8 January 2019 | spasek
One of the All-Time Best Animated Series that Still Holds Up Today!
In 1978, I was seven years old when "Battle of the Planets" hit the networks. On the heel of "Star Wars", and along my favorite TV show at the time, "Battlestar Galactica," it was a show that was right up my alley! Five super-teens in an awesome spacecraft flying around and battling Zoltar from Planet Spectra.
It would be years later that I would realize how much I'd missed. 7-Zark-7 is cool when you're seven. Not so much when you're 47. When I delved into Gatchaman, I was immediately enamored all over again, and frankly, I don't care if I never see another episode of "Battle of the Planets."
For 1972, Gatchaman was cutting-edge. In the uncut Japanese version, you had fist-fights (non-existent in 1972 American cartoons unless it was re-runs of Popeye), and civilians being slaughtered by Galactor's newest terror! You also had some mild language.
There is no planet Spectra. Instead, you have a terrorist organization hell-bent on destroying the world and taking over. Ironically, most of these attacks are against the environment, and the Science Ninja Team, spear-headed by the brilliant Dr. Nambu, and led by Ken, are sent to deal with the latest attack.
Things aren't all sunshine and rainbows on the team either. They frequently argue and fight with each other. Joe (Jason) frequently disagrees with Ken's (Mark) decisions, especially when they don't involve taking direct action. Jun (Princess) only has eyes for Ken, but he does not reciprocate her feelings, as he's more wrapped up in the mission and working as a pilot. Jinpei (Keyop) is funny and annoying, as any young boy would be. And no, there is no speech impediment either!
There is a lot of scientific knowledge that is put into the show, and why it is important to preserve the environment...messages that are still very relative even today.
Every Gatchaman episode is full of action, and each delves much deeper into the characters of the team than BOTP did.
The animation for the time period is still extraordinary, with so much attention to detail. I highly recommend watching Alex Ross's youtube video (an American artist) regarding this.
I only wish that more than the first series was available. I purchased the first 48 episodes on itunes, and I'm already anxious for more! You can't go wrong whether you're my age and re-living some great memories or even as a kid getting into it for the first time! Go! Go! Go! Gatchaman!!!