G’day fellow fanatics of all things fantastical! It is I, Kylie, reporter from Down Under, here to update you on something Anime and spacey! Have you ever felt that space travel should be more gritty, dangerous and more like, well, traveling the wide oceans in the days of the great explorers?
Maybe it’s just me, but when I think of space, I think of the ocean and ships.
I was born in what is known as the Iron Triangle, in the small outback town of Whyalla. It is tinged a dark, deep red from the iron-ore deposit that leaks out of the high chimney stacks of the processing plants from the mining of this oh-so-precious mineral.
Long before I was born, however, Whyalla was a ship-building town—and the remains of this linger about. The most prominent example being the HMAS WHYALLA, a Bathurst class corvette that was built by BHP in Whyalla, during World War II, sitting landlocked by the main entrance into the town as a Maritime Museum.
I recall clambering over this old war bucket with my siblings, running around the decks, on its cannons, and having a lark of a time without really having any concept of the ghosts of the lives it had taken or who had died upon it. To me, it was a fantastical adventure!
As a young girl I could not write, I was far behind my peers at school in that department, but I could read above my age level and I had attacked my father’s science fiction collection with vigor. I recall a conversation with him, however, about space-ships.
I was fascinated, at this time in my life, about going to Mars and I would envision epic scenarios in which I and my toys would travel to this red planet that was just as barren and crimson as my home town, however I could not understand why the ships in my father’s stories were not described like the ships I imaged or the war-ships on the high sea. In my childish mind it seemed, if you called it a ship, then it should look like a ship, right?
Well, my father explained that no, space-ships were entirely different than ships that went on the ocean and my fantasies were somewhat shattered—never mind—I went on to enjoy many adventures to Mars in my epic ship that was in space, thank you very much. Captain Kylie and her toys ahoy!
Why am I telling you this story?
Well, you see, fast forward into my teenage years, I discovered something incredible, the Anime/Manga Space Battleship Yamato. By then it was actually pretty old, having first aired in Japan in 1974 and in the United States under the name StarBlazers in 1979. StarBlazers was a watered down version of the real-deal, however it did play a role in bringing Anime alive to the Western World. I may have enjoyed Sailor Moon but epic space battles really topped girls in short-skirts, just saying…
This Anime took me back to my Mars adventures. Battleship Yamato is a battleship in space, I know, that rather sounds ridiculous (Doctor Who ridiculous) but they make it work, and the mechanics of it work as well. You can clearly believe that space is an ocean. The characters are sailors, they live by the law of sailors and it is so romantic. It is a science fiction with heart. Imagination at its best!
I was captivated. It was exactly what I had dreamed when I was running about on the decks of HMAS WHYALLA.
Now, let us fast forward again, to 2013 and what do I discover—they’ve redone Space Battleship Yamato (2199), a whole new Anime. Following pretty much the same basic plot, but updating it into this beautiful new, fresh style. They quickened the pace, made it intense, and the dog-fights throw me back to the original Star Wars. However, above anything, it is the characters and the Battleship Yamato that make this Anime beautiful.
The plot of the new series begins in 2199. The human race has been obliterated in a war with the invading Gamilos. Due to the assault upon the Earth by ‘planet-bombs’ humans have been driven underground. Scientists have estimated that humanity has a year left. They have one last hope, the planet Iscandar on the other side of the Magellan Galaxy has the technology to defeat the Gamilos and restore Earth. Susumu Koadi and Daisuke Shima are two young men upon the space battleship Yamato, that has been entrusted with the task to get to Iscandar—but they only have one year.
If you are like me, and have the ability to read subbed Anime and understand Japanese to a small amount then currently most of the series is available however I have no news as to when the English version is due for creation, but as an avid Anime fan, I will always recommend that the original Japanese voice actors are unique and fantastic! Anime is always best in its original form.
So, if you want an fantastic story, with incredible characters, amazing animation, and above all, a spaceship that is a ship that makes you really feel like space travel is what it should be; travelling in something that can and will kill you the moment you leave the safety of your hull—Space Battleship Yamato 2199 is an Anime you do not want to miss.
Sometimes childhood dreams really do come true!
Now…I just have to get to Mars.
Kylie Leane – Reporter
- Kylie Leane was raised on a healthy upbringing of old classic science fiction thanks to her Dad. Though being unable to spell or write, she was confident that with imagination by her side, someday she would be a writer! Which she is now, writing fantasy and science fiction while illustrating on the side. She has an unquenchable love of Anime/Manga and can’t stop buying books after this novel called Fellowship of the Ring changed her life.