Saturday, May 31, 2014

Reviewing Science Ninja Team Gatchaman:

This is an old article pending revision.

I still prefer the original Gatchaman series and I don't blame Sandy Frank or Gallerie International. It is mainly a narrow-minded view of "foreign" films and also an over-protection from violence. Even Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry ended up with deleted scenes!

What a tragedy. I mean the way the series was treated, not the actual content of the series.

It was made in 1972 with impressive, and at times 3-D, animation. They worked very hard to make this look beautiful and high quality. Every frame was another matte painting. The explosions (and there were a LOT of them) were all painted. A few scenes had live action elements, while others are animated so well, it looks like Live Action. From the talent of "Speed Racer" (Mach Go Go Go) is another show by Tatsunoko Productions. It is done a little better than Speed Racer in terms of drawing. The first few episodes of Gatchaman show signs that they needed a tiny bit more practice which does in fact improve later on.

The music is beautiful. The theme songs "Destroy Galactor!", "Gatchaman's Song", switch places with each other beginning in season 2. The opening theme contains credits, and also lyrics on screen. I have watched several episodes, but most in Japanese. I have learned a few Japanese words! At the same time, the Japanese audio contains several words in English language. So they could have just dubbed it THEMSELVES. Perhaps the Japanese can only speak "Engrish".

The plot like a darker themed "Captain Planet". And really this show is actually GENTLE compared to what passes for "mild" today. There are numerous killings on this show. After all, it is a war series. But the killings are not graphic, and there is very little blood in Gatchaman. There is only mild language, and rarely spoken,  so it would get TV-PG. Each episode is well written, and is much better done than most of the television today.

Six years later after its original primere, Sandy Frank turned it into Battle Of The Planets, basing it between Selectol and Earth, but it is very misleading. Gallerie International animates more segments. These scenes match up quite well, but I wouldn't say seamlessly. Whenever they made new scenes featuring The Godphoenix, or any of the ORIGINAL characters, it is done well, but you can still see a difference. The show was hosted by 7Zark7, placed there to say "The soldiers didn't die. They are just unconscious." They retitled Gatchaman, added new theme songs, (but looped the existing soundtrack during episodes) At the same time when they dubbed Gatchaman, they dumbed it down.

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