Evangelion Creator Hideaki Anno Leads Space Battleship Yamato Anime 50th Anniversary Project

Evangelion Creator Hideaki Anno Leads Space Battleship Yamato Anime 50th Anniversary Project

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Neon Genesis Evangelion creator and Khara founder Hideaki Anno has signed on to helm a special Space Battleship Yamato 50th anniversary project for Studio Khara, Anime News Network is reporting. The space opera anime’s anniversary project will launch on Oct. 6, 2024, exactly 50 years after Space Battleship Yamato‘s first episode premiered in 1974.

The upcoming project will include a range of initiatives to celebrate the iconic anime’s five-decade legacy. One such initiative will be a series of book publications that will feature contributions from notable figures within the anime industry.

Studio Khara will oversee the publication of a special 50th-anniversary edition Space Battleship Yamato 1974 Complete Works book. More manga releases are also set to come. An exhibition is also reportedly being developed across Japan.

Manga creator and designer Michio Murakawa will also create an art book for the project. Star Blazers mechanical designer Junichiro Tamamori, meanwhile, will curate a collection of design artwork.

Anno was interested in becoming involved in the project because he has a long-standing admiration for the franchise. The Evangelion creator has frequently credited Space Battleship Yamato as a major influence on his career, particularly in his passion for anime.

In a post he shared on X (formerly Twitter) last year, Anno stated, “If it hadn’t been for the encounter with Space Battleship Yamato, I don’t think I would have my current life. I was paralyzed by the rise of the main title, and the movement of Yamato, which was pulled by the camera from the captain’s office directly connected to it, grabbed my heart, and it feels like it has come to the present.”

Space Battleship Yamato‘s significance to the author is clear not only in his comments but also in his work. Neon Genesis Evangelion, which is his most prominent series and one of anime’s most influential series ever, shares several visual and thematic elements with Space Battleship Yamato.

The two works are especially similar in the way they show humanity’s struggle against overwhelming odds and the psychological toll of warfare. Although Evangelion premiered as a manga in 1995, almost 20 years after Space Battleship Yamato, both are considered to be vital in the creation and development of the mecha genre.

In parallel with the anniversary project, Space Battleship Yamato is also set to release seven remake films. The series’ first entry, Yamato yo Towa ni: Rebel 3199 (Be Forever Yamato: Rebel 3199), will premiere on July 19, 2024. The 50th-anniversary celebration will then formally kick off on Oct. 6, with a commemorative screening of the original series’ first episode.

The original Space Battleship Yamato anime follows the voyages of the World War II battleship Yamato after it’s resurrected as a space-faring ship to fend off alien threats to Earth.

After the first television show premiered in 1974, the first animated movie opened in 1977. The film earned 2.1 billion yen (approximately $23 million USD) at the box office.

Space Battleship Yamato is currently available to stream on Crunchyroll. Neon Genesis Evangelion, meanwhile, is available for streaming on Netflix.

While Anno is a major name in anime, his last major involvement in the genre was wen he started Rebuild of Evangelion in 2007. He did also go on to animate the opening sequence to Space Battleship Yamato 2199 in 2012.

However, the filmmaker’s more recent work has been centered around the live-action movies of the Shin Japan Heroes Universe. So Space Battleship Yamato‘s 50th anniversary will likely be Anno’s triumphant return to anime.

If you like, let us know what think about Anno’s next project or your own thought of this article.

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Check out more of Karen Benardello’s articles.

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