Tuesday, April 30, 2013

UN Combined Fleet in Space Battleship Yamato 2199, and the Bandai kits

Disclaimer: My knowledge of the Japanese language is pretty meager, but I keep learning.

I was surprised to find that in Episode 11 of Space Battleship Yamato 2199, a flashback to Daisuke's childhood shows his dad as captain of Murasame, which is subsequently destroyed in the first contact with the Gamilas. I thought Murasame was destroyed by the Gamilas in Episode 1, in the battle off Pluto.

I was mistaken. CAS-707 Murasame (written as むらさめ on the hull) evidently isn't shown or mentioned in Episode 1 as I was led to believe by its inclusion in Bandai's Combined Fleet kit and the fact that the first cruiser lost in the battle off Pluto has the same color scheme. (It doesn't make sense to me that any two ships should share a color scheme. The only reason I can think of for the colorful markings is visual identification at great distance.) BTW, Murasame was the name of several real destroyers.
CAS-253 Yūgiri right before destruction.

The first ship lost in the battle off Pluto is CAS-253 Yūgiri, which shares her name with a real cruiser. I may be misreading it, but the hiragana on the hull appear to say "Yuragiri" (ゆらぎり). I found a picture of Yūgiri's namesake from 1930-1943, and the side of its hull bears the katakana inscription (read fore-to-aft) ユフギリ "Yufugiri." I fail to understand why the inscription would not be ゆうぎり or ギリ ("Yu-u-gi-ri" or "Yū-gi-ri").

Episode 1 mentions cruiser Abukuma and destroyers Shimakaze and Isokaze (the latter lead ship of her class), all of which share names with real warships. Then Amaterasu and Uzume are mentioned. Even though the Combined Fleet's mission is a diversion to keep the Gamilas from noticing the recovery of the ship from Iscandar, it wasn't at all clear to me from the subtitles that Amaterasu and Uzume are the respective code words for the Iscandarian ship and the Mars recovery team. Thanks to Ithekro for clearing that up.

With of course Kirishima and Yukikaze, those are all the ships mentioned in Episode 1. (BTW, Yukikaze was a WWII destroyer that is still renowned for leading a charmed life and surviving the war.) Maybe you can make more out if you freeze-frame the Bluray disc. 

There are quite a few choices for ships represented on the decal sheet in Bandai's Combined Cosmo Fleet Set #1. In addition to BBS-555 Kirishima, CAS-707 Murasame, and DDS-117 Yukikaze, it also includes markings for the cruisers CAS-253 Yūgiri, CAS-266 Atago, and CAS-229 Abukuma, battleships BBS-551 Kongō and BBS-552 Haruna, and destroyers DDS-172 Shimakaze, DDS-103 Ayanami, and DDS-106 Shikinami. All of these have namesakes in the real world IJN (JMSDF as well in some cases).

Bandai's Combined Cosmo Fleet Set #2 came out earlier this year and besides what's expected, includes a Mini Mecha Collection Cosmo Zero and some decals that were missing from the SBY2199 1/1000 Yamato release. The expected items are two Murasame class cruisers and two Isokaze class destroyers. Markings are supplied for the following cruisers: CAS-702 Nachi, CAS-718 Murakumo, CAS-741 Ibuki, CAS-777 Tsurugi, CAS-854 Kurama, and CAS-890 Yakumo. Here are the destroyers: DDS-101 Isokaze, DDS-119 Ayase, DDS-144 Shiranui (uncertain--the decals are very small and appear to say either "Shiranui" or "Shiranei." Shiranui are a rare atmospheric light phenomenon, hence an appropriate destroyer name. "Shiranei" means nothing, but a real JMSDF destroyer has the similar name Shirane), DDS-147 Fuyusuki, DDS-148 MinazukiDDS-149 HatsushimaDDS-164 Kagerō and DDS-216 Tachikaze.

A complete list of ships at the battle off Pluto follows, according to this source. Note that not all the ships on the decal sheets above are listed here. Kirishima was the only battleship, so her sisters Kongō and Haruna were presumably lost before the battle, perhaps at first contact. (I need to rewatch Episode 11.) Murasame was also lost at first contact. Amaterasu and Uzume are also omitted. And it is curious that the decal sheet for Set #2 includes a DDS-144 apparently named Shiranui but the list includes a DDS-114 Shiranui. Which is right? One asterisk follows ships on the decal sheet for Set #1 and two for Set #2.

1 Kongō type battleship
Kirishima (BBS-555) *

8 Murasame type cruisers
Atago (CAS-226) *
Abukuma (CAS-229) *
Yugiri (CAS-253) *
Nachi (CAS-702) **
Murakumo (CAS-718) **
Ibuki (CAS-741) **
Tsurugi (CAS-777) **
Yakumo (CAS-890) **

12 Isokaze type destroyers
Isokaze (DDS-101) **
Ayanami (DDS-103) *
Shikinami (DDS-106) *
Shiranui (DDS-114) ? (or DDS-144**)
Yukikaze (DDS-117) *
Ayase (DDS-119) **
Fuyusuki (DDS-147) **
Minazuki (DDS-148) **
Hatsushima (DDS-149) **
Kagerō (DDS-164) **
Shimakaze (DDS-172) *
Tachikaze (DDS-216) **

1 comment:

  1. Great blog! I'm a recent convert to Space Battleship Yamato.
    Further on in the series, the captain is reminicing with the chief engineer about how they were at the battle of Mars (second battle iirc) and it was Earth's only victory.