If you're just stepping into the Gatchaman arena from another series or even as a
long time fan, you've learned along the way that there is more than one version,
each with their own distinctions.
Enter the NTT-East Gatchaman Campaign. Little is known and a lot is speculated
on the information given out.
NTT-East is a company in Japan providing internet connections. They cut a
deal with Tatsunoko to use Gatchaman in a promotional campaign. SMAP, a popular all boy
band in Japan, also worked with the campaign by dressing up as the Kagaku Ninja Tai and
filming two brief commercial promos in a movie-style format. Yes, live action
Also released were two Gatchaman anime clips promoting NTT-East, and one
serialized email novel.
Many of us who grew up with the originals agree that the animated clips were
quite the eye candy. They were flashy and full of 'Gotham' gloom, the fights were smooth
and the goons dangerous looking. And the team though updated, looked more like themselves
than they did in the OAVs, with a few exceptions. But... we don't know if they
match the personality potential.
A rough translation of the information on site states:
It's the year 2013 in the city of Shibuya (Ballet City), a place where people gather
for ideals, love, friendship, and success. New skyscrapers tower over the old
20th Century building. The city has spread and grown freely, but now must prepare to be
goverened by darkness. The enemy has hidden and prepared for a long time, and now
advances with their invasion.
The Science Ninja Team are aware of the enemy's plans and manage to trace
their hiding place to a subway station.
What they uncover leads to battle. Jun engages in air battle, riding atop a goon's shoulders and
plunking down a doll's head bomb complete with suction cup, on top of the goon's head. She somersaults
away leaving the exploding mess behind.
Jinpei manages to stop a missile from hitting a building and redirects it at an enemy airship. How
this feat is accomplished remains to be explained; he does it with his bare hands. This particular
scene is flashier in the 'real' clip rather than the animated one.
In the city's underbelly, the subway station, we find Ryu holding bay with several goons.
They manage to catch and manacle him, holding him prisoner.
Up above and in what looks like a parking lot or warehouse area, we find Joe. Next to Jun's
green hair, his situation caused more discussion than any other. The animated clip shows Joe taking
on a platoon of green goonies, with what some thought was an almost gleeful approach. Comments about
cliches and psycho characterization abounded. On the other side of the fence were those who thought
Joe was in character, psyching out the enemy with his madman style. Whatever the animators had
in mind for his personality, the action was still hot.
Another curiostiy in Joe's scene was the cracked visor, something we were able to deduce happened after
viewing the live clip; an explosion.
Standing above it all on the Twentieth Century building was Gatchaman. The animated clips gave us
a very nice scene of him swan-diving off the building and transmuting in midair. The transformation itself
showed how the uniform appeared (I've got captures if anyone needs'em). He plummets
onto a street filled with onlookers, end of clip.
The second animated clip gives us more of Ken as the team finds their way to the subways and Ryu.
Lots of fancy shots of the team fighting it out before Ken lets loose the Birdrang and sets Ryu free.
Enter the Fantasia like swirling blackness called Katse. Katse is not the Katse we all know from the
original series. Within the animated clips, he is a towering mass of evil, complete with monster
chompers where his demure lipsticked smile used to be.
There's also the email novel. Of those who received it, most expressed disappointment, citing
poor characterization, posturing, and overall blandness. I'm hoping that someone who's read the novel
might feel inspired one day to share the contents, perhaps by breaking it down into a critique of why they
thought it didn't hold up to standards.
From all the clips, still no one can deduce the actual personalities given to the characters.
Some of the changes within the series seem small, and others are quite apparent, Katse, for example.
The NTT-East promotional campaign is over. What all the hype has in store for Gatchaman and its fans remains to be seen.
You can read more about NTT-East Gatchaman at this fansite Chronic Site - http://www.chronicsite.com/gatchaman/index.html