First Impressions

Science Ninja Team Gatchaman - The original 1972 series
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Psycada
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First Impressions

Post: # 209Post Psycada »

Since I’m only 15 episodes into this series, I thought it’d be fun to post some first impressions. While trying to find somewhere to watch this series and find this site I came across a few spoilers, but with no context I can only guess at what’s happening. Please don’t correct/spoil anything, I wanna experience the series as blind as I can.

-I already know this isn’t true after episode 11, but when reading about Gatchaman I read on the wiki page that Red Impulse was Ken’s dad. But the way it was worded I thought the big twist was gonna be that Red Impulse was literally the plane, like Galactor uploaded his consciousness into it or something and that’s why he couldn’t be with Ken. Honestly I’m kinda disappointed this one didn’t turn out to be true.
-No wonder every old site I went to had people either in love with Joe or dunking on people for being in love with Joe, this dude is the perfect “bad boy technically good guy with a heart of gold” character. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, this guy’s just the perfect storm to be the most simped for character. As a sidenote I’m glad most people have gotten over that whole “no mary sues!!!” culture of the 2000/2010s, at least in my circles. To all the people who had self-inserts in the 2000s in love with Joe, you’re valid.
-Joe may have caught my eye but honestly… Ryu has my heart. Dude is a textbook himbo through-and-through. If Gatchaman had a bigger fandom I think he’d have a handful of blogs that were super dedicated to him like smaller characters tend to do nowadays.
-Ken and Jun are really cute, I was pleasantly surprised since a lot of the shonen shows I grew up with (especially in dubs) tended to make their girl characters purposefully annoying and the main guys unimpressed with them. So the fact that they just wanna look cool in front of each other is pretty refreshing
-Dr. Nanbu is all “ooh we can’t get attached or feel emotions” but OBVIOUSLY they’re gonna break this rule all the time. I know he raised Joe and mostly raised Ken, so I think it’d be nice to see him grow more outwardly caring to the crew and realize they can’t be completely unattached
-On that note I think Nanbu and Red Impulse should fall in love or something. I could write something deep here about Nanbu learning to love again or whatever but honestly I just think it’d be fun
-I want just a few relaxed episodes… I know it’s a monster of the week style anime but I’m hoping we can see a few more details than just the quick glances of everyone’s personal lives I’ve seen so far.
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The Other Jason
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Re: First Impressions

Post: # 210Post The Other Jason »

Hi Psycada,

It's kind of hard to comment on a lot of your observations without giving anything away. I hope you're continuing to enjoy your viewing!

You will get a little bit more of most of the team's personal lives throughout the series. It's all still mostly glimpses though. You don't get to learn a whole lot about them outside of their activities as related to the Ninja Team. But what you do get to see is pretty interesting.

Ryu never got a lot of fan attention in or outside of Japan. I don't remember seeing scores of Japanese fan circles devoted to him. I like him as a character. He has his basic description and he was used (along with Jinpei) as a comedic element, but as with the rest of the team, there was time in the series to give him a little more depth. Ryu wasn't just "the muscle," "the pilot," or "the goof" all the time.

There will be a few more emotionally-driven episodes. But even those will have to have a baddie of the week... At least they don't resort to using the Firebird at the end of every single episode!
Katblu42
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Re: First Impressions

Post: # 220Post Katblu42 »

Hey Psycada,

I'm actually really excited for you being able to experience all the Gatchaman episodes for the first time. I won't say anything about what's to come - I don't want to spoil anything!

I will say that I have read a couple of fanfics that ship Nambu and Red Impulse. I'd have to go searching for them, but I know you are not the first to see something spark between them.

Keep us updated with how you're enjoying the series as you progress through the episodes!
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Psycada
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Re: First Impressions

Post: # 222Post Psycada »

I was planning to! Finished episode 31 the other night. Also hi again katblu, thanks for leading me here!

-Surprised to hear nambu/red impulse was actually a thing :0 I’ll keep that in mind for when I finished the series

-I've watched a lot of early 2000s/late 2010s shonen, but Gatchaman is a pretty new world for me, even if it's a familiar shonen setting. I'll admit, most of the shows I've been watching were nostalgic, but pretty easy to predict. Not a bad thing, but it's been really fun seeing something familiar do new stuff. Maybe I'm just an easily excited person (I am :D )

-You know I complained about it earlier but I’m starting to like the short glimpses into the main team’s personal lives. Idk, it makes them just a little more special. Plus I’ve gotten to more of the backstory eps now

-There's this somewhat noticeable shift in episode quality when the intros and outros switch. Everything seems just a touch smoother? I can't quite tell but it feels like things really pick up around there.

-I really love the designs of Galactor's henchmen, each one has some really nice charm to them. The Neon Giant and the guy in episode 26 are some of my faves.

-Speaking of episode 26... Ryu episode!! Yeah, he's definitely my favorite character so far. In my friend's discord server we have a channel for basically liveblogging stuff, so I've chatting there whenever I watch a new ep and Ryu is very well loved there ^-^ one of them says "ryu has just SUCH a soft trustworthy face all the time wtf".

-Excited for the first two-parter next! Unfortunately I don’t have any big predictions this time, hopefully I’ll have some once I watch some more.
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Psycada
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Re: First Impressions

Post: # 224Post Psycada »

OK WELL after that two parter I have more thoughts!! Before this I didn't have too much evidence to go on so I put this idea on the backburner, but now I'm a little more sure of it: I feel like we're gonna get some sort of sympathetic look at Berg Katse, seeing that Galactor's getting more n more frustrated with him. Gotta wonder what that static-y thing was :0 Maybe we'll get some backstory on where Katse even came from

Unfortunately the Katse face reveal was spoiled for me too, but again I don't have much context for it. I'm definitely seeing the set up though, it's pretty cool.

This next one's definitely a complete shot in the dark, but I might as well put it here: I like the idea of Katse ending up being Ken's mother. Absolutely no idea how the shape shifting thing works yet but I'm thinking Galactor's erased their memory or something. Even if this doesn't turn out to be true maybe it'd be a fun AU?
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Hinotori
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Re: First Impressions

Post: # 246Post Hinotori »

Hi Psycada! Have you gotten farther in the series? I'd love to jump in about some of the observations you've made so far, but don't want to spoil the second half/end of the series for you! I will say that you have some pretty interesting ideas that would lend to fanfic creation.

Let us know how you're progressing through the series.
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Psycada
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Re: First Impressions

Post: # 262Post Psycada »

Finished episode 50 the other day. I’m slowing down on episodes, I moved back home from college recently and have been working again, plus new episodes of Bakugan means I’m getting dragged back into that interest (yes, I wholeheartedly love the reboot in all its cheesy glory).

-Ok while searching for a picture of Dr. Nambu I found out Ken has a mom as some point so there goes that theory lol

-I need to make a compilation of the team right after they use the Firebird technique because out of context they’re extremely funny

-Episode 42, the prison break out one, was REALLY interesting. First case in point: what happened to the whole “The science ninja team doesn’t kill” thing?! They stopped saying that after a while and introduced more scenes of them beating up galactor baddies, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt and assumed they were some kind of weird alien clone that didn’t technically “count” as killing. But then this episode throws a wrench in that and confirms that they’re not only human, it gives them a rather sympathetic look… Not something I hate, just an observation. I don’t know if they’re trying to make me question the morality of the team, but that’s what it makes me do.

-Another thing this episode pointed out… There seems to be a theme of sticking to the status quo. The example in this episode is the man Ryu met, who wanted to see his family and urged Ryu to straighten up. Despite his will to get better and the utter despair in that final scene when he realizes he’s back in the prison, there’s nothing Ryu can do. There’s no option to put in a good word about him, to change anything, it simply is. Throughout Gatchaman there’s scenes like this, most notably unpreventable deaths by Katse like Lucy in ep 27, the girl in ep 31, and the couple in ep 43 to name a few. Doomed, unchangeable fates seem to be popular here

Then there’s also this theme on the other side, with Dr. Nambu- no matter the circumstances he always seems to be the “correct” one. The best example I can think of is the Jigokillers two parter. Ken simply has to burn the flowers, no question about saving Jun. Even when the team is so broken afterwards. Nambu insists he’s right, and is in the end without much consequence for his coldness earlier, if that makes sense. Gatchaman is told they can’t be emotional, can’t get too attached, despite being only human.

It’s an interesting theme to me. Despite being the main characters and getting the job done, it’s almost like Gatchaman doesn’t have much agency outside of that.

That’s all for now, I’ll probably have a longer post once I get some more freetime.
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Psycada
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Re: First Impressions

Post: # 295Post Psycada »

HI EPISODE 52??? I'm so used to everything being taken care of in one episode I saw the remaining time like "damn how are they gonna fix this in like a minute??" AND THEN THEY... DIDN'T. Lol but it's cool that they're getting to stretch the story out for longer now, it's allowing for a lot more dramatic/tense scenes. Like Red Impulse slowly walking into the corridor where Ken was being held, that was pretty cool. Excited to see how this plot goes!
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Hinotori
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Re: First Impressions

Post: # 297Post Hinotori »

Psycada wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:55 am HI EPISODE 52??? I'm so used to everything being taken care of in one episode I saw the remaining time like "damn how are they gonna fix this in like a minute??" AND THEN THEY... DIDN'T. Lol but it's cool that they're getting to stretch the story out for longer now, it's allowing for a lot more dramatic/tense scenes. Like Red Impulse slowly walking into the corridor where Ken was being held, that was pretty cool. Excited to see how this plot goes!
Yes, this is one of the great things about the series. There are multiple story arcs that continue into a Part II or are the basis for following episodes. This happens more as the series goes on. I won't say anything additional, but just wait until you get to the latter/end part of the series!

BTW, ep 53 is an important one! :D
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Psycada
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Re: First Impressions

Post: # 316Post Psycada »

BYE RED IMPULSE... Ok I don't really think he's dead but I'd be very impressed if that's where this show went. But they've been stringing the whole thing on for so long I'd be surprised if that was Red Impulse's final appearance.

As a sidenote since I don't have much else to say... If you guys liked Gatchaman I think you would like Microid S, it's very similar. To the point that I'm pretty sure Tezuka got his inspiration to write it from Gatchaman. While the overall plot is nothing alike it IS a manga about environmentalism with a cast of characters that seem like the main crew, but a little to the left- Yanma and Jiga look like they're based on Ken and Joe respectively, Ageha on Jun, and Mamezo seems like a combination of Ryu and Jinpei. Plus Dr. Midori and Dr. Nambu are very similar. As much as I love Tezuka he's very derivative :P often he'll take some elements from another source of media (see Metropolis, Lost World, etc) but make a completely different story out of it (and am I biased to Microid S because I translated it?? No..... ;)

So I guess if you wanna see Ken, Jun, and sorta-almost-Jinpei as tiny bug superheros you should check it out!
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