"Five orphans with a spacecraft battle a lipsticked maniac from the Crab Nebula and his unlikely big flying robots. No one gets hurt."
In 1972, the anime action-adventure show Kagaku ninja tai Gatchaman
(Science Ninja Team Gatchaman,
) premiered on Japanese television. Featuring graphic violence, extensive profanity and a transgendered villain
, it was one of the most popular animated series of its time. Envisioning similar success in the US, Sandy Frank Entertainment
acquired the series in 1978 but deemed it too graphic and shocking for domestic audiences. So they hired two Hanna-Barbera vets to "
" totally bowdlerize
the episodes with new scripts, voiceovers music and effects, animation, etc., at a cost of $5 million and turn it into a brand new show: Battle of the Planets
. Here are the original 1978 Battle of the Planets feature film (in 7 parts,)
and the first 19 episodes of the show,
all available on Youtube.
CBR: GATCHAMAN! The story of Tatsuo Yoshida and his greatest creation
Gatchaman Opening in Japanese with theme song by Masato Shimon
, who is also known for his unique rendition of the theme to Star Wars
. Partial translation of the lyrics
, the show was originally marketed to capitalize on the first Star Wars
movie. Voice artists on Battle of the Planets
included Alan Young
and Kasey Casem.
Japanese Episodes of Gatchaman I
and two series sequels: Gatchaman II
and Gatchaman Fighter have been uploaded by user 0yulka0
(no playlist). These are in Japanese. Many have English or Korean subtitles. The differences between the two shows should be immediately obvious.
A number of episodes of Toonami’s 1986 “G-Force Guardians of Space” can also be seen on Youtube
BBC Cult: Background
* Picture Gallery / Desktop Wallpaper
* Gatchaman OVA
* Battle of the Planets
* Sandy Frank Entertainment
* Battle of the Planets
* Science Ninja Team Gatchaman
* Gatchaman Character Sheet
(and other sources)
* Anime News Network
* IGN lists the show as #44
on their Top 100 Animated Series list.
* Home of the White Shadow
is devoted to all-things Gatchaman and Battle of the Planets. The owner also runs Gatchablog
, which says that GatchaCon
has been held at ComiCon annually for the last 13 years.
* Additional links and info
* Background on the Dutch translation of Battle of the Planets
: Strijd der Planeten
* Russian LJ Fan Community
* From 2004, a review
of the 25th Anniversary DVD collection
* American (English) Original
/ Another version
* Spanish Dub: Fuerza G
* Gatchaman DVD from ADV Films
* Russian Dub
* American (English) Intro
* Saban’s Eagle Riders
to the theme song
In 2009, Hong Kong studio Imagi released a pre-production trailer for a feature-length Science Ninja Team Gatchaman movie
. More info
and further details
Another trailer, showing a different entirely CG style
, was released in 2007. The studio folded / restructured last year and the movie’s fate is unknown
One of the changes to the show (in an effort to fill airtime after the original cartoons had been gutted by SFE,) was the addition of cheesy clips starring a robot “narrator” for the team, (whose primary purpose seemed to be explaining to the viewing audience that "no one got hurt" or died,) named 7-Zark-7
who doesn’t get much love from some fans
Last But Not Least
The site for Taiyo’s Gatchaman-themed slot machine
is entirely in Japanese, but rather well done.