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Animation and Anime

Harry knows more on GATCHAMAN!

Hey folks, Harry here... I checked out Scott Green's Anime article on GATCHAMAN - and went over to the IMAGI site to look at the pics - which I've turned into jpgs for you below. However, had that been all I could offer to the story, I would have simply placed them on Scott's story, but I have quite a bit more to tell. AICN recently held a fantastic All You Could Eat Pizza Premiere of TMNT during SXSW with Director Kevin Munroe there to share with us his first feature film. Now, I presided over my little sister's addiction to TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES - as I had discovered them from their very first issues. Which my lil sis begged me to read to her as an itsy bitsy kid. However, Kevin's next project is more primal for me. I literally ran home from Elementary School to catch BATTLE OF THE PLANETS and STARBLAZERS. These were a pair of my favorite childhood toons that were on weekday afternoons throughout my Elementary schooldays. I grew up knowing the characters as Mark, Jason, Princess, Tiny and Keyop... and then there was the evil Zoltar. And I really miss Casey Kasem's voice in the new GATCHAMAN dvds... but as a kid, I had no idea that there was another version... a more violent, a more adult, a more hardcore version of these toons. It wasn't until I came to college and met a fellow by the name of Storm, who told me of these harder versions. First off - from the images below - you get the idea of how epic in scale the film is. When Kevin walked into the screening room at the Alamo Drafthouse South - he had a portfolio under his arm filled with designs for the film. Opening it up and taking a look... You instantly got the idea of how in love with these characters that Kevin is. The CG designs take their direct cue from the Anime. Those faces - it is Mark and Jason and my favorite design was Tiny (sorry, I know for some of you, that's not the character's names - but to me they are). Tiny's face sort of always reminded me of pre-furry Hank McCoy from the earliest days of the X-MEN - and his character kinda always reminded me of the Beast. Each page was a character layout for each - with multiple heads to show the range of character emotion and looks they could achieve. They're not made to look HUMAN exactly, but a slight hybrid between animation and living beings. It was quite striking. The pics below were a sample of the pics that I saw in the section of the portfolio labeled ENVIRONMENTS. There were many more - setting the film in a futuristic Earth. And it shows that the danger that Zoltar is going to place upon the Earth is epic in scale. The future was very detailed and beautiful. The Phoenix - I saw rendered as being pretty close to the Anime design - perhaps a little slicker, but incorporating the designs we know and love. And yes - there was the transformed fiery Phoenix as well - and yes, it totally made me forget about the pizza I could have been eating as i was looking at it. The weapons are all very cool. Yes, Princess has her YoYo things - which I always loved. The most stunning character design was the Zoltar look. It was just very very badass. Very evocative in a way of the look from the toon, but the proportions were more elongated - creepier - in-human, yet humanoid. Zoltar's troops armor is again, familiar - but more fierce. Kevin's going to make this as a PG-13 CG film. And frankly - I couldn't be happier. The look at the designs gave the film a very epic science fiction look and feel - big sci-fi. And I hope TMNT performs great this weekend, cuz it'll just mean easier sailing for this project. Oh - and the film will definitely be called GATCHAMAN!

Oh - btw - IMAGI is also working on a CG Astroboy - here it is...

Readers Talkback
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  • March 22, 2007, 3:48 a.m. CST


    by BatPsycho

    yes! anime kicks ass!

  • March 22, 2007, 3:59 a.m. CST

    Astro Glide Boy

    by BannedOnTheRun

    Put some clothes on!

  • March 22, 2007, 4:41 a.m. CST

    Titan A.E. (2000)

    by godoffireinhell

    This will bomb to hell.

  • March 22, 2007, 5:53 a.m. CST

    Gatchaman Memories

    by Brightsy1

    I was between 5 and 7 years old and lived in Japan when Gatchaman was on TV there. I loved it. Tho' nowadays I can't believe my folks let me watch it, heh. That, CuteyHoney, sentai classis Gorranger and the like were my shows of choice. When we left Japan I was disapointed in American cartoons. Imagine my joy when Battle of the Planets and Starblazers came over! Imagine my surprise when there was a stoopid robot in Battle of the Planets! Where did THAT come from?!? Anyways, I leaked a few tears of joy at the thought of a Gatchaman movie!!! YAY!

  • March 22, 2007, 5:59 a.m. CST

    Boy, that looks orginal

    by classyfredblassy

    WTF cares? When are we going to get a kicks CGI Godzilla movie instead?

  • March 22, 2007, 6:54 a.m. CST


    by Freefinger

    Hell, didn't even know they were doing a movie on this! <p>BRING IT ON!<p>Good thing Micheal Bay ain't working on this, he would've made changes such has made them wear Dog outfits... Bastard!

  • March 22, 2007, 6:59 a.m. CST

    Battle of the Planets!

    by Dazzler69

    GATCHAMAN sounds stupid. Better have the American theme also. America... Fuck yeah!

  • March 22, 2007, 7 a.m. CST


    by mrgee77

    I watched Battle of the Planets in Australia and cant remember the robot and his dog, until I baught the dvd, lucky it had some japanese versions on it as well.

  • March 22, 2007, 7:26 a.m. CST

    7-Zark-7 was Artoo and Threepio's love child

    by Anakin Whoopass

    Threepio always wanted an excuse to get his circuits and gears helped out.

  • March 22, 2007, 7:33 a.m. CST

    Those pics

    by grendel69

    Rock! Theyre actually making a Gatchaman movie???????

  • March 22, 2007, 7:47 a.m. CST

    Hopefully the get Alex Ross to design kickass posters

    by Boondock Devil

    Also how are they going to handle Berg Katse (or Zoltar in BotP)? Last time I checked he/she was your freaky sex-changing villain in the original series.

  • March 22, 2007, 7:50 a.m. CST


    by TheJake

    Thank you for jpegging the pics, the Imagi website was taking forever to load.

  • March 22, 2007, 8:02 a.m. CST

    Will they hop on each other's shoulders...

    by Childe Roland

    ...and make that whirlwind human pyramid thing? I never understood why the bad guys didn't just shoot them while they were doing that.

  • March 22, 2007, 8:49 a.m. CST

    Keye Luke

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    Belated RIP Zoltar. Keye was THE MAN wheter it was G-Force, M*A*S*H Kung Fu or Enter the Dragon, even if it was only his voice in many roles.

  • March 22, 2007, 8:50 a.m. CST

    Alan Young

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    Still alive and kickin' Go Wilbur Go.

  • March 22, 2007, 9:02 a.m. CST

    !used uzah urebat ag K EVITISOP

    by Acne Scarface

    ?em htiw od ot tog nam ruoy s'tahW !namahctaG I

  • March 22, 2007, 9:29 a.m. CST

    If there's no 1-Rover-1, this movie be teh suk

    by SpyGuy

    You know what would be great? Film this as the Japanese GATCHAMAN, then re-edit it as a BATTLE OF THE PLANETS film for American audiences, re-dub the lines in English (without subtitles) and insert 7-Zark-7 and 1-Rover-1. That way, everybody gets what they want...except those G-FORCE and EAGLE RIDERS fans. Fuck 'em.

  • March 22, 2007, 9:47 a.m. CST

    G-Force and Battle of the Planets were hacked up pieces

    by DarfurOnTheRocks

    ..of crap compared to the original. It is sad, but 25 years on, execs are still trying to Americanize Anime like Initial-D and Naruto. When will they learn...

  • March 22, 2007, 11:14 a.m. CST

    I used to love that show.

    by Cotton McKnight

    I got my brother a couple of Battle of the Planets dvds for Christmas a few years ago, with "Gatchaman" on one side and Battle of the Planets on the other. Battle of the Planets didn't hold up well at all and I was quite disappointed.. they didn't compare with how I remembered them. And "Gatchaman".. well I have little patience for japanese flibbledy floo so yeah, I was disappointed.

  • March 22, 2007, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Glad to finaly see the pics...

    by veritasses

    I tried to see them on the web but the site was slooooow. I think it looks good so far. I just hope the story holds up and the acting is top notch. And by far the best yo-yo weapon wielding manga/anime character is Asamiya Saki from the Sukeban Deka series. I'm hopeful about Astro Boy but if they screw that up, they'll be a lot of really pissed off people. That's the God of Manga's classic work watched and adored by fans from around the world.

  • March 22, 2007, 12:07 p.m. CST


    by motormouth_4_20

    I cannot wait to see this flick. The pics look soooo good !!

  • March 22, 2007, 12:29 p.m. CST

    Kozure Okami

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    What I really want to see is an anime version of Lone Wolf and Cub. When I was in college I started collecting the American import version from First Publshing. It only got to 40 issues or so before they went bankrupt. Years later Dark Horse got involved, and the rest is Manga history. Come on Frank, call your buddies overseas and get the ball rolling.

  • March 22, 2007, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Looks like it is based on the 3-part 1997 mini..

    by Angry White baby

    done by Shuichi Kaneko (link is here: He is the guy who also did KITE and MEZZO FORTE (links are here: For reference, look at the 2nd picture where you can see 4 of the Red Impulse aircraft as well as the Phoenix, which looks identical to how it looks in this mini-series.

  • March 22, 2007, 1:02 p.m. CST

    Thanks for that info harry!

    by TiNSeLToWN TeRRoR

    AWESOME! Can't wait ! NOW, do a Voltron movie !!!!!!!

  • March 22, 2007, 1:09 p.m. CST

    one hundred and twenty third, bitches!

    by council estate scumbag

    this looks cool. how come i aint heard of this before? might check it out!

  • March 22, 2007, 1:31 p.m. CST

    Will Zoltar be a Transtestical?

    by Braddock

    In the American edits Zoltar was all-man, but in Gatchaman, Katse was a hermaphrodite.

  • March 22, 2007, 1:43 p.m. CST

    g-force's many names

    by SID 8.0

    you got g-force, gatchaman,i think science space ninjas, battle of the planets . but i knew them as james the nigger hatin dolphin.

  • March 22, 2007, 1:46 p.m. CST


    by SID 8.0


  • March 22, 2007, 2:28 p.m. CST

    transfuse?... wasn't that TRANSMUTE!!!

    by immuneman

    what the hell is transfuse? they were changing into badass superheroes not giving blood...

  • March 22, 2007, 2:33 p.m. CST

    SID 8.0, leave dat racist shit pal

    by council estate scumbag

    or i'll fucking kill ya and rape your fat whore of a mother. on our estate we aint got time for dat shit. fuck! if u came down my estate spouting the 'n' word left right and centre like some KKK Kunt you'd get sucha kicking your great grandmother would have a fucking miscarriage. just your fucking tongue, fella.

  • March 22, 2007, 4:29 p.m. CST

    Aceness! Total aceness!

    by Reelheed

    The very idea of this flick has me giggling like a giddy schoolgirl. Tee hee hee!

  • March 22, 2007, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Looks interesting

    by superninja

    but not a lot of info on the characters of course.

  • March 22, 2007, 11:31 p.m. CST


    by MisterE

    ...I was pretty chubby when I was young, and Battle of the Planets made even my fat @$$ run home from school every day. It had that effect on people.

  • March 22, 2007, 11:34 p.m. CST

    A link to the best Gatchaman site ever...

    by MisterE

  • March 26, 2007, 9:18 p.m. CST

    Will Keyop talk in bird-talk? <nt>

    by gombi


  • Sept. 23, 2007, 6:18 p.m. CST

    It may look cool, but...

    by Anna Valerious

    I still say live action would be better, SMAP did it, still think it would remind me of POTP. Though you think they'll change their minds if "Speed Racer" does well and make it live-action?