Anyone who ever raced home from school to catch Star Blazers on WNEW knows the stirring theme song: “We’re off to outer space/We’re leaving Mother Earth/To save the human race/Our Star Blazers!” One of Japan’s earliest breakthrough animation imports, a 2010 live-action version of Space Battleship Yamato (complete with Wave-Motion Engine) makes its U.S. premiere tonight as the cap to the Japan Society’s “Japan Cuts 2012” film series. The basics are the same—a devastated Earth sends a retrofitted World War II battleship into space on a last-ditch mission—though details have been tweaked to compress the story into a single film. Will Earth survive?

Sat., July 28, 9 p.m., 2012

Archive Highlights