Let’s just finish this shall we? I look back from my first post until now, and yes, the interest waned. I enjoyed the series but the blogging shifted since going on my international trip last year. A quick summary of the episodes with my overall series thoughts in the end.
Summary and Thoughts:
In the last four episodes of Yamato 2202, the Yamato is the last hope of Earth, Gamilas, and humanity against the onslaught of the artificial humanoid Gatlantis.
Kodai intervenes in Keyman’s choice, as well as disabling the enemy drones. Elsewhere, Saito intends to explode away from the Yamato but is convinced to not die alone by Nagakura and to fight on. Mii, through his connection with the Emperor, explains there is no other way but to choose the destined paths but Kodai is saved by Yuki taking the shot for him. Mii notes that even though Yuki lost all of her memories, her love for him still shone through. There seems to be a chance for peace with the revelation that they artificial humans can also have souls. It is at this point that Mii is shot by a Garmillan Royal Guard before any reconciliation is brought about between Humans, Garmillans, and Gatlantis.
Touko mourns the death of her son, again, as Yamato and Dessler, who has come out to the rest of Garmilas, prepare for the battle ahead. With the path for peace through understanding gone, they have to fight to the bitter end, and enlist Touko to ensure that Mii’s hopes and dreams are carried through. Dessler sees his nephew off, wondering why they fought in the first place, and not try to understand each other. Saito meanwhile exposed himself to wave motion energy, severing the connection to Gatlantis but effectively killing himself, though he notes he still has one more fight in him.
At that point, the Garmillas fleet line at Mars is breached, and the White Comet appears over Earth, destroying all defenses and demanding the unconditional surrender of Earth. Citizens are shocked by this but one last point of hope remains in the Yamato.
The Yamato and Neue Dessular come out of warp and break through the protective barrier around the White Comet with the combined Transit Wave Motion Gun. Helped along by Garmillas forces and towed by four dimensional submarines, surfacing inside the White Comet’s shipyard. The stored ships of the White Comet are overridden by Touko interfacing with them via the auto-navigation room’s interface.
The Yamato and her hijacked ships end up fighting the last line of defenders and the battle is the roughest they’ve been in. Chief Engineer Tokugawa dies in his post, Analyzer saves Doctor Sado from a direct hit, while Hijikata dies from battle damage striking him, but not before passing authority and final orders to Kodai. In the midst of all this, Yuki prays to Teresa, even if she doesn’t fully remember anything.
Utilizing the asteroid system, the Yamato breaks through, though Kato loses his life fighting a Gatlantis blade ship commanded by one of Zworder’s generals that had managed to break past the asteroid system. The Yamato and the remaining fighters make it past the gate, with Keyman holding off drones in his fighter. Touko is contacted directly by Zworder, but it was a ruse to find her true location and is killed for her betrayal. Without their link to Gatlantis, the mobile force of pilots and Cosmo Marines are trapped, leaving only Akira and Kodai to face Zworder.
Trying to reason with Zworder, he doesn’t outright execute the two, curious at their next move. Zworder berates Kodai, who had said he will not pull the trigger, sacrificing many to reach this. As the battle wages in the throne room, Kodai and Zworder face off. He intends to talk things through, much like his future self (Mii) intended to. Noting that that future self has died, they are at an impasse when his advisor Gairen takes a hit for Zworder, revealing once and for all that they are also human.
With this, in grief or inability to admit it, drives his sword into the throne room floor, activating the Ark of Destruction, Golem.
The song of destruction from Golem spreads across the stars, and Gatlanteans everywhere start to die as it is the kill code to all man-made cells. The Garmillan fleet abandons the battle, while Zworder notes that as the artificial human who has partaken of the seed of wisdom, he has no right to die alongside the rest. He explains that the Ark of Destruction takes the most optimal form, regardless on who inhabits it, as long as it is guided to exact his judgement by a human. As a human, Zworder calls on the Ark to awaken, and either through sacrifice or letting himself be taken, kills itself in the raging vortex of the now awakened Ark.
Kodai and the rest flee the disintegrating throne room. Sanada explains to destroy the Ark, they need to hit the energy converter before it finishes absorbing everything. Keyman rushes forth, his fighter the having the last of the specialized missiles to be able to have a hope in punching through. Saito joins in, hopping on his fighter’s back as a gun platform as Keyman had no more ammunition, Keyman asks the fighter squadron to escort Kodai back, and Keyman and Saito live out the remainder of their lives, leaving their loved ones (Akira for Keyman, Nagakura for Saito) behind and piercing the energy converter of the Ark of Destruction.
The burst of energy tosses everyone away, including destroying Akira’s fighter, but while temporarily halted, the Ark of Destruction reboots and fires its beam, shaving off a fourth of the moon and barely glancing Earth, causing massive destruction.
Zworder’s voices explains they can’t escape their fate, and they must accept it. At this point Kodai orders them all to abandon ship. With Earth about to die, he reasons that they must all live on, even with such a choice. He instead stays behind, intending to sacrifice himself in one last ditch attack with the horribly mangled and unstable Yamato. Yuki, who had disobeyed the evacuation order, joins him. She knows what he intends to do, and although she still doesn’t remember him, knows that what he intended to do.
Sabera, the last living thing left aboard the Ark of Destruction, is spoken to by the now diseased, or rather, possibly ascended Zworder. He explains as a human, it is because of it she can love and hate humans. Aboard the Yamato, Yuki and Kodai spend their last moments together, before Teresa joins them, the overloading and unstable wave motion engine opening a rift to allow her to come to the lower planes and with her help. Joined by the souls and consciences of those who left before them (like Captain Okita, Mamoru Kodai, Hijikata, Analyzer, etc…), Teresa explains one great will can alter a pre-determined future, and that another was necessary to change the course.
Together, Teresa, Kodai, Yuki, and the deceased destroys the Ark of Destruction by ramming the Yamato into it.
Half a year had passed since the conclusion of the war with Gatlantis. Captain Todou and the Ginga are rebuilding the moon as efforts are underway elsewhere to clean up the battle. Overlooking the bay on Hero’s point, Sado drinks as the remaining crew and family of the Yamato pay their respects to the fallen.
Inside the Time Fault, the Yamato reappears with only one survivor, Akira Yamamoto.
In another dimension, Yuki regains her memories but is unable to reach Kodai, who is shutting himself away from everyone. Back on Earth, Akira explains to Ambassador Burrel what she saw, explaining that is possibly how Teresa truly is. She doesn’t believe she talked to Teresa, noting it could’ve been her brother or Klaus, but the message from Teresa was clear. That the two (Kodai and Yuki) could come home if they wished, but didn’t.
Grasping at this, Sanada and Yamanami agree to try and mount a rescue, with Yamanami noting that their current militaristic path is unfavorable. The two, alongside Captain Todou and Akira Yamamoto, explain that Kodai and Yuki are still alive, and that the future according to Teresa would return to normal when they are rescued. In order to access the same fault that got the Yamato through back to their dimension, they need to use the energy of the time fault and the Ginga’s Cosmo Reverse System compressor to do so, but it would also cause the time fault to disappear.
As this is quite a tall order, especially for General Serizawa, Ambassador Burrel managed to pull the strings politically to call for an open debate and plebiscite on the decision to sacrifice the Time Fault for Yuki and Kodai. Noting that it is still a long odd, Sanada notes it could also be a test for humanity as a whole.
Back in the upper dimensions, Teresa is explaining to Kodai that with his strong will and love, he can determine his future. Kodai refuses to act on this, the final words of Emperor Zworder resonating in him that for all his talk, he pulled the trigger that led to the destruction of one species and opened an unforgivable path for his own.
Back on Earth, General Serizawa makes his speech, but the Yamato crew head out to man the Yamato. Serizawa knows his speech is not as impassioned as Sanada’s. Back in the other dimension, Teresa, through the voices of the deceased, explain that humanity have a responsibility to the universe and the future is getting cut off by not taking the lead on that responsibility. Kodai ignores them all and Yuki, not willing to let his decision to pull the trigger plague humanity. What stops him from completely turning away was one future, where a child’s hand reaches out to him, indicating him and Yuki getting together. By going to accept a future rather than moping away, the timeline is restored.
At this point, the Yamato surfaces and rescues the two of them. The closing narration states that it is through love that the universe maintains its warmth, and that humans are the ones to give meaning to the universe.
The Yamato returns from the upper dimensions as the crew look on at the welcome wagon of Ginga and her escorts to a rejuvenated Earth that has a future.
I’ve complained about it before, but this last arc is so damn wordy. I had to replay a bunch of scenes just to grasp what was being said. I wouldn’t say this is the result of bad script, but just a long drawn out ‘nature of humanity’ talk spread across 26 episodes (or several movies).
That said, I enjoyed it. Especially episodes 24 and 25 as Zworder finally comes to grips with the fact that even as an artificial human, there had always been variances in his clone people to show the possibility that they themselves are human in some capacity. He had his own free will in a sense, and he rightfully grasped his free will when he discovered it by destroying everything.
Zworder might’ve been dead half a year after the Yamato and Teresa destroyed the Ark of Destruction, but he was still living rent free, as they say, in Susumu Kodai’s head. Kodai is a broken, beaten man and has been since first revolting against the United Nations. It is as Sanada said in his impassioned speech, that Kodai in trying to uphold his promise to Iscandar, has been the one to pull the trigger on the Wave Motion Gun the most.
As a person, I believe in the adage of ‘if you want peace, prepare for war’. But what good is that when that preparation makes us lose sight of the why. General Serizawa undoubtedly never saw it, only seeing the war in the horizon. Yamanami had to be reminded, especially at the futility of his fight against the White Comet Empire. Hijikata was shunned from command by being the few in the upper echelons of the UN Cosmo Force in believing to uphold their promise and was just as uncomfortable as the rest on Earth’s new militarized future.
This is possibly why the choice was presented to humanity, and I believe firmly that Sanada is correct they were being tested by Teresa or some other higher being. Did humanity want to continue in the aimless future? Or did they want to be men?
See, there are extremes of both end, especially when Sanada talked about being the protectors of the universe. Compassion can only go so much. But at the same time, Serizawa’s future is a bit of a dead end, as humanity will eventually run out of demons to fight until turning on itself. I guess we’ll see what is in store for the next installment.
Speaking of, I don’t think we ever got a proper disclosure of the status of Garmilas and Earth. With Dessler back on the scene, what does that mean for Burrel and Hiss’ democratized Gamilas? Especially since it seems that the majority of the military have sided with Dessler. Dessler at least has gone and redeemed himself, having expressed his sorrow for his earlier actions. He was just a leader who sought not only to win the recognition of the love of his life, but also to ensure the survival of his people. The death of Garmilas is still inevitable, and as the scenes of Earth are anything to go by, a fraction of Garmilas have resettled on Earth alongside their former enemies.
I hope this means Dessler changes and becomes an ally to a resurgent humanity, rather than on and off again antagonist. Especially now that he is the last of his family with the death of his nephew, Klaus Keyman.
And I agree with a fellow fan on twitter, Klaus and Akira needed more time together. I’m just utterly annoyed that this ship got so little fanfare. Same with Saito and Nagakura. I get that the flagship ship is always going to be Kodai and Yuki, but come on. For a show that emphasized the love and self-sacrifice for others, couldn’t it hurt to show everyone else?
I’m running on now.
So, overall? Yamato 2202 is action packed and filled with great space battles. It is heavy in the philosophical and can get a bit confusing especially if you’re just jumping in. I reckon one needs to watch at the very least, the bridging movie Odyssey of the Celestial Ark just to understand this human-centric morality play. The common ancestor/seeded theory is in full display and the basis of this is explained in that movie. Would I recommend this show? That would be a big ‘maybe’. It’s not something one can sit down and just have a viewing like say, Miss Kobayashi’s Maid Dragon. I consider it a bit of a thinking anime as it wraps its philosophical question of what it means to be human over such a long timeframe over multiple arcs and with some confusing point/counterpoint dialogue. The animation quality is great, and there are more than enough battle scenes not to utterly bore people, but if you really want to dig into it, I’d say do so with someone you can toss a back and forth with.
So yeah, with that, I end this series blogging and get ready for the next one. No promises that it’ll be delayed endlessly, but I feel better now that this was published.
Episode 23: https://imgur.com/a/CmiUNZP
Episode 24: https://imgur.com/a/i6hN5DC
Episode 25: https://imgur.com/a/VGC1dTp
Episode 26: https://imgur.com/a/VA80wAT