Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Gatchaman goes Live!!

For those who do not know Gatchaman is a Japanese anime from 1972, inspired by the rise of popularity in henshin (transformation) series' like Kamen Rider. Gatchaman features five young heroes trained in the art of the science ninja technique. They fight for the conservation of nature, environmentalism, and responsible use of technology for progress and advancement. The main antagonist is a group of global terrorist known as Galactor, who use giant mechanoids to try and take control of Earth's natural resources. As you could guess, I am a huge fan of this series. I can remember getting up at four or five in the morning to catch the block of anime shows the local channels had running at the time. There were several, Ronin Warriors, Voltron, to name a few and of course Gatchaman. Though that is not what it was called when it came on TV here in America. It came over to America in several forms, from Battle of the Planets, to Eagle Riders. It was heavily cut for the violence, and they added sequences that were clearly of different quality. By doing so it was made even more into a kid show, cause we all know adults do not watch cartoons right? But I was young then and I did not know what I know now.

What drew me in the most about Gatchaman is that it was different from most superhero, action packed adventures that were out there. It had an on going theme and message, use technology wisely and protect nature. The plot was also continuous and consistent, something that is rare for a kid show and cartoons even today. They always used caution when using their bigger weapons, such as the bird missiles and the powerful phoenix attack. I really liked that they did not just go firing away, they thought about the consequences and any damage it might cause. I had never seen that before in anything, and I think it really taught a valuable lesson of think before you act. 

Back in 2005 ADV films released several DVD volumes with all of the episodes uncut for the first time ever in America. Both in their original subtitled version, and a new dubbed version. I was so excited that this happened, I was finally able to see Gatchaman as it was meant to be seen. And now the even greater news, Gatchaman is getting its own live action adaptation! When I heard about this I nearly jumped around for joy, okay I did a little. The movie is slated for a Japan release on August 24th of this year. They now have a teaser trailer on the official site, as well as some images.

Ken "The Eagle" Washio