Saturday, March 5, 2011

Taking Home of the White Shadow to a new direction

I'm struggling with a decision right now. The bill has arrived for the web hosting for my sites, and frankly, I'm wondering if it's worth it. Should I let it go, should I find a new venue for it, or should I just sent out another check?

The site has been a source of pride for me (up since 1995, remodeled twice, frequently updated until two years ago), but now, when I look at it, the sheer volume of work needed to update the HTML and get it out of the nineties staggers me. I don't receive a lot of feedback, maybe one email every three months.

What do you think?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

More about Imagi's Gatchaman Teaser Video

It appears Imagi Studios is fishing for sponsors for their Gatchaman movie again. They've added a second teaser film to their web site here. Notice the difference in uniforms/armor between the two teasers; each teaser was done at a separate stage. Both of them bear a more than passing resemblance to the NTT Gatchaman campaign commercials done in 2000: here and here

In another interesting tidbit, 411mania offered the following as part of their interview with Dave Wilkins (of Splatterhouse game fame):

Jeffrey Harris: You did concept art for the new feature Gatchaman movie. Recently a new trailer came online for the movie. Have you seen this new trailer yet?

Dave Wilkins: I've seen the trailer.

Jeffrey Harris: So . . . is this movie actually going to come out? What is going on?

Dave Wilkins: It's been up and down. I'm not really sure. I really hope it does because a lot of super talented guys worked on it . . . great, great guys put a lot of great work in there and just being a Gatchaman fan I hope it does.

Jeffrey Harris: When you were conceptualizing those characters, was your vision of Berg Katse the Berg Katse?

Dave Wilkins: Yeah and that's exactly what we called him. It wasn't Galactor. It was the original.

Jeffrey Harris: So was it going to be the transsexual, gender-bending Katse? In the original animation he was both a man and a woman.

Dave Wilkins: Right. He was pretty hardcore. In my version, he's more monstrous and alien than anything. But I don't know how he ended up.

Read the entire interview here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Imagi Gatchaman Movie... Not Dead Yet?

Just when we'd written off Imagi, the studio that had been working on the Gatchaman CGI feature film, here comes this post on Also interesting was the fact that a blog referring to an "old" Gatchaman preview on Felix Ip's blog (an excellent source of Gatchaman info) is now deleted....

Hmm, I'm still a little skeptical, but if Imagi is indeed rising, Phoenix-like from the ashes of bankruptcy to forge ahead with the Gatchaman film, bravo!

Check out the Twitchfilm post: There are five demo/preview reels with Gatchaman action. Is this what might have been, or what could be?

GatchaCon Update

GatchaCon takes place this year, as it has for the past thirteen years, at the San Diego Comic Con (July 22-25, 2010), and this time, I can make it! The main Gatchafan activities at the con will be our daily lunchtime meetings in the table area in the Sails Pavilion. Look for a group of folks in black GatchaCon t-shirts around noon on all four days. We might also have the "battle flag" with us—a black flag with the bird-head insignia in red. You can't miss it. Come by and say hello. We're a friendly bunch.

Unfortunately there's no Gatchaman programming in the convention schedule this year, but Battle of the Planets fans will be interested in the Cartoon Voices II panel (Sunday at 11:15-12:30, Room 6A), which will include Janet Waldo, the voice of Princess. Gatchaman fans will be interested in the Dark Horse panel featuring Yoshitaka Amano (who worked as a character designer during all three series). Amano will also be signing autographs at the Dark Horse Comics booth (2615) on Saturday from 11:00-12:00, and on Sunday from 1:00-2:00. You'll need a ticket to attend the signing; someone at the Dark Horse booth should be able to offer more information.

While it isn't Gatchaman, other Tatsunoko programs will be shown in the Anime Room in Marriott Hall 6. Friday and Saturday, Tekkaman Blade runs at 11:40am and Casshern Sins will run at 5:45pm.

A thorough search of the dealer's room always seems to yield some sort of Gatchaman merchandise. Try Anime Link (Booth 400) and (Booth G09 and G10) for cels. Alex Ross's booth (Booth 2419) might have some art he did for the Gatchaman DVDs/Top Cow Battle of the Planets comic covers. It also wouldn't hurt to swing by the Capcom booth to see if they have any goodies from last year's Tatsunoko vs. Capcom promotion.

Hope to see you there, and as always, big thanks to Tatsunokofan for the information.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Reviving Interest in Gatchaman

Spotted at the June 19, 2010 Hey, Answerman! column on the Anime News Network site:

Fans of old stuff! I'm sure there's a particular old series/movie/whatever that you really love, that the new crop of fans is completely uninterested in. Why is this, do you think? What steps would you take to reverse that?

To which writer JR Turbyfill replied:

I grew up at a time when Anime was not really even called anime and came on either in the afternoons during the week, or early Saturday morning. I remember watching Battle of the Planets (Gatchaman) and Starblazers (Space Battleship Yamato)... Today, with the advent of YouTube, Crunchyroll, Hulu, etc., we now have the ability to watch the iconic stories that really paved the way for anime to be the popular niche entertainment that has inspired a now growing trend of properties in Hollywood, for better or worse. Sadly, these classic stories that I loved were bittersweet to watch again. Alas, even though I watch them as I am being scorned by the new generation of fans, some who are almost young enough to be my children, I begin to understand why "my anime" is different than "their anime."

I would say the chief reason the younger / newer fans do not find enjoyment in the shows that made it possible for their shows to be presented as anything more than an import / rarity is the evolution of anime as a medium in general. All the shows I enjoyed as a child were pretty much a Hero, Space epic, or Giant Robot / Mecha show. This is only a fraction of the broad spectrum of anime that permeates through society today. [...]

So, how do we get the new school to "give props" to the old school? That's tricky, especially in this volatile time in the industry. There have been several attempts, such as the new Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles or the 3-part modernized OVA of Gatchaman, but these received a lukewarm response outside of their fanbase. Though Gatchaman is / was to be a CG feature, Astro Boy showed that without a major marketing push and great story to back it, the property will die, screaming. There is a possibility of driving interest by doing a live action re-boot, ala JJ Abrams' Star Trek or Nolan's Batman Begins. The trick with this being successful would be a HUGE budget, BIG names, and LOTS of marketing. The properties that could be deemed worthy would be small in number. If they were re-imagined in animation, I would think the best avenue for success would be to emphasize another genre that is more marketable these days (i.e. Gatchaman as a moe vehicle, with a possible bishonen relationship between two of the members). [...]

The bottom line is, if an old property is to be revived, re-packaged, and re-introduced to the masses in an effort to garner new fans, it's going to need more than the love of the old fans to get it. Some of the older fans don't always find the new stuff exciting, either. Some even find the newer, grittier, more sexual and violent themes to be to much for an animated show. I don't mind it if it makes sense, but I have no intention of letting my child see Black Lagoon when I have Gatchaman to fall back on. At the end of the day, maybe it's better to leave the old property alone, as not to alienate the old-schoolers. Even though I have learned to enjoy new stuff like FMA, Soul Eater, and GITS, I still like my old stuff. It was good enough for my generation, it should be good enough for theirs. Now get off my lawn!
You can read the entire letter here.

The poster is repeating some of my old soapbox points: Lots of marketing, huge budget, strong story (all the latest released Gatchaman efforts, especially the OAV, suffered from weak stories). As for a bishonen love interest between Ken and Joe, while that's not my cup of tea, Gatchaman fans all over the globe have been doing this in fanfic and doujinshi ever since the show first aired. That being said, I would not be that enthusiastic about a moe Gatchaman, and I'd be just tolerant of a grittier and more violent Gatchaman. Maybe this is a show that's better left well enough alone.

You don't have to get off my lawn, but don't trample the flowers, 'kay?

What are your thoughts?

Gatchaman Concept Posters

Check out the Gatchaman concept design posters over at Felix Ip's blog. Even though the movie is just a fond wish now, the concepts are fun!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

More Gatchaman Pachinko Games

Japan has cranked out a few interesting Gatchaman pachinko/pachisuro games lately. Here are some animation highlights/CG bonus footage from the Sammy game, "Gatchaman, the Bonds of Fate":

And the footage for the "Gatchaman GR" game from Okazaki Sangyo (

For more information about the Sammy game, check out their permanent link at

As always, thanks Tatsunokofan!