I'm finishing up the trilogy of articles here I've done for the songs from the 1980 entry of the original "Uchuusenkan Yamato"（宇宙戦艦ヤマト...Space Cruiser Yamato）series, "Yamato yo Towa ni"（ヤマトよ永遠に...Be Forever Yamato）. After "Hoshi no Pendant"（星のペンダント）and "Ai no Inochi"（愛の生命）, which were both grand and emotional in their own way, there was the showstopper and the official theme at the end of the movie, "Ai yo Sono Hi Made" (Love, Until That Day) sung originally by Akira Fuse（布施明）.
The above video has the final several minutes from "Be Forever Yamato", and "Ai yo Sono Hi Made" comes in at around the 5:50 mark in that video. Every time I've seen the end of the film when Fuse is singing the song, I kinda get that cornball and throat-lumping impression at the same time. I mean, I couldn't quite believe that the animators actually went for that cliche lovers-running-joyfully-toward-each-other-in-a-field shtick, but that was more of a dream sequence representing how Kodai-kun and Yuki were feeling than what was actually happening, of course. Still, considering all of the battles and sacrifices that the crew of the Yamato went through in that particular chapter of the franchise (and the horrifying massacre of humans by the alien invaders), I think perhaps some sappiness was deserved for the characters.
Fuse composed the song while Yu Aku （阿久悠）wrote the words for release as one of Fuse's last singles in July 1980. The ballad has that old sunset cowboy feel that perhaps a number of anime ending themes had back then, and there is also that hint in there that perhaps the singer was channeling a bit of Frank Sinatra's "My Way". Moreover, it fit quite nicely with Kodai and the rest of the crew heading back to Earth after another of their long arduous missions.
I'm pretty sure that "Ai yo Sono Hi Made" is somewhere in the anison section of a catalogue in a karaoke box, but I think the challenger for this song better have some supremely leather lungs and vocal cords.
Speaking of anison, the master himself, Isao Sasaki （ささきいさお）did his own cover version of the song. Of course, his version is also beautifully delivered which makes it rather difficult for me to choose between his and Fuse's takes. However, I'm gonna have to go with the original guy ultimately due to the arrangement by Hiroshi Miyagawa（宮川泰）.
Well, try listening to this as you look at the sunset. Yeah, schmaltzy I am.
P.S. I'm a bit surprised that I hadn't mentioned it earlier in the other articles, but I first saw "Be Forever Yamato" through video rental. It was actually a taping of the television broadcast of the movie, and as it turned out, the television station, due to reasons of time (and boy, Japanese networks are extremely anal when it comes to going long on programming....even baseball games going into extra innings), cut out the "Star Wars"-like battle scene in the middle of the film. I didn't even realize that there was such a scene until I finally got the DVD years later!