Friday, September 12, 2008

Fight Gatchaman!

Nearly 30 years later Gatchaman still hits hard. I have been watching the original uncut version of the 1972-73 Japanese Anime TV show and it's amazing how much we lost when it was reedited for American TV as Battle of The Planets. I've have always admired the art design of the cartoon , especially the Mod influenced outfit of Jun the Swan. I am about 30 episodes in and although it can be episodic at times the deep drama underneath cannot be dismissed. Perhaps that is why it still holds up after all these years. I'm looking forward to seeing the last episodes of the second seasons as it has been said it's some of the finest animation and drama in the history of Anime. There is a huge sense of dread with the outcome of the characters the belies the colorful design and cheery endings of some of the episodes.

Destroy Galactor! is the soaring opening theme song for the first 20 episodes but later changed to the closing theme as it was originally intended. After the first 20 episodes Gatchaman's Song became the opening song of Gatchaman. Tatsunoko Productions released a 45rpm/ep through Columbia Records of both Destroy Galactor! and Gatchaman's Song on a single 45rpm. The record comes with a beautiful hard cardboard picture sleeve book with a few pictures of the Gatchaman team and some assorted monsters and villains from the first few episodes. the sleeve is a bit longer than most picture sleeves produced which makes it a unique sleeve for the collection. Destroy Galactor! is sung by the Columbia Cradle Choir and one of the best features of the Gatchaman TV show is that they list the 45rpm catalog number in the opening credits. I bought 45rpm and sleeve through Rinkya for 800 yen.

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