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Gatchaman II (科学忍者隊ガッチャマンII Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman Tsū?, Science Ninja Team Gatchaman II) is the direct sequel to Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, set two years after the first television series. After the defeat of Leader X, he exacts his revenge by mutating a young girl into Gel Sadra, making her the new leader of Galactor. While Galactor returns, Dr.Nambu and the International Science Organization bring the Science Ninja Team Gatchaman back into active duty.[1] This series and Gatchaman F would be the basis of the English language version named Eagle Riders.

Plot

Two years after the defeat of Galactor and the apparent death of Condor Joe, a cruise ship is attacked by Leader X, killing nearly everyone on board. One of the survivors, a young girl, is captured by X and rapidly aged into the bizarre, masculine-voiced villainess Gel Sadra. Though she has the appearance of an adult, Gel Sadra is not immune to throwing childish tantrums and behaving immaturely.

In the midst of the revival of Galactor, the Science Ninja Team is called back into action, with a shady man known as Hawk Getz acting as the replacement for Joe. Getz is quickly revealed to be a Galactor agent in disguise (and had killed the actual Getz who was to join), and winds up killed by a mysterious feather shuriken. After hints spread in the first three episodes, Joe reappears in the fourth episode, having somehow survived his fatal injuries at the end of the first series, and rejoins the team. It is later revealed that he was rescued by an ex-Galactor scientist at the brink of his death, and was the subject of various cybernetic augmentations.

Later in the series, a female scientist known as Dr.Pandora is introduced, who had lost her husband and daughter in the cruise ship disaster. Unbeknown to her, her daughter Sammie survived and is in fact Gel Sadra.[2]

With the new series, the characters were given new mecha and weapons, the space-worthy New GodPhoenix and individual mecha all given a noticeable bird motif. There were also minor design changes to some characters, to go along with the new animation style (Jun's hair became shorter and straighter, in one example). The characters also advanced two years in age, Jinpei now approximately thirteen years old.[3][4]

Characters

Production

Following the first feature film of the original Gatchaman in 1978, and a radio show of the series which previewed some of the new installments, the sequel series was released on October 1, the same date as the original series broadcast in 1972. It ran for 52 episodes, and was immediately followed up by the third and final series, Gatchaman F.

Though neither of the sequels were licensed and adapted by Sandy Frank, some Gatchaman II merchandise was sold under the Battle of the Planets name, most notably the New GodPhoenix model, causing confusion for those who had seen the English adaptation.

Adaptations and changes

In 1996, Gatchaman II was licensed by Saban Entertainment and combined with the third seres, Gatchaman F (Fighter), to create Eagle Riders. 47 of the 52 episodes of the series were translated in the adaptation, though heavily edited to remove violence and other elements found objectionable. Episodes 6, 16-17, 28, and 35 were not used in the translation, and episode 21 (Youth's Broken Wings) was moved and aired in place of the original episode 6 (Attack Of The Pyramid Power).

Elements removed from the series included the Queen Margaret cruise ship disaster in the first episode, along with the transformation of Sammie Pandora into Gel Sadra (called Mallanox in the dub and initially stated as being male). Scenes depicting destruction in cities were also edited to remove references to death, and the Galactor soldiers (now christened Vorak) were said to be androids and would be "deactivated" instead of having been killed. Character names were Westernized in the dub, as well as the entire soundtrack being changed.

To segue the two series together, Gel Sadra's death at the end of Gatchaman II was edited and rewritten so that instead of dying, "Mallanox" is instead transformed further by Cybercon (Leader X) into a new form called Happy Boy (originally Count Egobossler, the nemesis in F).

Eagle Riders only had 13 episodes broadcast in the US, as the translation and editing were reviled by fans of Gatchaman, and the Saban adaptation was pulled from airwaves soon afterwards, not having been seen since.

As Eagle Riders, with all Saban productions, is now owned by Disney, it is unknown what the status of Gatchaman II's license is, along with the license for F.

Unused Series Concepts

When Gatchaman II was still in planning, the early production notes described a new sixth member of the team: G-6/Jack The Hawk, who was to be a long-lost younger brother of Joe, and would fill his place on the team.

The character of Joe still would have been rebuilt as a cyborg, but would have also been brainwashed and used against the team as a pawn of Galactor, called Space Joker. The plot would have culminated in Joe breaking free of Galactor's hold, after a battle with Jack. Both Jack Asakura and the "Space Joker" plotline were dropped at some point before the series went into production, though the G-6/Hawk concept was briefly utilized for Getz.

References

  1. "Tatsunoko Pro". Tatsunoko Production. Archived from the original on 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2008-07-20. (Japanese)
  2. "Tatsunoko Pro". Tatsunoko Production. Archived from the original on 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2008-07-20. (Japanese)
  3. "Tatsunoko Pro". Tatsunoko Production. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  4. "Science Ninja Gatchaman II". Tatsunoko Production USA. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  5. Script error

Further reading

External links

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