Thursday, July 18, 2013

Gatchaman: the trailer is released

I was eight at the time.

My love for anime had already been kickstarted by watching Speed Racer after school.  Then I heard the announcer for WFLD Chicago make me a promise as promo footage rolled of a new Japanese cartoon.  The vow went something like this:
"Hey kids!  We have a new show in our afternoon line up this fall and it's better than Star Wars!  It's called Battle of the Planets!"

Yes, so the Star Wars comparison was hyperbole at its best, but I did come to be quite the fan of Battle of the Planets.  I mean, what kid wouldn't want to be a part of a "science ninja team" that wore cool, bird-inspired costumes?  Hell, I'm 42 and I still want to.  Not only did I watch the show but I collected the Gold Key line of comic books based on the series.  My affinity for the team known as "G-Force" was quite strong.  As a kid I wanted to be Mark but later my aspirations would turn to the rebellious and brooding Jason.  You know, the only member of the team that carried a gun?  Always manned the weapons station on their ship?  You could tell he was thinking, "Just let me shoot them!  If you'd let me shoot them, we would've finished these jackasses off two episodes ago!"

Little did I know that in its importation to the United States, Battle of the Planets had been changed significantly from its original form, Gatchaman.  Its violent content and mature themes were mitigated and the robot character of 7Zark7 added in to make the program more kid-friendly.  I guess they thought we needed an R2-D2 but instead gave us something thoroughly annoying. The American version was a poetaster by comparison. However, I was fortunate enough in my twenties to come upon the reboot of Gatchaman and enjoy the premise with a modern sensibility (never mind all the times my friends and I slowed the tape down to see two frames of the only female character naked as she transmuted to her Gatchaman form.)  It also had pretty cool music and a song written by a guy from Earth, Wind, and Fire:

The love theme from Gatchaman.

Now, as if granted by God Himself, there is a live-action Gatchaman film due out in Japan in but a month.  You can see the trailer for it in the above posted clip.  I know I've seen it already.  Many times.  While it's brief, you can already see the differences that inevitably would arise between the anime and a live film.  For instance, the characters wear capes and not bird wings.  I don't think that's such a bad thing as the wings would likely look rather silly in real life.  The capes aren't bad though and still grant an avian appearance as they flutter in the wind.  Speaking of music, the score for the film sounds stirring and inspiring.

I have many hopes and dreams pinned on this Gatchaman film.  Not the least of which is that there will be an English translation.  Until then, I'll return to my Battle of the Planets comic books.

You can visit the film's official website here but fair warning: it's all in Japanese.

Viva Japan!

Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets

1 comment:

  1. On Facebook, David said: "Looks pretty sexy."



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