I love the internet. It can both remind me of almost forgotten memories and pump me full of information at the same time.
When I was a wee boy, there was a cartoon on TV that I used to love. Battle of the Planets was its name and it was about a group of 5 teens, who collectively were called G-Force. They would have adventures fighting against their main villian, the evil looking Zoltar. There was parts of the cartoon that looked weird. Almost as if they were not the same artists that had drawn them. These parts contained an annoying robot called 7 Zark 7, who apart from his cool sounding name, used to trundle about the base and talk in bad jokes…I think.
You see I remember very little about the show. There was the flying phoenix, racing cars, flares and Keyop. He was the youngest and used to talk with verbal tics that nowadays would be classed as mild tourettes.
The main thing I remember about the show was the opening titles. Or more specifically, the bit with Princess (the token girl) spinning through the air and showing her knickers. When I was very young, I thought this was rude. When i got a bit older, I thought it was rude and exciting. Even today, Pink and white does things to me!
Back to reality.
As I got older, I found out that the show was an American mish mash of a Japenese show called Gatchaman (or G force Ninja Science Team…which is far cooler). It was made back in the year I was born (1972) and was far more violent than the sanitised version I had saw. To make up for the bits that were cut out, they created new content…the 7 Zark 7 bits!!! They even changed the names – Princess was the much more appealing sounding Jun the Swan. Keyop (or Jinpei the swallow) did not even have verbal tics!!
Anyway the other day I thought I would have a look on the internet for Gatchaman on DVD. It exists but is very expensive. I did find a live action version though and bought that with the impulsive ebay purchase ability. It is really good too…just like a movie based on an anime should be.
as Youtube does the recommendations thing, I clicked on a couple of other trailers. Black Butler which looks really good but I believe has almost nothing to do with either the Manga or Anime version, and Attack on Titan.
That caught my attention. I started looking for more information and found that it was both a Manga and an Anime. The Anime was available on DVD over her too….but it is really expensive and split over two separate discs. Back to the Ebay and a one package version was on its way from Malaysia. Cheaper than either of the Uk versions and containing all the episodes…just no English Dub.
While I waited for this to arrive (and after reading the free comic book day book) I decided to buy the first two books of the Manga (again that impulse buy ability coming to the fore there). The story was really good. I mean really good. There was obviously a lot of love and effort gone into crafting that world (even if I cannot see the vertical manoeuvring gear actually working in real life!). The surprise deaths and the background to certain characters was enough to make me look forward to the anime even more.
Did you know that the post from Malaysia to Scotland takes FOREVER!!! So while waiting I ended up buying the next 3 books. It just got better and better. I was hooked.
Then the dvd arrived and I got stuck into it. The episodes manage something that I did not think was possible. they actually manage to convey the emotion in the story in a very believable way. I have not heard the dub, so I am not able to say if that ruins or enhances this. The opening titles are just the stuff that pulls your emotion strings and makes you feel invincible (both versions…I know it changes half way through the anime). For some strange reason, neither of these tracks are on the anime soundtrack!…So here the links are to the live versions for ya.
One thing that the Anime has done, is mash up the story from the Manga in a far easier to understand way. The flashbacks in the books are placed in the proper order in the anime. So even though I am on episode 6, the main story (and death) from the end of the first book has only just happened, even though storylines that are in later books have been covered. You should go and check it out.
You really should.
As for the live action movie…well I have heard a lot of complaints from fans. In the Manga and Anime, the character Mikasa, is the last asian in the world. Obviously in a Japanese filem, all the characters are asian, so unless they cast her as a Scotswomen (because we all know that the Scots are the hardest people on earth and if you need proof, think of this. Scottie from Star Trek wore a red shirt and survived all the episodes!!) then the makers were always going to have an issue with that part of her storyline.
Personally I moan a lot about the casting of movies and the changes that they make to the source material. Although I am not as bad as some Harry Potter fans who decided that Daniel Radcliffe was bad casting as he did not have green eyes!!!
Still I am looking forward to it, although I doubt it will ever get released here in the cinemas. It is a 2 part film, so hopefully it does well and exposes more people to the Manga and Anime.
I am a bit disappointed that Armin does not have blonde hair though!!