Like me, you may have first seen anime in your youth. As a kid, I watched the "classics" on US TV; Robotech, Force Five, even Voltron, but my favorite was Starblazers. Call me a sap, but I liked the romantic subplot which was more developed in this show than in the others. OK, so I can't really remember much of what happened.
I remember the first episode when they tell you that the Earth is bombarded by meteors and people have to live underground. They find a big old oil tanker and make it spaceworthy to journey off to "save our Mother Earth" (as the English theme went). The captain dies on the way out, or on the first mission or something, and the 1st officer becomes captain, which is fine since he's the main character anyway. I'd love to give you a rundown of the characters, but I don't know if the storyline is consistent with the series, nor can I remember the name of a single character. The main guy had a love interest in the nurse/navigator, and someone on the ship was a robot. What else I remember is that the best part of the show was the firing of the Wave Motion Gun (the Japanese name for which is similar to the name of Ken & Ryu's fireballs). Whose idea was it to hollow out half of an oil tanker to put in the biggest cannon ever to exist? You thought the last episode of ST:TNG had a large laser weapon...
In the series, the two main tactics for destroying an enemy ship were to blast away with the WMG or go to ramming speed and smash into them. I have a vague recollection of what I'd assume to be one of the last episodes, in which they bash into the enemy flagship and the main character goes aboard. Straining against the pain of some wounds, he ascends a spiral staircase to meet the villain. I'm pretty sure he was looking for the woman he "likes" and finds her there, but when he has the chance, he doesn't shoot the bad guy. Anyone else remember this?
If you don't recognize the name Yamato (besides it being a battleship in WWII and the Enterprise D's sister ship which blows up in one episode), that's because the dubbers called the big old oil tanker the Argo in the US version. Its actual name, Yamato, was apparently too Japanese to let Americans see. (just like they changed the sex of the gay Sailor Moon villain Zoicite and called the cross-dressing fox in Pizza Cats "a master of disguise"; aren't we supposed to be the most "free" people in the world?) Anyway, the ship is supposed to be the Yamato, hence the title of tonight's feature film. This is the first of five Yamato flicks, and with a running time of two hours and fifteen minutes, it's the second shortest! Number 2 is in the marathon.
Well, so much for my memoirs on this topic. I hope you like this movie as much as I loved Starblazers.