Space Battleship Yamato (Uchuu Senkan Yamato) Episode 17: Dinosaurs. FROM SPACE!

Episode 17: “Charge! Paranodon Attack Squadron!”

(Episode 16 review is here.)

“Commander Domel, the Paranodon attack squadron is almost complete!”

Well. We’ve had goofy fanservice, literal space porn, wibbly-wobbly swirly things, mood-swinging Gamilas generals and horny robots – what can Yamato possibly throw at us tonight to top everything we’ve seen so far?


After the recap reminds us that Domel exists, we get an update on the Yamato’s current position: 16 days away from Planet Balan, the midpoint to Iskandar and (not very secret) Gamilas base.

More banter on the bridge, just in case this is the viewer’s first time: the Yamato is running very, very late for its appointment on Iskandar, but at least they’ve been able to have a few peaceful days and do some warping to make up for time. However, they’re still way off calendar; it’s taken 98 days just to get 3/4 of the way from Earth to Balan. I’m not really willing to cross check the show’s math on this one, so we’ll take their numbers as given and discount any discrepancies as happening in Hollywood/Super Saiyan Time.

The narrator fills us in on some of Balan’s environment; possessing neither sun nor moon, the only light on the planet comes from volcanoes (okay). 20 times larger than Earth, creepy deep-sea lifeforms grow rapidly (okay) in the waters. The narrator assures us Balan is “very comfortable for humanoid type creatures” over a pan of red oceans churning with big chunks of rock under a black sky. Yup, making my relocation plans already; aren’t you?

Some huge object churns up the seas, and a dark fighter perched on some rocks jutting out of the waters takes off to follow it. The object twists and warps a few times, into something sort of hydra-like and something sort of Cthulthu-like. The Gamilas apparently have a power to ‘envision’ things, and…  seriously, I’m not kidding you here, it’s our old buddy Gale, wearing a hilarious purple helmet. And creating a space dinosaur out of thin air. With his mind. Gale has just become My Favorite Gamilasian; why isn’t THIS guy running the Gamilas fleet yet?

Since his magical imaginary kaiju isn’t quite fully forming, Gale decides to call it a day and turn back for base. He’s all full of himself as he walks along the hall, but Domel looks Less Than Pleased and scowls at him. Gale hams it up for the audience, and notes that it was difficult to train the ‘gentle’ Paranodons. Domel’s already bored. He notes that Desslar’s plan is to colonize the Earth; Gale notes that he had Pluto base taking care of that, but …uh… The Yamato kinda blew up Pluto base already, guys. But never fear! Those rotten kids will soon be taken care of by the trained … killer fleet… of dinosaurs.

This episode is gonna have the best space fight scenes EVER. Cosmo Tigers versus an epic Old One kaiju! Oh man.

Anyway, the Gamilas are convinced the Yamato has no clue they have a base on Balan. I guess we’ll see; I don’t think it became clear to the Yamato, even after that encounter in subspace, that there had to be a reason there were so many Gamilas ships so close by. Gale and Domel butt heads a bit over whether it’s better to attack the Yamato now or later; Gale thinks Domel’s too passive, and Domel thinks Gale’s a moron.

The Yamato has come out of another warp, and while everyone’s making plans to kick back and relax a little, Yuki is alarmed to notice Okita just faceplanted into his desk. Continuous warping is apparently hard on old people, and Okita is quickly rushed into medical. Sado grimly scans Okita with what I swear is an inverted desk lamp. Meanwhile, even as Okita is lying in bed dying, that Captain’s hat never comes off. That’s just not how men do things, dammit. Okita finally consents to the operation he should have had like six episodes ago, despite the fact it may not be enough to save him. After firmly establishing that Sado and Okita are both Real Men(tm), Yuki and Sado prepare for the surgery. Okita keeps the hat on even while they put a giant full-head breathing helmet on him to ensure oxygenation and all. Seriously, the brim is visible through the helmet’s visor.

Kodai, who once thought Okita was nothing special, is now whitefaced and staring intensely through the glass of the operating theatre’s upper floor.

Meanwhile, back on Balan, Gale is getting drunk as hell on what I presume is the Gamilas equivalent of Wild Turkey and trashing his own room, destroying whatever knickknacks Domel missed when he did the same damn thing a few episodes back. Gale hurls a bottle of w(h)ine at a helpless underling and staggers around the room. Lord Desslar would NOT approve! Holy crap, there are women there! Two Gamilas women who… as far as I can tell? Must be concubines, because I swear one of them is completely naked except for a cloak. Worst job ever?

Heroically sauced Gale prepares to launch his personal problems in the form of SPACE DINOSAURS at the Yamato.

The Yamato now flies over the surface of Balan, to heroic music. Gale, completely and hysterically shitfaced, is back in his ship with the psychommu helmet on and… oh man, there’s gonna be DRUNKEN space dinosaurs, right? Right? Please say yes, episode. Please say yes. OH GOD the Paranodon kaiju even MAKES A GODZILLA NOISE. (I’m sure they stole this directly from one of the classic kaiju, but I couldn’t tell you which one off the top of my head.) Best. episode. ever. It looks kind of like a cross between a stegosaurus, a chicken, and a lizard. I can not tell you how completely awesome it is. Two smaller blobs of Paranodon show up to become support unit space monsters, with big beaks like crows and flappy bits like duckbilled platypus and MIND DEMONS MADE BY DRUNKEN GAMILAS IN SPACE YOU GUYS. Then, just because it wasn’t awesome enough and because our minds couldn’t believe it the first time, Gale orders them to “Paranodon gattai!” and they reform into an even bigger version of the same monster.

The Yamato blithely barrels forward toward the drunken menace. I can’t wait to see the looks on their faces. We see the same shot of the Yamato advancing through space 3 times in the space of a minute and a half. The Paranodon flies right into the side of the Yamato, lancing it with its horn, and explodes. Messily. Gale bravely runs away.

AW- gyp! The dialogue tells us that the attack was a dummy run on a fake Yamato! Booooooooo. Oh well, the real fight will come soon enough, we’re into the second half of the episode now.

Oh look, it’s that same shot of the Yamato again, except reversed! Sado has finished the operation on Okita; sadly, he was not able to seperate the captain’s hat from the captain. The crew is listless and joyless now, possibly because Okita’s heart monitor bleeping appears to be pumped into all areas of the ship, including the bridge. The Yamato spots the incoming Gamilas fighters, but her crew is paralyzed with inaction because the Captain isn’t around to give orders, and he totally smacked the crap out of Kodai for trying to do stuff on his own the last time this happened…

Kodai takes the incoming space monsters surprisingly well! Deciding that someone has to take charge around here, he orders the shock cannons into firing position. It does nothing, because the Paranodons reform right after being hit. Now that was unmistakeably the Godzilla noise.

Naturally, Kodai decides that they have no choice but to use the Wave Motion Gun. Awww, no ship to monster dog fights? Oh well. The poor innocent brainwashed kaiju blows up real good, and Gale reacts in shock!

Okay, after last episode, the last thing in the world I’d want to wake up to is Analyzer looming over my bed… but there he is when Okita struggles back to consciousnes. Thankfully, Analyzer does not attempt to get fresh with Okita like he did poor Yuki. The crew crowds in to hear from the man himself. He (gasp) praises them for escaping the space dinosaur and, and then…

“They say lions throw their babies into ravines to harden them for survival, and you’re the baby lion who climbed up from the ravine, Kodai.” I think someone needs to adjust Okita’s dosage just a smidge.

Domel verbally pimpslaps Gale for failing, then turns around and intimidates us, the audience, by … staring at us with his eyes closed? Is this a Gamilas cultural thing we don’t understand, like the Minbari approaching with gun ports open? In any case, we get a slow fade to (argh) that same damn shot of the Yamato again for the seventh time. We haven’t learned much of anything or made any progress, but who cares?


263 days left until Earth is made hospitable for drunken psychic Gamilas and their imaginary space dinosaurs!