I saw the original Space Battleship Yamato film several years ago when preparing for my role as a keynote speaker/presenter at the Flickerings film festival. Despite the antiquated animation, I found the film — which was based on the popular series, which was better known as Star Blazers here in the States — very enjoyable, and it was fairly well-received by the Flickerings crowd.
The Space Battleship Yamato franchise — which has spawned several TV series, films, and video games — is one of anime’s most influential titles. According to The Otaku Encyclopedia, it:
…changed the way anime was perceived in Japan and abroad. Yamato’s epic story featured sweeping narrative plots and compelling character development. The romantic vision of heroes, villains, and battle in space was true space opera, and it captured the hearts and minds of a generation of adults.
Surprisingly, a live-action version of the story hasn’t been released, until now. The live action version will be directed by Takashi Yamazaki, who helmed the effects-laden sci-fi actioner Returner — so we know that the film will look great at the very least. I’m more encouraged, though, by the presence of Takuya Kimura (2046, Love and Honor) who plays the lead role of Susumu Kodai.