Star Blazers is an American animated television series adaptation of the Japanese anime series, Space Battleship Yamato I, II, and III. Star Blazers was first broadcast in the United States in 1979. Significantly, it was the first popular English-translated anime that had an overarching plot and story line that required the episodes to be shown in order. It dealt with somewhat more mature themes than other productions aimed at the same target audience at the time.
I used to watch this show all the time as a young boy. I have never been much into anime but as a fifteen year old boy this was just the stuff I was looking for.
Story Line : In the late 2100s, the planet Gamilon, a world far beyond Earth’s solar system, declares an invasion of Earth. The nations of Earth fight as one against the Gamilons, but one by one, Earth’s fleets are defeated. When the nations of Earth refuse to surrender, Gamilon begins bombarding Earth with planet bombs, radioactive missiles that look like meteors, which gradually spread deadly radiation all over Earth, forcing what’s left of humanity to retreat to underground cities. Queen Starsha of planet Iscandar contacts Earth and promises to provide Cosmo-DNA that can remove the radioactivity and restore Earth to beautiful life. She provides plans to an engine that will allow a brave, young group of technicians to journey more than a hundred thousand light-years to Iscandar, obtain the Cosmo-DNA, and return to Earth within one Earth year. In 2199, an ancient seagoing vessel is fitted with the awesome engine and launched toward Iscandar. Along the way, the intrepid crew must fight the Gamilons, who are determined to prevent the brave voyagers from saving Earth from extinction.
Star Blazers consists of three television seasons. However, the Japanese saga entails more than just these three television seasons, and part of this missing portion of the saga occurs between Seasons Two and Three.
- In the first season, Earth is attacked by Gamilon, a distant planet. The radiation from Gamilon’s planet bombs forces everyone on Earth underground. With no way to remove the radiation, all life on Earth will be wiped out in one year. The Earth then receives unexpected help from Queen Starsha of the planet Iscandar, who offers a device called “Cosmo DNA” which will remove the radiation. However, since Iscandar is 148,000 light years away, Starsha also sends plans for the experimental Wave Motion Engine that, when constructed, will help whoever can travel to Iscandar. On Earth, a crew is recruited, headed by Captain Avatar, and an old sunken battleship (the Yamato) is transformed into a spaceship (the Argo), outfitted with the Wave Motion Engine, and sent to Iscandar.
- The second season takes place one year after the Argo returns to Earth with the Cosmo DNA and Earth’s ecosystem is restored. It now faces a new, dangerous enemy, the Comet Empire, led by Prince Zordar. Unlike Gamilon, which was seeking to capture and colonize Earth, Zordar simply wants to conquer and annex Earth to his Empire. Desslok, the Gamilon leader, also joins forces with Zordar, mainly because he wants revenge on the Argo for having destroyed Gamilon. The series revolves around the Argo, now commanded by Deputy Captain Derek Wildstar, working with the Earth Defense Force to face Zordar.
- In the third season, the Argo is caught in the middle of a war between the Galmans (the reformed Gamilon Empire) and the Bolar Federation. A stray missile fired during the war causes the sun’s thermonuclear reactions to go out of control. Unless it can be stopped, the sun will destroy the Earth in one year and the entire solar system in three. Now officially in command of the Argo, Derek Wildstar is charged to help find a new home for Earth’s population.
In 1977, before the debut of the American Star Blazers series, the Japanese anime film Space Battleship Yamato (or Space Cruiser Yamato as it was known at the time) was dubbed into English and re-titled Space Cruiser. This film was sold and released in several countries, including the United States, Britain and France. The American release was extremely limited, and eventually ended up airing on television in the Los Angeles area in 1978.
There are many fan sites around the net that keep this show alive;
Space Battleship Yamato (Star Blazers) Fan Page is another Facebook page with only 329 followers. It basically stays on topic but is merely a link gateway to other sites. Pictures are good and do represent the American version.
Star Blazers (Official) is a Facebook page dedicated to the show. It has roughly 1440 followers and has some pretty good images of the show. Stays mostly on topic but seems to be just an outlet page where you can buy products related to the show.
Our Star Blazers is a dedicated site for the show. Much like their Facebook page. You can find music, video, articles and the history here.
Space Cruiser Yamoto is a site dedicated to the ships and the show. Site is not configured correctly and will show up somewhat small on a pc but it has some good stuff on there.
Article sources and media include YouTube, Wikipedia, Facebook, Imdb and certainly my own recollections of the show.