After ‘Star Wars’ became a certified phenomenon back in 1977, everyone jumped on the galactic adventure bandwagon, with loads of knock off movies hitting theaters and television. In the world of animation, Sandy Frank Productions imported the 1972 Japanese anime ‘Science Ninja Team Gatchaman’ and recut it to make it seem as if the show involved space travel by using night sequences and inserting an R2-D2-like robot in order to fill time where they had to edit out more violent content from the Japanese original series. In the US, it was renamed ‘Battle of the Planets’.
Though it wasn’t the first anime to air in the US, for a certain generation, it was our first exposure to the animation style and it retains a huge fan following today. It also helped open the door for later hits like ‘Robotech’ and ‘Voltron’, but over time, American viewers began to notice certain tropes that were continually repeated in the genre: shape-shifting and combining mechas, split-screen shots of the heroes screaming in agony, giant monsters, sinister shadowy villains, transformation scenes and so forth.
In a meta twist, an animation company Nacho Punch as flipped things and re-envisioned ‘Star Wars’ as a 70s-80s style anime, incorporating a lot of those same elements.
You can check it out below:
What do you think? Pretty lighthearted and fun! “Why do I still have these feelings?”