Nerd Caliber
Nerd Lifestyle Magazine


January 4, 2013

Gotcha, Man: Why I’m Enthused for the Gatchaman Live Action Film


I recall a little animated show called Battle of the Planets, which to my younger self seemed awesome.

Then I found it was far more awesome than I realized as it was a toned down version of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, which was a far longer title with more cool words.  Oh and the show had more mature themes and blood.

Then there was the remake in the 90’s.  I recall gathering around a TV to watch it with friends, relive our childhood, and watch several people relive their crushes on Joe The Condor.

After this there were assorted, abortive attempts at films, all revolving around a hopeful Imagi project.  Of course it stayed hopeful until it was cancelled.

But like a Phoenix from the Ashes, or a really lame metaphor that a writer couldn’t avoid.  It’s back.  it’s big.  It’s filming.  It’s live action.  It’ll be Joe/Jo being emo and getting all the attention, the handsome bastard.

The Live Action Gatchaman film is go.  Or “Bird, Go” for that matter.

I’m enthused about this for a number of reasons.

First of all, I was one of the people that grew up with the americanized Battle of the Planets, but also enjoyed discovering the original show.  In a weird way it’s a totally bonkers idea of cyborg ninja teens fighting evil dressed as birds, but the show somehow managed to make it stylish and cool.  There’s almost something artistic to how the simple idea is realized with costumes, monsters, weapons, and action.  In short, it was just plain fun anyway, so I’m up for a remake.

Secondly, the remake itself looks, from what little I can tell, to be well-done.  The cast looks like a good choice to me from what little I’ve seen.  As the Space Battleship Yamato did a pretty good job, I’m reasonably confident this will be a good and fun film, which really, we could all use.  Also, if you can’t make a fun film out of teenage bird ninjas fighting evil, you should just go hang your head in shame.

Third, I think that if it’s a good film – which I’m pretty confident in – it will get good play and good recognition, perhaps even go to series.  This is a beloved property mixed with cult hit.  The enthusiasm will be there.  A good reception and good results in turn could mean even more ambitious adaptions, which I’m all for.

Fourth, and finally, this may actually help with the Eternal Quest To Find An Anime That Can Be Remade in Hollywood that bedevils assorted anime fans.  If this works, next to Space Battleship Yamato, it’s a pretty clear signal that yes, these adaptions can be done and there’s no reason to screw them up.  If more films like this follows, it will be a useful cultural milestone you can hit people over the head with.  “Here’s how it’s done, you chucklehead,”

(Of course one could argue that a good American sub or dub is all that’s needed for a theatrical release, and I’ll just note that you’re right).

Strap in.  Time to relieve our youths for the second or third time – and to see just where this takes us.

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, nerd and geek culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at



About the Author

Steven Savage
Steve's a Geek 2.0 - the professional geek. A happy transplant to SIlicon Valley, his crusade is to help geeks, nerds, otaku and more turn their hobbies into careers. You can visit his website at



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