Anime: Space Battleship Yamato
aka: Star Blazers
Farewell, Earth, the ship that is departing is The Space Battleship... YAAA-MAAA-TOOO!
— Uchuu Senkan Yamato theme, translated
In 2199, the surface of the Earth has been bombarded into an uninhabitable radioactive wasteland by an alien race from the planet Gamilon. The Gamilon fleet (Gamilas in the Japanese original) is superior to humanity's few remaining warships, and the extinction of humanity is likely within a year. In the middle of a losing battle against the Gamilon fleet, a spaceship from the planet Iscandar arrives and crashes on Mars. Two space cadets investigate the wreck, and discover a beautiful woman, dead, with a message for Earth: if Earth can send a ship to Iscandar, Queen Starsha of Iscandar will give Earth technology that will neutralize the radioactive contamination on the planet, and save humanity.
In response, humanity refits the wreck of the World War II battleship Yamato
, lying at rest on the exposed surface where the ocean used to be, into a space battleship, using plans for a star drive included in Starsha's message. The Yamato
then sets forth on a desperate quest to reach Iscandar and save humanity....
Originally made in the early 70s, it was dubbed to English under the title Star Blazers,
and aired in U.S. afternoon syndication during the late 70s. It was the first Japanese anime series to air in the U.S. that required every episode to be shown in its proper order. The show returned to American airwaves as part of SyFy
's Anime block starting April 21, 2011.
The original series was followed by two more seasons and several movies with new villains and malleable continuity.
After decades of dispute, the Yamato franchise has been resurrected in a big way. A new film
titled Space Battleship Yamato: Rebirth Chapter
, was finally made and released to Japanese theaters on Dec 12, 2009. It ignored the events of Final Yamato
and took place in 2220. Funimation has licensed it under Space Battleship Yamato: Resurrection
A live-action adaptation
hit theatres in December 2010. Full-length trailer's here. The film's tropes go here.
Also, on April 27, 2012, a remake of the original series called Space Battleship Yamato 2199
began to air. It will be a 26 episode anime based on the first series and divided into 7 films for theatrical release.
Compare to Space Carrier Blue Noah
(aka Thunder Sub in English-speaking countries) for a thematically similar anime, with which it even shares a producer, Yoshinobu Nishizaki. The rumor goes that it was created because Nishizaki was at the time involved in a copyright dispute about Yamato
with Leiji Matsumoto
, and wanted to have a back-up property
to capitalize on Yamato
's runaway success should he lose the legal battle.
Provides examples of:
- Adaptational Badass: in the 2010 movie, Analyzer is a belt-mounted PDA/"Mother Box" before being installed into his traditional robot body - except it's over 20 feet tall.
- Adaptation Distillation / Adaptation Expansion: The anime does both: due the first series being cut from 39 episodes to 26, the manga plot about Captain Harlock was dropped, but parts that in the manga were only mentioned (like the battle against the Insect Men, the assault on Gamilas' base on Pluto and the battle at Gamilas itself) were actually shown, events from the manga were expanded, and most of the Comet Empire series is expanded from a part of the manga that covers only the first few episodes.
- Affirmative Action Girls: The live-action movie and 2199 embrace this trope to avoid the extremes of The Smurfette Principle Yuki fell into. The movie Gender Flipped several of the classic characters and promoted Yuki to Ace Pilot, while 2199 is also introducing several human and Gamilas Canon Foreigners to its cast.
- Alien Invasion
- Anime Theme Song (Uchuu Senkan YAAA-MAAAA-TOOOOOOO...!)
- And the dubbed US version was pretty catchy, too...
- Anyone Can Die: Pretty much everyone important as well as a lot of minor characters except the main character... and then he dies... and comes back in the sequel series as a cheap retcon.
- The live action movie ups this to Kill 'em All territory. The landing party on Iskandar/Gamilas suffers a near Total Party Kill with only Yuki and Kodai being the only ones to escape, and by the time the Yamato returns to Earth there are only 36 crew left alive (only twelve of which survive the final abandon ship) — and that's before the Captain dies, Dessler makes his final attack and Kodai does a Heroic Sacrifice.
- Applied Phlebotinum
- Artificial Gravity
- The Asteroid Thicket
- The Yamato can use its naval anchors to build one as a shield around the ship.
- Award Bait Song: Steven Tyler's Narm Charmy "Love Lives", for the live-action film adaptation.
- [Back from the Dead: Okita was dead at the end of the first TV series, but for some reason the writers decided to bring him back as Captain in Final Yamato
- He wasn't dead, he was just sleeping. No, seriously, that was the explanation: he was in a coma from the time the Yamato reached earth at the end of the Quest to Iscandar until Final Yamato.
- Desslok. Makes more sense in the American dub, where he was in a dimension where time worked differently, and was merely trapped a moment from death.
- Back from the Brink: As described in the lede.
- Backup Twin: Sasha and Starsha appear to be identical twins. Yuki also looks suspiciously like them, apparently by coincidence; Starsha actually briefly mistakes Yuki for her sister when the Yamato arrives at Iscandar.
- Fighter pilot Saburo Kato sacrificed himself in a mission near the end of the second season, and had an identical twin show up to fill his role. (Since Kato's Star Blazers counterpart, Pete Conroy, never died, the replacement issue never came up.)
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: Multiple times characters find themselves on planets with hostile atmospheres wearing nothing more than their standard issue suits along with a helmet whose face plate doesn't even cover their entire face.
- The Battlestar: Both the Yamato itself (which is one of the earliest, in 1974), and more obvious by the Lexington-class Battleship/Carrier hybrid.
- Beam Spam
- Bee People: Literally. A bee-like insectoid race from the planet Beeland.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: The closing credits to the dub refer to the original Japanese version as "Space Cruiser Yamato". "Cruiser" in Japanese is "jun'youkan", whereas "senkan" refers to a battleship, hence "Space Battleship Yamato" is the correct translation of the Japanese title.
- Bowdlerization: In one scene where Kodai/Wildstar walks past the face-down and *clearly dead* bodies of some of the other crew members following a wreck, the English Star Blazers dub gives them voiceovers joking with each other about being dizzy and how Dr. Sane is going to run out of bandages.
- The Bridge
- Canon Discontinuity: Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato which led to a remake of the whole Comet Empire arc in the second series.
- The Bolar Wars to some extent as the story in the movie Final Yamato took place in 2203 (events in Space Battleship Yamato III took place in 2205). Final Yamato does make references to the Bolar and Galman conflict so it's still evident that a truncated version of the events in Yamato III still occured.
- The Captain: Okita/Avatar
- Comic Book Adaptation: There were four comic adaptations set in the Star Blazers universe. The latest is the webcomic Rebirth.
- Composite Character: Yuki briefly turns into Starsha in the 2010 movie.
- Continuity Reboot: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 retells the story from the beginning with higher production values, a different character designer, and both Adaptation Distillation and Canon Foreigners aplenty.
- Contrived Coincidence
- Cool Plane: A flashback depicting Yamato's history depicts US Navy SB2C Helldivers and TBF Avengers in loving detail.
- Cool Starship
- Could Have Avoided This Plot: See Secret Test of Character below.
- Strangely, this was mostly excised in the dub, making it come across as more warlike than the original. In the dub, Starsha is portrayed as regretting not telling Earth that Iscandar and Gamilon were twin planets, which happened to also be true in the Japanese version as well.
- Cultural Translation (or Woolseyism or Macekre, depending on who you ask): In "Star Blazers", the scenes showing Wildstar's backstory go out of their way to avoid mentioning that he lived in Japan. His home is called "Great Island" and sushi (clearly shown on screen and looking like nothing else besides sushi) is called "chocolate cake".
- In Japan, the name Yamato carried certain cultural connotations that would be hard to instill in a Western audience. As a result, the ancient battleship is still the Yamato, but before leaving Mother Earth, it receives an in-universe rechristening. From there on, the ship is known as the Argo, a name based in ancient Greek legend.
- Dead Guy Junior: Starsha's sister Sasha dies in the first episodes getting her message to Earth. In New Voyage and Be Forever Yamato, we find out that Starsha and Kodai's brother Mamoru named their daughter "Sasha".
- Death Is Cheap: Dessler
- Demoted to Dragon: Desslok in The Comet Empire
- Deus ex Machina: A literal one at the end of the first Comico licensed comic book series. The machine is the gigantic space-mask at the beginning of each volume, Arishna is the god(dess) whose machine it is. It (apparently) enables her to kill every person of the same race as Zordar, which is practically in itself a deus ex machina, or at least an Ass Pull.
- Disney Death: Yuki/Nova, regardless of how it's portrayed...
- Dub Name Change: This actually happened twice, with different names.
- First the original English dub of the movie, called Space Cruiser Yamato (or sometimes just Space Cruiser), which is fairly obscure. The most glaring change here was the renaming of Daisuke Shima to "Shane O'Toole" and making him a Token Minority Irishman.
- Then the much better known Star Blazers, with its Luke Nounverber heroes and the elimination of all the Nazi-Germany-derived names among the bad guys. Not to mention the ship itself becoming the Argo* .
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The destruction of planets Gamilas and Iscandar (by a Self-Destruct Mechanism) in The New Voyage
- In a Kick the Dog moment, the Comet Empire pauses on their invasion route to blow up a planet inhabited mainly by dinosaurs. Strangely, the weapons used to do this are never actually used against Earth.
- Elaborate Underground Base
- The End of the World as We Know It
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato.
- Originally, Final Yamato also fit this trope for nearly 25 years. Then came a continuation and the live-action adaptation.
- Exact Time to Failure ("There are only X days left!")
- The dub into English was rather hilarious in this respect, because they left the original Japanese characters in there, so you'd get something like this (the specific numbers are made up, but the effect still happens):
Narrator: Hurry, Star Force! There are only 103 days left!
Audience: Wait! At the bottom, in Arabic numbers, it says 187!
- Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: in the live-action movie, Kodai as acting captain asks Nanbu if the blocked wave motion gun has enough energy to fire.
- Extradimensional Shortcut: In an early episode, lightspeed is explained as working like a shortcut through space: travelling at sublight you go in a wavy-line from point A to point B, but at lightspeed you can go in a straight line, cutting travel time drastically.
- Find the Cure
- Five-Man Band:
- Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon: the Wave Motion Gun is pointed straight forward.
- Flanderization: Totally averted with Shiro Sanada (Sandor). It's easy to forget that he has bionic limbs Because after the episode in which they reveal it, they never really bring it up again.
- Floating Continent: Trope Namer. There was one floating in Jupiter's atmosphere.
- Follow the Leader: Star Wars and both versions of Battlestar Galactica drew heavily from Space Battleship Yamato, sometimes practically scene-by-scene. See also Older Than They Think.
- Both Crusade and the third season of Star Trek: Enterprise were essentially the first season of Yamato transplanted into their respective continuities.
- On the other hand, the 2010 live-action movie clearly takes inspiration from Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined) in multiple ways, from Gender Flipping multiple characters, to taking more cynical spins on their original premises (e.g. Captain Okita's revelation that he made up "Iscandar" and the radiation-cleaning technology, just because humanity needed hope — and because the fact the message capsule removed the radiation from around Kodai when it landed gave him hope.) The effect of the ship emerging from warp also looks exactly like the "kawoosh" from Stargate.
- For the Furry Fandom we have Albedo Erma Felna EDF, who shares many points with Yamato including the Wave Motion Gun, except the Albedo version of that weapon is considered as an Artifact of Doom, not to mention being even more powerful than even the 2199 version of the same weapon, being capable of destroying whole galaxies with it. The author admited he took some inspiration from Yamato for the plot in an interview, along many sources.
- Forgotten Superweapon
- Frothy Mugs of Water (The Trope Namer, after Star Blazers and Doctor Sane's "spring water".
- While the Saki was changed to spring water because we cant have people drinking booze on a kids show, the change seemed more in the spirit of the show. It said, that this, right here, is what we are fighting for - the thing we can no longer have, a final bit of home saved for very special occasions.
- Gas Mask Mooks: Gamilon space suits, including Dessler when he wears one
- Gender Flip: Aihara (Homer), the communications officer, and Dr. Sado (Dr. Sane) are both females in the 2010 Live-Action Adaptation.
- Composite Character: Both characters fill roles held by Yuki Mori (Nova) in the original series — Bridge Bunny and medical care, respectively. Yuki is promoted to fighter pilot.
- Yuki was the nurse, the (old) doc seems to have been made into the Chief Engineer, he and the (new, female, still boozer) doc share several drinks with Kodai.
- 2199 does this with Black Tiger squadron pilot Akira Yamamoto (Hardy).
- Half-Human Hybrid: Sasha from the movies The New Voyage and Be Forever Yamato
- Heel-Face Turn (Dessler / Desslok)
- Heel Race Turn
- Heroic Sacrifice: The whole point of Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato.
- In the 2010 movie, several folks including Kodai himself.
- The death of Kodai's brother Mamaru is retconned in the 2199 remake. In the original series, Mamaru refuses to retreat due to Honor Before Reason, since he can't live with the shame of retreating. This leads to his death being a arguably pointless one. In 2199, his death is played as a straight Heroic Sacrifice with him staying behind to ensure Okita's ship can withdraw safely.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: A very conscious one, especially in the second episode, which notes the Yamato's lackluster record and complete failure in its final suicidal mission. Considering that the Yamato was seen as symbolic of Japan itself, and that the show was made only a generation after the war, it's likely the entire point of the series was the romantic notion that Japan, like the Yamato, could still someday achieve the honor and greatness it failed to in the past.
- Approaches Values Dissonance in the live action 2010 movie, when Captain Okita gives a stirring speech about the original Yamato representing hope for a people under attack from a dire enemy. That must have been interesting news for Korean, Chinese, British, Australian, Dutch, Filipino, and American audiences...
- Hollywood Cyborg: Sanada/Sandor
- Human Aliens: The Gamilons were indistinguishable from humans in early episodes, but during the first season (perhaps as a Shout-Out to Yellow Submarine, of all things) their skin color was switched to blue. Dessler actually goes from pink to blue before our very eyes. The traditional joke is that Desslok had the original animators taken out and shot.
- The old theory about Dessler's skin color change scene is that the animators wanted to explain the color inconsistency as the effect of in-universe lighting.
- The Deingilian race from Final Yamato were descendants of humans who escaped from The Great Flood (caused by the water planet Aquarius) by a alien spaceship
- All the unambiguously good aliens (Iscandarians, Teresa) look exactly like humans.
- Infinite Supplies: While averted in the rare situation ( like the Yamato being submerged in what amounts to an ocean on Pluto and running out of air) for the most part it's played completely straight.
- After the massive battle in episode 22 in which the ship's weapons are all disabled and a good third of it has been destroyed, it's magically back to 100% at the start of the next episode.
- Luke Nounverber: Only in Star Blazers (like "Derek Wildstar", for example)
- Made-for-TV Movie: The New Voyage, which basically established the format for anime.
- Mecha Show
- Meaningful Name: Comet Empire villain Sabera's name in Star Blazers is "Invidia", the Latin word for "envy". The alien planet Iscandar is apparently named after the Egyptian city of Iskandariyya, an important capital of ancient Hellenistic civilization.
- Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: The Yamato's attacks push the volcanic activity of Gamala up to a point that the planet explodes. When they arrive at Iscandar, the learn that the attacks on Earth were the Gamalans' last ditch attempt to establish a new home, as their own planet was dying. The attack merely sped up this destruction.
- Misblamed: Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato is advertised as "the film that almost got Matsumoto lynched". Leiji Matsumoto was actually very much opposed to the Kill 'em All ending that Yoshinobu Nishizaki had insisted on.
- Military Mashup Machine
- The Movie: Currently five movies with a revival movie (after years of rights disputes) released in late 2009, plus a 2010 Live-Action Adaptation.
- Mythology Gag: Dr Sado's cat appears just once in the series when he's sending a message home; in the 2010 movie, it's with the doctor on the Yamato.
- Similarly, the resemblance between Starsha and Yuki is lampshaded with Yuki temporarily becoming Starsha.
- And in the 2012 anime, it is very strongly indicated that Yuki actually is Starsha's sister.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: Dessler and the Gamilons in general. which makes his subsequent Heel-Face Turn kind of disturbing
- Never Say "Die": Averted...except in episodes where it isn't. In general, the dub was inconsistent about this. One episode addresses that several crew members had died, however, in the final Iscandar episode, the poisonous gas used by the Gamilas/Gamilons is portrayed as "radioactive sleeping gas", implying that anyone infected would come out of it at some point, yet Kodai/Wildstar's (and the rest of the crew's* ) reaction to Yuki/Nova clearly indicates that she had died, although just before that, she had used the Cosmo Cleaner D/Cosmo DNA just in time for her to come out of it. Then later in the same episode, Captain Okita/Avatar is directly portrayed as dying from his already existing radiation poisoning before he has a chance to see the Earth restored.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Sanada seems to invent amazing devices on the fly to get out nearly any situation. For example, Dessler's last attack in the final Season 1 episode, firing his Dessler Cannon at the Yamato, only to have the blast reflected by a coating based on Gamilon technology.. never before seen before that moment on the Yamato, and never mentioned again.
- In fairness, by that point he had had months to tinker new stuff together without interruption. There's no reason we would have seen it until the ship was finally attacked. It's apparently forgotten in the second season, at least until you notice that Dessler's attempt at destroying the Yamato with the Dessler Cannon all involve either hitting something near (where the Yamato would be destroyed by the blast) or stripping away the coating with lots and lots of missiles.
- Notable Original Music
- Nuclear Weapons Taboo: Gamilon Planet Bombs; also the whole Wave-Motion Energy concept.
- Off Model: Many, a few of which were referenced in the 2199 remake:
- The opening for the first few episodes had the Yamato rise during daylight, but in the actual episode where Yamato rises it was nighttime, so they put a blue filter on the opening to fix the inconsistency. As the nod to this, the 2199 opening has the Yamato rising during nighttime, but in the actual episode? During daylight.
- Dessler having a different skin color from the rest of his race, which as noted in Human Aliens the animators tried to explain as a result of different lighting. They expanded this into different races in 2199.
- Oh, Crap: Dessler gets one at the end of the first season, when the Yamato reflects back at him a shot from his Dessler Cannon.
- Dessler gets back at the Yamato crew for that in the second season by merely warning them he's still alive.
- He later provokes another one in episode 23: the Yamato is preparing to launch the last, desperate attack at the Comet Empire when a Gamilas bomber materializes before the ship, signaling that not only Dessler is back in battle but that he's using one of the more devastating tactics of the series, one that the Yamato survived the first time only due to sheer luck.
- Dessler apparently loves causing Oh, Crap faces: in the third season he provokes a series of them by asking his generals why they attacked the Yamato, a ship he SPECIFICALLY warned them not to attack as he's now an ally of Earth. Poor generals expected to be executed in some horrible fashion, by the look of their faces....
- Old School Dog Fight
- One-Woman Wail: "The Universe Spreading To Infinity". The Wail also appears as backup vocals for some versions of the theme song.
- Only One Female Mold: Due to Author Appeal. Males sometimes have a token Gonk just to skew the ratio.
- Painting the Medium: Halfway through the movie Be Forever Yamato, the film changes from 4:3 to widescreen just as the Yamato emerges from a Negative Space Wedgie into the mysterious home galaxy of the film's villains. (Promotion for the film only described this as "Warp Dimension".)
- Peek-a-Bangs: Fighter pilot Yamamoto/Hardy goes into combat with one eye obscured. This is probably to be expected in a series by the creator of Captain Harlock.
- Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Sasha Kodai, the half-human infant daughter of Mamoru and Starsha who appeared in the New Voyage special, physically aged into a teenager in the one year between then and the movie Be Forever, Yamato (thanks to Bizarre Alien Biology).
- Post Script Season
- Pragmatic Adaptation: The 2010 live-action movie rewrote much of Susumu Kodai's character arc to reflect him being played by a 37-year-old Kimura Takuya. Instead of being a Hot-Blooded young Space Cadet growing to manhood, he's a Retired Badass turned Shell-Shocked Veteran by tragedy, who accepts the Call to Adventure once more time.
- Pyrrhic Victory
- Ramming Always Works: The Yamato rams Dessler's ship in Farewell Yamato and the remake, season 2, and all it did was bend some metal. Dessler's ship fares worse in the remake: the engine is actually damaged by the ram rather than Kodai running through the halls, shooting robots and grenading the engine to kingdom come.
- Yet, at the end of Farewell Yamato, ramming works completely correctly: a titanic fireball.
- Real Time: Sort of. The Yamato/Argo has one year exactly to complete its mission — i.e., one season — and at the end of every episode, a countdown of how many days are left before the destruction of Earth is displayed.
- Redshirt Army: The Earth Defense Forces.
- Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: The Yamato was renamed the Argo in Star Blazers, for the Greek mythological ship in which Jason and the Argonauts set sailed upon.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: Analyzer UO-9/IQ-9 has a perverse sense of humor, and the hots for Yuki/Nova.
- In the Star Blazers dub, some perfectly humanoid alien opponents are called "robots" to minimize the heroes' body-count, thus making them "ridiculously human" on at least two levels.
- Robo Speak
- Rubber-Forehead Aliens: Every alien race in the series has a body similar to humans, but a different skin color
- Except the Bee People, who get to look a little more insectoid. Their traitorous queen looks much more human than the rest of them.
- Saharan Shipwreck: What the audience first sees of the Yamato itself.
- Secret Test of Character: When they reach Iscandar, it's revealed that Queen Starsha actually had the means to send the Cosmo Cleaner D/Cosmo DNA to Earth (that is, without Earth having to come to Iscandar), but wanted to test humanity's worthiness to survive; an action she regrets.
- In the dub, that is not the case. However, the reason she kept it a secret that Iscandar and Gamilon are right next to each other was because she thought the Star Force would be too scared to make the journey if they knew. She apologizes for underestimating their courage.
- See the Whites of Their Eyes: Even the damn Wave Motion Gun has to be fired at spitting distance.
- This was a plot point in the Comet Empire series: the Empire's Wave Motion Gun-like ship outranged the Earth fleet, picking off ships without needing any other weaponry.
- Suprisingly averted in the 2010 movie: the first time the WMG appears, it is fired at a Meteor Bomb beyond visual range and nails it dead-on. Then brought back once more in the finale when the WMG's muzzle is jammed about halfway through the film so Kodai flies the Yamato right up to the target before pulling the trigger, vaporizing both the Meteor Bomb and the Yamato.
- Sexy Discretion Shot: In the live-action movie, Susumu and Yuki are seen falling to the floor kissing in slow motion as the ship goes to warp. We only retroactively realize this was a Sexy Discretion Shot at the end of the movie when we see Yuki with her son.
- Shout-Out: Admiral Okita's response to the Gamilas request for his surrender is a direct nod to real life World War II General Anthony "Nuts" Mc Caullife and his response to the Germans' request for his surrender.
- The Smurfette Principle
- Apparently imposed by Word of God in the middle of the first season. Several (unnamed) female crew members were seen in episode 10. Then producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki decided that Yuki was the only woman. The others were never seen again.
- As the only woman on this ship, Yuki's duties include serving tomato juice to other (male) crewmembers and doing their laundry. Her title in the EDF may as well have been "Mom". Even worse, in the episode the showed her washing the uniforms, most of them suffered Clothing Damage later, mocking her efforts.
- Averted in the Live-Action Adaptation, in which some main characters receive a Gender Flip, including Aihara and Dr. Sado and Yuki becomes a fighter pilot. There are also a number of women seen throughout the ship in various interior shots.
- Tim Eldred's Star Blazers Web Comic (see below) lampshades how many unrelated jobs Nova was shown performing and says she is acclaimed as a brilliant jack-of-all-trades Rennaissance woman.
- Averted in the 2199 remake, where several new (and named) female characters are introduced to perform jobs Yuki once did herself.
- Someone to Remember Him By: the 2010 movie ends with Yuki and her son with Kodai.
- So Once Again, the Day Is Saved: "There are only X days left!"
- Space Is an Ocean / Space Sailing: Refurbished wet navy ships, complete with anchors and anti-fouling paint below the "waterline". Though it's a bit jarring to see a ship in the first episode* "sinking" into the distance well before the obligatory explosion.
- Justified by the fact the ships are expected to land in and operate on water as well as space, and the fact that the titular ship is a wet-navy ship in the first place.
- In 2199, Cosmo Force personnel use naval terminology constantly — orbitals are the "shores" of a planet, further out are the "seas" around it, and so forth.
- Spiritual Successor / Ripoff / Captain Ersatz: Space Carrier Blue Noah, another Hishizaki's series that was reputedly created as a fall-back should he lose a copyright dispute with Matsumoto. It was reasonably popular in Japan, but failed to really take off, and with The Nish winning his lawsuit it wasn't developed further and fell into relative obscurity.
- Spoiler Title: Only in the original Japanese series
- Standard Starship Scuffle: Unavoidable, given the Space Is an Ocean setting. The battle near Pluto in the very first episode especially stands out as an example.
- Standard Sci-Fi Fleet: space fighters, Destroyers, Carriers, and Space Battleships
- Starfish Aliens: The 2010 movie does this with Gamilas/Iscandar, who either possess humans or create humanoid interfaces to deliver dialogue.
- Stay in the Kitchen: At the start of the third season, it initially looks like the show is going to avert The Smurfette Principle by having a lot of females (mostly nurses). However, once it becomes apparent that the mission is not going to be just exploration but will also involve a lot of combat, all the women except one (guess which one!) are sent home on a transport ship that appears out of nowhere. It happens in the original Japanese version too. There's even a shot of all the women waving at the Yamato when it leaves.
- Both live action and 2199 pointedly avert this.
- Supernatural Aid: In the first episode, the Earth is told of a gift that will save the planet, and the season is then all about the journey they have to take to retrieve it.
- And again in both the Movie and TV series versions of the Comet Empire story. The final, massive battleship of the Empire is defeated not by the then-crippled Yamato, but by Trelaina.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Captain Yamanami (for Okita) and Sasha Kodai (for Yuki while she was playing Damsel in Distress) in Be Forever Yamato.
- Talking Is a Free Action: Used egregiously in the final battle of Be Forever Yamato with the sudden death of Captain Yamanami and Kodai's Heroic BSOD over sacrificing Sasha to defeat the Dark Nebula Empire.
- And in the 2010 movie with every last person save Kodai evacuating the Yamato while the Gamilas doomsday device is pointed at Earth.
- Take Our Word for It: In the final episode of the first series (the Iscandar arc), we never actually see the Cosmo Cleaner D/Cosmo DNA being used to save the Earth. We're meant to assume that the device worked like it was supposed to, and that the Earth was saved, but considering that the original Japanese airing was in 1974, and no other installments came until a couple or so years later, one could originally never be sure it did work on Earth as effectively as it did on the ship when the Gamilas/Gamilons tried to use their "radioactive sleeping gas" on everyone. For all the Japanese viewers knew at the time, the device may have only worked partially, if not at all.
- The English version ends with the narrator speaking over the closing shot of the ship above Earth, saying definitively to the accompaniment of triumphal music, "In the year 2200, the Star Force returned... and saved Earth." It's a very satisfying moment, and if it's not present in the original Japanese, then it counts as a Woolseyism.
- The live action film has an After The Credits shot of a green Earth.
- Technology Porn: 2199, full stop, with the live-action movie as a distant runner-up. Original also kinda qualifies, but in a very stylized, Matsumoto-specific way, which doesn't look like this for many.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Done accidentally by the Yamato in 2199 when they test fire the Wave Motion Gun on a Gamilon base situated on a floating continent. However, instead of destroying the base, the beam just straight up destroys the entire continent. Oh, and did we mention that the continent was roughly the size of Australia?
- This Is Gonna Suck: Standard reaction of the Yamato crew to Deslar showing up in the second season.
- Translation Convention / Translator Microbes / Aliens Speaking English (or something): except for one case early in the series where Analyzer has to translate the Gamilus language for his human friends, all the aliens speak Japanese (and, in the dub, English) both to the humans and to each other, even in the case of different races that you wouldn't expect them to have a common language.
- Furthermore, in what could only be described as a really odd instance of The Queen's Latin, Star Blazers has many of the Galmans in the Bolar Wars series speak in a variety of accents from around the British Commonwealth, some of them pretty bad. (Of course, some of the American Accents are pretty goofy-sounding too.)
- And how would Analyzer know how to speak Gamilon anyway?
- Touched by Vorlons: the 2010 movie omits Starsha's message and has the capsule land on Earth instead (in the original series, it landed on Mars), so they reinforce their claim to remove the radiation by curing Kodai despite him being at ground zero of the crash. Dr. Sado is justifiably spooked.
- This might be a Mythology Gag to the original series, where Yuki activating the untested Iscandar purifier by hand when Dessler was flooding the Yamato with radiation apparently lets her come Back from the Dead later on.
- Underground City
- Unfortunate Names: Philippine fans of Star Blazers snickered when they first heard the original Japanese name of the lead character. "Susumu" sounds exactly like a playful way of saying "Susu mo," which means your nipple. Though he was much more oftenly called by his family name, Kodai, for some reason the subbtitles of the subbed release kept calling him by his first name, making certain dramatic moments Narm. (You hear "Kodai! Kodaaaaiiiii!" while you see "Susumu! Susumuuuuuuu!")
- Villainous Breakdown: Dessler/Desslok in episode 24.
- Wacky Wayside Tribe: the Bee People.
- Wagon Train to the Stars
- Wave Motion Gun: The Trope Namer.
- Not to mention Crazy Awesome.
- Interestingly, the Wave Motion Gun was not treated as something invincible:
- At the end of the first season, Dessler's one was reflected back at him. After coming back, he'd always be VERY careful at using his Wave Motion Gun against the Yamato, taking care to neutralize or prevent the deploying of the WMG reflector before firing.
- In the second season we have three different incidents of Wave Motion Guns utterly failing in their job:
- First was the Comet Empire's vanguard fleet flagship firing her Magna Flame Cannon while inside Saturn's ring, only for the energy beam to explode against the rings' particles, giving Earth's fleet the time to reach their weapons' range and annihilate the vanguard fleet.
- Then the Earth Defense Force fired ALL their Wave Motion Guns at the Empire's comet fortress, but failed to cause any damage.
- Third was the Yamato finding herself attacked again by Dessler and charging the gun, only for Dessler to mine the space before the muzzle and get a good laugh as the Yamato couldn't fire without being destroyed by her own weapon.
- Weaponized Exhaust: The Wave Motion Gun is the Wave Motion Engine fired in reverse at an enemy instead of towards a destination.
- Web Comic: Two produced by Tim Eldred, who was also the artist for the short-lived comic book adaptation by Argo Press. The first being Rebirth, set a generation into the future of Star Blazers but recalling several of the old cast. The other being The Bolar Wars: Extended, seeking to utilize elements that were cut out in the aired series.
- World of Ham: Orders aren't just given, they must be SHOUTED for maximum drama.
- Worthy Opponent: too many to name.
- Star Blazers even has one bizarre Woolseyism in which a funeral for dead crew-members is translated into a funeral for dead enemies, to show the respect that both sides have even as they try to slaughter one another. It would have worked if you wouldn't have been able to see the obviously human bodies inside the caskets.
- Xenafication: Yuki/Nova in the 2010 live action film, where she becomes the leader of the Black Tiger fighter squadron.
- Younger Than They Look: Half-Human Hybrid Sasha, due to her Iscandarian origins, is one year old in Be Forever Yamato despite looking like a teenager.
- You Do NOT Want To Know: This is how they Hand Wave having to explain how the Yamato's galley facilities can create literally almost any kind of food from seemingly nothing.
- You Have Failed Me: In addition to using a Trap Door to dispose of men who laugh at their own jokes, Dessler is known to shoot subordinates ( Vice President Hisu in the first season and Admiral Vandeburg in the second season) with a gun that is only shown smoking after the act. An exact inversion of Family-Friendly Firearms: in a series where Family Friendly lasers actually would be expected, this guy seems to prefer old-fashioned guns.
- In the third series, Dessler pulls this once with a general behind schedule in winning his war, before announcing he still has two chances to redeem himself. Later he's implied to have executed a group of subordinates for winning a war they had explicit orders to not fight, namely capturing the Yamato, as they don't reappear after the very pissed Dessler found out.
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Gamilas remnants catch up to the Yamato at the end of both the original series and the 2010 movie.
- You Shall Not Pass: In the 2010 Live Action Adaptation, Kodai fits this when he fires the jammed Wave Motion Gun to destroy the last Meteor Bomb. Because the barrel is jammed, the ship blows up, along with Kodai who stayed behind to keep the bomb from falling.