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Space Battleship Yamato
Iscandar
Vital statistics

Air Dates:

1974-1980

Seasons

The Quest For Iscandar The Comet Empire The Bolar Wars

Episodes

77

Space Battleship Yamato (宇宙戦艦ヤマト Uchū Senkan Yamato) is a Japanese science fiction anime series featuring an eponymous space craft. It is well known as being one of the pioneers in the animation boom of the time period with its then revolutionary directing, art style, and screen play.

It is also known to English-speaking audiences as Space Cruiser Yamato; an English-dubbed and heavily edited version of the series was broadcast on North American and Australian television as Star Blazers. An Italian-language version was also broadcast under the name Star Blazers in Italy, and a Portuguese-language version was successfully shown in Brazil under the title Patrulha Estelar ("Star Patrol").

DevelopmentEdit

Conceived in 1973 by producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki, the project underwent heavy revisions. Originally intended to be an outer-space variation on Lord of the Flies, the project at first was titled "Asteroid Ship Icarus" and had a multinational teenage crew journeying through space in a hollowed-out asteroid in search of the planet Iscandar. There was to be much discord among the crew; many of them acting purely out of self-interest and for personal gain. The enemy aliens were originally called Rajendora.

When Leiji Matsumoto was brought onto the project, many of these concepts were discarded. It is his art direction, ship designs and unique style that accredit him in fans' eyes as the true creator of Space Battleship Yamato, even though Nishizaki retains legal rights to the work.

CharactersEdit

The Space Battleship Yamato series generally involves themes of brave sacrifice, noble enemies, and respect for heroes lost in the line of duty. This can be seen as early as the second episode of the first season, which recounts the defeat of the original battleship Yamato while sailors and pilots from both sides salute her as she sinks (this scene was cut from the English dub, but later included on the Star Blazers DVD release). The movies spend much time showing the crew visiting monuments to previous missions and recalling the bravery of their fallen comrades. Desslar, the enemy defeated in the first season and left without a home or a people, recognizes that his foes are fighting for the same things he fought for and, eventually, becomes Earth's most important ally. In this — the Japanese concept of "the honorable enemy" — and many other respects, Star Blazers is almost certainly the most "Japanese" anime to survive the editing process and be widely syndicated in the United States.

English titleEdit

For many years, English-language releases of the anime bore the title Space Cruiser Yamato. This romanization has appeared in Japanese publications because Nishizaki, a sailing enthusiast who owned a cruiser yacht, ordered that this translation be used out of love for his boat. However, in reference to naval nomenclature, it is technically inaccurate, as 戦艦 senkan means "battleship" and not "cruiser" (which in Japanese would be 巡洋艦 junyōkan). Leiji Matsumoto's manga adaptation was titled Cosmoship Yamato. Today, Yamato releases, including the Voyager Entertainment DVD, are marketed either as Star Blazers or Space Battleship Yamato.

Cosmoship Yamato Edit

Leiji Matsumoto created a manga version of the anime with his unique style of writing in the Adventure King magazine. Due to not having proper ownership of the full title, some titles of the work are rewritten as Cosmoship Yamato. The manga went on from November 1974 to April 1975. Because of the slow progression of the monthly releases compared to the anime's showtimes, some parts of the original story are omitted while compressing elements from Farewell Space Battleship Yamato and Space Battleship Yamato II while including elements such as Captain Harlock appearing. But this character was later revealed to be Mamoru Kodai (the supposedly late older brother of Susumu Kodai), based on one of the elements that were dropped after arguments with Nishizaki.

Ownership Issues Edit

As the series was coined by producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki, he had the rights of ownership to the original idea and premise. However, after Leiji Matsumoto was brought on as the director, there were some issues regarding rights. As Matsumoto designed the Yamato ship for the series after rejecting the original concept, he holds the ownership for the ship's designs and is even permitted to use the Yamato in some of his other works as a cameo. However, as the characters (not including designs) and storyline were created by Nishizaki, he held the rights until his death with ownership of the series being passed to Nishizaki's eldest son while the merchandising and distribution rights were purchased by Tohokushinsha.

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