Home > Episode by Episode > Yamato 2199 ep5: an incoming lesson in tolerance

Yamato 2199 ep5: an incoming lesson in tolerance


Holy crap! It all went pear-shaped so fast! After what happened in the last episode, hopes were riding rather high. Akira, Susumu and Yuki all did an excellent saving their lives and the lives of others, and the Yamato mounted a successful defense against the alien androids. But being able to land a couple of sucker punches is nothing to be proud of.

The Yamato is making waves, but only the aliens who have directly dealt with them believe that they’re even the slightest of threats. What’s more, it appears that there is some very strong racism within the ranks of the alien navy.  I was pretty surprised myself.  When I saw one commander belittling another, I thought it was mere workplace politics – in essence, one guy being a douche to another guy based on paygrade and titles.  Nope, apparently this is a matter of skin tones and demeaning prejudices.  Yet for whatever reason, this “inferior” race of soldiers around Pluto are in charge of one impressive weapons system.

The planet-bombs that have been raining down on Earth for years, and that have caused most life on the planet to die up until this point, have almost certainly all been sent from around Pluto.  The aliens have been using  a laser cannon and satellite mirror system to ignite and launch the asteroids Earth.  When Captain Okita finds out about this, he wastes no time commissioning a mission to exterminate the source.

The meeting to discuss the upcoming battle and its tactics yields an unexpected conflict.  Being the tactical officer, Susumu devices a plan yielding mission priority to the fighter pilots and their spacecraft, but one of the other young officers is vehemently against this, stating that not only that the Yamato’s cannon would be more effective and would keep soldiers out of harm’s way, but he also states that the fighter squadrons are unnecessary.  This not only pisses off Susumu, who is having his plan crapped upon, but it especially pisses of Lt. Kato.  I don’t blame Kato either.  How would you feel if some a-hole just showed up and said your job wasn’t necessary.  He’s pretty bullish on the cannon, but thankfully Capt. Okita sees reason and approves Susumu’s plan.

Something not initially included in Susumu’s plan is Akira.  It’s a bit surprising to see soldiers act like this in such a future setting.  You’d think by now that no one would bat an eye at a woman pilot, but the prerequisite sexism does happen when the fighter pilots learn that Susumu’s approved her transfer to them.  Kato, who has been vehemently against the idea up until now, has no choice but to take the news with a grin.  He at least can acknowledge that she’s a more than competent pilot.  Still it looks like Akira will give everyone a well deserved lesson in tolerance when she shows that she can  fly rings around most of these clowns.

The mission itself begins with little delay.  Susumu himself will be piloting and leading the mission, with Akira herself being his wingman.  The plan is to sneak towards the base while the Yamato acts as a decoy.  But that plan may have already worked too well and failed.  It seems that the alien commander has gathered some inspiration, and is using the giant laser and mirror system surrounding it to snipe the Yamato.  It’s not a bad idea, and I can’t see why they didn’t figure this out sooner.  It just three shots, they’re able to bring the Yamato down, and it capsizes beneath Pluto’s icy ocean!  GEEZUS!  Is the series over already?

Oh yeah, they geo-formed – or is it terraformed- the dwarf planet.

When it comes to characterization, I can’t say anything stunning happened here.  Akira is supposed to come across as stoic, but more often she seems to have a wooden personality.  I suppose the stoic attitude will become more apparent once she’s seen more trauma.  We do see that Yuki is developing a crush on Susumu, which is fine.  I just don’t enjoy how they’re setting things up for her to be jealous of Akira and the attention Susumu showers on her.  Once you view things from Akira and Susumu’s angle, it’s clear that he admires her for her skill and professionalism.  So what we’re gonna get is likely another misunderstanding that could be solved with a mere conversation that most adults should be able to have.  It’s this kinda thing exactly, that vexes me in story telling.  If I was ever given a story with this set-up in it, I’d take a red marker through the whole affair and tell them to start over and try harder.  I suppose the only real surprise was as I said before, that Officer Nanba.  I don’t really remember much about him, but he’s surprisingly outspoken and bullish on using the Yamato’s giant laser cannon.  And while I understand  his vigor, and the want to make things easier, this isn’t a mere cannon they’re using, nor is it even a nuclear weapon (which I have no problem with someone using in the depths of already highly radioactive space).  What the Yamato packs is a weapon capable of obliterating worlds, not just poisoning them.  There’s no good reason for destroying Pluto, even if it isn’t a real planet anymore.

I’m looking forward to seeing how the Yamato pulls out of this mess, and if they’ll ultimately decide to use the cannon again to achieve their goal.  I feel as though the use of the cannon will be a black mark on them that won’t be erased easily.  I also get the feeling that they’re not just going to meet the benevolent blue aliens that gave them this technology, I believe they’re also being judged on this trip.  By all rights, humanity likely should not have this technology.  Given our very violent past and willingness to threaten each other with nuclear destruction, a proposition that would signal utter madness in any other circumstance, humanity’s acquisition of this technology seems ill advised.  I sure hope my pessimistic view on this situation is wrong.

Further Reading:

 

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