The Forever War
Space Battleship Yamato 2199
Season 1, Episode 25
Japanese title 終わりなき戦い
Owari Naki Tatakai
Release date August 24, 2013
Screenplay by Sadayuki Murai
Directed by Masahiro Okura
Nomata Noriyuki
Days left Not provided
Story guide
(Chronological) Space Battleship Yamato 2199: Odyssey of the Celestial Ark
(Production) "The Distant Promised Land"
"Memories of the Blue Planet"

Yamato returns to the site of an old battle on its journey home, while a fallen ruler seeks vengeance.


Two Months LaterEdit

With the war over and every day bringing them closer to Earth, the hopeful crew of Yamato gets on with life. Yuria Misaki resumes her YRA Radio Yamato show, the fighter pilots relax and pray for their lost comrades, Makoto Harada and Saburo Kato deal with relationship difficulties, Yasuo Nanbu obsesses over a photo of a marriage prospect, Yuki Mori tries her hand at making coffee, Analyzer spends time with Doctor Sakezo Sado, and Susumu Kodai visits an increasingly ill Admiral Juzo Okita. Navigator Daisuke Shima makes a suggestion as the ship nears the planet Balun: try to access the Aquarius gate at Balun connecting it to the Milky Way. He argues that their devastating raid on the Garmillas facility may not have damaged the galactic theater gate[1], and if it can be activated, Yamato would be able to traverse sixty thousand light years in moments.

Tens of thousands of light years behind Yamato, Admiral Gul Dietz and Elisa Domel meet aboard the admiral's flagship in orbit of Garmillas with Princess Yurisha Iscandar, the admiral's daughter, and newly appointed minister Ghader Talan. Minister Talan worries about the numerous ships that have refused Dietz's recall order, but the admiral assures him that someone he trusts is dealing with the problem. Admiral Dietz asks if there is any information on the whereabouts of Minister Talan's elder brother since his disappearance during the Battle of Garmillas, but with nothing new, it seems increasingly likely that he is dead.

Welte Talan receives a transmission from Major General Gremdt Goer that is more boast than report, with the general proudly describing his leadership of the fleet faction that remains loyal to Abelt Dessler. Talan impatiently switches off the transmission, and turns to ask Dessler why they are troubling themselves with Yamato. The exiled leader responds that seizing the very ship that drove him from power and using it to reclaim the empire would be "splendid."

An Old Acquaintance Comes AboardEdit

Yoshikazu Aihara intercepts a Garmillas distress signal, and Yamato closes in on a ship with a single occupant, Miezela Celestella. Under armed guard, Celestella meets over cups of tea with the one member of the crew she knows personally. Lieutenant Mori learns that Dessler had saved the lives of the Jirel woman and her sister a long time ago, at a time when her people were being hunted down by those who feared their telepathic abilities. With Dessler gone, the only thing the former propaganda minister could do was flee her now unbearable life on Garmillas. Mori tries to convince her to move on now that Dessler is dead, but Celestella indignantly insists that he is alive somewhere and still needs her.

The Salvation of the UniverseEdit

For more details, see Battle of the Galactic Theater Gate.

Yamato is cautiously moving toward the galactic theater gate when Goer and his forces attack from hiding in the debris field encircling Balun. Another Garmillas ship, the UX-01, appears and launches torpedoes at Goer's ships; Captain Wolf Fleurken announces that Goer is to be arrested and tried for ignoring the recall order from Admiral Dietz. Furious, Goer returns fire. A mechanical problem prevents the UX-01 from diving back to the safety of subspace, until fast action on the part of a supposedly Zaltzi engineer, Sukeji Yabu, saves them. Fleurken fires another round of torpedoes that eliminates Goer and his flagship.

Taking Goer's bait, Yamato enters the gate. The ship's passage through the subspace corridor is brought to a jarring halt by cables fired into its upper hull. The Desura II looms above, and hundreds of Garmilloids descend upon the captured Yamato, blast their way inside, and steadily beat back the crew's resistance. Kodai goes below to personally lead the security response; Mori locks Celestella in the conference room for safety and goes to join the battle. Satisfied by their progress, Dessler leaves the bridge, heading for Yamato in the company of his bodyguards.


Mori attempts to save Celestella.

An explosion stuns Mori. Regaining her senses, she sees an armed Dessler standing above her and demanding that the "false princess" take him to Yamato's captain. They are interrupted by Celestella, freed by the invading Garmilloids. Upon seeing her beloved Dessler, Celestella sends out a wave of sympathetic telepathic energy, but Dessler is instinctively frightened and he shoots the Jirel before realizing the depth of his mistake. Kodai arrives on the scene, distracting Dessler's bodyguards from the wounded and hopeless Celestella, who picks up Mori's lost weapon and fires it at Dessler before putting it to her head. As Mori moves to stop her, the bodyguards kill Celestella and gravely injure Mori. Kodai attends to Mori, but he overhears one of the retreating Garmillas address Dessler as "Leader" and realizes that he has looked upon the face of Earth's true enemy.

On the bridge, Analyzer determines that the invading troops are Garmilloid robots. Shiro Sanada, commanding the ship in Okita's absence, instructs Analyzer and Kaoru Niimi to transmit a computer virus designed from their study of a captured Garmilloid months earlier. The virus shuts down the robots before they can take control of Yamato's main engine.


Yamato flees as the Desura II prepares to fire the Dessler Cannon.

Dessler's opportunity to capture the Earth vessel is gone. He returns to the Desura II and orders its Dessler Cannon to be charged. Weakened by his injury and with nothing left to lose, he refuses to heed Talan's panicked warning that using the weapon inside the subspace corridor would be an act of suicide. As Dessler draws a targeting solution, Yamato fires a shock cannon barrage--shells only, not energy beams, the crew now aware that beam weapons do not work inside the corridor. Explosions erupt across the hull of Dessler's flagship. One volley incapacitates or kills everyone on the bridge except Dessler himself. Bleeding and dazed, he thinks of his true love, Queen Starsha Iscandar, and his promise to bring about the salvation of the universe. He pulls the trigger. Wave motion energy bursts the ship apart from the inside. The explosion throws Yamato safely through the far gate, back into normal space and at the outer rim of the Milky Way.


  • Although the new Garmillas government is aware that Goer is leading a rogue fleet, they are likely unaware that Goer and his fleet are being commanded by Dessler. Vice Leader (and acting leader) Redof Hiss reported to Starsha soon after the destruction of Baleras II that Dessler had been killed. More than two months later, the government may still believe that, having dispatched the UX-01 to arrest or kill no one more important than Goer; Ghader Talan's lost hope of finding his brother Welte alive underscores this. Dessler himself would have good reason to encourage this view, in light of his willingness to annihilate his own capital city and homeworld just to destroy a single enemy ship.
  • A close examination of the destruction of Desura II reveals a portion of its command section being blown clear of the blast. This leaves open the possibility of Dessler--and others on the bridge who may have been knocked out but not killed in Yamato's counterattack--surviving the battle. This portion of Desura II is eventually recovered by the Gatlantis Empire and rebuilt for service in their fleet, with Dessler in command, as shown in the Space Battleship Yamato 2202: Warriors of Love episode "Dessler's Challenge!"
  • Kodai's Cosmo Zero is still scarred and only partially repaired months after being damaged in the Battle of Garmillas. Yamato's ability to conduct maintenance appears to have diminished, even after receiving support from a liberated Garmillas drydock on Leptapoda ("The Planet That We Head For") and possibly from Iscandar ("The Distant Promised Land").
  • The young woman in Nanbu's photograph is the same as the one shown by his parents in their attempt to find him a suitable wife ("Farewell to the Solar System").
  • Although it is not mentioned, the episode take place about a month after Yamato encounters the legendary planet Shambleau and fights alongside a Garmillas task force against a Gatlantis fleet (Space Battleship Yamato 2199: Odyssey of the Celestial Ark).


  • What will happen to the remnants of Goer's fleet without Goer or Dessler?
  • Will someone else try to make use of the surviving gate at Balun?
  • Is Redof Hiss still the acting leader of the Garmillas Empire?
  • What exactly were Kato and Harada arguing about? (probable answer)
  • Why did Yamato not fire torpedoes at the Desura II?
    • It is possible that the Yamato ran out of torpedoes prior to this episode. The last time Yamato is shown firing torpedoes is during battle with Gatlantis Empire forces in the film Space Battleship Yamato 2199: Odyssey of the Celestial Ark, set one month earlier. The battle may have exhausted the ship's supply, and any ability it had to manufacture more. Similarly, Desura II had torpedo capability but did not use them against Yamato, possibly because it did not have any on hand.

Noteworthy DialogueEdit

  • Dessler encounters Mori once again after boarding Yamato:
Dessler: My my. The princess of Iscandar. Or should I call you the false princess?
  • Mori breaks into tears after Dessler mistakenly shoots Celestella:
Mori: There was no need for Earth or Garmillas to fight! They could've care for one another! They could've loved one another! They could have . . .
Dessler: War is . . . necessary. To force worlds to obey, and bring salvation to the universe. And to the sole woman I love . . .
  • Dessler renders his judgment on the crew of Yamato as they fire upon his ship with artillery shells:
Dessler: Barbarians!
  • Gol Hainy comments on Fleurken's decision to bring a non-Garmillas engineer into the UX-01 crew:
Hainy: Our captain likes to take in the abandoned dogs.

Behind the ScenesEdit

  • The official English title of the episode, "The Forever War," is shared with Joe Haldeman's classic 1974 science fiction novel The Forever War, although the two works feature very different stories.
  • Due to the complex animation featured in this episode, certain elements were not included in its initial theatrical showing or later in its television broadcast debut. Among these are Misaski's Radio Yamato show and the montage of life aboard the ship, Admiral Dietz's meeting, Goer's report to Talan, the appearance of the UX-01, Yamamoto and Shinohara's machine gun, and subtle visual details throughout.[2][3] The delay in production also resulted in the home video of episodes 23 through 26 being held back until after their television debut, unlike prior episodes in the series.[4] The complete episode was shown in an encore theatrical screening on December 8, 2013.[5]
  • Production error: After being shot by Dessler's bodyguards, Mori and Celestella bleed, even though they have no entry wounds from the gunfire. Garmillas weapons fire has been shown on multiple occasions to create visible wounds that can bleed ("Point of No Return", "Over the Black Light", "Under the Rainbow Sun").


(Alphabetized by family name)[6]

Notes and ReferencesEdit