Battle of the Planets Review

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Classic 80s Japanese animated series


As Star Wars fever gripped the globe in 1977, American syndication supremo Sandy Frank saw a gap in the TV schedules for a kids’ space adventure.

But when he picked up the violent anime Science Ninja Team Gatchaman at a European TV conference — and re-cut it for a young audience — he not only gave viewers one of the deepest and most stylish cartoons ever broadcast; he also introduced Japanese animation to a new audience, paving the way for Akira and other Eastern delights that continue to inspire many of Hollywood’s top directors.