Space Battleship Yamato (2010) is a live-action version of a popular Japanese sci-fi show from the 1970s. The original series, with the same title (cut and retitled Starblazers in the USA), detailed the adventures of a huge starship, built into the husk of an old World War Two destroyer. Its crew were on a quest to save the human race, who had been driven below the surface of the Earth by a marauding alien race. The movie follows the same plot but cuts the 77-episode long series down into a two-hour feature film.
The most expensive film ever made in Japan, the film as expected is filled with amazing special effects and space battles but does not forget the human drama involved. The main focus of the film is Susumu Kodai who was once a top pilot for the Earth Defence Force, however, when he discovers that his brother, Mamoru Kodai, was killed in combat protecting Captain Okita’s spaceship he goes looking for answers and ends up leading the battle to save the planet.
The good thing is you don’t need to have seen or be familiar with the original series to enjoy the movie. Fans of Battlestar Galactica or even Armageddon will find familiarities within the story and while a tad overlong and having a bit too much melodrama in the final 15 minutes it is a very enjoyable romp.
Manga UK has released the Blu Ray with a very striking 1080p transfer. Solid blacks and colours give a very pleasant viewing experience, some softness does appear occasionally but does not distract from the overall quality. The sound is provided by DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround Japanese or PCM 5.1 Surround Japanese. Both sound great, surround channels are used effectively and the mix is very well done. The English subtitles were clear and free from any grammatical errors.
Extras are listed below, while interesting, nothing really that you would watch more than once, it’s a shame they could not have provided more information about the origins of the film and the TV series it came from.
- Visual Effects – Before & After (13 Minutes) – comparison showing the raw ‘acting’ video between the final product
- Pre-visualisation (25 Minutes) – a comparison between 3D PS1 styled visuals to the final product
- VFX Scale Footage (1 Minute) – Footage of the Yamato ship flying over Japan (showcasing the size of the ship)
- 360 Degree Gallery (6 Minutes) – a look at all of the CGI Ships (Human & Alien) used within the film
- Trailers (4 Minutes) – Two cinematic trailers for the film, both of which are subbed in English
FILM: 7.5 PICTURE: 7.5 SOUND: 8 EXTRAS: 5