Blu-ray: Space Battleship Yamato (Giant Ape Media)


Space Battleship Yamato

English Blu-ray Title (Region A)

Space Battleship Yamato


Japanese (5.1 Surround) / Japanese (2.0 Stereo on DVD), English (5.1 Surround)

Aspect Ratio:

138 minutes
Giant Ape Media
2 (1 DVD)
2.39:1 Anamorphic


Space Battleship Yamato



  • Menus (English)
  • Chapters (15)
  • Trailers: Space Battleship Yamato (2 news flashes, 4 trailers), Bullet, Smuggler, Higanijma, Alien vs. Ninja, Switch, Lost Girl, Athena: Goddess of War, City Under Siege, Zebraman 2
  • Pre-Visualization (25 minutes)
  • VFX Making Of (12 minutes)
  • "Local Yamato" (1 minute)



By: Anthony Romero

Released by Giant Ape Media and Funmation (who goes totally unmentioned on the package and release outside of the commentary disclaimer that it doesn't reflect their views), this two disc set for Space Battleship Yamato is a stellar entry. Across the board, the release offers stellar video and audio quality, with a few worthwhile extras tossed in.

 Video: Star Rating

The video track on the Blu-ray release is strong. There is a nice level of detail, with everything feeling sharp with the exception of some of the CGI (which is unavoidable, especially on the lackluster CGI on the aliens). It's not the sharpest, if you compare it to the Blu-ray Godzilla 2014 release for example it comes up short, but benched against most of its Japanese counterparts it's well done. Colors here are good, without any signs of over saturation and stay true to the more muted tones in the film. The brightness level is also pitch perfect, giving off solid black levels without getting so dark that details are obscured like the recent Sony Godzilla releases. Given a movie this age, it's not surprising to see the total lack of print damage in the source used.

Unfortunately, all the praise can not be extended to the DVD. The movie looks very soft and over compressed on the DVD, which is unfortunate especially as the disc removed a lot of extras too. The colors are also a bit off, often appearing a bit too green in hue. There is some color tinting apparent on the Blu-ray as well, but seems to go slightly overboard on the DVD. The reason for this seems to be over saturation which brings out the colors more but has this as a side effect. So while the Blu-ray might get a perfect score, the DVD would likely net a 3/5.

Space Battleship Yamato is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.39:1.


 Audio: Star Rating

Both the Blu-ray and DVD feature two audio tracks each. The Blu-ray offers two surround tracks in 5.1 surround, which give off nice depth. The panning sound effects also do wonders to convey the sense of high speed movements of the craft as well. The two tracks are the original Japanese and a English dub. The English dub is actually well constructed. While the cast lacks in the passion department in their reading, it is kept fairly straight faced and better then other recent offerings for home video releases in the States.

The DVD features the same 5.1 surround English dub track, but offers a different one for the Japanese. On this release the Japanese is a stereo, 2.0 offering. The directionality and range takes a good size hit. It's possible that I was too used to the Blu-ray, but things like the captain speaking and some of the music felt off in the stereo track. Overall, it's serviceable but unfortunate they didn't include the 5.1 track.


 Extras: Star Rating

This two disc set, which comes with a slipcover over the Blu-ray case, has a fair amount of extra content. It ranges from the usual suspects to some rather odd and interesting supplement content as well. In an unusual turn, some of the extra features are available on both the Blu-ray and DVD as well. Below is a full rundown:

- "Pre-Visualization" is the least engaging of the extras. These show off effect prototypes, meant to help out the visual effects artists before they go to work. The intro for them also describes these as being there to help the actors, although some of the sequences already have the actors' part in them. At 25 minutes, the feature can be skipped or at least you can only watch a few minutes to get the gist rather than the sit through the whole supplement.

- "VFX Making Of" is possibly not what you would think of from the title. There is no narration, no explanation, but it shows a long montage of CGI, visual effects scenes elements being created. For example, showing sequences before and after with a green screen and then the elements added in. These sequences can be quite elaborate, with tons and tons of elements going into one sequence. The only complaint to be had is that it does overstay its welcome a little at 12 minutes, especially with showing the explosions in space. Still, worth watching and very impressive for sequences like the take off through the Earth's crust. (exclusive to Blu-ray disc)

- "Local Yamato" is only a minute long, but shows off the 533.6 meter craft flying over Japan. These locations include Sapporo, Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Kanmon Straits. The footage does a nice job of placing the ship behind obstacles, like behind bridges or buildings, but despite the effort the ship still looks sometimes like it's from a video game cut scene in these. Still an interesting extra worth watching. (exclusive to Blu-ray disc)

- The last extra, or perhaps the first depending on your point of view, is a wealth of trailers. There are quite a few missing for the movie, but it still has four trailers (two of them theatrical, two premiere announcements) and two news flashes for the film. There are also a lot of previews for a variety of other movies such as Smuggler, Higanijma, Alien vs. Ninja, Switch, Lost Girl, Athena: Goddess of War, City Under Siege and Zebraman 2. A trailer for the home video release of Bullet is also included, although this plays when you first insert the disc and is not available from the menus. (film trailers exclusive to Blu-ray disc, previews available on both)

As a side note, the DVD has a really dull menu. The Blu-ray one is very engaging by contrast, although does feature a rather annoying sound effect when choosing between options.


 Overview: Star Rating

This Giant Ape Media/Funmation release is solid. While the DVD falters a smidgen, the Blu-ray excels across the board and has no real weakness to it.