Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman
Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato: In the Name of Love was the second theatrical film released in Japan for the Space Battleship Yamato franchise. This film was meant to bring the franchise to an end. However, after fans complained about the film's ending, the story was re-written and turned into a second television series of 26 episodes. In America, we have come to know this second television series as the second season of Star Blazers.
In the film, the Yamato and her crew face the Comet Empire, a civilization from the Andromeda Galaxy intent on conquering Earth; this civilization is led by Zwordar the Great. The Comet Empire rescued Desslar, the leader of the Gamilas. Desslar is eager for revenge against the Yamato, in order to avenge the destruction of his planet. The Yamato is aided by Teresa of Telezart, who is a woman made out of anti-matter. During the film, the crew of the Yamato must fight with Desslar and the Comet Empire. By the end of the film, Zwordar's plans are thwarted, but at a terrible price.
There are several differences between the film and the series. In the film, Saito and the space marines are on board the ship when it takes off from Earth (however, two conflicting stories are given in the film; first, the doctor claims he enlisted them to join, but later in the film, a high-ranking military officer claims he sent the space marines to accompany the crew of the Yamato). However, in the series, the space marines are rescued when the planet they're stationed on is attacked by the Comet Empire. Also, in the television series, Teresa of Telezart is a flesh and blood woman who has telepathic powers (instead of the anti-matter woman that appears in the film version). And, as expected, since the story in the film needed to be extended to fill 26 episodes, events take longer than in the film; also, new subplots were added.
In many respects, Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato: In the Name of Love needs to be looked at as an "alternate timeline" story for the Yamato franchise. If a viewer doesn't look at the film with that thought in mind, then everything that comes after this film would make absolutely no sense.
This DVD release of Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato: In the Name of Love includes the original theatrical trailer (which runs for about three minutes and is subtitled). There is a promotional artwork gallery, where the viewer can choose to move forward and back and to view the artwork at their own pace. You can also see scans of the original program book, which has a similar navigation to the promotional artwork gallery. However, there are two extra buttons: "Detail" (to take a closer look at the page of the program book) and "Text" (which accesses a readable translation of the page). There is also a section labeled "The Making of Farewell to Yamato." There are two text sections here: "The Yamato Story" (which tells the story of how the film came to be, the history of the film, and the audience reaction to the film); there are also cast and producer interviews, all of which are text.
Overall, this is a decent DVD release. It definitely needs to be in the collection of anyone who considers themselves a fan of Space Battleship Yamato.
I wrote this review after watching a copy of this DVD that my husband and I purchased.