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,

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!