9 Jun

Star Blazers returns!

Posted by Bryan White | Tuesday June 9, 2009 | News

You know me. I typically leave anime reportage up to blogs that are much better equipped to do so, preferably with a better handle on Japanese culture than I have, but this is a special occasion. My first introduction to anime, then called “Japanimation” for lack of a better Western term for a distinctly Eastern style of animation, were the Force Five/Shogun Warriors cartoons on afternoon syndication. Each was followed by Star Blazers, known elsewhere in the world as Space Battleship Yamato, a sprawling space opera.

In Star Blazers an alien race called the Gamilons attack earth and render the surface uninhabitable by bombing the surface with dirty bombs. Another alien race on the planet Iscandar delivers the plans for a faster than light engine and offers us the Cosmo DNA, which will clean our planet so we can start living on the surface again, but we have to go pick it up. Earth converts the remains of the Yamato (Called The Argo in The United States), a flagship in the Japanese fleet during World War 2, into a monstrous space ship armed to the teeth and capped off with a planet smashing weapon on the bow called The Wave Motion Gun. From there, they race across the stars to get to Iscandar, persued by Leader Deslock, a typically foppish anime bad guy, and the Gamilon fleet. It was completely ridiculous but when your after school cartoon regimen is reruns of Mighty Mouse and Transformers, this shit is downright sophisticated. I was hooked, even though American shores got to see one of the several seasons produced for Japanese television.

I dont know much about this picture but it seems to be a feature rather than a new OVA. The sheer scope of the original show and the many obstacles that the Yamato had to overcome was the appeal but in typical feature film running times, you can’t do much but encounter the Gamilon fleet a few times and blow some spaceships up. This trailer takes a real long time to get rolling and is even way too long to qualify as a trailer but as the Earth Defense Force levels their guns on the Gamilons, man, this shit takes flight!

7 Comments 

  1. June 9, 2009 10:57 am

    Jason

    We seem to have the same childhood viewing habits. Fox 25 per chance?

  2. June 9, 2009 10:59 am

    Bryan White

    Fuckin’ a. The one and the same. I don’t know if you know this or not but WFXT was, I think, one of the only markets in America that ran Force Five. The only other place they ran outside of Japan was Italy.

  3. June 9, 2009 11:10 am

    Tom

    It wasn’t even Fox 25 back then. Why can’t I just get a feed of old WSBK/ WLVI/ etc for morning viewing?

  4. June 9, 2009 11:14 am

    Bryan White

    I would kill to get my hands on the 3/4′s of old Movie Lofts and Creature Double Features. There was a push by a CDF fan board a while back to recover the old WLVI tapes but the company that owns the broadcaster now doesn’t even know they have them.

  5. June 10, 2009 3:21 pm

    NekroDave

    Sweet! I hadn’t heard about this. Can’t wait..

    Fwiw, lots of those shows aired all over the world. I think Force Five aired in the UK as well and a similar show aired in South America under the title “Festival de los Robots”. Grandizer/Goldorak/Goldrake is practically a god in places like France and the Middle East.

  6. June 10, 2009 3:30 pm

    Bryan White

    Which is funny to me because Grandizer was always my least favorite of the bunch. I liked the Thursday show over that one, even, Starvengers, I think. The one where the ships DIDN’T form a giant robot but just flew around. I think Panhandle ruined it all for me. That guy was such a spaz.

  7. July 6, 2010 2:19 pm

    SeanX

    loved the show-hated the romantic triangle crap-should
    have been a wee bit more Trek-like…I would have tossed the ‘bot or bolted him to the deck & hard wired him to the ships circutry….the crew should have been-U.N. & equal ratio of Men/Women…THE SHIP STORYLINE HAD SUCH POTENTIAL WITH THE FOLLOW-UP SEASON INVOLVING THE COMET EMPIRE & BEYOND & THE NEW SHIPS THAT WERE SUPPOSED TO BE SUPERIOR BUT FAILED.

    AFTER ALL,THIS IS/WAS SET IN THE FUTURE…!

    I’ve Not seen any hint of the new version due here in the States (as of 7-6-2010)on DVD/NETFLIX /TV Networks…in Boston — just via Youtube


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