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Yamato

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Space Battleship Yamato is the title spaceship from the anime series Space Battleship Yamato and was designed by Leiji Matsumoto. According to the fictional continuity of the anime series, the spacecraft was built inside the remains of the Japanese battleship Yamato.

According to the fictional continuity of the Space Battleship Yamato anime series the wreck of the World War II battleship Yamato, sunk in the sea near Okinawa, was used to hide a military spacecraft created by the Earth Defense Force in the late 22nd century. At this time Earth was under attack from an alien race, the Gamilons, who were raining down radioactive asteroids that evaporated Earth's oceans and rendered its surface uninhabitable. The new space warship was built "inside" the wreckage of the ancient battleship, which was partially buried in what was now a dry seabed, thus concealing it from the view of the orbiting Gamilon vessels.

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The new Yamato spaceship was originally conceived as a "Noah's Ark", designed to transport the best examples of Earth life to seed a new world away from danger. The arrival of a messenger from the planet Iscandar changed this: the message contained plans for a space drive called the Wave Motion Engine, which would give a spacecraft immense power and enable it to travel faster than light. The message also urged humanity to travel to Iscandar (148,000 light years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud) and obtain a device which would cleanse Earth of its deadly radiation.

HistoryEdit

Gamilian Empire WarEdit

The Gamilon Empire War started in the late 21st Century and began The Seige of Earth which the Gamilons started and used Planet Bombs (similar to Nuclear Weapons) to bombard the Earth. The nations of Earth formed the Earth Defense Force after the planet surface became uninhabitable and went underground.

Blue Comet Empire WarEdit

Bolar WarsEdit

SUS Empire-Earth Federation WarEdit

First AttackEdit

The SUS Empire attacked the Earth Federation 1st Migration Fleet that included the Flagship of the Earth Federation Blue Noah.

FeaturesEdit

File:Space Battleship Yamato.jpgSchematic of the Space Battleship Yamato.

Main systemsEdit

The Yamato has three bridges; Bridge 1 contains the helm, radar, communications and command positions (including those for engineering and ship's defenses), and is the scene of much of the action and interaction in the series. In the second season it gains a time radar system capable of viewing a region of space as it appeared hours previously.

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At the top of the command tower is the Captain's personal quarters, a chair on a vertical track giving him the option of moving to his command post in Bridge 1 quickly. Either side of the main bridge are radar units, and below is Bridge 2, the main navigation center of the ship. Directly below the command tower, on the underside of the ship, is Bridge 3; it is featured significantly only once, when the Yamato was upside-down in the methane sea on Pluto, and seems to exist largely to be blown off the ship dramatically. There are also observation domes either side of the command tower, and larger windowed sections either side of the main hull.

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Elsewhere aboard the ship are a conference room (with a large floor-mounted screen) and a hologram chamber (the "resort room") for projecting images of Earth to combat homesickness (and which was nearly identical in purpose and function to the holodeck that would be used in the Star Trek: The Next Generation TV series more than a decade later--but was first introduced in the 1974 Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "The Practical Joker"). There is also a cryogenics chamber in which much of the crew apparently sleeps during the series (most notably female crew members, as Yuki is the only woman seen aboard after episode 10 of the first season). An engineering and development section contains an automated multi-purpose construction unit capable of building any required device. More mundane locations include the surgery, galley, stateroom and gym. Travel within the ship is achieved by means of lifts, moving walkways and, for emergencies, chutes.

PropulsionEdit

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The Wave Motion Engine (波動エンジン hadō enjin?)Edit

The ship's main engine, based on alien technology; it is capable of converting the vacuum of space into tachyon energy. As well as functioning like a normal rocket engine, and providing essentially infinite power to the ship, it enables the Yamato to "ride" the wave of tachyons and travel faster than light; in its first test it travels from Earth's Moon to Mars in one minute. However, this feature must be activated with perfect timing (by a human navigator), at a point when space at the origin and destination are in the correct phase, otherwise the ship could become lost in the fourth dimension.

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Auxiliary engine (補助エンジン hojo enjin?)Edit

Twin jets below the main engine port, used for quick bursts of speed. When the Yamato first launches, the Wave Motion Engine is not yet ready and the auxiliary engine is used instead.

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Wings (主翼 shuyoku?)Edit

To provide lift in atmospheric environments, two large wings unfold from the sides of the hull, fully-functional with ailerons.

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Rocket Anchors (ロケットアンカー?)Edit

Either side of the bow are rocket-powered anchors at the ends of strong chains, which the Yamato can use to anchor itself to asteroids and, if necessary, provide a gravity-assisted slingshot. They can also be used to deflect enemy ships from collision. http://www.spacecast.com/

Weaponry / defencesEdit

The Wave Motion Gun (波動砲 hadō hō?)Edit

The "trump card" of the Yamato, the Wave Motion Gun functions by connecting the Wave Motion Engine to the enormous firing gate at the ship's bow, enabling the tachyon energy power of the engine to be fired in a stream directly forwards. Enormously powerful, it can vaporize a fleet of enemy ships with one shot; however, it takes a brief but critical period to charge before firing. It also requires all non-essential power systems be deactivated, and leaves the ship powerless and adrift for a short time after firing, though these aspects are not dwelled upon after the initial test in Jupiter's atmosphere. The recoil absorption mechanism can be manually deactivated with a lever; this is used to save the ship on one occasion.

Shock Cannons (ショックカノン?)Edit

The three 46cm and two 40cm three-barrelled gun turrets of the original Yamato have been converted into powerful energy guns. Each turret fires three energy beams which spiral around each other to form a single, more powerful beam, capable of severely damaging or destroying enemy warships. The cannons are operated by seated human controllers, aiming orders generally shouted from bridge 1. In addition to firing energy blasts, the guns can be loaded with other ammunition, most notably cartridges containing the devices used in the Rotating Asteroid Defence (see below). In the movie Be Forever, Yamato they are used to fire missiles containing Wave Motion energy, which even with a hundredth the power of the Wave Motion Gun cause tremendous destruction.

Pulse Lasers (パルスレーザー?)Edit

Based on the 25 mm and 13 mm anti-aircraft machine guns of the original Yamato, the Pulse Lasers are a set of two- and four-barrelled gun turrets lining the sides of the spaceship, firing energy pulses which can destroy fighters and detonate missiles. The turret clusters generally aim at the same targets; it is not stated in the series whether each contains a gunner, or whether they are controlled from a central source.

Torpedo Tubes (艦首ミサイル Kanshu Misairu?)Edit

Six forward-firing torpedo tubes, principally for use underwater.

Side Missiles (両舷側ミサイル Ryōgensoku Misairu?)Edit

A set of anti-missile missiles launched from missile ports in the hull of the Yamato; rather than hitting directly, they explode at a safe distance and form an energy web that detonates incoming missiles.

Stack Missiles (煙突ミサイル Entotsu Misairu?)Edit

Rocket missiles fired vertically from what was once the smoke stack of the original Yamato.

The Black Tigers (ブラックタイガー?)/Cosmo Tigers (コスモタイガー?)Edit

A fleet of fighter planes, contained within a hangar in the ship's rear underside. The Black Tiger fighters of the first season are superseded by the Cosmo Tigers of the second season, though both seasons feature the Cosmo Zero fighter piloted by Susumu Kodai, which is usually launched from one of the catapults on the top deck near the stern. The hangar also contains other, non-combat planes for reconnaissance and transport.

Rotating Asteroid Defense (アステロイド防衛 Asteroid Bōei?)Edit

Used in the first and second seasons, this involves using the Shock Cannons to fire showers of small metal probes into asteroid fields; these devices are magnetically-controlled and can bring the asteroids close to the ship, forming a hard shell resistant to enemy fire. This can then be turned into a fast-rotating orbiting ring, its angle controlled from the bridge, which can be used to block individual shots. As a final act, the asteroids can be expelled at high speed in all directions to destroy any ships that venture too close.

Reflective shield (空間磁力メッキ Kūkan Jiryoku Mekki?)Edit

A defense conceived by chief scientist Sanada (Sandor in Star Blazers) when he realized that the Wave Motion Gun is merely an extremely powerful laser, this involves quickly covering the Yamato entirely with reflective material; this was only used once, when Gamilon leader Desler used his self-titled Desler Gun against the Earth ship, and successfully reflected the blast back against its source.

Bubble shield (防塵カバー Bōjin Cover?)Edit

Although the Yamato lacks defensive shields like those used in Star Trek, on one occasion (while trapped in the Octopus Cluster) it generated a shield over its decks which protected it from the fury of a space storm, and even maintained a breathable atmosphere.

Further readingEdit

  • Hiromi Mizuno (2007) When Pacifist Japan Fights: Historicizing Desires in Anime Mechademia 2

External linksEdit

  • Space Battleship Yamato at the Starship Schematic Database

{{{header}}} {{{body}}} Space Battleship Yamato Bibliography Title:

Author(s): Publication Date: Space Battleship Yamato


The Quest For Iscandar (AKA "Uchuu Senkan Yamato") Leiji Matsumoto 1974

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