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: 3 & Up
- 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. #3
February 22, 2002
Release Date: January 15, 2002
Battle of the Planets Vol. #3
What They Say
From the award-winning Japanese animation team that created Speed Racer and Robotech comes one of the most influential Anime shows ever!
Episode 5: Ghost Ship Of Planet Mir
G-Force’s vacation is interrupted when 7-Zark-7 discovers that the deposed ruler of the planet Mir has joined forces with Zoltar! Their goal is to destroy Mir’s new energy and food supply center!
Episode 6: Big Robot Gold Grab
The sinister forces of Spectra have sent a submarine robot to Earth to steal all of the galaxy’s gold in the Intergalactic Federation Bank. G-Force is called in and sent to the Playa Archipelago Island, the last place the submarine robot was seen. The Review!
Overall Rating: 3.8
(on a scale of 1-5)
Japanese Acting: 3
Wait, what is that? I hear a familiar theme song. I see people dressed as birds. I see a jet that turns into a fiery, flamey bird! It’s G-force! Or is it Battle of Planets? Let’s just hope it’s Gatchaman and we won’t have to watch the annoying robot sidekick. It’s another trip down nostalgia lane with this volume of the anime classic.
This is the first time I got to review the complete product from Rhino. The sound was very good especially considering the age of the show and the fact that they re-mixed the Battle of the Planet’s episodes. The picture is pretty good. There is some flickering here and there, but it’s very hard to tell if that was due to the age of the source material or because of the mastering. The menu’s remain the same, and keep in the spirit of the series. The keepcase has all of our heroes on the front and back as well as stills from the episodes. 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. Basically 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 2). There are no real extras per se, but it’s cool to see all the mutations this show has undergone, as well as the "tea!
r" segments that were shown on Saturday morning in the states. It’s a pretty solid release from Rhino.
I know you’ll find it hard to believe but there is only so much of this show I can watch before my mind starts to go. So in the interest of my sanity and brevity of the review 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. So let’s get this started.
We’ve got two classic episodes of this series. The first deal with a ghost ship that attacks transport and research vessels on their way to an underwater laboratory. G-force is called in to stop the ships and find out who is behind the attacks. This episode was interesting because of the resolution to the problem. It comes from an unexpected source and I didn’t see it coming. The next episode deals with a gold theft by some robots in a giant drilling machine. G-force goes on the hunt for them, and splits its forces. Will Joe be able to stand being cooped up in the Phoenix with Ryu? And how come Ken always gets to go with the hot babe!
The animation still looks as good as it did with the first disc. It’s definitely dated especially compared to so many of the more polished looking shows out there. But you gotta keep in mind when it was made. For what it is the animation is pretty good actually. I’m constantly surprised by the amount of detail in certain backgrounds or with the way some shots are set up or framed. If you don’t mind older style animation then it shouldn’t be too hard on the eyes. The sound design is also pretty good. I’m sure that some of the sound effects I hear in this series have been recycled in other series through the ages.
As to the plots as I mentioned above that first episode ended a bit differently than I expected. And yet it’s also a cliché in a way too. It was just a cliché I didn’t see coming. It’s tough to judge cliché in an old show, because it’s hard to tell if it started those cliches, before they were cliché. Anyway, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before, but it’s done with a certain, full bore over the top style that makes it fun to watch. This series really knows that it’s bordering on ridiculous and just takes it there. I get a real sense of fun with the writing of the series.
The music is what it is. You’ll either enjoy its style, or you’ll think it’s too painful to listen too. I have a blast with those bombastic theme songs. The score is pretty "classic" as well. It’s dated and at times it’s just too much and over powers the scenes. But it fits with the whole over the top feel of the series.
And speaking of over the top, the Japanese cast does a great job. It’s mostly due to their over done style of acting that the series just doesn’t seem so serious and much more fun. If we had people delivering their lines like they were in a production of Hamlet… well it would ruin it. It reminds me of that line in Nadesico, "Why are they yelling all their lines? Is the equipment voice activated?" (or something close to that).
These are entertaining episodes as long as you know what you are in for. This is not a serious anime, this is not a very stylish anime, this is a fun "super hero" anime. It knows what it is and isn’t trying to do more than provide some escape. And if you watch Gatchaman episodes in close proximity with the Battle of the Planets episodes the cheese is even more satisfying. It’s fun to see what "had to be edited" for the Saturday morning cartoon crowd in the 70’s and 80’s. So if you enjoyed the first couple of discs, this one keeps delivering the goods.
Roman J. Martel
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Phillips Flatscreen (27 Inch), Sony DVP-NS300