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The Space Battleship Yamato crew went to the planet Iscandar to save humanity in Space Battleship Yamato 2199. But, our hero Susumu Kodai begins to wonder if humanity was actually worth saving after their long odyssey in the second installment of Space Battleship Yamato 2202: Warriors of Love.
After seeing the power of the new Andromeda Class Space Battleship first hand and witnessing the christening four new Andromeda Class ships, Susumu begins to wonder if the Yamato’s year long journey to save humanity was truly worthwhile. Then, with some help from the alien race called the Gamilons, Susumu soon learns of a secret facility developing weapons for Earth’s United Nations Cosmo Navy. Distraught by this, Susumu enacts a plan to once again save humanity and the universe by finding the legendary planet Teressa.
One of the major themes in the Space Battleship Yamato franchise is hope. Yet, what happens when we take that hope and to turn it on its head? Not necessarily into fear, but into broken promises. The second installment of Warriors of Love examined this by showing us that, while the intentions of the Yamato’s journey were noble, the end result may not have been what those involved in the odyssey wanted.
To fully understand the dilemma at play in Warriors of Love, we have to take a step back and examine the final few episodes of Space Battleship Yamato 2199. What we see in these episodes is the character Starsha Iscandar pondering if humanity is actually worth saving since they turned the wave motion technology—technology Starsha gave humans—into the Wave Motion Cannon, a weapon of mass destruction. However, Captain Okita of the Yamato is able to convince Starsha the weapon was built for self-defense and that humanity would never build such a terrible thing again.
Herein lies the fascinating part of Warriors of Love. The promise was made between two individuals, not governing bodies. As much as the promise was made in good faith between Captain Okita and Starsha, we have to consider that once a military gets their hands on a new toy, they’re not all that willing to cede using it. And we see this in the first installment of the series with the new Space Battleship Andromeda. This leads us to ask if humanity is so willing to use this power again, was it worth saving? It’s a thought-provoking question because it can render the entirety of Space Battleship Yamato 2199 moot.
Image source: Bandai Visual on YouTube
When we look back at 2199, the entire reason the wave motion technology was sent to Earth was so humans could reach Iscandar. And once there, that same technology would be turned into the planet saving Cosmos Reverse system. Yet, once Earth was saved, the United Nations Cosmo Navy took the wave-motion technology and decided it’d be for the best to re-weaponize it. In essence, we’re seeing Starsha’s worst fears come to life. And with these fears comes the notion the United Nations Cosmos Navy is going to use the weapon to expand Earth’s sphere of influence. But, even worse, the weaponization of the wave motion technology likely will prompt an arms race throughout the entire universe. When we look at it from this perspective, Starsha may have been right to assess that humanity wasn’t deserving of salvation to begin with.
Yet, the answer to whether or not humanity should have been saved isn’t that simple. It’s true that humanity is saved in 2199 because Susumu and the rest of the crew of the Yamato are truly Earth’s finest. And we see throughout the second installment of Warriors of Love that many people are living ordinary and peaceful lives. But, when we begin to examine the schemes of those in power, what we find is the same lust to expand our influence that we see in real life. And now, those people in power have a new “toy” in the Wave Motion Cannon to enact those plans. What’s more, it’s as if the general populace is fine with this. So, in their eyes, as long as their lives aren’t affected for the worse, conquering new territory is fine and good. Which, unfortunately, makes pretty much everyone guilty by association.
What it comes down to is, while the journey is important, sometimes the outcome isn’t what we expect or want. In the case of Warriors of Love, what we’ve seen so far is maybe Starsha should have let humanity perish. After all, humanity doesn’t seem to be heading in a direction where they, too, will take on the mantle of becoming saviors.
Space Battleship Yamato 2202: Warriors of Love — Departure Chapter was released in Japanese theaters on June 24, 2017. There is currently no word on a Western release.