Space Battleship Yamato (2010)
By: Devon B. on June 21, 2012  | 
Madman | Region 4, PAL | 2.35:1 (16:9 enhanced) | Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 | 132 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Director: Takashi Yamazaki
Starring: Takuya Kimura, Meisa Kuroki, Toshiro Yanagiba, Naoto Ogata, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi
Screenplay: Shimako Sato
Country: Japan
External Links
IMDB Purchase YouTube
I tried to get interested in Anime, I really did. It seemed like a natural progression for me since I've always enjoyed animated shows, but I find Anime a bit of a chore. I might appreciate the art for a little while, usually about five minutes per movie, but then I find myself tuning out for large sections of any Anime's run time. I suspected that Space Battleship Yamato might be based on an Anime when I saw the ship's captain who looked like…well, someone from an Anime. The back of the DVD slick confirmed my suspicions. I soldiered on through the film, but without even the five minutes of art appreciation I found the proceedings tough goings.

The film opens with what I think were a few Star Trek references. I say I think they were references because I could easily have that wrong since I'm not overly versed in Star Trek. Anyway, in Space Battleship Yamato the year is 2199 and some mean old aliens are attacking the planet. Humanity is on the verge of extinction due to the radiation caused by the prolonged attack, and people are essentially just holing up and waiting to die. One dude goes out salvaging and nearly gets squished by what at first appears to be a meteorite. The impact damages his suit, exposing him to a lethal dose of radiation. Turns out it wasn't a meteorite that nearly hit him, but rather a schematic sent from space which may hold the key to Earth's salvation. The schematic makes mention of an alien device that may be able to reverse the pollution and save the Earth. With the planet doomed at any rate, Battleship Yamato sets out on a quest deep into space to try and find the alien device. Much to everyone's confusion, the salvager has survived his radiation exposure and joins the mission.

The movie looks pretty and is well designed, but I didn't care about the proceedings in the slightest. The CG is a bit dodgy at times, but this is an FX heavy film and most of the work is solid, resulting in plenty of eye candy if that's your thing. It's not that the movie is slow paced, but I found myself struggling to care about anything except when it would end. Long time fans of the original series may have delighted to see a new adaption of the material, but this live action film didn't escape from the doldrums that I often get when watching Anime.
The movie is sharp, clean and looks really good. There're a few moments where colours are oversaturated, but they appeared intentional.
I probably would've said the 5.1 mix was okay, but it was positively piss weak next to the robust DTS track. The sound was so good and immersive that the mix actually held more of my attention than the action on screen.
Extra Features
The DVD comes with a few featurettes as extras. There's a visual FX before and after featurette which lets you see the FX layering, but offers no explanations as to what's happening. There's also a longer set of pre vis comparisons, but the dialogue from the movie is not subtitled in this feature. A collection of shots showing the ship's scale clocks in at about one minute all up, and lastly there's a 360 gallery that gives a full view of the movie's ships and vehicles. Moving away from featurettes, there're also a few trailers for the movie, plus a few trailers for other Anime titles. Verdict
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
A lot of people love Space Battleship Yamato so my lack of interest may just be a case of different strokes for different folks. The sheer quality and scale of the FX work means I can't be entirely dismissive, but my total lack of engagement means I can't even give the movie a passing score. The DVD is a quality release, so fans should have no second thoughts about picking it up. It might've been nice if the disc included some comparisons to other adaptations, or may a featurette about the history of the series, but the transfer itself is top notch.

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