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Anime / G-Force: Guardians of Space

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The second English adaptation of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman. After Battle of the Planets had completed its run on Superstation WTBS in 1985, Turner Program Services sub-licensed Gatchaman from Sandy Frank, in the interest of doing a new adaptation more faithful to the source material. Fred Ladd (of Astro Boy and Gigantor dub fame) was put in charge of the adaptation note .

G-Force: Guardians of Space debuted on TBS in July 1987, but only ran for a week before it was abruptly pulled and replaced with reruns of Gilligan's Island, although it did had a full run in some foreign markets, most notably in Latin America.note  It resurfaced on Cartoon Network in 1995, where it managed to air its entire run.


While G-Force was a lot closer to the Gatchaman plots, it sparked disappointment in fans who had grown up used to their own "G-Force" from the previous adaptation.note  Its lower budget was criticized, along with the cheesy dub name changes and a single looping very repetitive backbeat that was used to fill all gaps of silence. Only 85 of the first 87 episodes (out of a total of 105) were dubbed for this version, with episodes 81 and 86 being skipped note 


It briefly received a DVD release in 2004, of seven random episodes, but its general obscurity and Sandy Frank's license having expired (the Gatchaman rights are now with Sentai Filmworks, who markets ADV Films' uncut dub) has lead its fans to scavenge for any recordings.

G-Force provides examples of:

  • Alliterative Name: Dr. Benjamin Brighthead.
  • Bowdlerize: Although not as heavy as with Battle of the Planets, death and destruction were still toned down when opportunities arose. Episodes also had scenes trimmed or excised entirely for time constraints, sometimes with a character narration replacing the scene to fill in the gaps.
    • The Devil Stars' death scenes in episode 31 were softened by the team explaining that the girls were only cyborgs that self-destructed, while Dr. Brighthead's narration affirms that the girl Dirk killed (without knowledge that she was the same girl he promised to race) was a mere cyborg who had learned to feel human emotion.
    • Episode 31 also notably cut the death scene of Joe's parents. In the dub, Dirk explains via an internal monologue that his parents were "almost" killed by Galactor. A later scene conveniently didn't edit out the gunshots that he was imagining hearing, leading to confusion. A later episode would then clarify that Dirk's parents were in fact killed when he was a child.note 
    • In one example of inconsistency with footage vs. dialogue, Dr. Brighthead claims that Dirk is "recovering in a hospital" at the end of episode 20- while Dirk is still clearly in the Phoenix ship after having been relieved of his head injury.
  • Dub Name Change: As with the other early English adaptations of the Gatchaman franchise, along with some personality alterations. Berg Katse was notably renamed "Galactor" (which was originally the name of the organization) and became the actual ruler, while Leader X was downgraded to his consultant named "Computor".
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: Aggie doesn't take being called by her full name too well sometimes, and insists on her nickname.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Dirk provides a few examples within the series. Chances are that if he meets a girl, she'll be part of Galactor's organization and dead by the end.
  • Inconsistent Dub: Brighthead's boss was "Director Anderson" in some episodes, while others referred to him as "Commander Todd".
    • The country of Hontwarl was given the name "St. Pierre" in "The Wheel of Destruction", but is referred to as "Satania" in the following two episodes ("The Secret Red Impulse" and "The Van Allen Vector").
  • Mr. Exposition: Aside from a series narrator in some episodes, Ace and Dr. Brighthead fill this role themselves through expository voice overs at the beginning and end.
  • Notable Original Music: A less positively-received example compared to Battle of the Planets' soundtrack: Due to time and budget constraints, the Gatchaman soundtrack was left intact- with the exception of that single looping backbeat (a stripped-down version of the G-Force opening theme) that would play through any and all silent moments, or to fill in the gaps left by abrupt scene trimming.
    • The first two episodes dubbed as test pilots (episodes 18 and 87) have completely original synth soundtracks, and earlier workprint versions had completely different score as well.
  • Punny Name: As with other dubs handled by Fred Ladd, this was no exception. "Ace Goodheart", "Dirk Daring", and "Dr. Brighthead" stand out most.
  • Running Gag: Dirk's groan of "Ace!" became sort of infamous for being this.
  • She's a Man in Japan: That mysterious female Galactor commander is explained away as simply a loyal follower. In the original Gatchaman, Berg Katse and the commander are eventually revealed to be the same hermaphroditic entity who can change sex at will.
  • Title Confusion: The team in the Battle of the Planets adaptation was also named "G-Force", to explain away the "G" symbols on their belts. Turner decided to retain the team name for this adaptation, leading to much confusion from fans who grew up with that first English version.


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