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Old February 25th, 2004, 04:19 PM   #1
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Default Star Blazers

When I was in the 7-8th grade I watched a show called Star Blazers. I think its original Japanese name was Star Cruiser or Battle Cruiser Yamato. I loved that show when I was a kid. I am curious if anyone knows when it was originally made? I saw it around 1980-1981 that would put it within a couple years of Battlestar Galactica. With hindsight some of the basic themes are very similar to Battlestar Galactica, a futuristic space battleship/aircraft carrier goes on a multi episode quest to save humanity from total destruction from an alien race guided by a quasi mystical figure. Wasn't there a Starbuck/Apollo type figure who's nickname was Wildstar? I remember there was a subplot of love with a female warrior named Nova. I would be very curious to see the timelines on this show versus Battlestar Galactica. It would seem to me that the creator of the second may have been inspired by seeing the first.

On that same subject I have read mention that some of the things Larson wanted to do in his continuation including "walking vipers" come straight out of the Japanese anime Robotech. I wonder if Larson is/was simply modifying the Japanese anime shows he was familar with to a real actor film.

This subject has my mind moving. I remember as a little kid living in Japan and Okinawa watching a Japanese superhero show where the main character had a flying motorcycle that is eerily similar to the ones in BSG1980.

What if TOS and BSG1980 is Larson's adaptation of Japanese scifi that he is aware of and not really that original? It would explain the rapid burn off of Larson's good ideas. He may not have had an original thought in the series!
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Old February 25th, 2004, 04:26 PM   #2
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Moderator:
Would you please move this thread to the Battlestar Galactica discussion forum. After getting half way into it I found I was thinking more about Battlestar Galactica than having a discussion on Star Blazers.

Thanks
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Old February 25th, 2004, 04:54 PM   #3
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As I ponder the Star Blazers/Battlestar Galactica connection another thought came to mind:

In Star Blazers the humans did not know where the homeworld of the alien race was. In Moore's universe the colonials do not know where the cylon homeworld is. In Star Blazers a mystical being guides the humans to the planet "Iskandar" where the cosmo DNA is located to save the Earth. Unknown to the humans, "Iskandar" is also "Gamalon (?)" the home world of the alien race. The humans think they are evading the aliens on their way to "Iskandar" while in reality they are heading to the heart of the enemy the entire time.

What if the Galactica in Moore's universe is being herded by elements within the cylon empire (if such a thing exist) or the beings of light directly to the cylon homeworld in order to destroy the cylons and save humanity. I already speculate that some or all of the cylons seem to be herding the Galactica as opposed to actively trying to destroy them. Maybe the series will be a "reimagination" of the Star Blazers story. Star Blazers was a dark story filled with an interior story of the relationships of the main characters--Nova and Wildstar (Starbuck and Apollo?) inside a military expedition space opera.

Maybe Cylon 6, Boomer, and Boxey are really cylon rebels launching their own war against the cylon homeworld and the Galactica and crew are their weapons.
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Old February 26th, 2004, 03:59 AM   #4
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I remember Star Blazers. I watched it when I was about 6. it was great! Better than some of the trash they put on today!
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Old February 26th, 2004, 09:21 AM   #5
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I remember this show as well.And the original name was "Space Cruiser Yamato".As for when it was made,probably before 1977. This was afterall a animated film and as such,have long lead times for such projects.But there's no doubt in my mind that "Battlestar Galactica" has been preceded by all kinds of sci-fi before it and as well had some sci fi show that have imitated it,just can't do as good of a job as the original.
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Old February 26th, 2004, 10:23 AM   #6
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imdb.com lists Star Blazers as released in 1979. That's after BG. The parallels are probably not direct cause-and-effect. But the parallels are still there.

Here's another example of a show that was incredibly hokey. . .and fun to watch. The music was pretty good, too.
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Old February 26th, 2004, 11:32 AM   #7
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I wonder if that is the release in America or the original release? Was this show made in Japan and later brought to America or was it a Japanese designed cartoon made for America in the first place.

I could just as easily see "Star Blazers" being an anime take off on Battlestar Galactica as the other way around. I am very curious to see what came first or were they made at the same time. It all may be just coincidence but a few things are pretty interesting. My most obvious similarity is the love relation between two characters on the space warships where the male figures had star in their names: Wildstar versus Starbuck and the female characters were named after a stellar phenomena: Nova (Bright new star---exploding star) versus Cassiopeia (stellar constellation). It wouldn't surprise me to find out that whoever dubbed the Japanese cartoon was a Battlestar fan.

I think I am going to need to look into this some more unless someone is a Star Blazers buff!
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Old February 26th, 2004, 11:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antelope526
As I ponder the Star Blazers/Battlestar Galactica connection another thought came to mind:

In Star Blazers the humans did not know where the homeworld of the alien race was. In Moore's universe the colonials do not know where the cylon homeworld is. In Star Blazers a mystical being guides the humans to the planet "Iskandar" where the cosmo DNA is located to save the Earth. Unknown to the humans, "Iskandar" is also "Gamalon (?)" the home world of the alien race. The humans think they are evading the aliens on their way to "Iskandar" while in reality they are heading to the heart of the enemy the entire time.

What if the Galactica in Moore's universe is being herded by elements within the cylon empire (if such a thing exist) or the beings of light directly to the cylon homeworld in order to destroy the cylons and save humanity. I already speculate that some or all of the cylons seem to be herding the Galactica as opposed to actively trying to destroy them. Maybe the series will be a "reimagination" of the Star Blazers story. Star Blazers was a dark story filled with an interior story of the relationships of the main characters--Nova and Wildstar (Starbuck and Apollo?) inside a military expedition space opera.

Maybe Cylon 6, Boomer, and Boxey are really cylon rebels launching their own war against the cylon homeworld and the Galactica and crew are their weapons.
Cool! I like this idea, layers upon layers (just my thing)
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Old February 26th, 2004, 03:04 PM   #9
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Good memory Ramada. Yes, Space Cruiser was a Japanese tv series that ran from 1974 to 1976. The Starblazer movie was released 1977 and the repackage series started airing in 1979. There were two additional sequels TV movie in 1978 and 1983.

Here is a website that provides great background information about the Japanese version and the Americanized version (ship name was changed to Argo for US market). http://www.desslok.com/main.htm

Name any show past or present and someone can come up with several movies and other shows with the same/similar story elements. Its how you tell the story, ie. being entertained by it, that's important.

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Old February 26th, 2004, 03:06 PM   #10
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I hunted up a Star Blazers site that had some history. It appears that Star Blazers was produced in Japan in 1976 and was the most popular anime production ever made. It was brought to the U.S. in 1979. I found a lot of things very interesting on the subject. When Star Blazers was first brought to America a significant number of things were deleted from the Japanese version because of the "sensibilities" of the American audience, especially since they figured kids would be the prime audience. The list of what was deleted to some extent reads like many of the issues current Battlestar fans have between TOS and the mini, mainly the sexuality and violence.

It seems to me there is a pretty good chance that Glen Larson was aware of the success and story of Star Blazers in Japan before Battlestar Galactica went into production. To some extent TOS would appear to be an Americanized (Cold War) toned down for family audiences live action version of the Japanese show. Not a duplicate but a product of inspiration.

With the original success in Japan and Battlestar Galactica a success in America two years later in 1978 it was a no brainer to dub it in English and release it in the U.S. in 1979.

If any of this is more than coincidence Moore may be intentionally or unintentionally moving Battlestar Galactica to its original roots in a darker, more violent and sexually charged anime universe.

For perspective: There apparantly are issues between Star Blazers "purist" and fans of the later incarnations. They also have an active "Continuation" effort going on in their universe also. Issues in their continuation universe include the same thing we read about here involving who has the rights, legal/criminal issues with the original producers, and arguments among the fans about the "real" Star Blazers. Apparantly their third series is treated like our BSG1980. Most fans wished it never happened!
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Old February 26th, 2004, 03:52 PM   #11
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I'd be interested to know if Larson was aware of this anime at all, since it wasn't dubbed into English until a year after BSG premiered. Plus, hadn't he been shopping the concept for several years prior to Star Wars? That would mean he was refining his ideas even as the original Japanese series was being produced.

Does anyone know if Mr. Larson watches anime at all, and did he watch Japanese cartoons in the '70s?

Consider also that the idea of fighting against long odds is one of the oldest plot devices in the book. You see it in every single genre, from romance to western to scifi to historical to mistery to.... you get the idea.

I think any link between BSG and Star Blazers is tenuous at best, but I'm not that familiar with either this anime or Glen Larson's viewing habits. I do know that TOS BSG was unique in its setting, detailed mythos, etc.; far different - and far more complex - than anything I had ever seen before. Or since, frankly (with the possible exception of B5 or Farscape).

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Old February 26th, 2004, 05:19 PM   #12
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Dawg:

Like you I would be interested to know. It also may just be that as ideas percolate in the world of scifi and film many authors are exposed to the same ideas and each goes on to his own project unaware of someone elses project. Kind of like how the airplane was invented in America, Russia, and Australia at about the same time but each inventor was apparantly unaware of the actions of the others. Yet they were all exposed to similar concepts of science as ideas spread throughout the world in their time.

I do wonder about Larson's interest (or lack of interest) in anime because one of the other anime series that is on the level of Star Blazers is Robotech and Larson's idea for walking vipers seems like a page out of the Robotech book.

The flying motorcycle theme of BSG1980 is very similar to a TV superhero in Japan when I was a little kid who went aroung on the same thing. This superhero was so popular at the time (early 1970s) that kids traded card just like kids do today with Pokeman.

Larson also seemed to have adapted many popular American movies into his episodes like the Dirty Dozen/Guns of Navaronne for the Ice Gun episode and Midway for the Living Legend to name a couple. I think Larson is more of a reteller of old stories in a new setting than really original. It may explain why Larson seemed to burn out of good story lines fairly quickly as we see in BSG1980.

In a sense Moore's adaptation of In Harm's Way and Saga of A Star World may be seen in a similar light.

Maybe they should both read some fan fiction and get some original ideas.
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Old February 26th, 2004, 07:13 PM   #13
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all this talk about star blazers has me in a total faslback to when i was a kid watching it, my best memory of it was that my dad loved it . (ah to be young again)
thanks for the walk down memory lane
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Old February 26th, 2004, 07:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antelope526
Dawg:

Like you I would be interested to know. It also may just be that as ideas percolate in the world of scifi and film many authors are exposed to the same ideas and each goes on to his own project unaware of someone elses project. Kind of like how the airplane was invented in America, Russia, and Australia at about the same time but each inventor was apparantly unaware of the actions of the others. Yet they were all exposed to similar concepts of science as ideas spread throughout the world in their time.

I do wonder about Larson's interest (or lack of interest) in anime because one of the other anime series that is on the level of Star Blazers is Robotech and Larson's idea for walking vipers seems like a page out of the Robotech book.

The flying motorcycle theme of BSG1980 is very similar to a TV superhero in Japan when I was a little kid who went aroung on the same thing. This superhero was so popular at the time (early 1970s) that kids traded card just like kids do today with Pokeman.

Larson also seemed to have adapted many popular American movies into his episodes like the Dirty Dozen/Guns of Navaronne for the Ice Gun episode and Midway for the Living Legend to name a couple. I think Larson is more of a reteller of old stories in a new setting than really original. It may explain why Larson seemed to burn out of good story lines fairly quickly as we see in BSG1980.

In a sense Moore's adaptation of In Harm's Way and Saga of A Star World may be seen in a similar light.

Maybe they should both read some fan fiction and get some original ideas.
Well, there is an important difference, in that there were a bunch of writers working on TOS BSG, churning out stories as fast as they could because ABC rushed the show into production as a weekly series, where it was never planned as a weekly series. The stories suffered as a result - except for the big episodes, the two-parters, which had a lot more planning behind them.

Did you really read the Cylon Alliance info??

Simultaneous patents are not unheard of, either, when two people wind up creating the same item when neither knew of the other's existence. Art is much the same way (written or otherwise), that's why plagarism lawsuits frequently get dismissed.

It's not surprising, then, that there are other stories out there with certain similarities to specific points with BSG (or vice versa).

We all take inspiration for our creative work from the world around us. Larson was motivated by a number of things as he and his team created BSG; his own faith, interest in the "ancient astronaut" writings, exposure to the artifacts of our own ancient cultures, all these things were distilled through his creative processes into a unique universe we now know as "Battlestar Galactica".

Ron Moore was inspired by his work on Star Trek, by the WWII film In Harms Way (which you did a wonderful analysis of) and by 9/11 (which was our generation's Pearl Harbor, Pearl Harbor being Larson's inspiration for the destruction of the Colonies). He took that inspiration and placed it in what amounts to a "21st Century North American" universe; one we instantly recognize, one that takes (IMHO) little imagination to create.

You'll have to forgive me if I think Larson's universe is the richer.

TOS BSG suffered, though, because of the ABC rush to weekly series; I don't think G04 is going to have that same problem, because it was always planned to be a weekly series (assuming it was picked up).

So, I have no idea if Larson was in any way inspired by this specific anime (although I kind of doubt it, given the timing and all). But his end product was definitely unique, especially for television.

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Old February 26th, 2004, 08:07 PM   #15
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oh my goodness braxis if your old what does that make me???

Antelope after reading your post on "alternate history" you got me thinking take a look at "how do you like galactica" thread
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Old February 26th, 2004, 09:07 PM   #16
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There is also a new Yamato series in the works with computer graphics for the space combat. I used to have a high quality trailer, but it has disapeared, but their are WMP trailers at the official site http://www.enagio.com/yamato/
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Old February 27th, 2004, 01:46 AM   #17
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George Lucas looked to Japan for ideas for Star Wars......he mentioned seeing cartoons...
Star Blazers was big at that time frame....I have read....
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Old February 27th, 2004, 04:16 AM   #18
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It was Starblazers that became my new BSG after TOS was canceled. Awesome story.
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Old February 27th, 2004, 11:18 AM   #19
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Dawg: I really did read the stuff at cylon.org. That's the first time I was let down on the Desanto concept (although I would still like to see it made). I also thought the review of Moore's version there was very thought provoking. The Hatch interview there was also interesting which I elaborated on on some other threads.

This whole Star Blazers thread has been a great walk down memory lane. Just like Westy said, with hindsight I think Star Blazers replaced to some extent what I lost when we had no more battlestar. Later I think the original Robotech (Macross) series again picked up the torch. As an adult I think I have been let down by Space Above and Beyond after having high hopes. The universe of Moore's Battlestar Galactica is currently carrying my hopes for the genre.

The stories may all be unique but they are also the same:

A small band of warriors take up the torch to save humanity after we have been all but annihilated. We have the love and loss of all the characters as they move in a world of fate far beyond their control. They face impossible military odds and yet continuously pull victory from the jaws of defeat. Over time they become an extended family who love, trust, and are willing to sacrfice all for each other. It is the noblest of the Japanese and Western military tradition taken to a scifi extreme.

If you liked TOS and can't handle it being remade I suggest you rent the original Star Blazers and Robotech series if you haven't seen them already. You can get back some of the Battlestar feel without being offended!
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Old February 27th, 2004, 12:08 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antelope526
Dawg: I really did read the stuff at cylon.org. That's the first time I was let down on the Desanto concept (although I would still like to see it made). I also thought the review of Moore's version there was very thought provoking. The Hatch interview there was also interesting which I elaborated on on some other threads.
I give you a bad time about that because our focuses are different.

I was absolutely distraught after learning more about what DeSanto had planned; it was so solidly set in the TOS universe that when held up against the RDM universe... well, there was no real comparison. While there were aspects of the story I'm still not sure about, it was obvious that DeSanto is also a fan. That's a good thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by antelope526
This whole Star Blazers thread has been a great walk down memory lane. Just like Westy said, with hindsight I think Star Blazers replaced to some extent what I lost when we had no more battlestar. Later I think the original Robotech (Macross) series again picked up the torch. As an adult I think I have been let down by Space Above and Beyond after having high hopes. The universe of Moore's Battlestar Galactica is currently carrying my hopes for the genre.
I enjoyed S:AAB, and the only thing that really let me down was its cancellation. Of course, if they'd only planned it as a limited run series (the last eps, as I recall, tend to lend some credence to the idea) then all I have to say is: nevermind.

You know how I feel about the RDM BSG universe; I find it troublesome, frankly, that you feel it is so important to the genre, but I realize that feeling is probably based in part on my negative feelings about the mini.

Quote:
Originally Posted by antelope526
The stories may all be unique but they are also the same:

A small band of warriors take up the torch to save humanity after we have been all but annihilated. We have the love and loss of all the characters as they move in a world of fate far beyond their control. They face impossible military odds and yet continuously pull victory from the jaws of defeat. Over time they become an extended family who love, trust, and are willing to sacrfice all for each other. It is the noblest of the Japanese and Western military tradition taken to a scifi extreme.
This is a basic theme that is done successfully in many different genres, not just science fiction. Every audience loves to see an underdog come out on top and, if it's done in spectacular style, so much the better. Much of what I write myself can be considered that kind of story, in fact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by antelope526
If you liked TOS and can't handle it being remade I suggest you rent the original Star Blazers and Robotech series if you haven't seen them already. You can get back some of the Battlestar feel without being offended!
Antelope, I would not be offended by a remake of BSG. Yes, I would prefer a continuation (a la DeSanto's aborted effort), but a remake is not outside the realm of possible acceptance. However, for reasons I have expressed elsewhere (and which your own analysis has supported), I was offended by the mini trying to pass itself off as BSG. I simply do not view it as a remake of TOS BSG, but rather an attempt to simply capitalize on the franchise (and to keep the rights to the franchise from reverting). I realize that there are people who don't share that particular view.....



Anyway, about Star Blazer: As I was growing up, the only "good" cartoons were the Warner Bros. efforts from the 40s and 50s - Bugs Bunny, Road Runner (my personal favorite), etc. My brothers and I were limited in what TV we were allowed to watch, so I didn't get to see much in the way of that kind of thing. Comic books, too, in fact. Once I got older, I never seemed to have the time to get into any of that. If I ever get a few hours to myself, I just might rent them.

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Old February 27th, 2004, 12:49 PM   #21
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I watched every Space Above and Beyond episode (I think). It was pretty dark! I liked some episodes especially near the end but most of the time I felt like I was living through the build up for the real good episodes. I think near the end it was finally hitting its stride and then...it was canceled. I can see why however since my wife gave up on the show about half way through. She is a pretty good judge of scifi I think. She watches but is not hard core. Her interest or lack there of seems to be a good predictor of a shows longevity.

Her 2 cents on the mini is: She liked it but could not stand the Starbuck character especially the final scene with COL Tigh. She will watch the series but there is no guarantee how long.

I can tell you ENTERPRISE is doomed since she stopped watching that some time ago and only watches intermittantly if I'm watching and she has a book in hand!
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Old February 27th, 2004, 07:10 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelen
oh my goodness braxis if your old what does that make me???

Antelope after reading your post on "alternate history" you got me thinking take a look at "how do you like galactica" thread
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just ment it would be fun to be a kid again with nothing to worry about except having fun
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Old February 27th, 2004, 07:52 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braxiss
just ment it would be fun to be a kid again with nothing to worry about except having fun
Ok NOW THAT made me feel old! I don't think I can remember that far back
althought sometimes my response to too much stress is to act very silly, VERY silly indeed,
I think thats part of why i'm often mistaken for being younger than I yam
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Old February 27th, 2004, 08:13 PM   #24
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:laugh: lol :laugh:
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Old February 29th, 2004, 07:57 PM   #25
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does anyone know if star blazers is avalible on video or dvd??????
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Old February 29th, 2004, 08:20 PM   #26
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Yea it is available on DVD, and has been for some time. All 3 Seasons (and the third was barely aired in the US). Just chekc Amazon.
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Old February 29th, 2004, 08:25 PM   #27
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Yea it is available on DVD, and has been for some time. All 3 Seasons (and the third was barely aired in the US). Just chekc Amazon.
thanks
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Old March 12th, 2004, 05:03 PM   #28
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Hi,

*** Bragging Mode On ***

It's not often that I go crazy and buy an entire television series on DVD. The only other time was with the Battlestar Galactica DVD set. But I bought Star Blazers on DVD and my order arrived today-- all 3 seasons and 4 movies.
  • The Quest for Iscandar (Series 1 - 6 DVDs)
  • The Comet Empire (Series 2 - 6 DVDs)
  • The Bolar Wars (Series 3 - 6 DVDs)
  • Space Battleship Yamato The Movie (1 DVD)
  • Farewell Space Battleship Yamato In the Name of Love (1 DVD)
  • Space Battleship Yamato The New Voyage (1 DVD)
  • Be Forever Yamato (1 DVD)
  • Star Blazers Interactive Screensaver with Ship Tour (CD-ROM)
  • Star Blazers Perfect Album (48-page comic book)
  • Star Blazers E.D.F. Technical Manual/Warship Recognition Guide (204-pages)

It may take a while to watch all 3 series. There are 20+ episodes to each of the 3 series. And series #3 was never released in the U.S. so that will be entirely new. The 4 Yamato movies (Argo in the U.S.) were not released here either. All 4 are sub-titled. Later this month I will complete my collection when Final Yamato (1 DVD) is finally released. This is the last movie in the Star Blazers/Space Battleship Yamato series.

http://www.starblazers.com

*** Bragging Mode Off ***

Regards,

Nathan
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Old March 12th, 2004, 05:11 PM   #29
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Hi,

I'm only on #5 of the 22 DVDs so far. Regarding the previous discussion, I think the most obvious rip-off (or homage) for Star Blazers is none other than... Crusade. 1. Capt. Gideon is the same name as Capt. Gideon of the Andromeda in Star Blazers. 2. Life on Earth is expected to last 5 years (1 year in Star Blazers). 3. The Excalibur's primary weapon can kill a capital ship with a single shot but weakens all systems on the Excalibur for a brief period of time afterward, just like the wave motion gun in Star Blazers. Anyways, I enjoyed Crusade, even more than Babylon 5. Just like I enjoy Voyager a lot more than Deep Space Nine. I happen to like "planet of the week" science fiction more than the epics that take place on a space station.

Regards,

Nathan

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Old March 12th, 2004, 05:17 PM   #30
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Yea the only Sci-Fi series that I actually think is more epic than YAMATO is LEGEND OF THE GALACTIC HEROES, which spaned 4 seasons for over 100 Episodes, based on 10 novels, as well as 2 features, and 2 Seasons worth of OVA series. Talk about epic space drama!
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