The original Sci-Fi adventure series that created a generation of anime fans-and still stands at the head of the pack-is finally available on DVD! The star blazers series 1 DVD collection contains the entire 26-episode series on 6 DVDs, each in its own package and loaded with bonuses, from deleted scenes to music tracks to brand new image galleries. Relive all the drama and excitement as the star force launches for the first time in the space battleship Argo on their epic 148,000 light year quest for Iscandar! Standing against them is Desslock and the might of the Gamilon Empire... and the fate of Earth hangs in the balance!
The first animated work from Leiji Matsumoto, who would create the popular Captain Harlock saga, Star Blazers (Uchu Senkan Yamato or Space Cruiser Yamato, 1974) was a landmark program in Japan and America. When it aired in syndication in the U.S. in 1979, the character names were anglicized (Susumu Kodai became Derek Wildstar; Admiral Okita, Captain Avatar, etc.), the violence and drinking were heavily censored, and the World War II connections of the Yamato were tactfully downplayed. The Quest for Iscandar comprises the first 26-episode continuity; two additional TV series and several features would follow. In the year 2199, the war with the planet Gamilon has turned the Earth's surface into a radioactive desert. The radiation will penetrate the bedrock protecting humanity's underground cities in another year, destroying all remaining life. A message arrives from Queen Starsha of the planet Iscandar, offering a way to eliminate the deadly radiation and providing plans for an engine that can power a ship across the 148,000 light-year gap. Scientists convert the ruined shell of the battleship Yamato into a starship in a desperate attempt to save the planet, and the perilous voyage begins. The animation and character designs look very dated, but Gen-Xers who grew up watching it remember Star Blazers vividly. The bonus materials include a virtual tour of the Argo, an interactive map of the journey to Iscandar, and some footage deleted from the American broadcast version. Unrated; suitable for ages 8 and up: Violence largely restricted to spaceship and robot attacks. --Charles Solomon
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