Symphonic Suite Theatre

I love how the Japanese romanticize their anime characters, particularly when it comes to the de rigeur soundtrack collections. In my youth of Arcadia, Japanese toys and media were absolutely scarce unless you lived on the West Coast or had a relative in the overseas military. I reveled in the moments I could tune into Channel 26’s GATTIGER or IKKYU-SAN from faraway San Francisco. When my parents first took me there to Jeffrey’s Toys in Ghiradhelli Square for a weekend treat, I discovered a giant glass case displaying an explosion of die-cast and plastic color in the form of robots, racecars, monsters, and spaceships representing all walks of anime and even better, kaiju — which meant the incredible Bullmark metal Godzilla, Ghidrah, Gigan and Baragon. Jeffrey’s became my cultural treasure chest (and those toys were outrageously expensive) and a reservoir for my entry into Japanese collectibles. I also loved the LP’s hanging on the wall with their gorgeously illustrated covers, my favorites being the Symphonic Suites for GATCHAMAN and SPACE CRUISER YAMATO. The albums promised a world of action, mystery and adventure, all encapsulated by the archetypal Japanese overtly-lush soundtracks.

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13 Responses to “Symphonic Suite Theatre”

  1. ROBOTECH was my first exposure to Japanese anime of any kind and I remember being blown away at such an impressionable age at a cartoon that actually had a major character die! From there, I went on to absorb all kinds of stuff: Gatchaman (aka Battle of the Planets) and Yamoto (aka Starblazers). Loved all that stuff.

    • christian Says:

      The first toy I ever got from Jeffrey’s was a nifty jet and the next day, during the US premiere of BATTLE OF THE PLANETS, I noticed that I had Mark’s plane-to-jet ship. Synchronicity or what?

  2. For me the anime entry point was “Astro Boy”. Who could ever forget “Prof. Elephantnose”? That was his name wasn’t it?

    • christian Says:

      The American version for sure…And yes, I met Osamu Tezuka years ago. Shoulda got him to do sign my notebook. I was too awed.

  3. How I loved watching Battle of the Planets when I was young!

    • christian Says:

      Best Anime Ever. Still. Tho the original GATCHAMAN is far superior since BOTP was heavily edited, most of the risque and violence gone. And the addition of the irritating 7 Zark 7 or whateva…

      • i didn t know 7 zark 7 was an addition. now that i think about it, the animations are clearly not of the same level…

        • Oh man, you haven’t seen the unedited GATCHAMAN? They released them on DVD a few years back. Dark and violent, and even edited the BATTLE OF THE PLANETS was still superior to anything on the American tv toon side.

          • ok, the dvd seem hard to find, but i ll pull this one… it was really THE cartoon is was totally identifying with as a kid… never watched it again since… better start over with the japanese version then… thanx !!!

  4. oooh i need this gatchaman symphonic suite ooooh

  5. christian Says:

    Here’s a violent section you never saw on BOTP:

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