Arcadia Port, Mars
|Service/branch||United Nations Cosmo Force|
|Battles/wars||Second Battle of Pluto, Battle of the Rainbow Star Cluster, Battle of Garmillas, Battle of Shambleau, Battle of the Galactic Theater Gate|
|Relations||Akio Yamamoto (brother, deceased)|
|Portrayed by||Rie Tanaka (2012-)|
- This article describes the female character Akira Yamamoto as depicted in Space Battleship Yamato 2199 and its sequels. For her male counterpart in the original series, see Akira Yamamoto (OS). For the similarly named character in the live action film, see Akira Yamamoto (live action film).
Akira Yamamoto, commonly called "Rei" by her friends, is a fighter pilot who serves aboard the United Nations Cosmo Navy battleship Yamato in 2199. Soon after joining the Yamato fighter squadron, Yamamoto distinguishes herself as the ship's most capable combat flyer.
Yamamoto was born in Arcadia Port on Mars, the granddaughter of a woman born on the red planet. Like many who were natives of Mars, conditions on the planet turned Yamamoto's eyes red. Yamamoto and her family were forced to evacuate soon after the Second Inner Planet War and settle on Earth. In her teen years, she and her older brother Akio Yamamoto became friends with Akio's fellow fighter pilot, Saburo Kato. After Akio's death in battle with Garmillas forces and the loss of her remaining family members in the planet bombing of Earth, she accepted Kato's new role as an older brother figure in her life ("Toward a Sea of Stars", "Farewell to the Solar System").
2199: Voyage to IscandarEditUpon being selected for Yamato's mission to the planet Iscandar, Yamamoto is assigned to the ship's accounting division. She learns that the leader of the Flying Corps, Lieutenant Kato, had ignored her education and experience in the cockpit and blocked her admission in an attempt to protect her from danger ("Toward a Sea of Stars"). Yamamoto's desire to fly cannot be dampened, though, and a mere two days after departing Earth, she steals an advanced Cosmo Zero and engages enemy forces on Enceladus. Kato joins her in the sky shortly after. Her and Kato's actions save a mining operation near the wreck of the UNCN ship Yukikaze, and Kato sends her to the crash site to aide Susumu Kodai's medical group at the wreck. Only after she arrives back aboard the Yamato does Kato realize that it is her, and he becomes upset. Kodai, however, recognizes her skill and initiative, and adds her to the ranks of the Flying Corps over Kato's disapproval ("Gravestone on a Frozen Field", "The Trap on All Sides").
Yamamoto endures skepticism and teasing from her male comrades in the fighter wing at first, but she immediately dispels any doubts about her worth. Assigned to the ship's second Cosmo Zero fighter, she adeptly pilots through enemy fire during the Second Battle of Pluto and works with Kodai to locate the cloaked Garmillas base on the dwarf planet, helping to expose it to a devastating artillery assault ("The Trap on All Sides", "The Sun Sets on Pluto"). She leads an aerial defense of the immediate space around Yamato at the Battle of the Rainbow Star Cluster after the bulk of the fighter wing is drawn away by a decoy dogfight, taking out multiple targets and saving Kato's life ("Under a Rainbow Sun"). Several weeks later, Yamamoto takes on Imperial Guard fighter squadrons and carriers at the start of the Battle of Garmillas. She and Kato later escort Kodai to a mission to rescue Lieutenant Yuki Mori from a Garmillas space station ("One Man's War"). During the return voyage to Earth, Yamamoto flies alongside Garmillas fighters against a Gatlantis fleet invading the planet Shambleau (Space Battleship Yamato 2199: Odyssey of the Celestial Ark).She also shows herself to be an effective fighter outside the cockpit. Yamamoto subdues mutinous members of the Yamato security team in hand-to-hand combat during their attempt to abandon the mission to Iscandar ("A Choice for the Future"). She and Ensign Hiroki Shinohara temporarily halt a Garmilloid boarding party threatening to take control of Yamato during the voyage home, by improvising artillery from the machine gun of a disassembled Cosmo Zero ("The Forever War").
Yamamoto significantly bonds with two Yamato crewmembers during its first mission. She quickly connects with Kodai, but for a time she mistakenly interprets his interest as romantic, and is initially upset when he gravitates toward Mori ("Point of No Return"). Among others in the fighter wing, she spends the most time with Shinohara. His relaxed attitude allows them to talk easily with one another, and both of them pray together ("The Forever War"), but when he attempts to show Yamamoto affection at a wedding reception, she aggressively rejects him ("Memories of the Blue Planet").
Her most unexpected friendship is formed with an enemy pilot, Lower Storm Commander Melda Dietz. Yamamoto's personal hatred toward all Garmillas boils over during Dietz's confinement on Yamato, angrily yelling at Dietz in the course of an interrogation. When it appears that Dietz's ship is about to break a deal and abandon Yamato, Yamamoto tries to shoot her, resulting in a brawl. Yamamoto loses the brawl, but Dietz spares her and returns Yamamoto's gun ("Graveyard of the Universe"). She goes on to challenge Dietz to a fighter duel. Once again the Garmillas pilot bests Yamamoto, and she saves her human adversary's life. As punishment for unnecessarily losing a fighter, Yamamoto is sent to the brig for six days ("A World I Once Saw"). Months later, Dietz returns to Yamato as a rebel opposing the Garmillas regime, and despite friction between them over Yamamoto's treatment of Yurisha Iscandar, the two come to respect and admire one another ("The Planet That We Head For", "The Distant Promised Land").
PersonalityEditYamamoto conducts her work and her personal affairs with obvious passion. That passion can easily turn into ferocity, both in battle against her enemies and in her personal interactions. Nevertheless, Yamamoto maintains a military professionalism that she calls upon in emotionally charged situations ("A World I Once Saw", "Under a Rainbow Sun", "Memories of the Blue Planet").
Friction at the start of the mission to Iscandar does not harm her relationship with Kato, and she consistently remains close to him. Once the two begin fighting side by side, the sibling-like relationship develops into one between equals ("Toward a Sea of Stars", "The Trap on All Sides", "One Man's War").
Akira retains a strong emotional bond with her brother Akio long after his death. Kato returns a ruby pendant she had given to Akio as a gift, and continues to wear it on a regular basis. She also retains a connection to her Martian roots and self-identifies as a Marsnoid despite having left the planet as an infant ("Escape from the Jupiter Sphere", "Farewell to the Solar System", "Graveyard of the Universe").
Like Melda Dietz, Yamamoto is a skilled swimmer and diver ("The Distant Promised Land").
- The pronunciation of Yamamoto's name is identical to that of the character in the original Space Battleship Yamato. However, their names are written with different kanji characters, reflecting the change of gender.
- Yamamoto's background as a Marsnoid, her relationship with Akio, and her perspective on the events of Yamato 2199 are elaborated in a ten-issue manga series, Scarlet-Eyed Ace, written by Mayumi Azuma and originally serialized in Monthly Comic Blade magazine.