It began with a swan

Hi Ryu X Chun-Li Project fans and followers. Sean, director of the project here. First, another big thank you to Aaron Pinsky for the last blog entry. It’s a pleasure to share this space with another strong voice in the RCL community. Aaron, you’re awesome!

Now it’s my turn at the blog, and, to be honest, I was having some trouble thinking of what to write about. Then I thought, why not go back to the beginning? No, not the beginning of this blog. Instead, I thought I’d go all the way back to the first fictional couple I hoped would get together.

Now it should be noted that while we at the Ryu X Chun-Li Project are not going to make Chun-Li a damsel in distress that Ryu saves in our story…

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It should be known that it was a damsel in distress that started all this…

The year was 1979. and this was my favourite show (click on the picture for the intro):

battle

A.K.A. Gatchaman

And these were my favourite characters in the group. I know their “real” names are Ken the Eagle and Jun the Swan. But to me, they will always be…

Gatchaman

Mark and Princess

Princess…

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Princess…

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Oh, Princess…

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And while most of the scenes from Battle of the Planets have blended together in my mind into a fond memory with no real form over the decades, there is one sequence that is still burned clearly into my psyche…

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The original Gatchaman episode 40 was hacked up for North American audiences into a two parter called “The Fierce Flowers.” In the episode Princess had been swallowed by a woman-eating plant. (The Y-chromosone in a man’s blood actually kills the flowers). She survived thanks to a protective suit she was wearing according to the episodes story…though we don’t see any suit here. Whatever. You can work your way through the uncut Japanese/English subtitled version of the episode here. While Princess was trapped in the flower, she called out for Mark and struggled to free her hand, so she could get to her bracelet which would allow her to transform (or “transmute” as they said in the show) and use her powers to escape.

For some reason, this moment has never left my memory and is the foundation of my very first ship. I remember being so worried about Princess trapped in the stomach of that horrible plant and hoping Mark would get to her. Heh. I think I was about five years old at the time I saw this. I guess that makes this scene one of my many childhood traumas. Funny thing. After re-watching some of the episode, I saw that Mark doesn’t actually save her. The bad guys pull her out and are surprised to find a woman managed to survive inside one of their plants. The team saves her later when they crash their ship into the bad guys’ hideout preventing Princess from being killed in a mechanical and very tall version of an iron maiden.

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Did these two ever get together? I honestly don’t know. I hope so. But they were the very first step on the path that led me to this…

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And then decades later, I walk into an arcade here in Japan, and I see this poster and a warm chill (if there is such a thing), goes down my spine…

Begin and End

What are the odds I’d see my past and future in the same place?

More next time,

ryuxchunliproject@gmail.com

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