Angry Anim

    WOW!! Can this POSSIBLY be for real?! Fantastic!

    The updating of the uniforms is brilliant!

  • Smudge

    DEAR GOD!!! It’s like my birthday and Christmas all rolled into one singular event!! 8)

  • Scarabim

    I hear you , Feh. The same kind of lamebrained lamentation went on during Astro Boy’s run. It was an excellent updating of a very dated character – I don’t think anyone, including Pixar, could have done it better – and yet a lot of so-called anime fans turned their noses up at it. Biggest bunch of snobs in fandom. Not that many of them saw it, mind you; they made the assumption that since Americans had a hand in it, it was therefore ruined, and they didn’t give it a chance. They’re also the biggest bunch of idiots in fandom IMO.

  • Cameron

    Meh. Even moreso than Star Blazers, this Japanese adaptation appears to have missed the point entirely of the original Space Battleship Yamato.

  • Cameron

    Scarabim, Astro Boy was scorned because it deserved scorn. It was a watered down adaptation that missed the points of its source entirely. The robots are meant to be sympathetic and oppressed, not comic relief, and softening the relationship between Tenma and Astro completely undermined the meaning of the story (which is the furthest thing from dated). About the only clever thing about it was the Tezuka cameo.

    Not that this adaptation looks much better…

  • I love Japanese sci-fi technology.

  • Scarabim

    Disagree completely, Cameron. I’ve read a lot of Tezuka’s work, seen a bit of the anime (1960’s and 2003’s). I thought the screenwriters did a good job making the story more accessible – and yet still enjoyable – to general audiences and many Astro fans alike. You say the robots weren’t “sympathetic and oppressed”? Who was more sympathetic and oppressed in that movie than Astro himself? And I say thank goodness the relationship between Astro and Tenma was softened – you’d rather it followed the original manga, where Tenma went nuts and tried to take Astro out with a shovel? Yeah, parents with kids would REALLY have gone for that. Besides, Tenma and his motives were changed several times in the various incarnations of the anime. So what’s the big deal if it got changed again – and improved upon, IMO – for the movie? It gave the movie more of an emotional punch and a satisfying resolution. Stories get changed for the movies all the time, don’t you know, that doesn’t mean the resultant films should be scorned, or looked down on. I know Oz fans who still kvetch about the changes the film version made on the original story, but that still doesn’t mean it’s not a great film.

  • Cameron

    I disliked the resolution completely, and don’t think Tenma’s more sympathetic portrayal added anything to the story. The 80s cartoon made him more likable, but even that didn’t soften him entirely. Having such a dreary one-note Tenma removed all punch from their meeting at the end, which could have worked with far better writing.

    Frankly, it’s true adaptations make changes. But every switch in the film fell flat. The closest it came to working was in making Hamegg a temporary father figure, but even that didn’t pay off in any interesting way. An improvement? I disagree, and don’t see the film as anything other than average, despite the potential of the source material.

  • Zee

    I’m with Feh and Scarabim on this one. I don’t need to say more, they both articulated my sentiments exactly.

  • RayRay

    Star Blazers pretty much was the only reason I ever got into anime, (which I’m immersed in). This looks damn good.

  • Rio

    Do people actually make time to watch this show? I’m thinking, YES, and where can I join?!

  • Dwight

    They’re doing stuff like this when with the miracle of CGI they could do Garry Moore in space? What are they thinking?

  • Mitten

    I don’t care what anyone says..this trailer gave me goose bumps – I’m so excited !!!!

  • Mitchell Craig

    I’d watch it.

  • Feh.

    Gotta say, I felt the same way about Astro Boy. It was scorned because it was absolutely horrible.

    I didn’t turn up my nose at Astro Boy because it was American produced. I turned up my nose at it because it was an atrociously awful “adaptation” no matter which country was responsible for it.

    The very second that I noticed pathetic attempts at bathroom humor and incredibly ugly art design (which could have been designed so much better than it was) I knew it was doomed to be horrible. Then I saw it. It was terrible. The movie going public agreed. It was terrible. It bombed, and rightfully so.

    Had nothing to do with the fact that the Astro Boy remake was American. It had to do with the fact that the Astro Boy remake was tasteless, insipid and I would have called it garbage even if Japan had produced it.

    Which was kind of my point here with this Battleship Yamato remake. It looks woefully stupid.

    I don’t care if it’s Japanese or American. The country of origin nonwithstanding, it still looks about as terrible as the other, more infamous adaption recently like Dragonball Evolution, Speed Racer, and Astro Boy.

    It seems that even the country of it’s own inception can’t make a decent remake without missing the point, throwing what works into the garbage and the lame tenancy to rebuild everything from the ground up, which… in itself, always has potential to be done right. But never is. Because that takes effort.

    Those films had none of that, and Yamato has none of that, from the look of it.

    Just more proof that when you transfer one medium into another, it never fits. It’s like pushing the round peg into the square shaped hole.

    It’s pointless, it’s naturally a poor idea, it never works well, always comes off as ridiculous, and no one ever seems to put in enough care to find the heart of the original material and adapt something that is WATCHABLE, even if not faithful.

    The best anyone can ever do seems to be to compensate with style over substance. Just like Micheal Bay and all of his similar garbage. And that’s what Yamato is looking like, so far. A Japanese Micheal Bay movie.

    You couldn’t pay ME to watch this garbage. Any of it.

    It’s not about countries. It’s about quality. And it always seems to be lacking in these pointless, waste of time endeavors to turn one medium into another medium it has no business being bastardized into.

  • Scarabim

    Astro Boy had incredibly ugly art design? Compared to what – Coraline? Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs? Those creepy looking Chipettes? Riiiiiggghhht. And it sounds to me like you had your mind made up about the movie before you even saw it. There’s nothing like an open mind. I had my doubts about the movie before I saw it, but it surprised me; the animation was simply stunning in parts (especially the scene where Astro goes flying through the clouds at sunset), and I found the characters and background design to be more appealing than a lot of CGI features. Good voice work too, and a great score. FWIW, Roger Ebert thought Astro Boy was better than Kung Fu Panda and Monsters Vs. Aliens. I’m with him on this one.

  • Jarko

    How can anyone compare this to DBE? I’ve seen only two first episodes of Space Battleship Yamato but the clip doesn’t feel or look that different from the series. BTW Naoki Urasawa’s manga Pluto, which is based on Osamu Tezuka’s The Greatest Robot on Earth Astro Boy story has been a big success at least in Japan.

  • Scarabim

    Oh, Pluto is excellent! I discovered the manga after seeing the Astro Boy movie, and while it’s a very radical re-telling of a classic Astro Boy manga, it’s still a homage to the original. And it’s brilliantly scripted and drawn, in a very different style than Tezuka’s, but amazing in its own right. I highly recommend it. And it’s proof yet again that updating or re-interpreting a character doesn’t automatically mean it will be degraded. It depends on artistry that respects the original while giving it a new spin.

  • Hey, this looks pretty awesome! I was a big Star Blazers fan in the 1970’s and I like what I see so far. It’s interesting to me to think that a Japanese audience saw these characters as Japanese, while the American audience of Star Blazers accepted the characters as American (or at least multi-national). It’s pretty cool to see a cast of Japanese actors take on these parts.

    One more thing is that clearly, the reboot of Star Trek has a lot to do with the reboot of this film series as well.

    I can’t wait to hear more!

  • pheslaki

    I loved Star Blazers when I was a little tiny kid. I remember being sick with the flu and literally holding my eyelids open to stay awake during the final episode. At least from the clip shown, this looks exactly like a live version of the show . . . I have to say, I want to see it.

  • Didiya

    La película tiene una pinta cojonuda, excepto por el peinado a lo Camilo Sexto del protagonista.

    The movie looks great, except for the Camilo Sexto look of the main character.

  • steve w.

    Speaking of loving “cheesy Japanese live action science fiction”, I found a DVD of the 1960s TV show Ultraman, Series One, Volume One at the Target in east Pasadena, CA for five bucks last week. (2 discs, 20 episodes, restored by Golden Media Group.) Get it!

  • Abu

    How can anyone make an assumption that the makers of this film have missed the point of the original series? How can you dismiss the film based off a 30 second teaser? Half of which is text! Talk about jumping the gun!

    People aren’t excited for this because its being made by the Japanese. They’re excited because the images presented look almost identical to the original cartoon. Seriously, at least wait for the 2 minute trailer before dismissing the film.

  • Frankly, I miss the bell-bottoms and ridicuolus sideburns.
    Seriously though, watching this teaser got me a little bit
    psyched… when the Yamato fires it’s battery of guns, i mean,
    come on!

    I’ll reserve judgement and keep an open mind here… But the orig.Yamato is a true classic, so you hafta be careful.

    … Hey, I wonder if they’ll ever attempt to revisit ‘Captain Harlock?’

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Hmmm, Captain Harlock? Really makes you think, doesn’t it?

  • “Just more proof that when you transfer one medium into another, it never fits. It’s like pushing the round peg into the square shaped hole.”

    Yeah, “Batman: The Animated Series” was, like, the WORST version of Batman ever.

    As for live-action Yamoto, I’ll reserve judgement until I see more. It’s bringing back flashbacks of “Casshern”, which wasn’t bad exactly, but not exactly intelligible.

  • Really, bashing this over a 30 second trailer is just insane. And it isn’t as if the source material was pristine goodness to start with (the space “science” as presented in the Star Blazers dub probably made astronomers weep). But hey, my inner eight-year old just went, “Flying Battleship! COOL!”

    Nice shades too.

  • Interesting how faithfull they went with the character designs ….

  • Pierre Fontaine, you’ve hit the nail right on the head. Rebooting Yamato in Japan is like rebooting Star Trek. Hopefully they have someone as skillful as J. J. Abrams at the helm of this one.

    Anyone seen the animated movie yet? Has it been picked up for US distribution?

  • My brother and I would get up at 6am to watch Star Blazers. Can’t wait to see this! My film Star Kids was actually inspired by showing my kids Star Blazers.

    Why wasn’t the budget more than 20 mil?

  • Cheapshot

    I am freaking ecstatic about this news. I hope it is dubbed well for us english speaking fans. I too am about to turn 40 and I would feel like a child again seeing this.