Childhood Memories Cartoons – GatchamanPosted on April 28th, 2009 1 comment
I was doing the “Pick your 5 Favorite cartoons when I was younger” on Facebook last week, and the silly quiz has brought back some old memory from childhood and I found myself humming the opening theme songs from my favorite cartoons. So, here are my picks – Gatchaman, Candy Candy, Rascal the Raccoon, The Rose of Versailles, and Vicky the Viking.
When I was a kid, I always thought these cartoons were from U.S. because of the storyline, the blonde hair, the castle.., then found out much later that they were actually Japanese Manga and many children around the world have grown up with these cartoons — only the characters would speak in different languages.
Kids in Taiwan did not have cable TV back then and our choices of entertainment was very limited, in fact we were not supposed to have much fun at all; the sole focus of kids life was academy and was the same for many Asian kids, and I am sure that part of Asian culture haven’t changed much even now. We were at school from 7:00am to 5:00pm, and did not go home after school, instead we grabbed some simple dinner before Bu Shi Ban (cram school), and whenever possible and if lucky we got to glimpse at TV screen for few minutes for cartoons like Candy Candy or Gatchaman.
Gatchaman was overwhelmingly popular when I was a kid; for its time, Gatchaman was a very successful series and it’s the first “team heroes” animation. there were five basic character types (hero, loner, big guy, token kid and female) and five colors (red, blue, pink, yellow and green). Every boys and girls aged between 6 to 15 were crazy about the five characters in the story, and all found someone we recognized, registered and bound with.
The most popular characters in this story are Washio and Asakura.
G-1, Ken Washio, he’s the leader of the team and is quick, handsome and charismatic. He is so straight, naive and noble, and wants to restore the peace to the world. Most of my classmates (girls) were in love with him.
G-2, Joe or George Asakura, is supposed to be an Italian and is this “tragic, troubled loner” in the story. His father’s death has always cast a shadow over him, makes him impulsive, furious and sad. I, as the sensitive soul, loved this tragic character even he always port rates that jerk image.
G-3, Jun, is the only girl in the team and supposed to be a computer expert/hacker, but she somehow always seemed so dumb to me. I did not know any boys at school, but I assumed she must be the dream girl for teenage boys. Jun has a super crush on Ken, but Ken being the noble and role model showed no interest at all.
The other two charters Jinpei and Ryu are more underrated, and are often ignored by others. Of course, there is Professor Nambu, the Chief scientist and administrator for the International Science Organization (ISO), a powerful group that leads the war against the Gallactor Syndicate. Also the mentor for the Gatchaman whom he has adopted and trained.
Gatchaman was first brought over to the U.S as “Battle of the Planets” in 1978, then again in re-dubbed form as “G-Force: Guardians of Space” in 1986; the latter of which wasn’t aired in the U.S until January 1995 on Cartoon Network. The new Gatchaman movie is supposed to be air this summer inAsia, however won’t come to US till year 2010. Here are links to bring back old memory —
In Chinese –
In Englsih –
In French –
In Japanese –
In Spanish –
The first look of Gatchaman movie which will come to US in year 2010–
And for grown-ups, live performance of Gatchman theme song by Animetal in heavy metal style
I remember watching this cartoon as a kid too.
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