Positioned between the second and third seasons of the legendary animÃ¨ series, Yamato: The New Voyage was a slightly awkward full-length TV movie which offered only a little bit of expansion on the Space Battleship Yamato franchise – and not much dramatic innovation. As the second theatrical Yamato film had killed off the entire cast of characters (which, after fan outcry, was rectified in the second TV season, which retold the second film’s story without the high body count), The New Voyage had to do a bit of backpedaling, remind the audience that their heroes had not died, but had simply been banged up a bit in their fight against the Comet Empire, and get the ball rolling hastily for yet another showdown with an all-conquering alien force.
Cinematically, I’ve never thought The New Voyage was up to much – it lacks the dramatic punch of Be Forever Yamato and even the weak swan song that was Final Yamato – but its music, when heard apart from the movie itself, is a revelation.
Hiroshi Miyagawa’s music is to the Yamato franchise what John Williams’ music is to the Star Wars universe, plain and simple. And in this installment of the saga, Miyagawa brings some new elements into play, including the first major use of synths in his Yamato soundtracks. The modernization of the sound, while quite a departure from what came before it, isn’t unwelcome or out of place. Early on, most of the synth work is relegated to pads underneath a mostly orchestral score.
The real innovation isn’t technological, however, but musical. In The New Voyage, Miyagawa starts to put some of his well-established themes from two previous movies and two years of television series through very interesting permutations. Dessler’s theme (that’s Desslock for you Star Blazers fans) goes from being a strident, militaristic piece to a sweeping, wistful love theme that recurs throughout much of the score. The Yamato theme itself runs through some minor key variations, and one incredibly haunting cue (“Mystical Yamato”) which gives it a very ethereal quality.
One of the new themes composed specifically for this movie is introduced in the first track as a song (complete with vocals in both Japanese and English), but that motif too reappears in various places. The heraldic brass of the opening track was a huge break in tradition for the series, but it’s a break that was needed by this point. Overall, The New Voyage makes for better listening than viewing.
- Yamato: The New Voyage (1:50)
- Isao Sasaki (1:42)
- New Voyage – instrumental (2:54)
- Yamato Meditation / Great Love (2:12)
- New Cosmo Tigers (2:29)
- Tsunpa March – March Of The Underwear (0:45)
- Mystical Yamato (2:04)
- Wandering Iscandar (2:10)
- Mamoru and Starsha (2:11)
- Crisis On Iscandar (1:12)
- Desler’s Suffering (1:42)
- Desler In Silence (2:19)
- My Feelings For Starsha (1:51)
- Wandering (2:39)
- Goruba’s Theme (4:17)
- Goruba’s Theme – synthesizer (1:16)
- Goruba’s Theme – piano (1:18)
- Goruba’s Theme – strings (1:35)
- Goruba Chord (0:13)
- Parting – guitar and orchestra (1:54)
- Parting – strings (2:01)
- Parting – piano and orchestra (1:13)
- Parting – guitar solo (3:00)
- Sasha My Love – instrumental (3:49)
- Sasha My Love vocals by Chiyoko Shimakura (1:48)
Released by: Nippon Columbia
Release date: 1995
Total running time: 50:24