Space Battleship Yamato (Uchuu Senkan Yamato) Episode 15: The Wibbly-Wobbly Swirly Thing in Space

Episode 15: “Desperate Escape! The Yamato in Alternative Space!”

(Episode 14 review is here. )

I am Starsha, of Iskandar…

After the recap, we see Yuki is bringing coffee service to the navigation staff hard at work on the Second Bridge. Shima complains about the flavor, but they really should be grateful to have anything even pretending to be coffee, considering Okita said they’re down to less than two months of food as of last episode. Ohta says it’s great, which temporarily wins Yuki’s favor, but he is quickly outed as a lying liar ratface “forcing himself” to say that it tastes fine. Yuki huffs – adorably – and tells everybody to get back to work, then. More course corrections – they still haven’t reached Balan, the midpoint of the projected route to Iskandar. Shima thinks it’ll take about 40 days still.

We visit Balan and – well, oops. It’s a Gamilan system base. Soldiers rush to line up to greet a new arrival. Is it our old pal Desslar? No! It’s Domel! He got his commission from Desslar to go after the Yamato back in episode 13. The current commander of the base, a swarthy Gamilan named Gale, does not look at all pleased to have Domel arriving and yanking his command out from under him. Domel’s first action in his new command? To go into Gale’s room and destroy all his knickknicks and artifacts with a sword. I guess it could be worse, could have shot him, right? Domel really goes to town on Gale, telling him “Your lack of taste is the worst on Gamilas, you make me puke!” There’s some odd artwork around the room, to be sure, including what I can only interpret as a Gamilan nude – a blue female outline on a field of red. I have a feeling Domel’s going to get a knife in the back before this episode’s over – if the Yamato doesn’t take out the whole area. (Again.)

Kodai, Kato and the flight crew are working on the Yamato’s fighters and trading a bit of banter; Kodai comments that the stars are thinning, and the vastness of space seems to be deepening.

Hey, it’s a big blue wibbly-wobbly swirly thing in space! All of a sudden! And it’s sapping the energy out of the Wave Motion engine. (okay) The swirly thing is full of hydrogen mist. Apparently they’ve meandered (way off course?) into the Magellanic Stream. Shima explains that the Magellanic Cloud was near the solar system long ago (okay) but passed by the galactic system (wait, what?) and moved to where it is now, trailing hydrogen all along.

Okita announces that they’re not just abruptly stuck in the stream (good job plotting your course there, Shima!) but in a fourth-dimensional space-time … thing. And then he points out the window, because human eyes can totally perceive fourth dimensional time disturbances, right?

For some reason, there are dead ships floating around in the stream. Given that the Yamato is the first ship humans created that could go FTL, I’m not sure how the hell they managed to get there. Are those dead alien ships? Gamilan vessels? Will the episode explain?

Oh, yeah. Did I mention there’s a Gamilan ship in there, with Domel and Gale aboard? They are as surprised to notice the Yamato as the Yamato is to notice them. our heroes argue about whether or not to engage the Gamilans – and HOW to engage them, exactly, in the middle of a fourth-dimensional wibbly wobbly time thingy; Kodai arguing for aggression and Shima suggesting they just run away. In either case they can’t use the Wave Motion engine for anything useful. Kodai takes the debate upstream to Okita, but Okita says screw it, let’s run away. Kodai is Not Okay with this.

But Okita and Shima have the right idea, because there’s a massive Gamilan fleet in the depths of the wibbly thing, not just Domel and Gale’s ship. The Gamilans take a few potshots at the Yamato, most of which miss by a good distance, but Kodai is antsy; one of them got too close. He sure changes his tune about fighting back after they realize there are 130 Gamilan ships in there on their tails! Now that the whole fleet is firing, the Yamato is taking some damage, although the animation makes it look less serious than Kodai’s reaction – “Hey, speed up or we’ll end up looking like a bee hive!” NOW Okita takes the gloves off the firing team and lets Kodai start activating the auxiliary guns. (I kind of wonder about high explosives in a field full of hydrogen and whether that’s reaaaaaallly a good idea, but whatever; it’s a cartoon, I should really just relax.)

Aw, crap, the ship’s subengines just died. And the Gamilans are still having a ball shooting poorly at them!

Maybe the Dimensional Gauge will help the Yamato get back to the plot.

The center gage in the middle of the bridge suddenly comes to life and I swear to god it’s singing. Naturally everyone gets out of their chairs to stare at it.

Whoa! The Yamato just got a voice mail from Starsha! She advises them to follow the Dimensional Gauge to find a way out. How that’s going to help when they have no engine power, I don’t know. Oh, wait, the engines are working again, somehow. I guess Starsha powered them up with the mysterious Deus Ex Machina DNA.

This episode is really, really heavy on the repeated animation cycles; it’s getting a little distracting.

Finally, the Yamato is able to warp again, and they blast out of there just before the Gamilans correct their aim to the point where they might have actually potentially hit something.

On the other side of the warp, Kodai and Shima are bantering a bit, talking about what a relief it is that Starsha of Iskandar actually exists. I dunno, guys, that sounded like a tape recording to me. As they ponder her, Yuki’s reflection shows up in the glass before them as she walks into the room. Kodai basically asks (without actually asking outright) if Shima’s gonna make a move on Yuki, but he just says he’s ‘interested in Starsha’. Kodai laughs, “I guess that means we’ll be rivals for quite some time…”

Yuki looks (adorably) clueless.

Domel is back at Balan, typing out his report (or something); we get a glimpse of the Gamilan character set, which is pretty cool and looks a bit like Aztec and Mayan pictograms. Hilariously, he’s typing this report out with the Gamilan equivalent of an IBM Selectric. It has foot pedals. Domel has learned not to underestimate the Yamato, exclamation point!

The episode never explains about the other ships in the timestream wibbly wobbly thing, either. Ugh, this was a tough one- like 7 and 8, it feels very fillerish.

273 days remain to the death of Earth.

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