Now I’m not some simpering Emo Kid but there a fwe movies I have shed a few tears at the conclusion of. Of course the grand total of “Movies James Has Cried At” is 3. Saraba Uchuu Senkan Yamato Ai no Senshitachi (Farewell Space Battleship Yamato, Soldiers Of Love) was, historically speaking, the second. Now understand these tears were not shed over a complex love tale (there is none) or over any one particuliar character dying. It is the overall impact of the film and its themes that lead to me crying to this very day.
Hell I just rewatched this back on January 20th 2009 and you know what?
I cried again.
I mean honestly, the movie packs a punch. I mentiond that it is the themes of the movie are what strike me and move me to tears. Well the biggest theme is sacrifice. Dying for something you believe in is a powerful thing that everyone should be able to identify with. Themes of loss and sacrifice are present in almost every form of media but this movie just really gets me, no matter how many times I watch it. It is not that any one specific character dies, it is that all of the main protagonists sacrifice themselves so the planet earth will not be subjugated by the White Comet Empire.
” But James,” you say, ” It is just a cartoon. It can’t measure up to truly great pieces of film”.
My response is, stop being such fucking snob. Seriously, a good movie is a good movie and Saraba Uchuu Senkan Yamato Ai no Senshitachi is a GREAT movie. not a great movie for anime, not a great movie ‘for a japanese movie’ but simply a GREAT movie. I mean let us examine the story, shall we?
A year after the crew of the Space Battleship Yamato saved the earth from Gamilas Star Empire in the original Uchuu Senkan Yamato movie, a new threat comes in the form of a white comet streaking past planet after planet, destroying them. The crew of Yamato are made aware of the problem by the mysterious Tereza of Telezart but the EDF (Earth Defense Force) doesn’t heed their warning. With no other options they steal the Yamato from her underground lair in order to stop the comet, which is revealed to atually be a terrafomred asteroid that harbors the evil White Comet Empire led by their nefarious leader Prince Zordar. Along te way Yamato and her crew rescue Captain Ryu Hijikata and a troop of Space Marines led by Sergeant Hajime Saito. But Zordar recruits the Yamato’s old foe Dessler of Gamilas to help him.
So all the players in place now. Yamato faces off with some of the White Comet/Gamilas joint fleet, scrapes by and come face to face with the giant comet itself. Both Captain Hijikata and Yuki Mori become casualties during the skirmishes.Realizing that in order to stop the planetoid they have to destroying its main propulsion system, a band of Yamato’s crew led by Susumu Kodai, Saito and science officer Sakezou Sado venture into the engine room of the asteroid to destroy the engines. Sado and Saito givetheir lives to set the charges to destroy the engines, forcing Kodai to go back to Yamato.
Once there the now crippled White Comet Empire is shelled by Yamato, destroyin the cpaital floating on the asteroid. But Zordar reveals his trump card. The asteroid was just a disguise for his immense flagship and its deadly wave motion gun, capable of destroying a small moon. Finally at his wits end, Kodai beseeches the spirit of Yamato’s original Captian, Juzo Okita, for advice. Okita tells him that though the Yamato is crippled there is one weapon that Kodai has not used yet and now has no choice but to use to win. Realizing that Okita right, Kodai orders all hands to abandon ship. Tereza appears before him and says that she will use her power to aid Kodai and the spirits of those who have died serving on Yamato (including Kodai own beloved Yuki Mori) appear to him as he plots his suicide course for Zordar’s ship. The last scene of the movie is the Yamato exploding in a flash of light as Kodai makes the ultimate sacrifice.
Seriously, how can you not be moved by that story?
Hell everything about the movie is near perfect. The characters, the story, the setting, even the music all come together to make one of the greatest space operas you are ever going to watch. It still moves me to tears. You should count yourself lucky that this thing got released on R1 DVD.
NEXT BRAVE BLOG: Another Movie That Made Me Cry!