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[ a parent's guide to anime ]

[ rated pg ] Space Battleship Yamato: Final Yamato

A Parent's Guide to Anime
Rated: PG
Parental Guidance Advised

Reviewed by Patrick Payne:

This was the (supposedly) final film in the Uchuu Senkan Yamato series (which came here as Star Blazers.) The story (written by co-creator Leiji Matsumoto) revolves around the coming of the water planet Aquarius, sent on a mission to destroy the earth by the citizens of Dinguil. Only the Space Battleship Yamato, with Capt. Juzo Okita again at the helm, can end the menace. Although overlong, it is still an enjoyable adventure (albeit one that demands long leaps of faith on the part of the audience).

Although there is a fair amount of violence and death in the film, it is handled in a tasteful way and is not gory. Young kids will most likely be scared by some of the shootings (especially the death of Gen. Lugarl's young son), and may be startled by some of the more tension-filled scenes, such as Yuki's suicide attempt in the first reel.

However, for kids over 10, the biggest obstacle in the film is its length. No kidding, this movie is 170 minutes from start to finish, and young attention spans may wander during long streches between action sequences. To be fair, it is 170 gorgeously animated and superbly written minutes, yet it would have helped if they had trimmed the fat somewhat.

All in all, if you want a crackling space adventure, watch Captain Tylor. If you want a space adventure that ends up like if Tolstoy were hired to do Star Wars, watch Final Yamato.

Parent's Guide Rating:

yellow (parental guidance advised)

What to watch out for:

  • 5 on-screen deaths (all low-key or melodramatic)
  • Numerous ships blowing up
  • Near-destruction of the Yamato
  • 1 near suicide
  • No nudity or sex (during the "curtain call," there is the slightest hint)
  • Captain Okita's on-screen kamikaze run
  • Firefights, ship-to-ship battles
  • three bullets, no breasts, three stars, check it out and I'll be back at the end of the picture.

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