Howdy do, everyone, Papa Vinyard here.
I don't know jack-diddly-shit about this GATCHAMAN anime that came out in the early '70s, nor have I ever heard of the title it was released here under, BATTLE OF THE PLANETS (to me, "Gatchaman" sounds like what you'd say to your buddy after you caught up to him in Tag). I guess it's about a super-team of magical ninjas who use crazy tech and skills of badassdom to battle supernatural bad guys. What I do know is that this trailer for the live-action adaptation seems like the kind of goofy, large-scaled fun that transcends language barriers, selling me the film without speaking a comprehensible word to me. Seriously, the trailer has lazer-swords, flying heroes, dastardly villains, crazy sea-to-air battling, a Transformer-sized buzzsaw, purple-colored magic, a CGI phoenix, and a jaunty pop song that apparently warranted the in-trailer credit, "Bump of Chicken". I'm usually skeptical of films that shoot for that "live-action anime" spirit: films like CASSHERN and SPEED-RACER have incredible imagery in service of stories I could give less than a shit about. This strikes me more as a GODZILLA: FINAL WARS type flick, which knows where to drawn the line between sincere iconography and tongue-in-cheek tonality. It was directed by Toya Sato, who did the much more somber GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES, but I'm totally digging the kinetic energy on display here. Can't wait to here more about the quality of the actual film when this flick comes out in Japan later this summer.
GATCHAMAN will be released in Japan on August 24th. No word when (if ever) this film will make its way across the Pacific.