Thursday, March 13

Gatchaman Clarification


The above picture is of a Japanese Animated series from the 70's.

Most Americans may know the Anime as G-Force or the Battle of the Planets or perhaps Eagle Riders. This is because this particular Animated series has been dubbed or adapted three times in the United States and the characters have been given different names. The original series was shown in 1978, in heavily edited form, as Battle of the Planets. The series was shown again on American television in 1986 and 1995 (on cable) in translated form as G-Force: Guardians of Space; while this version cut out much less of the original, and had a much more faithful translation. The two sequel series, Gatchaman II and Gatchaman F were combined into one and translated as Eagle Riders in 1996 by Haim Saban, with yet more changes.

The original 1972 Kagaku ninja tai Gatchaman series was followed by two sequel series, Gatchaman II (1978) and Gatchaman F (1979). It was created during the hugely successful Henshin boom started by Shotaro Ishinomori's Kamen Rider in 1971. It established the convention of the five member hero team that has been emulated most notably the successful Tokusatsu Super Sentai franchise, which I mention a lot. In fact, the Sentai series Choujin Sentai Jetman (1991) was in many ways considered a homage to Gatchaman. They have similar birds like the eagle, condor, swan, swallow and owl; the only difference is that eagle/leader was changed to hawk and swallow was female, instead of male like in Gatchaman. Incidentally, Haim Saban who adapted Super Sentai into Power Rangers, he adapted the two sequels into Eagle Riders.

The difference between the original and the adaptations, there was heavy editing made to make the show appealing to the audience in the United States by removing controversial elements [i.e. graphic violence, profanity and transgenderism (namely, the bad guy] while adding other elements. Unlike Battle of the Planets which bounced around the Gatchaman episode order and adapted them as the producers' saw fit, G-Force followed the original Gatchaman episode order for its entire run, only skipping two episodes. However, only the first 87 of Gatchaman's 105 episodes were adapted for G-Force which resulted in the adaptation stopping cold at a cliffhanger, with many crucial plotlines left unresolved.

In fact, in one The Simpsons gag, Homer was Ultraman, Bart was Astro Boy, Lisa was Sailor Moon, Maggie was Pikachu and Marge Simpson was dressed as Jun, from Gatchaman.