"There is so much writing in English on Japanese cinema that can't be accepted at face value — not because the writers are careless, but because the differences in culture and language are just too intricate. When I see August Ragone's name on a piece of writing, it gives me permission to place my faith in it completely. Among Japanese fantasy film historians, he's the best working in English." —Tim Lucas, Video Watchdog

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Original 1972 TV Series Coming to US Blu-ray!

二か国語版 『科学忍者隊ガッチャマン』米国 DVD新発売!

Original '70s artwork for SCIENCE NINJA TEAM: GATCHAMAN.

UPDATED! 2013 is turning into a bumper crop year for fans of classic tokusatsu and anime in the US, with numerous DVD releases, and more on the way including Shout! Factory's ULTRA Q, GAIKING, and STARZINGER, as well as Discotek Media's CAPTAIN HARLOCK, CUTIE HONEY, and MAZINGER Z to name but a few. Now, 105-episodes of Tatsunoko Productions’ original SCIENCE NINJA TEAM: GATCHAMAN series is coming to the US from  Sentai Filmworks (formed out of the ashes of ADV Films) in both DVD and BD editions for the first time on October 29th!

Evocative Tatsunoko Productions publicity art for the original series.

Using super-scientific weapons, the global terrorist network known as Galactor is out to steal all of Earth’s resources. Mankind’s only hope? The International Science Organization and their elite strike force, the Science Ninja Team! But the five young heroes have their work cut out for them as they take on Galactor’s sinister arsenal of giant robots, mechanized weapons and endless armies of henchmen. Now, utilizing the incredible tech created by Dr. Nambu, and with their mighty airship the God Phoenix, GATCHAMAN just might!

The Science Ninja Team's resident badass, G-2: Joe the Condor!

The classic 1972-74 series is a benchmark in the genre, which took the conventions higher than ever before in terms of multiple story arcs, layered character development, and added a decidedly mature spin to what was previously labeled “Terebi Manga” (TV Cartoons). GATCHAMAN took the visual trappings of American superheroes, and brought them into the 21st Century with progressive designs, from their cutting-edge technology to the complex mechanical monsters of Galactor they encounter.

The twisted Berg Katze, shapeshifting commandant of Galactor!

Heavily-edited and truncated for US television as BATTLE OF THE PLANETS in 1978, and revised for Turner Broadcasting Services as G-FORCE in 1986, GATCHAMAN was originally issued uncut on DVD in 2004 by the now-defunct ADV Films. Sentai Filmworks is boasting both DVD and Blu-ray, Japanese and English audio tracks, and English Subtitles in one big boxset for $129.98 (DVD) and $149.98 (Blu-ray), including the three-part 1994 OVA series. Hopefully, these will be the HD remastered editions released in Japan last year by Tatsunoko and Shochiku Home Video — because I can't wait!


SFF said...


What are the chances of ever seeing my beloved Battle Of The Planets Complete Collection released on Blu-Ray here in the USA?

I'm not normally big on Americanized versions of the originals, but I have such fond memories of Janet Waldo and the tremendous voice cast for the American version I would love to one day see that happen.

Unfortunately, to this day, they have not gotten it right and release it in piece meal.

Do you have an opinion on this? Thank you.

August Ragone said...

Sci-Fi Fanatic,
Not sure what the current legal status for BATTLE OF THE PLANETS are, but there have been complete collections released in Australia and the UK.

Only time will tell for any future US release.