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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Space Battleship Yamato (2010 Film)

From Anime to Live-Action Movie
Space Battleship Yamato (SPACE BATTLESHIP ヤマト Uchu Senkan Yamato) is a live action film adaptation of the original Space Battleship Yamato anime TV series from 1974. The movie was released in Japan on December 1, 2010. It was released on DVD & Blu-Ray in Japan on June 24, 2011.
In the year 2199, after five years of savage attacks by an alien race known as Gamilas, the Earth Defense Force launches a counter-offensive near the planet Mars. The ship's weapons prove to be no match for the Gamilas, who easily decimate the fleet. During the battle, Mamoru Kodai (Captain of the Yukikaze), sacrifices his life by using his damaged ship as a shield to cover Captain Jyuzo Okita's ship, allowing he and his crew to escape. [Source: Wikipedia]

On Earth, Susumu Kodai (former EDF ace pilot and younger brother of Mamoru) scavenges for rare metals in a protective suit on the irradiated surface. A meteor impacts near him, throwing off his helmet, exposing him to the toxic radioactive atmosphere, and knocking him unconscious. When he awakens, he finds an alien object in the impact crater, and notices that according to his instruments, the area is free of radiation. He is rescued by Okita's returning ship, and it is discovered that the object contains a message from another galaxy. In that message are engineering schematics for a warp drive and coordinates for the planet that was the source of the object. After learning what happened to his brother, he accuses Okita of using his brother's ship as a shield to survive. Kodai tries to hit Okita, but Yuki Mori (a former member of his squad) stops him, telling him he wasn't there and he knows nothing about the situation. As Kodai is taken away by security, everyone wonders why Kodai is alive and well after deadly radiation exposure. Okita believes that Kodai's recovery is a sign that hope for humanity lies within the planet recorded in the probe. He convinces his superiors to allow him to command their last ship, the Yamato (enhanced with the newfound alien technology) on a mission to Iscandar in hopes of finding a way to rid the Earth of the radiation that is slowly killing everyone. An announcement is made to the world, informing the population of this, thus restoring hope to mankind. A request for volunteer recruits for the mission is sent out, and Kodai decides to re-enlist. He is given old position, Commander of the Black Tiger Squadron.

Before the Yamato can launch the Gamilas attacks with a gigantic missile. At this point Captain Okita gives the order to fire the as yet untested Wave Motion Cannon which successfully destroys the incoming weapon. Before testing their warp drive, Kodai is reunited with his old fighter squad. While everyone is happy for his return, Yuki (who had joined the army years ago due to her admiration for Kodai) is bitter and accuses Kodai of being a coward for quitting the military during their most desperate hours.

Later, the Yamato crew performs their first Warp test, and encounters more Gamilas ships. The Wave Motion Cannon cannot be fired because the warp system's energy is tied together with the cannon; Okita opts for an alternative out of this crisis - warping, but they have to wait until the engine recharges to warp again. To survive, the Black Tiger Squadron is launched to hold off the enemy. The Yamato successfully destroys their capital ships, but the battle damages Yuki's fighter. Kodai disobeys orders and goes out to rescue her. The Yamato is able to wait just long enough for Kodai to return and warp out of danger; Kodai is sent to the brig for disobeying orders. Later, Shima (his former squad-mate and ensign to Yamato) tells Yuki that the reason Kodai left the service was because he accidentally caused the death of his parents, as well as Shima's wife during a mission; it is then Yuki begins to think differently of him.

After another warp, the Yamato crew encounters a small Gamilas fighter adrift, caught along when they warped earlier. They recover the fighter to study it and learn more about Gamilas, but the alien pilot is still alive and possesses Commando Team Leader Hajime Saitō, in order to communicate with the crew. The alien calls himself Dessler and explains that Gamilas is a race that shares their minds as a single consciousness. When asked why they're attacking Earth, Dessler explains they're merely remodeling it. Kodai then uses his gun to stun Saito, killing the alien in the process.

Later, Captain Okita, who is dying, makes Kodai Acting-Captain of the Yamato. Moments after his promotion, the ship is again in danger. The recovered fighter is revealed to contain a homing beacon. A Gamilas ship soon attacks, and is destroyed easily by the Wave Motion Cannon. But unbeknownst to the crew, the attack is a distraction. A bomb unit latches onto their third-bridge located on the bottom of the hull of the Yamato, and begins counting down to self-destruct. Kodai reluctantly orders Yuki, in her fighter, to blast the third bridge support away from the ship to prevent the Yamato from being destroyed completely. Kodai's decision saves the rest of the ship and crew, but it affects his confidence and conscience; he feels he isn't fit to lead, but Okita has him remain as Acting-Captain, remarking that he did what he had to do and it was for the best. Kodai later visits Yuki and apologizes for ordering her to doom their crew-mates. The two comfort each other and eventually make love.

Later, the Yamato arrives at Iscandar, but is met by a large Gamilas battle fleet. The enemy manages to block the muzzle of the Wave Motion Cannon, rendering the weapon useless. Kodai makes the risky decision to randomly warp to save themselves. To their surprise, they the warp to the opposite side of Iscandar but are surprised to see that instead of the blue, lush world they had just been orbiting, is dull and lifeless, resembling the dying earth they’ve left behind . It is then discovered that Gamilas and Iscandar are the same planet. The crew begins to have doubts as to why they are here in the first place, seeing that they may have fallen into an enemy trap, but Kodai insists on pressing forward, asserting that they should have faith in Okita and their mission.

Kodai devises a plan to evade the Gamilas defense systems and act as a bait, making way for the Yamato to land without resistance. He is about to be shot down when the Yamato and the Black Tiger Squadron charge in after him and provides cover-fire, destroying the anti-air defenses. The assault team, consisting of the Black Tiger Squadron and Space Commandos then fight through the Gamilas in a large cavern citadel first by air and then in an armored vehicle. They are vastly outnumbered, outgunned, and a lot of men are lost. The armored vehicle is later overturned and the remaining Black Tiger Squadron members stay behind to cover for Kodai, Sanada, Saito and Mori as they head off to the designated location on foot.

At the coordinates, an alien possesses Yuki's body and explains that Gamilas and Iscandar are one and the same race. The alien explains that their planet is dying and Earth was the most suitable planet for their race to survive. Rather than co-existing with humanity, Gamilas chooses to wipe them out. However, there are those (known as Iscandar) that don't agree with the plan and are isolated from their collective. To give humanity a fighting chance, Iscandar sent the probe to Earth. It is then revealed that unknown to everyone but Okita, his superiors, and Kodai, and that there was no promise for a device to rid Earth of radiation in the first place. The story was made up to give mankind a glimmer of hope in their final days. Okita gambled on the fact that, since Kodai survived exposure to the radiation on Earth, with no ill effects, that there might be something the aliens could do to help. To prove their sincerity and powers, Iscandar makes Yuki the key vessel to cure Earth's radiation. After receiving the cure, Saito and Sanada sacrifice themselves by stalling the Gamilas forces and blowing up the Gamilas as Yuki and Kodai returned to the Yamato.

After the battle, the Yamato returns to Earth, and Okita succumbs to his illness. Unfortunately, a surviving Gamilas ship ambushes them and renders the Yamato defenseless. Dessler appears before the crew and says they no longer wish to invade Earth since the majority of the Gamilas were killed. However, as a parting gesture, Dessler intends to destroy Earth to avenge his fallen race. To save humanity and the Yamato crew, Kodai has the surviving crew abandon ship. He sacrifices himself by personally flying the Yamato close to the Gamilas ship and firing the muzzled Wave Motion Cannon, blowing up the Yamato and the Gamilas spaceship.

Five years later, on the recovered and green surface of Earth, Yuki plays with her son and remembers Kodai’s final words: “If I should die, and earth comes back, I'll be alive in every living thing there. And so I'll always be with you."

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