Two is better than one?
In the sequel to Space Battleship Yamato 2199, the Andromeda class ships represent the way in which the United Nations Cosmo Force has assimilated the technology provided by Starsha to restore the Earth into an uprated and upgunned version of the Yamato itself.
This is a major issue for the woman who sacrificed herself and her kind to bring what she saw as peaceful technology to heal Earth, as well as assist in repairing the mistakes that led to the first Earth/Gamilas war. Indeed, when handing over the technology to the Yamato’s crew in 2199, she was promised by Captain Okita that, though the Wave Motion cannon had saved the old ship from destruction, it would never again be used – being a step too far (and a clear allegory for the nuclear weapons of our own time).
However, the UNCF do not seem to be holding the promises of a dead Captain as sacred, and by 2202, Okita’s words are lost to the Cosmos, the Yamato crew are in a state of ennui, and the seemingly-peaceful Earth is on a war footing, with ships like the Andromeda flouting the ban on Wave Motion technology with little regard to the consequences.
This series promises to be more melancholic than the predecessor, and even after viewing the first movie one gets the impression that the writers are incorporating even more of this age’s sociopolitical tensions into the narrative, to further the original sequel’s Cold War escalation aesthetic.
This is more apparent (as the trailer above hints) at the way in which the crew of the old Yamato have drifted apart and lost much of their former hope.
Each one lost in their own past and the Earth’s rejection of Old Man Okita’s promise to Starsha, their collective feelings are reflected by the fact that the very ship which had saved the Earth lies abandoned in its decaying hangar in a state of confused dismantlement.
The implication is that, having returned home, the UNCF had not only taken the restoration technology to bring Earth back from the brink, but veritably plundered the Yamato for the base elements from which they would produce their new fleet of ships that would take Earth from the embattled target of an invasion brought about by a hideous mistake to being a galactic power in its own right.
War in Peace
Though the Gamilas Empire is at peace with Earth, being allied with its former expansionist foes has allowed a certain form of Hawkish element to enter into the thinking of Earth’s UNCF, and, at the opening of the film have taken the fight to the series new foe, the Gatlantean Empire (however, as with 2199 it is ambiguous as to who fired the ‘first shot’, and why).
Again, mirroring the original series, in the first engagement, even the combined Gamilan and Terran conventional fleets are outmatched when the Gatlanteans bring up one of their Super Heavy Dreadnoughts, which begins swatting even Gamilan Heavy Battleships like flies.
All seems lost till Andromeda arrives on the scene and, with a single volley from its twin Wave Motion Cannons wipes out the entire Gatlantean force – to the horror of Kodai, who is captaining his own cruiser.
Though though the battle is won, and the Earth Command is content with its new ‘toy’, enough old faces, both Gamilan and Terran, are mortified by the revelation of the power of the Andromeda that they are stirred from their melancholy and inspired to do ‘something’…
And, in the truest Homeric tradition, it is at that moment of decision that each such person – excepting Yuki – receives a vision from the Shade of Starsha, who tells them that the Yamato is the only way to restore the dream in which they once believed.
[Spoiler Alert Ends]
Though, essentially as much ‘the enemy’ of this series as the forces of the Gatlantean Empire, this ship has always had a special place in my heart. More submarine-like than battleship in form, giving it a threatening air (where the Yamato was actually rather comforting), the dread Andromeda ships of the Hawkish Earth forces were clearly designed (both in the original series and in 2202 both) to represent the iron fist in the velvet glove of a Government which has not learned the lessons of the past.
I’m looking forward to this one…
As increasingly seems to be the case these days, Bandai continues its pursuit of simple, push fit joints in even its prestige kits, and without any loss of definition it seems.
The very heavy silver backed, black stickers are included so that the lighting system does not leak out of any gaps in the build and only present bridge, engines and cannons as they should be seen.
The wiring system on this kit is as simple and easily installed as one could wish. Having just installed a Polar Lights light upgrade to an NCC-1701A it almost feels like I was not required to do anything at all.
The one caution I offer is that it is easy to place the Wave Motion Cannon emitters upside down, so cement nothing till you are sure of the fit.
With a few key parts excepted, I abandoned my normal Gundam markers this time and worked with Mr. Hobby lining paint, which I had avoided to this day.
However, I have discovered that the wonders of physics make this lining fluid an absolute godsend as, with the touch of a tiny brush, the model almost seems to line itself…
All the basics are now in place. From cracking the box to this point, one hour and a few minutes. Not a reflection of my own abilities, but of the ingenious design of the kit.
Out comes the old Tamiya weathering powders again… I know the ship is meant to be pristine, but it required, in my view, some griming to give it the ominous appearance which befits a ship born out of a broken promise and a deal with the Devil.
Oh… Now here we go.
A little expensive maybe, but just consider the video below… I’m not complaining at all, considering the powerful, though simple FX choices (note, my DSLR has a manky mic. so the sound is well off what one actually hears).
A loved and hated ship in equal measure. This kit represents a further jump forward in Bandai’s design approach, which seems to be reflected in all the Yamato 2202 kits (and I seriously hope a semi ruined Yamato kit is in the works).
If one loves the Andromeda, there can be no question: get this whilst you can.
If one hates it, likewise, for it will sit very well with your 1/1000 Yamato, dwarfing, but never outclassing the Grand Old Ship.
NOTE: There are some cons, though… Some of the runners are very heavy and need careful handling if you intend to leave the kit in its stock colors. Likewise, other elements are very thin and can be prone to rotting if too much cement is used on them (such as the smaller fins which, as I over applied thin Tamiya cement, started to droop and needed propping up).
All in all though, this is a very worthy kit based on a ship which I love to hate to love…