Battle of the Planets - 2 - Rescue of the Astronauts

This second episode is again EXTREMELY interesting in how it highlights the difference between the original Japanese Gatchaman animation and the US version, Battle of the Planets.

In the original Japanese, this is a clear continuation of the Space Terrapin episode. You're told even more clearly that the Firebird move was a dangerous one, that it melted through the door of the enemy ship and let them escape.

We're told the ISO uses satellites to search for uranium, and that Galactor plans to steal this satellite information in order to control all uranium and hold the world hostage. The tape is called the Earth Compact. The map the bad guys review is of the Earth, of all Uranium locations. Katse tells his leader, who orders him to build a massive Uranium drilling plant over the largest deposit under the ocean. Hence their drilling setup.

Mark is playing with his baby turtle when he's told to join the team -

Once they head underwater, Princess admires the giant turtle that floats by -

and when Mark scolds her, she says laughingly, "Oh, how scary!" and heads back to her post. She does some work then tells him, "An unusual radioactivity reading!" He asks to see it and she shows him the tape, and they figure out that someone used an underwater nuclear bomb despite international treaties banning these.

They find the ship on their own - it's a Demonic Aircraft Carrier! When Keyop wants to go along with Mark into the enemy ship, and Mark says no, Jinpei says sullenly, "He will regret it." Jason smiles and says, "Jinpei ..." implying that he should go along anyway.

You get a fierce fight sequence inside, and then the bad guys show that they have the 2 astronauts with guns held to their heads. Mark gives up to save the astronauts. But then the bad guys throw the astronaut bodies on the ground and say, "Even corpses are useful sometime." They were dead! They take Mark down to interrogate him. Keyop shows up here and kills one of the 2 guards, Mark grabs the other by the throat and heads back up. Now he grabs the cat-leader and throttles him, slamming his head on the wall. Finally cat-man tells where the tape is.

There are huge explosion sequences, and the 2 guys swim out. Katse is furious with cat-man and tells him the only way he can redeem himself is to kamikaze - kill himself - diving the remains of the Turtle Head into the Phoenix. Catman tries to do so but Mark sees him coming and does an emergency Fire Phoenix move which barely lets them escape, while burning CatMan to death. He's relieved when they survive, and smiles fondly at Princess.

The US Version - Battle of the Planets
Talk about a big difference!! This time the astronauts have seen evidence of the space aliens' bases on Mars. That's why Spectra has grabbed them. The team goes underwater and again, Princess says it's beautiful. But this time when Mark scolds her she is all sad and apologetic. Of course she doesn't do anything useful - it's 7-Zark-7 that sends the tape which just has mission information on it. There are no nuclear bombs - it's a volcano they run into.

There are additional cutesy scenes with the new 1-Rover-1 and with a sexy-voiced robot that 7-Zark-7 has the hots for. 7-Zark-7 has to tell them how to find the ship - it's a "Whale Ship".

Mark goes into the base and gives up "just because". He goes down and rescues the astronauts, even though we don't see them. Keyop grabs the tape because he sees it in the wall. There's no throttling of cat-guys. They all escape, with the invisible astronauts apparently "in the sick bay being healed". Cat-man is yelled at for letting everyone escape and is told to go stop them.

He tries to, but the Phoenix turns into a fiery phoenix and "escapes" without harming him. The Phoenix turns right back into a normal ship again (even though 7-Zark-7 said in Episode 1 that this took 24 hrs to revert) and when Mark looks fondly at Princess, 7-Zark-7 chimes in with a "They argue sometimes (referring to the underwater scene) but then they always are friends again afterwards."

Quote Comparisons

When Mark gets onto the Phoenix
Japan: (Jason, worriedly) "Ken, what's the hurry? What is it?"
US: (Jason, snidely) "We're honored you finally decided to join us."

Princess, looking at the turtle
US: "It's beautiful!" When she's scolded, she cringes, apologizes profusely and runs off to hide and not speak again.

Japan: "Wow, beautiful!" When she's scolded, she says, rolling her eyes, "Oh, how scary!" Mark says to prepare other stuff and she yells out "Roger!" cheerfully. Then she says "Ken - an unusual radioactivity reading!"

Battle of the Planets Information

Vol. 1 - Attack of the Space Terrapin / Rescue of the Astronauts

Gatchaman Episode List of Reviews

Anime Reviews Main Page


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