Members of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman:
G-1: Ken Washio, Eagle, 18 years old, Japanese. Ken was taken in by Dr. Nambu when he was eight years old, and has trained ever since to be the hero that he is. The leader with the weight of the world on his shoulders, Ken fights bad because he is good, he is "Gatchaman" after all. A little more dimension is added to his character after the death of Red Impulse, whom Ken has conveniently just found out is his father. He gets a little bitter. He fights with Joe like brothers, but they fight for each other like brothers would, too. Jun has a thing for Ken (who doesn't), but he is is mostly oblivious to this fact for most of the time. An excellent pilot, like his father, he works as a test pilot in his down time and Ken's mecha is neat little plane.
G-2: Joe Asakura, Condor, 18 years old, Italian/Sicilian. Ken is your typical hero: rational, clear headed, keeps his personal emotions in check. My man Joe is Ken's polar opposite. Joe might be just a gun for hire except for one key element: his rage has a purpose. Revenge. At one time his parents were Galactor, and were killed by them as traitors. Little Joe witnessed the assassination, but fortunately was saved by Dr. Nambu. Luckily he was trained for the team or Joe might have turned out as, say, a mercenary or high school math teacher. Joe's kind of a rebel, the boy your mother warned you about. He's a ladies' man (he stole my heart!), which tends to get him and the rest of the team in trouble at times. When not saving the world he's even a race car driver, can you guess what his mecha is?
G-3: Jun (last name unknown), Swan, 16 years old, Japanese/American. Dr. Nambu picked up Jun at an orphanage. As is typical when one girl hangs out with a group of guys, she's the mothering one, the "Wendy" to her "Lost Boys". They are her family, and she fights fiercely to keep them intact. But don't underestimate her just because she's beautiful; an expert with explosives and electronics she can hold her own in a fight (and still manage to keep her lipstick perfect). She's even got her own restaurant/bar, the Snack Jun (a popular hangout for the group) and likes to go-go dance. As previously mentioned, she's longing for a relationship with Ken. But sometimes (I swear I'm not just making this up), she takes a peek at Joe, too. Plus, she's got a cool motorcycle.
G-4: Jinpei (last name unknown), Swallow, 10 years old, Japanese. Jinpei has thought of Jun as his older sister all his life, and became a member of Science Ninja Team when she insisted Dr. Nambu take him, too. Jinpei works for Jun at the Snack Jun. He looks up to the older guys, and gets a little indignant when he feels he is being left out. A "little buddy" to Ryu, he can sometimes be reduced to comic relief. But don't count him out. He's still an integral part of the team, and not so bad with electronics himself. His mecha is even childlike: a bubble like jeepy thingy.
G-5: Ryu Nakanishi, Great Horned Owl, 25 years old, Japanese. Ryu is the most "normal" of the group (as normal as you can be fighting aliens in a bird suit). He still gets to visit his family in the small fishing village he is from (and as his cover he conveniently runs a marina). He is older, wiser, and doesn't have as many issues to work on as the rest. He is every bit a team player, though. The loveable lug, Ryu pilots the God Phoenix and is left behind a lot waiting for the others to beat the baddies and then get them the heck out of there. The good news is he gets his own mecha in the second series. The bad news is it's called the Horned Tank. Not quite as cool as Ken's Eagle Sharp or Joe's Condor Attacker. It's a step, though.
Some Other Good Guys:
Dr. Nambu. Dashing good looks and a scientific brain, Dr. Nambu worked on the Mangle Project before training the Science Ninja Team. A prominent member of ISO, he is often the target of Galactor attacks as he guides his young group of heroes.
Red Impulse. Real name, Kentaro Washio. On a secret spy mission for ISO he faked his own death and changed his identity. Always putting duty before family, he entrusted his young son Ken to the care of his friend Dr. Nambu. As leader of his squadron he crosses paths with our young heroes often, only revealing his true identity shortly before his death.
Sosai X. Bad guy numero uno. X is from the world of Selectoru in the Andromida Galaxy. He has been hanging around Earth dormant for many years. Then, he decided to take over Earth, and to use Galactor as his hired thugs (previously Galactor had been part of the Mafia, a possible explanation as to Joe's parents involvement?). He made Berg Katse and GelSadora into the wacky villains we love to hate, and since hearing of his own home world's destruction has had an insatiable desire to destroy the Earth. Hey Uncle X, it wasn't our fault.
Berg Katse. My personal favorite of the villains. Looks kinda like a cat. Cat's chase birds, don't they? X mutated Katse by merging male and female fraternal twins inside their mother's womb. I'm not sure why X did this, but the result is that Katse is wholly male and female--switching back and forth at will. When female, she has an IQ of 280. When male, it's not so high (ha, ha). In female form as Onna Taicho she leads the elite able-to-kick-much-butt all female ninja team of The Devil Stars (who, by the way, were the Galactor responsible for Joe's parents' deaths). Katse freaks when he hears Ken's whistle (maybe the female part is not so much scared as excited). He/she wants to rule the Earth, and believes that is X's plan, to give Earth to him/her. When he/she finds out in the final episode that X is going to destroy the Earth instead, Katse redeems himself/herself in a way by committing suicide (in a scene not seen in America).
GelSadora. In anther of his mad-scientist mutant experiments, X force-grew GelSadora from a six year old. We find out her mother is Dr. Nambu's Administrative Assistant Dr. Sylvie Pandora. GelSadora is Sammie, thought dead in a shipwreck (caused by the crafty X). She's like seven feet tall and has a spooky male-like voice (not to mention the clown outfit). Given to temper tantrums like a SIX YEAR OLD (what was X thinking?), she's apparently smart enough to run Galactor, which may not be saying a lot. When she finds out who she really is X kills her mom, which makes GelSadora see the error of her evil ways. In a touching scene, mother and daughter are reunited in death.
Count Egobossler (real name Elun). The bastard son of the ruler of a small European country, young Elun locked up his brother (a la The Man in the Iron Mask), changed his face and skin to look like him, killed his father, and took over as the ruler of the Egobossler family and the country they control. Sosai Zed or Z (mutated from a single cell of Sosai X at the end of Gatchaman II) noticed the skills of Egobossler after he takes over most of Europe by force, and having an open position down at Galactor signs him up for the job. He's refined and elegant, most definitely the more intelligent of the villains in his military skill. But, he is called "Happy Boy" in English, which is always a strike against you, despite the sexy battle scar on his face.
Interchangeable Galactor Goons. Some are fat, some are tall and skinny, but all wear bellbottoms. These guys are human, mostly chumps picked up at prisons, flophouses, and the local shopping malls worldwide. Lured by the allure of power Galactor represents, they soon find out if they leave the organization they will be killed (if they stay they will probably end up dead, too). As mentioned before, it is believed Galactor was once an arm of the Mafia, but these dudes are more like Al Capone's dumb cousins. Given to laziness and easily distracted by shiny things, I'm quite sure none of them ever got lucky with a Devil Star girl. Although, an old boyfriend of Jun's was the leader of a faction called the Blackbirds, a Galactor ninja biker gang.
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