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Gatchaman Episode 103 – G-2 Risks Death

 

A car races along a track. The driver appears grim and determined.

 

Joe gasps as the road starts blurring in front of him. He clenches and unclenches his hands from the steering wheel.

 

He speeds up, and his vision clears.

 

“The bouts of intense dizziness and headache that sometimes strike Joe have recently become more frequent.” the narrator explains. “But Joe still guarded against anyone else knowing about them. He was determined to keep fighting until he had brought about Galactor’s downfall. Joe put the pedal to the metal as if to outrun the fear of death closing in on him.”

Joe notices two helicopters in his side view mirror. It’s not long before they are directly overhead.

 

One flies right next to his car.

 

The goons start shooting, and Joe swerves.

 

You know, this screenshot reminds me a bit of that scene in the Imagi ’trailer’ where Joe watches a missile pass through his car.

 

Joe swerves away from the helicopters and increases his speed… so much so that he’s driving a little out of control, and hits one of the railings around the track.

The helicopters pursue, and continue shooting.

 

A helicopter appears in front of Joe, and he swerves.

 

Too late, he realizes he’s about to hit the rail.

 

He hits the rail and the car goes flying. Joe jumps… but it wasn’t a good move. The car ends up fine, while Joe crashes to the ground.

 

He is unconscious. The goons approach, and one of them, a bearded man in a lighter green uniform, kicks Joe in the face.

 

“What kind of hero is this?” smirks Bearded Goon. “He’s a lot weaker than I expected.” He twirls his gun around in a showy manner, before holstering it.

 

“I’m finally going to get that promotion I’ve wanted.” he gloats.

The helicopters airlift Joe to a nearby mecha in the shape of a butterfly… or perhaps a moth.

 

Joe is conscious again as he is brought to the see the current CotW.

 

“So sorry to have interrupted your day in the races.” the CotW says in a soft growl. “You’ll have to pardon me.” He’s wearing a strange aqua and gold hooded robe, with long red gloves and boots.

“What would Galactor want with a racer like me?” Joe smirks.

 

“Ah, well you see, I’ve received information that says you are G2 of the Science Ninja Team.” the CotW replies. “Is this true?”

 

“I don’t even know what the hell you mean by ‘G2’ or ‘Science Ninja Team’.” Joe bluffs. And he looks so convincing, standing there in his number 2 shirt.

 

“So you say!” the CotW growls. “That so-called ‘ally of justice’ has caused us a world of hurt.”

“So, you say the guy looks like me, or something?” Joe asks. “I’m honored.”

“Yeah, well I’d like to ask a little favor of you.” the CotW replies, and his voice is sounding more familiar with every word. “Tell me the identities of all the rest of your Team! What do you say…? Condor Joe!” He rips off his hooded robe and reveals…

Katse!

 

Joe gasps, apparently surprised by this.

 

“Huh, back to the purple rat suit again?” Joe taunts. “Your true identity’s already been revealed, so you might as well lose the stupid mask, freak.”

“You better apologize to him, real quick.” Bearded Goon shoves his gun at Joe.

 

But Joe glares at him, and he backs off.

 

“Back off, small fry.” Joe warns, and by his voice, you can tell he means it.

“Just what I’d expect of a Science Ninja!” Katse laughs, approaching Joe. And we can see in this shot, Katse is definitely the taller of the two.

 

“Aren’t you the one they call G2?” Katse asks. “Your audacity’s remarkable. But at my command, you could die right here! Does that worry you, tough guy?”

 

“Well I’m not worried about dying, like you are, Katse.” Joe smirks.

This isn’t the response Katse is expecting.

 

“Look, just tell me the identities of the other four, and I’ll let you live, okay?” Katse recovers. Clearly he doesn’t know Joe very well if he thinks that Joe would either believe his deal, or accept it if he did.

“Well, either way, I’ve already been unmasked, and I do value their lives, so…” Joe drawls. He gestures in a ‘come hither’ motion.

 

“Oh, that’s marvelous!” Katse practically jumps for joy.

 

“Well where do I start?” Joe says. “They’ve got a lot of courage…”

 

“Yeah, yeah yeah…” Katse eats it up.

“They hang around with the good crowd: worlds apart from the reprobates Galactor employs, and let’s see what else…. ‘nuff said!” He raises his fist…

 

And Katse gets it.

 

“Ahhhh…. my nose!” Katse moans as he falls to the ground.

Fight scene!

 

But not the usual one. Joe leaps into the air, and his vision blurs. The room spins in his mind.

 

He lands, clearly having problems.

 

But he recovers and breaks free, running away, narrowly avoiding another goon that charges at him.

 

Then he stumbles to the ground, screaming in pain. But he sees more goons approaching.

 

Yet he stands up, ready to fight!

 

He races through a group of goons, knocking them down as he goes.

 

He fights a few more, then swings on a chandelier, causing the goons to shoot it. The room is suddenly dark.

“Damn it, where the hell’s he hiding?” Bearded Goon asks. His companion somehow seems able to answer, despite the fact that his mouth has disappeared.

 

“I can’t see anything right now, Chief!”

The sound of footsteps echoes around the room, spooking the goons. One of them suddenly cries out in agony. He falls to the ground, blood coming out of his nose.

 

What, did this guy have a brain aneurysm or something?

“Everybody watch out, he’s close by!” Bearded Goon warns, even as a bare arm sneaks out of the darkness to grab a goon…

 

“There he is!” Bearded Goon shouts, and bullets fire into the darkness.

Unfortunately, they’ve just shot one of their own men.

 

“Have all the windows up, Damien!” Bearded Goon tells another goon beside him.

But as Damien opens a curtain, he’s punched out.

“Huh, what happened?” Bearded Goon is startled.

“Over there!” the goons shout, randomly shooting.

Katse (having that incredibly high IQ) turns on a spotlight.

 

This almost reminds me of those old Batman episodes…

 

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Joe jumps and moves away, but Katse shines the light on him again. The light causes Joe pain.

 

The goons quickly take advantage of this.

“Come on, stand up.” Bearded Goon laughs nastily. “There’s a good boy. Nice and slow…”

 

Then Bearded Goon proceeds to beat up Joe by smacking him with his rifle several times.

 

 

A few other goons get in on the act, standing in a circle around Joe. The whole thing reminds me of a group of schoolyard bullies.

“You don’t seem so tough now!” Bearded Goon taunts.

 

Joe ends up falling on Katse, clutching at his cape.

 

“Ah, where did all your spunk go?” Katse asks in a sickly sweet voice. “Ready to tell me their identities now?”

 

“Man, you just don’t get it, do you, Katse?” Joe asks. “There’s no way in hell I’ll ever talk to someone like you!”

 

And then he spits in Katse’s face.

None of the goons can believe the disrespect Joe has just shown!

 

“Oh boy.” Katse sighs. “If I had just one man with your guts, this war would have been won for us ages ago.”

“Hold him!” Katse snaps, and then he punches Joe. Many times.

 

 

He kicks Joe in the stomach and grinds his boot in.

“And they say I’m a heel.” Katse laughs.

Another goon kicks Joe’s butt, and he goes tumbling to the floor.

 

“Looks like you finally settled down for us!” Katse mocks. “The great Science Ninja Team goon, under my shoe!”

And yes, Joe is literally under his shoe.

 

“No matter how much you carry on, it’s now only a matter of time!” Katse taunts. “I’m going to use your capture to stop the Gatchaman Team dead in their tracks!”

 

“Start plans for the Black Hole Operation! Move out to Karakorum Cross immediately!” Katse orders his troops.

Joe is dragged by two goons (one of them, Bearded Goon) to a cell.

 

“So, we’ve finally taken one of the Science Ninja Team prisoner, huh, Sarge?” the other goon asks.

“Let’s throw the bum in the brig.” Bearded Goon replies. But Joe takes action, breaking loose and grabbing the goon’s pistol. Suddenly the tables have turned.

 

“Make another noise and it’ll be your last, got it?” Joe threatens. But his voice is ragged, and it’s clear he’s on the edge. “Don’t move a muscle!” He groans, and clutches at his face, but the goons, with their backs turned, don’t see.

Joe runs down the corridor. Realizing that he’s getting away, the two goons turn and start shooting.

 

Joe finds a door and throws his shoulder against it to open it. He’s surprised to see sky beyond, instead of ground.

 

He falls out the door.

 

“He jumped out!” the goon can’t believe it. “I guess he didn’t realize we’re up this high in the sky, huh, Sarge? Good luck, though.”

“Guess not.” Bearded Goon/Sarge agrees. “My promotion to Commanding Officer just went out the door with him. Bet he dies of shock before he even hits the ground.”

And certainly Joe is in shock as he tumbles through the air.

 

But fortunately he has the presence of mind to transform.

 

And he’s able to land safely on a road below.

 

But he hears the squeal of brakes: a car is coming up behind him!

 

Fortunately the driver is able to avoid Joe. He screeches to a stop.

“Hey watch where you’re going, you freaking idiot!” the man lectures. “What the hell kind of freak are you!?”

 

Joe’s answer is to clutch his head and collapse in pain.

“Hey now, whoa, buddy, are you all right?” the driver is suddenly concerned. “What’s wrong?”

Now we cut to a hospital bed… and Joe is in it.

 

“Yep, that’s why I’m calling you.” a voice says in the background. “The bruises are no big deal, but he’s sustained serious injuries before.” the voice pauses, and we can tell that the person is speaking on the telephone. Joe listens as he awakens.

 

“No, no there’s no doubt about it. He said something about G2…. that’s right. It’s an old wound, but there are many bullet fragments still in there.”

 

“It may have been different had it been anywhere else, but a brain injury like this…” the voice continues, “well, I can’t say anything more without examination, but given what I know, I’d say he’s got another… week? Ten days at most. I’m sorry, Doctor. If there’s anything I can do, let me know.”

Joe can’t believe what he’s hearing!

 

His mind spins with the knowledge that he is dying.

And now we see that the person on the other end of the phone was Nambu.

 

The first voice, which apparently belongs to a doctor, moves around to the bed where Joe was lying.

“He’s gone!” the doctor gasps. Sure enough, the window is open, and the bed is empty.

Joe pounds the pavement to the strains of Demon 5 music, in a scene vaguely reminiscent of the opening sequence in Saturday Night Fever. Of course, this preceded that movie by 3-4 years, so I guess it’s John Travolta who got his inspiration from this!

 

Joe is distraught, not knowing what to do.

 

He ends up at a construction site, staring out as the sun sets over the city. A piece of equipment topples and knocks some metal beams over. Joe is startled by the noise.

 

He remembers Katse telling him that ‘it’s now only a matter of time’, and ordering his troops to move out to ‘Karakorum Cross’.

“Karakorum… that borders the Himalayas!” Joe thinks. “There’s something there…”

 

And indeed there is. We can see a massive drill, and many goons working on it.

“We have to make these giant drills, but what the heck is the plan this time?” one goon with a bad Dutch accent asks his partner. “You got any ideas, Reggie?”

 

“Hey, I sure don’t!” Reggie answers. “I just heard rumors that the Leader designed this mecha himself, and he’s passing detailed instructions along to Lord Katse!”


And speaking of Katse, he comes by on an elevated observation platform, and the goons get back to work.

“From what I’ve seen, the project seems to be progressing rather well, Chief.” Katse says to Sarge. I don’t get it. Is this guy a Chief or a Sarge? Well, the subs seem to consistently go with Chief, so I guess I will too.

 

“Sire, we’re right on schedule, putting the finishing touches on it, and I believe at this rate we’ll be finished ahead of schedule, Sire.” Chief replies.

“Really?” Katse grins. “Well then, let’s take care of that Gatchaman first thing.”

Now we see Katse walking into some kind of control room. He picks up a high tech… CB mic.

 

 

Commercial break!

Solid Gold Ken doesn’t look too happy that we’re halfway through the episode and Gatchaman himself has yet to make an appearance.

When we return, we see a volcano erupting, raining lava and rocks down on the Earth. Buildings crumbles, train tracks fall apart, and there is general mass destruction.

And now we see the Science Ninja Team (including Joe) at a briefing.

 

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“At 9:15 am, local time, a magnitude 8, or possibly 9, earthquake hit the Punikoku area,” Dr. Nambu is saying, “leveling and setting ablaze most of the city. But we have received reports of earthquakes occurring in several other locations around the world at the same time. To add to the confusion, the epicenters were all different. And earthquakes also occurred in non-volcanic regions.”

“What’s it mean, Doc?” Ken asks.

 

“It was set off intentionally.” Joe states.

 

“Precisely.” Nambu agrees. “They are plotting something… something dreadful.”

“So then, Galactor has…” Ken begins, but he turns as Joe groans in pain. “Oh! Joe! What’s wrong?”

 

“It’s nothing. Don’t worry about it.” Joe says.

“What do you mean, ‘nothing’? You look terrible!” Ken disagrees.

“Lay off, man! I was just thinking about something, that’s all!” Joe snaps. “Don’t worry about it.”

 

But Nambu knows better, although he says nothing.

“So what’s our mission this time, Doctor?” Jun asks.

 

But Nambu doesn’t answer.

“Hello in there!” Jun calls.

“If Galactor is planning something, we need to hurry and stop it while we still have time!” Nambu snaps out of his thoughts. “Look for any possible connection between them and these earthquakes! Now move out!”

“Roger!”

“Joe, you stay here!” Nambu calls.

 

“Huh? What’s the deal, Doc?” Ryu asks.

Nambu doesn’t answer.

“What’s up, Doc?” Ken unconsciously echoes Bugs Bunny. “Something the matter?”

“I’m going on this one!” Joe insists.

 

“Like hell!” Nambu cries. “You know that you’re in no condition to be involved in this mission!”

“Condition?” Ken exclaims. “Joe! So then, there is something wrong!”

“I said it’s nothing! I’m going, Doctor.” Joe says angrily. “You think I’m going to just let Galactor get away with all of this?”

“If you’re okay after I’ve run some tests on you, then you can get back in the game.” Nambu says. “Ken, I want you and the others to move out!”

“But Doc, I think he’s…” Ken protests.

 

“That’s an order!” Nambu snaps. “Now move!”

“Understood!” Ken replies, and everyone else runs out.

“Ken!” Joe calls.

 

“Why don’t you at least take my G-2 aboard the God Phoenix, and let it go in my place, all right?” Joe suggests quietly. Although… wouldn’t the G-2 normally already be on the God Phoenix? What’s the point of that statement?

 

“Move out!” Ken orders the others, without answering Joe. The God Phoenix takes off, and Joe stares after it, out the window.

I love how you can see the reflection of the God Phoenix in this window!

 

“Joe, I’m going to take an X-ray of your brain.” Nambu announces. “Report to the lab.” And the Doctor clearly isn’t being very smart today, because he leaves the room… without Joe.

Needless to say, the moment he’s gone, he hears the sound of an engine revving and starting up. He rushes back into the room to see Joe zooming away in his yellow racecar (the one from the beginning of the episode).

“That boy’s got a mind of his own.” Nambu sighs.

“Doctor, guys, stay well.” Joe thinks as he drives away. “The rest is up to you.”

 

Now we cut to an astonished Ken on the God Phoenix.

“Huh? He what?”

 

“It appears he’s known for quite awhile now that there’s been something wrong with him.” Nambu reveals from the communications screen.

“Is Joe’s condition something serious then, Doctor?” Jun asks.

 

Nambu doesn’t answer.

“So where did he go, then?” Ken asks.

“Beats me.” Nambu replies.

“We have to go look for him!” Ken declares.

 

“Wait.” Nambu says. “There were more heavy earthquakes detected recently. The epicenter was 400 kilometers southwest of the Torimishima continental shelf. Search that area right away.”

 

“Understood.” Ken replies, and the Doctor fades out.

“That ain’t no way for a friend to act, Joe.” Ryu sighs heavily. “Hiding the truth and putting on a show!”

 

“How careless of me!” Ken berates himself. “I’ve thought for awhile that something was wrong with him! Why didn’t I do something sooner?”

 

“I’ve failed him as his leader… amd his friend.” Ken says sorrowfully.

Ken orders Ryu to dive into the water, bringing his mind back to the mission at hand.

And now we see that Joe is on a commercial airline flight. He stares out the window at snow-covered mountains.

“Karakorum.” he thinks to himself. “Galactor’s hidden something here in this region, bordering the Himalayas. And I’m going to find it!”

 

You know, I totally get Joe’s macho thing about not wanting to reveal his illness, and even sneaking out and denying himself treatment, but I don’t understand why he didn’t tell the others about Karakorum. If it’s important Galactor information, he should have done so, instead of keeping it to himself. In that sense, he’s jeopardizing the Team’s chance of success.

But of course, Joe’s not thinking of that right now.

On the God Phoenix, Jun is reading her control panel.

“The vibrations are getting stronger!” she calls. “Ken, I’m picking up something on the radar!”

 

“Ken, what the heck is that?” Ryu asks.

 

“Huh?”

They see a massive underwater drill being pulled into some kind of mecha. We don’t see the whole thing, but some kind of tentacles reach out toward the God Phoenix.

“What was that?” Ken asks.

 

“The vibrations have stopped, Ken!” Jun reports. “I don’t understand… how could that have happened?”

Ryu cries out as more tentacles reach out toward the God Phoenix.

 

The tentacles snag the G-3 Pod around the wing, but Ryu pulls away. Then the mecha starts shooting.

“It looks like that mecha probably has something to do with these earthquakes!” Ken surmises. “Stay frosty, dude.”

 

And Jun gives one of her girly gasps of horror.

 

This mecha is darn ugly. I’m sure it’s supposed to be some kind of sea creature… but not one I’m familiar with.

 

“Catfish monster!” Jinpei cries, coming to my aid.

 

The catfish shoots missile which brushes by the G-3 Pod (boy, Ryu sure is letting that side of the God Phoenix get hit a lot, today). The ship shakes.

We see a quick shot of the G-2 in its bay, to remind us that it is aboard, and therefore the God Phoenix has all of its capabilities right now.

And then the catfish grabs the God Phoenix and tries to eat it.

 

Ken can’t do anything by cry out in horror!

 

Meanwhile, Joe, in Birdstyle, is exploring the Himalayas. He comes upon an area with strange stone statues, reminiscent of Easter Island.

 

He gasps when he sees them. I don’t blame him. They’re quite ugly.

 

From the air, the statues are set out in some kind of pattern… vaguely reminiscent of X’s blue chicken-head form.

 

“A Galactor base!” Joe thinks to himself. “And it’s a larger scale than anything we’ve ever seen of theirs…”

 

But he clutches his head as another wave of pain washes through him. Then he recovers enough to try to call his Team, finally recognizing that he needs to let them know about this. About time, Joe!

 

“G2 to G1!” he calls. But before he gets an answer, someone in green pants approaches.

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Several someones in green pants, actually.

 

Joe is surrounded!

“Very impressive Ninja Team Numb Nut Number 2!” Chief says. “I’m surprised you found our Headquarters! Hell, I’m surprised you survived!”

“Headquarters!” Joe thinks to himself. “I see! Their main base!”

 

“It’s kind of too bad, after coming all this way, and finding our headquarters, you have to die, right here in front of it. But oh well, I guess you’ll just have to give up.”

 

“Fine by me. That was my whole plan.” Joe bluffs, but he grabs his head as another burst of pain runs through it.

 

“Heh, heh, heh… a little weaker, aren’t you?” Chief mocks. “Why don’t we just take you down nice and slow?”

“Ken, it’s me! Can you hear me?” Joe calls into his bracelet.

 

But Chief is a pretty good shot, and his gun blasts off Joe’s bracelet.

 

Look! I never knew there was a size adjuster on the bracelet, like on a watch…

Joe can’t believe what’s just happened.

 

The bracelet falls on the ground and smashes.

 

And Joe suddenly de-transforms!

 

The goons all gasp.

“Now I see what those things are for!” Chief says. “Never would have guessed so I’ll have to treat you with a little surprise too! How about a few machine gun sprays there, boy?”

But Joe begins to laugh.

 

“If I’m going down, you’re coming with me!” Joe shouts.

 

And then he charges at the goons.

Fight scene!

Joe whips his cablegun out of his pocket.

 

He charges at the goons.

 

He pulls a handful of feather shuriken from his pocket and throws them.

 

He lands in the midst of the shurikened goons.

 

And they all collapse.

 

Only Chief is left.

Joe briefly clutches at his head, and Chief makes to shoot. But Joe recovers quickly.

 

He pulls the shuriken from his mouth and throws them.

 

 

But Chief gets off a shot. Joe is hit!

 

“Gotcha, boy!” Chief laughs, a shuriken sticking out of his forearm.

 

“Old Condor Joe’s aim’s off a little today.” Chief gloats. He pulls out the shuriken, but hasn’t noticed where the second one landed…

 

“Nothing stopping me from getting that promotion now…” Chief laughs, but then he keels over.

 

Joe thinks of his teammates and Dr. Nambu…

 

“Man, I’m tired…” he thinks. But a rock drops. He turns to see what made the sound.

 

It’s another bunch of goons with guns.

 

“Meanwhile, the Pamelow Observatory moveable radio telescope, touted as being the world’s largest, has for several days been receiving strange transmissions from space.” the narrator tells us. “Working around the clock, scientists pinpoint a curious phenomenon on Planet Selectol, two million light years away in the Andromeda Galaxy.”

“The planet Selectol has just disappeared!” a scientists declares, while others around him gasp.

And at Galactor Headquarters…

“The mecha is finally complete. Excellent!” X says. “Good work.”

 

“Those fools are playing around with our decoy, Catfishera!” Katse smirks. “I believe this might be the perfect opportunity to put our plan into effect!”

 

“The world is finally within my grasp!” Katse thinks to himself. “I’ll reshape it as I please!”

But X suddenly starts laughing.

“Huh? What is it, my Leader?”

“Just thinking of those miserable humans as they shiver and tremble and pale with fear.” X admits. “Go now, Katse! Initiate the Black Hole Operation!”

 

“Yes, Sire!” Katse bows.

 

As the giant drill below the Earth’s surface goes into action, its sound ominously fades into the deep. What is this final plan that Galactor has put into play? Neither Dr. Nambu, still awaiting word from the Science Ninja Team, nor the four aboard the God Phoenix, now entangled in a battle on the ocean floor with the giant Catfishera, nor even Joe, who has fallen to Galactor’s bullets, knows the meaning behind Leader X’s mysterious laugh. Meanwhile, the ominous rumblings within the Earth grow ever louder…



This episode was not used in BOTP.

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Wonderful recap, TJ! Now I have to go and wipe my tears ... I just hate seeing Joe like that! I agree with you, though ... he must, at least, have informed the others about Karakorum! He must have known what he was going into ... maybe, that's how desperate he was!

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Yes... that's the one part of this thing that I never could reconcile. Why didn't Joe tell the others about Karakorum? Even thought he hadn't confirmed it before he left, he had a suspicion that it was a major Galactor base at the very least.

I agree, this is a heart-wrenchcing episode for the viewers, having watched through the entire series and now seeing this happen to Joe... especially knowing that he's going to die no matter what. (and still holding hope in our hearts that Dr. Nambu cam come up with a miracle cure... back to the centrifuge!)

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quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun
I agree, this is a heart-wrenchcing episode for the viewers, having watched through the entire series and now seeing this happen to Joe... especially knowing that he's going to die no matter what. (and still holding hope in our hearts that Dr. Nambu cam come up with a miracle cure... back to the centrifuge!)


At least, it's somehow easier for us to watch, knowing that there are sequels, and that Joe still takes part in them!! (even if it's still sad just the same!) We cannot say the same for the entire team at the very end, though!!!Crying5

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Presuming you're referencing the end of Gatchaman Fighter, it's debatable as to what happened. In contrast, what's happening to Joe in these last few episodes seems much more final and permanent... and yet, we know he 'survived'!

So there's definitely hope after the end of Gatchaman Fighter! Wink

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If I'm remembering right, in Japanese tradition, the islands rest on the back of a giant catfish. Its movements cause the earthquakes that wrack the nation.

Stubborn, stubborn Joe. If he'd said something earlier, he wouldn't be dying now.

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quote:
Originally posted by UnpublishedWriter
If I'm remembering right, in Japanese tradition, the islands rest on the back of a giant catfish. Its movements cause the earthquakes that wrack the nation.


You are right! The foundation stone of Tokyo is said to sit atop the head of the catfish, keeping it place.

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Great recap!

quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun
Yes... that's the one part of this thing that I never could reconcile. Why didn't Joe tell the others about Karakorum? Even thought he hadn't confirmed it before he left, he had a suspicion that it was a major Galactor base at the very least.



I have to agree that his decision to go down in a blaze of glory by heading off to Karakoram without telling anyone (presumably because he thought the others would prevent him from going anywhere and stick him back in a hospital bed) was a tad self-centered -more about what he wanted than about what was good for the Team's goals overall. To his credit, once he realized it was the main headquarters (and he'd been discovered by Blue goon and his cohorts), he did try to call Ken -if only he'd done it a little sooner!

I have to admit that "dying" Joe, battling to the end with a sunset backdrop does make for some of my favourite Joe screencaps (as my avatar indicates!). I think the artists were in truly fine form, especially where Joe was concerned, in this episode.

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You're right about that, LB! The art in these scenes is wonderful, particularly Joe falling from the mecha and transforming, and Joe fighting 'til the death' at the end.

I think you're right LB, about Joe wanting to go out in a 'blaze of glory'... but it's not like him... usually he doesn't care about the spotlight and just wants to get things done.

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quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun

I think you're right LB, about Joe wanting to go out in a 'blaze of glory'... but it's not like him... usually he doesn't care about the spotlight and just wants to get things done.


Maybe in this case it was his desire to avenge his parents' deaths, that was motivating him, ie. that it wasn't enough that Galactor be defeated -he had to have a personal role in it- and it seemed like this was his last and only chance if he only had 10 days or so left to live?

Speaking of having only 10 days left to live, I often wish that doctor had been a little more specific in his diagnosis as to exactly which old wound and fragments were responsible for Joe's terminal condition! But I suppose leaving it vague gives us fans something to speculate about and gives fic writers some wiggle room. I suppose it's even possible that the doctor was wrong about Joe being terminal -Dr. Nambu didn't seem completely convinced, as he had wanted to examine Joe again himself- though it's certainly clear that Joe's condition was serious.

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quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun
So there's definitely hope after the end of Gatchaman Fighter! Wink


I'd like to think that, too!

And, I third the opinion that the art in the scenes concerning Joe is magnificent! The artists have done a wonderful job all through the whole series, but it's now normal for me to expect an even better quality when it comes to key episodes, as we also almost find in each and every manga. More drama is added to highlight sentiments and circumstances. Needless to say, I love such instances!

As to Joe's condition, I agree with you, LB, when you're saying that Dr. Nambu might have been capable to help him in some way! Nambu's behaviour has somehow made me believe so, not leaving out how hastily the hospital doctor's verdict was given, at least where we are concerned! And, it's never too late to lose hope, even in the most drastic of situations! And, pity Jun didn't know about Joe's intentions before ... she would have slapped him to his senses like she afterwards did with Ken!Wink3

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It's certainly fair enough to say that Dr. Nambu *might* have been able to save Joe... before Joe went off to Karokorum, got himself captured and had his head pumped full of bullets! I'm a little doubtful there. As it is, it's a bit of a stretch to say that there was enough left of Joe's brain that his personality remained intact through his conversion in Raphael's lab. But then again, it's a stretch to say that after having been shot in the head multiple times, that Joe still managed to last long enough to pull himself up the stairs and have lengthy goodbyes with his teammates... not to mention save Jun with a shuriken.

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The goons wanted to have some fun with him. I'm sure most of the bullets missed him, and those that hit were in various parts of his body. (Unlike other anime series, they weren't into explicit blood and gore -- I had to look close to realize Masaki had been shot between the eyes.) Depending on where he'd been shot, he might have lasted a while.

But then, the Japanese do like the dramatic moments, even if they don't entirely fit into the plot. I suppose they had to stretch it out a bit to reach the end of the series.

(And when someone had the bright idea to make Gatchaman II, the lack of a body made it easy to bring him back as a cyborg.)

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As sad as it is, I love this episode... *sniff*

Joe didn't want to go down in a blaze of glory, what he wanted to do was save the others from watching him die - and he didn't want the last few days of his life not to mean anything (for a Sicilian, he was acting very Japanese at the end...). Not sure if it was the dubs that weren't quite up to scratch or the translations.... meh, can't remember... But he was definitely thinking about the others when he made the decision.

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I can understand not wanting the others to watch him die, and I can understand wanting to have the last few days of his life mean something. I just don't understand why he felt this precluded him from telling the others about Karokorum when he had a chance.

Although... I guess if we take this further... maybe he didn't tell them because he would then have to explain how he obtained this knowledge... maybe he didn't tell his teammates about his capture at all? Hum.....

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quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun
...maybe he didn't tell his teammates about his capture at all? Hum.....


The others surely didn't seem to know anything about his capture! He appeared at the briefing as if nothing had happened! If it weren't for his not feeling well in front of that driver, and hadn't been taken to hospital (or was it so, presuming that that driver was kind enough to accompany him, even if I don't know whether Joe arrived at the hospital in birdstyle, or not, assuming that he wouldn't have detransmuted in front of a stranger?!), not even Dr. Nambu would have known about his condition, as he also didn't seem to know about Joe's capture either! But then, Joe wouldn't have come to the knowledge of the few days he had left to live, and maybe, with an emphasis on "maybe", only then would he have told the others about Karakorum, not knowing that he was actually going to die just the same, and the plot wouldn't have remained the same!

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I've always assumed he didn't tell anyone that he'd been captured. The briefing would have been his opportunity to do so and he didn't say anything about it

But, what I find interesting is that Joe was halfway to the door, running along with Ken and the others, when Dr. Nambu suddenly called him back and told Joe "You're in no condition" and that he wanted him to remain behind for more medical tests. Then, of course, Joe took off in the yellow race car instead. Up until the moment when Dr. Nambu forbid him to accompany the others, I wonder what Joe's plan was:

Was he planning even then to immediately take off on his own to Karakoram?

Was he going to accompany the Team in the God Phoenix to investigate the earthquakes and, once that was dealt with, then tell Ken what he'd learned about the possible significance of "Karakoram" (which would also entail explaining his capture by and escape from Galactor) and persuade them all to go to Karakoram at once? Until Dr. Nambu"s "you're in no condition!" speech in front of the others, Joe might have believed he could bluff Ken and the others into thinking he was okay (or reasonably okay), just as he'd been doing all along, even though he was dying.

Was he going to accompany the Team in the God Phoenix to investigate the earthquakes and, once that was dealt with, take off on his own to Karakoram without telling the others anything?


I can well believe that Joe, once he found out he only had 10 days left to live, wanted to spare the others the anguish of watching him die and would think that going away by himself was the right thing to do. But I also do think that he wanted to be a "Science Ninja" to the very end as well. Fear of being taken off the Team seems to be a main reason Joe went to such lengths to try to conceal or brush off his health problems to the others.

A lot of food for thought in this episode where Joe's motivations are concerned. Wanting to spare the others the pain of seeing him die, wanting his death to mean something, wanting to remain Condor Joe the Science Ninja Team to the end, wanting a last chance to avenge his parents...

This post has been edited 2 time(s), it was last edited by lborgia88 on 24-11-2010 at 21:12.
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