Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Movie Trailer Special: Space Battleship Yamato

For people of a certain age (that is, my age), the Japanese anime series Space Battleship Yamato (translated liberally to Star Blazers here in America) remains one of the great sci-fi epics of all time. Indeed, I think it's fair to say that (along with Star Wars on the big screen) Star Blazers introduced a whole generation of kids to the idea of sci-fi. Created in 1974 but not available widely in the U.S. until around 1980, the first season of Star Blazers remains one of the most influential and mature animated series in the history of television, as it told a gripping tale of desperation, romance and even death that has few parallels in the cartoon world even today.

And now it's being turned into a live action film.

Yep, you read that right: Space Battleship Yamato, which fittingly is an all-Japanese production, is slated to hit theaters in Japan on December 1. And while anxious American audiences are still waiting to find out when the (hopefully) inevitable American release will be, fans can now tide themselves over with a look at the first extended length trailer for the film. So grab your wave motion gun, because dude, it is so on right now:

Not awesome enough for you? Okay, well how about this version, which not only has a brief clip of the Wave Motion Gun warming up to fire, but it features the awesome, unforgettable original theme song to boot:

Whew. I need a few minutes to towel off.

Okay then. So how awesome does this look, exactly? I admit that when I first heard they were making a live action version of Star Blazers, I was skeptical to say the least. I especially was unsure if a Japanese production could swing the money necessary for all the special effects. But while this doesn't quite look like Avatar-level CGI, it's perfectly reasonable in a Battlestar Galactica way. So no problem there.

Even better from a fan's point of view, of course, is the obvious devotion to the source material, as it's clearly based very closely on the first season. In the first trailer, for instance we get a shot of Alex Wildstar piloting his doomed battleship at the Battle of Pluto, while in the second trailer we see what appears to be a Gamalon fighter crashing into the side of the Yamato, which is a clear shout-out to one of the most memorable episodes of the original run (where the Gamalon pilot is nursed back to health and returned to his own people, only to be shot down by the Gamalons for being "tainted" by his association with humanity). The whole thing just reeks of authenticity, though it does suffer from Spanish Soap Opera Syndrome, which is the curious phenomenon where actors speaking a language you can't understand always appear to be way overacting.

But, whatever. Just check out this official poster (click on it to make it as huge as it deserves to be):

My Grades: A+. 8-year-old me gives it an A+++++++ times infinity +1. Maybe the coolest thing I have ever seen.

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No doubt! Times infinity plus one! Doubled!

18 year old me loved this cartoon, and present day me will pay to see this - even if I have to endure subtitles!