Friday, January 11, 2013

Got'cha, GATCHAMAN! G-Force is Go!

Last month, I got to be a gaijin extra (think a refugee running amidst fire and rubble) on location for the live-action movie adaptation of 1970s anime series Gatchaman, aka Battle of the Planets, or G-Force.

I'm not sure if it's because I'm Australian, but this doesn’t mean too much to me.

The Japanese obsess regarding the 1972 anime Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman (Science Ninja Team Gatchaman) created by Tatsuo Yoshida (Casshern, Speed Racer) and most Americans I know are wild about the repackaged and slightly Westernized 1978 version Battle of the Planets.

While I dug the earlier Speed Racer, I was far more into Yoshiyuki Tomino's Mobile Suit Gundam from the same period — which grants me an excuse to stick in a picture here that I took in October of the 115-foot RX-78-2 Gundam statue in Odaiba.

Still, I was acquainted enough with this other series minus Gundam (the storyline goes that G-Force — a fistful of kids dressed up in bird costumes — protects Earth from planet Spectra and other attacks from an international terrorist conglomerate of technologically advanced villains), to think this would be a hoot, and grabbed the chance.

It was being shot outdoors in the evening in the expansive ruins of a huge abandoned paper mill in Takahagi-shi in Ibaraki, about 2 hours from Tokyo — and under 100 km from the leaky Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

This place was wild — a photographer's dream (if we weren't otherwise preoccupied).