Rummaging through the DVD collection (online version is a tad out of date) today, looking for something to amuse the 5 year old on a freezing cold day and I pulled out one of my BOTP (Battle of the Planets) boxed sets. I started picking these up when they first came out to re-live fond memories of my childhood, back in 1978 to be exact. It's been awhile since I put one in, and it's STILL COOL! I didn't realize it at the time (I was like, 9 years old) and I only found out a few years ago when I was cruisin the net, that this guy in the states had bought up all this footage from a Japanese show 1970's anime cartoon called Gatchaman and then hacked it together , sometimes in different sequences, with English voice-overs and small bits of cheap US Animation add-ins, to create this show I ate up as a kid. That explained a few things. I used to draw like crazy back then and I could never figure out why the animation went from 1st-class stuff, to cheap crap from scene to scene (now I know!). I learned how to draw eyeballs from that show (and crotch buldges, it's a long story, but if you see the show, you know what I mean, suffice it to say that I used to daw crotch buldges upside down at first, when trying to re-produce cel frames from the TV show).
I think what really got me was the depiction of futuristic technology, and the whole Japanese Anime tradition of little frickin vehicles that all fit together in one big one, each of the parts contributing to the whole and making it better. They usually go off on this concept with big-ass robots, but in this case it was a space-ship. Another thing I didn't realize at the time were that these were essentially Ninja guys. The Ninja craze of the early 80's had not hit, but this sure set me up for it!
Speaking of the Ninja angle, they really edited the hell out if it in most cases, to remove the violence. Each of the 5 team members had a special weapon, and the leader had this sharpened sonic boomerang thing. Now I'm pretty sure when he let fly with that that thing, it was designed to hit you in the thoat and rip your larnyx out, but they never showed that(grin). And to make matters worse, the R2D2 rip-off robot they had on the show would always chime in with a re-assuring remark that the bad guys were only 'momentarily' rendered unconcious and still had their larnyxes and all that. Bummer!
Also, the cartoon girl, Princess, was hot(grin). They would purposly flash her panties on a regular basis just to play with young male viewer's minds (did I just mention cartoon panties in my Blog? I think I did.. Oh well, I was 9.)
The main characters wore these cool wrist radios too, I used to make them out of paper and cover them with scotch-tape(to form a lamination layer) and wear them to school. I didn't get beat up either(grin), everyone thought it was cool, and pretty soon I had to make them for everyone.
One memory I have is setting up to watch the show everyday after school and having a pencil and paper at the ready. The damned wrist radio on the show would change designs on the face when it did something special (this Transmutation thing). It looked like a real neat design but they'd only flash it for like 2 seconds once or twice an episode. It took me two weeks, but I copied that frickin thing down! It was like my secret. I was the only kid in Canada who knew what that damned thing looked like! (hehehehehehe). Years later when I was a teen and we had our first VCR I recall thinking how handy VCR technology would have been on that one.
This is getting long, I'll have to Blog more about this. Anyone else remember that show? Leave a comment! Or ridicule, I'll take either(grin)