In 1979 or thereabouts, I started watching a show called Battle of the Planets. At first, it confused the hell out of me-- I mixed up the name of the villain (Zoltar) and his planet (Spectra), I thought that Center Neptune (which is underwater) was actually on the planet Neptune (given that another robot is on the planet Pluto, this is understandable)-- but eventually I was hooked, and hooked for life.
In 1986, I read an article in Starlog Magazine about Japanese animation, and it included an article about Battle of the Planets, known in Japanese (it claimed) as Gatchaman, the Scientific Ninja Commando Squad. After cracking up hysterically over the name, I noticed an address I could write to for the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization, to get more information. Being something of a procrastinator, it took me several months to get around to doing so. But once I did, I got back an information packet telling me about an APA called Bird Scramble!, dedicated to Gatchaman and Battle of the Planets. I immediately wrote to the editor, Pat Munson-Siter, and shortly afterward joined. My fate was sealed. I had become a Gatchamaniac.
Since early childhood, when I'd watched Galaxy Express and discovered that the original story it was based on was in Japanese, I'd sort of had an ambition to learn Japanese. This became full-blown when I got into anime in 1986. I was looking for colleges at the time, and my major criteria included that the school had to offer Japanese. Once I finally went to school, and got my Japanese class, I studied obsessively, skipping ahead in the book, going to the bookstore to riffle through the Japanese dictionaries I couldn't yet afford in my quest to translate a pair of Gatchaman movie adaptations in comic book form. Since I had no VCR at school, I made an audiotape of Berg Katse's death scene and listened to it frequently in an attempt to translate it. In short, I had no life. :-)
Eventually my obsession bore fruit. I was able, with a fair degree of accuracy, to watch Gatchaman episodes and figure out what was going on. With the aid of my Japanese language partners, most especially Mari Fujimoto, I translated episode scripts. One summer I spent translating extensive articles about Gatchaman II. And thus, I became something of an expert on Gatchaman.
This page has links to the fruits of my obsession:
Cross Karakoram: Galactor Headquarters: A page dedicated to the villains of Gatchaman.
Alara's Gatchaman Fanfic: All the Gatchaman fan stories I have written
Alara's Tape Trading Service: You too can have Gatchaman! Here's how
The Translated Scripts: These are all the script translations I have
The Synopses: Covers half of Gatch I and all of Gatch II
Alara's Reviews: My personal opinions on G-Force, the Gatch OAVs, and Eagle Riders
Alara's Gatchaman Overview: Parts of this article originally appeared in Animenominous magazine. Copyright Alara Rogers. Freely distribute but do not change a single word. This is an overview of the entire Gatchaman series.
Audiovisual Gatch: At the moment, this is an assemblage of pictures of Katse and zipped wavs of songs written and sung by me. At some point maybe I will add more to it.
Other People's Gatchapages
Wendy Dinsmore's Page: After spending several years in Japan, Wendy has as much right to call herself a Gatchaguru as I do-- and she's a great artist.
Jen Nolan's Page: Contains lots of Gatchaman links
The Tatsunoko Gatchaman Page: In English.
Carolyn Kaufman's Page:A whole assortment of stuff
Julieann Adolf's BOTP Page:A good page for Battle of the Planets information
Lori's Fanfic Archive: The most complete archive of Gatchaman fanfic anywhere.
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