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Gatchaman Collector's Box 1: Vols. 1-2

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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(Jun 14, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In the 21st century, the evil organization Galactor has its sights set on global conquest. Their use of tyrannical terrorism and high-tech mayhem has the world in the clutches of fear! The only thing standing in the way of complete global dominance is the International Science Organization (ISO) and its chief scientist, Professor Kazaburou Nambu. Dr Nambu's primary weapon in the fight for freedom is his top secret experiment, the five kids who make up the Science Ninja Team. Bird, go!


As Battle of the Planets (syndication, 1978), the Japanese series Science Ninja Team Gatchaman (1972) helped to build an audience for anime in America. For Battle, the original 105 episodes were recut to 85, with much of the violence deleted from the fight scenes. New animation featuring the comic robot 7-Zark-7 linked what remained. Turner Broadcasting recut the series into 85 different episodes, restoring much of the violence and eliminating Zark for G-Force (Cartoon Network, 1995). The Gatchaman collections present the series in its original form.

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

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Katsuji Mori, Isao Sasaki, Kazuko Sugiyama, Yoku Shioya, Shingo Kanemoto
  • Directors: Katsuhisa Yamada, Masami Annô, Wataru Mizusawa
  • Writers: Akiyoshi Sakai, Hirohisa Soda, Jinzô Toriumi, Keiji Kubota, Mikio Matsushita
  • Format: Animated, Box set, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Section 23
  • DVD Release Date: June 14, 2005
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00096S3OU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,307 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Gatchaman Collector's Box 1: Vols. 1-2" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Servo VINE VOICE on May 21, 2005
Thanks to the Battle of the Planets DVDs (Volumes 1-6 and Ultimate Boxed Set) released thru Rhino Home Video, I finally got to see some uncut Gatchaman episodes. But not all of them, with Rhino no longer having rights to the series.

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"
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I can remember catching the odd episode of Battle of the Planets (BOTP) as a very young kid and thinking it was great. At the time, I was oblivious to the abrupt, heavy handed editing that put 7-Zark-7 and a poorly animated Jason and Princess in place of the original action.

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!
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This is something I thought I'd never see, the planned release of every Gatchaman episode unedited.

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.
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Finally, ADV's new translation of the Japanese classic, GATCHAMAN, is on the market and rabid Gatchafans can finally weigh in on it.

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.
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