Age 32 (Earth Years) |
Erich Vam Desler (uncle)
|Portrayed by||Masato Ibu (1974-1983)|
- This article describes Dessler from the original Space Battleship Yamato and its sequels. For his counterpart in Space Battleship Yamato 2199, see Abelt Dessler. For the similarly named personification of half the Gamilas hive mind consciousness in the live action film, see Dessla.
Dessler is the leader of the warrior-race of the planet Gamilas.
Appearance and PersonalityEdit
Dessler resembles a man in his early thirties, with golden hair, black eyes, and as with all members of the Gamilas race, blue skin. He typically wears a grey officer's suit, complete with a red-on-black cape, boots, and white gloves.
Dessler, as leader of the Gamilas Empire, is charming, flamboyant, nihilistic, cultured, arrogant, having a low regard for failure, and most of all, a skilled military tactician with a superiority complex. However, as the Yamato made her way to Iscandar, more positive facets of Dessler's personality arise - he attacked Earth not out of recreation nor revenge, but out of necessity, as his own homeworld was in danger of being destroyed.
When allied with the White Comet Empire, Dessler's negative traits took center stage as he was consumed by his rage against the Yamato,who had managed to defeat him a year earlier. However, in a last-ditch battle to destroy the Yamato once and for all, Dessler has a change of heart after seeing Yuki Mori's open love for Susumu Kodai. He renounces his quarrel with Earth, and even gives Yuki a piece of information that would prove useful in the downfall of the Comet Empire.
When he fought against the Dark Nebula Empire, Dessler's more positive traits were completely dominant. His loyalty and devotion to Starsha is seen, especially in his reaction when she blows Iscandar up to defeat the Dark Nebula forces who have come to strip mine the planet. His newfound appreciation of the human race is also in appearance, as seen when he alerts the E.D.F to send the Yamato to aid him.
During the Bolar Wars, Dessler still retained much of his positive personality traits, though some of his older, negative ones were still in place. One such example is his death threat to Geidel on intentionally clashing with the Yamato and the former's delibrate refusal to stay away from the spiral arm of the Milky Way, where Earth is located. His loyalty to his Earth allies was still much in appearance, as he seems to be more than willing to divert resources and manpower from his empire to aid the Yamato in saving the Earth in any way possible, and when he arrived at the eleventh hour to save his old friends by finishing the last remnants of the hostile Denguil race in the Yamato's final battle.
Throughout the Yamato's maiden voyage to Iscandar and save the planet Earth, Dessler's forces constantly antagonized the ship, with all efforts ending in failure. Dessler himself, while not present much in the campaigns to sink her, was quick to berate most of his subordinates for their failures. He did however, admire the ship and her crew's seemingly endless tenacity in escaping his empire's best-laid traps and willingness to soldier on. When the ship finally reached Gamilas itself, Dessler tried to destroy her using his planet's fragile ecosystem, but ultimately failed in that as well. Escaping in his personal battlecruiser, Dessler tried to destroy the Yamato again when it tried to warp back to Earth with his Dessler Gun, but was defeated once more when the cannon's beam rebounded against a reflective film Yamato officer Sanada had recently developed and hit the cruiser, seemingly killing the Gamilas leader and destroying his cruiser.
Dessler was rescued by the White Comet Empire not long after his defeat by the Yamato. When the Yamato defeated some of the Comet Empire's best forces, Dessler was brought in to stop her. He was given a new flagship along with several destroyers to sink the Earth battleship. Dessler's plan was simple and straightforward - he would warp in the destroyers, which would hound the Yamato until Dessler could finish her off with his Dessler gun. The plan went well, until the Yamato warped away when Dessler fired his weapon, destroying the destroyers instead. The Yamato eventually warped out so close to Dessler's ship that both ships grazed each other's sides and forced them both to a complete stop. The Yamato's contingent of Space Cavalry then attacked and boarded the flagship, forcing Dessler to send out the ship's robot guards against them. Not very long after, Dessler shot Miru, a Comet Empire officer sent to keep an eye on him. Then, Talan, Dessler's closest friend and only other surviving member of the Gamilas race, died in an explosion, leaving Dessler the last Gamilas member. Susumu Kodai, who'd been second-in-command of the Yamato throughout her campaign to defeat the Comet Empire, them burst in, gun in hand. After a brief standoff, Dessler falls injured, and Kodai's lover, Yuki Mori, runs in to help him. An injured Miru then awakens and shoots Yuki (though he could have been aiming for Dessler). Dessler then shoots Miru, killing him. While Kodai tries to keep Yuki conscious, Dessler is touched by Kodai's love and apologizes for his misdeeds against Earth. Dessler then imparts some vital information regarding the weakness of Gatlantis, the White Comet Empire's main base, and steps into out of an airlock and into the cold reaches of space.
Shortly before his apparent "death", Dessler managed to flip a switch that teleported his half-destroyed cruiser away and was left floating in space, barely alive due to his robust will to live. Meanwhile, the Yamato returned to Earth and managed to purge the planet of it's radiation. Dessler was later found and revived by the White Comet Empire. The empire's leader, Zwordar, welcomed him into the empire, though not without objections from his subordinates. A year after being defeated by the Yamato, Dessler walked in on Zwordar's planning sessions for Earth and decided to bring about the issue of the Yamato, with several of his comrades giving him little to no regard. Taking matters into his hands, Dessler leaves his comrades and assembles the remaining strength of Gamilas to Teresart to supplement Admiral Gorand's anti-matter missile planetary defence fleet.
When the Yamato finally arrived at Teresart, Dessler had an elaborate plan in mind: he would first release a swarm of space bacteria that resembled the Earth's own fireflies. The reason behind this tactic was that the crew of the Yamato, the majority of them homesick, would fall prey to the uncanny resemblance between the bacteria and the fireflies, and take them onboard. Then, the bacteria would slowly eat away at the Yamato's engines and weapon systems, allowing one of Dessler's generals, Vandevel, to attack the hapless ship with his battle carrier. Dessler's plan went well, that is, until some of the bacteria also got on Vandevel's ship and ate away at it's weapons system, thus rendering the plan redundant. Dessler later shot Vandevel dead for his failure. However, Dessler had another scheme in mind. The Yamato, in need of repairs, had to have a safe place to repair the damage. So, Dessler had a hollowed-out asteroid moved not far from the Yamato's location. If the Yamato stopped there for repairs, then, he would trap them in there with several well-placed electromagnetic sensors and fire his Dessler Gun at them while inside the asteroid. Again, the Yamato took the bait and got trapped inside the asteroid. Dessler then decided to mock the Yamato before he fired his weapon. However, thanks to the meddling of Miru, a Comet Empire advisor (actually a spy), and the crew of the Yamato's quick thinking, the ship escaped the trap. Dessler was then called back by Zwordar's mistress Sabera who told him that Zwordar had ordered him back due to his recklessness (actually a lie she had made up). Begrugingly, Dessler followed and ordered his fleet to withdraw.
Arriving back at Gatlantis, Dessler was arrested by Sabera who actually tricked Zwordar into thinking that Dessler had abandoned his mission. Thus, Zwordar allowed Sabera to arrest him. Dessler was soon jailed. However, Dessler didn't stay imprisoned for long, and a few weeks later, broke out of his cell when Sabera tried to have him executed. Kidnapping Sabera, Dessler and Talan, his closest friend, escaped the fortress and left Sabera behind. Fleeing to the Gamilas fleet in a stolen ship, Dessler was almost killed when Sabera attempted to order the fortress to fire upon the Gamilas leader, but Zwordar stopped her, having correctly deduced that his mistress had lied to him all along. Zwordar gave back Dessler's flagship, and the Gamilas leader departed from his allies for one last showdown with the Yamato.
A few days later, Dessler got his chance. The Yamato, having survived the cataclysmic Battle of Saturn, a battle that had reduced the fleets of the EDF and Comet Empire to mere piecemeal, prepared to warp in near Earth to attack Gatlantis. However, before they could do so, Dessler's fleet attacked the ship and launched several Gamilas bombers to harry the Yamato until Dessler could make his attack. After a few minutes of repeated bombing runs, the Yamato prepared her Wave-Motion Gun against the enemy fleet, but Dessler warped in a large number of warp-capable mines near the Yamato. Knowing tht the Yamato would get destroyed if they fired their main weapon near all the mines, the crew relented and formed up a new plan. Then, as Dessler fired the Dessler Gun, the Yamato short-warped away. Dessler ordered his ship to move away, but as it turned a full 180 degrees, the Yamato warped out and hit the enemy ship right down the middle. Then, a vast majority of the Yamato's crew then boarded the ship and engaged in a fierce battle with the Gamilas soilders on the ship. As the battle raged, Dessler soon faced Susumu Kodai at gunpoint, who he'd briefly met when Dessler attacked the Yamato on the journey home to Earth. A tense standoff followed and as Dessler prepared to shoot Kodai, the latter unexpectedly collapsed due to fatigue. Yuki Mori, Kodai's sweetheart who had been watching the standoff on the sidelines, then rushed to nurse Kodai. Touched by Yuki's love, Dessler renounces his quarrel with Earth. He then hands over Kodai's pistol to Yuki and gives her an important clue on how to destroy Gatlantis. He then departs with Talan to a carrier that had been on stand-by and orders the fleet to withdraw, leaving Yuki and Kodai alone.
A few months after the Comet Empire is defeated, Dessler, now on a new flagship, still lead the remnants of Gamilas in the search for a new home. In the midst of the voyage, he assembles his flagship's crew and promises that they will find a new home soon. But first, Dessler plans to return home to Gamilas to have a final goodbye before it is destroyed.
Dessler would play one last role in helping the Earth in a time of need. Not long after the Bolar Wars ended, Dessler lead a fleet on an off-planet mission. Unfortunately, a titanic "invader galaxy" from another dimension appeared close to the Milky Way and crossed it. In the process, plenty of planets were destroyed, the others ruined. Unfortunately, the capital of the Galman-Gamilas Empire was one of those ruined planets. The Yamato under Kodai rushed to the planet to save Dessler, but when they arrived, they found a ruined planet, full of destroyed buildings and ruined infastructure. Mistakenly thinking that Dessler was dead, the crew left several roses near his palace as a sign of respect and mourning. Not long after, they left.
However, Dessler would arrive not very long after and returned to his planet. Finding the roses, he kept some and sensed that the Earth was in danger once more. He then ordered his flagship and several of his ships to warp as fast as they could to Earth.
They arrived close to Earth and found a tritum-loaded Yamato at the mercy of the Denguil, a warrior-race that had comandeered the water planet Aquarius on a colision course with Earth, as their own home was destroyed by Aquarius. Reacting quickly before any of the Denguil ships could fire, Dessler's fleet opened fire on their enemies as they warped in. Dessler contacted the Yamato for what would prove to be the final time to explain his sudden appearance and expression of graditude on honoring his "death". Shortly afterwards, he attacked and destroyed the flagship of Denguil emperor, Lugal, killing his opponent in the process.
Later, as the Yamato self-destructed in order to save the Earth from getting flooded by Aquarius, thus creating an ocean in space, Dessler watched from his flagship silently with tears in his eyes as the ship that had been enemy and ally sank silently below the waves of the ocean it had created.
- In the original series, Dessler's title was Sōtō (総統?). In Space Battleship Yamato III, he was referred to as Emperor.
- Dessler was the one of, if not the, first true examples of an anime villain-turned-antihero.