Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Condor Joe Debuts

Annnnd... here he is. Condor Joe is revealed in the Tatsunoko vs. Capcom game in all his roaring glory. Read all about it on ign.com here. Better yet, see him in action on the video here.

If they didn't get Isao Sasaki (the original voice actor) to do his voice, they found somebody darned close. All his mannerisms are there, ramped up for 2009.

As a Joe fan, I think I'm in love again...

UPDATE: Isao Sasaki's name is reported to be in the game credits! Awesome!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Paul Dini and Joe Asakura

Paul Dini Explains What Happened at Imagi

Some time ago, Paul Dini was chosen to write the screenplay for the Imagi Gatchaman movie. Then, without warning, his name vanished from all mention and mention of Gatchaman vanished from his Web site. In this interview from 411mania.com, Dini explains what happened... well, as much as can be explained, anyway:
"I was working on it in the fall of 2007, I guess that's when the writer's strike was, and I worked on it from August to December of that year with Kevin Munroe, the director, and a very good art team. And I was contracted kind of a period of around that time, and then we made our presentation to the rights holder and then they said they were undecided on how to go at that point and my deal was essentially up, so they said OK we may call you back, we may go a different way. So I have no idea what if anything of mine is in the movie, the finished picture. I know that Kevin was let go a few weeks after that, and I think the project went into some sort of turnaround development at some point. Toward the end it was getting more and more confused. The more that Kevin and the artists and I were more united in our take on the picture, new producers came in that were less sure of anything and very antsy about everything. So I don't know, the whole thing sort of spun out of control. I left once my deal was up and basically, that was that. We'll see what happens. I think they proceeded with different writers and different producers. Definitely, they got a different director, and we'll see what ultimately comes out of it. I've seen the same trailer that everybody else has seen, and I did recognize some of the same basic setups and scenarios from some of the storyboards that we worked on together, but that's about it."
Click here to read the entire interview.

Condor Joe Joins the Fray in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom?

A member of the Shoryuken Forum unearthed a list of filenames for images in Capcom's Japanese Web site. In addition to the main characters, there is images/oncharactor_btn_joe.jpg


The image is not available yet, but I'd keep an eye on the site for when Joe makes his debut.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Gatchaman Episodes and Artwork

I'm posting this from Dragon*Con in Atlanta. There's no Gatchaman news to be found yet, but we're getting a lot of "Where did you get those shirts?" inquiries on our GatchaCon (San Diego) T-shirts from previous years. We're telling 'em to Google the Tatsunoko Fan Club Web site and see if there are any extras for sale. We haven't met any fellow fans from the Gatchamania forum or the fan who was supposed to come dressed as Berg Katse, but it's a very, very big con.

A couple of news items of interest:

Gatchaman II and Fighter Episodes Online

There is a Korean Web site offering episodes of Gatchaman II and Fighter online. They are in Japanese with Korean subtitles (no English, sorry), but the episodes are complete. Choose the episodes by episode number. There are two episodes missing: G-II #48 and G-Fighter #4, and the site can run slowly if there are a lot of users. But they're free!

Gatchaman II: http://tinyurl.com/ksdarp

Gatchaman Fighter: http://tinyurl.com/lzx6ew

Amano Gatchaman Art for Sale

If you were wondering what to do with your extra $20,000 inheritance or lottery winnings, you can pick up an Amano Original piece for 1,890,000 yen, excluding shipping and handling of course. If that is out of your price range, you can pick up the "Amano Galaxy Members Cards" for 1,090 yen or the Amano Galaxy Postcard Set for 2,100 yen.

New art: http://amanogalaxy.com/p/html/ag/#go

Amano Galaxy Goodies: http://www.ggood.jp/p/category/top/detail.php?c=top&ca1=amanogalaxy

Also, check out the rest of Amano's links for Gatchaman art he has done over the last few decades.

Thanks, Tatsunokofan, for both updates!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

ADV is no more

ADV, the company responsible for releasing the Gatchaman series in English, is no more.

Today, the company posted a notice on its Web site describing the liquidation of its assets. Part a sign of the economy, and part a sign of the times, it's not unexpected, but still sad.

News link: http://www.homemediamagazine.com/studios/adv-films-sells-assets-16906

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Notes from GatchaCon

Sadly, there was no GatchaCon t-shirt for this year was because the person responsible for the shirt design and printing suffered some recent injuries. Hopefully he will recover soon!

There were some interesting promotions at the Imagi booth: fans could dress up as Ken and get their pictures taken in front of a Gatchaman-style background. There were also some Gatchaman freebies. There will probably be more at the 2010 Comic Con. Save your money for next year, because from what I've heard, the con (admission and lodging) is getting more and more expensive.

Check out the nice Gatchaman G-2 poster as well as the posters of the rest of the team here on Felix Ip's blog. (Thanks, Reboekah!)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

GatchaCon 2009 at San Diego Comic Con: Details

Tatsunokofan added a comment on my last post. I think it needs to be put out in the open:

Here's a somewhat more detailed list of the Gatchaman-related things that are going on at the Comic Con next week.

For meeting up with other fans, we'll be gathering for lunch at noon each day of the convention, meeting up at the tables provided in the Sails Pavillion on the top floor of the convention center. Most of us will be wearing GatchaCon T-shirts, though I do know that as least one Jun costume will be be there too...

In the Dealers Room, Imagi will there in booth 3635, next to the Paramount Home Entertainment booth. Most of their booth will be purposed for promoting Astro Boy, but if their set-up at Anime Expo is any indication, they should have a small space dediated to Gatchaman and will be showing the video clips they showed there. It's likely that they'll have some of those Gatchaman watches to give away as well!

Also in the Dealers Room, Capcom will be at booth 5113, across from Electronic Arts on the first row of the East Side of the convention center. They'll be promoting many of their upcoming game releases, which will likely include Tatsunoko Vs Capcom. They usually have demos of these games available for people to play, so if you've always wanted to pit Ken or Jun against Megaman or Chun Li, this may be your chance!

There will also be several sellers in the Dealers Room who usually have some Gatchaman items, including Anime Link (Booth 415), Nichibei Anime (Booth 814), AnimeEd.com (Booth 5435), and Fantasia Toyz (Booth 701).

As far as convention panels go, Imagi is having a panel for Astro Boy on Thursday from 10:15 to 11:15 in Room 6BCF. The panel will feature stars Freddie Highmore and Kristen Bell, as well as Director David Bowers and Producer Maryanne Grager, all there to talk about their film. Admittedly, it is unlikely that Imagi's Gatchaman film will get more than a passing mention at this panel, but you never know!

On Friday, there will be a "Capcom: Fighting Games" panel from 2:30 to 3:30 in room 5AB. This panel will be focused on Capcom's newest fighting games, and Capcom game producer Ryota Niitsuma will be on the panel to talk about Tatsunoko Vs Capcom.

In the Anime Rooms, alas, no Gatchaman is scheduled. On the other hand, Nurse Witch Komugi will be shown on Thursday night from 11:05 to 11:30 in Room 25AB. The schedule doesn't specifiy which Kogumi story will be shown, so there is a chance (Or perhaps you could ask) that it will be the second story, where Komugi transforms into a parody of the Science Ninja Team in order to fight her foe.

So, if there's anyone here who's planning on attending the Comic Con, I hope we'll see you there! Just come up and say, "Hi!" We don't bite -- really.

Thanks again, Tatsunokofan!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Got Goodies?

More on the die-cast models: Art Storm has posted some close-up pictures of the die-cast Gatchaman toys.

View Set A (G-1, G-2, Red Impulse plane)

View Set B (G-3, G-4, GodPhoenix)

I have to say the level of detail in these is astounding.

According to the Art Storm site, these sets run at 24,800 yen per set and are scheduled to go on sale in December 2009. If you have an extra couple hundred dollars burning a hole in your bank account, Hobbylink Japan is accepting preorders, with a 5% discount if you order before August 1. Visit Hobbylink Japan at http://www.hlj.com and do a search for "Gatchaman." I've ordered Gatchaman items from them and been happy with their service.

(Thanks, Tatsunokofan!)

Gatchaman Episodes on Veoh: If you've gone this long without getting copies of Gatchaman on DVD, you can now view all the episodes online at Veoh: http://www.veoh.com/search/videos/q/gatchaman I noticed that they also have the NTT Gatchaman commercials with SMAP.

(Thanks, Fiona!)

GatchaCon News: Sadly, I am missing GatchaCon this year, for the first time since it started. There will be some Gatchaman fans attending, though fewer than previous years. If you are headed to the San Diego Comic Con, check the pavilion under the "sails" (where the lunch tables are) for a group of fans in black GatchaCon t-shirts. Also, since Imagi was there last year, I'm sure they'll have a booth on the dealer's floor this year. Go check out their Gatchaman preview.

And let me know how it went!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

More Imagi Promotion Materials

The Screenweek Blog has some new screen shots of some promotional materials for the Imagi Gatchaman movie, apparently being promoted at Anime Expo 2009 in Los Angeles. In addition to the Joe poster we saw earlier, there's a group poster and a shot of a digital watch that seems to be a freebie. [link]

Also, someone filmed the promo at the booth and put it up on YouTube. EDIT: Better versions have surfaced. Here they are:

Thanks, Springie!

Friday, July 3, 2009

More Tatsunoko vs. Capcom Screens

Here are more screen shots from the Tatsunoko vs. Capcom game, courtesy of Capcom's Web site: [link]. It's sad that Ken seems to be the recipient of the attacks demonstrated on the screens, but the profile pictures of him [link] are just lovely.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gatcha-Movie Update

Imagi Update: It has been confirmed that Jun Falkenstein is no longer on the Gatchaman Movie project. According to her blog, she is back with Disney.

Live Action Gatchaman Move News: It has been a long while since we've gotten any news on Japan's planned live action Gatchaman film. Apparently, the concept is still alive: On June 19th, it was announced that Takara-Tomy (who now owns Tatsunoko Productions) has purchased 2.83% of the available stock in Nikkatsu, the studio that created the live action Yatterman movie and who has the rights for the live action Gatchaman movie. In turn, Nikkatsu will produce live action films based on Takara-Tomy products such as the Rika-chan fashion doll line, and adaptations of further Tatsunoko animated properties. The plan is to release one Takara-Tomy-based film a year.

There was no specific news about the live action Gatchaman film in the press releases. But, since the Yatterman live action movie was a major box office success, hopefully, this will stimulate work on the Gatchaman film.

Thanks Tatsunokofan!

Get Gatchaman T-shirts

GatchaCon T-Shirts

For the past twelve years, fans have held GatchaCon at the San Diego Comic Con. One of the highlights of GatchaCon was the cool t-shirt design released every year. Unfortunately, I won't be able to make it to GatchaCon this year, and I don't know the current status of this year's T-shirt designs. However, Jason H. managed to find a few designs printed for past years and want to make them available to fans again. There aren't many left and there are no plans for reprints, so get them before they're gone for good!

To see the available t-shirt designs and details, Visit this page at the Tatsunoko USA site. If you are interested in ordering any shirts, please write to Jason at: tatfanclub(at)aol.com (replace the (at) with @). (Thanks, Jason!)

Uniqlo Shirts in NYC

If you happen to be in New York City, the Uniqlo Gatchaman t-shirts have been spotted for sale in Uniqlo's New York Soho branch. Sizes and stock are extremely limited, so, like the GatchaCon shirts, get them before they're gone!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Audience Test Results for Gatchaman (2011)

Recently, Imagi held a small audience test at a Warner Brothers studio in Burbank CA to gauge the response to Gatchaman by their teenage target audience. The audience saw a brief trailer, some still scenes, image boards and production art. Then they were given a questionnaire. (One question asked about romance in the storyline and whether there should be a Ken-Jun-Joe love triangle.) A Japanese lady who went to the test wrote about it in her blog (link).

The highlights:
  • The release schedule is being pushed back to 2011. (Not a big surprise considering Astro Boy is yet to be released.)
  • It's confirmed that Nambu is now of African descent and sports the "Afro Samurai" look. His goal is to gather teenagers to fight the alien menace that is Katse and Gallactor.
  • As you might have guessed, the selected teenagers don't get along at first. Joe, a bad-boy street fighter with a vendetta, refuses to join, and the others attempt to beat some sense into him at a construction site. Only after, through some fault of his, Nambu gets captured by Gallactor does Joe join the team. (Wolverine in a bird suit, anyone?)
  • Imagi Joe more closely resembles OAV Joe than original Joe.
  • Jun's action scenes are cool, but she's not as sexy. Her mini skirt birdstyle seemed to get high marks, though.
  • Jinpei and Ryu seem more noticeable in the Imagi version.
  • Katse loses both his mutant nature (appearing entirely male) and his sense of humor.
  • The audience seemed unhappy with the quality of the CGI, claiming the movements were not very smooth.
  • There seems to be a little bit of confusion about the title: "Gatchaman" vs. "Gatchamen."
Say this with me, fellow fans: We were afraid this would happen.

Thanks, Tatsunokofan!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Imagi News, Capcom News

Douglas Glen, CEO of Imagi, resigns. According to the press releases, Imagi's project such as Astro Boy and Gatchaman are not affected. Check this link at Anime News Network for details: http://tinyurl.com/ot7z3f

Thanks, Trudi!

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom game confirmed for US. Capcom has made their announcements for the upcoming 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in June: the Tatsunoko vs. Capcom title will be released for the Nintendo Wii in America and Europe. Details here at Gamespot: http://www.gamespot.com/news/6209856.html

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Video Parody: Gatchaman Abridged

Enjoy this Gatchaman parody dub by someone with an excellent sense of comedic timing. I'm not sure why he's using the "G-Force GoS" names, though. Not Safe For Work unless you have earphones (naughty words are only selectively bleeped out).

Thanks, Springie!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Catching Up: Cool Bits and Pieces

Here are some neat bits and pieces I've been meaning to post here:

Gatchaman Featured at Taipei Toys Exhibition

From Kena's blog: check out her photo album of the Gatchaman goodies exhibition in Taipei: http://photo.pchome.com.tw/kcc20051225/

Fighting Ken and Jun

And a video: Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom featuring Ken and Jun

Deviant Fanart

And some really nice fanart of Jun on DeviantArt. This piece made today's "Daily Deviations," which is somewhat of a big deal in deviantART Land.

swan by ~dangerousllama on deviantART

Ken Design Sketch

Last, but not least, Felix Ip's blog has a nice concept sketch of Ken.

Monday, April 13, 2009

New Gatchaman T-shirt Designs from Uniqlo

Japanese clothing manufacturer Uniqlo has released the first of at least two Gatchaman T-shirt designs. The first one, featuring clips of the characters' faces, is here: http://store.uniqlo.com/jp/CPaGoods/056653-09 The second design, due out by the end of this month, will be white with a small bird head symbol over the left breast. Both shirts will cost 1,500 yen each.

The site, of course, is in Japanese, and Uniqlo doesn't do overseas mail orders. However you may be able to order through Celga.com

There's even a video commercial for the latest line of shirts, including the Gatchaman design:

Many thanks to Tatsunokofan for the information!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Latest Gatchaman Movie Poster Features... Joe!

Spotted in the Tatsunoko booth at the Tokyo International Anime Fair and posted on the Gatchakan Blog: A poster for Imagi's upcoming Gatchaman movie, and it's Joe! Check out the Gatchakan site and scroll down.

The release date still appears to be 2010.

New Die-Cast Toys of the Gatchaman Vehicles

The Japanese company Art Storm has announced a December release of a set of high-end die-cast toys of the original Gatchaman vehicles. The vehicles will be 10-15cm in length.

They'll be released in two sets of three vehicles each:
Set A: G-1, G-2, and Red Impulse plane. (Link to image)
Set B: G-3 (with Jun riding) G-4, and Godphoenix. (Link to image)

The only bad news is the price. If you thought the Cho Shin Gokin Godphoenix was expensive, hold on to your hat. The vehicles only come in sets, and each set will cost 24,800 yen.

When these items come available at the end of this year, and if you have about $510 burning a hole in your pocket, I suggest checking Hobbylink Japan to order.

Thanks to Tatsunokofan for the info and photos!

Gatchaman Goodies from the Amusements Expo '09

Whoops! Been way too long and I have a few news items to catch up!

Spotted at the Amusement Expo 2009 held in Makuhari Messe back in February:
  • Figures of Ken and Joe, based off an Ippei Kuri illustration. Check out the image here. These figures will be released in July, but are available for preorder from Hobbylink Japan (Ken: http://www.hlj.com/product/TAT459335100-A Joe: http://www.hlj.com/product/TAT459335100-B)

  • A 1GB Flash memory in the shape of Ken's boomerang. The "nose" comes off to expose the USB connection and the "blades" open and close. Not sure of the release date for this.

These goodies will be offered as prizes from game machines at Japanese game centers, and unfortunately, won't be available for purchase from stores. However, I'm sure they'll be popping up on Yahoo! Japan Auctions and eBay.

Happy Hunting!

Thanks to Tatsunokofan for the info!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gatchaman vs. ...Spider Man?

Sooo... Looks like our heroes will be once again venturing into comics, though this time not alone, as they did under the Top Cow label. According to the Topless Robot blog:

"Marvel [...] partnered up with old-school anime studio Tatsunoko to make a series starring both Marvel's superheroes and Tatsunoko's anime characters, which include Gatchaman (a.k.a. Battle of the Planets)"


Many thanks to Joe Lombardo for the info!

In Gatchaman movie news... Nothing has really changed since last post. The Gatchaman movie is still planned. We shall see.

Monday, January 26, 2009

So what's new with the Imagi film? A follow-up

According to i09.com, the American branch of Imagi is indeed shutting down, but only temporarily until its next round of expected funding arrives. The Hong Kong branch is currently closed for Chinese New Year. Production on Astro Boy is set to continue, and Gatchaman is set for release November 2010... providing it gets funded.

All the gory details are here: http://io9.com/5139671/cool-your-boot-jets-astro-boy-still-zooming

Sunday, January 25, 2009

So what's new with the Imagi film?

Following the Imagi Gatchaman film has been like riding a roller coaster. First we get news that Imagi has been rated a "going financial concern," which is worrying, but not devastating... yet. Felix Ip's blog mentioned that all is moving along according to plan. But then, in light of the current recession and many companies shutting down worldwide, comes the rumor that Imagi is temporarily shutting down. If this is indeed happening, could this lead to a permanent shutdown? Stay tuned...

Here's the link from First Showing: http://www.firstshowing.net/2009/01/25/imagi-animation-is-out-of-money-and-temporarily-shutting-down/

Hisayuki Toriumi, Chief Director for first Gatchaman series, passes away

Hisayuki Toriumi, the Chief Director/Supervisor of the first Gatchaman series, passed away of heart failure on January 23, 2009. He was 67 years old.

Much of the pivotal work in Gatchaman belonged to Toriumi. He directed 32 episodes of the first series—#1 ("Gatchaman vs. Turtle King"), #39~40 ( the Jigokiller two-parter), #53 ("Farewell Red Impulse"), #78 (Joe's confession aboard the Marine Satan), #81 ("Fight on Gallactor Island"), #102 (Berg Katse's unmasking), the final episode, and the 1978 Gatchaman Feature Film. He also acted as a writer, co-writing the following episodes with Satoshi Suyama: #22 ("Firebird vs. Fire-Eating Dragon"), #53 ("Farewell Red Impulse"), #71 ("The Immortal Gov. X"y), and #92 ("The End of Crescent Base")) and five episodes on his own (#52 ("Secret of Red Impulse"), 68 (Micro Saturn), #88 ("Iron Snake #828"), #102 (The unmasking of Berg Katse), and #105 (The series finale). In my own opinion, these were some of the most suspenseful and involving episodes in the entire series.

Mr. Toriumi wrote a novel version of the Gatchaman feature film that added some details to the events in the movie (and unlike the movie, it also involved what happened in #81, "Duel on Gallactor Island"). He later became an accomplished novelist with over two dozen titles written.

He remained active in the animation industry until 1998, and acted as a mentor to director Mamoru Oshii. Funeral services will be held Monday, January 26 in Hachioji. He is survived by his wife, Hiroko.

Thank you, Oshii-sensei, for the inspiration.