Gatchaman

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“Science Ninja Team, Gatchaman” is made up of three TV series that were released from 1972 though 1980, totaling about 205 episodes. The three series were adapted and shown on American television as “Battle of the Planets”, “G-Force”, and “Eagle Riders”. There is also a theatrical version from 1978, and an OVA remake from 1994. Character designs for the TV series were done by Yoshitaka Amano (“Casshan”, “MOSPEADA”, “Vampire Hunter D”, etc.) and the ’90s OVA remake’s were by Yasuomi Umetsu (“Megazone 23: Part 2”, “Mezzo Forte”), who also did the character designs of Tatsunoko’s remakes of “Casshan” and “Polymar”.

The evil alien organization of Galactor has come to steal Earth’s natural resources. Our only hope for survival against their giant mechanized monsters is the International Science Organization’s Ninja Birdman Team, Gatchaman! In their firebird transforming plane, the God Phoenix, the team, made up of five youths: “Straight-Arrow” Ken the Eagle, “Emo-Badass” Joe the Condor, “Goody Two-Shoes” Jun the Swan, “Smart-Aleck Shrimp” Jinpei the Swallow, and “Big Strong Guy” Ryu the Horned Owl; must fight against the nefarious schemes of Galactor’s Earth Operations Commander, the mutant, shape-shifting, hermaphrodite, Berg Katse.

“Bird, Go!”

Probably the most popular of Tatsunoko’s classic ’70s hero franchises (Casshan, Polymar, Tekkaman), Gatchaman’s environmental message may have been a little at odds with its great, energy consuming battles, and the “flaming”, flamboyant foe wasn’t exactly the most terrifying of villains… but, I enjoy the action packed episodes and the familiar dynamic of the ensemble cast. It’s also interesting comparing the original with the quirky reworking this series received in its various English adaptations. And the heroes’ character designs, with their winged capes and trademark beaked helmets, are classic; the firebird transforming plane is beautiful; and the wacky, evil robot designs are fun and unique.


 Gatchaman 01

 Gatchaman 02

 Gatchaman 03

 Gatchaman 04
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Curator: guyvariii
Gallery Created: 1/21/2004

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