Battle of the Planets

If you’re a child of the 70’s and 80’s you likely remember the first Japanese Anime cartoon invasion, highlighted by Speed Racer, which got the feature film treatment earlier this year.

But the Americanized Japanese cartoon that will always hold my heart is Sandy Frank’s Battle of the Planets/G-Force. Click the links to see the differences and show your age/generation.

Here’s the intro, if you need a refresher:

My favorite line?

“Watching, warning against surprise attack by alien galaxies from beyond space.”

I’m not exactly sure where “beyond space” IS, but I’d love to find out. Maybe the ridiculous and obviously added-in 7-Zark-7 could tell us.

Here are several versions of the Japanese title sequence for reference.

For those not in the know, Battle of the Planets/G-Force was actually called Gatchaman in Japan and tackled some fairly adult themes. Chief among them: death/mourning/grief and gender roles/hermaphroditus.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Even forgetting about it’s Japanese roots, Battle of the Planets notably spawned the team of 5 heroes/adventurers with coordinated outfits using giant robots to kill giant robots genre. Notable followers in this trend include, but aren’t limited to:

Given the fact that the show got the broadcast treatment twice in the States and that it’s always been a badge of geek-cred honor, it’s nice to see an even newer version being made now.

Insert internet rumors and teaser here. ;-)

For those interested in verifiable data on the Americanized series and the newest release, IMDb is your best bet.

Ideally, I’d like to see the recent (2005) dubbed release (if it’s still available) and read the comics before seeing the new version, but maybe I’m being pedantic. Maybe.

Anyhow, Transmute!/Transform!

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