If you grew up in the UK in the 70s and 80s, there’s about a 95% chance you’ll have watched Battle of the Planets, an American cartoon series about G-Force, five orphans who get given incredible powers and machinery in order to fight terrors from outer space including Galactor and its representative Zoltar. To remind yourself of the show (as if you need any reminding), watch this video:
Yes, you lucky people, you can buy it on DVD.
Well, what you might not know (but probably could have guessed) is that it was originally a Japanese cartoon series called (Science Ninja Team) Gatchaman. Catchy, huh? Now, to see it was a loose adaptation would be an understatement. Suffice it to say, unless you want to watch the video below – which includes a more faithful re-dubbing of the original – that not only were there big changes in characters, set-up and more to avoid the inevitable freaking out that UK and US parents would have had in the 70s when exposed to raw Japanese anime mentalness, everything involving 7 Zark 7 and 1 Rover 1 was added by US animators – hence the difference in animation quality.
Well, guess what. In August, a live-action version of Gatchaman is out in Japan. Here’s a trailer. It’s in Japanese obviously, but you can see both the differences and the similarities. If your Japanese is good, there’s an official web site.