Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199 – Episode Twenty Two – The Planet that We Head For
May 28, 2016 Leave a comment
This episode was the continuation of themes found in episode twenty-one, and represented a further chance to reflect on recent events, while also preparing for the inevitable final conflict with Desler. It also starts to bring together the many different political and social conflicts that have been underneath the surface of the series from episode one, showing how complicated the relationship between Gamilas, Iscander, and innumerable other planets and star systems truly is. In fact, throughout the last couple of episodes, it has become abundantly clear that the Yamato has forced its way, in rather spectacular fashion into an ongoing series of wars, political strife, and underhand dealings that threaten to destroy Gamilas, and any number of other planets. In particular, the episode has further highlighted how much impact the whims of Desler have had, not only on his own planet, but on countless other planets that Gamilas have conquered.
At times there have been little glimpses of something else within the character of Desler, a deeper longing or desire that is usually hidden beneath the image of an absolute ruler. While those moments remain, this episode further emphasised his portrayal as a despotic ruler who will do anything to get his own way and make his dreams a reality. He appears to views others as mere pawns, and truly believes that only through Gamilas rule can people be at peace, the sort of vision that only the truly tyrannical can believe in. Saying that, there are still a number of quieter moments, and recurring imagery regarding the position of Iscander, and its place within Gamilas culture as a world of deities and queens that points to a subtler, and perhaps more complicated origin for Desler’s despotism. But, he is still willing to use Mori as a political pawn in the creation of a unified Gamilas, despite knowing that she isn’t really Yurisha of Iscander. The truth isn’t as important as the image that can be portrayed by a princess of Iscander seemingly giving her blessings to his plans, and so, he allows her to remain, rather than throw her in prison.
This episode also represents the first time that Iscander, Gamilas, and Earth have been able to sit down and talk – and while official negotiations got nowhere, the subsequent scenes involving Yurisha, Melda, and Yamamoto helped to lighten the mood, while also suggesting that these worlds can work together. Significantly, it was not the male characters or leaders of the series that were able to get along, but the female characters, and it’s hardly as if they are not warriors themselves, as both Melda and Yamamoto are fighter pilots, but they are still capable of cooperating. In this respect, the episode succeeds in demonstrating what could have been without the rule of Desler, and what might be were he to disappear.