Ass Pull: Arguably. One can't help but wonder why the Gamilons use weapons that make the earth uninhabitably radioactive, if their goal is to colonize it. In the last episode of the first series, we learn that a radioactive environment is their natural habitat.. although the pilot captured earlier in the series didn't seem to need it. And it never comes up again in later seasons, where there appear to be No Biochemical Barriers.
Actually, a bit of Fridge Brilliance since considering their sister planet had the technology to clean up the radiation, the Gamilons would have that technology too. They were merely waiting for humanity to die off before moving in and cleaning everything up.
The monstrous Emperor Z(w)ordar of Gatlantis, ruler of the White Comet Empire, is a despot who lives to conquer and destroy all he finds. Sacking the Andromeda galaxy, killing countless innocents until the survivors submit, Zordar has them placed in labor camps as slaves before intending to move on to the Milky Way. Arriving at the Milky Way at the season's end, Zordar wipes out Earth's defensive fleet and proceeds to offer the Earthlings a chance to submit to him as slaves or face annihilation. Upon the Yamato fighting back, Zordar abandons his subordinates to die and begins bombarding Earth, deciding to simply take it for himself after wiping out all humanity.
Prime Minister Bemlaze of the Bolar Federation has enslaved the people of the first season's villain Abelt Dessler, the Gamilas people, in cruel tyranny after Dessler's Heel–Face Turn. When the prisoners try to resist, Bemlaze orders them massacred and later has the entire planet blown up out of spite just to kill the rebellious prisoners. Pursuing the Yamato to destroy it, Bemlaze arrives when the battleship is attempting to stabilize the sun to save earth, intending on destroying Earth and Yamato by dooming the former to cooking from the heat of the sun out of sheer spite.
Yamato: New Voyage & Be Forever Yamato: Emperor Scaldart of the Dark Nebula Empire leads his armies in brutal conquests where planets are harvested of resources and then destroyed. First coming to Yamato's attention, Scaldart commands the invasion of the world of Iscandar, resulting the complete destruction of Iscandar and its heroic queen Starsha. Scaldart returns to conquer Earth after annihilating its fleet, having any dissenters killed and setting up a bomb to destroy the planet and the minds of every human should they resist. When Yamato is hurled into the future, Scaldart attempts to lure them into a trap to destroy them only to attempt to activate the bomb anyways, even murdering Starsha's daughter Sasha when she attempts to save the Yamato for the sake of the Earth.
The Yamato's launching from the Revival movie, complete with the series' original opening theme.
Episode 25 of Season 2 is a massive Crowning Moment of Awesome for the Yamato and her crew, as the battleship, nearly crippled in the last battle with Deslar, first chase off Earth the space fortress Gatlantis, then launch an Airstrike Impossible to pave the way for a commando raid that cripples the target, and then the Yamato destroy Gatlantis. A space fortress that four episodes earlier had wiped out the entire Earth Defense Force fleet without even trying!!!
Lampshaded by a random bystander in the crowds when Yamato reappears: "It's Yamato! We still have Yamato! We're going to WIN."
In season 2, in one of the episodes close to the end. Leader Desslock had earlier accepted a commission from Prince Zordar to defeat the Star Force, so he pins the Yamato by teleporting mines over to surround it. To escape, the Yamato executes a small warp and rams Desslock's ship. Deputy Captain Derek Wildstar boards the Leader's ship. The two of them face off on the bridge. Desslock slowly levels his pistol at Wildstar, while goading Wildstar to shoot him. But Wildstar, already injured earlier, falls to the deck while drawing his. His love interest, Nova, dashes out of hiding, grabs the pistol, blocks Desslock's aim, then aims Derek's pistol at Desslock. Moments later, she drops the pistol, places Derek's head in her lap, and comforts him while he remains semiconscious. Desslock gets his Villainous BSOD as he is witnesses Nova's simultaneous display of extreme bravery and extreme devotion. It makes him change his mind about pursuing the Star Force, he declares to Nova that the war between Gamillon and Earth is over, and he offers her advice on the Comet Empire's one weak point in its mobile fortress. Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming!
Fridge Horror: Invoked in-universe in artist Tim Eldred's official webcomic Rebirth. While it's only tangential to the plot, Desslok mentions to Wildstar that, out in the Andromeda Galaxy, the hostile empire that Zordar hailed from is still there. "For all his might, Zordar was only a prince."
Fridge Logic: If Queen Starsha could send them the plans for the Wave-Motion Engine, why didn't she just send them the plans for the Cosmo Cleaner D/Cosmo DNA instead? Answer: It was a Secret Test of Character.
The dub of the movie Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato cut 30 minutes out from the film, and used names from Star Blazers.
The most obvious plot changes in the dub are an aggressive attempt to reduce the number of people the heroes kill. This often includes claims that obviously-organic beings are robots, and hastily-spliced-in footage suggesting the bad guys escape rather than dying.
Notably, the remake is still being called Star Blazers, purely since no-one would recognize it otherwise.
Not within the show itself, but on the official website's "History of Star Blazers", certain details (other than the fact that most of the Earth characters are Japanese) are either changed or made up completely (for instance, giving the characters full names: we now know that Avatar's first name is Abraham and Nova's last name is Forrester). However, there are some inconsistencies, such as the "Great Island" (where the "Wildstar" family comes from) also being called "Okinawa" (where the "Kodai" family comes from)note In actuality, "Great Island" just refers to Japan in general. The flashback in episode 13 clearly depicts Mt. Fuji, which is nowhere near Okinawa..
Magnificent Bastard: Dessler/Desslok is magnificently bastardlicious. And that's before he becomes an ally.
Most Wonderful Sound: Many, but probably the most notable is the warm-up and then firing of the Wave Motion Gun. Boop boop boop bididididididididi click, ch-whom... WREEEEEEEEEEEEEEYOWOWOWWWWWWWWWWWMM! Oh goodness, yes.
MST3K Mantra: Considering the fact that the real Yamato's ammunition magazines exploded when she sank (The volcano-like eruption that they caused is very accurately depicted when showing the history of the real ship in the 1974 series), making the idea of her becoming a spaceship problematic, this trope applies.
In detail, the explosion of the No.2 magazine (under the second main gun turret) caused the first 90 meters to break away and land at an angle to the rest of the ship, and the detonation of the secondary turret magazine further mutilated the wreck. Oh, and the ship "vomited" those monster, 2500 ton gun turrets as it turned over before blowing up. There's no way anyone can rebuild the real Yamato.
Given the sheer amount of damage that Space Battleship Yamato takes throughout the seasons and movies, I think it's safe to say that there isn't a single bit of 1940s metal located in the ship anymore. You could move the two sections of the ship together and replace it part by part, and still call the result "The Yamato." The original series shows an outer shell over the ship as well, for the Earthlings wanted to keep its existence a secret. Until its launch, only the underground portion looked new.
The Argo Press Comic-Book Adaptation written by Tim Eldred emphasizes that after every battle on the Iscandar mission, the Star Force would gather up the wreckage from the destroyed Gamilon ships to use to repair the Yamato.
2199 does provide a reasonable explanation for this, being that the Yamato is actually a REPLICA, and that she was built in secret using the wreck of the real Yamato as a shell to disguise her from the enemy until launch.
However, Yamato had a sister ship, the Musashi, that sailors considered better than the Yamato (this is apocryphal—a whole lot of documents on both ships were destroyed after the war). The Musashi went down near the Philippines in October 1944 after swallowing far greater damage than her more famous sister and without any catastrophic explosions(so her wreck is much more likely to be in one piece). Uchuu Senkan Musashi doesn't sound bad at all(it also brings to mind a badass samurai), but the people of the Philippines (who suffered in the Second World War) are definitely not likely to agree (YMMV after all).
The Musashi was recently discovered, but she too is in multiple pieces, having suffered from massive underwater explosions.
Considering how long the Yamato, with its newfangled wave motion engine, takes to get out of the solar system, that first episode involving normal Earth ships traveling back from Pluto must cover a much longer period of time than it appears to. For that matter, is there some particular reason that the Yamato is reluctant to start traveling at its full speed until it's out of the solar system, considering that it's embarking on an intergalactic voyage?
My Real Daddy: An effective custody battle began in the late 1990's between Yamato's original creator Yoshinobu Nishizaki and the legendary Leiji Matsumoto (who rewrote much of the premise as soon as he joined the project, and has the critics and most of the fanbase on his side). Both creators have attempted their own Revivals of Yamato, with various degrees of success. The legal dispute dealt fatal blows to both Nishizaki's Yamato 2520 and Matsumoto's later Great Yamato project (which had to be retitled Great Galaxy and have the Serial Numbers Filed Off after the verdict that Nishizaki had the rights to the Space Battleship Yamato name.) After Nishizaki's death, 2199 has been much more successful in winning audience loyalty.
Newer Than They Think: As YouTube comments will tell you, there are also a lot of latter-day fans who think the Death Star was based on the Comet Empire. Not likely, as the Comet Empire was introduced in 1978.
Yamato did benefit from the popularity of Star Wars in one way. After A New Hope broke box office records in the US, Series 1 of Yamato was edited down to a theatrical movie, where it outperformed A New Hope at the Japanese box office. Yamato Series 1 was not very popular when it first aired, thus the four year gap between Series 1 and the movie that regenerated interest in the franchise.
"Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: A dubbing example. Star Blazers was one of the earliest examples where the dubbers actually gave a damn about how the series was dubbed, and was astonishingly faithful for the time. Compared to today's dubs, the translation is a Macekre. That said, the voice acting is still head and shoulders above a lot of what's done even today.
In the live-action film, the speech about how the Yamato previously sailed on a hopeless mission in the time of Japan's greatest need might not have exactly the intended reaction among non-Japanese audiences (especially Americans, Chinese, Koreans and South-East Asians) if they think about it.
Hell, this may well explain why the original show's title was changed to Star Blazers for the American release. Remember: the Pacific War was still within living memory in 1979.
It's within living memory now, a few veterans from the Pacific are still around. But there were indeed a lot more of them in 1979, when a 53-year-old would've been 19 when the war ended.