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Film / Space Battleship Yamato

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A 2010 Live-Action Adaptation of the 70s 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.

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.

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.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Inverted. In the original anime, Garmilans are basically blue-skinned Human Aliens. In the film they are much more alien-looking, with glowing blue torsos.
  • Adaptational Badass: Analyzer was a helpful assistant robot in the original TV series. In the film, he gains a bulky machine gun-toting body during the landing on Iskandar/Garmilas.
  • Adaptive Ability: The Gamilons in this universe use adaptive Deflector Shields that quickly rendered human weapons and armor ineffective after encountering them. The anime-verse Gamilon ships simply had better armor than their Earth counterparts.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Shirō gives Susumu one before charging the Gamilas main structure.
  • Airstrike Impossible: During the attack on Iscandar, Yamato dives into the atmosphere while launching fighters in a very Battlestar Galactica (2003)-like fashion, complete with jumping out before she hits the ground. The fighters proceed to fly through a cave system.
  • 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.
  • Blind Jump: When the Yamato is attacked shortly after arriving at Iscandar and can't hold out, Susumu orders one of these. Shima is initially reluctant but relents. After they make it, Shirō calls Susumu out on the wisdom of having done so.
  • 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?
  • Canon Immigrant: The reason for Mamoru Kodai's sacrifice is taken from a Woolseyism in the Star Blazers dub of the original series.
  • 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. Okita directly says in a conversation with Susumu after the latter had Yuki destroy the connector to the third bridge before a latched-on Gamilas weapon can blow up the Yamato, but throwing away the lives of those on the third bridge in the process, that there's no way those who have not commanded can understand the pressures the two of them are under.
  • 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.
    • In the original series, Dessler was the leader of Gamilons while in the film, Desla and Gamila are both names of the same alien Hive Mind. Plus, the Iscandarians were a separate race in the original series while in the film, the Iskandar are the good part of the Hive Mind.
    • In a weird meta sense, the ending turns out to be very similar to the ending of Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato . Prepare the tissues.
  • 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. She begins warming to Susumu as she realizes how many of her burdens and responsibilities that he's started to bear alongside her since joining the crew — and how many he'd always been carrying.
  • Died Happily Ever After: As Susumu makes his suicide run on the final Gamilas spaceship, he sees his dead comrades as smiling spectres, serving as a Mythology Gag to Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato.
  • Died Standing Up: Saitō dies pulling You Shall Not Pass! while Dual Wielding machine guns to buy time for Sanada to set up a bomb to destroy the power source of the Gamilas.
  • Dies Wide Open: The fate of Saitō, with tears falling from his open eyes to boot.
  • 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, which is less than Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato!
  • Dying Smirk: Fatally wounded by multiple Gamilas blasts, Shirō puts on a smile as he presses down on a detonator.
  • Eldritch Starship: Befitting for a Hive Mind, the Gamilas ships have a "fleshy" look with various parts wiggling and flapping as they travel, resembles various arthropod and/or deep-sea lifeforms, and lacks any visible propulsion systems. The bomb attached to the Third Bridge, for example, grabbed - and crushed the Bridge with what seems to be claws.
  • Ensign Newbie: Ando, in command of Bridge Three.
  • Expy: The version of Yuki that appears in this film borrows quite heavily from Kara "Starbuck" Thrace.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: At the end, faced with a seemingly insurmountable problem, Susumu declares his intention to seek Okita's advice... and then sees Dr. Sado at the entrance to the bridge, shaking her head sadly.
  • Forced to Watch: Dessla has all of Yamato's weapons destroyed so that her crew can do nothing but watch helplessly as Earth gets destroyed.
  • Gendered Outfit: Male pilots have blue jackets with a yellow design, female pilots have yellow jackets with a blue design.
  • Grand Theft Me: One Gamilas being, calling himself Dessla, briefly takes possession of Saito to communicate with (and threaten) the crew, giving Saito Creepy Blue Eyes in the process. 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, the Space Commandos and Analyser 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.
  • History Repeats: Just like back in 1945, Yamato sets out on a seeming Suicide Mission to act as the Hope Bringer to her people. Only this time, she succeeds.
  • Hive Mind: The Gamilas exist as a sort of networked crystaline energy conciousness, and can possess constructs of their own making or human hosts.
  • Hope Bringer: During the Rousing Speech Susumu makes while the Yamato crew are preparing to make landfall on Iscandar, he likens themselves to this.
  • Hostile Terraforming: As per usual, the Gamilas attacks are to transform Earth into an environment where the Gamilas lifeform could thrive in.
  • If I Can't Have You…: Dessla intends on destroying Earth, declaring that if the Gamilas can't have it, then neither shall Mankind.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Gamilas have stretchable arms with a sharp end, which they use to stab through humans.
  • 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.
  • More Hero than Thou: Shirō and Saitō charge the main Gamilas structure to destroy it, telling Susumu and Yuki to go back to Yamato.
  • 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.
  • Not His Sled: Iskandar and Garmillas aren't twin planets, they're the same planet.
  • Oh, Crap!: Susumu panics when he wakes up after being sent flying by the impact of the falling object and realises that his gas mask has been knocked off. He has another one on learning that an enemy object has obstructed the Wave Motion Gun muzzle.
  • 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.
  • Percussive Prevention: Susumu uses his stun gun on Yuki to prevent her from staying with him on his suicide run.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: This film 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, and is forced to learn to bear the burden of The Chains of Commanding to become the leader he was meant to be.
  • Post Apocalyptic Gasmask: The Gamila's Orbital Bombardment has made the surface of Earth so deadly that Susumu has to wear thick clothing and a gasmask to scavenge for useful materials.
  • 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: Analyser. 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.
  • Rousing Speech: Susumu gives one during the Lock-and-Load Montage as the Yamato prepares to make landfall on Iscandar.
  • Say My Name: Yuki's name is the last thing on Susumu's lips as he fires the Wave Motion Gun for the very last time at the final Gamilas spaceship.
  • 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.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Susumu gives Yuki one after she starts to lament destroying the connector to the third bridge.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: In the credits scenes, we see a boy call Yuki "mama", who is implied to be Susumu's.
  • 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.
  • Subspace Ansible: The Yamato has one, but its range is limited to within the Milky Way, so Okita gives everyone one minute each to say goodbye to their relatives on Earth before they continue on.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: During the attack on Iscandar Susumu is talking to another pilot when they get ambushed by Gamilas fighters.
  • 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.
  • Taking the Bullet: One of Yamato's pilots intercepts a missile headed for the Space Marines' Drop Ship with his own fighter.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: At the end, the Gamilas spacecraft apparently takes so long to ready its weapons that Susumu can say farewell to and evacuate all of Yamato's remaining crew before beginning his suicide run.
  • Target Spotter: A general role of space fighters in this film is providing targeting data for the big guns on the Earth's capital ships like the Yamato.
  • 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.
    • Susumu himself ends up using it when Yuki is reluctant to evacuate and leave him behind.
  • That's No Moon: At the end, a Gamilas spacecraft so large that it dwarfs Yamato attacks them.
  • You Are in Command Now: Susumu ends up as this after Okita is bedridden by his failing health.
  • 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.
  • Wham Shot: Iskandar and Garmillas are both the same planet.
  • You Killed My Father: Susumu Kodai holds Captain Okita personally responsible for his brother's death. Doctor Sado and Chief Tokugawa ask him rhetorically if he realizes he wasn't the only one to lose family that day before explaining that Okita's son also died that day. Sado's reaction makes it clear that he feels like an asshole.
  • Zerg Rush: Gamilas infantry tactics more or less boils down to burying human forces in numbers.