Space Battleship Yamato 2199: Episode 9


Recap: The crew of the Yamato manage to revive one of the captured Gamilan androids. The ship’s AI robotic assistant, Analyzer, strikes up a friendship with the android, newly christened as “Alter.”


Gee’s Thoughts:

In this episode, the Yamato crew reboots a Gamilan droid, hoping to discover their plans. However, the Yamato’s quirky AI robot companion, Analyzer, takes a shine to our new robot “friend,” even giving it the name Alter. On the whole, this is your classic Asimovian robotic science fiction. Robotic mental games occur, robots question the meaning of existence, humans wonder what the soul truly is, etc. But like the rest of Yamato 2199, it’s the expert execution and wonderfully well written narrative that makes it all a joy to watch. When the droid’s goals and the safety of the Yamato come to a head (as all AI stories tend to do), it makes the bittersweet ending all the more striking in its presentation. The parallel short story that’s being read during the episode about an android that falls in love really brings it home in the end. You can tell Analyzer is aching over the decisions made in this episode, but we can never forget that the Yamato’s mission serves a greater purpose, and sometimes hard decisions must be made. After all, as every episode reminds us, we only have so many days before humanity goes extinct.


Once again, Yamato 2199 knocks it out of the park. While it may not be as purely exciting as Titan or as unique as Gargantia, Yamato 2199 proves again and again that it is undeniably the show of the highest consistent quality this season. The narrative and character development continues to be its strongest trait, but this week’s episode proved to be especially striking in the visual department as well. As an aspiring animator, I wholeheartedly know that using sketched stills is a bit of a cheap move, but the artist in me can’t help but be awed by their wonderful usage in this episode. I know for a fact that some of the screencaps from this episode will inevitably become my wallpaper in the near future.

I know I’m sounding like a broken record here, but you really owe it to yourself to watch Yamato 2199 if you have even a remote interest in space opera, science fiction, or just a love of good narratives. A show of this quality doesn’t come often and to miss it would be doing yourself a disservice.


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