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[Thank you, Saturn, for the screen caps!]

Gatchaman Episode 102: “A Reversal! Checkmate X!”

BOTP Episode: N/A


 


We open with an aerial view of a large city on a bright, sunny day and all looks very peaceful and serene music is playing, which of course means that imminent disaster is at hand.

Sure enough, a sky scraper (that rather resembles New York City’s Chrysler Building) is suddenly obliterated in a massive explosion.


 


Big chunks of it go flying and crash into nearby buildings; in fact the pointy top smashes right through some large windows in a neighboring building -much to the detriment of the people who were looking out to see what’s going on!

But now we see who caused the explosion, as a fleet of insect-like mechas comes flying in over the city.


 


All the mechas have multi-faceted “eyes,” like those of insects (or, like those of insects who can shoot highly destructive energy beams from their eyes, that is.) They proceed to blast more of the city’s buildings. One mecha swoops low along a city street, creating a rush of wind that overturns cars and bashing others with its “feet.” Another mecha grabs onto the side of a building, startling a roomful of people when they see its “face” suddenly looming in the window –and then it blasts them all with an energy beam.

(Jun, you are not the only one subjected to panty flashes…)

 


Elsewhere in the city, another insect mecha –walking, not flying- smashes clean through another building and then proceeds to smash a section of elevated highway too. And other insect mecha, also walking, whacks the top off another building (something neo-classical that maybe I ought to recognize but don’t) while yet another mecha, flying, smashes through another building.

Their havoc wreaked, the whole fleet takes to the air as flames spread through the city streets below, unleashing futher explosions. But the insects don’t leave; rather they roost on the tops and sides of buildings (one of which looks a lot like the Eiffel Tower.)


 


But meanwhile in Utoland, it’s raining heavily and we’re at the Snack J.


 


Inside, Jun is drying dishes while Jinpei listens to the radio.

“And now for a special news bulletin,” says an announcer’s voice, “At 11 this morning, a swarm of Galactor’s iron beasts appeared at the city of Arle-”

“What now from Galactor?” demands Ken –yes, Ken is here too.

So is Ryu. He stands up from a table and remarks “Arle –that’s pretty far away,” before walking over to Ken, who’s sitting at the bar.

No Joe in sight.


 


“-more powerful than anything seen before, the city of Arle has requested help from the Science Team and it is believed the city has been all but reduced to rubble,” the announcer is saying, “And the UN forces are engaged in…”

“That’s odd,” says Jun, looking at Ken, “We never received any word from Doc Nambu about this.”

Ken tries to contact Dr. Nambu (and Ryu is prepared to listen in, I guess) but gets no response –and Ken and Ryu exchange a look of mutual puzzlement. The radio cuts back to music –news bulletin over- and Jinpei turns it off.

 


“That is weird,” remarks Jinpei, “When Doc Nambu’s out, he usually takes a communicator along.”

“If Galactor has appeared,” says Ken, frowning, “We just can’t sit here and do nothing. Let’s suit up and move out.”

Ryu and Jinpei make for the door, but Ken pauses briefly to say, “Jun, get Joe on the horn and tell him what’s happening.”

“Roger,” replies Jun, and Ken heads out into the rain, just behind Ryu. I guess she has to turn off the lights and lock up the place anyway before she can leave, so that’s why she’s getting the job of contacting Joe.

Meanwhile, in Arle, UN tanks are shelling the roosting Galactor insect mechas while fighter jets shoot missiles at them. They cause a lot of explosions (and destroy the “Eiffel Tower”) but it doesn’t look like they’re doing much if any damage to the mechas (typical for UN forces though.

But now one mecha fights back, blasting a bunch of fighter jets with energy beams from its eyes and then more of the mechas start walking around, blasting the UN tanks too.

But the God Phoenix is en route (sans Joe’s car).


 


On the bridge, Ken is standing there as the door opens and Jun and Jinpei (presumably just recently picked up) come running in.

“Ken, I couldn’t reach Joe!” says Jun worriedly.

“Man, he’s off again?” demands a scowling Ryu.

Ken tries contacting Joe himself, via his bracelet and gets no response either.


 


We cut to Joe’s trailer, but it’s pretty clear Joe’s not there (no car). Still raining hard in Utoland!


 


Inside, we get a look at Joe’s bed (empty) and hear Ken’s voice barking “Joe, come in!”

It’s one thing for Joe to ignore a summons, but now we see that –wherever he is- he’s not wearing his bracelet at all. He’s left it behind on his bed.


 


“Joe!” bellows Ken’s voice –clearly getting very frustrated.

But, back on the bridge of the God Phoenix, Ken sags his head resignedly. “I got nothing,” he says quietly.

“That’s strange,” says Jun, “Dr. Nambu and Joe…” as Ken sits in his chair, eyes closed.

But Ken’s made a decision –he tells Ryu to contact Director Anderson. This entails Ryu pushing one button on his console, and suddenly he’s there on a view screen.

Wow, at least somebody is easy to reach today.


 


“Ah, the Science Ninja Team, we get to speak with you at last,” says Director Anderson. Hmm, I guess he doesn’t have a direct line to them, but rather has to go through Dr. Nambu.

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“At last,” says Ken, wasting no time asking “Where are Joe and Dr. Nambu?”

“The Doctor’s not shown up at the ISO all month –we’re extremely concerned,” replies Director Anderson. (If they’re so concerned, why haven’t they done anything about it?)

“I wonder where he could have gone off to,” says Jun, still standing right behind Ken’s chair.

“I realize you can’t take action without orders from Nambu,” says Director Anderson (not troubling himself about Joe’s whereabouts, it seems), “But this is an emergency!”

“Right, we’ll head for Arle now,” says Ken, “And worry about Dr. Nambu’s authorization later.”

He tells Ryu to close up the God Phoenix’s nose, and then looks depressed.


 


“But what about Joe?” asks Jun, staring at Ken.

“The guy’s not around,” says Ryu crossly, “We can’t just sit here forever!”

Clearly Ryu is assuming that Joe’s just being irresponsible for some frivolous reason, though Ken and Jun are both more worried.

And he closes up the nose.


 


The God Phoenix zooms off into a sky of ominously grey clouds.


And now we see some city buildings but it’s raining so we’re likely still in Utoland, not Arle.

Inside one building, Joe is pulling his t-shirt back on over his head.

(And he does it fast –hooray for the “pause” button!)


 
It’s interesting that here he’s actually got nipples -something normally not seen on the guys when they’re shirtless. (No way to know how Tatsunoko artists would have drawn a shirtless Jun!)

Joe turns to the man sitting at the desk and demands “So, what’s your prognosis, Doc? What’s wrong?”

“Would you mind giving me a few days?” says the doctor, “This is a most perplexing case.”


 


Joe looks like he definitely minds. “Come on,” he snaps, “Are you a doctor or what?”

“Well, if you’re such a hurry,” says the doctor huffily, “Then go to a real hospital –save yourself the trouble of dealing with unlicensed practitioners.”

Joe looks at him, his expression indicating that this “doctor” has just called his bluff –he can’t go to a real hospital. He turns to stare out the window at the rain, muttering “Damn it.”

“I have no idea what you do,” continues the doctor, “But I don’t see many people who won’t even wear a watch to avoid detection.”

Joe turns away from the window, looking startled. “Huh?”

“Or maybe some kind of bracelet on your wrist,” continues the doctor, gesturing to his own left wrist, “I happened to notice there’s no tan there.”

Joe stares at him, momentarily appalled, and then looks down at his own wrist and the tell-tale band of pale skin that says “I’m hiding something.”


 


“I guess underground guys like you are used to tricks, huh?” he acknowledges.

But outside this doctor’s office, there a set of elevator doors and also a set of stairs leading down. Joe comes walking out of the office and goes over to the elevator.

The stairs seem to end on this floor and the elevator has six lights over the door so I’m going to assume Joe is on the top (sixth) floor. But the lights are blinking rapidly in descending order, indicating that the elevator is on its way down to the first floor. Seeing this, Joe apparently decides he’d rather take the stairs than wait for the elevator to come back up (I probably would too –six floors isn’t far to walk, especially when you’re going down.)


 


However, Joe’s unwillingness to wait means that he doesn’t see who emerges from the elevator when it comes back up to the top floor.

It’s the Galactor Female Commander, whom we haven’t seen since episode 88 “Iron Beast Snake 828” when the Team learned about a former schoolgirl, possibly Katse, who seemed to change schools –and genders- every year but failed to uncover the whole story as this woman, one step ahead of them, killed the last person who might have been able to confirm anything.


 


She steps out of the elevator and pauses for a moment (to make sure us viewers all recognize her –I mean, it’s been 14 episodes…)


 


Inside the office where Joe had been, the doctor pushes aside a curtain when he hears a knock and says “The door’s open.”

So in she comes, saying “What’s up, doc?”

“Oh,” says the doctor, perhaps not expecting her but clearly pleased to see her, “Welcome back.” He adds “Here, right this way,” as she approaches him and gestures for her to go into the room behind the curtain.

Once they’re both inside, he pulls the curtain back across the doorway and then presses a button which causes a barrier to descend down and close off the door.


 


Clearly there’s something in this room that’s highly secret.

“I rented this building,” he tells her, “And brought all the equipment over just as you commanded. The thing is, I get actual patients now and then.”

“You can give them glucose injections for all I care,” she replies, unimpressed, “This will all be settled today anyway.”

And we get a look at the “equipment” -some kind of very large telescope.

The Galactor female commander takes a seat in front of it.


 


“I see,” she says, “We have a very good view from here.”

In fact, she has a view all the way to Dr. Nambu’s villa (where, it so happens, it’s not raining).


 


“So that is Nambu’s estate?” she asks.

“Nambu hasn’t left his estate much at all this month,” replies the doctor, “But has kept himself shut up in his study surrounded by those those thick, heavy books. Must be hard work, being a scientist.”


 

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“The Science Ninja Team has been lured out to Arle,” she explains, “So carry on according to plan.” She stands up from the telescope and he accedes to her orders.

Smiling to herself, she thinks “Unfortunately, Dr. Nambu, there is something Galactor requires of you –your life and the lives of the Science Ninja Team!”

And we cut to Joe’s trailer, where it is still raining heavily. He pulls up in his car.


 


He gets out, but stands there and just lets the rain soak him, looking too worried and miserable to care.


 


“Joe was filled with anxiety and impatience over his physical condition,” explains the narrator, “Which was deteriorating day by day.”

But he does go inside his trailer, and sits on his bed, head slumped forward and eyes closed.

“However, he believed if he were to be examined at a legitimate hospital, Ken and the others would discover his problem and he would be taken off the Team, so he sought out an unlicensed doctor, still worried that no matter who examined him, he wouldn’t be able to keep his secret for long.”

He was doing okay in episode 101, when he destroyed the Heavy Cobra mecha. Either the “deteriorating day by day” has come since then, or he just had one very lucky day then. But for that matter, he seems okay in this episode too, so far –in the sense that he’s not suffering dizziness, double vision or blind spells. Clearly his problems are recurring ones, but sporadic.

Joe lifts his head again and opens his eyes.

And we cut to Dr. Nambu in his study with his thick, heavy books.


 


“Meanwhile,” says the narrator, “Dr. Nambu had cut off all outside contact and continued deciphering the Galactor female commander’s records, who seemed likely to be Berg Katse.”


We get a look at the badly damaged book of school records that Dr. Nambu had shown to the Team back in episode 88.


 


“At last he had discovered the truth about a certain student with a genius IQ who transferred to a new school every year, sometimes appearing as a male and sometimes female.”

Dr. Nambu is turning the pages of the book, engrossed in his reading. But he can’t help but notice when a large mecha appears right outside his study’s window, and he jumps to his feet.

The mecha is just like the ones attacking Arle. He starts to run from the window but it shatters and strong wind and bright yellow light pour into his study as he cries out in alarm.


 


Our last look is of the book lying on his desk, the wind fluttering its pages

We cut to Joe, who opens his trailer door and looks out into the rain, holding his bracelet in one hand.

“Guess I’ll cancel that exam after all,” he says, “At this point it doesn’t really matter what kind of illness I have.”


 


So it seems he’s decided he’ll get pulled from the Team regardless of what’s behind his problems, and possibly he’s also afraid to find out what’s really wrong.

He runs through the rain to his car. Once inside it, he puts his bracelet in the glove compartment (a strangely empty glove compartment –maybe it disappears when his car transmutes, so he has to keep it empty of the usual collection of maps, manuals, insurance and registration cards and what-not that most glove compartments contain!)


 


He drives off, fast, with a squeal of tires and spray of water.


Meanwhile, in Arle, Ken has just blown the head off one of the insect mechas with the laser cannon from his G-1 jet, and then he goes after some more of them that are flying around now instead of roosting on buildings, blowing them up too.


 


Jinpei, in his helico buggy, is targeting the mechas still on the ground and the buildings, dropping bombs on them.


 


Jun is on the ground, speeding along a street in the devastated city and she shoots a mecha with the guns mounted on the front of her motorcycle, causing the mecha to explode. And she shoots another one for good measure, blowing its head off.


 



Last but not least, Ryu is also destroying mechas but not by shooting them –rather he’s using the God Phoenix like a flying bludgeon and smashing into them.


 

But Ken is suspicious, glancing around and thinking “It’s strange, these mecha are so weak. How could they destroy the city?”

A whole bunch more of them appear in the sky before Ken and he shoots down some more of them –but this time he scrutinizes their wreckage that he can see lying on the ground…

“Rendezvous at the God Phoenix, Ninja Team,” he suddenly orders, via his bracelet.


 


The others are puzzled. “What’s wrong, Ken?” asks Jun, as she watches Ken’s jet approaching the God Phoenix to redock.

“This was just a set up,” he tells them as he docks and exits his jet inside the God Phoenix, “Stop what you’re doing and hook up to G-5!”

Meanwhile, back at the doctor’s office, the Galactor female commander is leaving, and being escorted downstairs by the doctor.

“Why don’t you just finish him off?” the doctor is asking her.

“No,” she says, “Now that we’ve captured Nambu, the Science Ninja Team can’t move against us and that is just the way I want it.”

She and the doctor step into the elevator, but just as the door is closing, Joe appears, coming up the stairs.

“I guess with a guy like this,” Joe is saying to himself, “It’s better to settle things with money than to try to coerce him.”

Coerce him to do what, Joe? To forget he never saw you, I guess.

It seems that Joe, while prepared for coercion, must not have sufficient funds on him at present for financial settlement, as he turns around and starts going back down the stairs.

As he’s going down the stairs, the doctor and the Galactor female commander are still descending in the elevator but they reach the ground floor first. She walks outside towards her red sports car that’s parked right in front of the building, accompanied by the doctor.

It’s still raining heavily.

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She gets inside her car but the doctor stands there in the rain, still talking to her.


 


“I’ll be vacating the building as early as tomorrow,” he tells her, “Please inform Lord Katse.”

Joe, having reached the ground floor and coming outside now, hears these words and gasps in surprise -and steps back to avoid being seen.

And then he gets a look at who is sitting in the car.


 


“That’s that freakshow Galactor commander!” he adds, looking more than a little shocked to see her with the doctor he’d let examine him earlier.


 


The “freakshow” drives off in her car as the doctor bows.

“That stinking quack!” says Joe, and “coercion” becomes his plan once again.

Actually, make that “seriously violent assault.” As the doctor turns to walk back to the building, pausing to flick some dirt from his jacket, Joe cries “Bastard!” and comes charging at him and sends him flying backwards in the air to crash down hard on the ground. As the doctor struggles to get up, Joe comes at him again.


 


Joe kicks him in the face, knocking him over onto his back again, and then lands with his feet on the doctor’s chest.


 


Joe immediately jumps up again and comes down hard with one foot on the doctor’s chest –probably busting up his ribs. And then Joe jumps up again and comes down hard though this time we’re not seeing the (very unfortunate!) doctor or what part of him Joe is stomping on this time. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s his face –the expression on Joe’s face is pretty savage.


 


That doctor’s fatal mistake was mentioning “Lord Katse” –I really don’t think Joe would have attacked him like this unless he was sure the man was in league with Galactor!

The Galactor female commander is driving her car along a road that looks a bit more rural, as if she’s leaving the city.

And it’s still raining heavily.

However, Joe is in birdstyle now and he’s following her.


 


“You can run but you can’t hide,” says Joe.

Now we see something coming in for a landing beyond some trees, with two bright lights.


 


Joe sees it, and stops his car, concealed behind a large tree.


 


Then we see what was landing, and it’s one of the insect mechas (and one can assume it’s the same one that attacked Dr. Nambu’s villa) landing behind some ruined-looking buildings.


Commercial Break!


But meanwhile, in Arle, the God Phoenix is hovering in the air over the wrecks of some of the insect mechas they shot down.

“Look,” says Ken as we get some close ups of the wreckage, “There are no people inside these iron beast mecha. Someone’s just done some simple rigging so they operate on their own.”

“Well, I doubt these things could have annihilated the city,” adds Jun questioningly.

“Right,” says Ken, “There were people inside them, piloting, when they destroyed the city and shot down all those UN fighters. They abandoned their ships as soon as we arrived…”

We get close ups of Jinpei’s, Jun’s and Ryu’s faces as the significance of what Ken’s saying begins to dawn on them.

“But why go through so much trouble for a diversion?” continues Ken, “Those Galactor scum lured us out here. They must be plotting something.”

He plunks himself back down in his chair and barks “Ryu, take us back!”

Jun and Jinpei hastily head for their own chairs.

“These things won’t hurt much even if we leave them here like this,” concludes Ken, “We’ll leave the rest up to the UN.”

He tells Jun to “wire back to Director Anderson for clean up.”

Then Ken presses a button on his console.


 


A wavy line appears briefly on the small view screen above, but nothing else.


 


“No use! Where the heck has Dr. Nambu disappeared to?” demands Ken. Then he yells “Joe!” into his bracelet, gets no response, and folds his arms in exasperation.


 


We cut to Dr. Nambu, regaining consciousness in a chair, and the first thing he hears is Berg Katse laughing evilly.


 


And Katse is there, standing right in front of him, mocking “Time to wake up and smell the Katse, Nambu.”

“Berg Katse!” growls Dr. Nambu at the sight of his captor.

“Now that I’ve finally got you,” smirks Katse, “All this unsavory fighting can come to a halt, capiche?”

“Is it my life you’re after?” demands Dr. Nambu.


 


“Right you are,” says Katse, sweeping out one arm and making his cape swirl, “And with you in my clutches, that brat pack of yours can’t stand in the way of my glorious future!”

“That’s too bad,” says Dr. Nambu, intense but staying fairly calm, “And after I’d finally discovered your true form.”

These words get Katse’s attention! “What do you mean?” he demands sharply.

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“Here I locked myself away for a month,” continues Dr. Nambu, “Abandoning all other work to that task and now I’ll die without being able to reveal it.”

“Well, old boy,” says Katse, smiling, “I guess that’s just how the monkey stumbles.”

But now we see the gatling gun of Joe’s G-2 firing, in the rain, and then one of the red, multifaceted eyes of the insect mecha shatters with an explosion.

Katse demands to know what’s going on, but a goon calls back “No, it’s the Science Ninja Team!”


 


“Great,” says Katse in a flat, sour voice.

Out in the rain, Joe is now speeding his car towards the mecha and he uses a large chunk of the mecha’s eye on the ground to launch his car into the air and right through the hole he’d blasted in the eye with his car’s gun.


 


Inside the mecha, he goes tearing down a corridor, running down goons along the way.

But he also raises his bracelet, calling “G-2 to G-1, please respond!”

Somewhere in the sky between Arle and Utoland, the God Phoenix is flying along. On the bridge, Ken gasps and stares at his bracelet and demands “Where the hell are you? What’s going on?”

Back at the insect mecha, a whole bunch of goons are standing on the upper two tiers of a round, high-ceilinged room, firing their guns at Joe’s car. But Joe takes them all out with his gatling gun, and a couple of them fall and land right in front of him.


 


But Joe raises the roof of his car and gets out…

Meanwhile, Ken tells Jun to “locate Joe’s signal,” and orders Ryu to go “full speed!” Ryu yanks on the throttle as Ken growls to himself “Katse, you scum –I knew it! You lured us away but were plotting something right on our doorstep!”

Back at the insect mecha, Joe is now dispatching goons by hand, giving one a hard chop to the neck and kicking and punching several others.

Where Katse and Nambu are, Katse looks tense, wondering what’s going on out there, and Dr. Nambu stands up from the chair where he’s been sitting.

“Well, Katse, things are looking up,” says Nambu, a tad smugly, “I may yet be able to make that presentation.”

“Whatever do you mean, Dr. Nambu?” asks Katse, sounding more amused than perturbed, “My fun’s only just beginning. Let’s just sit back and watch.”

Dr. Nambu frowns, wondering what Katse’s got in mind, but he doesn’t have to wonder for long when panels in the floor suddenly open to reveal…

Another megaziner.


 


As the megaziner ray gun rises up from the floor, a glass barrier suddenly drops down, trapping Dr. Nambu behind it.


 


“Pardon the partition,” says Katse, not sounding at all apologetic, “But I wouldn’t want any interference. Still, you’ll have a fabulous view of the stage and we’re about to put on a wonderful show with megaziner here, a transformation reversal gun.”

“What?” says Dr. Nambu (though he must have heard all about megaziner from the Ninjas even if he himself hadn’t seen it before).

Out in the corridors of the mecha, Joe is still busily clobbering goons in large numbers and he pauses to yell “Show yourself, you pointy-eared rat!” before grabbing a goon, bashing him repeatedly against his raised knee and then tossing the goon’s limp form onto the floor and shoving him away with one foot.

“Where’s Katse?” he demands, brandishing his fists, “Condor Joe’s come a calling!”

And Katse actually appears, saying “Is it me, or is it hot in here?”

 


“There you are, you scum,” growls a glowering Joe, who pulls out his gun and lunges for Katse.

Katse flees.

“Come back here, coward!” yells Joe, dashing after him.

But this is part of Katse’s plan –he’s running straight for the megaziner ray, with Joe on his tail.

Katse makes it back inside the room and in behind the megaziner ray just as Joe comes through the door.


 


“Say cheese!” yells Katse.


 


And he fires the ray, hitting Joe full on. As a horrified Dr. Nambu looks on from behind the glass barrier, Joe is caught up in the ray’s blast, yelling and writhing in pain.


 


Then he drops to the floor, unconscious and no longer in birdstyle.


 


“Yes, I did it!” cries Katse excitedly as Dr. Nambu looks crushed.


 


Now that he’s down, a whole bunch of goons now come forward, laughing and jeering, to get a look at Joe.

“Easy now, gentlemen,” says an exultant Katse, “No shoving, please. Once you’ve seen the real face of this feather-free fowl, then all of you may each have a shot at him.”

He walks over to where Dr. Nambu is just behind the glass barrier, eyes closed and head bowed.

“Still awake there, Nambu?” demands Katse, rapping on the glass, “Lay your beady eyes on what I caught. Say, with you on the hook, I’m going to catch every last member of your precious Team, and when I catch ‘em, I’m going to cook ‘em! Just like Joe!”

He bursts into a peal of evil laughter, head thrown back, before looking to the goons and, with a sweep of his arm, yelling “Do him!”

The goons pull out their guns and aim them at Joe.


 


But suddenly, from the back of the group, a goon goes flying over all their heads with a cry of alarm, and crashes into two other goons, sending them all sprawling.


 


Before anyone has a chance to react, a second airborne goon goes sailing over their heads. Then a flurry of sharp blows knocks down several more goons and we see the person responsible –Ken, in a martial arts stance and glaring fiercely.

“Berg Katse, the Science Ninja Team is here!”

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With these words from Ken, Jun, Jinpei and Ryu also come running into the room and the big group fight scene begins.

Ryu picks up a goon and then throws him down at the floor again. Jinpei takes out two more with his bolas and Jun uses the same move that Joe had used out in the corridor.


 


Ryu uses a move that is uniquely his own.


 


Jun nimbly dodges a goon’s attempts to hit her and then kicks him in the face and Jinpei continues to wield his bolas. Ken grabs a goon by the arm and then flips him around –clearly breaking the goon’s arm in an especially painful way!


 


Several goons then surround Ken, but he brandishes his arms in some martial arts moves and then proceeds to clobber then all with punches and kicks.

Katse is irate that no one is standing still in the open so that he can get a shot at them with the megaziner ray. “You’re all in the friggin way! Move over so I can get a clear shot!” he yells at this goons.

Meanwhile, Joe still unconscious on the floor but his eyelids are twitching. And then he wakes up and looks horrified to see what’s happening. Still lying down, he reaches for his gun that’s lying near his thigh. Finding it, he sits up suddenly and takes aim in Katse’s direction, yelling “Damn you!”

Katse is dismayed, crying “Uh oh!”

Joe fires.


 


The cable from Joe’s gun goes right into the barrel of the megaziner ray, plugging it.


 


However, the ray was just about to fire and now it can’t, and internal pressure soars and the megaziner explodes, send a blast back into Katse’s face, shredding his mask and smashing a chunk out of the glass barrier too.


 


Screaming, Katse staggers back, long blond hair streaming and he turns away from them all, covering his face with his hands.


 


Ken stops and stares, shocked –as does everyone else.


 

 


Dr. Nambu comes out from behind the chair, where he’d crouched to avoid the shattering glass.

“Your mask has been blown off, Katse,” declares Joe, on his feet again, “My identity may be revealed but let’s take a look at your face too.”


 


He tosses his gun aside and strides over to Katse. “Now, it’s over,” he adds, reaching out to grab the back of Katse’s cape to pull him around. Ryu tosses aside the goon he’d had pinned under his arm and he, Jun and Jinpei all stare. Ken takes a step closer, staring intensely too.

But Katse is resisting at Joe yells “Turn around and face us!”


 


“Joe,” says Dr. Nambu, stepping out from behind the glass partition courtesy of the hole that is now in it, “Stop it!”

“Huh?” says Joe, turning to look at Dr. Nambu.

“Seeing his real face won’t accomplish anything,” explains Dr. Nambu, “I know what Katse’s true form is!”

Ken stares at Dr. Nambu, gasping “Huh? Doctor?”

“Katse and the female commander are one in the same,” continues Dr. Nambu, eyes fixed on Katse, “She tried to kill me!”

Ryu, Jinpei and Jun are wide-eyed with shock at what they’re hearing. “I knew it,” whispers Jun as Ryu and Jinpei exchange confused looks.

“However,” says Dr. Nambu, “He is not a woman.”

“What?” says Ryu, looking quite squicked, “Not a man or a woman? What does that mean, Doc?”

“He possesses both male and female forms, both within.”

Joe lets go of Katse’s cape, as if too disgusted to want to be touching him, and steps back. Katse stays crouched on the floor, still hiding his face.


 


“Katse was originally conceived as twins,” explains Dr. Nambu, “A boy and a girl. But due to the influence of some special power, was instead born as a single person who was both male and female.”

No one can quite believe what they’re hearing.


 


“That’s also the explanation for the high IQ. Katse is not a genius –he just has the mental capacity of two people.”

“What was the point of switching schools then?” asks Jun.

“When Katse was younger,” replies Dr. Nambu, “And would involuntarily transform from man to woman or vice versa, once every year, he feared people’s reactions and so alternated homes and schools. However, he’s now able to change back and forth at will. There is just one thing I don’t yet understand –what is it that initially initiated the mutation?”

Katse is still crouched and hiding his face.


“Is it the result of radioactivity from a nuclear explosion?”

Katse is laughing quietly now.

“If so, then as a scientist, I may be partly to blame. However, his birthplace has never been a war zone so I can’t imagine that radioactivity would have been the cause.”

Katse is still laughing a very quiet but maniacal-sounding laugh.

“What caused two siblings who should have been born as twins to instead be fused into a single mutant?” asks Dr. Nambu.

Katse is laughing more loudly and sinisterly now, in a creepy voice that sounds like two voices speaking as one, he starts talking…

“Dr. Nambu and the Science Ninja Team,” he says, still hiding his face but not crouched so much, “Does it please you to discover my true form? Well there’s nothing you can do to me now. Yes, you are exactly right –I am a mutant!”

Now he turns around and reveals his face at last.


 

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“And I alone was born to become the reigning conqueror of planet Earth!”

Ken, Dr. Nambu and Joe all gasp and stare.


 


“I was chosen above all others of this planet,” continues Katse, “And the god who ordained me with this power…”

Katse is now standing in a glow of light and wind.

“Is Leader X!” Katse begins to laugh maniacally.


 


Intense wind is now sucking up all the pieces of broken glass all over the floor, and just as Ken cries “Watch out!” and shoves Dr. Nambu away, shielding him with his cape, the pieces of glass go flying all around.


 


Now Katse is standing beside a massive ball of intensely bright light, but it begins to speak.

“Dr. Nambu, I am X, supreme leader of Galactor.”

And then his more familiar visage takes form amid the light.


 


“You’ve done a magnificent job unmasking Katse’s true form,” continues Leader X, “But the Earth shall perish, it is fated to perish…”

And we see the chamber where Katse normally speaks to Leader X, and Leader X is not there. How he gets from that chamber to the mecha they’re all on right now is an interesting question.


 

“And until that day comes,” continues Leader X menacingly, “I need Katse to do my bidding.”

And we see the empty circle of swirling orange and red that normally frames Leader X’s face as he says “We will meet again, and when we do, I shall exact my full wrath upon you!”

Leader X begins to laugh, but now Katse is running towards the wall of the room they’re in and disappears behind a revolving door as Ken suddenly reaches for his boomerang –to late to stop Katse’s escape.


 

 


Ken doesn’t throw it because now there’s nothing to throw it at. Leader X has disappeared too.

Ken grimaces in anger and frustration.


 


Everyone else is standing around, except Joe, who’s kneeling and covering his eyes with one arm. It could be that the bright light from Leader X has affected him badly or he’s feeling like crap from being shot with the megaziner ray. Dr. Nambu is covering his eyes too –maybe the other Ninjas aren’t because they’ve got their visors to shield their eyes. No one seems to know what to say.

At last Joe takes his arm away from his eyes and looks at Ken.

“Come on, Ken,” he demands, “Why didn’t you throw your boomerang at Katse?”

“Oh, I know I had the chance,” says Ken bitterly, “But for just an instant I felt pity for him, I guess.”

“But Big Bro,” pipes up Jinpei, as he and Ryu stare in shock at Ken, “Katse’s not even human –he’s a mutant!”

“That is true,” concedes Ken. “But he should have just been born as human twins. When he first realized his physical abnormality, he probably cursed himself. It must have been a truly miserable adolescence,” adds Ken pensively.

Meanwhile, as Ken continues to talk, we see Katse running through the woods outside.


 


“Imagine fearing people’s reactions, going from school to school and living in hiding. If Leader X had not existed, he never would have joined Galactor.”

Out in the woods, Katse runs towards a bright glow of light and vanishes when he enters it.

“Katse would have been two happy twins instead.”

His ponderings on the tragedy that is Katse over for now, Ken closes up his boomerang and puts it back in his holster.

“That may be so,” says Joe, standing up now and glaring, “But we still can’t forgive the things he’s done.


 


“A second’s hesitation,” retorts Ken –a tad defensively, “The next time they’re in my sights, it’ll be different –mark my words.”

“Good,” says Dr. Nambu, “For that will be the battle to win, Ken.”

They all face Dr. Nambu now, listening attentively, and Joe runs over to stand alongside the others –as if determined to make a point that he’s on the Team regardless of whether Katse has seen his face. In fact, he’s made it through another episode without manifesting any health problems, though we’re told his condition is “deteriorating.” I would suspect he’s been experiencing problems on occasions other than the ones we saw in episodes 98 and 99 –he seemed to feel he was fine at the end of episode 101 so something must have made him decide to see an unlicensed doctor.

“Everything will depend on you,” continues Dr. Nambu, “Vague though it may be, I am now starting to get an idea of the whole story behind Galactor. If things go our way, Galactor will be finished.”

Ken looks hopeful.

“But if we fail,” says Dr. Nambu, “The Earth will have to put its fate on the line and fight as it has never fought before.”

Ken and Joe look at each other as if to gauge each other’s reactions to this ominous prediction.

Then they all seem to pause, as if contemplating the critical events they all feel are looming ahead.

Yes, after exposition like this, you know there won’t be any more zany, comic romp episodes!

“Katse’s identity was revealed,” says the narrator, “But the Science Ninja Team was in no mood to celebrate.”


 


“They were filled with concern about whether they could really overcome the immense power of Leader X who was able to fuse twins into a mutant for his own gain.”

We’re seeing Ken’s face, grave and thoughtful, but then we cut to an image of a distant galaxy in space.

“The minutes were ticking, ticking, ticking by, and as Dr. Nambu had said, the day the Earth would have to put its fate on the line and fight as it had never fought before would soon be upon them.”

As the narrator is speaking, we see a planet dissolving and fading away into a mere stream of glowing dust in space, and then into nothingness.

The End.

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We can figure the next several episodes take place within a week.

Notice that Dr. Nambu is also guilty of plot-required inability to communicate. He could have said he was taking a leave of absence.

There is a French city known as Arles, but I don't think the scriptwriters were thinking of it when they wrote this episode. (Any more than they were thinking of the English city of York when they used the name in another episode.)


quote:
Originally posted by lborgia88

However, the ray was just about to fire and now it can’t, and internal pressure soars and the megaziner explodes, send a blast back into Katse’s face, shredding his mask and smashing a chunk out of the glass barrier too.


 


You'd think he'd get sliced up a bit if this was sufficient to shred his mask.

quote:
“If so, then as a scientist, I may be partly to blame. However, his birthplace has never been a war zone so I can’t imagine that radioactivity would have been the cause.”


So, Nambu knows where Katse was born? Hontwarl, or some other country?

And it was not a war zone.

Take a look at how the animators drew Katse's eyes.
quote:

 

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Another fantastic review, LB! And Saturn provided some interesting screenshots! I particularly like the one of Joe's bracelet on his bed... it gets my mind going with possibilities.... Devil1

I agree that for Joe's illness being the focus of (at least the beginning of) this episode, he sure doesn't seem to experience much in the way of physical problems. Other than his visit to the doctor, we'd never know he was still having issues.

Of course, the revelation of Joe's identity is a shocker, and something those of us who grew up watching BOTP could never have expected, nor contemplated. But the same cannot be said of Katse's reveal, which I recall longing for as a child...

This certainly sets things up in an interesting way for episode 103!

quote:
“The Doctor’s not shown up at the ISO all month –we’re extremely concerned,” replies Director Anderson. (If they’re so concerned, why haven’t they done anything about it?)


I'm wondering how Dr. Nambu can be shut up for a month and the Science Ninja Team doesn't even notice! And if he's at the villa... aren't the Team staying there with him, at least some of the time? Wouldn't they have known Nambu was there too?

quote:
It’s interesting that here he’s actually got nipples -something normally not seen on the guys when they’re shirtless. (No way to know how Tatsunoko artists would have drawn a shirtless Jun!)


Not entirely. In Gatchaman II, episode 1, Gel Sadra is shown completely naked, mutating from a child into a fully grown woman. She has no nipples or genitals of any kind... she looks like a naked Barbie doll.

And is it just me, or not? In this picture...

 

It looks like Katse dropped the partition on Nambu's foot! Ouch!

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quote:
Originally posted by UnpublishedWriter

So, Nambu knows where Katse was born? Hontwarl, or some other country?

And it was not a war zone.


Episode 88, I guess, sort of implies Hontwarl, as the man in Rodenburg prison who had the records on Katse's childhood was arrested there but there's no guarantee. I did sort of get the impression that the school that Ken and Jun visit might have been located in Hontwarl though (again, no canon proof). Considering that the V-2 plan, years in the making, was set in Hontwarl, that could be taken as evidence that Katse was familiar with the place. The name "Berg Katse" seems to be loosely based on German, and I've always had a notion that Hontwarl is somehow akin to Austria or Switzerland. ("Rodenburg" would fit in here too, also sounding German)




quote:
Originally posted by UnpublishedWriter
Take a look at how the animators drew Katse's eyes.


They remind me of a cat's eyes, with the way the pupils are shaped.

quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun

Not entirely. In Gatchaman II, episode 1, Gel Sadra is shown completely naked, mutating from a child into a fully grown woman. She has no nipples or genitals of any kind... she looks like a naked Barbie doll.


I'd forgotten about that -I guess it's official that Tatsunoko doesn't like nipples then! The image with Joe putting his shirt on in this ep goes so fast you'd never see them without a pause button.



quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun
It looks like Katse dropped the partition on Nambu's foot! Ouch!


Ouch indeed! Katse's cruelty knows no bounds!

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LB, once again you've done a wonderful job with this recap, and Saturn has provided us with magnificent screenshots!

quote:
Originally posted by lborgia88
quote:
Originally posted by UnpublishedWriter
Take a look at how the animators drew Katse's eyes.


They remind me of a cat's eyes, with the way the pupils are shaped.


They remind me of a cat's eyes also, but my thinking is that the animators wanted to make an emphasis on the fact that Katse was indeed a mutant, upon the revelation of his face.

I also think that one month of Nambu's unnoticed absence has no plausible excuses ... wasn't there really even a single instant, during that particular period, in which any member of the Team needed to contact him, or just see how he was?! And, as UW has already said, couldn't Nambu just notify his predetermined absence?!

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quote:
Originally posted by lborgia88
I'd forgotten about that -I guess it's official that Tatsunoko doesn't like nipples then! The image with Joe putting his shirt on in this ep goes so fast you'd never see them without a pause button.


Except that there are a number of shots of shirtless Joe on Dr. Raphael's 'operating' table in Gatch II, and Joe has nipples in those! Perhaps the rule is 'only Condors get nipples'? Wink

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quote:
Originally posted by lborgia88
quote:
Originally posted by UnpublishedWriter

So, Nambu knows where Katse was born? Hontwarl, or some other country?

And it was not a war zone.


Episode 88, I guess, sort of implies Hontwarl, as the man in Rodenburg prison who had the records on Katse's childhood was arrested there but there's no guarantee. I did sort of get the impression that the school that Ken and Jun visit might have been located in Hontwarl though (again, no canon proof). Considering that the V-2 plan, years in the making, was set in Hontwarl, that could be taken as evidence that Katse was familiar with the place. The name "Berg Katse" seems to be loosely based on German, and I've always had a notion that Hontwarl is somehow akin to Austria or Switzerland. ("Rodenburg" would fit in here too, also sounding German)


That's where I got the idea that Katse was from Hontwarl for my AU. I conceived Hontwarl as a collection of semi-independent cantons because the country had people named Howard, Hume, and Kelly. I started wondering what had happened to some of those jobless mercenaries after the various European wars and those who had fled anti-Catholic persecution in Great Britain. Hontwarl was the result. (With a Japanese population that had moved in between WWI and WWII for one reason or another.)




quote:
Originally posted by UnpublishedWriter
Take a look at how the animators drew Katse's eyes.


quote:
They remind me of a cat's eyes, with the way the pupils are shaped.


I had never noticed that when I watched that episode.

(Make the eyes yellow, with vertical slit-pupils, and you have an idea what my version of Zoltar looks like.)


quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun

Not entirely. In Gatchaman II, episode 1, Gel Sadra is shown completely naked, mutating from a child into a fully grown woman. She has no nipples or genitals of any kind... she looks like a naked Barbie doll.


quote:
I'd forgotten about that -I guess it's official that Tatsunoko doesn't like nipples then! The image with Joe putting his shirt on in this ep goes so fast you'd never see them without a pause button.


You can't draw naughty bits in manga and anime. Or the animators thought nipples were the sort of detail they could skip over. After all, nobody had VCRs then, and weren't going to be looking for fingernails and nipples.

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quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun
quote:
Originally posted by lborgia88
I'd forgotten about that -I guess it's official that Tatsunoko doesn't like nipples then! The image with Joe putting his shirt on in this ep goes so fast you'd never see them without a pause button.


Except that there are a number of shots of shirtless Joe on Dr. Raphael's 'operating' table in Gatch II, and Joe has nipples in those! Perhaps the rule is 'only Condors get nipples'? Wink


Hey, you're right -I checked (Can't pass up a reason to rewatch Gatch II shirtless Joe scenes...) Or maybe only Gatch II and F guys get nipples? Have to find some scenes of shirtless Ken getting treated for hypershoot sickness...

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quote:
Originally posted by lborgia88
Have to find some scenes of shirtless Ken getting treated for hypershoot sickness...


Nope, only the Condor is 'manly' enough to have nipples...

 

 

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Ken might have some in the first pic, unless those are electrode patches that haven't been hooked up yet but he sure doesn't in the second! Poor Ken -he looks depressed about it. Maybe Kamo is making fun of him.

One thing that came of me looking up Joe's shirtless Gatch II scenes, I got inspired to make my holiday avatar for this year, though it's a bit too soon to put it up.

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quote:
Originally posted by lborgia88
Ken might have some in the first pic, unless those are electrode patches that haven't been hooked up yet but he sure doesn't in the second!


That's my same impression!

TJ, thanks for sending these screenshots! I've been tempted myself to take a look at those episodes, my memory not being that good to remember whether Ken had nipples or not, but I haven't found any time to do so!

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I think they're electrode patches, because if you look carefully, he has THREE of them! Wink Maybe he has the Mark Wahlberg extraneous nipple? ROFL 2

LB, I'm eager to see yuor Christmas avatar! Big Grin

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ROFL 2 That has such a wrong feel, TJ, that is Ken having three nipples!! I don't even want to imagine it! pound

But, if you're referring to the middle one, I think that that might well be the mid-section cut of his chest ... so, phew, he might be normal after all! And, look where our discussion has led us!!!

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quote:
Originally posted by gatchamarie
ROFL 2 That has such a wrong feel, TJ, that is Ken having three nipples!! I don't even want to imagine it! pound



I think it would be a whole lot weirder looking if it were Jun with three -especially as she's already got a big "3" on her shirt!

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