When I was around ten or so, I stumbled upon a cartoon called Starblazers. It was a Japanese import, and came with all the strange animation quirks for which old school japanimation is famous, but it also had, by far, the coolest space battles to be found on television at the time. In every episode, giant battleships and cruisers opened up on one other with laser batteries and missile pods, while sleek fighters dodged in and out. I loved it!
For those not in the know, here is a quick summary. Evil aliens attack the earth, sweeping aside our space defences, and bombard the planet with radiation bombs. The few human survivors are forced underground, to endure their last miserable years before the radiation kills them. But there is a glimmer of hope. A message pod arrives from a distant group of friendly aliens. They claim to have the cure for earth’s radiation; unfortunately, the humans will have to come pick it up. Included in the pod are plans for a super space drive and weapon system that should get the humans across the galaxy to pick up the cure. The problem is, humanity no longer has the construction capacity to build a new space ship – SO (here is the great part) – they retrofit the hull of the Super Battleship Yamato, that was sunk during World War II, with the new drive and weapon system, and blast that sucker into outer space! Booyah!
Using the power of the new ‘Wave Motion Gun’, the Space Battleship Yamato (called the Argo in Starblazers), shoots its way through the evil alien blockade and sets off on a journey to the far side of the Milky Way. But they only have one year to save the earth!
If like me, your favourite geek, remembers the cartoon foundly, you might think about getting them a model of the Space Battleship Yamato this Christmas. Thanks to the wonders of the highly advanced Japanese modelling industry, there are several choices available. However, unless your geek is a highly advanced modeller, might I suggest this one: Space Battleship Yamato from Hobby Link Japan. It costs an incredibly reasonable $7 (although shipping from Japan will nearly double that), and is relatively simple so that even casual modellers shouldn’t have too much trouble with it.
A few weeks ago, I made my first ever order from Hobby Link Japan, but I’ll leave that story for another day.