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[Thank you, Saturn, for the screencaps!]

Gatchaman Episode 80: “Come back! Boomerang”

BOTP Episode: “Panic of the Peacock”


 


As many do, this episode begins with Berg Katse standing before Leader X.


 


“Until now, I’ve overlooked your failures,” Leader X tells him. Really? I think you’ve chewed him out on many occasions, Leader X. But then again, perhaps “overlooked” here means “I haven’t gotten rid of you.”

“But if things continue to deteriorate,” continues Leader X, “Even I won’t rescue you.” (In the subs it’s “Even I won’t be able to cover for you.”)

“Oh no!” cries Katse, pleading for Leader X to be merciful.

“The commanders and captains of Galactor,” replies Leader X, “may conspire to assassinate you! They feel new leadership is in order…”

Now this is interesting. We rarely get any insight into how the higher ranking Galactor members feel about Berg Katse, or what the Galactor protocol is for making a change in leadership (apparently it’s not holding an election!) Has Leader X been eavesdropping on the commanders and captains or are they able to bypass Katse and take their gripes straight to him?

“What, Sire?” counters Katse, waving his arms empatically, “What in the world can they do? All they’re capable of is training useless minions!”

“Silence!” yells Leader X, “Can you truly blame them for your mistakes?”

(I rather think he can, Leader X –that’s what he’s doing.)

“No Sire, I suppose not,” says Katse, now clutching his chin a bit anxiously.

“You are the only one on Earth who knows my secret,” continues Leader X, “And I’m the only one on Earth who knows who you are as well.”

(I think that translates as “job security” for you, Katse -barring assassination by commanders and captains. This is likely why Leader X overlooks your failures.)

Katse is puzzled as to why Leader X is saying this.

“Because we depend on one another, Katse,” clarifies Leader X, “It would be a shame to see your demise. That is why you must carry out your ambitions, no matter the cost!”

(“And save your honor,” he adds in the subs.”)

“But Leader, to be honest with you,” says Katse now, “I’m fed up with having to lead such lousy minions into battle.”

(Yup, Katse really does blame them for his mistakes.)

“How dare you? Have you forgotten your place?” says Leader X, with some extra vehemence. And then his eyes turn red and suddenly begin emitting intense waves of glowing, yellow energy.


 


Katse is struck by these waves of energy and he cries out in anguish, cringing on his knees, trying to cover his eyes with one hand and then clutching his head. He’s wailing to Leader X that he’s sorry, that he’ll destroy the Science Ninja Team, and begging to be spared.


 


At last, the energy stops beaming from Leader X’s eyes and they revert from red to their normal yellow color.

“Did you like that, Katse?” he says, “Did it cut you to the bone?” Yes, Leader X is sadistic. He also notes that this energy seems to have “quite an effect, even on you.” (It’s “even on a special person like you,” in the subs –presumably a reference to Katse’s mutant hermaphrodite status.)

Katse, still holding his head with one hand, beads of sweat all over his face, remarks that it’s clearly not an ordinary laser.

It certainly isn’t. Leader X declares it’s a “special laser that can drive a person mad!” He goes on to explain that Galactor’s new mecha is going to be equipped with it.

Now Katse gets all huffy, folding his arms and turning his nose up and to the side. “That figures,” he says, “He felt like punishing me, so I was his guinea pig –what a brute…”

“Stop muttering!” orders Leader X, also ordering Katse to deploy the new mecha and destroy the Science Ninja Team.

Katse, kneeling and bowing, assures Leader X that he’ll “make it happen.”

“Don’t show your face until you’ve succeeded,” are Leader X’s parting words as he fades to darkness on his screen.

Next we cut to a scenic view of a building that’s virtually identical to the Taj Mahal in India.


 


In the park-like area in front of it, visitors and tourist types are milling around, as are a large number of peacocks. The narrator informs us however, that as much as this resembles India, it is the country of Asham, “a beautiful country rich with nature.”
The narrator also explains that peacocks are Asham’s national bird and are allowed to wander around freely, much to the enjoyment of the many tourists who come “from far and wide.” While he’s explaining all this, we see scenes of tourists posing with the peacocks for photos, artists painting pictures of them etc.

And there’s a small boy who’s trying to feed one particular peacock. He holds out a handful of… something but the peacock turns its head disdainfully and starts walking away.


 


The brat kid, peeved that his offering is being rejected, decides to keep the peacock in place by stomping on its tail. At least his mother is close at hand and she pulls her son away, halting his abuse.


 


This peacock, however, wants revenge. It raises its tail, spreading it fully.

The small boy (who could perhaps pass as a younger version of Jinpei) thinks it’s “pretty,” but his mother remarks that it looks upset.

Indeed it is! A brief glint of light from its eyes now startles the boy. This peacock is now flanked by several others (all with tails aloft) and they all begin beaming from their eyes the same sort of energy that Leader X had used on Katse –and they’re aiming it at the boy and his mother.


 

 


They both cry out in pain and fear, and then collapse to the ground. When they look up again, both mother and son have crazed and hostile expressions on their faces, and are growling.


 


People in the vicinity, seeing what’s happened all react with shock and horror.

As panic begins to set in, more peacocks raise and spread their tails and they all begin targeting everyone in the vicinity with the energy beams from their eyes. Everyone is screaming now, clutching their heads, and falling to the ground but they have nowhere to go –the peacocks have them completely surrounded.


 


It soon becomes apparent from the expressions we’re seeing on some of the people’s faces that they’re all going mad, just like the boy and his mother. The peacocks now stop their bombardment, but the people are all still crazed and running off as a mob.


 


Now we see Katse, inside the new mecha presumably, with a goon on either side of him. He’s watching, on a screen, footage of the crazed mob all running down a city street.

“A success,” he declares, “Now send the order to their brains and make them attack the Prime Minister’s place so Gatchaman and the others will come running.”

The plan is to kill all the Science Ninjas when the opportune moment arises.

A goon complies and turns a dial on his console, causing a wiggly line to appear on an oscilloscope-like instrument’s screen. We hear the high pitched sound of a frequency increasing in intensity.

Next we see the large gates to the Prime Minister’s residence, and the crazed mob is there now, and is still being bombarded with the new orders from Galactor. They’re all attempting to storm the gates and some are managing to climb over them. Many of them are carrying guns.

We get a montage now of still images of the chaos that ensues, as a battle breaks out between guards and policeman and the crazed mob. Fighting, shooting, explosions, and numerous casualties –on both sides- result. The final image is of the residence, devastated and in flames.

Now we see that this image is on a screen being viewed by Dr. Nambu and the five Ninjas who are all standing behind him. It looks like they’re at the Crescent Coral Base.


 


Dr. Nambu stands up and turns to face them, saying “How could more than one hundred people become instantaneously violent?”

Ken suspects that someone is “pulling the strings from behind the scenes.” Ryu declares that it’s “probably Galactor, as usual.”

Holding his chin pensively, Dr. Nambu notes that, regardless, Asham’s Prime Minister is “in mortal danger,” and adds that “corpses of tourists show signs of having been hit with a delirium beam.” Yeah, that’ll ruin a person’s vacation for sure.

“A delirium beam?” asks Ken, looking like this is something new for him.

This post has been edited 2 time(s), it was last edited by lborgia88 on 07-06-2010 at 18:05.
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“A beam that penetrates the optical nerves and scrambles the brain,” explains Jun helpfully.

Jinpei declares that “This kid is keeping his eyes closed!” Ryu points out the logistical disadvantages of this strategy, so Jinpei retorts that his birdstyle’s visor will protect him then. Ryu’s not so sure that’ll work.

Dr. Nambu, however, is worrying about how more than a hundred people could have been simultaneously inflicted with a delirium beam.

“Only Galactor has the power to pull such a diabolical trick,” insists a scowling Joe.

Dr. Nambu concurs, and orders them to infiltrate Asham in two groups –Jinpei with Ken, and Joe, Jun and Ryu. He doesn’t offer any explanation for why he’s chosen these particular groupings, though Ken doesn’t usually pair up with Jinpei.

Joe, Jun and Ryu are instructed to investigate the Prime Minister’s residence, while Ken and Jinpei are to “take the city.”

Everyone gives a group salute and a “Roger!”

Next, we’re in Asham and it’s nighttime, as demonstrated by a view of a crescent moon in a dark sky over a city of minaretted buildings. All is quiet now, and in a main square, Jinpei is sitting on the edge of a large fountain that features a giant peacock sculpture while Ken stands nearby.


 


Jinpei is complaining about their apparent inability to find any clues, and grousing that “laser beams are invisible.”

“Come on, stop your whining and search,” is Ken’s response, adding “This thing managed to fire a beam at a large crowd, so it’s got to be here.”

Jinpei protests that they’ve already investigated “all the suspicious places,” but Ken raises a hand to shush him.

What’s got Ken’s attention now is the faint sounds coming from the numerous peacocks that are all around, roosting on and in front of various buildings.

Now Jinpei notices them too. Animal lover that he is, he stands up excitedly, commenting on how many of them there are.

“According to the customs of this country, peacocks are kept loose and really doted on as the national bird,” explains Ken –perhaps he read up on Asham before their arrival there.

Grinning mischievously, Jinpei scampers over to the nearest peacock and takes hold of one of its tail feathers. “I’ve always wanted one of these,” he says.


 


It doesn’t seem to occur to Jinpei, though, that the peacock here has prior claim to its own feathers! He gives it a yank –in fact he really has to yank- but as he falls over backwards, he’s triumphantly holding the feather. Well, for a second anyway –then he scowls at it suspiciously.


 


Ken comes up behind him, scolding him for his feather-plucking antics, but Jinpei’s not listening.

“Doesn’t this feather look kind of strange to you?” he asks Ken, handing it to him.

Ken studies it, and realizes that it’s a synthetic feather, but “made to look real.”


 


Two peacocks approach and scrutinize Jinpei. Alarmed now, he leaps towards Ken nervously. As Ken declares, “These peacocks are mecha, Jinpei!” we see that they’re being surrounded now by them, all holding their tails aloft and spread.

From inside the main mecha (wherever it is), Katse is watching all this on a screen. “I knew you’d show up, Gatchaman,” he gloats, “Now you’ll pay!”

 


With that, all the peacocks begin firing delirium beams at Ken and Jinpei.

“Oh no!” cries Ken, “It’s a trap! Run, Jinpei! Run!”


 


Jinpei’s either too overcome to move, or doesn’t want to leave Ken. Now Ken shouts “Go!” and gives Jinpei a hard shove.


 


The peacocks are still blasting their beams and Jinpei and Ken are both still getting bombarded. So now Ken hurls himself at Jinpei, shoving with both hands. This time Jinpei goes flying, clear beyond the surrounding circle of peacocks. He lands directly on top of a manhole cover on a pivot, and then falls into the pipe below and disappears from sight completely as the manhole cover flips into its closed position again.


 


So, Ken has saved Jinpei but he himself is now sprawled on the ground, eyes clenched shut and face sweating and grimacing in pain, even as the delirium beams cease.

Ken looks up now at the fountain’s giant peacock sculpture, just in time to see that its façade is cracking and crumbling away to reveal a giant peacock mecha. It glares at Ken menacingly.


 


Well, now we know where the mecha containing Katse is located –right in front of Ken. Inside it, Katse gloats that Gatchaman has fallen into his trap.

Ken, sweating and struggling, manages to stand up again. Peacocks begin diving at him from all directions but he manages to evade them and stagger towards a cement-mixing truck.


 


As more peacocks lunge towards him, with a cry of alarm Ken manages to get inside the truck and slam the door fast. Thwarted, the peacocks collide with the window, beaks first, and fall away, leaving cracks in the window.

Oh so conveniently (and fortunately for Ken), some negligent construction worker has left a key in the truck’s ignition.


 


So, the guy who, a few minutes earlier, was scolding Jinpei for stealing a peacock feather is now himself stealing a cement-mixing truck. But under the circumstances, who could blame him?

Still sweating and looking like he’s far from being in top form, Ken starts driving away from the square, down one of the streets. Observing this from his peacock mecha, Katse orders a pursuit, and the peacock mecha takes to the air.


 


Now, I find myself wondering if real peacocks can actually fly. But apparently they can:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ys5UD-LIOUk

At least for short distances.

The peacock mecha, however, keeps on flying, gaining on Ken. Meanwhile, a somewhat groggy-looking Jinpei climbs out of the sewer pipe where he’d been concealed. But he quickly stands up and seems to be okay now. “Big brother’s in big danger!” he cries now, staring, and he takes off at a fast run.

The peacock mecha has almost caught up to Ken now.


 


In the driver’s seat, Ken is still sweating, his teeth bared and clenched, as the mecha now looms above him.

Inside the mecha, Katse cackles triumphantly, “Your luck’s finally run out, Gatchaman! Now die!”

At these words, a goon fires two regular laser beams at the cement-mixing truck (one from each of the mecha’s eyes). An explosion erupts on each side of the truck, and flames pour forth. Ken loses control of the truck and it crashes into a building.


 


Now the truck is really on fire, but inside it, Ken is slumped over the steering wheel, unmoving.


 


Without further ado, the peacock mecha grabs the entire burning truck with its feet and flies off into the night.


 


By the time Jinpei reaches the crash site, the mecha and the truck are long gone. “Big bro!” gasps Jinpei anxiously. Jinpei then sees Ken’s boomerang lying on the ground, amid some scraps from the damaged truck and he immediately assumes the worst.

He picks up the charred-looking boomerang with trembling hands and stares at it as tears well up in his eyes.


 


He then drops to his knees, throws back his head and wails “My Big Brother’s dead for real this time! He’s as dead as dead can be!” He then collapses on the ground, sobbing.

The image of the grieving Swallow fades, replaced by the image of Ken’s boomerang lying on a table at the Crescent Base. Jinpei is still sobbing miserably.


 

This post has been edited 2 time(s), it was last edited by lborgia88 on 07-06-2010 at 06:50.
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Jinpei is now receiving a Condor glare and a sternly worded “Jinpei, stop crying like a baby! We still don’t know if Ken is really dead.”

“But Bro Joe,” replies Jinpei, wiping his nose with his hand and peering up, “No one could survive that kind of explosion.” So, Jinpei throws his head back again and really lets forth a wail of grief.


 


Ryu attempts to point out that no one has seen Ken’s dead body but only gets a “You’re an idiot, Ryu!” for his pains. “Obviously he got blown away when the truck exploded!” continues Jinpei, burying his face in his hands and sobbing some more.

Jun, head bowed and eyes closed, now puts a comforting hand on Jinpei’s shoulder, and Joe too has closed his eyes and bowed his head in commiseration with Jinpei. Clearly none of them are too certain that Ken’s okay.

But suddenly one of the view screens on the wall activates, startling everyone.

It’s Katse, chortling evilly.


 


Everyone looks up in dismay.


 


Katse now declares that he has “wonderful news” –Galactor has captured Gatchaman at last, and he’s going to prove it to them.

The image on the screen now changes to a view of the damaged cement-mixing truck, and Ken is visible inside it, still slumped over the steering wheel.


 


The four Ninjas and Dr. Nambu all react in horror. “Ken, get up! Get up!” gasps Ryu.

“I’m going to enjoy ending Gatchaman’s life,” gloats Katse, and with these words, a large drill suddenly descends over the truck and begins drilling into it.


 


Then a swinging wrecking ball smashes into the truck.


 


Then a mechanical arm tears a chunk away from the front of the truck.


 


As the Ninjas look on, the truck continues to be demolished from all sides.


 


All we hear are smashing noises, but clearly what Jun and Jinpei are seeing isn’t good.


 


Joe, Ryu and Dr. Nambu also stare in helpless anguish and disbelief.


We get another glimpse of the truck being battered to bits before the screen reverts to a laughing Berg Katse.

“Anyone who wants to see more, come to Asham in the God Phoenix,” says Katse, “I’ll let you take pieces of Gatchaman’s body and scraps of the truck as souvenirs.” With a mocking farewell, his image cuts out and the screen goes blank.

Four distraught and shaken Ninjas, plus Dr. Nambu, are still staring at the screen.

Jinpei begins sobbing again. Now Jun buries her face in her arms, on the table, and begins crying too.

Joe is shaking, whispering, “Ken… Ken’s dead.” He clenches his hands and lifts them over his head, crying “Ken, we will… we will avenge your death!”


 


Then he smashes his hands down on the table with a cry of rage.

Meanwhile, at the truck itself, the wrecking ball is smashing into it again and again. However, what this has done is cause the seat that Ken’s sitting on, and the truck itself, to crack apart inside and Ken falls back through this new gap.


 


He lands on the floor, underneath the truck, even as the drill pierces the truck completely and strikes the floor close to Ken’s head. However, Ken is now conscious again at last. Ken gets up and looks through the hole left by the retreating drill. What he sees is the mechanical arm swooping in towards the truck and he cries out in alarm.

Our view of Ken cuts away abruptly, and what we see is the mechanical arm smashing the front of the truck (where Ken had just been) and now the truck is pretty much demolished completely.


 


Katse, at the helm of the vehicle that’s wielding the wrecking ball, declares “I’ve finally bashed in that bird’s brains! Now the door to Leader Z is open to me!” (reminding us of the higher rank that Leader X had once promised he’d receive if he killed Gatchaman.)


 


The peacock mecha flies through the sky, to the accompaniment of Katse’s victorious laughter.


Commercial Break!


We get an exterior view of the Crescent Coral Base, where the fish are tranquilly swimming by, but inside, gloom and despair prevail.

Jun is trying to comfort Jinpei, while Joe averts his face from them all.


 


Ryu’s not doing much better.


 


Dr. Nambu is also turned away, facing the undersea window.


 


“Red Impulse,” he thinks, “What can I possibly say to apologize to you?” as, in his mind, he sees his image in the window’s glass.


 


Don’t feel too bad there, Dr. Nambu. Red Impulse was as aware as anyone could be of the risks Ken faced, but he never objected to you making his son the leader of the Science Ninjas and sending him against Galactor.

Now a phone on the wall begins chiming and Dr. Nambu answers it. He says “Yes, this is Nambu,” but then his eyes quaver in alarm. He hangs up the phone again, looking grim.

He turns to the others, clearly not happy about what he has to tell them.


 


“Galactor’s mecha has shown up in Asham,” he tells them, eyes closed, “I suspect that they’re after the Prime Minister this time. You’ll move out right away to protect him.”

“But Doctor!” gasps Jun, even as Jinpei protests “I don’t want to! I don’t feel like going now!”

“Me neither,” adds Ryu, raising his head to reveal a teary face.

Joe’s expression is grim but he says nothing.

“Oh, Ken…” whispers Jun.

Dr. Nambu tells them he understands how they feel, “But you are the Science Ninja Team and have a job to do!” (In the subs, it’s the rather more dictatorial “You can’t disobey my orders!”)

Jinpei is looking very disobedient though.

“Well maybe someone else can be the Science Ninja Team this time for a change!” he yells, tears still streaming from his eyes.

But a hand grabs the back of his shirt, cutting off his grieving tirade.

It’s Joe’s hand.

“Let’s go, Jinpei,” declares Joe. “No! I don’t want to!” yells Jinpei, waving a defiant fist, but Joe barks “Come on!” and really gives Jinpei a yank.

This gets through to Jinpei; he falls silent and stops struggling.


 


“Forget the mission, kid,” says Joe now, in a quieter voice, “We’re going to avenge Ken’s death.”

Jinpei’s eyes briefly widen and he gasps slightly as he considers this perspective, then he glances back at Joe. “Okay,” he says, looking a whole lot more enthusiastic, even through his tears.

“In that case, you can count me in!” declares Ryu firmly and he moves for the door. Joe and Jinpei have already left.


 


“Yeah, me too, Doc!” adds Jun, and she runs after Ryu.

So, everyone has embraced Joe’s philosophy of vengeance, and he has accomplished his second-in-command duty of stepping up and rallying the Team in the face of their leader’s apparent death.

Dr. Nambu is moved too.

“Jun, you forgot something,” Dr. Nambu calls after her and as she pauses and turns, he tosses Ken’s boomerang to her.


 


“Give ‘em hell for Ken too!” declares Dr. Nambu. She briefly acknowledges this sentiment, understanding in her eyes, before she dashes off after the others.

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The God Phoenix departs the Crescent Coral Base and takes to the skies above.

Meanwhile, in Asham, the peacock mecha is blasting the Prime Minister’s residence with the laser beams from its eyes (as well as the security forces that are attempting to fire on the mecha). Inside, the Prime Minister is frightened and being rained with debris from the damage.


 


“Where is the Science Ninja Team?” cries the Prime Minister as his window shatters and the peacock mecha swoops past outside.

Notice he doesn’t ask “Where are the UN fighter jets?” Probably because he knows they won’t be able to do him any good.

A bunch of them come flying in now, heading towards the peacock mecha. The mecha unfolds its tail even as the jets’ missiles speed towards it.


 


The missiles strike the mecha and explode, but they don’t do any damage. Now it’s the peacock mecha’s turn to blast the jets with the laser beams from its eyes, and it destroys them all. Those not instantly incinerated crash to the ground and burn there.

Now UN tanks have rolled in, and they start firing on the mecha too. Their weapons are useless against it too, and the mecha starts flapping its wings, creating powerful wind that topples over some of the tanks and causes them to explode. The rest, it hits with laser beams and destroys them as well.

But now, the God Phoenix swoops past the mecha.

On the mecha’s bridge, a goon reports its arrival to Katse. Katse is pleased at this news, intending for the rest of the Team to share Gatchaman’s fate. He orders the delirium beam to be fired now on the God Phoenix.

A goon turns a dial, and the wavy line on the instrument panel appears. Soon, the peacock mecha is emitting the delirium beam.


 


The God Phoenix is bombarded with its waves, and the Ninjas all begin to succumb.


 

“What the hell is this?” cries Ryu. “My head!” cries Jinpei, clutching Jun.


 


Straining with effort, Joe manages to yell to Ryu to bring down the shutters on the main view screen. Ryu, suffering himself, protests that that will leave him flying blind.

“There’s no other way!” shouts Joe, “My head! My head hurts bad, Ryu –hurry!”

Ryu complies, the viewscreen goes dark and now they’re safe from the delirium beam’s insanity-inducing effects.


 


But they’re not safe. They can’t see where they’re going and the beam is still causing structural damage to the God Phoenix.

Jinpei gasps as the radar screen cracks and some light from the delirium beam gets through. “At this rate, the God Phoenix will be destroyed!” declares Jun anxiously as the ceiling starts cracking.


 


Ryu insists there’s nothing to do, as long as the screen is off.

“We’re going to have to make an emergency landing!” retorts Joe, still clutching his head.

In the subs, Ryu says “I’m not taking any responsibility for this!” but in the dub he just cries “Yeeahh!” and takes the God Phoenix into a dive.

Unfortunately, the peacock mecha follows, still bombarding the God Phoenix with the delirium beam. However, the mecha’s steep dive causes the remains of the cement-mixing truck to slide across the floor of the large room where it had been demolished.

In the blink of an eye, a shadowy, winged figure leaps from the remains of the truck, towards the ceiling.

On the bridge of the mecha, Katse is getting impatient, and orders a goon to fire the regular laser beams at the God Phoenix.

The goon takes aim…


 


But when the goon fires the laser, the entire console explodes!


 


“What’s going on?” gasps Katse, also knocked down by the blast.

“I have no idea,” replies the singed-looking goon, “For some reason the laser beam won’t fire!”


 


Katse, standing up, declares angrily that the circuits are malfunctioning. “Don’t I always tell you to keep up with the maintenance schedule?”

Yes, Katse blames his minions for all mistakes.

Suddenly Katse gasps and turns, hearing the eerie whistle that is Gatchaman’s song. The goons are unnerved by this too.

“Dare da?” demands Katse. Hey, he knows the lyrics!


 


For the subs and the dub actor, it’s “Who’s there?” Katse, clearly very alarmed, starts running to the room where Gatchaman was supposed to have been squashed dead. Once there, with a brief glance he takes in that the remains of the truck have slid across the floor and he starts looking all around.

“Where’s it coming from?” whispers one of the goons who’ve accompanied Katse.

“Show yourself!” yells Katse angrily.

All the goons gasp as the drill bit descends from the ceiling once again, and this time, there’s a white-winged figure concealed upon it. As soon as the drill bit stops descending, Ken moves into a position where they can see him fully.


 


“Gatchaman! You’re alive!” cries Katse, appalled.

Alive, and still carrying the feather that Jinpei had pulled out of that peacock’s tail.


 


“I’m the white eagle who will always return,” says Ken (as best he can with a feather between his teeth), “Even from hell, Galactor!” Now he abandons his crouch for a more dramatic, upright stance and he takes the feather in one hand, finishing with a cry of “Science Ninja Team, Gatchaman!”

Katse realizes now that it was Gatchaman who sabotaged the laser beam circuits, and he orders the goons to open fire on him with their machine guns.

Even as they do, Ken leaps from the drill bit. Soaring, he hurls the peacock feather and it strikes three goons across their necks and takes them down.

Either its synthetic nature gives it some unusual properties or he’s made some modifications to it. Somehow, though, I can’t see Joe wanting to use peacock feathers for his shuriken, even if they have advantages.

On the floor now, Ken breaks into a whirl of kicking, clobbering and bullet-dodging, taking out goons left and right.


 


And he turns a row of cartwheels too. Meanwhile, Katse is back at the controls for the wrecking ball.

“Time to die, Gatchaman!” he yells, “Balls to the wall, baby!” (Yes, that’s ADV’s dub reinterpretation of “I’ll squash you for sure this time!”)

Ken, however, refrains from obligingly standing still and getting squashed. He’s got a goon up against the wall for some pummeling but he sees the wrecking ball coming and leaps out of the way. The unfortunate, and less agile goon emits a cry of terror and gets squashed most graphically though (only his hands are left showing around the edges of the wrecking ball as it crushes into the wall –yeah, that won’t be in the BOTP version!)

But now the drill bit starts rotating and coming after Ken, along with the mechanical grabbing arm. Ken has to move fast, but has a close call with the drill bit.


 


“Just die, for crying out loud!” hisses a very frustrated Katse, sending all three destructive devices at Ken simultaneously.

From his vantage, it sure looks like he’s succeeded in crushing Ken, and he raises his hands in excitement, crying “I really killed him this time!” and cheering.

But now we see what’s really happened. Katse has bashed a hole clean through the floor and what is below is open air. Ken is now outside the mecha, and beneath the wrecking ball, clinging with his hands to the jagged hole’s edge.


 

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Ken is straining to hang on but can’t manage it –his grip gives way and he falls…

But, he manages to land on one of the peacock mecha’s feet.


 


Maybe if he knew that they all thought he was dead, he’d contact Jun first, but as it is, hierarchy prevails and he contacts Joe.


 


“Joe! Joe, can you hear me?”

On the bridge of the God Phoenix, Joe cries “It’s Ken!” as his voice comes through Joe’s bracelet. (And it seems that Ken’s sabotage stopped the delirium beam too –the God Phoenix is no longer shaking and cracking apart.)


 


“What, are you serious?” demands Ryu.

“No way,” whispers Jun, as Jinpei adds anxiously “Unless it’s his ghost or something.”

“Don’t be silly, I’m not a ghost!” declares Ken’s voice, coming through Joe’s bracelet, “Gatchaman is invincible.”

“Invincible, my foot!” retorts Joe, “You had us worried to death!”

Even as I’m rolling my eyes here at the dub’s “my foot!” I’m laughing at the subs, which say “You had us all worried! Invincible, my butt!”

I’m not sure which is worse -“my foot!” or “my butt!” Why, oh why couldn’t they just use “my ass!”?

“It’s really you, Ken,” says Jun softly, bypassing Joe’s bracelet and speaking directly into her own, with a tear running down her cheek, “You’re alive!”


 


“Wow!” says Jinpei, rushing over to Jun and staring happily at her bracelet, “It’s a real miracle!”

But Ken is still all business. “Yeah, anyway, Joe -hurry up and shoot a super bird missile into the peacock devil!”

“So that’s where you are now,” replies Joe, “Way to go, my man.” Joe never needs any encouragement to fire missiles.

“But if we fire on the mecha, won’t it put you in danger too?” asks Ryu, raining on Joe’s parade.

Ken orders them not to worry about him –just set a time dial on the bomb to give him time to escape.

Joe turns to the Team’s demolitions expert and says “Jun, it’s all yours.”

 


“Right,” she says, and runs from the bridge. Elsewhere in the God Phoenix, she goes up to one of the super bird missiles.


 


And she attaches and sets a time dial.


 


“Ken, you’re alive… A present from me,” she thinks to herself as she stares at the time dial with intense emotion visible in her face. Now, most people wouldn’t think of a timer on a bomb as an especially affectionate gift, but I think Ken would know what she means. It’s up to her to use her experience and skill to decide how to give Ken just enough time to escape the mecha without allowing enough time for anyone there to remove or disarm the missile. In a sense, she’s giving Ken life, at a time when she’d just been believing he had none.


 


Jun runs back to the bridge, where Ryu is declaring “All right, we’re going into battle mode!”

His dramatic moment is somewhat undercut when he opens the viewscreen again and goes “Ahhh!” as he realizes they’re about to collide with a mountain range. Quickly, he pulls up on the controls, just in the nick of time, and brings them around.

Joe has his finger poised over the shiny red button, waiting for the opportune moment, and they're nearing the peacock mecha.


 


Joe fires and the missile shoots towards the mecha.


 


The missile pierces the wall of the mecha, right into its bridge, and stays lodged there. Katse is sent tumbling across the room by its impact.

The goons are frantically noting that it’s a missile, that it’s going to explode, and that they all need to get out of there.

“You pathetic fools,” snarls Katse, “It’s a dud. Hurry up and get rid of it!”

These goons are far from convinced that it’s a dud, and Katse turning to leave the room probably isn’t reassuring them any. They try to cling to him.


 


Ignoring their (very justifiable!) pleas of “Lord Katse, where are you going?” and “You’re not going to leave us again, are you?” Katse throws them off and runs from the room.

“Check your job description,” barks Katse callously as yet more goons try without success to get into an elevator with him, “It’s ‘fight to the end,’ and this is the end!”

A panicked cry of “How can you say that? Take us with you! Take us with you!” is the last that Katse hears as the elevator to his escape ship closes.

Meanwhile, Ken is still managing to cling to the mecha’s foot, but the mecha appears to be descending rapidly towards the ground now, and Ken is sweating anxiously.

“I hope it’ll make it on time,” he thinks to himself, as we see what he’s thinking about –the time dial that Jun put on the super bird missile, still counting down.

On the bridge of the God Phoenix, everyone is silent and tense, watching…

The peacock mecha is trembling now as it flies, clearly in mechanical distress. Katse is inside his escape ship now, and he departs, via the mecha’s beak.


 

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From his precarious position on the mecha’s foot, Ken sees Katse’s ship getting away.

“Katse’s escaping!”


 


But Ken immediately has more pressing concerns –the mecha is nearly about to hit the ground.


 


I’m not sure why Ken couldn’t have jumped clear of the mecha while it was still much higher in the air, and used his cape’s wings to soar down to the ground or to the God Phoenix’s dome. I can only surmise that either he’s still feeling like crap from the delirium beam and possibly from injuries from all the abuse he’s endured in this episode, and doesn’t believe he’s up for it, or that he feels duty bound to stay with the mecha in case the missile gets disarmed before it detonates and other means become necessary to ensure the mecha’s destruction. Of course, the real reason is that it’s more dramatic this way, and I can buy that.

And the mecha hits the ground beak-first in a sandy, desert-like area. Inside the bridge, goons go flying. Outside, Ken goes flying from the mecha’s foot and hits the sand hard. But he gets to his feet quickly and starts running as fast as he can…


 


We see the time dial, still ticking down… And Ken is still running. Then, he sees that he’s nearing a bank in the sand and he hurls himself forward.

Just at that moment, the missile explodes. The impact of the explosion rips through the mecha (and through goons) and it is all completely destroyed, sending wreckage in all directions and a massive fireball into the sky above.


 


But Ken is okay, hunkered down on the sand as fierce wind from the explosion rips past him.

On his escape ship, Katse growls “Damn that Gatchaman brat!” before wailing despairingly “How am I going to explain this fiasco to Leader X?”


 


Ken now lifts up his head, scattering the sand that had accrued on him. He’s angry and pounds the sand with one fist.

“Damn it! Berg Katse got away from me again!”

Now we see that the God Phoenix is parked some distance from the still-burning remains of the peacock mecha and everyone is outside.

Everyone is looking around, and Jinpei and Jun are calling for Ken. Jinpei spots him first.

“Hey, he’s right over there!” cries Jinpei happily, pointing.


 


With nary a second’s delay, Jun takes off running, calling out Ken’s name. Jinpei is all set to follow her, but Ryu grabs hold of him.


 


“Hang on, Jinpei,” says Ryu, gentle chastisement in his voice. (In the subs he says “Jinpei, you know better.”) Joe doesn’t say anything.

So, Jun is the one who approaches Ken.


 


She stops about five feet away from him, and neither speaks but both their faces are revealing some strong emotions.


 

 


Now Jun, tears in her eyes, holds out Ken’s boomerang (all cleaned and shiny) and a tear from her eye falls on it and briefly glints.


 


“Lose something?” she whispers. (It’s “I kept this as a memento of you,” in the subs.)


 


Then she tosses it to Ken, who catches it, spins it briefly in his hand and puts in back in its holster.


 


Watching from a distance, Jinpei and Ryu are obviously very moved (and are rubbing their noses) although Joe is poker-faced.


 


It’s interesting that the previous episode, #79, had Ken symbolically (if not literally) renouncing romance in lieu of duty on the train at the end, when he didn’t acknowledge Rumi. Now this episode makes it quite clear that there are some special feelings between Jun and Ken, and that the other Ninjas are aware of this too (and don’t disapprove). Perhaps this was the writers’ way of telling viewers “Yes, there’s something between Ken and Jun but, no, but don’t start expecting any love scenes.”

“Gatchaman managed to survive Galactor’s ferocious trap and return from hell,” the narrator says, “and he’ll stand up against Galactor again, for the sake of world peace.”


 


The end.

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Battle of the Planets Episode: Panic of the Peacock

We open with an exterior view of Center Neptune.

“Here at Center Neptune, far below the sea,” says Zark’s voice (followed by Zark himself as we cut to his room), “We keep constant watch on the entire Milky Way galaxy, to guard against attacks by space pirates and alien invaders –like those from planet Spectra.”

Now Zark draws our attention to an image of Mark’s head, in his G-Force uniform, on one of his monitor screens.

“That young man is Mark, the Commander of G-Force,” Zark informs us (and in so doing, reveals that this is one of the earliest BOTP episodes made), “A team of five incredible, highly specialized young people who protect and keep the peace in our galaxy.”

Zark goes on to explain that he’s never met Mark personally (that will change…) but that he hopes to one day soon.

“They just don’t like us to become too close and emotionally involved,” bemoans Zark, holding up his hands, before adding “But I am anyway, no matter how they program me.”

He thinks of G-Force as his family, he tells us, and his voice actually quavers a little as he adds, “It’s the only one I’ve ever had.”

But then he remembers that he has some unemotional work to be doing, announcing that he’d better “check my scanners to see if there’s any new villainy Zoltar is up to on planet Spectra.”

So now we cut to the Luminous One (except here, Zoltar calls him “Supreme Spirit,” “Exalted Spirit,” “Great Spirit,” “Most Powerful One,” “Light of Wisdom” and “Infinite Power” –I’m guessing the title “Luminous One” came later –perhaps in an attempt to make him seem less like some pagan religious deity and more like a tangible entity?)

“You have failed us once too often, Zoltar,” says the Luminous One. (“Us”? Is this akin to the royal “we”? Or is this a reference to all the people of Spectra? Heck, maybe L.O. here is the chair of some Board of Directors or pantheon.) “I may be forced to replace you with a younger and more zealous leader,” he continues.

“Please!” says Zoltar, lifting his head to stare anxiously at him.

“I have given you the most powerful weapons in the galaxy,” replies the Luminous One, “Yet you have not succeeded in conquering Earth.”

Zoltar insists that he’s tried, and that he’s “used cunning and trickery,” (he waves his arms here for emphasis), “But G-Force confounds us!”

“G-Force, that is always your excuse, Zoltar,” counters the Luminous One.

Zoltar holds his chin, perhaps pondering the truth in this, before replying “If only we had a superior weapon.”

(Hmm, so Zoltar blames his weapons for his failures –not, say, “useless minions.” Interesting.)

Perhaps Zoltar should keep in mind just who supplies him with his weapons…

“Very well, you wish for a superior weapon, Zoltar?” says the Luminous One and his eyes turn red now and begin emitting waves of glowing yellow energy at Zoltar.

Zoltar cringes and falls to his knees, clutching his head, but his voice isn’t too distressed when he says “Look… Please, Most Powerful One, stop that –I can’t stand it! I’m going mad! I beg you, have mercy, Great Spirit!”

The Luminous One stops beaming the energy waves at him now.

“I am grateful, Oh Light of Wisdom,” says Zoltar.

“Stop your sniveling,” is the reply he gets, “I have just given you a very mild demonstration of the weapon you asked for.”

“A most superior new weapon,” declares Zoltar grandly (while putting his nose in the air and turning his face to the side, arms folded), “No creature will be able to withstand it.”

The Luminous One instructs him to transport the new brain-warping device to Earth, immediately, and “employ it in some far corner of that planet.”

He continues, “It will draw G-Force there –then, destroy them!” With these words, the Lumious One fades to darkness and is gone.

And now we cut to a view of a rocket, parked in a desolate terrain marked by tall and pointy formations of reddish rock. The rocket’s engines ignite, emitting some very crudely drawn smoke, and it blasts off. Now we get a view of what the rocket is passing as it travels through space –stars, nebulae, a couple other galaxies- and then it approaches what appears to be the Milky Way.

We hear Zark’s voice now, “Red alert, all planet monitors! An alien invader has entered our galaxy!”

Next, it’s approaching what is clearly the planet Saturn, even as Zark continues “It has now entered our universe,” (what the hell universe is Spectra in, if not the same one that Earth is in?) and adds, “Clearing Saturn and still unknown and unidentifiable. Radial velocity kms minus eight. It is now orbiting directly for Earth. Undoubtedly another attack weapon (what other kind of weapon is there?) from planet Spectra. Estimate touchdown somewhere in southern Asia. All defenses stand by for precise reading.”

And now we get our first glimpse of what Zoltar apparently considers “some far corner” of Earth –an internationally famous edifice in the second most populous nation on the planet, namely India’s Taj Mahal.

Despite being “some far corner” of Earth, this place has managed to lure in some tourists who are milling about the grounds, where peacocks are walking about freely.

“India!” cries Zark’s voice, “The Spectran invaders have landed near the Taj Mahal. I’ll have to notify G-Force about this at once -we have no defense base near Agra, and there’s nothing of value that Spectra could possibly want in this area. It’s very puzzling.”

(Yikes, way to dis the people of northern India, Zark…)

Among the tourists is one small boy who holds out a handful of (presumably) some kind of bird seed to one peacock. But the peacock turns away, snubbing the proffered snack.

“Huh?” says the little boy, and he stomps on the retreating peacock’s tail until his mother pulls him away and tells him such conduct is “naughty.”

But now the peacock, tail aloft, is turning and staring at the boy, light glinting from its eyes. The boy is frightened now and his mother looks a little concerned too. As well she should –now several peacocks all begin beaming the same brain-warping waves that the Luminous One had demonstrated to Zoltar –directly at the boy and his mother.

They look alarmed, but then fall down. When they look up again, they have crazed and aggressive expressions on their faces. Other tourists in the vicinity, witnessing this, are appalled. Now even more peacocks raise and spread their tails and begin beaming the brain-warping waves at everyone else in sight.

We cut to Zoltar, chuckling evilly and flanked by two Spectran soldiers.

“My new mind-warping weapon works beautifully,” he says, as he watches a mob of crazed tourists, on a screen, walking down a city street, “We will turn those peaceful tourists into a raging mob who will attack the Governor’s palace and bring G-Force rushing in!”

One soldier turns a dial, creating a wiggly line on an oscilloscope-like screen, and next we see an image of a palace surrounded by an ornate iron fence, but it’s all ravaged and and filled with smoke and flames. I guess that mob did their destructive work awfully quickly! I wonder where they are now? I’m sure they’re all fine, though.

At Center Neptune, we see this same image of the destroyed palace on a screen. Chief Anderson, viewing it from a chair, spins around to face the five members of G-Force, who are all standing there.

“This is the Governor’s palace,” explains Chief Anderson, standing up, “The Governor was conferring with his staff when the mob broke in and nearly destroyed the place.”

“Nearly”?

“What caused a sudden stampede like that?” Mark wants to know.

“A hundred tourists, going bananas, all at once,” remarks Tiny.

“That’s what I want G-Force to investigate,” says Chief Anderson, holding his chin, “7-Zark-7 reported a new launching out of Spectra. Our space patrols were alerted but Zoltar managed to slip through again.”

“He’s got a one track mind,” says Mark, frowning.

“But what could Zoltar have to do with those people attacking the palace?” asks Princess.

“That’s what you’re going there to find out,” replies Chief Anderson, holding his chin some more, “Get to the bottom of that incident at the Taj Mahal.”

“We ought to drift in just like any other tourists,” suggests Jason, “Taking pictures and things.”

“Good idea, Jason,” says Chief Anderson, “Melt into the crowd, and I suggest you split up. Keyop with Mark, and the rest of you on your own.”

They all salute and cheer “G-Force!”

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Next, the Phoenix departs Center Neptune, heading for the surface, and soon it’s flying along through the sky.

Meanwhile in Agra, India, it’s night and there’s a crescent moon in the sky over the city. All the streets appear quiet and empty and there’s no one in sight now except Keyop and Mark. Keyop is sitting on the edge of a fountain that features a giant peacock statue, and Mark is standing near him.

Keyop, looking glum, burbles and chirps “No action.”

“Nothing but rumors so far,” concurs Mark, “about some mysterious force that’s blowing people’s minds.”

Keyop warbles, replying “fairy tale.”

But Mark hears something, and shushes Keyop. What he hears are the sounds of numerous peacocks that are clustered around the buildings in their vicinity.

“Big chicken,” says Keyop.

“The peacock is this country’s national bird, Keyop” Mark tells him, “They’re protected and allowed to roam anywhere.”

“Pretty,” says Keyop, heading over to one of the peacocks. He grabs a tail feather, warbling and grinning impishly, and gives it a yank. So hard does he yank, he topples over backwards. He’s briefly happy with his prize though, until further scrutiny has him frowning at the feather.

“Gonna make a hat?” asks Mark, coming up behind him (Hey there, boy scout, scold Keyop for ripping out bird feathers, would you?)

“Unreal,” says Keyop, handing the feather to Mark.

“Artificial,” remarks Mark, frowning, “This is some kind of fake peacock put-on.”

Now two peacocks stalk up to Keyop and make like they’re going to peck him. He scampers over to Mark. “Mad!” he declares, looking nervous.

“You started it,” points out Mark, as numerous peacocks surround them now and raise and spread their tails, “They look hungry. I’ve got a feeling they want their dinner and they’ve selected us for the main course.”

I’m going to assume he’s being metaphorical and doesn’t really think that peacocks are carnivorous. But someone is watching Mark and Keyop’s predicament on a screen.

It’s Zoltar, and he says “Activate the brain-warp mechanism.”

Suddenly all the peacocks surrounding Mark and Keyop start beaming the brain-warping waves from their eyes, just as they had with the tourists earlier.

“My head, what’s happening? I can’t think,” says Mark, sounding only slightly inconvenienced. But he’s clutching his head, and so is Keyop.

“Run, Keyop!” says Mark, giving him a shove, as the peacocks keeping right on beaming. But Keyop isn’t running so Mark gives him a much harder shove, and topples over. Keyop goes flying clear over the peacocks, lands on a pivoting manhole cover and disappears from sight.

Mark is lying on the ground, still clutching the tail feather. His eyes are clenched shut and he’s sweating, but the peacocks have stopped beaming brain-warping waves at him.

Mark opens his eyes and looks up just in time to see the façade of the fountain’s giant peacock statue crumbling away to reveal a peacock-shaped Spectran ship that had been concealed there.

Inside this Spectran ship, Zoltar is watching Mark on a screen and saying “Ah, we have the leader of G-Force, on our first strike.”

Mark manages to get to his feet, though he’s still sweating and his jaw is clenched. He starts running, managing to dodge and evade peacocks that dive at him from all sides. He makes it to a cement-mixing truck and is able to slam the door just in time to fend off more peacocks, who strike the window so hard they leave cracks in it.

Very luckily for Mark, the truck’s key is in its ignition, and he’s soon driving fast down the empty street.

“After him!” yells Zoltar, and the peacock-shaped ship now starts flying after Mark in the truck. Soon, it’s gaining on Mark.

Meanwhile, Keyop, who has been left behind, crawls out of the drain pipe where he’d been concealed. Staring briefly into the distance, he cries “Mark!” and goes pelting down the street.

Mark is still driving the truck as best he can, still sweating and grimacing, but inside the Spectran ship, Zoltar is laughing as he looms over Mark’s truck. “Run, G-Force, run!” he mocks.

There’s a Spectran soldier preparing to fire lasers. Two laser beams from the peacock ship’s eyes hit the truck. We don’t see any explosions or Mark losing control of the truck –but suddenly it crashes into a building and it does seem to be on fire slightly. Inside, Mark is slumped over the steering wheel, unconscious. (And I don’t think he’s wearing a seatbelt -what a terrible example to set for impressionable children!)

The peacock ship swoops down now, grabs the damaged truck with its feet and flies away into the night.

Now Keyop comes rushing up to the place where the truck had crashed. “Mark!” he cries, staring up at the long-gone Spectran ship. Then he looks down at the ground, and spots Mark’s boomerang, looking charred and stained. He picks it up with trembling hands, beginning to sob.

Next we see the boomerang lying on a table at Center Neptune. Chief Anderson, and all of G-Force except Mark are there, staring at it (except Keyop, who’s sobbing against one of his arms).

“Come on, Keyop, stop whimpering,” says Jason, glaring at Keyop, “Crying won’t help Mark any.”

“Helps me,” replies Keyop, pausing in his grief to peer up at Jason.

“Did you see what really happened to Mark, Keyop?” asks Tiny, clearly feeling that Keyop is jumping to unwarrantedly gloomy conclusions.

“Crash… Boom!” retorts Keyop, looking briefly irate before returning to his sobbing. Princess puts a hand on Keyop’s shoulder, but she’s looking gloomy herself. So is Jason now, and Chief Anderson.

Suddenly Zoltar’s face appears on one of the view screens (somewhat blurrily) and he’s laughing.

“It’s Zoltar,” says Chief Anderson (in case G-Force doesn’t recognize him, I guess –hey, it’s only the ninth episode of Battle of the Planets.)

“I have good news for you, G-Force. Your commander is still alive,” says Zoltar, “But that happy condition, I regret to say, is only temporary.”

And now the screen cuts to a view of the damaged cement-mixing truck, and Mark is visible, still unconscious, inside it.

“Him!” says Keyop. “Oh Mark!” says Princess. Jason doesn’t say anything. “He’s still alive, anyway” says Tiny. “But we can’t help him,” notes Chief Anderson.

Zoltar laughs, and suddenly a wrecking ball smashes into the truck.

“Now observe how easily we relieve you of your commander,” sneers Zoltar, as a giant drill bit descending from the ceiling and a grabby mechanical arm also begin wreaking damage on the truck.

“No!” cries a horrified looking Princess, as she turns to clutch Keyop. “Stop!” cries Jason. Tiny stares, looking terrified. Chief Anderson turns away, as if he can’t bear to look.

The wrecking ball is lifted as smashes down on the truck again. Inside the front seat, Mark is still unconscious. But the blow from the wrecking ball causes the front seat to crack apart and Mark falls back through the crack and ends up underneath the truck.

Now he’s awaks, and he quickly sneaks back up inside the truck, concealing himself from sight.

“Farewell, G-Force leader,” says Zoltar, from inside the wrecking ball’s control booth.

Now we cut to an exterior view of the peacock ship, flying through a blue sky, somewhere.

Zark now voice overs “Well, thank goodness I saw Mark drop to safety and hide, so I know he’s going to be all right.

Okay, that’s reassuring for the kiddies watching, Zark, but you’ve just killed the episode’s dramatic tension!

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And now we’re back at Center Neptune with Zark.

“I’m really concerned about Mark being captured by Zoltar,” he says, pacing, “Oh, I know he’s alive and well –all G-Force members have miniaturized cerebonic implants that give them fantastic abilities to cope with the most dangerous situations. My acute dialectric sensors tell me Mark is lying low, waiting for an opportunity to overcome Zoltar’s men and make his escape.”

Unfortunately, Zark admits, he doesn’t know where Mark is lying low. (How can your “dialectric sensors” know what Mark’s doing but not where he’s doing it, Zark?)

“The peacock ship has simply vanished and my most sensitive probes (icky mental image!) fail to locate it,” says Zark, “Without Mark, things are very gloomy.”

Yes, unduly gloomy, when “Ken is dead” postures of despair are recast as “Mark is temporarily inconvenienced.”

Princess and Keyop are clutching each other in misery. Jason’s turned away from everyone, looking like he’s about to vent rage on something. Tiny has buried his face in his hands, slumped forward with elbows on knees. Chief Anderson is silently staring out the window (with no reminiscences of Colonel Cronus).

“If only I could locate that Spectra ship for them,” voice overs Zark, “Maybe then- oh, oh! I’ve spotted it, on my scanner! I must contact security on the hotline at once!”

A telephone on the wall, the “hotline,” now begins chiming and Chief Anderson picks it up. Listening, his eyes spasm in consternation and he hangs up and turns to the others.

He informs them that Zark has tracked the Spectran peacock ship to Europe, specifically the Balkans.

“Don’t care,” says Keyop, eyes teary. “My heart isn’t in it,” says Tiny, looking up now to reveal teary eyes too. Jason glares but says nothing.

“I share your feelings,” claims Chief Anderson, “But we mustn’t let Zoltar get away with what he’s done. (Hmm, more sensitive than Nambu’s “you must all obey me!” tactics.)

Keyop, face contorted in rage and hands clutched defiantly, says “Stop Zoltar!” But then Jason grabs the back of his shirt, saying “Hold it, Keyop.”

“Let go!” says Keyop, brandishing a fist (apparently at Chief Anderson –now why would that be?) but Jason really gives his shirt a yank now, and Keyop goes limp.

“There’s still four of us in G-Force, we can still stop Zoltar,” says Jason.

“Let’s blast off for Europe,” says Tiny, looking much more cheerful now. “I’m right with you, Tiny,” adds Princess, also looking enthusiastic now. She moves to follow the others, who have all rushed from the room.

“Princess!” calls Chief Anderson, and as she turns back to look at him, he tosses Mark’s boomerang to her. She catches it.

“Take good care of it,” says Chief Anderson, looking grim.

“I will,” whispers Princess, looking solemn.

And, once again, we get the whole underwater departure of the Phoenix from Center Neptune, and it breaks the ocean’s surface to go fly off into the sky, en route to the Balkans.

Meanwhile, the peacock ship is using its eye laser beams to blast apart buildings in, oh I don’t know, Bulgaria, maybe?

A fleet of incoming fighter jets now fire a bunch of missiles on the peacock ship but they don’t do any damage. A bunch of tanks on the ground also fire missiles at it but they don’t do any damage either. So, I guess they all realize their attack is futile and go home –we don’t see the jets or tanks again.

But, the Phoenix is here now anyway so who cares about the jets and tanks?

Not the Spectrans. “It’s the Phoenix, coming up fast on our tail,” (and they literally have tail) announces a Spectran soldier.

“Haven’t they learned, the fools? They still imagine they can defeat us,” smirks Zoltar, “Let them feel the full power of the brain-warping gun!”

A soldier turns a dial and the on-screen wiggly line appears as the peacock ship’s tail begins spinning and emitting the brain-warping waves. The Phoenix, closing on the peacock ship, is caught full on by the waves. Inside the bridge, Jason and Tiny are suffering and clutching their heads. “Come on, Tiny, hit the shielding!” says Jason.

“Big ten,” replies Tiny, managing to activate a screen that blocks the view screen.

(Apparently, flying blind isn’t such a concern for Tiny.)

So, on the Phoenix’s bridge, no one's brain is being warped now, but the ship is still shuddering and shaking. Near Keyop, the radar screen cracks. Cracks in the ceiling appear over Princess’ head, causing her to say “We’re beginning to come apart!”

“Hey, I’m open for any good suggestion,” replies Tiny, a tad defensively.

“Try emergency gyros!” says Jason, who’s still clutching his head, “Cut altitude!”

Apparently Tiny deems these good suggestions. But the Phoenix is still surrounded by structurally damaging brain-warping waves, and the peacock ship is still in pursuit.

It follows the Phoenix into a dive, causing the wreckage of the cement-mixing truck to slide across the floor of the room that it’s in on board the peacock ship. A shadowy, winged figure leaps from the wreckage towards the ceiling…

“Their magnetic shield is weakening,” declares Zoltar as he watches the wave-bombarded Phoenix on a screen in the bridge, “One burst from our proton laser now, and it will end it!”

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And the controls of the proton laser, a Spectran soldier uses a targeting scope to get a fix on the Phoenix…

“Fire!” orders Zoltar. The Spectran soldier squeezes the hand-held trigger.

But suddenly Zoltar is waving his fists, irate, and yelling “I’m surrounded by idiots and bunglers! What fool assigned you to this laser gun position?”

Okay, so clearly the laser wasn’t sabotaged in anyway to make it explode, but I guess from Zoltar’s words we must assume that it didn’t fire correctly. The goon who is the subject of his wrath now, we don’t see at all.

But Zoltar is distracted now by an eerie whistling sound and he forgets about the proton laser.

“G-Force!” hisses Zoltar and he starts running towards the room where the truck wreckage is, and a squashed G-Force commander is supposed to be. Numerous soldiers accompany him.

The whistling is still going on when they get to the room. “Find him!” barks Zoltar to the soldiers.

But they don’t have to, as now the drill bit lowers from the ceiling, and Mark is on it.

“The mind-warp gun didn’t finish you?” demands Zoltar. (It sure looked like you were trying to “finish” him with a wrecking ball, not brain-warping, Zoltar.)

Holding Keyop’s peacock feather between his teeth, Mark replies, “It’s the men who invent things like mind-warping guns who end up with warped minds, Zoltar!”

(Actually, I think the Luminous One might have invented it, but he probably qualifies as warped.)

“Tell your men to lay down their weapons!” orders Mark, brandishing… a peacock feather.

“You make demands when you’re my captive?” says Zoltar indignantly.

But now Mark leaps from the drill bit, towards the Spectrans, and he throws the feather.

It swoops past a few soldiers, causing them to throw their guns in the air and fall down. Mark does a flip in the air and lands on the floor. (I guess all the other soldiers have run away or actually laid down their weapons, as there’s no need for Mark to kick, clobber, dodge bullets or turn cart wheels.)

But Zoltar, inside the wrecking ball’s control booth now, is coming after him with it again.

“I don’t know how you escaped,” he rants, “But this time, we’ll make certain.”

He swings the ball and it smashes into the floor. “Not even G-Force could have survived that!” declares Zoltar.

Except Mark has survived, although he’s hanging outside the peacock ship now, clinging to the jagged edges of a hole that the wrecking ball has bashed clean through the ship.

Despite his efforts to hang on, he loses his grip and falls. Fortunately he’s able to land on one of the peacock ship’s feet.

“Calling Phoenix, do you read me?” he says into his wrist communicator. (Which makes me wonder why no one was trying to contact him earlier, seeing as they knew he wasn’t dead. Maybe he had to be really, really quiet to avoid detection by the Spectrans so he shut his communicator off.)

“Big ten, Mark!” cries Jason, looking startled and pleased to hear from him. (And they don’t appear to be dealing with any more structural damage –I guess the Spectrans stopped the brain-warping waves.)

“Hey, it’s Mark,” says Tiny (though he doesn’t look so happy about it.)

“Good,” says Princess (looking worried). “About time,” adds an anxious looking Keyop.

“I’m okay, team” says Mark, “But I’ve got a little problem to work out.”

“He’s got a problem?” declares Jason, “Join the club!”

“Mark, you know we’re ready to help,” says a gooey-eyed Princess into her own wrist communicator. “Just ask!” adds Keyop.

“Do me a big favour and hold your fire for a little while, okay?”

“We’ll try to restrain ourselves, Commander,” says Jason, with dry sarcasm. Hee!

“That’s easy, Commander,” says Tiny, “Give us a better read out than that.”

“Fire the proton missile,” instructs Mark, “Put a timer on it so I can get free before it blows.”

“Okay, hang loose,” says Jason, and he glances to Princess, “Princess?”

“My pleasure,” she replies, and leaves the bridge at a run.

She reaches the proton missile, sticks a timer on it and then stares at it intensely for a moment, but she’s not thinking any thoughts audible to us. Then she runs back towards the bridge.

“Buckle up for some fancy cuts,” declares Tiny, on the bridge. He raises the shield over the view screen, just in time to see that he’s about to fly them smack into some mountains. Alarmed, he pulls up abruptly and they just miss hitting them. He brings the Phoenix back around and heads for the peacock ship.

As soon as they’re close, Jason fires the proton missile and it pierces the peacock ship’s bridge and lodges in its wall. But it doesn’t explode, yet.

“Stay here and fight, cowards! Back to your posts!” Zoltar is telling the Spectran soldiers who’re apparently not happy to see a missile in their midst.

“All of you, the missile is defective! Continue the attack!” adds Zoltar, “I’m going up to the emergency control room.”

Meanwhile Mark is still clinging to the peacock ship’s foot, and the timer (on the part of the missile that’s still outside the ship) is counting down.

On the bridge of the Phoenix, everyone is waiting, looking tense.

The peacock ship is shaking and shuddering as it flies now. Zoltar is inside the emergency control room now (and he didn’t have to fend off any soldiers desperate to accompany him there) but suddenly he abandons the peacock ship in a red escape rocket that flies out of the peacock’s mouth.

“The rat deserts the sinking ship,” says Mark, seeing the rocket fly away.

But now the peacock ship crashes to the ground in a desert-like area. Mark leaps from its foot and hits the sand. But he immediately gets up and starts running away from the ship as fast as he can, as the timer on the missile continues to count down…

Mark leaps forward to get behind a sandbank, just as the missile explodes. Powerful wind rushes past him, but he’s lying flat on the sand, face down, and he’s okay.

Meanwhile Zoltar, on board his escape rocket, is ranting “The flying peacock destroyed, the brain-warping machine gone!” Clutching his head in misery, he wails “How will I face the Supreme Spirit?”

But now Mark lifts himself up from the sand, first banging an angry fist and saying “Again, Zoltar escapes…”

Near the burning remains of the peacock ship, the Phoenix is parked and everyone’s standing outside, looking around. Keyop and Princess are both calling Mark’s name.

Keyop spots Mark first but it’s Princess who runs towards him (and there’s apparently no need for anyone to prevent Keyop from following –he stays put.)

Princess, running, pauses when she’s about five feet from Mark and they exchange some warm and emotional gazes.

She holds out his boomerang (all cleaned) and says “Welcome back, Commander,” looking very happy to have him back and with tears in her eyes. She tosses it to Mark and he catches it and returns it to his holster. Keyop and Tiny, looking touched by this reunion, are rubbing their noses. Jason is not.

And we cut to Zark at Center Neptune.

“Well, that was another close one,” he remarks, “Spectra’s terrible mind-boggling gun was destroyed, but not Zoltar. Never Zoltar. He always manages to get away and show up again. After that terrible ordeal, G-Force will get 24 hours of rest and relaxation.”

Now Zark sounds wistful. “I wonder what that means? It sounds nice. Maybe one of these days, I’ll find out. I’ve asked for my own ready room, where I can get a five second oil break (what, not a ten second break?). I really don’t know what I’ll do with that much time off (you’ll flirt with Susan on Pluto, Zark) –maybe read two or three good books.”

Zark shrugs. “Oh well, I’m sure that planet Spectra and that evil Zoltar won’t let me while away idle seconds.”

The end.

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Thanks again for a great recap and great screenshots, LB and Saturn! I found the screenshot of Jun's face when attaching the time bomb awesome as it reveals all the sentiment she must have been feeling at the moment!

What a great ending to an episode for a Ken/Jun shipper like me! There really was something going on between them then, even though quite intangible most of the time throughout the whole series! It's episodes like these that get me wishing for more!

LB ... your comment regarding the foot/butt/ass thing was hilarious!! I don't know why it's so hard, sometimes, to translate the exact meaning of a word, or comment, just in order to keep things clean ... in the majority of times, things and meanings can get quite ridiculous when beating about the bush! Might as well include the right word in the first place!

I also thought that the Condor did a great job as a second-in-command! And mentioning the Condor ... I couldn't help thinking that those waves could have aided, in some way, in the deterioration of his health condition, especially when seeing him clasp his head in that manner! Everyone on board the God Phoenix was clearly hurting, but, assuming that he had already something wrong going on with him, I imagine those waves could have been more harmful for him!

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Another great review, LB, and more terrific screenshots from Saturn!

This one is an example, IMHO, of how BOTP went a little *too* far in their sanitizing. Of course, we know that no one can die, but why does Zark have to blow the dramatic tension? Why can't the Team actually think that Mark is dead, and then we see that he's not? Is even the *idea* that one of them *might* die too much? I don't know... there are definitely other episodes in the BOTP run where it's implied that missions are dangerous and characters *might* die.

I'm wondering about your use of the term 'hermaphrodite', LB. Now I'm not an expert, but I thought a hermaphrodite had both male and female sex organs at the same time? Which is not Katse. Katse is either male or female, but not both at once. I always think of him more as a mutant changeling... I'm sure there's a better scientific term out there, though, because in nature there are examples of animals that spontaneously change gender when necessary... remember Jurassic Park? Wink

This line...

quote:
“Ken, you’re alive… A present from me,” she thinks to herself as she stares at the time dial with intense emotion visible in her face.


reminded me of a Christmas picture Springie did, where Ken and Jun were giving each other gifts.

And I always wondered... why was the God Phoenix blind when they put those shutters down? Don't they have radar????

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Hi all!

quote:
I always think of him more as a mutant changeling...


Which jibes with what Katse refers to himself as. In both episode #'s 102 and 105, Katse refers to himself as a mutant, not a hermaphrodite. And you're right, Katse is either male or female, not male and female. So, while "hermaphrodite" may be a useful shorthand to describe Katse's ability to change between genders, the term is not really correct as it pertains to Katse.

James

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quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun
And I always wondered... why was the God Phoenix blind when they put those shutters down? Don't they have radar????


Good point, TJ!

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quote:
Originally posted by gatchamarie
quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun
And I always wondered... why was the God Phoenix blind when they put those shutters down? Don't they have radar????


Good point, TJ!


You could make the argument that the radar didn't work while they were in the beam, but they should at least have tried...

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I agree the use of the word "hermaphrodite" for Katse is problematic, because in the real world, "hermaphrodite" can only mean someone having "male and female sex organs at the same time." Though perhaps it's a very good thing that we lack the level of scientific knowledge to be able to mutate two fraternal twins -a boy and a girl- into one person!

I'm currently reading a sci fi series, set in the future, where genetic manipulation is common and hermaphrodites are fairly common -that's probably why the word's on my brain.

But in Katse's case, even when he's looking male, the "female" surely has to still be in there, somewhere (and vice versa), even if it's at the genetic level and not so physically apparent?

This reminds me of an old discussion as to whether Katse could get pregnant (while female form) and if so, what would happen if she shifted to male form while pregnant. I doubt there's much canon about what happens with Katse's internal organs during a gender shift though!

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quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun
quote:
Originally posted by gatchamarie
quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun
And I always wondered... why was the God Phoenix blind when they put those shutters down? Don't they have radar????


Good point, TJ!


You could make the argument that the radar didn't work while they were in the beam, but they should at least have tried...


The fact that the radar screen cracked could possibly be used to explain why they were "blind" too but I agree, if that were the case then one of the Ninjas should have mentioned it.

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quote:
Originally posted by gatchamarie
And mentioning the Condor ... I couldn't help thinking that those waves could have aided, in some way, in the deterioration of his health condition, especially when seeing him clasp his head in that manner! Everyone on board the God Phoenix was clearly hurting, but, assuming that he had already something wrong going on with him, I imagine those waves could have been more harmful for him!


I agree! It is sort of interesting that even after they blocked the delirium beam by bringing down shutters on the view screen, Joe is the only one still clutching his head. And he seemed to be suffering more than Ryu, before that. If one assumes that the brain damage that later afflicts him badly is already there (from either the Devil Star attack when he was 9 or the puppy episode) then a case could be made that Joe is somehow more vulnerable than the others to forms of neurological attack. Jun did say the delirium beam affects the optic nerve and eyes are directly connected to the brain (some even consider them extensions of the brain itself).

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Good point about the impact of the beam on Joe... you could certainly make that argument, that it worsened/hastened/brought on a revival of his condition!

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Yet another of my favorite episodes...the emotion the team feels when they think Ken is dead...

I also noticed that Dr. Nambu leaves it to Jun to take Ken's boomerang. It could be just coincidental, since she was the last one out...but I'd like to think that Nambu knew that she and Ken had a special connection. It really hit home with me when I read the subtitles...she kept the boomerang as a memento of Ken...how sweet. (Again they always seem to consider their weapons as treasures/gifts)

And the team certainly does seem to accept the idea of a connection between Jun and Ken at the end of the ep...especially when Ryu scolds Jinpei and keeps him behind as Jun goes after Ken. Ryu does something similar to Jinpei at the end of the dummy/robot team episode when he holds Jinpei back and tells him that Jun and Ken hugging isn't for little kids to see...

Fabulous recap, LB!! Animeparty

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