Gatchaman (OVA)

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Gatchaman
ガッチャマン
Genre Adventure
Science Fiction
Original video animation
Directed by Akihiko Nishiyama
Written by Hiroyuki Fukushima
Music by Maurice White
Bill Meyers
Studio Tatsunoko Production
Artmic
Licensed by
Released October 1, 1994April 1, 1995[1]
Runtime 45 minutes (each)
Episodes 3
Alternative titles

Gatchaman 94
Tecno Ninja Gatchaman

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Gatchaman (ガッチャマン?) is a three-part original video animation (OVA) based on the popular 1970s anime Science Ninja Team Gatchaman.[2] It was released in Japan and the United States during the mid-1990s. This version of Gatchaman is set in the year 2066 where the evil leader of the nation of Hontwall is threatening to take over the planet. Scientists from the International Science Organization are disappearing and only five teenage heroes, the Science Ninja team, can stop the disaster.[3] The OVAs were licensed by Urban Vision through Harmony Gold USA and were released on VHS and DVD. At Anime Boston 2013, Sentai Filmworks had announced that they have rescued the OVA series along with the original 1970's series for a DVD re-release in October.[4] The series was made available for streaming through Crunchyroll.[5]

The series was originally dubbed by Harmony Gold and Urban Vision, however, Sentai Filmworks produced a new English dub in 2013 for their DVD and Blu-ray re-release to match the uncut TV series dub.[6]

Plot[edit]

# Title Original Airdate
1 "The Dragon King"
"Gatchaman Vs. Turtle King" (ガッチャマン VS タートルキング) 
October 1, 1994
An enormous dragon-shaped warship decimates a city with plasma beams and giant robotic arms. Its target is the Mantel Plan, a network unifying the world's energy resources. As the sinister ship heads for its next target a team of specialists rise to the rescue: the Gatchaman. Piloting their ship, the Phoenix, the Gatchaman launch a counterattack. Once inside the enemy ship they come face to face with the Galactor's entire army of assassins.[7] 
2 "The Red Specter"
"Secret Red Impulse" (謎のレッドインパルス) 
January 1, 1995
The Gatchaman are in trouble and receive help from a mysterious group known as Red Impulse. While cruising near a strange island a submarine is vaporized by a large blast. Summoned to avenge the attack the Gatchaman Group comes upon the secret undersea headquarters of the alien Galactor. In a fierce air and undersea battle the Gatchaman struggle against the Galactor's Jupiter Death Brigade and the evil Black Bird Battalion. Battered by combat, the Gatchaman appear to be on the brink of defeat when, out of the sky, a new force appears led by a mysterious warrior in red. 
3 "The Final Countdown"
"Final Count 0002" (ファイナルカウント0002) 
April 1, 1995

The Gatchaman have to confront Berg Katse in a final battle to save the earth. The huge mechanical devices installed at each of the Galactor's bases are infiltrating the Earth's interior, disrupting weather patterns and transforming the Earth's landscape into an environment hostile to the human race. In the midst of these disasters Joe is beginning to regain his childhood memories and must deal with the realization that he may be descended from the blood of his enemies. Joe decides to use his knowledge of the Galactor society to help save the human race. Joe single-handedly infiltrates the Galactor headquarters and manages to transmit its coordinates to the Gatchaman moments before he is captured by Solaris and his henchman.

Meanwhile the Gatchaman group teams up with Red Impulse to attack the Galactor's home base – it's a brutal fight to the death in which both the Gatchaman and the Red Impulse will pay the ultimate price. In the end-credits, it turns out that the Gatchaman team survived thanks to a miracle. 

Characters[edit]

The renaming of the various characters and terms in Gatchaman OVA are highlighted and correspond to their Gatchaman equivalents.

Gatchaman Battle of the Planets G-Force Eagle Riders OVA (Harmony Gold Dub) Rank Bird Uniform Weapon Mecha Japanese voice actor Voice actor (BOTP) Voice actor (G-Force) Voice actor (Harmony Gold OVA Dub) Voice actor (Eagle Riders) Voice actor (ADV TV/Sentai OVA dub)
Ken Washio Mark Ace Goodheart Hunter Harris Ken the Eagle G1 Eagle Razor boomerang Airplane Katsuji Mori Casey Kasem Sam Fontana Eddie Frierson Richard Cansino Leraldo Anzaldua
Joe Asakura Jason Dirk Daring Joe Thax Joe the Condor G2 Condor Pistol Race Car Isao Sasaki Ronnie Schell Cam Clarke Richard Cansino Bryan Cranston Brian Jepson
Jun Princess Agatha June ("Aggie") Kelly Jennar June the Swan G3 Swan Yo-yo Motorcycle Kazuko Sugiyama Janet Waldo Barbara Goodson Lara Cody Heidi Noelle Lenhart Kim Prause
Jinpei Keyop Pee Wee Mickey Dugan Jimmy the Falcon G4 Swallow Bolo Dune Buggy Yoku Shioya Alan Young Barbara Goodson Mona Marshall Luci Christian
Ryu Nakanishi Tiny Harper Hoot Owl ("Hooty") Ollie Keeawani Rocky the Owl G5 Owl Pistol God Phoenix Shingo Kanemoto Alan Dinehart Jan Rabson/Gregg Berger Richard Epcar Paul Schrier Victor Carsrud

Other character variations across different versions[edit]

Gatchaman Battle of the Planets G-Force Eagle Riders OVA (Harmony Gold Dub)
Dr. Kozaburo Nambu Chief Anderson Dr. Benjamin Brighthead Dr. Thaddeus Keane Dr. Kozaburo Nambu
ISO Director Anderson President Kane Anderson/Cmdr. Todd (some episodes) Anderson Director Anderson
Red Impulse /
Kentaro Washio
Col. Cronos Red Impulse /
Kendrick Goodheart
Harley Harris Red Spectre
Berg Katse Zoltar Galactor Lukan Solaris
Sosai (Leader) X O Luminous One /
The Great Spirit
Computor Cybercom Lord Zortek
Galactor Planet Spectra Galactor Vorak Galactor
Gel Sadra
(Gatchaman 2)
Mallanox

Other notable changes[edit]

Variations Gatchaman (Japanese) Battle Of The Planets Guardians Of Space Eagle Riders OVA (Harmony Gold dub) Gatchaman (English)
Identity Change Command Bird, Go!‡ Transmute! G-Force, Transform! Eagle Mode, NOW!
Ken Eagle One, Transform!
Joe Shapeshift, Condor
June Swan Mode, Now!
Jimmy Falcon Tracker, Transform!
Rocky (Unknown)
Bird, Go!
Planet/Civilization Selectol (planet) Gyarakutā (civilization) Spectra Galactor Vorak Galactor Selectol (planet) Galactor (civilization)

‡The original Japanese language version of Gatchaman contains a small amount of words in English.

Cast[edit]

Character Original Japanese (1988) English Dubbed [Urban Vision] (1997) English Dubbed [Sentai/Seraphim] (2013)
Ken Washio/Ken (G-1)[1] Masaya Onosaka Eddie Frierson Leraldo Anzaldua
Joe Asakura/Joe (G-2)[1] Kouji Ishii Richard Cansino Brian Jepson
Jun the Swan/June (G-3)[1] Michiko Neya Lara Cody Kim Prause
Jinpei the Swallow/Jimmy (G-4)[1] Rica Matsumoto Mona Marshall Luci Christian
Ryu the Owl/Rocky (G-5)[1] Fumihiko Tachiki Richard Epcar Victor Carsurd
Dr. Kouzaburou Nanbu[1] Ikuya Sawaki Michael McConnohie Andy McAvin
Sosai X/Lord Zortek[1] Kaneto Shiozawa Ralph Votrian Charles Campbell
Berg Katse/Solaris[1] Nobuo Tanaka R. Martin Klein Edwin Neal
Red Impulse/Kentaro Washio/Red Spectre[1] Unshō Ishizuka Bob Papenbrook John Tyson
Chief Anderson[1] Yonehiko Kitagawa Michael Forest Marty Fleck
Dr. Donaldson[1] Takeshi Aono Tom Wyner David Wald
Dr. Kirkland[1] Masaharu Satō Clifton Wells Lowell Bartholomee

Design[edit]

In the OVA series, the characters' designs and ages were changed along with other elements as part of the process of "updating" the series for modern audiences. Ken, who had long hair in the original series, was given short hair. Joe was redesigned with more of a "bad boy" image, given a tattoo and made a smoker — His car was also updated to a Shelby Cobra. Jun originally had long green hair but has short brown hair in the OVA, has developed physically and has worked as a model in the past. Jinpei is renamed as Jimmy and given more of a "street kid" look while his position on the team becomes "hacker". Ryu is now the oldest at 25, he was originally 17, and his hairstyle is changed to a blonde and purple mohawk. The GodPhoenix was also redesigned and appears to be larger than the original. The Red Impulse squadron had only three members in the original series while in the OVA continuity there are more.[8]

Music[edit]

New music was composed for the OVA by Maurice White (of Earth, Wind & Fire) and Bill Meyers, with additional music by Bob Sakuma from the original TV series. The ending theme "Let's Fly" was performed by Lance Matthew. A music video at the end of the third episode features an updated version of the "Gatchaman Song" by Ichiro Mizuki.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m ガッチャマン. Tatsunoko Production (in Japanese). Retrieved 2009-07-12. 
  2. ^ "Gatchaman Collection DVD - Review - Anime News Network:UK". Anime News Network. 2002-01-12. Retrieved 2014-01-06. 
  3. ^ "Gatchaman Collection". Mania. Retrieved 2010-07-30. 
  4. ^ "Sentai Filmworks Adds Gatchaman, DiGi Charat, Godannar Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "Crunchyroll to Host Gatchaman Video Series Online". Anime News Network. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "Twitter / SentaiFilmworks: @GeoffreySOliver In answer". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2013-08-25. 
  7. ^ "ROBOTECH.COM – The Official Robotech Web Site!". Robotech. Retrieved 2008-07-13. 
  8. ^ "Science Ninja Team: Gatchaman". Ex.org. Retrieved 2008-06-21. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]