A line-up of the main characters, from the booklet of Gatchaman DVD Volume 1
Reproducing copyrighted material from a book and making it publicly available.
Without the author's permission. Ouch.
Normally, I am extremely squeamish about capturing any artwork off a printed
page. Books are so much more exclusive than other media. I can hear background
music at work. I can catch snippets of video glimpsing at the TV in someone
else's living room. But I don't see what's in a book until I take it in my
hands and open it. So if I make public the contents of a book, I feel I'm
very much infringing on copyright.
However; my aim in putting up any reproduction of another person's work is to
show the quirkiness or special quality I noticed in that work, so that other
people may notice it too. In order to do that, I've already taken sounds and
screen shots from the series itself, and I intend to take more. The scans I
made of the printed material, are mostly things not shown in the series itself;
and the fact that the artwork in the book has also been used in other Gatchaman books
and is now appearing in the booklets of the Gatchaman DVDs, makes it less and
less exclusive. Who knows, maybe these scans will be an incentive to buy either
the book or the DVDs; to the avid fan, at any rate, these poor scans are no
substitute for the original, so I'm not harming
any economic interests. Still, this means that my normal policy of
"if you want to use anything off this page, ask first" doesn't apply; none
of these images may be downloaded and used on other pages. I can
vouch for my own good intentions, but not for anyone else's.
That said, my precious Gatch tapes are now in a cardboard box somewhere, so
it was either this or no update... ^_^
The real subject of this theme page is Gatch chara design; the grownups (Nambu,
Anderson, the Red Impulse trio) came out right first time, but, if the
illustrations in Gatchaman Material are anything to go by, the animators
had to doodle around a bit to find a fitting look for our teenage heroes.
And as for the Onnataicho - phew! She has a different face every time she
makes an appearance. I thought it would be interesting to show how the famous
five might have looked, and, logically, they should come first, but I'm
a villain-lover, so I'm starting with:
Each Gatchaman DVD Volume features its little character or mecha special.
From the looks of it, uniformed Katze wasn't tweaked much, either;
pointy ears and twirling cape, it was all there from the start.
The onnataicho is another matter. First appearing in a pink & purple
jumpsuit (eww, I didn't know the stripe on the front went all the way
down to her crotch!), she quickly traded her caffeine-addict look for
the imperious middle-aged look of the Gezora eps, then became increasingly
more "normal" until finally she was nothing more than a round-cheeked
ditz with a nasty smile. (The first appearance of a non-uniformed Katze
was in fact in episode 29, but it is uncertain whether this was the
female form, although the animation suggests it was.) The heavily shaded
pencil sketch in the middle was the famous original character design
which has found its way into Gatchaman Graffiti, Gatchaman
Material and probably every book on Gatchaman that has a Villains
section. (All these scans are from the DVD booklet, but exactly the
same pictures can be found in Gatchaman Material.)
Gel Sadra's uniform had a little adjustment, though. It looks as
if the original mask was intended to show her eyes. The sketches below
show Gel Sadra's mask with and without opaque lenses.
Ample attention was paid by the animators to Gel Sadra's metamorphosis
from standard four-year-old to something that wasn't merely fully
grown, but overgrown - one stage beyond normal physical maturity, as
it were. From chubby-cheeked child to supercreature crackling with
life and vigour; yet still recognizably the same person. And this for
an animation sequence that lasted a few seconds. Below, the steps
of the aging process. (Okay, this doesn't really fit in with the
theme, but it left me so breathless that I had to put it in.)
This fits in with the theme entirely, though. Remember old "blue
chicken" X? Apparently he was supposed to be more arachnid...
Okay, that's it for the villains, now:
Check out these character sketches of the youngsters: Jun's got
her hair up, and the boys all sport headgear and/or jackets.
Their accessories didn't survive into the TV series, although Joe was allowed his
gloves in some eps and Jinpei got his cap back in Gatchaman II.
Other little things to notice: Ken and Jun making odd fashion statements
on the beach as one wears a bikini with Devilstar-style stars on the
top, and the other imitates Jun's and Jinpei's striped trousers with
his swimwear; Joe chewing on a four-leaved clover (I heard this
character was originally meant to be a gardener, not a racer - so
why the racing gloves?) and showing his tacky taste in sunglasses.
For a moment, it seemed as if Jun might get back her baggy sweater, too...
Oh well. At least she had her old hair again.(How could she have pinned
up those steel-hook locks she had in the first series? She should cut
them off and use them as weapons!)
But, leaving hair out of the picture; the big graphic below is a
collection of G-3 face sketches, which provoked the following thoughts:
- She looks more mature here than in the first series, much more
like the second series - is the waif effect of the first series just
caused by the wild hair?
- She also looks very lovely. In animation, I found her rather
- Why is her mouth hanging open in every pose?
Last pic: a sketch of Ryu, the eternal figure of fun, in an untypically
graceful pose. If the makers could have stayed away entirely from the
"fat people are funny" stereotype, how differently this character
might have turned out...
Unless otherwise stated, the scans on this page are from the book