Synopsis by Bruce Eder
Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato: In The Name of Love (1978) was a feature-length animated film based on Yoshinobu Nishizaki's animated television series Space Cruiser Yamato (known in America as Star Blazers). Its plot was later adapted into the second Space Cruiser Yamato series (aka The Comet Empire), which is a source of confusion for fans, since their plots overlap in large measure, but also diverge in serious ways. At the opening of Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato, the human race is quickly rebuilding itself in the wake of the Yamato's victory over the Gamilans, and the space battleship's crew has been broken up, its members scattered to the now restored space fleet. Susumu Kodai, the young hero of the war against the Gamilans, is now in command of a space cargo fleet, and is due to marry Kuri upon his return to Earth. Then word comes of a new threat from outside the Earth in the form of a rogue comet that is accompanied by an immensely powerful space fleet bent on conquest. The Earth Defense Council won't listen to Kodai, or take the evidence of the threat seriously. Kodai and the other former members of the Yamato's crew meet at a memorial for Captain Okita, the ship's commander, and decide to take the Yamato into space without orders. They rescue Captain Hajikata, the commander of the outer defense fleet and the sole survivor of the first encounter with the forward elements of the enemy forces. With Hajikata in formal command, and with the Defense Council now supporting Kodai's "piracy," the Yamato goes out to attack the enemy at its heart, her sheer power and the bravery and resourcefulness of her crew matching all obstacles, until they reach the planet Telezart, where a mysterious, angelic, female alien instructs them in how to find the means of destroying the comet. Along the way to the final battle, they encounter and defeat their old Gamilan enemy Desler and fight the enemy to a near-standstill -- with Earth still in deadly danger. In a transcendent moment, Kodai realizes, with the guidance of the spirit of Captain Okita, that he and the Yamato are Earth's last hope -- and that he can do what needs to be done if he loves Earth as much as he loves life. Like the "divine wind" of legend, he makes the final sacrifice out of love for his planet.
battleship, spacecraft, commander, comet, sacrifice, man-vs-aliens, space-battle