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I'll just get this straight out of the way; Final Yamato is a beautiful movie to look and listen to. There's some really pretty animation here and the orchestral score is a major tour de force, particularly the tracks "Aquarius, Planet of Water" and "Symphony of Aquarius". The ending of the film, likewise, is considerably more satisfying than that of "Farewell Space Battleship Yamato" which, after several fake endings, ended the film with a whistle than a bang.
But I'm not here to talk about the good aspects of this film. As pretty as it is, the story is extremely weak and most certainly not enough to carry the film through it's 165 minute runtime - while the rest of the film is at least above mediocre, the terrible beginning and the new villains' rather dodgy plan overshadows the entire movie.
The movie begins with a red galaxy, coming from another dimension, crashing into our own and destroying the Galman-Gamilas and Bolar empires almost completely. Nevermind the questionable cosmology of this event, but it is then completely ignored in favour of an entirely new plot and feels like a rather lame excuse to keep Desslok out of the picture. After this a far too convenient string of lucky coincidences takes place; after escaping the destruction with a random warp, Yamato winds up near a planet being ravaged by Aquarius, a planet made entirely of water, causing floods and what amounts to a near extinction event for it's population - and Yamato manages to save no one else apart from a small boy, at a considerable loss of several of Yamato's own crewmen, too. On the way back home, Yamato is attacked by a new enemy - who just *happen* to be inhabitants of the destroyed planet - for no apparent reason. Meanwhile, other survivors hatch a new plan; they will use a massive space shift device to warp Aquarius to earth to flood it, to eradicate humanity and colonize earth! Wait, what? Meanwhile, Susumu Kodai, who feels his erroneous judgement caused the deaths of so many crew members, resigns, while the earth defense force learns of the villains' plan...somehow; this is never explained either. Nor is how flooding another planet going to help them; if they're just going to wait for the floods to subside, why can't they just wait for it on their own home planet? Okay, so we're implied to that the aliens' entire culture is based on egotism and social Darwinism, but it serves as a rather lame excuse for the stupidity of their plan.
So the EDF decides to launch Yamato anyway to hopefully stop this plan, with a new captain; Juzo Okita, who died in the first series, is brought back to life with some more dodgy retconning, reducing Kodai to being subordinate once again. And the reason for all this is...I've no idea.
You've probably already noticed that I've used the words "weak" and "dodgy" a lot in this review; that is because those words describe the plot of this film remarkably well. As good as the second half of the movie may be, it is not going to fix the horribly flawed premise. "Farewell", despite it's lackluster ending, would have been a much better conclusion to the Yamato saga.
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