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Thread: Another 50th Anniversary!

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    Thanks to the magical line in the Pacific called the International Date Line, mentioned in Five-O's S07E13 "Hara-Kiri: Murder", this post is right on time.

    On October 1, 1972, a show aired for the first time on Fuji TV in Japan. Unbeknownst to anyone at the time, the show would take over the world, even if it wasn't in the original form. Kagaku Ninja-tai Gatchaman, better known as Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, began its original two year run of 105 episodes.

    The series follows a team of five protecting the Earth from some seriously sinister bad guys from the Galactor Organization. The bad guys are led by Berg Katse who takes orders from a mysterious being called Sosai X.

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    Katse conferring with Sosai

    The team is made of Ken, Joe, Jun, Jinpei and Ryu. Each represents a different bird with a unique color scheme.

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    Ken, Ryu, Jinpei, Jun and Joe: The Science Ninja Team

    Their first fight is with The Turtle King, a giant robot mecha. It's a preview of what's to come. Most of the 'monsters' are in the shape of animals with a corresponding costumed commander. Some are more challenging than others. It would be boring, otherwise, right?

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    The Turtle King

    At the team's disposable, is their mighty ship, the God Phoenix. It can also take another form to defeat the mechas faster, known as the Hinotori.

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    The God Phoenix

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    As the Hinotori

    Now, that might be the end of the story but it's not even close. In 1978, Tatsunoko Studios, the animators behind the original series released two sequel series. Gatchaman II and Gatchaman Fighter. These sequels lasted a year each adding another 100 episodes to the total. They weren't the same quality of the original series, but they have their own fans too.

    If these pictures look familiar but the names don't match, that's okay. You would be correct. This anime has no less than five, yes FIVE, U.S. versions. It began in 1978 as Battle of the Planets, (US 1). The team members' names were changed and a lot of editing took place to make the series compatible for US broadcast standards. Much like Five-O had to face throughout its 12-year run. It was this version that went worldwide and most people know. There was a huge presence in Europe for this particular version.

    Another series called G-Force (US 2) was edited from the original anime in 1985. However, a full run didn't air until Cartoon Network launched in the 1990s. In 1995, an Original Animated Video (OAV) was released with new animation. Urban Vision released a subtitled and English dubbed version of the three episodes (US 3). Also in 1995, Saban Entertainment got a hold of the sequels and created Eagle Riders (US 4). In 2006, ADV Films dubbed and subtitled the original anime uncut and uncensored, giving the anime it's first true North American release. Giving us US version #5.

    It's a lot. If you want to know more, my buddy Jason has a webpage based on Battle here:

    There's lots more on the InterWebs. Also, as a side note, I don't expect Mr. Mike to even begin tackling these shows! That would be a lot of work!!

    Happy Anniversary, Science Ninja Team Gatchaman!!
    Last edited by Bobbi; 09-30-2022 at 03:19 PM.

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