Gatchaman (Japan 1996)

Rating: **
Review Date: 6/20/99

Divided into three installments.

"Gatchaman" (known as "Battle Of The Planets," "G-Force," and "Eagle Riders" in the U.S.) gets a 1990's makeover in this recent OAV series. The Science Ninja Team Gatchaman is called upon to investigate some strange occurances caused by a race of aliens that have been secretly living on Earth and plotting its destruction since the Ice Age. The Gatchaman team naturally saves the day, only to have the villain escape to plot more nefarious deeds. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work for me - maybe I'm just too old and jaded now, but it seems that the raw action and campy space drama of the original 1970's series doesn't mesh well with the current trend for adolescent angst and sex. The series looks good, has exciting action sequences, and it's great to see the characters back in action. Maybe I'm a bit too harsh on it because I didn't get the same nostalgic thrill that I get from watching the original series. In particular, I didn't like the treatment of my favorite character, Jun the Swan. Despite her kick-ass abilities, she's depicted as the token sex object in the show and suffers the disgrace of a nude transformation sequence and numerous gratuitous breast jigglings (and she no longer has green hair!). I suppose you could counter that with Joe's nude shower scene, but that didn't seem nearly as exploitive. Still, it's definitely good for satisfying a costumed hero anime fix.