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Gatchaman Episode 95 – The Combined Ninjas, Giant Demon Man

 

We open to scenes of a mountainous region, and Dr. Nambu’s voiceover.

“This is Jupiter Mountain. On the mountainside are ruins of a fortress rumored to have been built by ancient ninjas.”

“I’ve been there!” Jun says, and we can see that she is being briefed. “That fortress was known as the birthplace of a ninja sect, wasn’t it?”

 

“That’s right.” Dr. Nambu confirms. “And a mysterious murder has occurred at the foot of the mountain recently.” Jun is distressed when she sees an image of the murder scene.

 

It appears that men have been crucified on X-shaped poles. X-shaped… coincidence?

 

“People who live at the foot of the mountain are fearful that this is the work of the ancient ninjas’ guardian demon.” Nambu reveals. “So no one wants to get close. But there’s no mistake that this is the work of humans.” I can buy that. This demon doesn’t look too bright.

 

“Galactor, you think?” Jun guesses. Well, duh. He wouldn’t be telling you about this if he didn’t think it was Galactor, Jun!

 

“What’s certain is that someone is trying to drive people away from Jupiter Mountain.” the Doctor replies. “And I’d like you to find out who.”

“Alone? By myself?” Jun is distressed at the thought of leaving Ken behind. The nights will get awfully lonely…

 

“Like you said, since you’ve been to this village, you know the terrain.” Nambu replies. “Of course, if things get dangerous, or once the group behind all of this becomes clear, I’ll send in the rest of the Team.”

Now we cut to the Snack J, which is apparently closing up for the night, as we can see the outside lights turning off. Inside the J, Jinpei is dressed for… a party? Another date with Maria?

 

Ryu is so amused by this sight that he spits out his coffee.

 

Ken and Joe are equally astounded.

 

“Boy, he’s dressed up!” Ryu exclaims. “So, what’s up with the monkey suit, Dr. Moreau?”

“What happened, Jinpei?” Ken asks.

 

“What, you got a girlfriend or something?” Joe guesses.

 

”Can’t be!” Ryu protests. “There’s no way Jinpei’s that popular! That little twerp gets all the good action…”

 

“No, no.” Jinpei waves his hand in a ‘sophisticated’ manner. “This is nothing you need concern yourselves with.”

 

“Oh, is that so?” Ryu huffs. “Then, which restaurant are you working for today, exactly?”

 

“For your information, this is ceremonial dress, you glutton!” Jinpei sniffs haughtily.

 

“Aaah! So now I’m a glutton?” Ryu get angry. “You put on a suit and all of a sudden you’re a sniveling little snot!”

 

“Hey, where’s Sis?” Jinpei asks, changing the subject.

 

“Dr. Nambu called earlier, and sent her on a top secret assignment.” Ken explains.

Jinpei is so shocked that his hair pops out into its usual mess.

 

“But today’s my birthday and all! I know she couldn’t have forgotten about my birthday!” Jinpei cries. Ken looks like he doesn’t know how to respond.

 

“How can you know your birthday when you’re an orphan, little Lord Fauntleroy?” Ryu mocks.

 

“Sis decided that the day she met me would be my birthday.” Jinpei says, obviously downcast.

 

“So that was today, huh?” Ken asks kindly.

“She celebrates it every year, but I guess she forgot, huh?” Jinpei sighs. “No way!”

“Then it doesn’t have to be today, does it, Lord Jinpei?” Ryu asks in a taunting voice. “You can just do it whenever you find the time!”

“Ryu…” Ken gives a warning.

 

“Oh, I see. Since I don’t know my real birthday, you’re making fun of me, right?” Jinpei asks angrily, tears falling from his eyes. “You think it’s funny?”

 

“Uh, no…” Ryu backtracks. “No, I just, I mean, uh… “

 

“I don’t want to hear it!” Jinpei shouts. “Stupid!” He rips his flower off of his lapel and throws it at Ryu.

 

“Jinpei…” Ryu is stupefied.

 

“Okay, so I’m an orphan and I don’t know my birthday, or even my name!” Jinpei wipes his eyes. “And Sis named me Jinpei, so it’s not the name my parents gave me! So just make fun of me!”

 

“Come on…” Ryu attempts to apologize.

“Well I have a real birthday too, see, and I’m going to go and find out what it is!” Jinpei declares, running off.

“Hang on, Jinpei!” Ken calls after him, but Jinpei is gone.

“I’m sorry.” Ryu hangs his head. “I was just joshing with him, and I didn’t mean it.”

 

“Yeah, well, to Jinpei, that joke was pretty harsh.” says Joe, always the master of tact. Roll “You managed to hit on the one thing that gets to him the most. Good job.”

“Wonder how he plans to find out his birthday?” Ken says.

“Probably in Jupiter Mountain. He once told me that he met Jun there.” Ryu answers.

Sure enough, Jinpei, back in his civvies, is driving his dune buggy out of the garage.

 

“Jinpei drove toward Jupiter Mountain alone.” the narrator informs us, as we see a mountainous landscape. “As an orphan who didn’t even know his real name, it was impossible to know where he was born, yet he was drawn… Agile by nature, he had acquired ninja-like techniques without even realizing it. And when he was wandering about alone on Jupiter Mountain, he met Jun by accident and came to be taken in by an orphanage. Based solely on that memory, Jinpei believed that Jupiter Mountain was indeed his home.”

Now we see an old man on the mountain, smoking an old-fashioned Eastern pipe outside of a small house. Jinpei comes driving up and stops his car.

“Hey, whatcha smoking, Gramps?” he asks rudely.

 

But the man doesn’t answer.

“Maybe he can’t hear me.” Jinpei thinks, moving closer. “Hey there, Mister, you got a minute?”

 

“Why did you come into the mountains so far, young man?” the old man asks. “It’s dangerous.” His voice is very gruff.

“I came to find my birthplace.” Jinpei explains. “I’m an orphan, but I think I was born here somewhere.”

“What?” The old man raises his head, and for the first time we can see his eyes. He is blind.

 

And now we cut to… the God Phoenix! It’s flying through the clouds. And then we cut back to Jupiter Mountain.

“Meanwhile, under orders from Dr. Nambu, G1, 2 and 5 also infiltrated Jupiter Mountain, following after Jinpei.” the narrator tells us.

“So that’s Jupiter Mountain, huh?” Joe asks, as the guys get out and ‘go casual’ to check out the scenery. “It’s been a long time since ninjas existed here, hasn’t it?”

 

“Well, I was told that the ninja group has recently revived, and that Galactor’s behind it.” Ken replies. “Jun’s investigating it.”

 

Now we see a series of two-horse chariots racing across a stone bridge. The chariot drivers appear to be wearing some kind of armor.

 

“Who drives chariots in getups like that?” Joe wonders.

 

“The Jupiter Ninja Corps!” Ken deduces.

 

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Back with the old man… he’s in his cabin, feeding the fire.

“If you go down the mountain now, you won’t make it back before dark.” the old man says. “You should stay here tonight and leave early tomorrow.”

“But why?” Jinpei asks. “I want to know when my birthday is, and also about my father and my mother.”

 

“Unnecessary. Simply hold your birthplace in your heart.” the man replies, after a few puffs on his pipe.

“I told them that I’d definitely find it out before I left.” Jinpei says stubbornly. “I can’t just back out now!”

“You do not listen!” the man snaps, exasperated. Boy, he catches on quick, doesn’t he? He knows Jinpei for all of a minute, and he’s already figured the kid out! Wink

“You are in danger!” the old man repeats.

“But why?” Jinpei asks. The man looks like he might answer, but is interrupted by the sound of horses.

“It’s too late, boy.” the old man says, approaching the window. “We’re surrounded.” Jinpei looks out a window and sees what the old man means.

 

The chariots we saw before are outside the house.

“Who the heck are those guys?” Jinpei asks.

“They’re the Jupiter Ninja Corps. They used to be my friends.” the old man says, locking up his house as he speaks.

“Are you a ninja too, Mister?” Jinpei asks.

 

“It was a long time ago.” the man admits. “They’ve left me alone until now, since I’m blind. But they’ve finally decided to kill me!” Blind or not, old or not, the man opens a cabinet and pulls out a weapon… some bolos! He looks very fierce.

 

“Oh, that weapon’s just like mine!” Jinpei thinks to himself.

Outside, some of the chariots begin charging the house.

“Here they come, boy!” the old man warns, revealing a hatch in the floor to a secret space. “Hide under here!”

“Nothing doing!” Jinpei smirks, pulling out his own bolos. “If I hide now, it’ll ruin the reputation of Jinpei the Great!”

 

“No, I’m the one they want!” the old man says. “It’s got nothing to do with you!”

Outside, the horses pull away from the chariots, which are still charging the house.

 

The battering spears on the front of the two chariots crash through the house wall, and Jinpei is taken aback!

 

The Jupiter ninjas leap onto the roof. One jumps down the chimney and enters through the fireplace.

 

Somehow, the one ninja splits into two. But that doesn’t bother the old man. He smashes both with his bolos.

 

Outside, another chariot starts spitting fire from its wheels, before charging the house. The horses veer off, and when this chariot hits the wall, it explodes. Fire spreads, and the other two chariots (which hit the house earlier) explode as well. The house is on fire!

 

“Those guys mean business!” Jinpei shouts.

 

“Just stay close and don’t leave my side, boy.” the old man replies.

The remaining chariots charge the house. Inside, the old man is beating up more ninjas. Pretty nifty for a blind dude!

 

But he is unable to get his weapon loose after taking down one ninja, and another hits the old man, backing him up against a wall. The old man kicks the wall… and it spins around!

“Hey, Mister!” Jinpei calls, worried.

But the old man comes back out, and we can see that he has defeated this ninja as well.

 

Still more chariots are coming, and shades of Grease, spikes extend from their tires that rip through the walls of the house!

 

But help is on the way…

 

Seeing this, the ninjas depart. No, not the Science ninjas…

 

“That’s Jinpei’s buggy over there!” Ken spots the vehicle outside the house.

 

“Then Jinpei’s in that fire!” Ryu exclaims.

 

“Ready, Ken?” Joe asks, as Ken opens his secret pants pocket…

 

“Right on.” Ken says, and you can see that Joe has a shuriken ready as well. Although, Joe looks like he’s been smoking something himself, based on the stoned expression on his face…

 

“Science Ninja Team vs. Jupiter Ninja Corps!” Ken says. “Solid! Come on!”

 

And everyone takes off for the house.

Um…. where is Jun in all of this? I thought her job was to find the ninjas? If so, she’s doing a lousy job, as clearly Ken, Joe and Ryu were able to find them first. Of course, they’re not so bright themselves. Rather than trying to rescue Jinpei (whom they have correctly assumed is in the burning building) they go after the departing ninjas instead.

The chariots are moving away, and one of them looks up into the sky, only to see…

 

Is it just me, or have the wings on Ken’s boomerang extended to three or four times their usual length?

And Ken makes good use of this extra length.

 

He throws out the driver and takes over the chariot. The driver gets run over by the next few chariots.

Another driver falls out when a feather shuriken sprouts in his throat. Seems Joe was riding his horses in an unconventional manner.

 

He literally spits a feather shuriken out of his mouth to take out the next driver.

 

Ryu, not having a weapon handy (doesn’t he have a gun?) decides to impersonate a wall.

 

Unfortunately for him, the horses keep on going.

 

So Ryu yanks them down and finally stops that chariot.

Meanwhile, Ken has moved onto the hand-to-hand stage of combat.

 

But a ninja surprises him from behind.

 

 

The guy is strong enough to break Ken’s boomerang! But there’s some kind of chain still connecting it.

 

Ken still gets the upper hand. Snicker…

Back at the house, there are apparently still some ninjas there, tearing up the walls Grease-style and hand-to-hand fighting with the old man inside.

And Jinpei is helping out too.

 

”Oh, no, Master!” Jinpei calls, as he sees one ninja struggling with the old man.

 

The man knocks out his opponent, but the walls and roof start caving in from fire damage.

“Watch out boy, the roof!” the man calls. He races toward Jinpei, knocking them both through the hatch in the floor.

 

Commercial break!

Good thing Solid Gold Ken doesn’t melt from the heat! Although if he were chocolate filled, that might be quite yummy….

By now, the house is a smoking ruin, and Jinpei’s car is still parked outside. And there are three observers.

 

“Hey, Jinpei!” Ryu shouts.

 

But there is no response, only a pile of burning rubble.

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“Jinpei’s far too skilled to go down in a little scrape like this.” Joe notes. “Maybe he wasn’t even in the shack.”

 

“I guess I’ll try contacting him.” Ryu fiddles with his bracelet.

 

“Wait!” Ken stops him. “We can’t do that now.”

 

“Why not, Ken?” Ryu asks. “It’s the best way to know if he’s okay.”

 

“If Galactor’s behind this, just as Dr. Nambu suspects, then they must know our radio transmission frequency.” Ken says. Really? This is news to me. I don’t get how this follows? Couldn’t Galactor just be there, not knowing the frequency? I’m confused…

 

“Well then, what do we do?” Joe snarls. “Go look for Galactor ourselves?”

 

“I know just the right guide for us.” Ken smirks, checking out the abandoned chariots.

 

Now we can see inside the hidey hole in the house, and it looks like Jinpei and the man are okay.

 

“The Jupiter Ninjas’ fighting techniques were much sought after during the Earth’s Age of Quarrel, but in these modern and peaceful times, they have become unnecessary.” The old man says. “Our Sensei, realizing this, disbanded the Jupiter Ninja Corps. Many became villagers, while others dispersed to various towns.”

Jinpei listens quietly.

 

“But eight years ago, a man called Lord Katse appeared.” the man reveals.

 

“The Lord Katse?” Jinpei gasps.

 

“Lord Katse gathered the disbanded Jupiter Ninjas, built up their scientific capability, and started training them for warfare again.” the old man continues. “Sensei and I opposed, but the nature of the Jupiter Ninja is to fight. They couldn’t adapt to village life, or the towns, so they flocked to Katse, and in the end, began attacking Sensei and myself. I lost my eyes. His entire family was murdered.”

“Such a tragedy…” the old man mutters. “All lost, save one… Sensei’s three year old son, who disappeared during the attack. If he’s still alive, I suppose he’s about your age.” This statement isn’t lost on Jinpei! He’s so shocked, his pants go white!

 

“Listen, boy,” the old man says, “I tell you this because should you ever see our leader’s son somewhere, tell him never to come back…” the old man doubles over in pain. Seems that those hits he took when fighting hurt more than he let on.

“But what can I do?” Jinpei asks.

“Tell him to live a new life in a new age.” the old man says. “It’s not healthy for him to know his birthplace, not to mention that he is a descendant of the Jupiter Ninjas. Wouldn’t you agree, boy?”

“Hey, Mister, is there any way I could recognize this boy who’s the son of your leader?” Jinpei asks.

 

“I must know!” Jinpei adds.

“A small birthmark on his right hand…” the man gasps. And then… he dies.

“Mister!” Jinpei calls. His left arm momentarily disappears in his distress.

 

Curiously, Jinpei checks out his right hand and arm. There is no birthmark.

 

“Well, I guess it’s not me.” he sighs sadly. He seems sadder about this than the dead man.

Eventually, the flames above die down enough that Jinpei can leave the hidey hole.

 

“Mister, I swear that I’ll avenge your death, especially if Galactor is behind the Jupiter Ninjas!” Jinpei vows. “You have my word!”

He checks out the remains of the house.

 

He hears something in the wind.

“Aw, damnit, they’re still out there!” he says, readying his bolos.

 

He throws his bolos, but someone catches them on a stick. Jinpei is taken aback to find his weapon neutralized so easily.

 

And who would be capable of that?

 

“Why, if it isn’t Jinpei!” Jun murmurs.

 

“Oh, hiya, Sis!” Jinpei says.

 

“Don’t you ‘Sis’ me!” Jun retorts. “What are you doing out here?”

 

Now we cut to the giant demon statue. Inside of it is… Katse!

“What’s wrong? Aren’t they back yet?” Katse snaps.

 

The five Jupiter Ninjas bowing before him do not answer.

“Apparently I’ve overestimated the skill of you people.” Katse sighs haughtily. “Since I figured, no matter how advanced chemical and technological weapons get, that in the end the battle is decided by the strength and wisdom of humans, I’ve been investing a lot of money in training you. But how long does it take you to kill some old geezer?”

Still no response from the Ninjas.

“This is the result of eight long years of training?” Katse continues his rant. “Grrr… no matter what I say, you creeps give me the silent treatment!”

 

But the Ninjas rise when the neighing of horses is heard in the distance.

“It’s about time! So they’re finally back!” Katse says.

 

“Listen up, don’t give those bums a chance to rest, understand?” Katse orders, before turning away. “Oh, man, these guys are lame.” But he suddenly turns back, startled by what he sees on the approaching chariots!

 

 

 

 

In fact, he gibbers momentarily, like he can’t find the words.

“It’s Gatchaman!” he finally exclaims.

 

“Good old Katse!” Ken smirks. “You get seats for the chariot races too?”

 

“Jeez, it seems like we see your face wherever we go!” Ryu exclaims. “What a small world!”

 

“Yeah? Well it sure ain’t big enough for the both of us!” Katse snarls.

 

“Someone’s in a crabby mood.” Joe says smugly. “And here I thought you’d give us a warm welcome.”

 

“Put a plug in it, wiseacre!” Katse snaps, before turning to his own ninjas. “And what are you doing? They’re my enemy! Why don’t you creeps buck up and do something right for one?”

“Katse, the Earth’s too big for you to handle!” Ken says, getting off his chariot. “Make it easy on yourself and surrender peacefully!”

 

“Well, world conquest is my thing, and I’m not giving it up for a bunch of twerps in bird suits!” Katse says dismissively, turning to leave again. You’ve got to love his reasoning! ROFL 2

“Stop!” Ken, Joe and Ryu run after him.

 

But the Jupiter Ninjas stand together and block their way.

“Step aside!” Ken orders.

 

But instead, the Jupiter Ninjas combine in a strange maneuver.

 

Three of the Jupiter Ninjas become encased in metal, while the one on the bottom still has legs.

 

The thing starts whirling and comes after the three Science Ninjas.

“Scatter!” Ken calls.

 

__________________
 

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The four Jupiter Ninjas break apart and two re-combine to form a kind of spike, which lands where Ken is standing.

 

Ryu comes rushing up to help.

 

He knocks another pair of opponents out of formation.

 

But the other one knocks him down. Ryu has to check and make sure everything is still in place.

 

“Ugh… hey… that smarts!” Ryu says.

The four Jupiter Ninjas start running quickly in a circle around the three Science Ninjas.

“Ken, these ninjas seem to be on a different level than those troops we saw earlier.” Joe forgets his grammar in his surprise.

 

One Ninja leaps out of the rushing circle and delivers a flying kick, which Ken avoids.

 

And who should come out of a nearby waterfall?

 

“Who knew there’d be a shortcut in a place like this?” Jinpei wonders.

 

“There’s an exercise hall for the Jupiter Ninjas up ahead.” Jun reveals. “Katse sometimes shows up there as well.” It looks like she’s been doing some good scouting, after all.

 

“Katse?” Jinpei exclaims. The two go running off. But after they pass by, something emerges from the shadows.

 

“Oh, that was a close call! I didn’t expect to see them here!” Katse says. “I’m sure glad I knew the Jupiter Ninjas’ ‘hide in the darkness’ technique. Well, I guess it’s the only thing I learned while I took care of them for the last eight years. At least it wasn’t a total waste!” And he runs out through the waterfall.

Meanwhile, the Jupiter Ninjas are getting into a familiar formation. (There are five of them, after all.)

“Wait, that’s the formation for the Tornado Fighter!” Joe recognizes it too.

 

Except that instead of doing the Tornado Fighter, these Ninjas transform into… a massive demon robot!

Eat your heart out, Voltron!

 

The demon breathes fire at the ninjas. Well, what else would you expect a demon to do?

 

Then it sends out metal shuriken from its hand. Ken narrowly avoids one. Another approaches our three heroes.

 

And another.

 

The other hand releases a throwing net.

 

And the birds are caught!

 

The giant demon grows a spike in its foot, and moves to step on Ken. Gatchaman isn’t too happy about this.

 

So Ken rolls over.

 

Then uses his boomerang to cut through the net.

 

However, the demon, seeing this, electrifies the net. There is an explosion! But when the smoke clears…

 

“What do we do, Ken?” Joe asks, sounding like he stole Jun’s line. “Since they made the first move, we’re stuck here doing counterpunches!” Okay, maybe not all of Jun’s lines. Wink

 

Just then, the reinforcements arrive.

 

“Hi, Ken!” Jun says, surprised. I’m not sure if it’s Ken, or the massive demon robot that surprises her.

 

“Hey, why are you here, Big Bro?” Jinpei asks.

“I’ll have to explain later, guys.” Ken brushes them off. “All right! Science Ninja Team, let’s do the Tornado Fighter!”

 

Ryu and Joe drop down.

 

And everyone forms up.

 

Unlike usual, this time Jinpei doesn’t announce the name of the maneuver. They just start turning. The demon has a hard time dealing with this one.

 

The metal plates retract, and one of the Jupiter Ninjas goes flying off of the demon’s body. He lands face first into the side of the mountain. Eventually, the others retract their plates too, and go flying into the mountain as well.

The force of the Tornado Fighter causes the head of the demon statue to crumble off, as the tornado lifts away.

Now we see a crude burial marker (a cross). The Team, now in civvies, is standing in front of it.

 

“I’m sorry that you couldn’t even find a clue, Jinpei.” Ken says.

 

“Well, it wouldn’t matter much, even if I knew my birthday, anyway.” Jinpei says. “As that old man said, I’ll live with my birthplace in my heart, and that’ll just have to be enough.”

 

“Oh, that reminds me!” Ryu says, pulling something out of his pocket. “Well, it’s sort of crushed…”

 

Ryu has a birthday present for Jinpei!

“Jinpei, this is for you.” Ryu says. “Since we fought so hard, it got all crushed. It’s small, but it’s from the heart.”

 

“Here you go!” Ryu places it in a shocked Jinpei’s hands. “Well, don’t make me feel embarrassed, Jinpei! I just hope you had a happy birthday!” Ryu stirkes a bizarre pose… I guess he’s practicing his ‘ninja balance’?

 

“We ought to give the little guy something too, don’t you think, Joe?” Ken asks.

 

“Yeah, something not crushed.” Joe agrees.

In the end, with the battle over, Jinpei still didn’t know his birthday. But what if the old man lied about the Jupiter Ninja Leader’s son having a birthmark on his hand? There’s a mystery unsolved. As the possibilities pass through Jinpei’s mind, he felt he understood why this old man might have lied. Live your life with your birthplace in your heart! It was true for Jinpei, but also for the whole Science Ninja Team.

 

__________________
 

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BOTP Episode 83 – Charioteers of Changu

Here at Center Neptune, in the peaceful depths of the sea, Zark keeps a constant eye on the universe for any sign of hostile alien invaders from outer space.

“But right now, everything is as quiet and peaceful in the wild blue yonder as it is in the deep blue down here.” Zark tells us.

 

Um… by ‘wild blue yonder’ does Zark mean Earth’s skies? Or outer space? Because he’s supposed to be watching outer space, and outer space is black. Okay, not that I’ve been there myself…

“Yap, wap, wap!” barks Rover.

 

“Yes, 1-Rover-1,” Zark replies “I know you’re glad to be back home, and I’m glad to have you back!” I guess Rover was gone somewhere? Pretty sad that Rover gets to leave and Zark never does.

“Let’s see what new tricks you picked up during your refresher course at the Computerized Canine Kennel!” Zark giggles. “Roll over!”

 

Rover rolls over.

 

“Very good!” Zark says. “Now, a little mental test! What is one million minus nine hundred, ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred, ninety-nine?”

“Wap!”

“Exactly right!” Zark titters. “He loves dealing in astronomical figures, like that. Now, let’s see you fly!”

 

“Wap! Wap, wap, wap!”

“No, no, you won’t get your nice, tasty bowl of nuts and bolts until you fly!” Zark threatens.

So Rover flies.

But his flight is interrupted by a call from Sexy Susan on her drop-down binoculars!

 

“Uh, oh, there’s the emergency buzzer!” Zark says. “Hold it!”

Rover hovers, tail twirling in the air.

“Center Neptune Control, 7-Zark-7.” Zark answers the call.

“Zark, Susan here on Planet Pluto!” Susan says. Like we didn’t know it was Susan. No one else ever calls Zark on the drop-down binoculars thing.

“My early warning scanners have just picked up the strangest UFOs I have ever come across!” Susan reports. “They have entered our solar system, and appear to be heading toward Earth!”

“Any idea what they might be?” Zark asks.

“No.” Susan replies. “I will switch you over to my scanner frequency.”

And now we see space, courtesy of Zark’s monitor. There’s a strange circular ship.

 

“Whatever those UFOs are, one thing is clear.” Susan says. “They’ve come from out of the past.” Wait, is there more than one UFO? I only see the one circular ship.

“And they are definitely heading for Earth!” Susan adds, as we see the usual image of Saturn going by. “Somewhere in the Himalayan mountains!”

“Big 10, Susan!” Zark says. “I’ll alert Security Chief Anderson and G-Force at once! Over and out!”

“Oh my, I forgot!” Zark exclaims suddenly. “Down, 1-Rover-1!” Yep, the poor dog has been hovering all this time.

“7-Zark-7 to Security!” Zark says, now that Rover has been taken care of. “Red alert! Come in, Security!”

Now we see images of mountains.

“This is the small village of Changu, high up in the Himalayas.” Chief Anderson says, and we realize that we are looking at slides.

“Yes, Chief, I know the Himalayas!” Princess says. “I went there to study meditation, remember?”

“That’s exactly why we’ve selected you to go on this mission alone, Princess.” Anderson replies, switching to another slide. “Start by meeting with the people who worship this primitive and fierce-looking stone idol.” Yep, you guessed it, he’s showing the cone-headed demon statue.

“Why alone, Chief?” Princess asks.

“That way you won’t arouse any suspicions while you gather the facets.” Anderson says. “And the facts are very mysterious.” The slideshow is apparently over, as he turns on the lights.

“What about Mark and the others?” Princess asks.

“They’ll be along later.” the Chief replies quickly. “I want you to check out those stories of Roman charioteers; check out that stone idol. Zark will keep contact. First sign of trouble, flash your communicator. Good luck, Princess.”

And now we cut to…

 

Yep, while Princess is on a solo mission, the guys are vegging out in the Ready Room.

“I still don’t see why Zark and the Chief sent Princess way off to the Himalayas, all by herself!” Tiny says.

 

“That’s your worry. My worry is what happened to Keyop.” says the about-to-get-a-hernia Commander.

 

“Well, all I gotta say is, this worry is bad for me.” Tiny moans. “It’s making me overeat!”

“Attention, G-Force!” Zark comes onto the monitor above Tiny’s head. “We have an internal problem! I’ll switch over to internal channel, Scanner Channel 9!” And on Channel 9 we see…

Princess!

 

Wow, sure looks like she’s in the Himalayas, doesn’t it?

“As you can see, Keyop is following Princess without authorization!” Zark says worriedly.

 

“Princess was sent out to investigate secretly.” Zark reminds them. “And now, Keyop may break her cover! And both of them may find themselves up against stranger invaders from another time… the past!” Gosh, thanks for clearing that up, Zark! I thought that the invaders would be from the future! Doh2

“So we’re forced to send all of you to Changu now.” Zark finishes. Mark doesn’t reply.

 

Greg, Peter and Bobby Brady respond to the call!

 

Okay, Mark, Jason and Tiny say, ‘G-Force!’ and get lowered away, their hair flying.

Now we see the mountains. An old man is smoking a pipe outside of his house. Keyop drives up and gets out of his car.

“Mister?” he burbles. “Hey, seen pretty girl… come by?” I guess he means Princess?

“I have seen nothing in many years. I am blind.” the man replies. “Come here.”

“Uh…” Keyop burbles as he approaches. “Who you? Guru?”

“Akadan.” the man replies.

And now we see the Brady Brothers standing next to a mountain waterfall.

“According to Zark, those UFOs landed near here.” Jason says.

“Yeah, well I’m not looking for any weird UFOs until we’ve found Princess and Keyop.” Mark replies.

Charioteers race across a nearby stone bridge.

“Robots driving chariots?” Jason can’t believe it.

“We’d better follow them.” Mark says.

We have a short commercial break, then return to Akadan’s home.

“I have been waiting here for a long time.” Akadan says to Keyop, as he throws wood onto the fire. “A very long time. They will be coming soon.”

“Who… are they?” Keyop asks, with an incredibly long string of burbling. Wow, this guy is blind, and the only thing he has for communication is Keyop’s burbling. It’s a sad, sad life…

“The robot warriors from Changu.” Akadan replies.

“Old man… pipe dreaming!” Keyop burbles insultingly.

“I think they are here now! I feel it!” Akadan says.

“Huh?” And now we can clearly hear horses neighing.

“I can’t see them, but they’re out there!” Akadan goes to the window and shuts it. Keyop approaches another window and gasps as he sees the charioteers surrounding the house!

“What do… root toot… they want?”

“They want me I know the secret of Changu!” Akadan replies.

“Broot… will they harm you?” Keyop asks. On any show other than BOTP, this would be a ridiculous question.

“They will try anything.” Akadan replies. “But I will never tell those mechanical warriors the secret. I am blind, but I can see with my ears!” He opens a cabinet full of weapons and pulls out metal bolos.

“Can’t let him go it alone!” Keyop thinks.

Two chariots race at the house. The horses break off and veer away, but the chariots continue. Inside the house, Akadan opens a floor panel.

“Get in! You’ll be safe down there!” he tells Keyop.

“Never ran… from a fight!” Keyop burbles.

“Okay, just stand clear when I start swinging!” Akadan warns.

Outside, the two chariots crash into the house and the drivers leap up to the roof. They jump down through the chimney (not the burning fireplace and separate. This is accompanied by lots of mechanical noises. You know, in case you forgot that they’re robots.

Akadan swings his bolos and takes them out.

Outside, another chariot spouts fire from its wheels and sends its horses off, before crashing into the house and exploding. The flames reach the other two chariots already stuck in the house, and they explode too.

“Broot… getting hot!” Keyop notes, as the entire house burns around him.

“Use trap door! I’ll hold them back!” Akadan urges.

Outside, the rest of the chariots charge.

Akadan uses his bolos to fight off more robots. Yet more keep coming. The charging chariots grow spears from their wheels and they use these to cut into the foundation of the house. Shades of Grease!

Now we see a shot of Mark, Jason and Tiny running (in civvies) across the grass. They see the burning house and the charioteers moving away.

“Anyone object to butting in?” Mark asks.

“I hate one-sided fights.” Tiny replies.

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“Let’s go!” Jason adds, as Mark pulls his boomerang out of his pants pocket.

Mark leaps out of the sky, holding his suddenly-elongated boomerang. He throws a robot off of a chariot, but the robot doesn’t get run over. Jason rides between two horses on another chariot and spits a feather dart at the next driver. The driver falls, but we don’t see why. Perhaps Jason blew out his tires with the feather dart? I might even buy that, if the chariots didn’t have wooden wheels…

Shockingly, that fallen robot gets run over by another chariot.

Tiny stands in the path of another chariot and grabs the horses, who push him along. He eventually pulls their noses down and gets them to stop. The robot driver flies out of the chariot.

We cut back to the house, where a robot has backed Akadan against the wall. Meanwhile, Keyop is fighting another robot by kicking him between the legs. The robot crumples. Yep, I guess even robots are sensitive to being kicked in the family jewels!

“Broot… let’s go!” Keyop calls. But the roof starts collapsing.

“Quick! The trap door!” Akadan calls. He pushes Keyop into the hidey-hole just before the roof crashes down on top of them.

Commercial break!

We return to find Zark washing his monitors.

 

“Must be something wrong with this deep space monitor.” Zark says. “Sometimes even a fly speck can throw it off! Its main function is to continuously check Spectra, where Zoltar’s evil forces are ever-preparing for the invasion of Earth! But everything has been quiet on that enemy planet.”

 

“Still, those robot charioteers that attacked the old man and Keyop have Spectra written all over them!” Zark declares, after lowering himself back down to his usual stubby height. “I’ve checked their power receptors and circuitry, and I’m sure they’re being controlled by Zoltar!” Wow, he can check their circuitry from all that distance away?

“Somehow, Zoltar has managed to slip past our outer planetary watch stations!” Zark exclaims. “But how he did it is a mystery! Thank heavens Keyop and the old man are safe!”

“But still no word from Princess!” Zark sighs. “I am worried about her. I must get in touch with Mark! The secret of the charioteers of Changu lies inside the lost canyon, where that strange stone idol stands!”

Funny, I thought it lay with Akadan. And speaking of Akadan, we now see that his house has become burning rubble. Jason, Mark and Tiny stand outside. Keyop’s car is clearly visible next to the remains of the home.

“Keyop!” Tiny calls.

“That’s his car.” Jason notes. “Keyop must have been inside when those charioteers attacked the cabin.”

“Keyop, come in, Keyop!” Tiny calls frantically on his communicator.

“Save your breath, Tiny.” Mark says.

“Maybe Keyop’s still in there!” Tiny points out. “Somewhere.”

“Keyop’s too smart to be trapped by robots.” Mark says. “But it’s possible he was captured and taken away from here.”

“But where?” Jason asks. “How do we find their hideout?”

“Easy! They’ll find it for us!” Mark says, noting the abandoned chariots.

Meanwhile, Keyop and Akadan are hiding out underneath the floor of the burning building.

“Listen closely, boy! I do not have much longer on this Earth, but I must tell you the secret of Changu.” Akadan says. Wait a minute… is Akadan admitting that he’s going to die? Oh, I feel faint!

“The stone idol, in the lost canyon…” Akadan goes on. “Long ago, my ancestors said men came here for the sky! My people worshipped them as Gods, but too late we found they were evil. They enslaved the villagers, made them build that idol we call Changu. This leader came out of the stone idol…” We see an image of Zoltar, turning in flames.

“Zoltar!” Keyop burbles.

“That is what he called himself.” Akadan admits. “He came to enslave our people! He said, through the power of Changu. And he also claimed that through the power of Changu, he and his men can be transported back and forth through space!”

Keyop simply gapes at all of this.

“I have stopped the charioteers for the last time.” Akadan says. “I am tired now. I want only to rest.” He lies down on the floor. “You’ve got to find help! The robots from Spectra must be defeated!”

So… I guess that mention of dying isn’t relevant then?

And even more importantly, why is this such a ‘secret’? Wouldn’t the robots from Spectra already know all of this? Why would they want the ‘secret of Changu’ from the old man?

“Do what I can!” Keyop promises Akadan. When the fire dies down, he opens the trap door.

“Be back… get you out!” he burbles. “Later!” He creeps out, but sees a shadow rushing by.

“What’s that?” Keyop asks, pulling out his bolos. He throws them, but they are caught on a stick! Keyop is terrified!

But it is Princess!

“What are you doing here?” Princess asks.

“Ah! Glad to see you!” Keyop gasps.

“I think we’d better get our heads together, Keyop!” Princess says.

Now we see the canyon. Zoltar is standing at the foot of the Changu statue.

“You fools!” Zoltar berates the robots in front of him. “You let them get away? Where are the rest of your robot warriors, Candor?”

Yes, you got that right. The head robot warrior is named Candor! Not *quite* Condor, but still… pound

“Speak up!” Zoltar shouts, when no one answers. “An old man and a boy turned back the mighty Charioteers of Changu? You call yourselves warriors? If the old man passed on the secret of Changu, my invasion plans will be foiled! Why do you not do as you are told?” Now this seems like a more reasonable explanation for why they were after the old man… not that they wanted the secret of Changu, but that they were afraid that he would tell someone.

Candor’s response is interrupted by the sound of approaching horses.

“I thought the other charioteers were destroyed!” Zoltar says. “I want a full accounting of what happened, Candor! Assemble all your charioteers as they return here!” He turns to leave. But suddenly, he turns back, and sees that it is G-Force riding the chariots!

“It’s you! G-Force!” Zoltar exclaims.

“I hope you weren’t expecting Julius Caesar and the Romans!” Mark grins.

“Hey, that’s a good one, Mark!” Tiny says. “These are Roman chariots!” And he’s only just realizing it now? Sigh…

“How did you find out?” Zoltar demands. “Who told you?”

“We just let the horses have a full rein, and they brought us right to you, Zoltar!” Jason smirks.

“I do believe you shall find my robot gladiators to be most effective!” Zoltar says, before running off.

“After him!” Mark orders, but they are stopped by the robots. “Step aside!”

But the robots don’t step aside. Instead, they step onto each other and form a giant throwing star. It whirls, coming at G-Force. They scatter. The throwing star hits the wall and breaks apart. Two of the robots combine to form a spike, which nearly hits Mark as it lands on the ground. Tiny races to attack the two robots, but they knock him down.

“Want to play rough, eh?” Tiny asks, adjusting his head.

We see that Tiny, Mark and Jason are surrounded by the robots, who are running in circles around them.

“Tricky fellows, aren’t they?” Jason notes. “Robots with interchangeable parts!”

A robot comes leaping out of the circle at Mark, but the Commander avoids the attack.

Elsewhere, Princess and Keyop jump out of a waterfall.

“Sure… this the place?” Keyop burbles.

“Yeah, I’m sure.” Princess says. “Zoltar’s new hideout. I would have called in, but my communicator went black!” She and Keyop go running off. There’s no sign of Zoltar.

Outside, the robots are taking on a Whirlwind Pyramid formation.

“They’re up to something again, Mark.” Jason says. Sure enough, the robots form into one massive demon robot! The demon shoots fire from its mouth, and Mark, Jason and Tiny leap away. Shuriken come out of its hand, flying at the Team, and they barely manage to avoid these projectiles. Its other hand releases a net that covers Mark, Jason and Tiny.

There’s a weird cut, and Mark looks up, surprised. He pulls his boomerang out and starts trying to cut through the net. The demon electrifies the net. There is an explosion… but we can see that Mark, Jason and Tiny escaped!

“He almost had us there!” Jason says. “Those charioteers have more tricks up their sleeves than…” But he doesn’t finish his statement, as Princess and Keyop burst onto the scene. Where did they come from? We may never know…

“Yikes!” Princess exclaims, seeing the demon robot.

“Whew… that’s big!” Keyop adds.

“Just in time, Princess!” Mark says. “The G-Force Pyramid! The only way to stop this iron beast!”

“G-Force!” Everyone calls, as they get into position.

“Transmute G-Force Whirlwind!” Keyop burbles, although his mouth doesn’t move. The whirlwind forces the robot to de-transform, and the smaller robots fly away, crashing into the mountainside. The Changu stone statue crumbles.

Suddenly, the Team is back in civvies and looking at a cross sticking out of a grave, next to the mountain.

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“Well, Spectra almost got away with it!” Zark voices over. “A Time Warp Molecular Interchange Station inside the stone idol, Changu. If G-Force hadn’t stopped Zoltar and his robot charioteers, well… I might not be here now.” Gee, makes me wish that G-Force hadn’t stopped them.

“By the way,” Zark says confidentially, “Susan was correct in saying the UFOs had come from far away and long ago. Those chariots were identical to the ones used over two thousand years ago. History repeats itself! Unfortunately, so does Zoltar.”

“Well, 1-Rover-1,” Zark says, not back at Center Neptune, “now that that spine-tingling mission is safely concluded, we can get back to what we were doing, before we were so rudely interrupted by Zoltar.”

“Wap, wap, wap. Wap!” Rover doesn’t like the sound of that. (Okay, I’m guessing. Who knows what the heck that dog is saying? It’s like the teachers on a Charlie Brown special.)

But before Zark can get back to over’s review, the Commander walks in!

 

And Princess too!

 

“Hi, Zark!” Mark says.

“Home again, and unharmed!” Princess adds.

“Commander! Princess! I’m glad you dropped by!” Zark says. “1-Rover-1 has just come back from a refresher course and I was about to put him through his new tricks!”

“That sounds like fun! Could I help?” Princess asks. Okay, if this is her idea of fun, she needs to get out more. Seriously.

“I’m sure Rover would be delighted!” Zark beams. “Ask him anything.”

“Okay, 1-Rover-1, what is the square root of four?” Princess asks.

 

“Wap!” Rover replies.

“Well, no, it’s not exactly one.” Princess says.

“You embarrass me, 1-Rover-1!” Zark reprimands the dog. “You know the square root of four is two!”

Rover yaps a bunch of times very quickly.

“Oh, I’m sorry! It’s all my fault!” Zark apologizes. “I promised him a nice, juicy bowl of nuts and bolts and I forgot. That’s one of the finest lessons he’s learned in G-Force! We never go back on our promises!” Zark salutes, to prove that what he’s saying is true.

 

And Rover salutes too.

 

And the episode ends, without Rover getting his nuts and bolts after all. Awwwww…..

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The BotP version is a bit of a mess, isn't it? The plot still doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. (Which is why it will remain a mere mention in Mala's Game for the foreseeable future).

For Gatch: If Jun is 16 at the start of the series, and Jinpei is 10, that would mean that he was on Jupiter Mountain only 7 years ago. She would be about 9 years old when she met him.

But, wasn't he raised at Shirayuki Orphanage?

Of such blunders are fanfics created....

This does tell us that the team wasn't raised from childhood by Nambu. Nobody would be so surprised at Jinpei's birthday announcement, and Ryu would hardly be so insensitive if they had all grown up together.

Jinpei might be the only one on the team who doesn't have a birthday on record. Rather sad.

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Great recap -this is one of those episodes that, for some reason, I haven't watched very often, though it does reveal interesting details about Jun and Jinpei's pasts. I like to think that Jinpei really is the missing 3-year old son, and that the old man made up the bit about the birthmark at the last minute, thinking it better that Jinpei not know about his connection to the Jupiter Ninjas.


quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun
“Right on.” Ken says, and you can see that Joe has a shuriken ready as well. Although, Joe looks like he’s been smoking something himself, based on the stoned expression on his face…

 



Ken looks oddly proportioned here (much to Ryu's alarm!) -makes me wonder if it was an artist who was smoking...



But this really takes the cake! Laugh2


quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun

 




quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun
“But thirty years ago, a man called Lord Katse appeared.” the man reveals.



I could have sworn that I read somewhere that, in the planning notes, Katse's canon age was given as somewhere in his thirties at the beginning of the first series. Perhaps that changed, or the old man is a bit chronologically confused.

I always like the concept of time travel -a shame that the the BOTP episode wasn't able to do too much with it here though.

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I know that, in The Evil White Sea, a goon makes reference to the assassin missing the last 30 years in a manner that implied that Galactor had been around at least that long.

Since Katse was originally intended to have founded Galactor (and be entirely female), she would have been in her late 40s or early 50s at the start of the series (assuming she started the organization in college, or shortly after graduating). Once they went with the mutant, then Katse's age could be 30-ish. (If you look, the early versions of femKatse do look like a woman in her 40s. Sharper, thinner, facial features. By the time of the big reveal in the 'Snake 828' and 'Checkmate X' episodes, she looks younger, more in keeping with the retooled origin for Katse.)

So, only the 'original version' Katse could have made an appearance 30 years ago.

Which still leaves the problem of what happened during the decades before Jinpei would have been orphaned.

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Oops... that one's my fault. Blushing I must have missed that in my pre-posting edit. It should be 'eight' years ago. Don't ask me how it got turned into 'thirty'. Probably some weird auto-correct from Word... Hiding 2

So... according to that, Jinpei would be about 11.

I know James has stated that the Team didn't 'age' during the three series, even though time is acknowledged to have passed. This is the most obvious for Jinpei, of course, who is supposed to age 6 years over the course of all 3 series.

It's my understanding that Jun found Jinpei when he was 3 and brought him to the Shirayuki Orphanage... presumably she was there too. We don't know how long they remained there until Dr. Nambu brought them to live with him. It's even possible that Jun was at a different orphanage, although that seems strange... 2 orphanages so close by that Jun can find Jinpei when she's out walking, and then stay in close touch?

What bugs me a bit about the BOTP version is that they make it seem like Princess isn't doing anything on her special mission. She just shows up with Jinpei in the middle of the fight with the Spectrans and then they do the Whirlwind Pyramid. At least in Gatch they make it clear that she was scouting out the Galactor base and spying on Katse, and knew the back entrance! In BOTP the implication is that she doesn't know what she's doing, and the guys have to come in and help her.

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Thanks again for another great recap, TJ!

quote:
Originally posted by lborgia88
I like to think that Jinpei really is the missing 3-year old son, and that the old man made up the bit about the birthmark at the last minute, thinking it better that Jinpei not know about his connection to the Jupiter Ninjas.


iagree ... my same thought!

And, continuing with the bad, drawing parts, I think that Joe has surely had better facial days than what's also seen in the following pic! Or, is it just a falling flower petal, which is covering his left eye, that's making his face look awkward?! :-

quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun
 


As to Jinpei's birthday ... yes, his story is really sad! Moreover, this day of his had always been an issue to him! Even in Gatch F, there's an episode when everyone had forgotten his birthday ... again, poor Jinpei ... everyone, except for Dr. Nambu! I assume that, even in that episode, Jinpei's birthday was still referred to as the day in which he had met Jun, and not his real birthday, because nothing else, or different, was implied! Varied dates, or storylines, throughout the series, do sometimes make our minds twirl!!

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This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by gatchamarie on 27-09-2010 at 15:02.
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I think it's a flower petal on Joe's face.

To me, the weirdest drawing in this entire episode is Ken's amazing extending boomerang! I remember wondering about that as a kid too, when I watched the BOTP version, and wondering why Jason had to spit feathers out of his mouth... had they gone through a barnyard? Wink

Marie, I'm going out on a limb and making a total guess here, but I suspect the writers of that Gatch F episode had totally forgotten about this one... if they ever even knew it! As for Jinpei having 2 episodes where people forgot his birthday... well, I guess it makes sense, because a birthday would be more important to a kid than to an 'adult', right?

And I'll bet that Jinpei never got a wonderful cake like you make, Marie!

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quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun
Marie, I'm going out on a limb and making a total guess here, but I suspect the writers of that Gatch F episode had totally forgotten about this one... if they ever even knew it! As for Jinpei having 2 episodes where people forgot his birthday... well, I guess it makes sense, because a birthday would be more important to a kid than to an 'adult', right?


Same thought here!!

quote:
And I'll bet that Jinpei never got a wonderful cake like you make, Marie!


Now, you're making me blush!! Well, if I could have had the pleasure of making him one, I would have made him a bug cake! I think he would have been pleased with it!

I think Jun must surely have tried to make Jinpei a cake, some day!! Something from the heart is always greatly appreciated, even if it might not look, or taste, nice!!

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No new posts 27-09-2010 15:25 gatchamarie is offline Send an Email to gatchamarie Search for Posts by gatchamarie Add gatchamarie to your Buddy List
Transmute Jun Transmute Jun is a Female
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I'm sure Jinpei would avoid any cake Jun made like the plague! ROFL 2

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lborgia88 lborgia88 is a Female
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quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun
At least in Gatch they make it clear that she was scouting out the Galactor base and spying on Katse, and knew the back entrance!
And Jun and Jinpei rather startle Katse too, though he hides from them. Poor Zoltar doesn't get to demonstrate any special Ninja "hide in darkness" techniques.

No new posts 27-09-2010 19:04 lborgia88 is offline Send an Email to lborgia88 Search for Posts by lborgia88 Add lborgia88 to your Buddy List YIM Screenname: lborgia88
gatchamarie gatchamarie is a Female
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quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun
I'm sure Jinpei would avoid any cake Jun made like the plague! ROFL 2


Thinking twice ... you're right!! Jinpei isn't one who could manage to make a false face of appreciation for Jun to think he's enjoying eating the cake she could have made him! He'll surely spit his first bite out without thinking!!

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No new posts 27-09-2010 19:08 gatchamarie is offline Send an Email to gatchamarie Search for Posts by gatchamarie Add gatchamarie to your Buddy List
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