Previously, we compared the first season to the original Space Battleship Yamato, and its remake, 2199. For this edition of Then Vs. Now, we are comparing season 2 of the original, and its present remake, 2202: Warriors of Love.
Story and Characters
Just like how the first remake is labeled 2199 to emphasize that the series takes place in that year, 2202 serves the same purpose. However, one minor difference is that the original second season to Space Battleship Yamato took place in 2201, and the fact that the year is different by one makes no significant difference. Either way, the Earth is at peace until the they are once again under threat of the Gatlantis Empire led by their emperor, Zordar. As the series progresses, the crew of the Yamato also has to deal with the return of their previous enemy, Dessler, who wants revenge against the Yamato.
In both versions, the Yamato’s mission initially starts out as a rogue one after getting a distress call from Teresa in their dreams, and meet at the memorial statue of their former commanding officer, Admiral Okita. In both versions, Kodai and Yuki are in a relationship and Kodai is opposed to letting Yuki join the mission. In 2202, their relationship and Kodai’s personal opposition are given more emphasis in the earlier part of the series.
Once again, this remake includes more original characters, especially female ones in 2202, and are given positions of leadership. The post-war relationship between Earth and the Garmillas Empire is given more exploration in 2202 as well, and it introduces new characters such as that planet’s ambassador, Klaus, who plays a very significant role in the series, as does his bodyguard, Loren. Hajime Saito, a returning character from the original second season, is introduced differently in the remake. Though he was introduced as a major character in season 2 of the original, he is introduced in 2199 and we are given slightly more information to his background. In addition to Saito, Admiral Hijikata, who was primarily introduced in the original second season, was introduced in 2199, and it explores his relationships with Okita and Yuki. Last, Zordar and the Gatlantis Empire are given a new backstory in 2202 as to how they came to be, their society, and their motivations.
Due to copyright reasons (which is another topic for another time), 2202 can’t exactly directly use Leiji Matsumoto’s designs 100% but when you see original characters such as Kodai, Dessler, Yuki, and Hijikata, they are recognizable if you were to watch both versions side-by-side or back-to-back. Yuki represents how Matsumoto tends to draw women but for the original female characters to the remake, they don’t fully resemble Matsumoto’s style, but capture some of his basic qualities by having them super skinny. The 2202 character designs maintain a balance to include characters from the original series, and to have newer ones as well. The uniforms are pretty much the same, but the portrayal of technology is of course significantly different. While the original was more gear oriented, the newer version to the Yamato and the Space Navy’s new ships are presentably digital and electronic to reflect modern day technology.
Like 2199, 2202 largely uses the same music from the original season 2. As a matter of fact, Akira Miyagawa, the composer to this series, happens to be the son of the original series composer, Hiroshi Miyagawa! You’re getting the same opening theme, the same scores, and so on! However, the ending themes to both versions. The ending theme to 2202 is something more appropriately modern with its instruments and composition.
Though a large majority of the soundtrack and the designs are the same, as we shared in the Then Vs. Now between the first season and 2199, none of the original 1970s seiyuu cast members are back for 2202 as well. Considering how the tones between both versions have changed, it is understandable that a younger cast that reflects modern day society is a better way of expressing this series. The Kodai in this version, played by Daisuke Ono, does a great job of making him more compassionate while the original Kodai, played by Kei Tomiyama (who some call the Mel Blanc of Japan), does a great job of portraying him as a man’s man of old school Japanese masculinity. For some of the seiyuu cast members for original characters such as Hiroshi Kamiya (who you may know as Orihara from Durarara, Tieria in Gundam 00, and Levi in Attack on Titan) as Klaus, he does a great job of capturing the character’s seriousness and that he is mysterious and hard to trust.
In addition to Akira Miyagawa serving as the composer, Shoji Nishikawa, the son of co-creator Yoshinobu Nishiasakusa, is serving as an executive producer to this series as well. Thanks to these connections, fans aren’t simply just treated to a faithful reboot/remake, but something genuinely fresh by adding in new content to make the story and characters richer. In the old days, you could simply get away with a generic good vs. evil story, but these days, villains need to have more dimension and this series delivers that and more. We’re not trying to discourage people from watching one over the other, but when you watch them together, it’s amazing to see what remains and what changes to get an idea of how both anime and society has changed these past 40 years.