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Nikkan Sports: Yamato 2199 Anime Film to Open in April

posted on by Egan Loo
Newspaper: RahXephon's Yutaka Izubuchi directs film based on 1st Yamato's story

The Nikkan Sports newspaper reported on Thursday that a new Space Battleship Yamato 2199 anime film will open in Japanese theaters on April 7 of next year — 38 years after the first television series aired in 1974. The basic story of the new film is the same as the first Yamato anime set in 2199, but Yutaka Izubuchi (RahXephon), the 52-year-old animator who worked on mechanical designs and science-fiction concepts on some of the earlier projects in the franchise, is directing.

Shōji Nishizaki, the adopted son of the late Yamato producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki, hinted at his father's memorial service last December that he has begun production on new Yamato works including a television series and another film. Mechanical designer Makoto Kobayashi (Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, Giant Robo, Last Exile, Space Battleship Yamato Resurrection) revealed at the closing ceremonies of Anime Expo this past July that he is working on a remake of Space Battleship Yamato for release next year.

Yoshinobu Nishizaki and Leiji Matsumoto's Yamato space opera anime franchise began with the first Space Battleship Yamato television series in 1974. The titular spaceship Yamato is built from the remains of the World War II battleship of the same name to protect Earth from extraterrestrial threats. Over the next 35 years, the television anime spawned two television sequels, two video projects, and six films including 2009's Space Battleship Yamato Resurrection. The anime was dubbed and partly rewritten in English as Star Blazers.

A live-action film remake of the original Space Battleship Yamato anime opened in Japan last December. There was an attempt at an American live-action film adaptation by the company BenderSpink (The Ring) in 2006, and Skydance Productions was in talks to acquire the live-action film rights earlier this year.

In addition to directing RahXephon, Izubuchi created the mechanical designs in Gundam: Char's Counterattack, Gundam 0080, and Patlabor. He also designed the characters in Record of Lodoss War and contributed to Aura Battler Dunbine, Jin-Roh, The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love?, and many other projects.

Update: More background information added, and story description reworded to make clearer that the new project is a remake.

This article has a follow-up: Yamato 2199 Anime Remake Film's Teaser Streamed (2011-11-11 12:19)
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