December 03, 2010

Live-action "Star Blazers" movie is out!

Well, in Japan at any rate. Cannot wait till it gets to the States!

IGN has a clip (all Japanese). An English subtitled trailer is here. Official(?) English website is here.

Anyone else remember that soap opera-like cartoon from the late 70s/early 80s -- "Star Blazers" but originally called "Space Cruiser/Battleship Yamato" in Japan? The first two series were fairly prominent here in the local TV market and were cutting edge for that time. In the original series, Earth is under attack by the planet Gamilon. By 2199, most of humanity is dead and its remnants are underground. But then a mysterious capsule lands on the planet -- with a message of hope. It contains schematics for a "wave motion" engine, an FTL (faster than light) drive, and a notification that their planet, Iscandar, (located in the Larger Magellanic Cloud) has a device which will remove the radiation from Earth. (I always wondered why, if they can send blueprints for an FTL drive, they couldn't also just send plans for the radiation cleaner! Oh well ...) The Yamato's long journey to obtain the device features some of the coolest space battle scenes ever seen in cartoons, especially when the Yamato (renamed Argo for the American audience) fires its "wave motion gun." And you can check out the [English] show's introduction here.

The sequel featured the Yamato/Argo and the Earth Defense Fleet against the Comet Empire from the Andromeda Galaxy. It's probably longer than it had to be, but the space battle sequences in the second series are absolutely sensational, particularly the epic confrontation between the C.E. and the Earth Defense Fleet led by the cruiser Andromeda. The Argo, which was damaged, wasn't present at this battle, but ultimately leads the last-ditch effort against the Comet Empire's Prince Zordar. Here's the cartoon's second season intro.

Series 3 was a definite step down. Seemingly playing on the original series' premise, our sun is hit by a stray missile from a nearby galactic battle which increases its rate of fusion. Earth must either evacuate or find a way to stop the sun from going nova. Of course, the crew of the Yamato/Argo leads the way. Interestingly, the Galman Empire in this series is shown to be from where the Gamilons of series 1 descended. I at one time possessed series 3, but it was so convoluted and its premise so repetitive that I never actually finished watching it.

Posted by Hube at December 3, 2010 11:28 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

I just watched all the series again this spring thanks to Netflix. I never saw the Bolar Wars when I was a kid, but it wasn't great. You didn't miss anything by not finishing it. (And having different voices for the Bolar Wars was definitely annoying.)

I've got the movies coming up soon in my Netflix queue. It will be interesting to see those since I hear they're more adult than the series were.

Posted by: Paul Smith at December 3, 2010 11:38 AM

Oh, and as far as Princess Starsha not sending the plans for the Cosmo DNA instead of the plans for the wave-motion engine, I seem to recall them loading boxes on Argo while they were on Iscandar so maybe there were some materials that couldn't be reproduced on Earth.

(Yeah, I'm a little embarassed that I remember all of that.)

Posted by: Paul Smith at December 3, 2010 03:21 PM

I vaugely remeber this series... why doesn't SyFy re-run it in anticipation of the movie release?

and why don't they run French, German, Italian, Japonese etc scifi movies (dubbed in english) instead of the the stupid Ghostie show, wrasslin and giant animal B-movies?

Posted by: anonni at December 4, 2010 11:27 PM