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Building a canon: marrying the narrative arc of Gatchaman to Battle of the Planets. - Icarus [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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Building a canon: marrying the narrative arc of Gatchaman to Battle of the Planets. [Oct. 23rd, 2015|11:31 pm]
Painfully perky
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Have been over-commenting in astolat's journal, as she's pretty much the only person to write my first fandom love, Battle of the Planets. As a kid, I loved this show so much, I'd get up--in summer vacation--at 6am to watch.

I've discovered that it's the American version of the 1972 anime classic, Gatchaman (does this make me cool? I think that's definitely cool). The Americans who bought the distribution rights never bothered to get Japanese translators. Instead, they had writers watch the show and "figure it out." The resulting off-the-mark scripts and lack of backstories changed the characterizations.

Gatchaman has a real, honest-to-God, narrative arc. Character development that never happened in Battle of the Planets. (Oh, and Gatchaman doesn't have the loathsome, badly animated, talk-down-to-the-kiddies robot character, 7-Zark-7, added to deal with what the US cut for the censors... cut to speed up action... and to add sexual innuendo, because, nothing says appropriate cartoon fare than sexual innuendo.) Yes, there are superficial differences, character names changed, a young character bowdlerized, the baddies are on another planet for Battle of the Planets while on Earth for Gatchaman, so the world-building's different.

But the big difference is the main character. Enough that I'm enjoying the heck out of Gatchaman and thinking ... can I bring this narrative arc into Battle of the Planets?

It's a fandom puzzle. Can I marry the character arc of Gatchaman to Battle of the Planets?

Oh sure, I could just write Gatchaman fic. But where's the fun in that?


[User Picture]From: tafkarfanfic
2015-10-24 08:35 pm (UTC)
AAAAAAAAA! AAAAAAAAAA! BATTLE OF THE PLANETS!!!!! OMG that was my favorite show when I was a little kid. Now I need to see what the Japanese version was like. Can you expand more on the differences and the narrative arc of Gatchaman?

Edited at 2015-10-24 08:36 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: icarusancalion
2015-10-24 10:12 pm (UTC)
AAAAAAAAA! AAAAAAAAAA! BATTLE OF THE PLANETS!!!!! OMG that was my favorite show when I was a little kid.

Because it's the greatest!

Can you expand more on the differences and the narrative arc of Gatchaman?

Fasten your seatbelt, here come some posts.
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[User Picture]From: icarusancalion
2015-10-24 10:55 pm (UTC)
Have you signed up for Yuletide? Because Battle of the Planets is in there, and I'm considering doing my first real Yuletide.

Here's more about the differences in the character arc, especially Mark's.
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[User Picture]From: tafkarfanfic
2015-10-24 11:03 pm (UTC)
I'm working a lot, like a lot a lot, right now. I'm making time to work on my novel but everything else has to fall by the wayside I'm afraid.
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[User Picture]From: icarusancalion
2015-10-28 04:28 am (UTC)
I dithered back and forth about it. In truth, there's only one fandom I want to write: this one.

But no one had selected it. So I was unlikely to matched on it.

Still planned to do Yuletide, though not sure ... and finally missed the deadline.

Am so down, trying to find an understanding fandom friend to talk to about this, but no luck.
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[User Picture]From: tiferet
2015-10-25 01:39 am (UTC)
That hurts my brain just thinking about it. OMG. I was really, really angry when I found out what Battle of the Planets actually was and what they had done to Gatchaman. I have no idea how you'd make that work.
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[User Picture]From: icarusancalion
2015-10-25 03:23 am (UTC)
So far it's not a problem. You ignore the silly explanation of Keyop/Jinpai, of course, and dump the 7-Zark-7 robot. And it doesn't really matter if the bad guys are on Earth or from another planet, so I'm brushing over that bit.

Still working it through, but so far, since Battle of the Planets just treated Gatchaman as a mecha-of-the-week and seems to have ignored back stories, I'm using Gatchaman as the back stories for BotP.

The biggest difference is the characterization of Ken/Mark. Gatchaman has a great deal of character development. Ken (Mark) is far more intense, childish, rebellious, and dynamic than his characterization on BotP. But he seems to be slowly maturing into the BotP characterization.

I don't think the BotP characterization's wrong. I think they just did the episodes out of order, and without back stories, so they never knew about the character arc.

So, basically, BotP names, some of the world-building (the bad guys can be off-world, I don't care), and Gatchaman depth.

I'm going to keep a running commentary on it as I learn more and match these fandoms up. *plays Geranimals*

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[User Picture]From: icarusancalion
2015-10-25 03:34 am (UTC)
However, in terms of the world-building, the series doesn't work with 7-Zark-7. The robot's annoying, I've always hated it with an unreasoning passion -- but it has to go for the sake of the series. You can't have an all-knowing robot tracking everything on the planet and feeding them too much intel.

So 7-Zark-7 is completely erased and replaced with Chief Anderson/Dr. Nambu.
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[User Picture]From: iibnf
2015-10-25 06:39 am (UTC)
I was obsessed with this show as a kid. Biggest impact of censorship to me was the Berge Katze - Zoltar character. In the Japanese original, a man and a woman, siblings, merged to create a chaotic, duel nature character, but that was too weird for American kids, so they changed them into a 7 foot tall purple transvestite. To me, Zoltar was totally a trans or at very least gender queer character. Male, with that cool voice, but with loooooooong blonde hair and lashings of purple lipstick. Add the huge purple cat ears and I was in love! Love, I tell you! I just adored Zoltar, and I think my taste for freaky psychos probably all came from that character. As much as the Japanese version is better (kill 7 Zark 7 with fire and acid), I still will always love Zoltar.

(And then, Deslock from Star Blazers/BSY).
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[User Picture]From: icarusancalion
2015-10-26 04:13 am (UTC)
I'll get back to you when I finish watching. Just watched ep 68.

OMG, the slash writes itself. And they just finished a string of crackfic eps (rollerskating? Really?).
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