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Anime / Space Battleship Yamato
aka: Uchuu Senkan Yamato

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Farewell, Earth,
the ship that is departing is
The Space Battleship... YAAA-MAAA-TOOO!
Uchuu Senkan Yamato theme, translated

We’re off to outer space
We’re leaving Mother Earth
To save the human race...our STAR BLAZERS!
Star Blazers theme

In 2199, the surface of the Earth has been bombarded into an uninhabitable radioactive wasteland by an alien race from the planet Gamilas. The Gamilan fleet (Gamilon in the Star Blazers dub) 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Originally made in the early 70s, it was dubbed to English under the title Star Blazers, and aired in U.S. afternoon syndication during the late 70s.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: Resurrection, was finally made and released to Japanese theaters on December 12, 2009. It takes place in 2220, 17 years after the events of Final Yamato.

A live-action adaptation hit theatres in December 2010.

Also, on April 27, 2012, a remake of the original series called Space Battleship Yamato 2199 began to air. It is a 26 episode anime based on the first series and divided into 7 films for theatrical release.

The plot of Space Battleship Yamato 2199 was the core plotline of Super Robot Wars V, while adding a few dozen gigantic robots to the Yamato's complement.

This was followed a few years later with Space Battleship Yamato 2202, which re-adapts the Comet Empire arc. Like 2199, it first aired in theaters before being broadcasted on TV as a 26-episode series from October 2018 to March 2019.

The adaption of New Journey manifested as Space Battleship Yamato 2205 movie duology in 2021 and 2022. A trailer was shown at the end of 2205 for Be Forever Yamato: Rebel 3199, an upcoming adaption of 1980's Be Forever Yamato.

Compare to Space Carrier Blue Noah (a.k.a. Thundersub 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.


  • 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: Due the first series being cut from 39 episodes to 26, the manga plot about Captain Harlock was dropped.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Parts that the manga 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 in the anime. It also expanded on events from the manga.
  • 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.
  • 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 "Everybody Dies" Ending territory. The landing party on Iskandar/Gamilas suffers a near Total Party Kill with 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 whom survive the final abandon ship) — and that's before the Captain dies, Dessler makes his final attack, and Kodai does a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • 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 was brought back as Captain in Final Yamato, with the retcon that he was in a coma from the time the Yamato reached earth at the end of the Quest to Iscandar until Final Yamato.
  • 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.
  • Bee People: Literally. The Beemelarians are a bee-like insectoid race from the planet Beemela (Or Beeland, as it's known in the Star Blazers dub)
  • "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:
    • The dub tries 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.
    • Although strangely enough, the Gamilas did occasionally fielded robot troops in the original Japanese.
    • 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.
    • In the second season, Saito/Knox sets charges in the Comet City as part of a suicide mission. Kodai got out quickly, but he had a several-minute head start and just escaped in his life. In the American dub, a bridge crewmember radios Wildstar that "Knox got out just in time." Of course he's never seen again.
  • 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 two mini-series from Comico in the 1980's, one ongoing from Argo Press in the 1990's drawn by Tim Eldred, and two webcomic limited series by Eldred titled Star Blazers: Rebirth and The Bolar Wars: Extended.
  • 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.
  • 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 is associated with patriotism and tradition (and was so even before the ship's naming). Since these connotations would be unknown at best and maligned at worst (the war had only been a generation past) the dub acknowledges that the ancient battleship is indeed the Yamato, but when it is rebuilt into a spaceship it is rechristened the ''Argo''. The title change to Star Blazers may also have been to distance the show from Japan's war legacy for American audiences.
    • The official website's "History of Star Blazers", changes details or makes them up from whole cloth (for instance, giving the characters full names: we now know that Avatar's first name is Abraham and Nova's last name is Forrester; these were actually introduced in the 1990's Argo Press Comic-Book Adaptation). 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 .
  • Dated History: The entire premise of the show relies on the then current belief that the sunken Yamato was mostly intact under the sea, and could be refitted into the Space Battleship. Years later, advances in technology disproved it pretty badly: the ship's ammunition exploded while sinking, splitting off the bow and forcing out its monster turrets, and the wreckage is more or less torn to pieces. (It really shouldn't have come as such a surprise: the U.S. Navy released photos taken by some of their aviators during the attack; the mushroom cloud from the magazine explosion rivals that of a tactical nuke.)
    • In 2199 the spaceship is a replica of the Yamato, camouflaged as a shipwreck to keep its construction secret.
  • 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 goddess whose machine it is. It, apparently, enables her to kill every person of the same race as Zordar.
  • Disney Death: Yuki/Nova, regardless of how it's portrayed.
  • Drama Panes:
    • In both versions, Kodai and Okita stare out of the window together as they leave the solar system, vowing to return and save the Earth.
    • Both versions also have a scene at the end where Captain Okita stares from his bed out of the window at the ruins of the once blue Earth as they return from Iscandar. In both versions, he passes, never again setting foot on the planet. However, this is especially poignant in the 2199 version, as Okita's soul and memories of an unmarred Earth are what end up powering the Cosmo Reverse system.
  • 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.
  • Everything in Space Is a Galaxy: The final major battle before reaching Gamilas/Iscandar is said to occur in what the characters call "The Rainbow Galaxy". However, onscreen, this looked more like a group of planetary masses than an actual galaxy. Presumably, the name comes from the different colour of the different planets. This designation was only used in the English language Star Blazers. In the original Japanese Yamato, it was properly called the Rainbow System.
  • 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.
    Nanbu: Enough for one shot. But like I said, if we fire it, the Yamato will-
    (everyone looks at Kodai with realization)
  • Extradimensional Shortcut: In an early episode, a space warp 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 by warping you can go in a straight line, cutting travel time drastically. You just have to be very careful doing it, or you may "disappear forever, probably into the fourth dimension."
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Pretty much every enemy on the show has a real-life counterpart:
    • As seen above, the recurring Gamillas Empire is all about A Nazi by Any Other Name: an expansionist, militaristic empire that puts crosses on their ships, are highly reliant on technology, are ruled by a tyrannical dictator and have german-sounding names. As the show evolved, they turned into a military democracy with similarities to Eagleland — disturbingly enough, they turned into unlikely allies as the show advanced.
    • The White Comet Empire from the second season is Eagleland, as it's mainly defined by its military superiority that abuses without a purpose, unlike Earth or the Gamillas Empire, although their society is much more lax (and corrupt) than Gamillas. Of course, they absorb the rival Gamillas Empire without problem.
    • The Dark Nebula Empire from the third-fourth films shares aspects with the Red Scare, as it's composed of supposedly superior life forms that depend on technological might - in the earliest draft, they were called "Uralians" and had russian names.
    • The Bolar Federation from the third season is a much more blatant Dirty Communists society, as it's cold, colonialistic federation heavily reliant on We Have Reserves and filled with penal planets and russian names, and is locked in a Space Cold War with the reformed Gamillas empire. Interestingly enough, the series would have introduced an USA-inspired rival if the show hadn't been cancelled.
    • Seemingly averted with the Dinguil Empire from the final film, which have no clear counterpart with Sumerian and vaguely european names. Of course, their isolationist nature, religious worship-centered militaristic society that depends on external resources have made a few fans associate them with North Korea.
    • Of course, the show itself is about a retrofitted WWII Japanese battleship named after the country that made it that leads the United Nations to save the earth time after time.
  • 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.
  • 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 can't 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.
    • In Yamato 2202, after Yuki jumps in front of the bullet meant for Kodi, the sacrifice almost convinces Prince Zordar (via proxy through Miru) to end the war against Earth. And then gamalon soldiers gun down Miru trying to save Desslok and mess the whole thing up.
  • 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 Beauty Update: Even taking into account the modifications that turned it into a spaceship, this Yamato is much slimmer and sleeker than the real one. World War II battleships were very bulky.
  • 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
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Dessler fires his Wave-Motion Gun at the Yamato in the finale of the first series, but Sanada activates a shield — based on Gamilon technology, no less — that reflects it right back, destroying Dessler's ship instead.
  • Human Aliens:
    • The Gamilons were indistinguishable from humans in early episodes, but during the first season 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.
    • Interestingly this Caucasian-to-blue skin color was adresssed in 2199, where the Caucasian guys manning Pluto base were a subservient second class race to the blue Gamalons.
    • 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.
    • In the Argo Press Comic-Book Adaptation, it's explained that after every battle, the crew quickly cannibalizes all the wrecked Gamilon ships for metal and parts.
  • 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.
  • 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 "Everybody Dies" Ending that Yoshinobu Nishizaki had insisted on.
  • 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.
    • The 2199 remake introduces artificial Gamiroids, possibly in reference to how the Star Blazers dub insisted the enemies being killed were robots.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name:
    • Dessler and the Gamilons in general. which makes his subsequent Heel–Face Turn kind of disturbing, given their planes, tactics, and attitude in the first season, Dessler is more like the Americans, making the Face–Heel Turn more obvious. In the Episode 2 flashback that depicted the Allies sinking the Yamato in WWII, the American planes are given the Gamilus theme music when they fire upon the battleship.
    • Consider Germany's post-World War II transition...the Heel–Face Turn can be seen as a reflection of geopolitical reality; much like Japan at the time, Germany was transitioning culturally from the war.
  • Never Say "Die": 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.
  • Nuclear Torch Rocket: Touched upon. The ship's main gun fires the engine's plasma in a colliminated stream. Since it has the ability to vapourize a continent, the engines must put out energy equivalent to approximately 1.33 petatons (that's one-and-a-third quadrillion tons) of TNT. Constantly. It still takes the ship most of a year to get to their destination (this is a near-light drive, and they still have to use an FTL engine when they want to go somewhere in a hurry).
  • Nuclear Weapons Taboo: Gamilon Planet Bombs; also the whole Wave-Motion Energy concept.
  • 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....
  • 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".)
  • 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).
  • Ramming Always Works:
    • The Yamato rams Dessler's ship in Farewell Yamato and the second season of the remake, and all it did was bend some metal.
    • Dessler's ship fares worse in the remake as the engine is actually damaged by the ram rather than Kodai running through the halls, shooting robots and grenading the engine to kingdom come.
    • 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.
    • Although there were several instances where the Gamalons actually did use robots as combatants in the field in the original Japanese.
  • Rubber-Forehead Aliens: Every alien race in the series has a body similar to humans, but a different skin color
  • Rule of Cool: If you needed a spaceship, why on Earth would you specifically dredge up and retrofit the sunken rusting wreck of some random ancient naval ship instead of using one of the many spaceships you already have? Because 'Murica! —er,— J'pan!
  • Saharan Shipwreck: What the audience first sees of the Yamato itself.
  • Secret Test of Character:
    • When the group 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, though 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" McCaullife and his response to the Germans' request for his surrender.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale:
    • An inversion to the usual trope where the writers overestimate the size of the universe rather than underestimating it. In episode 4 "Test Warp To Mars," the eponymous ship warps from Earth to Mars and a character mentions they went "thousands of lightyears in a matter of seconds". Mars is only about 3 light minutes from Earth. The edge of the Solar System itself isn't even 2 light years from Earth.
    • Also played perfectly straight when the heroes manage to cruise to Saturn from Mars without warping in a matter of days, a trip that would take about 5 and 1/2 years from Mars without some form of FTL.
  • 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 Renaissance 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 episodenote  "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: 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.
  • Spy Catsuit: The Battlesuits used by the women are skintight and colorful.
  • 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.
  • 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 as promised, and that the Earth was saved, but after airing in 1974, the question was left open until the next installments came until a couple or so years later. Although it was shown to work on the ship when the Gamilas/Gamilons tried to use their "radioactive sleeping gas" on everyone.
    • 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. The periodic sight of the wave motion engine reconfiguring its massive components to become the heart of the Wave Motion Gun, to the accompaniment of ominous, escalating sound effects, certainly counts.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Done accidentally by the Yamato 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 (in 2099 at least) the continent was roughly the size of Australia? The crew prefers to fire the Wave-Motion Gun when it's charged at 120%.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Standard reaction of the Yamato crew to Deslar showing up in the second season.
  • Translation Convention: 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.)
  • 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.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: The Trope Namer. 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.
      • And in Yamato 2202, there are moral ramifications and soul searching on Kodi's part to having a planet killer built into the bow of your battleship.
  • 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.
    • The Rebirth webcomic is set decades after the original series. When a rather grizzled-looking Wildstar goes to confer with Desslok for the first time in many years, he's annoyed to see that Gamilons apparently age slower than humans, and Desslok looks completely unchanged.
  • 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.

Alternative Title(s): Uchuu Senkan Yamato, Star Blazers