===Story=== The first animated work from Leiji Matsumoto, who would create the popular ''Captain Harlock'' saga, ''Star Blazers'' (''Uchu Senkan Yamato'' or ''Space Cruiser Yamato'', 1974) was a landmark program in Japan and America. When it aired in syndication in the U.S. in 1979, the character names were anglicized (Susumu Kodai became Derek Wildstar; Admiral Okita, Captain Avatar, etc.), the violence and drinking were heavily censored, and the World War II connections of the ''Yamato'' were tactfully downplayed. ''The Quest for Iscandar'' comprises the first 26-episode continuity; two additional TV series and several features would follow. In the year 2199, the war with the planet Gamilon has turned the Earth's surface into a radioactive desert. The radiation will penetrate the bedrock protecting humanity's underground cities in another year, destroying all remaining life. A message arrives from Queen Starsha of the planet Iscandar, offering a way to eliminate the deadly radiation and providing plans for an engine that can power a ship across the 148,000 light-year gap. Scientists convert the ruined shell of the battleship ''Yamato'' into a starship in a desperate attempt to save the planet, and the perilous voyage begins. The animation and character designs look very dated, but Gen-Xers who grew up watching it remember ''Star Blazers'' vividly. The bonus materials include a virtual tour of the ''Argo'', an interactive map of the journey to Iscandar, and some footage deleted from the American broadcast version. Unrated; suitable for ages 8 and up: Violence largely restricted to spaceship and robot attacks. ''--Charles Solomon''
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