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Anime / Eagle Riders

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The Episode Title Card from the first episode, named after the series' Catchphrase.

Eagle Riders is one of about six different adaptations of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman. This version is by Saban Entertainment.

Only 13 episodes of 65 were aired in the United States in fall 1996, but the series apparently enjoyed some more success in Europe and Australia and got to air its entire run.

This adaptation is unfortunately very hard to find, with one troper having searched even amongst torrents and coming up empty-handed. It is largely overshadowed by Battle of the Planets among the various Gatchaman adaptations. Regardless, there has been an attempt to summarize the series.



  • Composite Character: Gel Sadra and Count Egobossler, two separate villains, were merged into the one "Mallanox", later known as "Happy Boy" after their second transformation note .
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: Mallanox is originally stated to have been created from scratch by Cybercon. Later on, we learn that he's the child of an unspecified human woman and the alien invader Lukan (aka Berg Katse in the original Gatchaman). Then later on, we learn Mallanox is actually a woman, that she's the long-lost daughter of Dr. Aikens, that she was artificially aged into being an adult, and that her father had died in the shipwreck she was abducted from. Saban tried to keep a little consistency with what they already had by still having the character have a male voice while in costume, although (unlike the original) she'd suddenly be voiced by a woman when unmasked.
  • Dub Name Change: Among the examples:
    • Ken Washio -> Hunter Harris
    • Joe Asakura -> Joe Thax
    • Jun -> Kelly Jenar
    • Jinpei -> Mickey Dugan
    • Ryu Nakanishi -> Ollie Keeawani
    • Dr. Kozaburo Nambu -> Dr. Thaddeus Keane
    • Dr. Sylvie Pandora -> Dr. Francine Aikens
    • Gel Sadra/ Sammy Pandora -> Mallanox/ Nancy Aikens
    • Advertisement:
    • Leader X -> Cybercon
    • Dr. Raphael -> Professor Andro
    • Count Egobossler -> Happy Boy
    • Berg Katse -> Lukan
    • Kentaro Washio/Red Impulse -> Harley Harris
    • Galactor -> The Vorak
    • Kamo -> Avery
    • Pilmer -> Auto
    • Three of the five birdstyle names were also changed in the adaptation: Hunter became a "Hawk" (as opposed to Eagle), Joe is a "Falcon" (instead of Condor), and Kelly is a "Dove" (instead of Swan).
  • Inconsistent Dub: Dr. Aikens' deceased husband is first referred to as "Frank", but then later called "Herb". The trope also applies to the inconsistency and backpedaling involving Mallanox's origin and gender.
  • The Mole: Early on in the series, the team is infiltrated by a Vorak android named Zarnec. Thankfully due to a certain feather shuriken, he winds up deactivated and unable to harm them.
  • Never Say "Die": Dr. Aikens is sent blasting off to space in a rocket. The Eagle Riders never manage to find a way to rescue her from her predicament, and no further mention is made of her beyond Keane trying to search for her. That's because in the original, her rocket exploded.
    • Mallanox is shown to collapse, as she expresses regret about trying to destroy the Earth. In the original, Gel Sadra dies peacefully on a hilltop and is reunited with her mother in death. In the dub? The voiceover from the clouds is changed from her mother's voice to that of Cybercon, informing Mallanox that she'll be transformed into a new creature: Happy Boy.
    • Other character deaths were censored and explained away with voiceovers stating that they escaped, or that they were androids that had been "deactivated" (see Zarnec).
  • No Ending: The series cuts off at episode 65 (adapted from episode 15 of Fighter) without any real resolution to the plot, and the Vorak still going forward with their plans. Of course, as Gatchaman Fighter got excessively grim, it would have been difficult for Saban to try to adapt the actual final episodes.
  • She's a Man in Japan: The first big villain in this adaptation is Mallanox, a rather effeminate looking man. In the original Gatchaman II, the villain is named Gel Sadra and is a woman (masculine voice aside). When Saban writers realized the massive plotholes they created by removing Mallanox's origin and by changing their gender, they attempted to backtrack and later referred to the villain as a woman (though she was still voiced by R. Martin Klein when dressed in her villain garb). They attempted to explain away the gender difference by stating that Cybercon brainwashed Mallanox into believing she was a man for her own protection.
    • Of course, when it came time for them to adapt Gatchaman Fighter, they claimed Happy Boy (Count Egobossler) was simply Mallanox in a new form. It seems Cybercon really loves his gender-bending.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Aside from the wild hair, Mallanox is shown to be an attractive, yet very tall blonde woman when not wearing her goofy costume.
  • Underwater Base