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Koch Saddles Up ‘Galaxy Rangers,' More Anime

13 Oct, 2004 By: Edwin De La Cruz

This month, Koch Vision jumps on the retro bandwagon with the first two DVD volumes of “Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers,” one of the true gems of 1980s anime nostalgia. Each DVD is priced at $14.98.

The television masters have been restored and re-mastered with special features, including animation by anime studio TMS (Akira). A beefed-up 5.1 soundtrack has also been added to the show to enhance the action sequences which the sci-fi fan magazine Starlog once described as “… if Sergio Leone had directed Star Wars.”

“Galaxy Rangers” creator Robert Mandell discussed his vision.

“The western-in-space concept was basically designed to combine sci-fi action adventure with western-themed stories. ... If we could place Hans Solo in High Plains Drifter, I thought we'd have something very interesting,” he said.

Set in the year 2086, “Galaxy Rangers” tells the story of two peaceful aliens who seek the World Federation's help in thwarting an intergalactic outlaw syndicate. In exchange, the aliens offer planet Earth technology that will enable space travel beyond the solar system. A team is assembled and soon sets out to preserve law and order across the new frontier.

“Rangers” follows the latest in the trend of releasing programs that dominated mid-1980s afterschool television. “Galaxy Rangers” may not be strictly classified as anime as it was created, scripted and voiced in the United States, but the animation was entirely a Japanese effort.

While the show only ran for 65 episodes, “Galaxy Rangers” garnered a devoted audience. Its positive reputation stemmed from the fact that, unlike some shows in that era, “Rangers” was never preachy. The heroes weren't always clear winners, and quite often entire episodes were used to develop main characters and villains — plot devices that come very close to contemporary Japanese animation.

Koch Vision is planning an extensive 2005 brand rollout that will include the release of further episodes, as well as publishing, apparel and a Web site later this month.

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