Japanese “Supermarionation”: Aeropolice 008

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Or Aerial City, according to a YouTube poster.

Japan, despite the way it sometimes mangled them (Stingray is the prime example), loved Gerry Anderson‘s Supermarionation — and sometimes tried their own hand at it. Most people are familiar with X-Bomber — adapted into English as Star Fleet — but there were several other series. None was impressive until I came across this one, which I got ages ago on a DVD via eBay and only got around to looking at today.

It turns out it’s available on YouTube, so you can see it too!

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Unlike other ones I’ve seen, this actually had a budget, art direction, and real effort put into it. Although it seems the Japanese can’t pull off a story with puppets as dynamically and masterfully as they do anime, this is still a neat bit of viewing. It’s a combination of marionettes and rod puppets (something that wouldn’t be tried again until Super Adventure Team on MTV).

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What’s especially impressive is the anime-style design of the puppet faces. Something that would be tried again in X-Bomber.

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There’s some excellent emotive puppet manipulation in this as well as some shots that Alan Pattillo would have done!

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Eight live puppets at once:

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Give it a look. But don’t be fooled by the English language in the opening narration. All of the character dialogue is in Japanese!

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