Saturday, August 30, 2014

Animation - Space Battleship Yamato 2199 (Uchu Senkan Yamato 2199) 1 (BD+BOOKLET) BCXA-485 (2012)

Animation - Space Battleship Yamato 2199 1 BCXA-485Space Battleship Yamato has been around for nearly forty years. There's a fine line to walk when you're reintroducing the original storyline to new and old fans alike. The production team working on Yamato 2199 deserve all the praise they've been getting. They've done a wonderful job by keeping the original sound effects, the musical score should be familiar if you've seen the tv show, the updates to the mechanical (ship) designs are eye candy (it's very detailed), and the character designs have been updated with a military flair but still retain that Leiji Matsumoto flair.

Please keep in mind that this first volume only has the first two episodes. Future volumes should have four episodes per BD/DVD disc. Oh, it also comes with English subtitles. I can't help but recommend this series to fans of classic anime. 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.

Thus begins an epic journey that includes great space ship battles, great character building and romance.

Something I found awesome is that I compared some of the ship battles from the first episode of 2199 to the old Yamato series and they did a great job keeping similar ship formations, attacks and so on. It's a loving nod and acknowledgment to the old series.

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 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, all that is included as video extras is a creditless opening and audio commentary for episode 1. The audio commentary is NOT subtitled at all either. There is also a commercial for Yamato Resurrection Director's Cut (or something like that), another series I believe that was released in 2009 or 2010. I think it's just an OVA, but not positive.

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:

Yes. For two episodes, this is very expensive. The thing is, the video quality and audio quality are blisteringly high. The animation quality is high. The production value is high. And it is a domestic Japanese release, where DVDs and Blu Rays cost between $25 for mainstream releases, all the way up to $100 for niche releases. This is kind of a niche release, thus the price.

And 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).

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.

Buy Animation - Space Battleship Yamato 2199 (Uchu Senkan Yamato 2199) 1 (BD+BOOKLET) BCXA-485 (2012) Now

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