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Anime Profile: Eagle Riders

Fields
USA Info
Japanese Info
Image
Title
Eagle Riders Kagaku Ninja-Tai Gatchaman II("Science Ninja Team Gatchaman II")(科学忍者隊ガッチャマンII) Eagle Riders
Eagle Riders
· · ·
  Science Ninja Team Gatchaman II
· · ·
  Kagaku Ninja-Tai Gatchaman Fighter("Science Ninja Team Gatchaman Fighter")
· · ·
  Science Ninja Team Gatchaman Fighter
Released
65 TV episodes 52 TV episodes(Gatchaman II)
· · ·
  48 TV episodes(Gatchaman Fighter)
Dates
1996–1997 Oct 1, 1978–Sept 23, 1979
Company
Saban Gallerie International/Tatsunoko Prod.
Creator
  Tatsuo Yoshida
Director
   
Genre
Sci-Fi, Action Sci-Fi, Action
Related
-- listed below -- -- listed below --
Characters
-- listed below -- -- listed below --

Last I checked, this anime was available on DVD at Amazon, and on VHS at Amazon.

English Title
Japanese Title
Battle of the Planets Kagaku Ninja-Tai Gatchaman
G-Force Kagaku Ninja-Tai Gatchaman
Gatchaman Kagaku Ninja-Tai Gatchaman
Gatchaman (1994 Remake) Gatchaman (1994 Remake)

Anime Characters: Eagle Riders

English Name
Japanese Name
English Name
Japanese Name
Cybercon Sosai X Lukan Berg Katse
Dr. Thaddeus Keane Dr. Kozaburo Nambu Mallanox Gelsadora
Hunter Harris Ken Washio Mickey Dugan Tsubakuro no Jinpei
Joe Thax Joe Asakura Ollie Keeawani Ryu Nakanishi
Kelly Jenar Shiratori no Jun    

Anime Description: Eagle Riders

Saban Entertainment, the company that brought us "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" and "Dragon Ball Z," purchased the rights to Gatchaman II and Gatchaman Fighter for re-release. Saban has combined the 100 sequel episodes (52 of Gatchaman II and 48 of Gatchaman Fighter) to create 65 dubbed episodes, with the most emphasis on the weapons and vehicles from Gatchaman II. On the week of September 9th, 1996, Saban's Eagle Riders premiered on US televison, and ran until Fall of 1997. This marks the end of the series run in the United States, but Saban still plans to continue the series in Europe and Australia.

The first thirteen episodes were a nearly straight translation of Gatchaman II with a few embellishments and the following differences:

First, the soundtrack was completely replaced. The new background music is intrusive and doesn't compare to Hoyt Curtin's work in BotP, but it is an improvement over the original G-II background music.

Second, a few of the explicitly violent scenes were cut, but not enough to make any difference. Most of the clipped scenes involved destruction shots that included innocent bystanders. Saban also cut out any scenes with personal violence. No one with a name was allowed to die in Eagle Riders, while G-II and Fighter were notoriously deadly to guest characters.

Third, the Vorak goons are "androids." The original Gallactors (with only one or two exceptions) are not. Apparently we still have to protect kidvid from the serious aspects of war.

Fourth, one good thing going for this series was its allusions to events that happened before the Eagle Riders storyline took place. It was hinted that the Eagle Riders had been battling the Vorak before the currently storyline started, and that something horrible had happened to Joe at the end of the first battle. Berg Katse, chief villain in Gatchaman, was referred to in Eagle Riders as "Lukan."

Fifth, at the beginning of Gatchaman II, Sosai X (Cybercon) returns to Earth, smashes through a cruise ship and kidnaps a six year old girl which he mutates into the villainess, Gelsadora (Mallanox). This was cut out of the beginning of Eagle Riders, then brought back later in the series (not shown in the US).

Sixth, why does Mallanox look female yet have a male voice? Oddly enough, in Gatchaman II, a male actor did Gelsadora's voice, and the effect was just as weird. The new voice, by R. Martin Klein, is a close match to the original, but for some reason, Mallanox is said to be male. The character then switches to female later on (complete with female voice) for reasons not quite explained by Saban (again, not shown in the US). The comedic treatment of Mallanox (think Rita Repulsa) seems to fit better in Eagle Riders than Gatchaman II.

Finally, Saban cut out some of the episodes and set up a new order for the others. Only thirteen of these episodes ran in the United States, while the remaining 52 episodes were run in Europe and Australia. If there is any hope for a further US release, it will be on cable. Unfortunately, it appears this is as good as it gets. I had the opportunity to preview some of the later episodes in July, 1997. They were a major disappointment.

And now for the story for this version. Earth is under siege from the alien menace known only by the name Cybercon, and its legion of android forces, the Vorak. The Global Security Council convenes to address this problem, and calls upon Dr. Thadeus Keane for assistance. They remember the aid they had received from Keane's special force, the Eagle Riders, in years past. Keane assures them that the Eagle Riders are still together, still strong, and armed with brand new weapons....

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