I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Masato Shimon with Columbia Yurikago Kai/Kome Kome Club -- Theme from "Gatchaman"(ガッチャマン)

I remember reading the original manga for "Kagaku Ninja Tai Gatchaman"(科学忍者隊ガッチャマン.....Science Ninja Team Gatchaman) back in the early 70s as a kid. At the time I was more of an "Ultraman"fan, so I didn't really give too much devotion to the bird-based superteam at the time. However, one night in the late 70s, I was watching a Buffalo NY channel, WKBW, when I saw a commercial advertising this cartoon. And much to my shock and awe, it turned out to be the characters from "Gatchaman"....named on this side of the Pacific as G-Force with the show being titled "Battle of the Planets". If I'm not mistaken, it was slated for every Thursday night at 7:30.

Of course, as has been the case for many an anime crossing over from Japan to North America, changes had to be made. In the case of "Gatchaman", that included a different instrumental theme song. However, instrumental versions of the original Japanese beginning and ending themes were used throughout "Battle of the Planets".

Anime song and children's song vocalist Masato Shimon(子門真人), who would later become the singer behind one of the Oricon rankings juggernauts of 1975, "Oyoge! Taiyaki-kun"(およげ!たいやきくん....Swim Taiyaki!), sang the opening theme, "The Gatchaman Song", with a children's chorus group, The Columbia Yurikago Kai (コロンビアゆりかご会)as backup. His machine gun-like staccato delivery of the opening words "Dare da, dare da, dare da!"(Who is it? Who is it? Who is it?) is still recognizable even today, and the song carries that usual brass-and-strings infused urgency that accompanied Japanese superhero theme songs of that time.

The ending theme was titled "Taose Galacta"(倒せ!ギャラクター....Defeat Galacta) in which the Columbia Yurikago Kai did solo duties here. Galacta was the original name for G-Force's enemy of Spectra in "Battle of the Planets". As was also the case with ending themes for anime, "Taose Galacta"was a more gentler and folksier tune, and listening to it brought a lot of memories of my time traveling in Japan right in that year. I recollect that there was a jauntier, more military-sounding instrumental version of this song used whenever the Phoenix launched from its underwater base (I have to admit that I spent many an hour drawing that iconic ship).

Even with all of the changes, I really enjoyed "Battle of the Planets", although I do cringe at some of the 7-Zark-7 insertions.

November 1 2012: OK, I just had to put Kome Kome Club's version of the main theme here....had my hair standing on end, just with the horn section blasting those notes out!


  1. Thanks J-Canuck for posting this entry on "Gatchaman". Being both a "Gatchaman" and Kome Kome Club fan I very much appreciated you including their live cover performance of the classic theme. I was halfway expecting to see James Onoda prancing around as Berg Katse somewhere. I wonder who the producers of the upcoming live action "Gatchaman 2013" movie will give the honors of singing the theme? AKB48? Golden Bomber? Exile? Perfume? Utada? SMAP? Why not Shimon Masato?

  2. Hi again.

    The video with K2C's cover of the theme song was found purely by accident. But after seeing it, I REALLY needed to upload this one....and I really hope that it stays up there for a good long time.

    Hey, if the original singer for "Uchuusenkan Yamato" can do the theme for the reboot, why not Shimon himself? With a duet with K2C.....heheheheh!


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