Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199 – Episode Twelve – What Lies Beyond
March 19, 2016 Leave a comment
This episode was mostly a continuation of the arguments and tension caused during episode eleven, further demonstrating how complicated a conflict can be. It also demonstrates some of the importance that each episodes title contains, with this episode dealing with hidden emotions, political plots, and social decay. Now, while a lot of the episode dealt with a conflict between Shima and Kodai, with Shima coming across as the most emotionally immature, there were also other elements regarding Gamilas that were particularly interesting.
Up until now we have been provided with glimpses of Gamilas’ inner workings. It is a stratified, class-based society, an empire that is expanding its reach far beyond its immediate surroundings, and one that either allows conquered planets to live under their influence, or utterly destroys those who choose to resist. It is also a highly militarised society, one that employs various symbols and visual reminiscent of fascists during the 1930s. Furthermore, the empires leader, Desler, is a brilliant, but absolute ruler, one who bends the empire to his will, and freely sacrifices ships to relieve his boredom. He is an interesting character, and one who comes across as more complex than he might first appear.
This episode has further layers of complexity to Gamilas by further fleshing out the character of Domel, a brilliant, and highly regarded general. He is hardly somebody you could picture destroying an entire planet on a whim, although we have seen him give no quarter to those who would attack his fleet, and by extension, the empire. During the episode he also makes a number of interesting comments about the state of Gamilas and its capital – with imagery of the vast military complex serving to illustrate an unsaid thought – Gamilas has become a military society, one that has perhaps lost a lot of the joy that Domel once remembered. A brief meeting with what we must assume is his wife at a graveyard further reinforces the idea of a long lost, brighter Gamilas, as they both lay flowers on the grave of their dead children. The presence of military police, and mass incarceration of anybody suspected of sabotage or plots against Desler further reinforces the fascist imagery, and points to a society full of discontent, but managed through force and fear.
There are other little elements to this episode, with further mysteries added to the automatic navigation room – the suggestion that somebody, or something may be inside for example. There is also the fleshing out of characters like Kodai, Shima, and Yamamoto, as they all slowly come to terms with their loss, their part in the war, and the words of Melda. They are all starting to realise that there is more to this war than simply a small planet against a vast, evil army, and that there are Gamillans who they can coexist with. Niimi also seems to be plotting something, and ha started creating a list of crew members who can help her in her endeavours as well, demonstrating how threats can exist form within. And speaking of characters, currently the only one who is still fairly mysterious is Mori Yuki, as she remains the one character without a tangible past. But, unravelling the mysteries behind her character will have to wait, because the next episode features a submarine, in space.