Science Ninja Team Gatchaman (科学忍者隊ガッチャマン Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman) is the original installment of the Gatchaman series that ran from 1972 through 1974 and written by Jinzo Toriumi. The popularity of the show led to the sequel series Gatchaman II.
In 2005, the series was released on DVD in the US by ADV Films. The boxsets featured artwork by DC Comics alumni Alex Ross, who was a fan of the series.
On October 29, 2013, the series was re-released on Blu Ray by Section 23 Films/Sentai Filmworks, along with a redub of the three-episode OVA remake from 1994.
- Gatchaman Versus Turtle King
- The Monstrous Aircraft Carrier Appears
- The Giant Mummy that Summons Storms
- Revenge on the Iron Beast Mechadegon
- The Ghost Fleet from Hell
- The Great Mini Robot Operation
- Galactor's Giant Airshow
- The Secret of Crescent Coral Reef
- The Demon from the Moon
- The Big Battle of the Underground Monsters
- The Mysterious Red Impulse
- The Greedy Monster Ibukuron
- The Mysterious Red Sand
- The Terrible Icecander
- The Frightening Jellyfish Lens
- The Invincible Machine "Mekanika"
- The Bug Operation
- The Revenge Maneuver of the Whales
- Speedrace through Hell
- Science Ninja Team Emergency
- Who is Sosai X?
- Firebird Against Fire Spouting Dragon
- The Greatly Raging Mecha Ball
- The Neon Giant Laughing in the Dark
- The Magma Giant, Emperor of Hell
- God Phoenix, Be Reborn
- Galactor's Witch Racer
- The Invisible Demons
- The Demon Man Galack X
- The Guillotine Mecha Kamisoral
- The Plan to Kill Dr. Nambu
- The Great Gezora Operation (Part 1)
- The Great Gezora Operation (Part 2)
- The Diabolic Aurora Operation
- Burn, Desert Flame
- Young Rascal Gatchaman
- The Electronic Mecha Lenjira
- The Mysterious Mechanical Jungle
- The People Eating Flower Jigokiller (Part 1)
- The People Eating Flower Jigokiller (Part 2)
- The Murder Music
- The Great Escape Trick Operation
- The Romance Extinguished by Evil
- Galactor's Written Challenge
- The Seal Science Ninja Team in the Night Fog
- Gatchaman in the Valley of Death
- The Devilish Airline
- The Camera Mecha Shutterkiller
- The Terrible Mechadokuga
- The Dinosaur Skeleton Torakodon
- The Rotation Mecha Kataroller
- The Secret of Red Impulse
- Farewell, Red Impulse
- Gatchaman Burning with Rage
- The Death Defying Mini Submarine
- The Embittered Bird Missile
- The Evil White Sea
- Mekabutta from Hell
- The Secret of the Mecha Factory
- Science Ninja Team G-6
- The Imaginary Red Impulse
- The Snow Devil Blizzarder
- The Devilish Mecha Ball Which Kills Everything
- The Deadly Christmas Present
- The Synthetic Mecha Superbem
- The Devilish Fasion Show
- Gatchaman Fire, Kill for Sure!
- The Particle Mecha Micro Satan
- The Cemetery in the Moonlight
- Unite Girls of the Death Goddess!
- Invulnerable Sosai X
- Swarm! The Storm of the Mini Mechas
- Pursue Katse!
- The Secret of the Birdstyle
- The Sea Devil Jumboshakoku
- The Bracelet Revealed
- Katse Has Succeeded
- Death Defying Battle 10'000 Meters Below the Sea!
- The Stolen Gatchaman Information
- Return to Life, Boomerang!
- Duel on Galactor Island
- Aim at Crescent Coral!
- A Death Defying Ring of Fire
- The Spider Net Mecha Smokefiber
- He's G-4!
- Galactor's Buying up Operation
- The Triple Joint Mecha Patogila
- The Iron Beast Snake 828
- Setting a Trap at Crescent Coral
- Armoured Mecha Matanga
- The Plan to Blow up Crescent Coral is Completed
- The End of Crescent Coral
- Counterattack! The Subterranean Torpedo Plan
- The Electrical Demon Biest Angler
- United Ninjas, Giant Devil Man
- Charge into the Galactor Headquarter
- The Spaceship Leona 3, Gone Tomorrow
- The Spherical Mecha Grapebomber
- G-2 Covered with Wounds
- Gatchaman 20 Years Later
- The Sniper Group Hebi-Cobra
- Reverse! Checkmate X
- The Death Wager of G-2
- The Evil Black Hole Operation
- Earth Extinction 0002
The original series is also known, somewhat infamously, for its multiple English dubs (including the aforementioned release by ADV). It first had a US release in 1978 by Sandy Frank Entertainment, under the title Battle of the Planets. This version was heavily altered to adhere to the 1970s' standards of childrens' animation, as well as employ a "space" theme to tie into the popularity of the recently-released Star Wars. Sandy Frank utilized 85 episodes of the series for this adaptation, as that was the standard amount needed for syndication in that era. A new character, 7-Zark-7, was used as a way to fill in the gaps left behind by cutting scenes, as well as to explain to viewers that there were no deaths involved in the plot. As Tatsunoko Productions wound up sending the production team the film reels for episodes out of order, this adaptation is also known for having a much different viewing order.
In 1985, after "Battle of the Planets" had aired in reruns on TBS, Sandy Frank sought a new way to market the Gatchaman license. Turner Program Services sub-licensed the series for a new English adaptation, titled G-Force: Guardians of Space. After the initial test dub by Media 360 Group (an Atlanta, Georgia-based studio) was rejected due to concerns of cost, Turner contacted Fred Ladd and his "Sparklin' Entertainment" studio for a new pitch. Episodes 18 and 87 of Gatchaman were dubbed as pilots, and further episodes followed suit. However, as Turner only bought 85 episodes for syndication, only episodes 1-87 were utilized for this version, with episodes 81 and 86 skipped. 81 was skipped due to Tatsunoko being unable to find the simple English script for the producers, and 86 was skipped as the dub had already reached 85 episodes. This version stuck closer to the original Gatchaman with less censorship, although death was still toned down in some cases and the dub was criticized for its name changes, as well as a backbeat that was used to fill all silent moments. "G-Force" aired on TBS for a week in July 1987, to clear a contractual agreement so it could also be aired overseas. The entirety of the series would later be broadcast on the Cartoon Network from 1995 to 1997, returning briefly on Toonami's Midnight Run in 2000.
ADV Films' 2005 dub of the series came about as a result of sub-licensing the series from Sandy Frank (as SFE still held the master license to Gatchaman), and is uncensored, as well as keeping the character names and terminology. However, this version has also been criticized by long-time fans for some mistranslations in the dub track, such as changing "Utoland" (the city that the team lives in) to "Jutland", as well as some slang used by the characters.
ADV's release went out of print in 2007, after Sandy Frank's license to the series expired, but was re-released by Sentai Filmworks after they became the new licensor of the series in 2013.
Artwork from the end credits:
- Gatchaman had its earliest roots in Tatsuo Yoshida's 1963 comic "Boy Ninja Squad Moonlight" (Shonen Ninja Butai Gekko), and its live-action TV adaptation "Ninja Squad Moonlight", which ran from 1964-1966. An English dub of the series aired in Australia in 1966, under the title "Phantom Agents".
- During the pre-production planning stages, which came as early as mid-1969, the series went through several name changes. Jinzo Toriumi's 1969 draft for the series called it "Science Ninja Squad 5" (Kagaku Ninja Butai Faibu). Later names considered through production included "Secret Seven" and "Shadow", and finally "Birdman" (Not to be confused with the Hanna Barbera superhero of the same name). "Birdman" was close to being the series' actual name when it was ready to go into production, until a meeting occurred between Tatsunoko Productions and Yomiuri Telecasting. A Yomiuri producer (Tsurayuki Matsuyama) suggested "Gatchaman". This name is a play-on-words of the Japanese onomatopoeia "Gaccha!", which is the sound of two mechas clashing and man, which is a common western format for superhero names. (Ex. Superman, Spider-Man etc.).
- This series influenced the Super Sentai Series, Choujin Sentai Jetman.
|TV animation||Science Ninja Team Gatchaman · Gatchaman II · Gatchaman Fighter · New Gatchaman (unproduced)· Good Morning Ninja Team Gatchaman · Gatchaman Crowds · Gatchaman Crowds insight · Battle of the Planets: Phoenix Ninjas|
|Movies||Science Ninja Team Gatchaman: The Movie · Gatchaman (2011 - unproduced) · Gatchaman (2013)|
|Adaptations||Battle of the Planets (movie) · Eagle 5 Brothers · G-Force: Guardians of Space · Eagle Riders· Battle of the Planets: The New Exploits of G-Force (unproduced)|
|Other||Gatchaman (OVA) · NTT Gatchaman · Tachimals Theater · Infini-T Force · Time Bokan: Royal Revival|