Fantasia Film Review: Space Battleship Yamato

(Source: FantasiaFestival.com)

This last Saturday, I was still in the midst of Otakuthon but I had already decided to go see Space Battleship Yamato. I have never seen the original anime, so I thought myself poorly prepared to see this live-action space opera. I even tried to catch the one anime that was playing at Otakuthon, but I got distracted and never made it.

Nevertheless, the movie did have its great moments. The plot has been rehashed a couple of times, but this one’s the original. There’s a giant ship that is the last hope for humanity and it must travel to the confines of the universe only to return to Earth to save it. Specifically in Space Battleship Yamato, we get a captain that has taken some tough choices, an idealistic rebel that defies authority, an ace pilot who hates the hero and we all know how it’s going to turn out but it’s about the journey and not the destination. I enjoyed this movie as the prototype for so many other similar plots, but I also loved the storytelling. I didn’t feel the 131 minutes length. It starts and it ends with a bang.

There’s always a crisis, there’s always one crazy, hair-brained solution for it, and there’s always five seconds left for someone to defy all the odds and make it on time. The acting, despite the campiness of the plot, impressed me. When the captain finally approves of the hero, the hero faces impossible odds and wins and the ace pilot falls in love with him, you believe it. The enemies could perhaps be given a bit more of a chance. They’re always faceless even when confronted, their message comes from disembodied crystals or possessed victims. We never learn their real identity except for their evil, unwavering determination to kill. The heroes on the other hand are over the top, with friends ready to sacrifice their lives for them (and they do), but the story calls for them to be idealistic, romantic and above all ready to throw caution to the wind and just go on a hunch.

If you are not a fan of over the top space operas, stay away. If you are, strongly recommended.

Stay tuned 🙂

Coming up!

  • August 7: Painted Skin: The Resurrection
  • August 9: A Boy and His Samurai

(Sources: Fantasia Film FestivalSpace Battleship Yamato)

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