Film: Space Battleship Yamato

A 2010 Live-Action Adaptation of the 70's anime of the same name.

In the year 2199, Earth is on the losing side of a five year war with an alien race they only know as the Gamilas. The humans do not know what the enemy wants, in fact, they don't even know what they look like, or why they first started bombarding Earth with radiation bombs. The movie opens with a fleet of Earth Defense Force starships commanded by Captain Jyuzo Okita formed up to launch a major attack on a Gamilas fleet off Mars. Their massive opening salvo does negligible damage, and the responding salvo from the Gamilas fleet leaves the Earther fleet in tattered ruins. A younger Captain, Mamoru Kodai, insists that Captain Okita save himself and his ship, and uses his own crippled destroyer to shield Okita from the next salvo, despite Okita's pleas for the younger officer to save himself.

As Okita returns to the red, irradiated, barren world of Earth, where the surviving population lives in cramped shelters deep underground, and some brave the surface to scavenge for useful materials. One such person is Susumu Kodai, who has a brother in the EDF that sends him luxury supplies in trade for the materials he finds. While out on Earth's surface scavenging and snarking at his Analyser, he is nearly flattened by an object that comes streaking out of the sky to land at his feet. Stunned to see that he is still intact, he picks up the strange object just as an EDF ship appears overhead, tracking the object's descent.

After studying the device, the EDF finds schematics for a powerful engine and weapon, and proceed to build a ship around it, which Okita requests to take on a mission to find Iscandar, in order to retrieve an anti-radiation device to save the Earth. His request is approved, and a call for volunteers goes out, taking on surviving EDF officers, retired veterans, and civilians with spacer experience, including one Susumu Kodai, who has it in for Captain Okita after learning how his brother Mamoru died. The question becomes whether this new ship, built from the remains of a World War II battleship, will succeed in finding Iskandar and returning to Earth with the anti-radiation device in time to save her, especially since there is absolutely no evidence that such a device exists.

Space Battleship Yamato contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Yuki. One of her male squadmates lunges at her after she talks trash about Susumu, and she reacts by quickly punching him in the nose and dropping him. The consensus among the rest of the squadron is that he was an idiot to even try.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Yamato targets a Gamilas ship's warp drive with her main guns (with Yuki getting close enough with her fighter to paint the target). It turns out, blowing up a ship's charged warp drive causes it to implode. And then explode. Very violently.
  • Blood Knight: The Space Commandos. When Susumu asks if they know they're likely going on a One-Way Trip, Hajime Saitō replies with an enthusiastic "That's what makes the job so damn fun!" His men agree.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Upon learning how his brother died, Susumu wastes no time storming the bridge and calling Okita out for saving himself and leaving Mamoru to die.
    Susumu: How do you sleep at night?!
    Okita: Like a baby. Is there any other way?
  • The Chains of Commanding: Okita carries a heavy burden, one which Susumu is hesitant to carry himself; one which includes ordering men and women to their deaths because of one's own mistakes.
  • Command Roster:
  • Composite Character: As a sort of Mythology Gag, Yuki takes on Starsha's role when Iskandar possesses her to communicate with Susumu and his men.
    • Aihara in the film is a gender-flipped combination of Aihara and Ota from the anime. She even wears Ota's white-and-green uniform and sits at his position on the bridge.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Yuki. She feels that Susumu has skipped out on the worst of the fighting the EDF has faced after he left the service, and reacts angrily when the rest of the squadron welcomes him warmly.
  • Dwindling Party: The crew as a whole, taking casualties as the ship gets damaged over the course of the film, but especially during the expedition to Gamilas. By the end of the film, there are only 12 survivors out of the entire crew.
  • Ensign Newbie: Ando, in command of Bridge Three
  • Grand Theft Me: One Gamilas being, calling himself Dessla, briefly takes possession of Saito to communicate with (and threaten) the crew. Iskandar does this too.
  • Guy in Back: When flying the Cosmos Zero, Analyser is this to Susumu, complete with a R2D2-esque rotating dome head.
  • The Hero Dies
  • Heroic Sacrifice: All over the place. Mamoru Kodai sacrifices himself and his ship to save Captain Okita and his, the pilots of Tiger Squad die holding the line on Gamilas, and finally Susumu Kodai stays aboard to stop Dessla's suicide attack on Earth by ramming him and setting off the Wave Motion Gun.
  • Hive Mind: The Gamilas exist as a sort of networked crystaline energy conciousness, and can possess constructs of their own making or human hosts.
  • Lady Drunk: Dr. Sado spends the first portion of the mission wandering around the ship carrying a large bottle of Sake and a cat.
  • MacGuffin: An unusual example, in that the MacGuffin they set out to retrieve doesn't exist.
  • My Greatest Failure: The reason Susumu got out of the military: During a mission to deflect a Gamilas bomb away from Earth, he accidentally sent the bomb flying into a space station that both his family and Shima's pregnant wife lived on.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Invoked by Susumu to Captain Okita when he endangers the Yamato to rescue Yuki. Although Susumu gets thrown into the brig for his heroics, Okita did plan a daring Hyperspeed Escape to save Susumu and Yuki instead of abandoning both of them. Subverted later: despite promising to save Ando when he's stranded on the third bridge, Susumu is forced to order Yuki to destroy it along with a suicide-bomb Gamilas fighter about to destroy the ship.
  • One-Way Trip: The mission to the Gamilas homeworld.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Twice. Yuki gets caught in the blast wave when a Gamilas ship's warp drive goes off (but is rescued), and later she and Susumu have to escape the destruction of the Gamilas homeworld.
  • The Reveal: Two of them. First: There is no proof that an anti-radiation device exists on Iskandar. Second: Iskandar is the Gamilas homeworld.
  • Robot Buddy: Analyzer. He is actually more of a Smartphone Buddy, but Susumu is able to plug him into his Space Fighter and into a Giant Robot body.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Susumu. Not knowing his Back Story, Yuki is slow to realize this, and just thinks he's a coward and jerk — and treats him accordingly.
  • Space Fighter: Multiple types, such as Susumu's Cosmos Zero and Yuki's Cosmos Tiger.
  • Space Is an Ocean: At least the humans seem to think so. All of their starships carry their weapons on the top half, with the bottom half painted in anti-corrosion red paint.
  • Space Marine: Hajime Saitō and his Space Commandos.
  • Survivor Guilt: Yuki which influences her interactions with Susumu (for instance, when she tries comforting him after he orders her to destroy the third bridge). Susumu and Okita have their own cases that they struggle with.
  • Take a Moment to Catch Your Death: Most of Yamato's crew is killed when the ship is attacked while Kodai announces their return to Earth.
  • That's an Order: After Susumu refuses Okita's offer to take his place as Captain due to Okita's failing health, Okita decides to just announce it anyways.
    Okita: I will relieve you of the burden of choice.
  • You Are in Command Now: Susumu Kodai.
  • War Is Hell: For everyone, from the top down, both for those who bleed and die in the fighting and for those who must make the decisions leading to those deaths.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Yes. This is based on the Trope Namer, after all. The crew recognizes that after the first shot, the Gamilas will learn to expect it and try to counter it.
  • You Killed My Father: Susumu Kodai holds Captain Okita personally responsible for his brother's death.