Gatchaman Collector's Box 1: Vols. 1-2
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Five teen-age adventurers--Ken the Eagle, Jun the Swan, Ryu the Owl, Jinpei the Swallow, and Joe the Condor--make up the Science Ninja Team. Dressed in bird suits, these stalwart heroes fight the Galactor Group, an evil cabal bent on conquering the world. Galactor henchmen use mecha monsters to steal uranium, hurl meteors at the Earth, interrupt air travel, and, incongruously, capture the world's supply of sugar. The Ninja Scientists thwart these nefarious schemes.
Gatchaman shows its age, not only in details like Ken's shoulder-length hair and bell-bottoms, but in the stolid pacing, minimal character development, and rudimentary special effects. Gen-Xers who grew up on Battle of the Planets will love this uncut version. Among the extras are "karaoke" episodes (the dialogue appears only in subtitles, so the viewers can supply the voices) and scenes of six actors auditioning for Ken, including Leraldo Anzaldua, who got the part. (Rated TV PG, suitable for ages 8 and older: violence, occasional grotesque imagery, tobacco use) --Charles Solomon
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Enter ADV Films, which will release the entire Gatchaman series (on 7 collector's boxes) for the first time ever in North America. Collectively, the seven-volume collector's edition will contain all 105 episodes of the original uncut Japanese series, including 20 episodes never before seen in the U.S. Each set features stunning original artwork by Alex Ross.
This Gatchaman Collector's Box Volume 1 is a three-disc release containing two sub-volumes (The Legend Begins and Meteors and Monsters, each available separately) with 12 episodes presented in English 2.0 and Japanese 2.0 with English subtitles. Extras include: clean opening and closing animation, episode commentary, Gatchaman Karaoke, and previews. The bonus extras DVD includes: Ken, the Eagle profile, character sketches: Ken, episode sketches, interviews with the English staff and cast, and audition footage.
"Gatchaman VS. Turtle King"
"The Evil Ghostly Aircraft Carrier"
"The Giant Mummy That Calls Storms"
"Revenge of the Iron Monster Mechadegon"
"The Ghost Fleet from Hell"
"The Grand Mini-Robot Operation"
"Galactor's Grand Airshow"
"The Secret of the Crescent Coral Reef Operations"
"A Demon From The Moon"
"The Big Battle of the Underground"
"The Mysterious Red Impulse"
"The Greedy Monster Ibukuron"
I watched the first few episodes in Japanese but I decided to get lazy and switch to the dubbed version, which isn't that bad. I think the worst voiceover is for Berg Katse, the main bad guy. They make him sound almost like Paul Lynde. I think the idea was to riff on his sexual ambiguity or something but it comes off sounding too 60s Batman style campy. But I will always remember Keye Luke's vocal performance in Battle of the Planets as definitive.
The extras on these DVDs focus around the english voiceacting. More thought and effort went into that than I thought.
The translation seems okay, but they throw in some slang every now and then "dynomite!!". At one point Ken says "I'm going to take it to the next level" which is a little too hip-hop for a 70s show. If they play around with that stuff too much it edges it closer to MST3K level.
There really are only a few truly good shows on this collection for an adult audience. The rest are formulaic. There are a couple shows that explore the aftermath of the death that Galactor causes which I thought was well done. And there are some elements here and there that hint at an overall "arc" like Red Impulse.
If you dissect the plots, they are full of holes because the story wants to somehow get the characters into an infiltration scenario (to allow them to do Ninja type stuff) so the godphoenix usually just creeps up into the enemy ship and leaves it sitting there unprotected. The enemy does a lot of "monologuing" as it is called in The Incredibles, or insisting on capturing the team first instead of just offing them directly.Read more ›
Over the years, I'd catch an odd episode here and there, often times the characters would have different names. I won't go into detail here (do an interenet search if interested), but the original series Gatchaman has been translated by Sandy Frank into Battle of the Planets, Ted Turner into G-Force, and Saban Entertainment into Eagle Riders--each with it's own pros and cons.
Eventually, I came upon some fan-produced subtitled episodes of the original Gatchaman series. I was really amazed! The original series was a complex, deep, action-packed serial. There are things that happen and people we meet early in the series that seem trivial at first, but end up having a gigantic effect on the series. The characters care for each other and act with an honest plend of passion and loyalty.
Unfortuneately, I personally don't feel the series really gets going until perhaps episode 30 or so--where Jun (Princess) is presumed dead and we see how the rest of the team reacts. The early episodes are much more episodic, introducing the team, Gallactor, Dr. Nambu, and are fairly formulaic in the sense that 1) Gallactor attacks a city, 2) Gatchaman investigates, 3) the Team fights the monster and wins.
This first volume gets four stars, because I have to save five stars for the rest of the series. If you buy it however, you WILL NOT be disappointed!
Contrary to ADV's previous publicity, volumes one and two contain the first twelve episodes of the series, not the first ten. Those of us who had already bought Rhino's BATTLE OF THE PLANETS releases will have already seen those Gatchaman episodes in subtitled form, so the main selling point of this box set is the new dub translation. [The first examples of Gatch material not included on the Rhino discs should show up on Volumes 3 in Collector's Box #2 in a few months.]
How is the new translation? It's not too shabby. I have some reservations about some of the vocal choices, but the final result is often less cringe-worthy than 1978's kiddified BATTLE OF THE PLANETS or the campy re-dub G-FORCE: GUARDIANS OF SPACE Fred Ladd helmed circa 1986.
The dub translation has a good 5.1 stero mix. The Japanese audio track is two-channel mono and strikes me as being a little too quiet in comparison.
Leraldo Anazulda sounds young, earnest and a bit callow as Eagle Ken. Brian Jepson's Condor Joe is reminiscent of G-Force's "Dirk Daring", but without the whine Jimmy Flinders gave Dirk back in '86. Luci Christian is hyper as the Great Swallow Jinpei, but I find her performance bearable. I'm not yet sold on Edwin Neal's performance as the hermaphroditic villain, Berg Katse. He comes across as too nasal and weak and it seems like he does a slightly different voice for the character each appearance. Andy McAvin gives a standard reading for the Dr. Nambu character, sounding like a cross between the guy who voiced his EAGLE RIDERS equivalent, Dr.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An awesome DVD collection at a very good price. Look forward to further purchases from you in the near future, thank you!Published on October 22, 2013 by Jeffrey K Stewart
I've been looking for these since they went out of circulation. The extras are the best part of the set particularly the history of the series.Published on February 13, 2011 by achol980
Gatchaman vol 1 boxset is a must for any fan, the box art is extremely cool and the cartoons are even better than i remember, a must have for any fan of the seriesPublished on February 10, 2010 by I. Abenneyworth
I was a huge fan of Battle of the Planets as a kid, but of course I never realised at the time that it was a cut down version of a Japanese classic with strange robots thrown in! Read morePublished on March 21, 2006 by Mr. S. J. Meredith
Wow! Here it is. Gatchaman aired in Japan in 1972 and is one of the early greats of anime. Many of us remember rushing home at lunch hour to watch "Ken", "Jason", "Princess",... Read morePublished on February 19, 2006 by Amazon Customer
Hello all, I am more like asking Questions about this two box-sets than reviewing... I grew up watching the Mandarin-dubbed version of this great cartoon, I saw a total of 3... Read morePublished on November 22, 2005 by Tan Hai Woo
All waht is said before this is very true. It is a great show and finally after 20 I can watch it uncut the way it was shown in Japanese. Read morePublished on July 15, 2005 by Just a thought
If you grew up in the mid to late 80's your first anime experience was probably Robotech. But if you were five or ten years older it was probably Battle of the Planets, later... Read morePublished on June 27, 2005 by Cliff
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