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December's Yamato Film Detailed by Director Nishizaki

posted on by Egan Loo
700 shots with CG; signature wave-motion gun can now fire 6 times in a row

Yoshinobu Nishizaki, the 74-year-old producer of the Space Battleship Yamato science-fiction anime franchise, provided some more details to the Sports Nippon newspaper on Monday on his newest attempt to revive the franchise this year. As chief director, Nishizaki is planning to complete the Uchuu Senkan Yamato Fukkatsu-hen film in October for a December opening in Japanese theaters — 26 years after the last Yamato film. Out of the 1,860 cuts (shots) in the film, 700 are being produced with computer graphics. In particular, the battle scenes will composite 3D sequences and computer graphics. Nishizaki established a new studio called Enagio last year just to produce this film.

The biggest theme of the new film will be environmental issues and how humans have treated the planet Earth. As previously announced, the new film is set in 2220, or 21 years after the first Yamato story and 17 years after the story of the last film, "Final Yamato." A 320,000-kilometer-wide black hole threatens Earth, so 300 million people set a course for Amaaru, 27,000 light years away. The transport fleet is attacked, and the new Yamato battleship leads the counterstrike. 38-year-old Susumu Kodai, the hero of the first series, is now a space captain, and he has a daughter named Miyuki with his wife Yuki (the heroine of the first series).

The title battleship's size will be mostly unchanged at 263 meters in length and 62,000 tons in mass. In the previous anime stories, the Yamato's signature wave-motion gun can take out an entire fleet, but firing the gun used to leave the ship drained of power — and vulnerable — until it can recharge. In the new film, the gun can fire six shots in a row.

The Uchuu Senkan Yamato Fukkatsu-hen project has been in the dormant stages as early as 1992. There was an earlier attempt announced in July of 2004, but the planned television series was abandoned due to copyright disputes. Nishizaki, co-creator Leiji Matsumoto, and film distributor Tohokushinsha Film Corporation have all claimed the right to make new Yamato anime at one time or another in the last two decades. This time, Nishizaki says that all rights have been cleared to restart what he describes as his "last work." Tohokushinsha is distributing the film. The project's official website has launched with a free promotional DVD offer.

Source: Mainichi Shimbun, animeanime.jp

Image © 2009 Yoshinobu Nishizaki

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