May 5, 2142 |
Tokyo, Japan, Earth
|Died||2203, Yamato BBY-01|
|Service/branch||United Nations Cosmo Navy|
|Battles/wars||First Battle of Pluto, Battle of Stravase, Liberation of Terezart, Blockade of Terezart, Battle of Saturn, Third Battle of Mars, Final Battle of the White Comet|
Unshō Ishizuka, Naomi Kusumi (Japanese)|
Bill Jenkins (English)
- This article describes Ryu Hijikata from Space Battleship Yamato 2199 and its sequels. For his counterpart in Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato and Space Battleship Yamato 2, see Ryu Hijikata (OS).
Admiral Ryu Hijikata is a senior officer in the United Nations Cosmo Navy. Throughout the Garmillas-Earth War, Hijikata holds a number of command positions vital to maintaining the defense and the military leadership of Earth. Following the war, his firm stance against developing wave motion weapons leads to his dismissal as UNCN commander and banishment to a minor outpost on the outskirts of Earth's solar system.
Hijikata served as the commander of the Earth Homeland Defense Corps at the start of the Garmillas-Earth War, responsible for the protection of territory within the orbit of the Moon. With the war taking an excessive toll on the pool of talented UNCN officers, Hijikata's superiors felt that his strategic talent would be best used preparing new officers, and he was made the headmaster of the academy. The students that graduated under his leadership included Daisuke Shima and Susumu Kodai ("Messenger of Iscandar").
Hijikata was also involved with the Yamato Plan to use technology given to Earth by Iscandar to save the planet. When an emissary from Iscandar and the daughter of one of Hijikata's friends, Yuki Mori, were injured in a potential terrorist attack in 2198, he became Mori's legal guardian; Mori, having lost most of her memories, took to calling him "Uncle Hijikata." The admiral monitored Operation M from Earth on January 17, 2199, confirming that the battle had diverted enemy detection from the arrival of a second Iscandarian ("Messenger of Iscandar", "The Whisper of the Witch", "Out of the Forest of Memory").
On the eve of Yamato's mission to Iscandar, Hijikata tries convincing Admiral Juzo Okita, to stay on Earth and attend to his failing health, and to yield command of Yamato to him. Okita declines the recommendation. Hijikata leads a formal send-off from the bridge of Kirishima, coming alongside Yamato and saluting Okita and his crew as the interstellar vessel leaves Earth's atmosphere ("Toward a Sea of Stars", "Escape from the Jupiter Sphere"). Immediately afterward, he takes Kirishima to the Moon to rescue surviving Cosmo Marines that had come under attack during Yamato's launch preparations (Space Battleship Yamato 2199: Odyssey of the Celestial Ark).
Hijikata remains an influence in Mori's life during the voyage to Iscandar. Before crossing the heliopause and leaving the solar system, Mori uses her communications ration to contact Hijikata, who asks after Okita's health ("Farewell to the Solar System"). During a telepathic attack on Yamato by Mirenel Linke, Hijikata appears behind Mori in the Yamato's theater while she watches a video (presumably made for Princess Yurisha Iscandar) on how to act like a human ("The Whisper of the Witch"). Mori's connection to Hijikata, her amnesia, and possible alterations to Mori's service record lead Yamato security chief Shinya Itou to become suspicious that Hijikata is involved in a cover-up ("Point of No Return").
Hijikata succeeds Okita as commander of all UNCN space forces after Yamato's departure, working alongside the chief executive of the United Nations Space Planning Office, Heikuro Todo. He and Todo are the first to greet Yamato near the end of its journey back to Earth ("Memories of the Blue Planet").
Following Yamato's return, the leadership of the Earth Federation and the United Nations Cosmo Force reject a treaty made by Admiral Okita with Queen Starsha Iscandar and embark on the construction of a new fleet armed with wave motion weapons. Hijikata fights against the decision, and is removed from command of the Cosmo Navy. Despite the damage to his own career, he is able to defend the surviving senior officers of Yamato from retaliation for taking the same position. Hijikata is reassigned to the Outer Defense Division, and is stationed on the Eleventh Planet, on the faraway margins of the solar system ("Shock – Legacy of the Cosmo Reverse").
As commander of the Outer Defense Division, Hijikata's responsibilities include reviewing civilian activities outside the solar system. In late 2202, the admiral refuses to give immediate approval to a plan by Professor Robert Redrauz to investigate ancient ruins from the Aquarius civilization, despite a directive from the UNCF chief of staff ("Shock – Legacy of the Cosmo Reverse").
2202-2203: The War with Gatlantis
Weeks into the Gatlantis-Earth War, a vanguard fleet of the Gatlantis Empire launches an invasion the Eleventh Planet. With few effective defenses and almost no way to summon reinforcements, Hijikata makes contact with the Gatlantean commander and offers his unconditional surrender in an attempt to spare the human and Garmillas civilians under his protection. The surrender is immediately rejected, and Hijikata's command center is hit by enemy fire ("Battle to the Death – The 11th Planet Rescue Operation"). The admiral and two of his junior officers are eventually discovered in the rubble by Cosmo Marines Hajime Saito and Shiori Nagakura and brought to the safety of Yamato, which had arrived late to the planet ("The Beam of Light Flashes! / Radiance of the Wave Motion Gun").
While Hijikata continues to recover from his injuries, he takes temporary command of Yamato in the absence of acting captain Susumu Kodai as it departs from the planet Stravase. He engages and destroys attacking ships of a rogue Garmillas faction, and later fires Yamato's wave motion gun to counteract the collapse of the planet and save several vessels carrying civilian refugees ("Zworder, the Devil's Alternative"). He fully assumes command once his recovery is complete ("Dessler's Challenge!").
In addition to his military acumen, Ryu Hijikata maintains a close friendship with and loyalty to his academy classmate, Juzo Okita. Even as conditions on Earth grow more desperate, he does not lose faith that Okita and Yamato will return in time to save their world ("Toward a Sea of Stars", Space Battleship Yamato 2199: Odyssey of the Celestial Ark). After Okita's death, Hijikata does not hesitate to defend his legacy and those who served under him ("Shock – Legacy of the Cosmo Reverse").
Hijikata also displays great patience and a willingness to listen. After rescuing Sergeant Hajime Saito and his fellow Marines from the Moon, the admiral endures an angry rant from Saito and answers his questions without calling him out on his insubordinate attitude. Hijikata comes to appreciate the sergeant's boldness and the two become friends over the following years (Space Battleship Yamato 2199: Odyssey of the Celestial Ark, "A Flash of Light! The Brilliance of the Wave Motion Gun").
- Hijikata is the second "early appearance" in Yamato 2199 (the first being Osamu Yamanami), a character or situation that had not been shown in the original twenty-six episode series but was introduced later in one of its sequels. Unlike Yamanami, though, Hijikata has a nearly identical resemblance to the original.
- Unshō Ishizuka portrayed Hijikata in Space Battleship Yamato 2199 and Space Battleship Yamato 2199: Odyssey of the Celestial Ark, and through "Heir to the Yamato, Her Name is Ginga", the nineteenth episode of Space Battleship Yamato 2202. Following Ishizuka's death in August of 2018, Naomi Kusumi assumed the role in "Escape from the Nightmare!"