Most definitely, Gatchaman totally rocks and rolls over Battle of the Planets, the watered-down, weird U.S. transposition of this totally cool anime from the early 70's. You know, leave it to the Yankees to screw up a totally good imported cartoon. I am reminded, of course, of the New Line Warriors of the Wind fiasco, where Roger Corman bought the U.S. distribution rights to Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, and edited it so badly that it made absolutely no sense. It would be another 10 years before Miyazaki would trust us with another of his movies.
I grew up watching Battle of the Planets and so watching the original source anime, Gatchaman, is like watching a whole different story. I recognize the characters and the music, but the stories are completely different. For one thing, the stories in Battle of the Planets all take place in space, while Gatchaman's stories seem to occur more often under water.
The nice thing about finding all the original Gatchaman episodes on DVD is that I get to introduce DJ to this important cartoon from my childhood in its original, unadulterated form.
Check out the very cool Gatchaman fansite by Veronika Henkels which has a link to Tatsunoko's website (not for easily culture-shocked Gaijin). It was totally not a surprise to me that this was the same studio that put together Speed Racer, and in fact just before I left for work the old man and I had a discussion about the music from Gatchaman. He said it sounded a lot like the music from Johnny Quest and therefore was a total rip-off because Gatchaman came out 8 years after JQ; I said the music sounded just like Speed Racer. Back and forth until I said, "well, honey, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree," to which the old man said, "yeah, to agree that I'm right and you're wrong!" We have such intellectual discourses in our house. In your face, old man!
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