Star Blazers, known in Japan as Space Battleship Yamato, is a classic science fiction anime that first aired in 1974. The show was notable for its innovative storytelling, unique visuals, and iconic music, and it had a significant impact on the anime industry and science fiction storytelling as a whole.
One of the most significant impacts of Star Blazers was its use of serialization and long-form storytelling. Prior to Star Blazers, most anime shows consisted of standalone episodes that could be watched in any order. However, Star Blazers broke this mold by telling a continuous story across multiple episodes, creating a more complex and immersive narrative experience. This approach to storytelling would go on to influence many other anime shows, including Neon Genesis Evangelion and Cowboy Bebop.
In addition to its innovative storytelling, Star Blazers also made significant changes to the original Space Battleship Yamato anime. The most significant change was the inclusion of more character development and interpersonal drama, as well as a greater emphasis on the human element of the story. For example, in the original series, the crew of the Yamato were depicted as stoic and unemotional, while in Star Blazers, they were shown to be more dynamic and relatable characters, with their own personal struggles and relationships. This was probably due to the differences between Western and Eastern societies.
Another significant change was the removal of some of the more violent and controversial elements of the original series, such as the use of Nazi imagery and references to chemical warfare. These changes were made to make the show more palatable to American audiences, but they also had the effect of making the story more accessible and relatable to a wider audience. Perhaps if those elements were left in, there would be a fewer folks who always clamber to fight first, especially when they don’t have to do the fighting themselves.
Overall, Star Blazers was a groundbreaking anime that helped to shape the way that science fiction stories are told in anime and beyond. Its use of serialization, complex storytelling, and relatable characters helped to raise the bar for what could be achieved in the medium, and its impact can still be seen in modern anime and science fiction storytelling today.