PHANTOMA

Phantoma was known as Ogon Bat / Golden Bat in Japan as every time he appeared, a bat appeared as well. It was produced in Japan in 1967 by TCJ (Telecartoons Japan) who did Gigantor and shown in Melbourne in April 1968 on channel 9 and again in July 1969 at 6.30am. 52 episodes were made, all in colour. Some of the episode titles are listed at the end. Phantoma was a creepyphantoma1.JPG (7633 bytes)  skeleton with a cape and septor and was the good guy fighting against evil. Not many people remember it, but those that do claim it as their favourite childhood show. As far as I know it never made it to the US.

Thanks to my high school mate Steve McCredie. The following information was written by Steve. He has a great memory of this show and others that he watched as a child.

PHANTAMAN was the series' American title, although the main character was only ever called Phantoma in the episodes. I believe his Japanese name translates to Golden Bat. He was a mysterious, probably supernatural character with a high collared cape and carried a short staff or stick with a knob at the end. This was capable of a few feats such as either attracting or firing bolts of energy; causing the earth to crack when rammed into it, etc.

phantoma3.JPG (8825 bytes)Phantoma himself, I think, only said a word in two of the series’ whole run. Mostly, he announced himself with a reverberating, spooky laugh which at most times threatened to get a bit out of control. This unnerved his opponents and didn’t necessarily cause his own side to feel very much at home with him either.

His head was a glinting-eyed skull. His body was muscular rather than skeletal but it had an armoured look with delineated ribs. Other than the cape, he appeared to wear only trunks.

The young lady who called Phantoma’s shots was a sweet young thing called Marie. As seems to begroup.JPG (10495 bytes) usual in these shows, she was part of a good-guy group headed by a dynamic middle aged professor and his dashing son (named Terry, who wore a dumb cap). There may have been others including the customary comic relief, but I don’t recall. Marie was, I believe, an orphan and potential girlfriend for Terry rather than a sibling.

ogonbatandbat.JPG (10953 bytes)When sufficient danger and hopelessness threatened, Marie would whine, "Phantoma help us, please help us" and after a few suspenseful seconds would appear, with tinkling noises, the big guy’s herald (or maybe it was himself); the "Little Golden Bat of Phantoma", which would flutter delicately about just begging to be shot at. Yet more suspenseful seconds later Phantoma would announce himself with his laugh-from-no-where, causing our oppressed heroes to get very smug all of a sudden, and their enemies to shit themselves. The bat would vanish and Phantoma would arrive. The bat, I think, might have roosted on Phantoma’s deltoid as a kind of tattoo.

A hero is defined by his enemies. Phantoma’s nemesis was Dr Zero, head of a travelling empire,Drzero.JPG (8105 bytes) ensconced in a whirling, cone- like tower which apparently travelled under the earth (nose-first) then drilled out into an upright position at a place of Zero’s choosing. Must have been hell on the crockery. In the manner of most would-be world conquerers, Zero was given to booming out his name ("ZEEEEEEEEEEEEEERO!!’) as an announcement of his arrival. This would be loudly broadcast for the appropriate terrorising of whatever humble village or facility now found itself with this large, unwanted neighbour.

Zero himself had no lower body. He hovered around in a mini flying saucer. He had metal pincers for one or both hands. His face was completely covered in a black hood (or maybe that was his face), featureless but for Batman-like ears and two pairs of evil, cat-like eyes of various colours, capable of firing death rays at his enemies (and many of his flunkies, when they displeased him, which was often).

gorgoanddrzero.JPG (8143 bytes)For every Mr Burns there is a Smithers: Zero had Gorgo, a sneering chap sporting David Bowie looks and a mean overhanging quiff. Gorgo was about the only one of Zero’s employees not to get blasted to death by his boss (and even that may have changed by the series’ end)

Said employees were masked, black-clad anonymous cannon-fodder, and I said this was as often for their boss’ target practice as for his opponents. I just hope the Christmas bonuses were pretty damn good at Tower Zero.

PHANTAMAN had a spooky instrumental theme. I can hum all the way through but don’t ask me to. I don’t do requests. (Steve McCredie)

Marcelo Lima from Brazil remembers watching it there as a child in 1973
"Phantoma is definetly a warrior from Atlantis: In the first episode, when he is found, the book that is used to reanimate him is written in some ancient dead   languages from the Island of Crete in Greece called Linear A-B. Nobody ever deciphered these two languages properly. You can also remember that the the ruins in the island where they land is certainly greek styled. I used to teach Linguistics and I really got amazed by the fact that the creator of the series actually went deep on some linguistic research to the point of using some actual characters of that language in the first episode. In some later episode Dr. Zero dreams about a battle with Phantoma and they both are wearing Spartan-Greek costumes.  Actually a pretty weird passage..."(Marcelo Lima)

Roberto Andrade Nogueira from Brazil also use to watch Phantoma as a child and remembers the scientists name being Dr.Steele, and the other big guy, who plays the funny part named Gabi.

Mauricio Korbman used to watch Phantoma in Mexico under the title“Fantasmagorico” (mauricio@korbman.com)

Sidney Massaru Oda from Brazil is also a big Phantoma fan. "Phantoma is a character created for "Kamishibai" or paper theatre, where a story would be told, while the story teller showed a sequence of drawings.  Ogon Bat was one of the most popular and famous characters and is part of the culture of the post - war Japan"    

Memories from Steve Outlook  (email- robbiepuss.kat@optusnet.com.au) 
I  thought about my recollections of Phantoma & remembered a couple of little things. Firstly, in the episode with a title revolving around the theme of
mushrooms, Dr. Zero had created a formula having transmuted people into grotesque pulsating mushroom humanoids that after eating soup or food with said formula and they were marked in weird spots etc and made a kind of Emus sound repeatedly ... of course, Phantoma saved the day, and everyone was cured ... The other thing I remembered, in an episode about the man-eating plant monsters ... these giant flowers were like normal white flowers in appearance, but the flower heads were the size of a Volks Wagon - Beatle car and opened their petals like star shaped jaws to devour their prey ... They would use their vines to lash out and grab people and swallow them whole. The white flowers would turn a gruesome red after absorbing blood etc from their victims! Fortunately, we didn't have a colour television! LOL It was pretty full on for a eight-year-old kid, but I was fascinated. The plants moved about the city like a car or tank ... Eeeesh! I'll never eat mushrooms or trust large white flowers again! hehehe!
*Forever whispers upon the wings of a golden bat!*
Steve from the Phantoma Warrior of Justice shrine!

Raymond Tucker from the U.S has a couple of books about Osamu Tezuka (in Japanese) which golden bat Tezuka2a.jpg (23125 bytes)mention an early manga of his called "Golden Bat".  It seems that the anime Phantoma of the 60's was based on Osamu Tezuka's Manga but Tezuka's 'Mushi Productions' weren't involved in the TV series production.  The pics below also from Raymond Tucker are more cartoony than the Phantoma TV series and include Mr Pompous from Astroboy.   Tezuka also used Pompous in some Kimba episodes and must have been one of his favourite characters..

The following information on The Golden Bat manga came from -John Cassidy (Daijirou Ryuusei) Ryuusei Productions Richmond, VA - JonRyusei@aol.com  http://www.crosswinds.net/~tatsuman/index.html
THE GOLDEN BAT was a pulp-fiction novel created in 1930 by Takeo Nagamatsu, making it Japan's first modern superhero! Osamu Tezuka's manga (I don't know when it was created, but probably in the 40s or 50s) is one of several VERSIONS of GOLDEN BAT, but is probably the earliest manga version of the character. Perhaps the most famous incarnation is done by popular comic-book artist Daiji Kazumine, which is the superheroic incarnation seen in the 1966 tokusatsu film and 1967 anime series (both by Toei)! Kazumine also did the manga versions of ULTRAMAN, ULTRA SEVEN and SPECTREMAN, and also did the obscure 8-MAN-like comic ELECTROID ARROW (DENJIN AROO).
Incidentally, in 1972, Toho Company Ltd. did a more comical and obscure tokusatsu version called OUGON BATTO GA YATTEKURU/THE GOLDEN BAT IS COMING. Here, the Golden Bat looked more comical. He still has the trademark skull head (which looked cartoony and comical), he wore fancy Shakespeare-like European garb with a cape and was fat.

Thanks to Frank Kaya ("Frank K" angfra@hotmail.com) for help with the Phantoma Episode Guide
Phantoma Episode Guide
1) The Secret Of Atlantis
2) Ice Terror
3) Slaverylazerbeam.JPG (7064 bytes)
4) The Giant Robot
5) Man Eating Plants
6) Mysterious Melons
7) The African Mystery
8) The Space Monster
9) The Golden Worm
10) The Battle Of Uranus Island
11) The Egptian Treasure
12) The Mystery Of The Exhilirating Mushrooms
13) The Snow Woman
14) The Black Cat
15) The Flying Saucer
16) Ghilton, The Man Of Stonezapped.JPG (8678 bytes)
17) Galgar The Monster
18) Titan The Terrible
19) Doctor Death
20) The Magic Pearl
21) The Blue Flame
22) The Dragon Stone
23) The Black MAsk
24) The Atomic Pearl
25) Invasion Of Robots
26) The Deadly Rays
27) The Trap
280 The Ghost Woman
29) The Space Bat
30) The Robot Olympics
31) The Ghost
32) Desert Of Death
33) The Invisible Monster
34) The Hands Of Death
35) The Monster Of The Volcano
36) The Factory Of Volcanoes
37) The Sea Monster
38) Island Of Terror
39) The Deadly Jungle
40) The Cursed Cloud
41) The The Secret Of Diamond
42) The Witch
43) The Cyclops
44) The Lion Man
45) The Trainer Of Monsters
46) The Witch And The Monster
47) The Ambush
48) The Society Of Assassins
49) Mysterious Vampire Men
50) The Circus Of Monsters
51) The Kidnapping Of Terry
52) The End Of Dr Zero

A live action version of Ogon Bat was produced by Toei in the mid 60's in B/W in Japanese only.Japanese Golden Bat Poster 01.JPG (45624 bytes)

The Koreans also produced their own low budget version with a comedy element in 1992 called "Young Gu Wa Han Kum Bachi" (Young Gu And The Golden Bat). Aliens from Andromeda (in store bought masks) come to Korea to attack and kidnap the locals to use in their experiments but are saved by the skull headed  protector 'Golden Bat'. (Thanks to Kelly Lannan for this info)

Phantoma colour pics

Phantoma Theme Song This is the one that aired in Australia in English

 

Narrator introducing the Phantoma Episode "Ice Terror" from Australian TV
(Thanks to Roger Lilley (email-rogl1@ozemail.com.au) who taped the audio off Melbourne tv in the early 70's)

Burr Middleton  provide the voice for the narration/bumpers of  Phantoma (that’s his voice on the sound clip posted aabove.  He confirmed it).

LINKS
Phantoma Home Page (By Frank Kaya)


Anime del ayer" (anime from the past) 

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