“The Silent Service” series is adapted from a manga and a film. The story questions the peace treaty between the USA and Japan. A deal is made between the two countries that leads to the design of a nuclear submarine, which is taken over by Captain Kaieda, who declares the vessel as an independent nation. The story deals with the concepts of justice and alliances. This article contains spoilers.
The Silent Service: The Battle of Tokyo Bay, Episode 1 ‘Yamanami Crushes’ Recap:
The episode begins with Captain Shiro Kaieda listening to music inside the submarine. In another submarine, Tatsunami, Commanding Officer Hiroshi Fukamachi keeps an eye to spot anything suspicious in the water. Fukamachi was informed that they could spot a submarine near the Yamanami vessel. He is also informed that they cannot figure out which submarine. But it seems to be an LA-class nuclear sub. They realize Yamanami is approaching the submarine, and it is sinking.
Tatsunami tries to contact Yamanami, but there is a collision, and the submarine is down. Aboard Yamanami were 70+ crew, including Kaieda, who all died because of the collision. The news channels report on the incident and speculate if it has anything to do with the US, considering the sensitive political situation. Fukamachi meets with the Fleet Admiral Tadokoro and learns that the US has found the submarine and has confirmed and identified the bodies.
Fukamachi is unable to trust the US. He is not pleased that they are the ones to find and identify the bodies. Furthermore, Fukamachi thinks about Kaieda and how he had handled a crisis in the past. Fukamachi believes something does not align, gets back to the submarine, and listens closely to the audio before the collision. Fukamachi has a hunch that Kaieda is still alive. Minister of Defence Hitomi Sonezaki is meeting with Prime Minister Toshio Takega, and they are talking about a nuclear submarine. She reminds Takega that it is essential to protect Japan. Chief Cabinet Secretary Wataru Unabara joins the meeting. Sonezaki hesitates to discuss the project before Unabara, but Takega says he deserves to know.
In this meeting, Unabara learned that the project is called the Seabat. It is a nuclear submarine part of America’s seventh Fleet. He also learns that the Yamanami did not sink, but it was a distraction so Kaieda and his crew could go aboard Seabat. The Japanese and the American government are both in on this agreement. Fukamachi’s team analyzed the audio and realized that the crew and Kaieda had escaped, leaving Yamanami unmanned and colliding.
He has a feeling that the US is in on this as well. Kaieda, along with the Captain of the US fleet, gets inside the Seabat and sails. They encounter sleeping whales, and Kaieda wakes them up by firing a torpedo. Fukamachi is thinking back to when Kaieda did not hesitate to leave a man to die when a submarine was flooding. The sleeping whale is the USS Key West submarine. Despite the American Captain’s pleas, Kaieda fires, and it turns out it is an acoustic torpedo. Kaieda tells the Captain that it is just a wake-up call.
The US Captain holds Kaieda at gunpoint and asks the crew to tie him up, but no one volunteers. Kaieda lowers the gun and informs him that there will be a detour. The Japanese ministers have a meeting to figure out where Kaieda has disappeared. They devise a plan to send Fukamachi and crew on Tatsunami to find Kaieda. Fukamachi is called in and is informed that Kaieda is alive and that he needs to find him. He decides to sail towards Mariana Trench. Kaieda brings Seabat to the surface. Meanwhile, the US marks the Seabat as hostile and decides to attack. They fire, and Seabat begins to descend.
The Silent Service: The Battle of Tokyo Bay, Episode 2 ‘Seabat Surfaces’ Recap:
The episode begins with crew members of Tatsunami preparing for the worst while still being optimistic about the situation. They are trying to locate Seabat. The US aircraft fires missiles at Seabat, but Seabat escapes the attack. On Tatsunami, the crew tries to understand Kaieda’s motives for his actions. In Washington, The President and the other officials have a meeting, and it is decided that they will take down Seabat at any cost, and failure is not an option.
US Pacific Forces Admiral Steiger sends the 7th Fleet to take down Seabat. Prime Minister of Japan Takega, Sonezaki, and Unabara discussed the Seabat issue. Unabara is sure that there is nuclear warfare and that Seabat is protected. They also wonder what it must be like to be underwater in a submarine for many months. Kaieda introduces Captain David Ryan from the US and how he spends time underwater. They both listen to Mozart.
As Kaieda is busy enjoying the music, David takes something off the table, wanting to attack Kaieda, but he cannot. USS Key West and two other submarines are prepared and moving in Seabat’s direction. Kaieda is informed of these movements, and he plays Mozart on a high volume and lets Irie take over and stay with David. USS Key West is prepared to fire four torpedoes, but Kaieda outsmarts them with symphonies. He plays different symphonies, gets close to the USS Key West, and fires two non-exposable torpedoes to prove a point. When the submarines realize what has happened, Seabat escapes. Meanwhile, David attacks Irie and questions him about Kaieda’s plan. Irie fights back, and other crew members temporarily restrain David.
Seabat then emerges on the surface, and the 7th Fleet spots them. An entire fleet is approaching Seabat. Kaieda releases David and tells him he is not a prisoner. Fukamachi realizes that Kaieda had intentionally gathered the submarines and the Fleet. The crew is curious if it is for battle or something else. As the Fleet closes in on Seabat, Kaieda addresses the Fleet. He tells them he has an anti-ship Tomahawk missile and he will fire if the Fleet does not stop. Ronald Raegan (US ship) does not slow down. David is sure there aren’t any nuclear weapons in Seabat. Kaieda reminds him that the Japanese were the last to inspect the ship. The US thinks Kaieda is bluffing and goes ahead. As Ronald Raegan approaches Seabat, it makes a turn without attacking it.
Kaieda asks the crew to follow Ronald Raegan. Kaieda opens communication and tells them that despite having nuclear weapons, neither one can fire. He asks the US to wake up to the reality of the situation, as the US claims that having nuclear missiles means having power. He is declaring independence for the Independent nation of Yamato. Tatsunami is approaching Seabat, and Kaieda says he is waiting for Fukamachi.
The Silent Service: The Battle of Tokyo Bay, Episode 3 ‘Kaieda vs Fukamachi’ Recap:
The episode begins with Kaieda declaring Seabat an independent nation of Yamato. Commander Boyce and the 7th Fleet are asked to stand by until the President gives an order. The President of the United States is discussing the meaning of Yamato with one of his ministers. Yamato was a sunken ship, and Kaieda named Seabat Yamato, which means that he wanted an independent country and to prove Japan was powerful again in terms of defense.
Tatsunami approaches, and Fukamachi asks the crew to board Seabat. Kaieda says that Seabat is an independent nation. Boyce interrupts and tells him that Seabat belongs to the US 7th Fleet. Fukamachi asks to let one person inside Yamato, and Kaieda agrees. Fukamachi asks Kaieda if he intends to start World War III. Kaieda says he intended to unify all the nations with his actions. Irie asks Fukamachi to leave when he reaches to pull out his gun.
The President of the United States gives the order to fire and take down Seabat. Tatsunami is repeatedly warned to back away but is waiting for its Commander Fukamachi. Fukamachi reaches Tatsunami, and the firing from the US Fleet commences. Fukamachi decides to pursue and take down Seabat. Ronald Raegan starts to fire but misses Seabat.
Tatsunami manages to dodge the torpedo, but there is a slight impact. Seabat dives deeper inside the water, and Tatsunami decides to pursue Seabat, realizing much later that Seabat is below them. The aircraft also fires missiles, and both Seabat and Tatsunami dodge it. The missiles do not blow the submarines, and David says that it’s Boyce’s doing. Boyce’s crew member asks Boyce why he chose not to blow up the submarine, and Boyce is worried if there is a nuclear weapon in Seabat, the entire area will be finished.
Fukamachi decides to steer towards Molucca Strait, the perfect place for a submarine battle. The Japanese government wonders how to handle Kaieda, and the Prime Minister suggests they defend him. Then, they receive a summit request from the US President. Seabat is in the Molucca Strait, and a US submarine is approaching them. Kaieda decides to counterattack. The submarines fire two torpedoes.
The Silent Service: The Battle of Tokyo Bay, Episode 4 ‘Combat Begins’ Recap:
The episode begins with Seabat and three US submarines going head-to-head in the Moluccan Strait. The Moluccan Strait has many shadow zones. The first US submarine fires its torpedoes, but Seabat escapes. Seabat uses sound to escape from the vision of the submarines. At one point, the submarine loses track of Seabat. Seabat thinks they are safe, but the other submarine uses fishing techniques to trap Seabat.
Kaieda compliments the idea but asks the crew to dive as a regular submarine cannot withstand the depth, and they will give up. Just as Kaieda predicts, the submarine starts to pop, and they give up. The other submarine is closing in to attack, but Seabat baits the submarine, and it crashes into a sunken ship. For now, Seabat is safe without interference. The US is ready to send the 3rd Fleet soon towards Seabat.
Kaieda communicates with Fukamachi, who is watching the entire ordeal with the US submarines. He asks Fukamachi if he saw what he did. Fukamachi tells him by not firing first, he didn’t prove anything, and if he does not believe in him and his ideals, he will not hesitate to sink Seabat. Kaieda says one day, he will understand him, and he cut the communication.
The Japanese are concerned about whether they should defend Seabat or make an alliance with the US. Unabara’s father, the Sensei, advised the government that Japan should cooperate with the US and take down Seabat, but Unabara thinks otherwise. He thinks Japan has bowed its head down for many years and should now show its capabilities.
Takega, Sonezaki, and Unabara agree that Seabat should be defended, but one other minister thinks it’s risky, but Unabara convinces him. Japan sends a defense Fleet toward Seabat. Kaieda predicts that Japanese defense forces will arrive. The US 3rd Fleet is waiting, but Admiral Numata requests permission from the 3rd Fleet to enter the territory. They get a negative response with a warning that they will not hesitate to fire if they don’t cooperate.
Admiral Numata proceeds anyway to defend Yamato/Seabat. Seabat makes a move. 3rd Fleet uses it as an opportunity to attack. David tells Kaieda that he understands his ideals but that he is provoking both countries. Meanwhile, Japanese officials meet the US President and other officials to discuss peace terms. Kaieda asks David who will be the first to attack.
The Silent Service: The Battle of Tokyo Bay, Episode 5 ‘Japan-US Summit Meeting’ Recap:
The episode begins with a meeting between Japan and USA. The US put forth three conditions. First, the Seabat deal should be called off, and any records related to it should be erased. Japan will pay for the damages done because of Kaieda, and the US will deal with Seabat. However, Japan does not agree to the terms and asks for peace talks as they don’t want to go to war. Japan tells the US that both fleets will be withdrawn. Kaieda and the crew will be punished under the Japanese Law as they are Japanese. The US is disappointed with the conditions, and they argue over them. Japan is sure they don’t want to go to war, but the US does not care since they see Kaieda as a terrorist. The third Fleet warns the Japanese defense Fleet to evacuate; their safety cannot be guaranteed if they don’t.
Numata sends a telegram asking Kaieda to let them escort them, but Kaieda responds by asking for a Japanese stance. The 7th Fleet closes in on Seabat and the Japanese Fleet. In the Summit meeting, they decide to take a break as the Japanese point out that harming Seabat means risking David’s life. Kaieda predicts the 3rd Fleet will make a move first. The Japanese Fleet sees a whale struggling, and they decide to let it pass through.
The 3rd Fleet, however, decides to fire missiles to scare the whale, but it attacks one of the Japanese ships. The evacuation process takes place, but the Japanese don’t attack. The same is true of the officials of both Japan and the US. Kaieda concludes that the peace treaty between Japan and the US has ended. The US officials are still determining if David is alive or not and decide to attack Seabat. The US believes they need to attack to maintain world order.
Kaieda is upset as the Japanese have weapons but are unwilling to use them as the Fleet prepares only to defend if attacked. Tatsunami follows Seabat to sink it. Kaieda decides to sink the 3rd Fleet of the US. He fires missiles, and it hits the target. The ship’s Captain asks the crew to prepare for the worst, as he knows they are going down. The US decides to militarize, and Japan does not. Tatsunami closes in, and Kaieda knows Fukamachi is serious and asks his men to put on the mask and prepare for impact.
Tatsunami collides but does not damage Seabat. Seabat dives deeper so Tatsunami cannot catch up. On the 7th Fleet, Boyce chooses not to attack Seabat and calls all the ships to help the 3rd Fleet. The President of the US is informed about the 3rd Fleet’s sinking, but he is indifferent. He realizes he has underestimated Kaieda, and now they need to develop a better strategy. The Japanese still have faith in Kaieda.
The Silent Service: The Battle of Tokyo Bay, Episode 6 ‘Seabat Enters Tokyo Bay’ Recap:
The episode begins with the Japanese officials returning to Japan and discussing how to handle the US and Kaieda. Unabara gets a call from his father’s doctor. Fukamachi boards the Japanese defense Fleet and has a conversation with Numata. Numata believes Kaieda has a bigger purpose, but he needs to know what. He believes this because he does not believe Kaieda to be a warmonger.
Fukamachi begs to differ, as his actions may lead to a war. Kaieda tells David they will be entering Tokyo Bay, and he will be getting off the ship. David asks if he will ally with Japan, and Kaieda confirms. Kaieda thanks his crew but tells them the next path will be long and difficult. Japanese officials come to Japan and are met with a piece of news that Kaieda has contacted. Kaieda tells the Prime Minister that he will decide the time and date for the meeting to negotiate an alliance.
Takega agrees but wants confirmation about nuclear weapons. Kaieda asks Takega to trust him, and the ship has no nuclear weapons. Takega holds a press conference to inform the public about Seabat and everything that took place and will be taking place. Kaieda sent a message during the conference to meet at the Press Club the next day for the treaty. Takega tells the press that the proceedings will be taking place publicly.
Unabara’s father is sick, and he gives Unabara a book telling him that it contains a 100-year plan on how to run the Japanese government and protect its people. Fukamachi wants to stop Kaieda from entering Tokyo Bay as civilian ships are there. Boyce’s crew sees Seabat emerging to the surface, and he decides that they must sink the vessel. He asks the Fleet to circle the vessel and his men to hold fire. He asks them to destroy it this time.
Kaieda sends a message to Boyce, but he does not want to hear it. He fires, but his men stop him as David stands at the top of the submarine. Kaieda has agreed to release David, and Boyce is happy to have him unharmed. The President of the US realizes Kaieda is not a terrorist, but their idea of justice is being questioned through his actions. The dock to board Seabat and the press club for the alliance meeting is ready. The Japanese defense Fleet is ordered to escort Kaieda.
Kaieda asks his subordinate to take over even if he falls. He tells him that the US will only make a move once the treaty is signed, but as soon as it is done, they will be attacked. The Fleet sends a helicopter to escort Kaieda. He bids David farewell and promises to report everything he has seen on the ship but also tells him he has his full support. Kaieda promises that a helicopter will arrive soon to escort him.
The Silent Service: Battle of Tokyo Bay Ending, Explained:
Will Japan agree to sign a treaty with Captain Kaieda?
The US calls Takega and asks him if he will ally with Kaieda. Takega confirms but says he will negotiate, which means he will continue talks with the US. The US President is unhappy with the response and asks him to consider this a final warning. Takega asks him if he plans to attack Japan, but the President hangs up. Kaieda arrives, and the whole world watches them.
The season picks up pace after episode 5, and until the end, there isn’t a clear answer to Kaieda’s motive. What does he mean by having a unified nation? He also talks about how two parties must cooperate for peace between nations. Is he trying to show Japan what it means not to be subject to a superpower like the USA, but it can be a military superpower on its own? Is he trying to show who is disrupting peace? Or is he trying to sign a friendly treaty with Japan to show the US how an alliance needs to be maintained?
Fukamachi is quite headstrong, which may or may not work against him going forward. He is sure Kaieda is wrong, but when his real motive is revealed, can Fukamachi accept his beliefs being shattered, or will his ideas be proved right? If something happens to Kaieda, will the ship survive? It is going to be interesting to see how things pan out. It will be interesting to see how Seabat will combat when the US attacks. Will Japan go to war?