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!
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).
What’s especially impressive is the anime-style design of the puppet faces. Something that would be tried again in X-Bomber.
There’s some excellent emotive puppet manipulation in this as well as some shots that Alan Pattillo would have done!
Eight live puppets at once:
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!