Friday, May 09, 2008

Star Blazers, Voltron, and Gatchaman fallout

I made my 5-yr old son a really cool Gatchaman t-shirt and he refuses to wear it because, as he says, "you won't let me watch Gatchaman, so why should I wear a Gatchaman t-shirt?" He is wise beyond his years. I was hoping it would be a consolation prize -- he can't watch the ADV dubbed-version of Gatchaman because of bad language, but here's a really cool shirt with a reproduction of a Gatchaman poster... No dice. I've been pondering the idea of whether or not to get some episodes of Battle of the Planets -- they won't have the questionable language, but they'll also be confusing as all get-out with the changed names, and that stupid robot.

So, I'm trying to work on mending my son's broken heart with some other great anime from the same era, Star Blazers and Voltron. Voltron I never watched as a kid but it is fondly remembered by many of my age peerage. I never saw the English-language version of Star Blazers; I remember watching 16-mm silent footage of Space Battleship Yamato at the Polish-American Center in the East Village back in the early 80's.

We've had fun watching both of these so I've packed the Netflix cue chock-full. I've now got the Star Blazers theme going through my head almost constantly and occasionally will bust out with a couple of stanzas while DJ and I drive around on errands. I return once again to Blackcatter's World of TV Theme Song Lyrics to share the words with you: "We're off in outer space/protecting Mother Earth/To save the human race/Our Star Blazers!" I often think of Battleship Potemkin when I think of the theme song, I'm not sure why.

It'll be a fun summer.

Star Blazers photo taken from
Voltron pic from


Chris Sobieniak said...

I do think in the end, I would go with Star Blazers personally. It's not as badly adapted as what they did with Battle of the Planets, though I hadn't seen both shows until my later years than as a child, I know I probably would've went for Star Blazers most of all for it's engaging plot over the slightly episodic and re-edited mess that BOTP ensued (both shows of course had to be edited due to their violent content, but I feel Star Blazer held up better in the end).

Shame you didn't like the ADV dub for Gatchaman despite the effort they did in dubbing it at all. Too often I don't like to hear much language used in these dubs myself if I felt that particular show or movie could be accessible to a wider audience (much like what Manga Video did to ruin the Lupin III film, "The Castle of Cagliostro" that I felt would be perfect to show a 10 year old if it wasn't for their choice of words).

Michele said...

Thanks for your comment Chris -- not many people visit this part of the netverse, so it's always fun to get feedback!

My son definitely liked Star Blazers - we watched two of the three series and greatly enjoyed them. By the third season he was over it all, so I've stopped stocking them in the Netflix cue. Besides, he's grounded right now and cannot watch any television whatsoever for a whole week.

Voltron was a mixed-bag. He really liked it, but I think I muddied the waters for him ideologically by sniffing my reproofs at some of the antics of the main players, especially in regards to Princess Allura. And what the HELL was up with Prince Lotor? What a freak! He was all like, "I'm going to capture you and make you my woman," like some kind of rude approximation of a stereotyped Appalachian American. Those are some of the things I sniffed at.