Isao Sasaki to Reprise "Yamato" Theme Song for Yamato 2199

posted on by Egan Loo
1st BD to be sold in advance at April 7 screenings; 1st series also gets BD set

The official Yamato Crew community website announced on Saturday that Isao Sasaki will reprise his "Space Battleship Yamato" theme song in a new recording for this year's Space Battleship Yamato 2199 television anime series and film project. Sasaki originally sang the song 38 years ago for the first Space Battleship Yamato television series in 1974.

As a surprise guest at Saturday's "Space Battleship Yamato Launch Ceremony: Our Yamato Special" event, Sasaki sang the theme song before 1,000 fans. The Yamato Crew website notes that even now, the theme song is still a standard played by brass bands, as well as a rallying song for high school baseball teams. In addition to Yamato, Sasaki had performed songs for Galaxy Express 999, The Ultraman, Getter Robo, Shinzo Ningen Casshan, and many other anime classics.

The Yamato Crew site also announced that the first Yamato 2199 Blu-ray Disc volume will be sold in advance at the theaters screening the first two episodes on April 7. On that day, 10 theaters throughout Japan will run the first of seven Yamato 2199 screenings, titled "Departure to a Faraway Destination." The next four episodes will be screened on June 30 under the title "Fight to the Death in the Solar System."

The limited edition of the first Blu-ray volume will come with a storyboard book (pictured left), drawn by director Yutaka Izubuchi with a cover illustration by Nobuteru Yuki. The storyboard book will only be available with the limited edition at the theater screenings, and not when the regular edition ships to retail stores on May 25.

The first Space Battleship Yamato television anime series is also getting its first Blu-ray release in a box set on July 27. The release will use a 35-millimeter HD negative telecine transfer. Bonus extras will include the opening animation footage as seen in the original broadcast, the pilot footage, the pilot version of the first episode, the rerun version of the second episode, and the original broadcast version of the 22nd episode. The five-volume Onkyō Tanshi Yamato sound-effects mini-story will be included as an audio bonus. A bundled DVD will have storyboards, pencil sketches, designs, background art boards, and other production materials. A 64-page book, a second 36-page book, and a special playback feature (with simultaneous storyboards, scripts, or audio commentary) completes the package.

Izubuchi (RahXephon), the 53-year-old animator who worked on mechanical designs and science-fiction concepts on some of the earlier projects in the franchise, is serving as chief director of Yamato 2199. Yoshinobu Nishizaki, the late producer of the franchise, is credited with the original story. Yuki (Escaflowne, Record of Lodoss War) is designing the characters, and the anime studios XEBEC and AIC are producing the anime. Mechanical designer Makoto Kobayashi (Giant Robo, Last Exile, Space Battleship Yamato Resurrection) revealed at Anime Expo in July that he is working on a Yamato remake for this year.

Update: The official Twitter account for the Yamato 2199 anime announced that Aira Yuki (The Book of Bantorra, [email protected]: XENOGLOSSIA, The Legend of the Legendary Heroes, Sola, Tears to Tiara, True Tears) is singing the ending theme song. She performed at Saturday's event. The event also screened a new three-minute promotional video.

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