Certainly, BATTLE OF THE PLANETS is the most earnest inverse to counter CROWDS’ hip irony, but it’s also almost painfully kitschy to view. It’s a product of its times, of course - - and a rather successful gateway to anime for an entire generation of Americans, at that - - but there’s no getting around the fact that it’s one of the most awkward localization edits I’ve ever seen. Whether it’s the action with the space invader that doesn’t seem to logically flow, because of the cuts, or the artificially-extended passages with the R2D2-like robot explaining everything, because of the cuts, there’s an almost nightmarish quality to this since you always feel like something vague, yet highly important, is simply missing.
(It’s all doubly-weird since the show’s also been seemingly annexed by the voice cast of THE SUPER FRIENDS. Definitely wasn’t expecting to find Casey Kassem here, and hearing him made me frequently wonder when G-Force was going to retreat back to the Batcave).
What’s funny is that this actually makes it clear that GATCHAMAN really would need a significant overhaul to work for modern audiences. I’m sure that a big reason why the new live-action flick didn’t do so well was that its crew saw things like the team’s cheerleader-like human period and deemed it crucial to the brand. So, CROWDS actually did have its head in the right place about needing to be comprehensive in updating the show - - it just went about in the clumsiest way possible.
Come to think of it, CROWDS actually evoked that the same evanescent feeling of something being edited out, too. How else would you describe a show about GATCHAMAN that barely features the heroes in their bird armors for its first two hours of screen time?
Look up this episode, "Attack of the Space Terrapin" and decide for yourself.
About the Author
|Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk|