Thursday, August 28, 2014

Animation - Space Battleship Yamato 2199 (Uchu Senkan Yamato 2199) 2 BCXA-486 (2012)

Animation - Space Battleship Yamato 2199 2 BCXA-486I was in the 3rd grade when the original "Space Battleship Yamato", dubbed and Americanized as "Star Blazers" aired on my local independent TV station. I was hooked. At that time, it was by far the best TV animation I'd ever seen. A real story, with both long term plot and character development, was unheard of in 1970s children's shows. Now, 35 years later, I see "Yamato 2199," a re-imagining of the story, in Hi-def Blu-Ray, with English sub-titles right out of the gate. Truly awesome. If anything, the plot and characterizations are more gripping, more developed than the original. The animation is a nice mix of 2D and 3D styles. The original full orchestral score, another great feature of the original, is maintained and expanded here. My only complaint is now, having seen the first 6 25-minute episodes on the first 2 discs, I have to wait for who knows how long for the next to be released. I got the first disc as a birthday present and had to immediately use my gift cards to buy the second. Best present in a long time. I can't say enough good things about it. Buy it; you won't be disappointed.

Space Battleship Yamato 2199 is a remake of the almost 40 year old Japanese Anime, Space Battleship Yamato. For those in the know, this original series, which was actually 3 series total, was what was made into the US and Australian release called Star Blazers. That "little known" series, Star Blazers...

Story goes that the Earth is in its death throes, as the planet is being attacked by Gamilians, an advanced race of beings similar to humans with the exception of their skin color. The Earthlings have been instructed by Starsha, who has sent her 2 sisters to Earth, to use the Wave Motion Engine to journey to her home planet, Iscandar. There they will supposedly find the means to restore the decimated planet Earth to its former glory.

The episodes on this disc we get the first use of the Wave Motion Engine, first use of the Wave Motion Cannon (called Wave Motion Gun in subtitles), the Yamato answering a distress call where Kodai finds a fallen hero, Yuki and Kodai get a little closer and a fight against the Planet Bomb system. And we are introduced further to Lord Dessler, the leader of the Gamilians.

There are 4 episodes on this disc.

I've reused some of the text from my previous review of 2199 disc 1, since the video/audio/pakaging stay pretty much at the same quality.

To help those that aren't Japanese readers/speakers, to turn on subtitles you can do it 2 ways.

1) Wait for the main program to start

2) Press the subtitle button on your remote and switch on English

The other way:

1) wait for the main program to start

2) Press your Pop Up Menu option

3) Press DOWN on your remote (ON, which appears on the pop up menu, should turn GREEN)

4) Press ENTER on the remote

5) Press Pop Up Menu again and you should have subtitles

BLU RAY REGION ENCODING: from all my testing, all of the Yamato 2199 discs released so far are Region Free and should play in any player.


One thing you can hand to just about any Japanese release is that it will have the highest quality possible, even if it might be something you wouldn't notice in practice. Yamato 2199 is no exception.

The video is encoded in AVC. The bit rate sits strong at 35 39 mbps. Given the audio is in LPCM at 2.3 mbps constant bit rate, this is about as high as I've ever seen in video bit rates.

This translates into rock solid video quality, with no compression problems to be seen. Anywhere. Ever. Simply looks amazing.


LPCM audio running at a constant 2.3 mbps. This is a Japanese audio track only. Music is clear. Dialog is clear. Stereo separation is very good as well and they use the sound stage well.

If you are looking for English audio, similar to what Gundam Unicorn has, you will be disappointed. This disc is Japanese spoken language only. There are English subtitles, which I discuss below.

I have to make a comment on the music. The music captures the 1970s sound perfectly. Well, just about as perfectly as you can capture it in 2012.


I don't usually rate subtitles, but since this is a Japanese release, I felt it a good idea to add to my normal BD review format.

The subtitles are well done. White subtitles. The translations, for the most part, are spot on. They do a good job trying to capture English idioms with the translations, much the way localization generally happens when an Anime is licensed for US release. I believe the subtitle company is actually NYAV Post, which is also the company doing subs on Gundam Unicorn, which are also very good as well.

If you don't mind reading subtitles, you should have no problem understanding what's going on.


The extras are, unfortunately, Japanese dialog only with no English subtitles. This is kind of disappointing since you pay so much for the discs, but they ARE targeted at the Japanese audience first and foremost.

On this disc, you have an audio commentary for episode 3. There is a 47 minute look at the launch of the series, with a look at the Japanese premier of the series. They show off what is, honestly, an amazing remastering of the original series for Japanese Blu Ray. Wish I had the cash for that... Sasaki Isao sings the theme live and more. Definitely worth checking out for that at least (he also sang the opening for the original TV series... for a 70 year old he looks and sounds good!). Also included is a 22 minute talk with character designer, director, and composer and some of the voice actors. Also worth watching.

You cannot turn on the audio commentary through the audio button on the remote, it has to be done in the extras menu. If someone needs help figuring that out, leave me a comment in my review and I'll do what I can to explain how to get there.

In terms of other extras, there is a nice printed booklet included. Inside are character and mechanical designs and a synopsis. If you can't read Japanese, you can just appreciate the nice design artwork.


If you were lucky enough to purchase this disc during the First Run, you would have gotten a nice cardboard slip cover. Otherwise, you get the cover artwork you see in the Amazon listing above. On the back is a synopsis, disc stats and a hand full of screen captures from the included 2 episodes.

Over all:

The show is... amazing. Absolutely one of the best Anime series I've seen in a long, long time. They did a fantastic job of following the old series but injecting newness into it. For me, the price was worth it (I actually ordered from Amazon Japan and got a few of the 2199 releases to save on shipping).

It is painfully expensive, but worth it if you can afford the luxury.

If you have the means, this is HIGHLY recommended. If it is ever licensed for domestic US release, buying it should become a no brainer for everyone.

Buy Animation - Space Battleship Yamato 2199 (Uchu Senkan Yamato 2199) 2 BCXA-486 (2012) Now

While I absolutely hate the character designs for everyone but Sanada and Okita, the acting, writing and direction is really top-notch with plenty of nods to the relative camp of the 70s version. The sound is well-mixed with voices being perfectly audible even if you're just using the two speakers in your TV instead of some fancy surround setup, and a lot of the old timey sound effects from back in the day are recycled for that true Yamato feel. I have a feeling this will confuse and annoy younger viewers who might not have been alive when the original series hit the airwaves, but such is life.

Beyond the content is the disc in the box, and Bandai did themselves many favors by rolling their own English translation right out of the gate. The fact that the US is now in the same "region" as Japan as far as Blu-Ray DRM is concerned is another serious win for everybody. There are some extras on each disc, but none of the ones I've seen have been all that engaging.

The price tags on the imports are definitely quite daunting, though that can be mitigated somewhat by ordering in batches through All I can say is, if you are even *thinking* about committing the funds to these discs, you will not be disappointed by what you get for your money (unless you're one of those people who likes terrible dubs of course). There are no English menus, though, so be prepared to look some stuff up in your dictionary if you're not especially fluent.

Read Best Reviews of Animation - Space Battleship Yamato 2199 (Uchu Senkan Yamato 2199) 2 BCXA-486 (2012) Here

What always disappoints the fans of any show is that when there is a remake of the show they always take creative design and add something to the new version.

I liked the Movie that was made in Japan. Don't get me wrong. But sense I was just a kid when the original T.V. show was released here in the United States, I kind of expected more for the film. Not the least was to follow the original show. You kind of Expect more of the big things from the Series (Wave Motion Gun got one scene. Come on people, not what the fans looked for.)

The re-due was great. They followed the original show almost to a `T'. It did not disappoint as far as I am concerned. Even the things that were changed were great. The new ships hangar was made in a way that might even give you the idea that it could fit in the ship. I was not disappointed.

Truth be told, I actually ordered this disk by mistake. Now that I have it and have watched it with the sub titles, I don't regret clicking the wrong buttons.

My hats off to the creators of the story. I would like and hope that they intend to remake the entire Yamato line of shows from the original days.

If you liked the old show, or are a fan of Anime, I recommend these disks.

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