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Gatchaman TV + OVA Blu-ray Complete Collection (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)

December 18, 2013 by  



gatchaman

If you are a fan of “Gatchaman” or even slightly curious about this anime classic, you can now own all 105 episodes of the original “Gatchaman” series plus the three “Gatchaman” OVA episodes on Blu-ray for a great price in HD!  “Gatchaman TV + OVA Blu-ray Complete Collection” is highly recommended!

Image courtesy of © Tatsunoko Production. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Gatchaman TV + OVA Blu-ray Complete Collection

ANIME SERIES RELEASE DATE: TV SERIES: 1972-1974, OVA SERIES: 1994-1995

DURATION: Episode 1-105 and OVA episodes 1-3 (2770 Minutes)

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, English and Japanese DTS-HD MA 2.0, English subtitles

COMPANY: Sentai Filmworks

RATED: TV PG V

Release Date: December 10, 2013

“Gatchaman” TV Series

Originally created by Tatsuo Yoshida

Chief Director: Hisayuki Toriumi

Script by Jinzo Toriumi, Takao Koyama

Episode Director: Hiroshi Sasagawa

Music: Bob Sakuma

Character Design: Tatsuo Yoshida

Art Director: Mitsuki Nakamura

Mechanical Design: Mitsuki Nakamura

Animation Production: Tatsunoko Production, Top Craft

Gatchaman: OVA Series

Originally Created by Tatsuo Yoshida

Directed by Akihiko Nishiyama, Hiroyuki Fukushima

Character Design and Animation Direction by Yasuomi Umetsu

Mechanical Design by Kimitoshi Yamane

Anime Production by Tatsunoko Production/Nippon Columbia

“Gatchaman” TV Series

Featuring the following voice talent:

Isao Sasaki/Brian Jepson as Joe Asakura the Condor (G-2)

Katsuji Mori/Leraldo Anzaldua as Ken Washio the Eagle (G-1)

Kazuko Sugiyama/Kim Prause as Jun the Swan (G-3)

Mikio Terashima/Edwin Neal as Berg Katse

Nobuo Tanaka/Winston Parish as Sosai X (Leader X)

Shingo Kanemoto/Victor Carsrud as Ryu Nakanishi the Horned Owl (G-5)

Yoku Shioya/Luci Christian as Jinpei the Swallow (G-4)

“Gatchaman” OVA Series

Featuring the following voice talent:

Kouji Ishii/Brian Jepson as Joe Asakura the Condor (G-2)

Masaya Onosaka/Eddie Frierson as Ken Washio the Eagle (G-1)

Michiko Neya/Kim Prause as Jun the Swan (G-3)

Kaneto Shiozawa/Edwin Neal as Berg Katse

Nobuo Tanaka/Charles Campbell as Sosai X (Leader X)

Fumihiko Tachiki/Victor Carsrud as Ryu Nakanishi the Horned Owl (G-5)

Rica Matsumoto/Luci Christian as Jinpei the Swallow (G-4)

Unshou Ishizuka/John Tyson as Red Impulse

Yonehiko Kitagawa as Anderson

Using amazing weapons powered by super-science, the international terrorist organization known as GALACTOR is out to steal all of Earth’s resources for itself and its inhuman masters. Mankind’s only hope? The International Science Organization and their elite strike force, the Science Ninja Team! But these five young heroes will have their work cut out for them as they take on the seemingly impossible task of defeating GALACTOR’s horrific arsenal of mechanized weapons of mass destruction and endless armies of henchmen.

Can costumed commandos Ken the Eagle, Joe the Condor, Jun the Swallow, Jinpei the Sparrow and Ryu the Owl really overcome such overwhelming odds? Utilizing the incredible technology and fighting techniques created by Dr. Nambu, and with the mighty ship the God Phoenix at their command, they just might! It’s time for the bad guys to get old-schooled science-ninja style as Japan’s original super team defeat evil, one flying kick at a time!

In 1972, Tatsuo Yoshida, best known for creating hit series for Tatsunoko Productions such as “Mach Go Go Go” (Speed Racer), “Casshan” (or “Casshern”), “Nurse Witch Komugi”, “Yatterman” to name a few, wanted to create a series that featured a super-hero element thanks to the success of “Kamen Rider” in 1971.

Yoshida would end up creating “Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman”, five ninja superheroes who would fight an alien force known as Galactor, that wants control of the Earth’s natural resources.

While the series was popular in Japan and would last 105 episodes, the series would become a worldwide hit as it was released in the United States in 1978 as an 85-episode series and would become known as “Battle of the Planets” produced by Sandy Frank Entertainment with an English dub and a change to make it less violent, more family and child-friendly.

That same year with interest in “Gatchaman” worldwide, a film for “Gatchaman” titled “Kagaku Ninjatai GatchamanL Gekijoban” was released and a new 52-episode TV series titled “Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman Tsu” (Gatchaman II) aired on television.  Followed by a direct sequel to the second series titled “Gatchaman Ninjatai Gatchaman Faita” (Gatchaman F) which lasted 48 episodes from 1979-1980.

Wanting to create a new, more faithful translation of the original series, in 1986, Sandy Frank Entertainment and Turner Broadcasting would release the series now known as “G-Force: Guardians of Space” that was also 85-episodes but would include the violence and deaths as featured in the original series.  And most importantly, featured episodes in order.

In 1994, a three-part OVA series based on the characters of “Gatchaman” was released and featured a new antagonist.  Released in 2000 by Urban Vision and Harmony Gold USA on VHS and DVD.

Meanwhile, by 1996, an English adaptation of “Gatchaman II” that was heavily edited by Saban Entertainment was released and was panned by fans and only lasted 13 episodes.  The film and the second and third TV series have never been released on video in the U.S.

By 2005, ADV Films would release an uncut version of the Japanese version with an English dub.

Fastforward to 2013 and Sentai Filmworks has the license for the series and is releasing “Gatchaman TV + OVA Blu-ray Complete Collection” featuring all 105-episodes from the first series and the three episodes from the OVA Series on 14 Blu-ray Discs.

“Gatchaman” was bold anime series (for the Japan version not the American edited version).  Not only did it showcase violence, where characters die and people are killed but it was also involved in promoting a storyline of environmentalism and also was one of the first anime series to showcase an antagonist who was a hermaphrodite.

For “Gatchaman”, the story revolves around five superhero ninja who work under Dr. Kozaburo Nambu of the International Science Organization (ISO) which their role is to stop villains who happen to be technologically advanced.  In this case, to stop Galactor from the Earth’s natural resources.

The primary antagonists of Galactor is the its operational leader, the androgynous Berg Kattse, a hermaphrodite who is prone to sex switches and the alien mastermind behind Galactor, Sosai X.

As Galactor sends out giant monsters to steal or control the Earth’s natural resources, the Science Ninja Team Gatchaman are dispatched to fight and stop these monsters and often aided by a mysterious group of combat pilots led by Red Impulse.

The primary characters of “Gatchman” are:

  • Ken, the Eagle (G-1) – The leader of Science Nina Team Gatchaman and a man who knows the pain of loss after his father, a pilot was declared missing during a flight.  So, he was raised by Dr. Nambu.
  • Joe, the condor (G-2) – An Italian man of Japanese descent.  He is a race car driver and the sub-leader of teh group.  His parents were members of Galactor, but tried to escape and were killed.  He was rescued by Dr. Nambu and his real name “George Asakura” was changed to Joe in order to hide him from Galactor.
  • Jun, the Swan (G-3) – An American of Japanese descent who was raised in an orphanage.  She loves to ride her motorcycle and runs the “Snack bar J”.
  • Jinpei, the Swallow (G-4) – Came from the same orphanage as Jun and lives in “Snack bar J” with Jun.
  • Ryu, the Owl (G-5) – A son of a fisherman and manager of a yacht harbor.  He is also the main pilot for God Phoenix.

The following is a basic summary of each episode featured in the first season of “Gatchaman”:

  • EPISODE 1 – Galactor sends a huge turtle mecha to attack a uranium storage facility.  As the ISO is worried about the attacks by Galactor, Dr. Nambu introduces the Science Ninja Team Gatchaman.
  • EPISODE 2 – A spaceship disappears to the bottom of the sea, Gatchman goes to teh bottom of the sea to find it and come across a huge aircraft carrier
  • EPISODE 3 – Passenger planes are crashing and Ken goes to investigate these accidents.
  • EPISODE 4-  Ken visits the Institute for Earthquake Research and a mecha creates an earthquake which Ken and the director of the institute are caught in.
  • EPISODE 5 – ISO ships in the ocean are disappearing in an area called “Cemetery of the Sea”, Gatchman goes to investigate.
  • EPISODE 6 – Galactor sends out robots to steal from the World Bank’s vaults.  Gatchaman must stop them.
  • EPISODE 7 – As Ken tests out a new plane that doesn’t pollute the environment, he is attacked by Berg Kattse.
  • EPISODE 8 – When Jinpei hears that he is the least favorable member of “Gatchaman” from children at the park, he goes on a mission by himself without the others knowing.
  • EPISODE 9 – A swarm of meteorites are heading to Earth and Gatchman must stop them.
  • EPISODE 10 – When Ken is piloting the Cessna, he receives word from Nambu that a nuclear power plant is being attacked by ants.
  • EPISODE 11 – -Ken encounters a plane piloted by the mysterious, Red Impulse.
  • EPISODE 12 – The world’s raw material for sugar is stolen by the mecha, Ibukuron and the world’s emergency sugar is getting low.
  • EPISODE 13 – When a ISO constructed storage lake is created in Africa, it’s mysterious disappearance prompts the ISO to send Gatchaman to investigate.
  • EPISODE 14 – Nuclear ships all over the world are disappearing and Gatchman must investigate.
  • EPISODE 15 – Gatchaman visits a Ghost City destroyed 10 years ago by environmental pollution.
  • EPISODE 16 – Galactor takes an ISO weapon factory and makes its own mecha.
  • EPISODE 17 – The children’s brain waves are being affected in the city and Gatchman must investigate.
  • EPISODE 18 – A huge whale is attacking the harbor, the team must investigate.
  • EPISODE 19 – What is the connection between the Ruman Kingdom and Galactor?
  • EPISODE 20 – Gatchman must stop a Galactor mole mech.
  • EPISODE 21 –  A horse wins a race but Dr. Nambu suspects the horse may be a cyborg.
  • EPISODE 22 – An underwater mining factory is attacked by Kingdragon, Gatchaman goes to investigate.
  • EPISODE 23 – A mecha ball starts destroying the city and Gatchaman must stop it.
  • EPISODE 24 – Scientist from ISO headquarters are being murdered and Gatchaman must protect the surviving scientists.
  • EPISODE 25 – An ISO volcanic research center is attack and Gatchaman must investigate.
  • EPISODE 26 – ISO ships are being attacked by Galactor’s black ray.  Can Gatchaman stop it?
  • EPISODE 27 – A person named Lucy of Galactor is wanting $10 billion to reveal the location of Galactor to the ISO.
  • EPISODE 28 – Why are children dissolving?  Gatchaman must investigate.
  • EPISODE 29 – Jinpei visits the orphanage he grew up at, meanwhile nearby, something strange is happening in a volcanic area.
  • EPISODE 30 – A water shortage is affecting everyone and Earth is in a dangerous situation.
  • EPISODE 31 – Dr. Nambu is attacked by Galactor.
  • EPISODE 32 – Galactor is attacking Lawnpark City, but why?
  • EPISODE 33 – Jun and Jinpei are missing.
  • EPISODE 34 – Strange radio waves are attacking people and Gatchaman must investigate.
  • EPISODE 35 – A war is breaking out in the country of Doria after oil springs have been discovered.
  • EPISODE 36 – An ISO research ship is being attacked.
  • EPISODE 37 – Dr. Miwa was researching the frozen Sanjo Lake, but suddenly he has disappeared.
  • EPISODE 38 – A pollution-free city is constructed in the desert.
  • EPISODE 39 – A devilstar ship appears and spores by a poisonous plant is set towards Earth.
  • EPISODE 40 – The poisonous plants continue to make problems for people in the city.
  • EPISODE 41 – The Gatchaman team have a chance to see Demon 5 perform but they are kidnapped by Galactor.
  • EPISODE 42 – Ryu hitches a ride, not knowing it’s a car operated by Galactor.
  • EPISODE 43 – Bien and America are suffering from war as representatives of both countries are marrying for peace, but Galactor wants to make sure the marriage does not happen.
  • EPISODE 44 – Galactor’s Arkeo attacks Moroi City.
  • EPISODE 45 – Galactor attacks an ISO secret mining factory.
  • EPISODE 46 – Ken’s plane is hijacked.
  • EPISODE 47 – Galactor attempts to steal an ultracomputer.
  • EPISODE 48 – Galactor wants to use the Shutterkiller to copy data from ISO institutions.
  • EPISODE 49 – Ken is captured by Galactor.
  • EPISODE 50 – ISO is trying to help the country Inderia which has been suffering from droughts and heavy rainfall.
  • EPISODE 51 – Gatchaman goes to visit Huntwall for some R&R as ordered by Dr. Nambu, but Ken doesn’t believe Nambu would write such orders and is suspicious.
  • EPISODE 52 – Ken receives a message that his father has been seen in Huntwall.
  • EPISODE 53 – A Galactor rocket explodes in the Van Allen belt and the world experiences a major crisis.
  • EPISODE 54 – Berg plants to destroy all institutions related to uranium.
  • EPISODE 55 – Galactor threatens to pollute the seas with PCB.
  • EPISODE 56 – Jun is attacked by a group of bikers.
  • EPISODE 57 – Galactor hires a sniper who was released from prison.
  • EPISODE 58 – The ISO develops the Jet Cutter but someone has stolen it.
  • EPISODE 59 – Ken and Jun investigate a mecha factory near Ghost Island.
  • EPISODE 60 – Galactor’s brand new research mecha crashes and Berg wants the survivors to be killed.
  • EPISODE 61 – While Ken is flying over Hontwall, he sees three of Red Impulse’s planes.
  • EPISODE 62 – A celebration for Gatchaman or a trap?
  • EPISODE 63 – Pro baseball players are disappearing in front of the spectators during a power outage?  Why is that?
  • EPISODE 64 – Galactor has a proposition to the Dictator General Somure of the northern country of Flanbel.
  • EPISODE 65 – The conserved brains of famous doctors are stolen.  Who did it?
  • EPISODE 66 – Galactor may be planning an assault of a fashion show by the Queen of Monarins, who is a big fan of Gatchaman.
  • EPISODE 67 – Berg becomes opposed to Sosai X’s plans to destroy the Mantle Plan.
  • EPISODE 68 – A nucler explosion takes place on a small island in the south sea.  What happened?
  • EPISODE 69 – Galactor sneaks into the country of Shosken.
  • EPISODE 70 – Mummified corpes are being found and Gatchman must investigate.
  • EPISODE 71 – ISO discovers a new energy source in the Himalaya, but a Yeti may be causing problems in the region.
  • EPISODE 72 – The entomologist Toda notices unusual behavior with the locusts in Amazonia.
  • EPISODE 73 – Gatchaman pursues Berg.
  • EPISODE 74 – A mammoth encased in a glacier is taken to an amusement park that Jun and Jinpei are visiting.
  • EPISODE 75 – A plane collides with a fisher boat that Ryu’s father is on.
  • EPISODE 76 – Joe is being targeted by the Megazainer.
  • EPISODE 77 – The President of Dokual is being threatened by Galactor.
  • EPISODE 78 – Joe’s body is going through extreme exhaustion due to lack of sleep.
  • EPISODE 79 – Secret data about Gatchaman has been stolen and Gatchaman are sent to investigate.
  • EPISODE 80 – An uprising takes place in the country of Assham and Gatchaman must investigate.
  • EPISODE 81 – Gatchaman investigates BC Island ruled by Galactor.
  • EPISODE 82 – Galactor tries to find Gatchaman and their secret base.
  • EPISODE 83 – Why is Galactor drilling a crack in the Earth?
  • EPISODE 84 – The scientist known as Demon tries to sell his invention to Galactor.
  • EPISODE 85 – Gatchaman intercepts a message that Galactor will sneak into Utoland City.
  • EPISODE 86 – Someone is buying up the artificial sweetener Shugare.  Who is that person?
  • EPISODE 87 – Jinpei Falls in love.
  • EPISODE 88 – A person from Galactor has found out Berg’s secret.
  • EPISODE 89 – Jinpei is creating a trap for Galactor using a coral reef.
  • EPISODE 90 – Joe and Ken are in another disagreement, meanwhile Gatchaman investigates Mikron Island.
  • EPISODE 91 – Galactor has a spy infiltrating an ISO passenger ship with engineers.
  • EPISODE 92 – A continuing story of Galactor infiltrating the ISO passenger ship.
  • EPISODE 93 – Are the members of Gatchaman dead?
  • EPISODE 94 – Ryu goes back home by train but Galactor causes a blackout and Ryu is stuck on the train.
  • EPISODE 95 – Gatchaman investigates the Jupiter Mountains.
  • EPISODE 96 – ISO may have discovered the headquarters of Galactor.
  • EPISODE 97 – Dr. Nambu and the president’s plane are missing.  What happened to them?
  • EPISODE 98 – Joe helps a woman in need.
  • EPISODE 99 – X orders Berg to kill the members of Gatchaman.
  • EPISODE 100 – Gatchaman goes after Berg.
  • EPISODE 101 – Tensions between Ken and Joe.
  • EPISODE 102 – Dr. Nambu is abducted by Galactor.
  • EPISODE 103 – Joe is captured by Galactor
  • EPISODE 104 – Gatchaman searches for Joe.
  • EPISODE 105 – The final episode.  Can Gatchaman stopped the Black Hole Project.

For “Gatchaman – OVA”, the storyline is a modern reboot of the series and features the group in modern settings, new costumes and new backgrounds for the characters. Jun is a model, Jinpei a hacker, Ryu now has a mohawk, Ken has shorter hair, etc.  Their ages are also much older in the OVA storyline.

In “Gatchaman: Volume I – The Turtle King”, The International Technology Commission’s project “The Mantel Plan” is a system for the unification of the World’s energy resources. This revolutionary plan is targeted for annihilation by an alien race known as the Galactor.

The malevolent Galactor is behind a wave of global destruction using a monstrous ship that has already decimated a city on its path to systematically destroy the project. The Gatchaman team and their prized ship, the Phoenix, must rise to the rescue! To save the planet, it’s five against thousands – odds only one team of specialists can handle – The Gatchaman!

In the second OVA, “Gatchaman: Volume II – The Red Specter”, the secret undersea Galactor headquarters has been discovered, giving the Gatchaman team the chance to cripple the enemy by destroying the base. New forces led by a mysterious warrior in red will join the Gatchaman team in defeating the Galactor this time around – but are these new forces allies or potential foes? The fate of the world depends on the Gatchaman.

And with the third OVA, “Gatchaman: Volume III – The Final Countdown Operation codename: Phoenix”, the ultimate battle between the human race and Galactor is now going full force! The Gatchaman team will have to be careful when they embark on their most perilous mission yet! One move determines if humanity lives or dies. It is a brutal fight to the death and when the battlefield clears, both Gatchaman and the Red Specter will pay the ultimate price.

VIDEO:

“Gatchaman” is presented in 1080p High Definition and presented in 1:37:1, while the “Gatchaman” OVA series is presented in 1080i.  The anime series receives an upscale release but with better colors compared to the 2005 DVD release.  The white specks are still evident but there is no damage, warping or aging due to the fact that the TV Series is nearly 40-years old.

Of course, both the TV series and OVA episodes are different in art style and even painted backgrounds, but having owned both on DVD, there is a slight upgrade in colors but just slight.

While the picture quality looks much cleaner and features better colors, is it enough to make one dump their entire DVD volume for Blu-ray, probably not.  The entire TV and OVA series did not receive any significant restoration but was upscaled to HD.

But when it comes to animation, despite the modernization of the OVA’s, the style was too different from the original and while some aspects such as costume design and mechanical design were nicely done, it doesn’t compare to the original which looks great for a ’70s series.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Gatchaman” utilizes the ADV English dub and the original Japanese soundtrack and presents them in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0.  While my preference was to watch the series with its original lossless  Japanese audio, the English dub was good at some parts, but also resembled a style of acting that was seen in older ’80s and ’90s anime releases. But I am aware that some people do like that, so, you do get that style of voice acting for the English dub.

Of course, there are musical differences with the ’70s having that Tatsunoko ’70s style music vibe while the OVA’s tend to use an American R&B ’90s style musical soundtrack.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Gatchaman TV + OVA Blu-ray Complete Collection” comes with the following special features on various discs (specifically the audio commentary), while the bulk of the special features are on the final disc.

NOTE: Please note that on the final disc, unfortunately the 4:3 special features were stretched and thus the picture looks wide.

  • Audio Commentary – Featuring Leraldo Anazulda (voice of Ken) and ADR Director Charles Campbell  for episode 5 – “The Ghost Fleet From Hell”.
  • Audio Commentary – Featuring Brian Jepson (voice of Joe) and ADR Director Charles Campbell for episode 6 – “The Great Mini-Robot Operation”.
  • Audio Commentary – Featuring Kim Prause (voice of Jun) and ADR Director Charles Campbell for episode 11 – “The Mysterious Red Impulse”.
  • Audio Commentary – Featuring Luci Christian (voice of Jinpei) for episode 16- “The Indestructible Machine Mechanika”.
  • Audio Commentary – Featuring Victor Carsrud (voice of Ryu) for episode 21 – “Who is Leader X”.
  • Audio Commentary – Featuring Andy McAvin (voice of Dr. Nambu) for episode 30 – “Kamisorl, The Guillotine Iron Beast”.
  • Audio Commentary – Featuring George Manley (voice of the Narrator) for episode 31 – “The Plan to Assassinate Dr. Nambu”.
  • Audio Commentary – Featuring Edwin Neal (voice of Berg Katse) for episode 41- “Murder Music”.
  • Audio Commentary – Featuring Sarah Alys Lindholm (Senior Translator) for episode 43 – “A Romance Destroyed by Evil”.
  • Audio Commentary – Featuring Leraldo Anzaldua (voice of Ken) and Andy McAvin (voice of Dr. Nambu) for episode 60 – “Science Ninja Team, Number G-6”.
  • Audio Commentary – Featuring Kim Prause (Jun) and Luci Christian (Jinpei) for episode 64 – “A Christmas Present of Death”.
  • Audio Commentary – Featuring Brian Jepson (voice of Joe) and Winston Parish (voice of Leader X) for episode 70 – “Death Girls Unite!”.
  • Audio Commentary  – Featuring Josh Grelle, Glenn Fraser, Chris Ayres and Charles Campbell for episode 78 – “Mortal Combat! 5,000 Fathoms Under the Sea”.
  • Audio Commentary – Featuring Marty Fleck (voice of Director Anderson) and ADR Director Charles Campbell for episode 84- “Smog Fiber, the Spider Web Iron Beast”.
  • Audio Commentary – Featuring Samantha Inouye Harte and ADR Director Charles Campbell for episode 87 – “Patogiller, the Triple Combined Iron Beast”.
  • Audio Commentary – Featuring recording engineers Eden Barrera and Bobby Gordon for episode 70 – “Counterattack! The Underground Torpedo Operation”.
  • Audio Commentary  – Featuring Luci Christian (voice of Jinpei) and George Manley (voice of the Narrator) for episode 78 – “Storm Galactor’s Headquarters!”.
  • Audio Commentary – Featuring Leraldo Anzaldua (voice of Ken) and ADR Director Charles Campbell for episode 84- “Earth’s Destruction 0002”.
  • What is Gatchaman? – (35:54) A featurette about how “Gatchaman” was conceived, the storyboards and how it was aired in the U.S.
  • What We Were Watching – Text based info. on “Gatchaman” and what was airing on television at the time.
  • Character Profiles – Text based biographies of the characters of “Gatchaman”
  • Character Sketches – Featuring the artwork of the characters of “Gatchaman”.
  • Episode Sketches – (12:18) Artwork from various episodes.
  • Science Ninja Technique! – (7:46) Featuring the various fighting techniques of the members of The Science Ninja Team Gatchaman.
  • Art Gallery – (18:17) A history of the art of “Gatchaman” for film, VHS, etc.
  • Gatchaman Music – Featuring various music from the series from different countries (in Italian, Dutch, France, Spain).
  • Publishing Galleries – Featuring five galleries of “Gatchaman” and how they were released in printed pieces such as pop-up books, coloring books, comics, etc. in Japanese, English, projects released in Europe and in France.
  • Gatchaman at Play – (8:52) “Gatchaman” games based on the series.
  • The Origins of Tatsunoko Production – (11:03) A featurette about the Japanese company who created “Gatchaman”, “Speed Racer”, “Casshern” and more!
  • Interview with Alex Ross – (11:05) Interview with artist Alex Ross who is watching the uncut “Gatchaman” for the first time and also behind-the-scenes of him painting “Gatchaman”.
  • Interview with English Director Charles Campbell – (16:54) The original 2005 “Gatchaman” DVD interview with the ADR director Charles Campbell.
  • English Actor Interviews – Featuring individual interviews with the English dub voice talent Leraldo Anzuldua, Brian Jepson, Kim Prause, Luci Christian, Victor Carsrud, Edwin Neal, Andy McAvin and George Manley.
  • English Audition Footage – Featuring the various people who auditioned for a character of on “Gatchaman”.
  • English VA Round Table – (40:39) The English dub cast gathering to discuss “Gatchaman”.
  • Gatchaman at the Alamo Draft House – (7:18) A screening of “Gatchaman” at the Alamo Draft House in Austin.
  • The Demon 5 in Concert – (1:30) Not the original anime band, Demon 5.
  • Clean Opening and Closing Animations
  • Unused Ending Sequences – (2:49) An alternative ending sequence in original Japanese with English subtitles.  Not remastered with noise, grain and specks galore.
  • Gatchaman ModelLock Commercial – (:36) Old ’70s “Gatchaman” model commercial.

EXTRAS:

“Gatchaman TV + OVA Blu-ray Complete Collection” comes with a slipcase.

I have been fortunate to have grown up watching both the original “Battle of the Planets” and also “G-Force” when it aired on television.  As a child of the ’70’s and ’80s, I grew up during a time when “Shogun Warriors”, “Voltron”, “Robotech” were my link to Japanese pop culture.

So, having been entertained by Gatchaman during the late ’70s and ’80s, I was able to reconnect with my childhood with the release of the OVA’s, albeit a different storyline, still the excitement of having Gatchaman back in the US once again was a great time for fans who grew up with the series.

But as a fan of the series, there was one thing that I have always wanted to see and that was the original series uncut.  And so in 2005, with the ADV Films release of the DVD’s, fans got what they wanted. Albeit, if you stuck with purchasing each volume which only had several episodes, it was quite pricey.

But when ADV Films released the uncut, not only did Alex Ross’ artwork make fans happy, there were a good number of “Gatchaman” related things happening with the “Battle of the Planets” action figure toy release and other toy releases from Japan.

But possibly the biggest sign of “Gatchaman” love to help reignite the interest in the original series was a popular Japanese group, SMAP and their two “Gatchaman” live action cell phone commercials.  Giving fans that possibility of a live action film.

And for 2013, for “Gatchaman” fans, it has has been a very good year.  With the airing of the anime series “Gatchaman Crowds” (which will be coming out in the US in 2014), a “Gatchaman” live action film that was released in Aug. 2013 and while the two were released in Japan, the United States gets some “Gatchaman” love with Sentai Filmworks release of  “Gatchaman TV + OVA Blu-ray Complete Collection”.

For any “Gatchaman” fans, how awesome is it to have the complete, uncut 105-episodes from the early ’70s plus the three OVA’s from the ’90s on Blu-ray with all the special featuers that were included in the original all in one box set release.  And yes, it is much cheaper than what was available for fans back in 2005 and 2006 who had to purchase each volume with several episodes per DVD.

So, for “Gatchaman” fans who want the series, especially in HD, this is a fantastic Blu-ray release from Sentai Filmworks.

Now, what about those who own the DVD’s.  Well, for the most part, you are good with your DVD collection and probably will not need to upgrade.  The series are upscaled, so the difference is not tremendous when it comes to picture quality, while you do get a lossless 2.0 soundtrack, once again, it’s not going to be a tremendous difference.  But with that being said, I would rather have the best version as possible on Blu-ray and not having to worry if my discs get scuffed up from overuse like my original “Gatchaman” DVD’s.   And for the small difference, it may not be a lot but I do enjoy watching and listening to the series in HD.

If there is one issue about this release, it’s pretty much the special features on the final disc.  For some apparent reason, the picture is stretch instead of 4:3, so people and images will look wider than they were meant to be seen.

But other than that, there really is no major complaint that I have about this Blu-ray release.  This is probably the most episodes I have ever seen in a Blu-ray box set release of an anime series next to Sentai Filmworks “Golgo 13: Complete Collection” (which was released in Sept. 2013) which featured 50 episodes.

The box set and insert covers also retain the fantastic Alex Ross “Gatchaman” paintings and you’re getting everything upscaled to HD.  Again, there’s really nothing to complain about unless you were wanting a pristine restoration which is not going to happen unless a studio is willing to invest in an expensive restoration (and so far “Akira” was the only title that received significant restoration and was an expensive process).

Now can I guarantee that everyone will love “Gatchaman”? Of course not.   It’s a ’70s anime series that does retain its campy storyline but for those who wanted to see a modern interpretation of the series with a darker storyline, then you can see what was done in the early ’90s with the three OVA episodes included with the set.

But even though “Gatchaman” was made in the early ’70s, it was bold for its time.   Taking on stories about ecology, character and many people who die in the series (as one can expect with large mechanical monsters, quite a number of people are squashed) and you also have a hermaphrodite antagonist.  And I know, for those who watched “Battle of the Planets” and “G-Force” are probably surprised by all this, but the “Sandy Frank Entertainment” American adaptations were made child-friendly.  So, it’s important to remember that this is the uncut version based on the original Japanese adaptation.  No censorship, no editing, what was shown originally in Japan is what fans can expect to see with “Gatchaman TV + OVA Blu-ray Complete Collection”.

Overall, if you are a fan of “Gatchaman” or even slightly curious about this anime classic, you can now own all 105 episodes of the original “Gatchaman” series plus the three “Gatchaman” OVA episodes on Blu-ray for a great price in HD!

“Gatchaman TV + OVA Blu-ray Complete Collection” is highly recommended!

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