Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New Polyresin Jun figure available

There's a brand new polyresin figure statue of Jun coming out! A company named R.A.W.S. ("Real Art Work Series") is producing the Jun figures as a limited edition of 300. The 28cm x 9.7cm x 9.7cm figure is mounted on top of a base designed to look like Jun's yoyo, and the base bears a serial number. It retails for 14,800 yen
(15,540 yen, after taxes), roughly US $137.00.

The Jun figurine is scheduled for release in late November/ early December, but you can preorder. If you don't know of a good Japanese hobby store, try CD Japan (http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/goods/goods_detail.html?KEY=NEOGDS-1224#) and Hobbylink Japan (http://www.hlj.com/product/HAP80337). I have dealt with Hobbylink Japan and a good friend can vouch for good service from CD Japan. He also mentioned that CD Japan has a preorder deadline of September 25th—better order soon!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Quick Gatchaman teaser at Imagi's site

Imagi has put up a very brief teaser video featuring a little action with Joe's car and our first view of the Godphoenix. The Imagi site also has a collection of still shots from the video, some of which you may have seen on Felix Ip's blog here and here. Check 'em out.

Imagi's site: link

Monday, August 11, 2008

Cosplay at Comic Con

Unfortunately, I had to leave San Diego early and miss the Masquerade, and there was a Gatchaman entry this year:

Phil Foglio does a nice introduction:

Here's a longer video of the contestant. The music is Animetal's rendition of the Gatchaman theme.

And here's an earlier contestant from 1998's Comic Con, this time in the OAV version of the costume. The music here is from the American commercial for the OAV.

Thanks, Tatsunokofan!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Imagi Updates

Felix Ip, the Art/Creative Director at Imagi, has some very interesting images posted on his blog. Screenshots 01 features renders that weren't available at the time the trailer was run at Comic Con. Screenshots 02 features images from the trailer. According to the blog, character designs were modified after the trailer.

Gatchaman Screenshots 01

Gatchaman Screenshots 02

Also, from the comments, I would not expect Imagi's Gatchaman film to release until 2010. From the looks of their promotion, Astro Boy is definitely showing first.

IMPORTANT NOTE: There has been a lot of fan feedback on Felix Ip's site, and he appears to be listening. Go express your opinion.

Also on Butterboom.com, here are the newest pics of the logo and the team, taken from an Imagi sell sheet for the Gatchaman licensing company. The logo I saw at Comic Con. The team I didn't.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

News from Gatchacon

Gatchacon, the unofficial con-within-the-San Diego Comic Con, is under way. This year's t-shirts feature a schematic of Battle of the Planets robot narrator 7-Zark-7 and the slogan, "He Thinks So You Don't Have To." Finally we get to see where his FOSDIC is.

Imagi has a booth at the con this year, and their major push is the movie, "Astro Boy" (to the tune of Linkin Park's "Somewhere I Belong") along with an ad for an older project, "Cat Town," and the demo reel from Gatchaman. In the Gatchaman reel, we see glimpses of Jun and a little bit of Ken in uniform plus a flash of the G-1, but the focus is on Joe in his civilan car stealing a suitcase of cash(?) from some thugs and evading some seriously scary gunfire. He looks good, and the demo is impressive... But this is an old demo before Imagi changed their ideas and their staff.

I have heard some of the ideas being bounced around for the latest version of the movie, and to be honest, although these ideas have supposedly been scrapped as well, I'm not encouraged. Something about how Gatchaman was an ancient legend worshipped since the day of the samurai... Bleh. That's been done to death in other films. As it stands now, according to current press releases about Imagi, the movie has been pushed back to 2009, and that interferes with Tatsunoko's Japan release of the live action Gatchaman movie. Things aren't looking good for this film, and I dearly hope I am wrong about this.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Capcom vs. Tatsunoko: Fight!

Imagine Ken Washio battling Street Fighter's Ken.

According to Brian Ashcraft's post at the Kotaku blog, Famitsu Magazine has announced that Capcom is putting together Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Cross Generation of Heroes, a fighting game featuring its characters pitted in tag battles against Tatsunoko's best heroes... the Gatchaman among them. Other characters slated for inclusion are Ryu (Street Fighter's, not Gatchaman's), Chun-Li, and Casshern.

EDIT: Check out the screen shots from the game at Famitsu.com: Link

Monday, May 12, 2008

Bits and Pieces: Movie info, Gatchaman article, and Gatchaman cameo in Yatterman

Kevin Munroe on leaving Gatchaman:

In the following interview on IESB.net, Kevin Munroe discusses his new project with Dylan Dog and his reasons for parting ways with Imagi and the Gatchaman movie project. Here's an excerpt:

"With Gatchaman, I guess you can say it came down to creative differences. I’m a little heartbroken to walk away, as I’m still a huge fan of the property and its potential. But I’m glad that at least we got to share a little of my version of the movie in those images we released last year. "

Comic Book Resources article on Gatchaman

And here's an article on Tatsuo Yoshida and one of his greatest creations, co-written by pro-fan Jason Hofius.

Gatchaman cameo on new Yatterman series

The characters from other Tatsunoko series often make cameos in episodes of "Yatterman," and here's the latest (not to be confused with the sighting of Ken and Jun at the takoyaki stand a few posts ago). Observant fan "Zeiderbeck" posted to the Yahoo! Battle of the Planets Mailing List about a Gatchaman sighting on the new "Yatterman" television series. The special one-hour broadcast on May 5, 2008, "One Night Only! Doronbo vs.
Monta Mino! Join Us in a Battle of Brain-Teasers! A Special Episode
Guest-Starring Gatchaman and the Mach Five!" features the voice talents of Katsuji Mori (voice of Ken and Go Mifune from Mach Go Go Go) and silent appearances of the rest of the team and Dr. Nambu. The episode also contains an old Japanese Gatchaman in-joke: a snippet from a typical schoolyard parody of the theme song:

"Chikyuu wa hitotsu! / Warereba oketsu!"
("There is only one Earth! / Split it, and it looks just like a butt!")

Looks like this latest guest appearance could be fun!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Link to Jun Falkenstein's blog

As I mentioned in my last post, news is out that Jun Falkenstein will be the new director of the Gatchaman movie. Thanks to a post by David Labraccio on the BotP Mailing List at Yahoo Groups, I found her blog at Stone Falcon Productions.

Here's an excerpt of particular interest:

One of the things that's bothering me a little bit right now is that fact that the film I am working on has a fan following (of the source material). No, the fans aren't what's bothering me - in fact, that part's pretty cool. What's bothering me is, I know that the minute they announce me as director, all these fans will run over to my IMDB page, look me up, and see that pretty much the biggest directing credit I have is 'The Tigger Movie' - and then they will freak out, because how dare I direct their beloved (INSERT FILM TITLE HERE LATER) when "all I have done" is this rated G film for little kids. Oh yes, they will freak out. And you know what, I can't say that I will blame them.

So with that in mind, I started these 'journal entries' to not only document the process of directing an animated feature for those interested, but also to attempt to convince worried fans that I'm actually a pretty big geek and fan of the genre - and that I have no intention of softening down the film when the source material is so kick-ass.

I don't know how this is going to turn out, so as a fan I'm not quite willing to wail and gnash my teeth quite yet. Wait and see.

Monday, April 21, 2008

New Gatchaman movie director

Just got a tip in this very here blog that Jun Falkenstein has been chosen to direct the Imagi Gatchaman film. I confirmed this, and here are Falkenstein's other works:

Everyone's Hero (2006)
Storyboard Artist

The Tigger Movie (2000) Director, Screenplay

Party at Sam's (1997) Director of Photography

Keep those tips coming, folks!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

More Gatchaman Movie Changes...

There was new mention of the Imagi Gatchaman movie from insider Charlie's Blog.

An excerpt:

"The original vision for the film was fun and a bit edgy---appealed to me. The project's been through lots of changes, rewrites (like any film), ended up with a different director recently. The vision's changed since I first joined, and seems to be going towards a younger Power Rangers audience---I wanted to see a Gatchaman that I would love to see, and didn't want to see it go this direction, so I departed from Imagi and took an Art Directing/Character Designing gig on Thundercats."

Now, looking back at the writing on the Battle of the Planets comic, the word "edgy" does not necessarily indicate a good thing. Nor does "Power Rangers audience" indicate a bad thing. I don't think Imagi's TMNT had been especially edgy and had maintained the general feel of the original comic. So again, this may not be horrible, awful news.

On the other hand, I really liked the preliminaries I had the opportunity to see at Imagi, and I liked the direction it was going under Kevin Munroe. I can't help but feel apprehensive about the replanning.

Read the entire posting: here

Thanks, Anonymous, for the link.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Bloody Disgusting Gatchaman Movie News

BloodyDisgusting.com has posted that Kevin Munroe has been signed on to direct the film adaptation of Dylan Dog, a horror comic. Apparently, this means he's no longer holding the reins of the Imagi Gatchaman film. Imagi hasn't posted any official news about this, but the Gatchaman portion of Imagi's web site has eliminated the "Staff" section that contained Munroe's name. Read the blogpost here:


First, Paul Dini was slated to work on the project, but then the Gatchaman section disappeared from his forum. Now Kevin Munroe is leaving. I'd had high hopes after meeting him, hearing his plans and seeing his work with TMNT.

Could this mean that the Gatchaman project is being reimagined, or is it slated for cancellation? I've got a bad feeling about this.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Imagi launches marketing department

I was just commenting to a friend that we haven't heard any news on the upcoming Gatchaman movie at all. Is it being shelved? In this case, no news is not really good news.

This latest news release from Active Anime says that Imagi has just set up a full marketing department for its features, which will include Gatchaman and Astro Boy in 2009. The term, "slated for worldwide distribution," however, has me wondering if these features will be relegated to video instead of theatrical release.

The news article is here:

Monday, February 18, 2008

Ken and Jun make a cameo in new Yatterman episode

Ken andJun make a quick cameo in Yatterman 2008, Episode 2. Possibly a reference to the upcoming films in Japan?

Here we see Ken and Jun in Osaka, enjoying some takoyaki at the 9:09 mark on the video. You can watch the entire program with fansubs at Crunchyroll.com.

Thanks to the BotP Mailing List for the news!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Original Gatchaman screenwriter, Jinzo Toriumi, succumbs to liver cancer

I just received the following release--not sure of the source, but confirmed the information on the links:

Jinzo Toriumi, a screenwriter who first began writing during the "revolutionary era" of Japanese television animation on Mach Go Go Go (Speed Racer), Science Ninja Team Gatchaman (Battle of the Planets/G-Force), and Yatterman, has died on Thursday. He was 78. He succumbed to liver cancer in a hospital in the Tokyo neighborhood of
Shinjuku. He leaves behind his wife, Kazuyo.

Toriumi was born in 1929 in the northern Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido. After trying his hand at writing scripts for live-action films at Nikkatsu, he began writing animation scripts at Mushi Productions for Mighty Atom (Astro Boy) in 1964. He then devoted himself fulltime to television animation at Tatsunoko Production in 1965. There, he contributed to Casshern, Tekkaman, and Time Bokan. He later began writing for such Sunrise works as Armored Trooper Votoms, Yoroiden Samurai Trooper (Ronin Warriors), and Mister Ajikko. He also wrote the novel versions of Gatchaman, Shin Heiyuden, and Dororo, as well as the Anime Scenario Nyumon (The Introduction to Anime

He used the Anime Scenario Nyumon book as a vocational school teacher for future generations of scriptwriters. He also chaired Ohtori Koubou, a support group for scriptwriters. He received the (Scenario) Scriptwriting Award from the Japan Writers Guild on May 26, 2000.

Source: Mainichi Shimbun, animeanime.jp

Thanks for the information, Jane!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Surreal Gatchaman parody on classic variety TV

By nature, Japanese variety television is just plain weird. Therein lies its charm.

In these two videos, you'll see an attempt to recreate the Gatchaman opening credits in live action.


I think these date back to 1995 or so because I remember seeing the first one on network TV. The poster of the video didn't provide any information.

From there, it gets weirder. In these videos, Gatchaman goes to Shinjuku to demonstrate two new Science Ninja techniques: Science Ninja Technique Park Clean...

...and Science Ninja Technique Pizza Wait for a Minute, where they use their Ninja Skillz (no bicycles or elevator to climb 13 floors) to deliver pizza within the 15-minute delivery time limit. I think the customers are probably too freaked out to complain.

What's kind of funny is near the end of the park video, there are people asking our heroes who they are. Haven't they heard of Gatchaman? No? Kids these days....

Thanks, Tatsunokofan!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Gatchapin now available on DVD

First post for the new year...

As of December 12, 2007, episodes of "Go Go! Gatchapin" are now commercially available. Released by a company named Liverpool, the DVD retails for 1,980 yen and is sold only through 7-11 convenience stores and through the online shop run
by BS Fuji, the satellite network that airs the series.

For your 1,980 yen and postage, you get 20 episodes featuring the battle between Gatchapin and Pierre Katse, plus two additional Gatchapin stories (Gatchapin goes shopping, and Gatchapin scopes out an amusement park). The episodes are entirely in Japanese, with no subtitles or dubs. It is a series aimed at young kids and comprises live action skits full of cartoon gags which are easy enough to understand in plain Japanese. The DVD is Region 2 encoded, so you'll need a code-free DVD player to watch it outside of Japan.

For more information:

Liverpool site

7-Dream site

BS Fuji Online Shop

Thanks, Tatsunokofan!