Space Battleship Yamato Blu-ray Review - www.impulsegamer.com -
Space Battleship Yamato
Reviewed by
Chris Tyler
on
Space Battleship Yamato Blu-ray Review. The space battles are straight from the recent BSG remake but all the better for it, the CG is amazing.
Rating:
3.5

Feature 8.0
Video 7.0
Audio 8.0
Special Features 4.0
Total 7.0

Distributor: Madman
Running Time: 137 Minutes
Reviewer: Chris Tyler
Classification
: PG

7.0


Space Battleship Yamato

When I was four or five years old the reason I came home from school was because my mother drove me but the reason that I looked forward to it were for three shows. All anime; (although that word was unknown to me at the time) Astroboy, G-force or Battle for the Planets and Star Blazers.

Star Blazers was a cultural phenomenon in Japan almost as popular with the Japanese as it was in my house. Of course I got the Americanized version that dispensed with the sex, sado-machacism, extreme violence and some of the strangeness of the Japanese version were it was called Space Battleship Yamato and was a post war catharsis for the Japanese spirit.

In the version I saw the ship was called ďThe ArgoĒ and it tied itís themes to the Greek myth Jason and the Argonauts in their attempt to get the Golden Fleece. The lead was even called Jason.

In Japan the ship was the Yamato which was a WWII destroyer and the pride of the fleet as the heaviest and most powerfully armed Battleships ever constructed.  Sunk by American forces April 7th 1945, her loss was keenly felt; coming as it did close to the end of the war. Her cultural significance to the Japanese was akin to the way the Americans feel about the Statue of Liberty.  

In October 1974, Leiji Matsumoto created a new television series, Space Battleship Yamato, about rebuilding the battleship as a starship and its interstellar quest to save Earth. The series was a huge success, spawning five feature films and two more TV series. It has been said that the series helped Japan find its purpose after the war a purpose that perhaps robots and tentacle sex couldnít supply. It certainly re-cast the Japanese from villains to heroes on an epic quest to save humanity that only they and their flagship could enjoin.

So itís unsurprising that we now have a new film version; one of the most expensive Japanese films ever produced.  It sticks closely to the plot of the series, apart from a few small strange diversions that serve little purpose.  The uniforms are from the series, the music is from the series (although sadly sans lyrics) the ship is identical to the series. The space battles are straight from the recent BSG remake but all the better for it, the CG is amazing. The only problem here is that they have tried to cram too much into one film, the whole story from outset to going to Iscandar to getting back to earth is here (and because itís Japanese, people you like have to die to prove a point). So it feels rushed and once we are on Iscandar it reminded me heavily of the Final Fantasy Film of a few years ago. Still thereís a tingle and thrill whenever the Wave Motion Gun is fired and anyone who remembers the series will find much to love here.

Special Features: Thereís a visual effects before and after featurette which shows you just how much of the film is CG (everything except the cat). Impressive.

A featurette on Pre-vis (storyboarding) which take us through Ten key scenes as storyboards as compared to their final versions. Interesting but not essential.

The Scale gallery has the Yamato flying next to things so you get an idea of how bit it is, fun  but why?

The 360 gallery has different ships flying around in 360. Only good if you want to build scale models of them, which of course some of us will.

A theatrical trailer and thatís about it. Shame.

Video: The Blu-Ray quality is great, the only quibble is the look of the Galamans which is a little too CG.

Audio: 7.1 soundtrack in DTS HD sounds pretty good. Of course itís subtitles if you want to understand what they are saying.






 
 



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