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Gatchaman Episode 52: “The Secret of Red Impulse” Post Reply with Quote Edit/Delete Post Report Post to a Moderator        IP Information Go to the top of this page

[Thank you, Saturn, for the screencaps!]


Gatchaman Episode 52: “The Secret of Red Impulse”

BOTP Episode: “The Sky is Falling, Part I”


 



The episode is closely tied to episode 51 and begins with a somewhat grim-looking Ken flying his plane back to his airfield and landing.

“Finding a ray of hope in Dr. Nambu’s words about his father,” the narrator informs us, “Ken meticulously searches day after day for Galactor’s new mecha, Cataroller. However today, just like the past few days, has ended in failure.”



 



But Ken looks up from his momentary gloom just in time to see a mysterious person running out of his shack. (This is what you get, Ken, for leaving your door open all the time when you leave. :wink3Smile




 




Ken yells out “Who’s there?” but the person keeps running, jumps a fence and is gone. Ken, jumping out of his plane, decides that pursuing him is a lost cause and instead heads quickly inside his shack to see what’s happened in there. What he discovers is that the intruder has been rummaging through his office desk: drawers are pulled out and lying on the floor, his chair is overturned and papers are scattered everywhere. Depressed by this violation of his home and privacy or by the realization that he will have to clean up and reorganize the mess himself, he sinks to the floor. Then he wonders aloud, “Who would do this?”



 



Now we cut to Jinpei behind the counter at the Snack J, and we can also hear music playing.

“Man, why would they trash your place? I mean, it’s not like they’re going to find any money or anything,” he says, obviously addressing Ken.

“I know!” replies Ken indignantly, blatantly advertising his impoverished state while casually eating a meal that he clearly ordered from the Snack J’s menu.



 



“So, about the bill,” continues Ken, “You can cover me again, right?”

Jinpei cringes and says “Huh? Again?” but he pulls out a white notebook which apparently contains all the data on Ken’s “tab” and morosely begins adding Ken’s current meal to it. But he can’t resist getting at least one dig in: “Look, Big Bro, it’s about time you pay up. Sis is getting pretty upset!”



 



So now we see Jun and learn where the music we’ve been hearing is coming from. Whatever she might think of Ken’s tab, it’s clearly not on her mind at the moment. She’s up on the Snack J’s stage, rocking out along with two other musicians.

(Hey look –paying customers! And one of them is wearing pants that make Jun’s red & white stripes look pretty tame, especially as her stripes seem to have temporarily faded away under the stage lights.)



 

 



Ken just wipes his mouth and says “You’re an excellent cook, Bro, thanks for the grub.”

“You can butter me all you want,” retorts Jinpei, “But you still gotta pay!”

“Huh? Did you just hear that noise, Jinpei?” says Ken now, and this sure seems like an evasive maneuver.

“I hear music,” is Jinpei’s response, and Jun is indeed still playing her electric guitar, but Ken insists he thinks he heard a gunshot.

“You’re just trying to fool me so you can skip the tab!” protests an astute Jinpei, and now it’s Ken’s turn to cringe.



 



“Sometimes I think you’re turning into a mini Jun,” complains Ken, scowling.

Okay, that’s not fair to Jun, who’s just trying to run a business, but I don’t think it’s fair either that Ken, Jun and the other Ninjas, who routinely risk their lives to defend the world, aren’t on the ISO’s payroll.

However, luck is here to save Ken’s credibility (and the vestiges of his precarious financial state) as there’s some kind of altercation going on outside the Snack J between two people and now a very audible gunshot rings out.




 




One of the people – a young man- falls against the door outside, causing it to open, and he ends up sprawled on his back on the floor of the Snack J. Jun and the other musicians immediately stop playing and everyone stares in shock.



 



Ken rushes outside, but whoever shot the man on the floor is long gone. Back inside the Snack J, Jun is at the victim’s side.

“Is he okay?” asks Ken, coming back inside.

“Yeah, it’s nothing too serious,” replies Jun, “The bullet just grazed him.”

But now Ken recognizes the young man, declaring “That’s Sabu!”

Jun is surprised that Ken knows him, but Ken tells her that he and Sabu were friends when they were kids, though he has no idea why Sabu would be coming now to the Snack J.




 




So, Ken asks Jun to call a doctor, saying that after Sabu has been “patched up,” he’ll take him to his place.

But now the music of impending doom plays as we see Utoland’s skyline. “Meanwhile, in an office within the ISO,” the narrator relates, “Dr. Nambu receives a visit from a man claiming to be a scientist from Hontwohl.”

Now we see Dr. Nambu and his visitor.




 



“So you’re telling me the V-2 plan has been completed?” asks a frowning Dr. Nambu, and the visiting scientist responds that only thing remaining is “to carry out the experiment.”

“That’s absolutely absurd!” snaps Dr. Nambu, clearly not liking this news one bit. “This plan should be canceled immediately!”

“Perhaps,” insinuates the scientist, “That depends on the terms.”

An indignant Dr. Nambu now demands to know what he means by that.

“All of the nations of the world,” explains the scientist, looking more than a little sinister, “must surrender to Hontwohl and Galactor.”



 



Now Dr. Nambu is angry, demanding to know how he thinks such a thing would ever happen.

"So," the sinister scientist adds “Then shall we execute the V-2 plan, and cover the entire globe in a sea of fire?”

This leaves Dr. Nambu speechless with outrage.

Now this scientist now brazenly tells Dr. Nambu that only Galactor will survive such a calamity, and will then “finally conquer the Earth.”

“Who are you!” demands Dr. Nambu, finally realizing this guy’s not acting much like a scientist from Hontwohl.

But now his visitor laughs evilly –a very familiar evil laugh, I might add.




 



“You haven’t figured it out yet?” he cackles, and now Dr. Nambu reacts, thinking “That voice!”

He realizes that the “scientist” in his office is actually Berg Katse.

But does Dr. Nambu call security, or rush behind him to block the door out of the office, grab his chair and heave it across his desk at Katse, or even leap at him himself and attempt to strangle this hated enemy of the ISO?

No. He stays right where he is and talks to him. Maybe he’s still not completely certain he is Katse (but even if he isn’t, I think he’s said enough to merit being attacked –even if he does look like a frail old man!)

“One week, Doctor, then either you surrender or we execute the V-2 plan,” says the old-man-who-is-possibly-Katse, tapping his cane against his hand.

“How dare you!” says Dr. Nambu, as his visitor now laughs again and runs out of the office, while Dr. Nambu makes no apparent effort of any kind to stop him or to have him apprehended.

But, now we cut to Sabu, waking up in Ken’s bed. He looks around and then sits up, rubbing his bandaged shoulder. Yup, we finally see someone in Ken’s bed… and it’s Sabu. However, Ken is not in the bed.



 



He opens the bedroom door, looks in, and says “Sabu, you’re finally awake!”

“Were you the one who saved me?” asks Sabu.

Ken acknowledges this, and says he’s glad his wound wasn’t serious.

“So, this is your place, huh?” asks Sabu as Ken goes and opens up a window.

“Yeah, my Dad left me this joint, along with the air strip,” replies Ken, gesturing to his plane.




 



But Ken wants to know what Sabu has been doing lately, and he replies that he has gangs after him all the time.

Ken is surprised, noting that Sabu “Sure has changed.”

Sabu concurs, recalling that he used to get bullied at school, would cry as a result, and then Ken would rescue him. But, he claims he’s no longer “afraid of pushing back!”

“You really have changed a lot,” agrees Ken, “You’re not ‘Cry-baby Sabu’ any more.”

Sabu briefly broods on their days of yore as “Rowdy Ken” and “Cry-baby Sabu,” but suddenly he lifts his head and looks at Ken.

“Hey man, I forgot to ask. Did you ever get to meet your Dad?”

“Hold on a second,” demands Ken, a bit belligerently, “How did you know my Dad was still alive?” Clearly this is a touchy subject for Ken, who was kept in the dark about it for years.

Well, Sabu’s answer is “I just got back from Hontwohl and I saw him there.”

Ken is shocked, asking “How did you know it was him?”

Sabu explains that he had a picture, just like the picture that Ken used to show him years ago.

“You mean that one?” asks Ken, gesturing towards a picture on his wall.



 

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Sabu says that’s the picture he saw.



 



Sabu then proceeds to explain that he was staying in a cheap hotel in Hontwohl, and we see his flashback as he relates it. He’s walking through a hotel that is so cheap it’s little more than a series of open bunks lining the wall of a large room –a barracks more than a hotel. We then learn that Sabu tripped over the foot of a man in a white suit (whose face isn’t shown) and caused him to drop a picture he was looking at.



 




Sabu picks up the picture from the floor and briefly looks at it before man snatches it back.



 




“I realized later, that man had the same picture,” explain Sabu’s voice as we see Sabu climbing up onto one of the bunks, “You know, now that I think back, I remember that you always used to say to me ‘my Dad’s not dead, he’s got to be alive somewhere,’” adds Sabu’s voice, as we see him watching the man in the white suit.




 



But, the flashback ends and we’re back to Ken and Sabu.

“When?” demands Ken, “When did you run into him, Sabu?” and is informed that it was a week ago.

“A week ago,” says Ken, “That’s about the same time we were there.”

Sabu then tells Ken that shortly after seeing the man with the picure, “things went south,” he “did something bad,” and he fled Hontwohl.

“They [presumably members of the gangs he said are after him] caught up to me in front of that café and, well, you saw the rest…”

Now Ken’s heard enough, and walks away towards the window to stare outside.

“Oh,” says Sabu flatly, “So you haven’t seen him yet, huh? Oh man, you must be dying to see your Dad…”

You know, Sabu, I don’t think you’re making Ken feel any better!

“Bummer…” says Sabu, as Ken slumps on the window sill in frustration and despair.

“I have to,” whispers Ken to himself.



 




But, now we’re back at the Snack J, where Jun is washing dishes and Jinpei is moving chairs around –apparently a strenuous task. “Hasn’t Sis heard about child labor laws?” he mutters to himself



 




But now, while Jun is still occupied with dishes and not looking, Ken pokes his head in the Snack J’s door and quietly beckons Jinpei to come closer. Glancing back at Jun, a slightly confused Jinpei follows Ken outside onto the sidewalk.



 



Jinpei, not surprisingly, wants to know what this is all about and Ken informs him that he’s going to go to Hontwohl.

Jinpei gasps “You’re going on your own?”

Now we can see that Sabu is lounging in the background, waiting for Ken, and Ken explains that Sabu saw his Dad there, so he has to go look for him.




 



Jinpei assures Ken he understands, but wonders “Are you sure you can trust that guy?”

“Hey, don’t talk about him like that, Jinpei!” says Ken crossly, giving Jinpei’s head a shove with his hand, “He’s a good friend of mine!”

Jinpei apologizes but still thinks that Ken ought to tell Jun that he’s leaving.

“I don’t want her to worry,” claims Ken (Worry about your unpaid tab, Ken?), “It’s no big deal; I’ll be back before you know it!”




 



So, Ken and Sabu walk off together, with Sabu briefly resting his hand on Ken’s shoulder, and Jinpei stares after them, looking worried.

Suddenly, his bracelet starts beeping and Jun appears at the Snack J’s door.

“Can’t you hear that signal? Come on, Dr. Nambu wants us all to assemble!”

“No duh! You think?” snarks Jinpei, but then he mutters anxiously to himself “This is not good –talk about bad timing…”

Now we see the exterior of Dr. Nambu’s house instead of the more typical Crescent Coral Base.

So, no fish parade this week.

“What? Ken’s gone to Hontwohl to look for his father?” yells Dr. Nambu (who really is doing a lot of that in this episode).




 



This puts poor Jinpei on the spot, but he insists he tried to stop Ken, but Ken wouldn’t listen to him.



 




Hey look, more than a third into the episode, we finally see Joe! And Ryu. Where have they been?

“That idiot!” storms Dr. Nambu, who is clearly having a very bad day, “What a selfish thing to do right now!”

“Jinpei!” scolds Jun, “Why didn’t you let me know about something that important?”

Jinpei’s not having a great day either.



 



“Can’t we get a hold of him through his bracelet?” asks Joe, and Jinpei explains he’s tried that, but Ken must have turned his bracelet off.

Dr. Nambu leans on his desk, head lowered in frustration. “Why would he do something so stupid at such a critical time?”

Now lifting his head, he tells the others that they can’t wait for Ken and that they will have to finish the mission alone.

He turns on a large screen on the wall behind him, revealing an aerial photo of Hontwohl taken by the Red Impulse squad. What we’re seeing is a large rocket or missile poking out of a launch bay built into a rocky outcrop.

“This is the missile launch pad of the V-2 plan,” declares Dr. Nambu.



 



“The country of Hontwohl is carrying out this plan in conjunction with Galactor,” he continues, “I want you to strike here!” He points to the missile launch pad with a sweep of his arm.

This is the first that Joe, or anyone else on the Team, has heard of the V-2 plan, so… cue the scientific exposition!

“The earth is enveloped by a pipe-like magnetosphere,” Dr. Nambu explains, “An enormous belt that begins at a 1000 km above ground and ends at a height of 60,000 km.”




 




Jun immediately recognizes that he is referring to the Van Allen Belt, and Ryu surmises that it’s named after the man who discovered it. Jinpei is apparently distressed that he himself is unaware of these facts while his teammates (even Ryu) are not.

Dr. Nambu continues, explaining that the Belt protects the Earth from protons and electrons from the Sun, ensuring its safety.



 



The V-2 plan, he explains next, is to make a missile that will cause the Van Allen Belt to descend to the Earth.

Jinpei is still confused.




 




“If it were to come crashing down, there would be powerful radioactivity in the sky and the entire globe would be enveloped in devastating temperatures,” he elucidates, as we see images of a flaming sky and bubbling pools of magma and fire everywhere, “The human race would gradually die out.”

“I don’t really get it,” responds Jinpei, “But it sounds pretty serious!” Yes, I think the extinction of the human race certainly qualifies as serious.

But now Joe points out that the God Phoenix will be slower than usual without Ken’s G-1 on board, and Jun adds that they won’t be able to use bird missiles or the firebird technique either.

“There’s no time to worry about those things now!” says Dr. Nambu sternly, “Move out immediately!”

So, now the God Phoenix is flying through the sky, and Ken’s chair is empty.




 



Joe is complaining that if they encounter Cataroller, “We’re all dead meat!”

Jinpei’s gripe is “I can’t believe Big Brother is so dumb –he acts stupid, and I get yelled at!”



 



Ryu is not exactly complaining, but he is thinking that Dr. Nambu shouldn’t have told Ken that his father was alive. I agree that telling him in the middle of an unfinished mission was less-than-wise timing on the Doctor’s part!

But Joe is now cheering himself up with the thought that, in Ken’s absence, “When we get to Hontwohl, I can do whatever I want with my G-2.”




 



Jinpei eagerly chimes in that he will “sock it to them” with his G-4.



 



“Same here!” enthuses Ryu, fist in the air, “It’s time to go bash some heads in!”



 



But now Jun is the lone voice defending teamwork and cooperation over the fun of chaotic individualism.

“Stop it!” she cries, “What do you think will happen if we break up like that?”



 

This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by lborgia88 on 26-10-2009 at 14:00.
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Jinpei grouses “I understand, Sis, but it’s Big Bro’s fault that we’re in this mess so we’ve got to take care of it!”

“Right, Ken’s the leader so he shouldn’t let his personal life get in the way,” adds Ryu.

Joe joins the Ken-bashing with “He’s so wound up about his father, you’d think he was a baby.”

Granted, there’s a lot of truth to what they’re saying here.

And the God Phoenix flies on…

Suddenly, Cataroller appears in the sky right in front of the God Phoenix!

“Ahh!” cries Ryu, “Joe, what are we going to do? [There’s a line you don’t hear too often!] Cataroller’s here!”



 



Cataroller’s exterior perimeter is all sharp spikes, and they begin rotating around now as it swoops towards the God Phoenix.



 



“I think we goofed! Let’s go back,” says Jinpei nervously.

“We’ll be fine!” insists Joe, “Give it a good ram!” (This is certainly a more helpful remark than his earlier “We’re dead meat”.)



 




“Know what? You should leave the piloting to me!” retorts Ryu.

“Stop it! Not at a time like this!” protests Jun, again in defense of unity and teamwork, as she clutches her helmet in frustration.




 




“Where are you? We need you, Ken!” she pleads.




 




Ken, as it turns out, is standing in an empty street in front of a shabby old building with Sabu.




 




“So this is the hotel where you saw my Dad?” asks Ken, but he does open the door to go in. Sabu, however, stays where he is.

Unfortunately, as soon as Ken walks inside, the floor drops –he’s standing on an elevator platform that is now taking him down below…



 


A sinister voice laughs, “Nice to see you again, boy scout!”

The platform Ken is on has reached the bottom, and now Ken sees who is addressing him: the Captain from episode 51, flanked by goons.



 




“I had no idea you were the son of a spy on our most wanted list,” he remarks, and Ken angrily denies that his Dad is a spy (Though really, how would he know? In fact, it’s basically true.)

But the Captain explains that they have recently learned the spy’s name, and have information that Ken is his only son.

So now Ken realizes who made a shambles of his office at his airfield, and why.

“Yes, and we found you thanks to your friend,” sneers the Captain as Ken reacts in shock.

“Sabu?” thinks Ken, “But… could he… Sabu!”

Of course he could, Ken! Even Jinpei realized that.




 



Commercial break!

Now we’re back at the God Phoenix, which Cataroller is trying to chop to bits with its rotating spikes.





 




“Hey, can’t we do anything about this?” demands Joe angrily, as cracks appear on his radar screen and everything is shaking.

“That thing’s a lot faster than us and it’s got better maneuverability,” cries Ryu, straining at the controls.

“It’s all Big Bro’s fault!” yells Jinpei grimly, “If I die, I’m going to haunt his ass!”

But suddenly Jun gets up and runs from the bridge, causing Jinpei to demand where she’s going.





 





“To rewire the bird missiles so we can use them,” she replies.




 




“Of course,” cries Ryu, “Now why didn’t we think of that sooner?”

“Maybe you should stop bad-mouthing Ken and start using your brains!” she retorts.

“That was uncalled for,” huffs Ryu, as she leaves. Laugh1



 




Jun uses her yoyo to get up to where the G-1 is normally docked.




 



She then instructs that the auto-clipper be extended.




 


And they are.



 



As the narrator reminds us that the bird missiles can normally only be fired when all five vehicles are combined together, Jun strings her yoyo’s cord back and forth between the two auto-clippers.




 

 



Just as she’s finishing, Cataroller strikes the God Phoenix and she falls down,




 




But the narrator explains her success.




 





On the bridge, Joe leaps to his feet eagerly, saying “Alright, she did it!” (Just you wait until Gatch II, Joe, and you’ll do nearly the same thing –with your own body, not a cord…)



 




“Ha! There’s no one to stop me –let’s fire some bird missiles!” says Joe, now at his much-beloved shiny red button.




 




He fires off at least five of them, and they go right through Cataroller as easily as if it were butter (Flimsy mecha construction there, Galactor! Lucky for the Science Ninjas it is, though.)



 




But, the cord from Jun’s yoyo can only withstand so much current, and it breaks apart, ending Joe’s missile barrage against Cataroller.



 




Joe is only mildly disappointed though, as Cataroller then explodes into a massive ball of flames, completely destroyed.




 





“What? The Cataroller was destroyed?” yells an angry Berg Katse as the news is relayed to him by an on-screen goon. That’s Hontwohl’s corrupt Minister of Defense sitting there with him.




 




The goon explains that it was hit with missiles at close range, causing Katse to rant “That’s what happens when you underestimate the Science Ninja Team!”

The Minister of Defense now points out that they can assume that Dr. Nambu has declined their proposition, since the Team has been mobilized against them.

With that, Katse orders that the V-2 plan be executed. “Once the Earth is enveloped in fire, humanity will beg us for their sorry lives!”

“Galactor and Hontwohl will rule the world,” adds the Minister of Defense, looking quite enthusiastic (I guess he’s planning to live underground or something, away from all the fire.)

“I’ll take great pleasure in slowly torturing that idiot, Dr. Nambu,” gloats Katse before breaking into a peal of evil laughter.

So now we see the missile launch pad, where the V-2 missile is about to be sent on its way.




 




At the launch pad, goons are initiating the countdown and an on-screen Katse issues orders that everyone is to leave there as soon as the missile is set for launch. A sixty second countdown is prepared, and the ground crew is ordered to evacuate immediately.



 




Meanwhile, Sabu is standing in a Hontwohl street, smugly fingering the wad of cash in his pocket that he presumably received for betraying Ken.




 




But suddenly a hand grabs his shoulder from behind and, startled, he turns around.




 




It’s Red Impulse!




 



All he says is “hmmph,” and Sabu turns to walk away but Red Impulse grabs him again.

“You going to travel around the world on that betrayal money?” With that, he punches Sabu in the face, knocking him down.

Okay, you picked a better person to punch in the face this time, Red Impulse!




 




But now we cut to Ken, who’s currently having an even worse time of it, I think –he’s tied up and being whipped by the Captain.

The Captain sneeringly informs Ken that his father has responded to their summons, while forcing his head upright, using the whip.




 




“My Dad? You’re telling me my Dad’s coming here?” says Ken, clearly in pretty rough shape.

The Captain says that he’s heard that Ken hasn’t seen his father for so many years, he can’t remember his face, and that Ken should be grateful that they’ve arranged this father-son reunion for him.

Ken’s isn’t grateful though.

“What are you going to do to my Dad?” he demands.

“The only thing fit for a spy is execution,” smirks the Captain.

Now, goons with guns scurry to get into position, as someone is approaching…

We can see his feet, as he walks down a corridor, and he’s wearing white pants.

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Ken can hear him coming, and he’s desperate to see him, but not if it’s going to get him killed. “Dad, no! Leave! Go!” yells Ken at the top of his lungs, and he gets a nasty thrashing from the Captain’s whip as a result of this outburst.

But the Captain leaves Ken tied where he is, and heads down some stairs to join the armed goons who are awaiting the spy’s arrival. Ken stops yelling too, as it’s clear that the man is still coming regardless.

And here he is:



 




But it quickly becomes apparent to the Captain and the goons that there are actually three men in white suits, and each has approached the room by a different doorway.

At the last moment, each man in white leaps behind the side of their respective doorway as the goons all open fire on them. There’s a quiet pause, as the goons stop firing to figure out what’s going on. Suddenly the three men step into view again, each in a different doorway, but this time they’re in the uniforms of the Red Impulse Team and they immediately begin shooting at the goons with their own guns.



 




And, they seem to have much better aim than the goons, who all begin falling and dying while the Red Impulse Team remains unscathed.

“Who are you and why hasn’t the spy shown up?” asks the Captain angrily, from his position on the stairs that lead up to where Ken is.

He pulls out a gun, but doesn’t get the chance to do anything with it, as the Red Impulse Team shoots it out of his hand and then shoots the Captain himself several times, such that he tumbles over the stair’s railing and falls, dead.

They also shoot the cuffs off of Ken’s wrists and ankles.




 



Red Impulse himself tells his men “We’re running out of time!” and they all turn to leave but Ken calls out to Red Impulse “My Dad, where’s my Dad?” and he pauses

“Come on, this is not the time for you to focus on yourself, understand?” he replies, and then he explains that Galactor is about to launch a missile that will bring the Van Allen Belt crashing to Earth –“If we don’t stop them, the entire globe will be decimated!”



 




He seems to get through to Ken that “This is not the time to cry for your father,” but then he dashes off.

He reappears again almost immediately, and this time he’s got Sabu with him.




 




He informs Ken that he’d almost forgotten about “this punk” and says Ken can dispose of him in any way that the wishes, pushing Sabu onto the floor. Then he takes off again.

Ken stares down at Sabu, who lifts his head enough to realize he’s lying beside a dead goon and recoils in horror. Ken calmly walks down the stairs to Sabu, who’s now shaking and begging for forgiveness.

Ken realizes now that everything Sabu had told him about seeing his father was a lie and that the whole thing with him getting shot in front of the Snack J was rigged. Shaking, looking down at the floor, Ken says “I never thought that you would betray me,” but then he turns on Sabu suddenly and yells “I never thought you would do that to me!”

Sabu is now sobbing, still saying he’s sorry and “I was scared, they said they’d kill me if I didn’t do as I was told!”

“You haven’t changed at all, Sabu, you’re just the same as when we were kids,” says Ken to the sobbing, trembling Sabu who’s huddled on the floor. “You try to act cool but you end up whining like a baby and just causing me trouble.”

Ken walks out of the room, and Sabu calls after him again.

“Quit it, Sabu! I’ve had enough. Get out of my sight!” and Ken is gone.



 




At the missile launch pad, the engines of the V-2 missile are being fired up.




 




It takes off into the sky, nearly incinerating the four Ninjas standing outside, who have just arrived too late to stop it.




 



“No, we were too late!” yells Ryu as Joe says with anguish “If only we’d gotten here just an hour earlier!”

On a ridge somewhere else, the Red Impulse Team is also witnessing the lauch.

“We’re too late. That monster, Berg Katse, has finally done it,” says Red Impulse.



 



Climbing ever higher, the lower stages of the V-2 missile fall away leaving only the top part.




 





The God Phoenix is sitting on the surface of a large lake, with sea gulls flying about, but on board, the Joe, Jun, Jinpei and Ryu are there and Jun is sadly explaining to an on-screen Dr. Nambu that they were too late to stop the missile.

“If that Cataroller hadn’t slowed us, if the God Phoenix had been complete-” Joe is ranting.

“If Ken had been here like he was supposed to-” says Ryu.

“Don’t even say his name! Some leader, splitting when we needed him most,” continues an angry Joe.

“Please, don’t blame Ken,” says Dr. Nambu now, “In all honesty it’s me who should be blamed.”




 





Everyone is silent.

“I might as well tell you. It was fourteen years ago. I learned that Hontwohl had joined forces with Galactor and was beginning preparations for the V-2 plan.”




 



“So I asked a man, working as a test pilot at my research facility, to enter Hontwohl undercover and get the blueprints.”



 



“But that was espionage against powerful and evil people, so not wanting to put his family at risk, he left his four year old son with me.”



 

 




“He then faked his death in an accident over the southern seas.”



 




“He became nameless, changed his appearance, and then snuck into Hontwohl. That man, Red Impulse, is Ken’s father.”




 




Everyone is stunned by this information.




 




“The commander of Red Impulse is Ken’s father?” says Jun.

“Big Bro doesn’t know about his yet, does he?” asks Jinpei sadly

“If only I’d told Ken about this sooner, then he would have been spared his agony,” says Dr. Nambu. No kidding! The end of, say, episode 5 might have been a good time. But then, we’d have missed all the angst and drama…

There are tears on Jun’s face now, as she says only “Ken…”



 



But Ken is alone on a beach somewhere, brooding…



 




Now, music of impending doom plays, as the narrator tells us “That day, in the sky above the Arctic Ocean, an enormous fire began to spread from the detonation of a Galactor-launched missile.”




 




“Thus, the Van Allen Belt began to descend upon the Earth.”



 



“As the Belt entered the atmosphere, it collided with the air, and ignited. The heat from the radioactivity melted the icebergs, forming tsunamis that moved south.” We can see a ship at sea now, being battered by high waves.

“Ken, betrayed by his childhood friend, never got to meet his father. He couldn’t even return to the God Phoenix, and had no idea that Earth’s final hour was approaching.”



 


The End.


I did get a bit of time to watch the Battle of the Planets version, “The Sky is Falling, Part I,” but only enough to make some notes on its plot differences/similarities to the Gatchaman version.

The V-2 missile is the “Spectra Doomsday Weapon, the X-3.” It’s on the planet Riga, but is aimed at Earth.

Sabu is “Tom,” and he isn’t shot in front of the Snack J. Rather, Zark informs Mark that a young wounded man (not seriously wounded!) was picked up, wandering in the streets, and he claims to know Mark. He turns out to be Mark’s old friend from the Space Academy.

The sinister scientist (Katse) who visits Dr. Nambu’s office is really a legit scientist from Riga, merely passing on the news that Spectra will launch the X-3 unless all the Federation planets surrender.

Tom tells Mark that he met his father on Riga, and that he had the photo with him that he remembered Mark showing him years ago.

Mark tells Keyop that he’s going to Riga with Tom to look for his father.

The X-3 plan, as explained to G-Force by Anderson, is the same as the V-2 plan –it will bring down the Van Allen Belt.

The Captain in Hontwohl is “Chief of the Secret Spectra Forces on Riga.” He also knows that Mark is the head of G-Force and immediately tells the captured Mark that Tom is a Spectran agent.

When the Phoenix gets attacked by the Spectran ship (Cataroller), no one is ranting about Mark not being there. Princess leaves the bridge to “activate the bird missile.” “Good,” says Tiny, “You should have done it sooner.” She replies “I though one of you geniuses might, and save this embarrassment.” As she leaves, Tiny says “She’s something.” All she does, once up there, is say “Release the hydraulic arms!” They extend, and then, on the bridge, Jason leaps to his feet and says “She did it!” Somehow this leaves me feeling a bit confused.

Cronus doesn’t punch Tom when he grabs him in the street.

Mark doesn’t get whipped by the Chief of Secret Spectra Forces on Riga, nor do the Rigan Red Rangers show up to gun down the Chief and numerous Spectran soldiers. Mark is shackled, all alone, and the Red Rangers show up and shoot off his wrist and ankle cuffs.

Mark asks Cronus “Where’s my father?” Cronus says “Your old friend played a cruel trick on you, Mark. Forget it for now; because of this delay, rescuing you, Zoltar has been given additional time to complete preparations for the X-3 plan. Look Mark, your father isn’t here –don’t you think if he were, I’d know, and I’d have to let you know?”

The explanation that Anderson gives to Jason, Princess, Keyop and Tiny as to why Cronus had to go undercover, pretend to be dead and leave a four-year old Mark behind is pretty much the same, except he went undercover to Riga, not Hontwohl.

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No mention of Ken's mother. Aside from Ken's flashbacks and her picture (with and without the shadows), all we know of her comes from Ken during the destruction of the Crescent Base.

Time to rescue G1's mother from obscurity!!!!

Did you notice that the disguised Katse sounded a tad like Boris Karloff (until the vocal reveal)?

Amazing that no-one notices that Kentaro Washio's son wears a numbered T-shirt, like one of those kids that always shows up wheverever the SNT also show up....

There's another time that the scriptwriters don't let Nambu take action. In 'The Stolen Gatchaman Information', he also does not call Security when he should. But then, ISO security is only as tight as the plot allows, as numerous episodes demonstrate.

[I work part-time as a security guard, so I'll cut some slack for the breach in 'The Fearsome Mechadokuga': publicly-accessible buildings are busy places, and even those that require special identification to get inside often only go as far as swipe-cards and guards eyeballing for the presence of badges. Making people stop for proper biometric scans and/or searches of bags would interfere with business. Follow someone who has a swipe-card into the building, wear a badge that looks right, act like you belong, and you're in. Or, get a job in the building. As long as you don't write 'Galactor' in the 'previous employement' slot, you might be okay.]

After these episodes, Ken shows annoyance with the crappy security and failures to anticipate Galactor activities. He's tired of cleaning up the ISO's mess. (And Joe is pretty much, "Hey, I'M supposed to be the 'Troubled but Cute' character. My name's under the entry in tv tropes dot org and everything!")

Poor Riga. A sovereign world is Spectra's butt-monkey.

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Great job as usual, LB! And Saturn, you got some great screenshots! I'm drooling over all the great shots of Ken! Luvu2

And LB, thank you so much for adding a BOTP recap! woohoo

I'm sure someone can shed more light on this, but I thought those 'bunk-style' hotels were actually pretty popular in Japan. Yes, they're cheap, but they're not necessarily 'slums'.

LB, you're totally right... why would Nambu have Katse in his office and just let him sit there, and then run out, without calling security? Sure, Katse probably had an escape plan ready, but Nambu could have tried. Perhaps he yells a lot in this episode because he's so frustrated with himself after the fact. Wink

I always wondered... how did Ken take his G-1 to Hontwal? Yes, he could have flown it as the Cessna, but didn't Sabu go with him to Hontwal? And we know from that previous episode that the Cessna is only a one passenger plane.

This graphic always makes me laugh:

 

Why is there a '5' light? If the G-5 isn't present, neither is this display image! ROFL 2

Another thing that always bothered me in this episode... RI specifically tells Ken (after rescuing him) that they have no time, because they've got to save the world from the V2 Plan, but then he stops to bring Sabu in and tells Ken to deal with him. Is there really time for any of this is the fate of the planet is at stake?

Of course, the narrator tells us that Ken has 'no idea' that the 'Earth's final hour is approaching'. Um, yeah, he does. Because Red Impulse told him when Ken was being rescued! D'oh!

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Thanks again, LB and Saturn, for another great recap!

Although I'm an Eagle fan, this time I don't think that Ken acted well during such a precarious time! (this notwithstanding, I hereby join TJ in thanking Saturn for the lovely screenshots of him!). His fleeing to find his dad, even if he were undergoing a big turmoil deep inside, without informing the others and cutting all means of communication is just unjustified due to his position as Captain of the Team and amidst an uncomplete mission. It's also true that I can understand what could have been going on in his teenager mind, him longing to find his long lost father with all his questions finally having the chance of being answered!

I also reiterate the fact that a great part of this situation was Dr Nambu's fault. And yes, why didn't Dr Nambu do anything when he had Berg Katse right in front of him and what was that narrator's comment at the end that Ken had no idea of the Earth's final hour?!

quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun
Another thing that always bothered me in this episode... RI specifically tells Ken (after rescuing him) that they have no time, because they've got to save the world from the V2 Plan, but then he stops to bring Sabu in and tells Ken to deal with him. Is there really time for any of this is the fate of the planet is at stake?


I think that here, even if in a so restricted time, RI wanted to act fatherly and give his son the chance and satisfaction of dealing with a friend that had betrayed him. Fancy it being one of the last very few fatherly actions before his death!

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I wonder if Ken, while brooding on the beach at the end and apparently not knowing it's "Earth's final hour," is just blindly assuming that Red Impulse (after returning briefly to dump Sabu on Ken) headed out and successfully stopped the V-2 plan? I mean, it's not like he's not used to seeing Red Impulse arrive on the scene at the last minute to save the day...

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Possibly... but you'd think that he'd at least check in and make sure...

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I came across this image Springie made from this episode:

 

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quote:
Originally posted by UnpublishedWriter
No mention of Ken's mother. Aside from Ken's flashbacks and her picture (with and without the shadows), all we know of her comes from Ken during the destruction of the Crescent Base.

Time to rescue G1's mother from obscurity!!!!


True, even Joe's mother is at least given a name, Katarina. But, I guess Ryu's, Jun's and Jinpei's mothers are the truly obscure ones -nothing known about them.

I guess the big advantage of there being so little canon about all the mothers, it gives fic writers a big opportunity to get creative.


quote:

There's another time that the scriptwriters don't let Nambu take action. In 'The Stolen Gatchaman Information', he also does not call Security when he should. But then, ISO security is only as tight as the plot allows, as numerous episodes demonstrate.


Now that I think about it, Berg Katse went through an awful lot of extra trouble to show up in Dr. Nambu's office in a disguise and then escape -he could have just contacted him on-screen (something he's done before) to deliver the "surrender or else" message. I guess the scene is meant to serve as another reminder of Katse's talent for disguises.

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quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun
I came across this image Springie made from this episode:

 



Laugh2 That's great!

Poor Ken... This episode really does make him seem rather like a freeloader, abusing Jun's kindness by racking up a big tab he can't pay, even if it's all played for comic relief.

However, I noticed in the BOTP version, the whole Ken/Jinpei "tab" scene is removed and the later scene where Princess is washing dishes and Keyop is moving chairs around (until Mark peers in and beckons him outside) is explained by the fact that Keyop offered to buy her dinner but then didn't have any money and so they have to pay for their meals with labor!

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quote:
Originally posted by lborgia88
I wonder if Ken, while brooding on the beach at the end and apparently not knowing it's "Earth's final hour," is just blindly assuming that Red Impulse (after returning briefly to dump Sabu on Ken) headed out and successfully stopped the V-2 plan? I mean, it's not like he's not used to seeing Red Impulse arrive on the scene at the last minute to save the day...


That's a good reason! He still could have ensured himself about the situation though! I think all his thoughts about his father and the latest incident left him completely numb to all that was happening around him!

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Springie's pic is great!

I still cannot find an explanation as to how the Science Ninja Team were not paid for their work ... hey, they literally sacrificed their lives and worked a lot of overtime! They endured training and had to learn and be specialized in various fields ... they were soldiers working for the ISO to defend the earth! Even if they were self-driven to do so because they wanted, they surely could have been better with some extra incentive! I think that each and every one that worked at the ISO, from the highest post to the lowest, had a remuneration, then why didn't the SNT members have it?! I think that it's a humiliating fact that Gatchaman does not have enough money to pay for his meals or doesn't have to worry about his place being robbed because of his poor possessions! I always think that money is not everything but some of it at hand could help a lot!

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LB, you raised some interesting points about Mark not being 'broke' in this episode... but I don't think that's because Mark was never broke. I think it's because they wanted to take out the whole 'Sabu gets shot in front of Jill's' thing. Basically, in BOTP they were American teenagers. That meant that they only had 'part time' jobs, and not as much responsibility... nor as much money.

Fanon has speculated that the SNT were not paid because it could have been traced to their secret identities. That's as good a reason as any, I suppose. There's another possibility I've hinted at in a couple of my stories. In some sense, I think nambu 'went rogue' when he set up the SNT. He's not the Director of the ISO (not until Gatch F, anyhow) and the ISO is a SCIENCE organization, not a military one. Nambu saw the need for a specialized military team that was under his control, not the UN's. So he was scraping together everything he could to help the team exist in the first place, and that didn't leave much (if any) room for salaries.

If there's any canon reason for this (ahem... James...) I'd love to hear it!

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Or the writers just didn't think that far ahead. Leaving us plenty of room for speculation.

Your speculation is supported by the first episode. Nambu pops up with these revelations about Galactor and his team, and no-one else knows anything about them. Although they do fall into line rather quickly. (Which could be explained by the attacks of the honking big mechanical turtle on several nuclear facilities.)

Is it canon that Nambu raised and trained the team for ten (or more) years? I think they've mentioned or implied that, but I can't recall. (Yet, the way the team members sometimes act, viewers could be forgiven for thinking the team was formed recently. Ryu would hardly twit Jinpei about his lack of a recorded birthday if he'd known him for a decade, and if Joe is 18 at the start of the show, he could NOT have met Lucy five years before the race.)

In my AU, Nambu learns of the existence of Galactor, and has no more than Kentaro Washio and a few allies and friends to rely on to find out everything he can about the organization. It takes time, and the kick in the ISO's ass comes when a Galactor captain reinterprets his orders to mean he can use a mecha and his soldiers to carry out an attack (five years or so before the Turtle King marks the official change in Galactor tactics). Berg Katse is not pleased. Captain is soon dead.

Oh, and the show makes references to 'the last war.' I get the impression that it's not World War Two they're talking about.

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Hi all!

quote:
If there's any canon reason for this (ahem... James...) I'd love to hear it!


Nope, nothing in canon about them receiving or not receiving a salary for their work in the Ninja Team.

Maybe Ken's just broke because owning and operating an airplane, as well as a private airstrip, is quite expensive.

quote:
Is it canon that Nambu raised and trained the team for ten (or more) years?


Yes and no. Yes, it is canon that he was involved with Ken and Joe since they were younger (Ken since he was four, though exactly how great his involvement between the time Kentaro disappeared and Ken's unnamed mother died is unclear. It is likely he because a full-time guardian after she passed away, but those duties may have been shared somewhat while she was alive. Joe had been under his care for the 10 years prior to episode #81). No real timeline has been given for when he began looking after Jun, Jinpei, and Ryu.

There is nothing in canon regarding how long the Ninja Team was being trained prior to the first episode of the series.

quote:
Oh, and the show makes references to 'the last war.' I get the impression that it's not World War Two they're talking about.


"The last war?" There are references to some wars (Bien and Ameria for one, the civil war in Franbell being another), but those aren't global conflicts. Which wars are you referring to?

James

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Am I mistaken thinking that World War III was mentioned in Gatch as the last global war before that with Galactor or am I confusing this data with fanon or another series? I don't know in what episode but I somehow recall Dr Nambu referring to Kentaro Washio as a friend from World War III or maybe I'm just confusing things as I previously said!!!

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Hi all!

quote:
Am I mistaken thinking that World War III was mentioned in Gatch as the last global war before that with Galactor or am I confusing this data with fanon or another series?


There is no direct mention of World War III in the series, but it has been a part of the mix for many years, due in part to a book published in Japan back in 1978; the Fantastic TV Collection. In the early days of fandom, a lady had some Japanese friends of hers translate the books for her.

In the second of the two Fantastic TV Collection volumes, there is a "roundtable discussion" with the members of the Ninja Team. In that discussion, there is a part where Jun says that the aunt she lived with after her parents died was killed during a war. The original Japanese says that it was a war between neighboring countries, but the translators made it sound like a much bigger conflict (In their defense, they weren't professonal translators). Fans took this and ran with it.

And, before anyone asks, the part about her aunt is not from any part of the series itself, but was created by whoever wrote about their fictional meeting with the Ninja Team.

quote:
I don't know in what episode but I somehow recall Dr Nambu referring to Kentaro Washio as a friend from World War III or maybe I'm just confusing things as I previously said!!!


In the Gatchaman movie program, they have some character descriptions. In the one for Red Impulse, they say, "Since near the end of the Second World War, he joined Dr. Nambu's fact team in order to detect the activities of Gallactor, forming the Red Impulse," but that's the closest reference to anything like that which I have run across. Of course, that makes no sense, since that would put Red Impulse in his mid-70s by the 2001 timeframe for the series. Whoever wrote that bit for the movie program obviously wasn't thinking things through when they wrote it.

James

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There were references to 'the last war' in a few episodes, so I wasn't sure what was intended.

Could have been a local conflict between Utoland and another country. Franbell, the former military dictatorship, comes to mind.

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