Space Battleship Yamato (Uchuu Senkan Yamato) Episode 12: The Awesome Battle of Orion

Episode 12: “No Way Out! The Hopeful and Hellish Stars of Orion”

(For loose coverage of previous episodes, go here.  Picking up with the Japanese version at ep 12.)

Now you know how terrifying a star can be…

Excellent episode, bookended by dialogues between Yuki and Kodai about stars and wishes. Kodai’s a bare realist: stars are just hydrogen and oxygen! But Yuki feels differently. She flirts, Kodai’s clueless, it’s adorable.

The Yamato has smacked into some barrier around the belt of Orion – of course, this is a Gamilas plot. The Yamato is stuck between the energy wall, a bunch of autofiring missles that go off if they push into the wall, and the star Alpha.

As we get toward the halfway point of the adventure, we see the journey beginning to take its toll on Okita. Fearful of losing control over his crew and painfully aware of his own growing weakness, he verbally slaps down Shima and the Chief Engineer over a minor lapse of protocol under stress, then ACTUALLY Bright Slaps Kodai (given the show’s age shouldn’t we retcon call it an Okita Slap?) for doing something he needed to do to save the ship but wasn’t ordered to. You WILL respect Okita’s authority. Then he collapses, because he’s clearly irrational from being sick. But everyone pretends he isn’t.

Meanwhile, Desslar is  getting drunk again summoning up a gaseous creature that eats matter. Somehow it manages to not eat through his fortress (okay), and his crew, and SOMEHOW manages to clear the ridiculous distance between Gamilas and the current position of the Yamato (okay). A curious parallel is drawn here with Okita in that Desslar says his body can’t take too much excitement, and he retreats to his chambers, assuming the gas monster will manage to eat the ship.

The gas monster does NOT eat the Third Bridge. It does however nip a bit off the back before the Yamato manages to run away – manuevering through a conveniently open hole in the space barrier that basically forces them to go way, way too close to Alpha. As they do so, the heat becomes incredible – the ship’s hull heats to 1200 degrees F, and the crew is forced to put on protective gear. This does nothing for Okita’s health.

As the gas pursues the Yamato into the fire, the turbulent solar flares actually evaporates the gas – “Fighting poison with poison”, as Kodai puts it. But the flares themselves are still a huge threat to the Yamato. When faced with one they can’t steer around… they shoot it with the Wave Motion Gun. This produces an awesome moment: the Yamato has literally bitchslapped a giant solar prominence, cuts it in half, and then flies through the hole.

“What’s new, Yamato?” “Oh, just FLYING THROUGH A SOLAR FLARE I JUST SHOT IN THE FACE. No biggie.”

Even the Gamilas are so goddamn impressed by the sheer insanity of this maneuever that Commander Hisu, reporting news of the failure to Desslar asks if he should send the Yamato a message of congratulation. Desslar stares at Hisu for a second and then smirks, “Are you stupid, or what?”

With the danger of the close call with the star over, and with the new set of GIANT BRASS BALLS attached to the Yamato, Kodai and Yuki return to the bridge to flirt cutely some more. “As long as I have wishes, a prayer star is a prayer star.” Yuki is so adorable I want to pinch her.

308 days remaining before Earth dies.