Before Japan became known for extravagantly well-produced and often very silly animated features, known as "animé," it was nonetheless a power in the world of feature-film animation. In Space Cruiser Yamato, the animation is primitive, but the storyline is characteristically Japanese. The evil denizens of the planet Gorgon have laid siege to the Earth in the year 2199. They are killing the planet with a rain of radioactive fallout which, in a year's time, will have completed its task. The Space Cruiser Yamato is sent by Earth's powers in an urgent quest to seek an antidote to the death-dealing radiation. Curiously, Space Cruizer Yamato is none other than the World War II battleship, rescued from the bottom of the sea and put to use by the Japanese to expiate their guilt for that earlier war.