Battle of the Planets

You’re not wrong there! “Bill Kennedy At The Movies” was an afternoon mainstay in my youth! Was it WKBD that aired “Astro Boy”, “Kimba”, and “8th Man”, though? For some reason, I keep thinking it was the Windsor-based Channel 9, CKLW (also a fucking great AM station)…

There is a live version of Gatchaman. It was released this summer in Japan. Here’s a trailer:

The reviews have been mixed.

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Joy Adamson’s actual experiences with Elsa started in 1956. The book Born Free was published in 1960 and was a major hit. (And I highly recommend it, and its sequels, especially if all you’ve been exposed to is the simplified version of the story told by the film.)

I don’t know when the book reached Japan, but I don’t think my question can be considered disproven.

I haven’t yet read George Adamson’s book, My Pride And Joy, but it’s on my when-I-can-get-to-it list. Among other things, I think he deserves my money just for the elegance of that title.

Oh, it was, it was…

Thus endeth all revolutions…


I vaguely remember watching Gigantor and Speed Racer in the mid 70s and then in the early 80s it was all about Battle of the Planets and Starblazers. My friends have memories of Astro Boy but I don’t know if that ever aired in New York during that time.

When BOTP first aired, I liked its look and its soundtrack. So, enterprising 10-year-old that I was in those pre-Internet days, I figured out the address of Sandy Frank Productions and wrote them a letter asking if a recording of the soundtrack existed. A short while later I got a package in the mail, containing a non-commercially released (at the time) tape cassette of the music for the show, and a nice letter from Sandy Frank! Very exciting.


when BotP aired I was in kindergarten, so I missed Kimba and Astro Boy. All I really remember watching on 9 was Mr. Dress-up. But 50 always had the best content. I remember in the mid 80’s, the Free Press ran a story on the entertainment section’s front page about what a juggernaut of a station they were. Never knew how good we had it until I moved away, although cable had started to change the programming landscape in general by then.

So loved this as a kid. The animation blew my mind, I guess I was used to the, to be honest, crappy 70s hanna barbera stylee stuff, BotP just seemed light years ahead (well, the gatchaman bits anyway, remember the 7-zark-7 segments as decidely crappy 70s hanna barbera style…)

Yeah, that’s exactly what I would have expected the Japanese to make. I’d rather have a proper Western style version made, more along the lines of Pacific Rim (without the comedy relief characters it had). Nevertheless, I’m going to have to find this for rent somewhere…

There is also this Gatchaman-themed commercial SMAP did for NTT several years ago:
youtube video

I’m assuming that makes you too old for the colour version of Astro Boy. That’s the one I remember. I got the DVD set a few years ago and was confused that it didn’t have the recap scenes I remembered. Turns out those were put in specifically for the Canadian market for Canadian content rules.

I wonder if most kids who grew up along the border remember watching Mr. Dress-up as well as Mr. Rogers. I was far enough away that picking up on US stations wasn’t something you could count on. So I don’t remember watching Mr. Rogers much at all.

I think this is the crux of the appeal: to a young, impressionable audience of americans who were used to animated shows being simple cartoons, BotP looked like it was real.


BORN FREE wasn’t published, in any form, until 1960. Tezuka’s JUNGLE EMPEROR manga came out in 1950. So, there’s that.

Keyop in the English version chirped because they had to cover up the fact that he was swearing in the original.


Point granted, then. Tnx.

Wow! Any chance you preserved the letter? That would be primo Boing Boing material.

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I watched Astro Boy as a diaper-clad tot. Literally one of the first shows I ever remember watching. (Others were Fireball XL-5 and Beany & Cecil cartoons.) I MIGHT have seen Wonder Three a few times back then.

When I was a pre-schooler several NYC area stations ran proto-anime. Marine Boy (?), Tobor the Eighth Man, Gigantor and Kimba.

By the time that BOP and Star Blazers showed up I was a pretty serious SF reader and gamer, and found the Americanized versions way too juvenile for me. At school some anime fans explained that the originals were much more sophisticated (violent, sexy, foul-languaged) . . . but honestly they still sounded pretty goofy. I tried watching undubbed / subtitled anime (Cyborg 009, Harlock, Space Train) on NYC’s UHF Japanese-language station*; it all left me cold. Very stylish, unarguably more “sophisticated” than American animation, but I was looking for real serious brain hits.

I just saw that, and realised that I’d shamelessly ripped it off for an album cover I did in my twenties. It must have been buried deep in my brain!

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The earliest TV I remember is Giant Robot. And by earliest I mean that I have a “positional memory” of the television set (where it was located in the room, and the general room configuration) which I later learned was the house I lived in until I was three. After that? Nothing until BoTP. I built control consoles out of lego, put them on TV trays, and crashed the Phoenix on a regular basis.