Battle of the Planets Vol. #2 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: NA

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  • Audio Rating: N/A
  • Video Rating: N/A
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Menus Rating: N/A
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: All
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Rhino
  • MSRP: 19.95
  • Running time: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Gatchaman

Battle of the Planets Vol. #2

By Roman Martel     March 08, 2002
Release Date: October 15, 2001

The Review!
Overall Rating: 3.8
(on a scale of 1-5)

-Technical Ratings-
Sound: 5
Picture: 4
Menu: 4
Presentation: 4
Goodies: 4
Overall: 4.2

-Content Ratings-
Animation: 3
Sound: 3
Plot: 4
Japanese Acting: 3
Music: 3
Entertainment: 4
Overall: 3.3


Volume 2 of Battle of the Planets has just had its spin on my DVD player. We got two episodes driven by revenge. We have two episodes with giant goofy monsters. And we have two episodes that focus mostly on Ken! So yell, "Bird Go!" and get ready for action.

-Technical Review-

The sound and picture continue to be well done. There is some flickering here and there, as well as some portions of the second episode that looked pretty dark. But when you view them on the Battle of the Planets side of things they look fine. I'm pretty sure it has to do with the Gatchaman masters that Rhino got. The menu's remain the same, and keep in the spirit of the series. The keepcase front highlights Ken and Joe. It is missing some key information like rating, region code, and the length of the disc. But it does tell you how many episodes you are getting. You get five episodes: two episodes of Battle of the Planets, the corresponding episodes of Gatchaman and an episode of G-Force (it's an episode featured on disc 1). It's cool to see all the mutations this show has undergone, as well as the "teaser" segments that were shown on Saturday morning in the states. You might also get a collector's card, featuring Princess, from Battle of the Planets. It's a pretty solid release from Rhino.

-Content Review-

Keeping in the style of my review of disc three (which was done before disc 2 for complicated reasons) I'll cover the Gatchaman episodes primarily (since most of us are interested in the original Japanese version). I did watch the Battle of the Planets version of the stories and had a great time with them, but I'll just cover them in my "entertainment" portion of the review.

In the first episode mysterious plane crashes keep occurring. Ken investigates and discovers that it's all due to a giant Mummy! Mix in a young boy who refuses to believe that his father has died in one of the crashes and stir in a new energy source and you got a fun episode. The second episode deals with a giant centipede. Not only does this thing make earthquakes but it steals oil as well. When Ken fails to save an innocent scientist he starts blaming himself for the man's death. The scientist's daughter attacks Ken, thinking that he caused her fathers death. Ken then jumps the gun and decides to bring the girl with him in his hunt for the centipede. Is he trying to help the girl, or help his guilty conscience?

The animation and sound keep the same scores they've been getting. The giant mummy is a pretty silly creation and lacks the cool factor that was present in the giant turtle. But I did enjoy the giant centepede and his design as well. I was noticing that the style of this series seems to have influenced (or be influenced by. I'm not sure wich came out first) American series like Space Ghost and Johnny Quest. The way things look and move is very similar, even some of the villain design is close. As I've said before this show is older but for me that is part of it's charm.

I love the combination of mecha and monsters and the serious overtones that are in this show. You've got a giant mummy and in the same series you have a boy who can't come to grips with his father's death. In the next episode there is a giant robo-bug and a girl who desperately want's revenge and yet when presented with the opportunity begins to feel guilt at taking a life herself. Then there is Ken who seems to have some serious problems with revenge himself. This is part of the reason why anime works so well, the fusing of the fantastical and the real human emotions. It's surprising how well it does work.

The music and acting remain perfect for the series. There is lots of over the top sounding acting and general shouting of lines. But it keeps the spirit of tongue in cheek fun.

Gatchaman continues to be much more entertaining than I thought it was going to be. I'm surprised how well this series holds up, and I'm surprised how goofy Battle of the Planets is. It's funny to see what was changed in those ol' glory day's of cartoons. You can have a boy believe his father is dead, but you can't have manned fighters be destroyed by a giant mummy. Yes, those are robot controlled planes flying around. :-)

Roman J. Martel
Tell me what you think! E-mail me at...

Review Equipment
Phillips Flatscreen (27 Inch), Sony DVP-NS300


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