So, I saw the first two episodes of Yamato 2202 over the weekend. As the name suggests, it’s a sequel to Yamato 2199, with the crew of the Space Battleship scattered. Kodai is commanding a Cosmo Destroyer as part of a combined Human/Gamillan fleet, prosecuting the Gamillan war against Gatlantis (as seen in an episode or two of 2199, as well as the movie), he and Yuki are married, and she’s an officer in Cosmo Fleet HQ. Shima is commanding a supply fleet, Akira is training pilots in lunar orbit, Sanda and Enomoto are overseeing the Yamato’s refit, and Makato and Saburo have had a child, but he’s quite ill and Makato blames her exposure to cosmic radiation when they got married.Doctor Sado, still grieving over Captain Okita’s death holds a vigil over his grave.
The first episode is largely an extended battle between a Gatlantean fleet and the allied forces, which sees the debut of the new Earth battleship Andromeda, which mounts two wave motion guns. As the battle winds down, a heavily damaged Gatlantean dreadnaught follows two withdrawing Cosmo Fleet ships back to earth, planning to crash into the new capital city until it’s stopped by Kodai in hot pursuit, and the partially rebuilt Yamato.
This is all setting the scene, as when the Yamato crew reunite to pay tribute to Captain Okita, there is a weird flash where they all get a message from a father figure telling them to return to Yamato. At the same time, thanks to the battle, the emperor of Gantlantis now knows the location of Earth, and plans to take his war to the Humans’ homeworld.
The second episode picks up right away, with intrigue manifesting between Earth and Gamillas as their ambassador contacts Kodai to explain the event at the end of episode 1, but he’s got to find a way to get to their embassy on the Moon, while avoiding the scrutiny of Earth’s intelligence service…
These two episodes were a great return to the world of Yamato, the opening battle draws some great parallels to the start of original TV series, with Kodai piloting the same class of ship as his brother did, and both lead their ships on an aggressive fight through their enemy’s lines (the animation here is awesome), and there’s a great feeling of progression of the story, but that maybe Earth has lost its way despite the heroism of Yamato’s crew. Their interaction with Starsha have given them a perspective on war that has either been ignored or not understood on earth - the danger of using wave motion energy as a weapon (everyone is visibly angry when they see Andromeda in action), the alliance with the Gamillans feels very much like realpolitik, and a commentary on Imperial Japan as well.
Of course, all this is a prelude to the main plot, the Gatlantean threat to Earth, the mysterious figure who’s contacted the crew, and the crew reuniting and bringing the ship back to save the day are all still to come.