If you grew up in the early 80s, maybe you remember Star Blazers, an animated series adapted from the Japanese anime series Space Battleship Yamato. The cartoon was pretty groundbreaking for its time, featuring adult themes and a single, over-arching plot which stretched over multiple episodes to tell a single, epic story. No other cartoon had ever really done anything like it. The show itself followed the exploits of Earth’s mightiest space battleship, and last hope against an alien invasion.
Though it is at best a cult phenomenon here in America, it’s a pop culture touchstone in Japan. It’s so big that, after years of legal wrangling, they’ve finally turned it into a live action movie. The film, made on one of the biggest budgets ever for a Japanese film, opened this past weekend to mixed reviews but the trailers, well those look pretty fantastic. Even if you’ve never seen the animated series, the movie may be worth a look. Here’s the film’s full theatrical trailer:
Right now there are no plans to bring Space Battleship Yamato to the USA, though early reports seem to indicate that it was #1 in Japan this weekend, beating out the likes of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. If it does well enough, who knows? Why not a theatrical release in the greater Portland area? As a Battlestar Galactica fan starved for good sci-fi content in the void left by the departure of that show, this seems like the perfect antidote. The trailer really captures that BSG look and feel, and many of the reviews have compared it rather favorably to just that show.
You can see even more of BSG in it, if you look closer and watch a few clips from the film. Check these out. Warning: They don’t contain subtitles...
America’s made an entire industry out of importing Japanese horror movies, maybe it’s time we gave some other kind of Japanese movie a chance? Bring on Space Battleship Yamato.
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