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Main Cast: Science Ninja Team
Tropes common to the team:
- Color-Coded Characters: The Gatchaman team:
- Joe: Red
- Jun: Pink
- Jinpei: Yellow
- Ryu: Brown
G- 1 Ken Washio
Ken Washio a.k.a. G-1, Ken the Eagle, Gatchaman
The Leader and tactical expert of the Science Ninja Team. He is the eponymous “Gatchaman” of the show’s title. The Hero. He has a strong sense of justice and is very dedicated to his duty of bringing down the Galactor organization and bringing peace to the world. He also wishes to find his lost father, who he believes to have faked his death from a supposed plane crash (rightfully so). He is a flashy fighter, and often uses elaborate techniques in his moves. His primary weapon is a bird shaped bladed boomerang. He is an accomplished pilot, and owns a Cessna plane that transforms into the G1 jet plane while on duty, serving as his personal transport.
- Ace Pilot: His skills are inherited from his father.
- Achilles in His Tent: Does this from time to time.
- Blue Is Heroic: He wears sky-blue gloves, boots and belt.
- Chaste Hero: He is too busy with leading his team to think about romance.
- Cool Plane: A Cessna plane that transforms into a supersonic jet. Supposedly operational underwater like the God Phoenix.
- Disappeared Dad: His father, Kentarou, abandoned him when he was young. It turns out he was going undercover as Red Impulse, and wanted to keep his son and only relative safe. And later he does die for real, just as Ken had found out who he was *and* they were starting to rekindle their relationship. This death was smoothly erased in Battle of the Planets. His father is described as having ejected at the last minute, though of course their reunion is off-screen. The whole thing is a variation on Luke, I Am Your Father, since the reveal is done by the son's comrades and its effect is positive.
- Gun Twirling: He often twirls his boomerang while fighting.
- Mr. Fanservice: To a lesser extent than Joe, but his big blue eyes and boyish good looks score him points.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Ken has a flashback about his younger days with his father which shows once scene of his dad attempting to drown him for fun.
- Hurting Hero: He lost his father when he was a little child. Later he finds out that his father is alive only to see how he was Killed Off for Real shortly after. At the ending of the series, Joe commits a Heroic Sacrifice to save them. At the next series his mentor and surrogate father gets killed. All of that trauma slowly wore his sanity off, and although at the beginning he was the prototypical The Hero and The Leader with Nerves of Steel, for the final series he had become so violent, uncontrollable and impulsive like The Lancer.
- Official Couple: He eventually gets together with Jun towards the end of the series.
- Parental Abandonment - Parents as People: Ken's father abandoned him when he was young and his mother died of illness a few years later. He eventually reunites with his father right before his father is Killed Off for Real.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: He's the Blue Oni to Joe's Red. Sometimes reversed.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Not afraid to do this to Dr. Nambu
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Right after his father died, until Jun called him out on it.
- Weapon of Choice: His bladed Precision-Guided Boomerang, informally called the "Bird Run/Birdrang". The blades can be extended and used in melee combat or detached by chain and used as a nunchuck.
- Would Hit a Girl: He does this to a girl in one episode.
G- 2 Joe Asakura
Joe Asakura a.k.a. G-2, Joe the Condor
The Lancer. He is driven by his desire for revenge against the Galactor organization for taking his parent’s lives and almost taking his. At his core, he is a good guy who has his teammate’s backs, even if his methods are rough. He is the most brutal fighter on the team, and quick to go on the attack. His preferred weapon is his Grappling-Hook Pistol that can fire a hook line from the front and the back. He is also the most common user of the ninja team issued feather shurikens. An excellent driver, his personal vehicle is a stock car that transforms into the G2 high powered racer.
- Anti-Hero: He has no qualms with killing Galactors in cold blood for the cause. (The others will kill too, but more out of necessity rather than satisfaction.)
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Part of his fanservice appeal.
- Back from the Dead: In Gatchaman II.
- Badass Normal In the original. Empowered Badass Normal In the sequels.
- Badass Baritone: He has a very deep voice befitting for a Science Ninja Team Member.
- Badass Driver: If there's a surface, he can drive on it or coast off of it. Even up the backs of Galactor mechs.
- Blue Is Heroic: He wears a dark-blue cloak and blue gloves and boots.
- But Not Too Foreign: Averted. Despite his Japanese surname, Joe is Italian (Sicilian, to be specific). That's because "Joe Asakura" is a false name to protect him from Galactor, his real name is George. Although it seems to be implied that his parents' surname was actually Asakura.
- Cool Car: A stock racing car in civilian form. Transformed it has puncture proof tires and can drive on improbable surfaces.
- In the OVA, he has a Shelby Cobra that transmutes into the Goddamn Batmobile.
- Death Glare - Kubrick Stare
- Depending on the Artist: While all of the characters have this to some degree with the different animation directors and artists that worked on the series, Joe's face varies between being a lot rougher-looking and craggier to it being smoother and his only harsher feature being his narrow eyes. At some point, they settled on him having a rougher look to distinguish his design more from Ken's.
- The Gunslinger: The team marksman. He's shown using guns the most often and demonstrating his Improbable Aiming Skills
- Heroic Sacrifice: In Grand Finale.
- It's Personal: He fights Galactor because he wants to avenge his parents.
- Knife Nut: The ninja equlivent of this. While the entire team carry pointy tipped feather shuriken, Joe uses them so much more often than the rest that they become his trademark weapon. He's fond of letting them hang out of his mouth like toothpicks and attacking with *Twang* Hello or Knife Outline
- Manly Man: To Ryu's Sensitive Guy.
- Mr. Fanservice: Unconventionally for anime, as he is rough looking and not bishounenly handsome.
- Exaggerated in the OVA, where his civilian wardrobe consists of an open shirt exposing his bare chest along with tight leather pants, and he has a Shower Scene. And the camera wasn't shy in regards to showing him off.
- Parental Abandonment: His parents were murdered by a Galactor assassin when Joe was a child. He too was almost killed by said assassin.
- Pet the Dog: He nearly dies saving an orphaned puppy from being squished by a Galactor Mech.
- Resignations Not Accepted: This is the reason why Joe parents were killed. They are revealed later in the series to be former Galactors attempting to leave the organization. Galactor learned of this and sent one of their Devil Star assassins to execute the family.
- Shipper on Deck: During the finale, before his imminent death while giving his final speech to the team, he professes that Jun should settle down with Ken.
- Trigger Happy - Joe is almost unhealthily eager to fire the God Phoenix's Bird Missiles, which Ken has to constantly restrain him from doing when they don't have authorization. In one episode, he keeps hammering the fire button well after the ship exhausted its supply until the realization that yes, we are OUT of Bird Missiles finally sinks in.
- Weapon of Choice: He uses a Grappling-Hook Pistol, which has a grapple from the front and and weighted one from the back. One mook found out the hard way when he pointed the barrel end of it at Joe after snatching it from him, not realizing that the triggers were switched. He got thrown across the room by it after pulling the trigger, knocking him out.
- On top of that, the front can be interchanged to fire conventional bullets or power a portable drill for cutting things.
- Also the primary user of the ninja team issued feather shuriken.
G- 3 Jun
Jun a.k.a. G-3, Jun the Swan
The Chick. She generally is very kind, compassionate and emphatic towards others (but sometimes temperamental). She exhibits skill in mechanical and electrical engineering, along with creating/handling explosive devices. She is a graceful fighter who can easily take out the average Mook in a fight with her swift, acrobatic movements. She wields a yo-yo in combat that has a concealed blade, and can be remotely detonated via wire signal. She is a skilled motorcyclist, and her personal bike transforms into the G3 “Sonic Car” motorcycle that can ride on water surfaces in addition to land.
- Action Girl: She can kick as much Galactor ass as her male teammates. And let's not forget she was quite the revolutionary figure in anime gender roles, as one of the first girls who fought alongside the boys. And said boys didn't look down on her for her gender.
- Badass Biker Babe: She can pull off some rather impressive stunts on a bike.
- Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: She sometimes fall into this.
- But Not Too Foreign: Half American, half Japanese
- Cool Big Sis: When she's not acting as Jinpei's Parental Substitute
- Cool Bike: Transformed, it can ride on water surfaces even.
- Dangerously Short Skirt: Technically, she wears a stretchy minidress with a high hemline.
- Girly Bruiser: Has the appearance and personality of one, along with the fighting ability.
- Kick Chick: A lot of her fighting scenes are kick based.
- Killer Yoyo: She uses her yo-yo as a Weapon of Choice.
- Ms. Fanservice: In a more conservative way mostly, but she still qualifies. Mainly due to the underwear-exposing minidress of her costume.
- Intensified in the OVA remake where her chest is dramatically enlarged and her outfits are much more revealing compared to the original. (And a naked Transformation Sequence, natch.)
- Official Couple: She gets together with Ken towards the end of the series.
- Panty Shot: Constantly, thanks to her very short skirt.
- Parental Abandonment: Like Jinpei, she's an orphan.
- She-Fu: Justified as it goes along with the team's fighting style. The male characters will also use flips and cartwheels to dodge/maneuver around (even Ryu can come off as being agile).
- She's Got Legs: As shown off by the lower half of her birdstyle.
- The Smart Girl: She is this in the book smart sense of the trope. Being the technical and demolitions expert, she is commonly shown to be tinkering with electronics and rewiring things (such as electronic panels to blow up Galactor bases) and operating the teams' more complex equipment. Aside from Dr. Nambu, she is likely the most intelligent of the main cast.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Usually the one to invoke this trope being the demolitions expert.
- Technical Pacifist: Most adverse towards and visibly upset by killing on the team. However, even she will use lethal force on the job.
- The Smurfette Principle: She's the only female member of the team.
- Weapon of Choice: She has her Killer Yoyo, which has a concealed blade and can be remotely detonated to explode.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Her hair is a murky dark green in the original series, but looks as if it were meant to be a stylization choice for depicting black hair. The sequels however, make her hair a blatant shade of green.
- Averted in the OVA, where she was given short brown hair.
G- 4 Jinpei
Jinpei a.k.a. G-4, Jinpei the Swallow
The Smart Guy from a wiseguy standpoint and the Kid-Appeal Character. He is clever and resourceful, and has an especially strong rapport with children and animals. His young age can sometimes affect his self-confidence, and he'll go out of his way to prove himself. Due to his smaller size, Jinpei focuses on being as quick and agile as possible, even more so than his teammates. He uses bolos in battle to trip up and sabotage his adversaries. They can also be used as timed explosives. He knows how to drive and owns a small buggy that transforms into the G4, an all-terrain mini tank that is designed to operate in any environment.
- Badass Adorable or Tagalong Kid depending on the script, but like his sister, is usually a capable fighter.
- Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Jinpei sometimes fall into this.
- Friend to All Children - mainly because he is one, but even when he ages to 12 in the sequels he still has a way with them
- Friend to All Living Things - has been known to bring along many an animal.
- Hover Tank - His personal ATV Buggy.....thing. Can hover and function underwater transformed.
- Just a Kid: Sometimes victim of this
- Kid Hero
- Mouthy Kid
- Parental Abandonment - Like Jun, he's an orphan.
- Pet Baby Wild Animal - See Friend to All Living Things above.
- Playful Hacker - The OVA made him one of these to make him more obviously useful (and it carried over into the live-action version); he even carried a Password Slot Machine.
- Plucky Comic Relief, sometimes.
- The Smart Guy: He fills this role in the street smart Trickster variation, being the Kid-Appeal Character. Though his sister Jun is The Chick, she is better suited to be the smart one from an intellectual standpoint.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Somewhat. Not so much in maturity level, but the fact that he can handle various adult tasks like cooking and driving cars at age 9.
- Weapon of Choice: Bolos.
G- 5 Ryu Nakanishi
Ryu Nakanishi a.k.a. G-5, Ryu the (Horned) Owl
Voiced by: Shingo Kanemoto (JP), Fumihiko Tachiki (JP - OAV), Victor Carsrud (EN - ADV dub)The pilot of the Godphoenix, the team’s group transport, battle aircraft, and docking bay for the other G machines. The Big Guy. He is easy going and friendly, being a gentle soul in nature. He uses sumo techniques in fights that take the fullest advantage of his large amount of bulk and raw strength. He carries a Grappling-Hook Pistol that is smaller than Joe’s, but prefers to use his body as a weapon. The Godphoenix doubles as his personal transport when not combined with the other G machines.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: In the film instead of being fat and shaggy-looking He looks like this.◊
- Berserk Button: He doesn't take kindly to giant cockroach monsters messing with his sweets.
- Big Eater
- Big Guy, Little Guy: Ryu often has this kind of dynamic with Jinpei.
- The Big Guy
- Cool Plane: The God Phoenix doubles as his personal vehicle when not combined with the other vehicles. It can operate underwater or in near space.
- Dumb Muscle: Sort of. He's quite a good pilot, but otherwise he's Book Dumb.
- Farm Boy: Hails from a rural fishing area and speaks with a Japanese country accent.
- Friend to All Living Things
- Gentle Giant
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Every now and then, especially in episode 26.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Tries to quit a few times due to feeling he's too inadequate to be on the team. They end up being Ten Minute Retirements.
- Parental Abandonment: Averted, since he's eventually the only one on the team with a living family consisting of a father and a kid brother. In fact, his friends hesitate more than once to involve him oppenly in risky missions because he has a dad and a brother to come back to.
- Sensitive Guy: To Joe's Manly Man.
- Stout Strength
- Weapon of Choice: Carries a Grappling-Hook Pistol which he doesn't really use, preferring Good Old Fisticuffs.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Sorta.
- Wrestler in All of Us: On the few occasions that Ryu gets into a fistfight, he often uses wrestling throws and sumo-inspired techniques against Galactor mooks.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair - He has plain brown hair in the original series and sequels, but the OVA gives him wild, two-toned hair: blond on the bottom, PINK on top.
Dr. Kozaburo Nambu
Dr. Kozaburo Nambu
Voiced by: Toru Ohira (JP), Ikuya Sawaki (JP - OAV), Andy McAvin (EN - ADV dub)He is the Head Scientist for the International Science Organization (ISO) and the one who assembled the Science Ninja Team. The Mentor. He raised most of the team members and gave them their training. The team takes orders from him and he supports them by researching solutions to whatever issues they face. The Science Ninja Team is initially headquartered at his mansion until their underwater Crescent Coral base is completed, which Dr. Nambu oversees.
- Killed Off for Real: In Gatchaman Fighter.
- Mission Control: He doesn't take an active role in combat..
Voiced by: Teiji Oomiya (JP), Yonehiko Kitagawa (JP- OAV), Marty Fleck (EN - ADV dub)The head of the International Science Organization and the person Dr. Nambu answers to. He is the only other man who can give the Science Ninja Team orders. The Big Good. His role in the show is greatly reduced compared to Dr. Nambu's. He only really gets involved with the team's affairs when his life or the ISO is in immediate danger, or Dr. Nambu is otherwise unavailable.
Red Impulse a.k.a. Kentaro Washio
Voiced by: Hisayoshi Yoshizawa (JP), Unshou Ishizuka (JP- OAV), John Tyson (EN - ADV dub)He is the mysterious leader of the fighter squadron that bears his name. In reality he is Ken's father, who has been working undercover for several years.. The Sixth Ranger. His team is a called upon to work with the Science Ninja Team in dealing with certain Galactor schemes. Red Impulse flies with two subordinates, Masaki, and the mute Oniishi.
- Ace Pilot: After all, Ken's skill rubbed off from him. He can still outfly (and outfight) Ken and teach him a few lessons.
- Char Clone: Inverted. Red Impulse predated the Trope Namer.
- Cool Plane: The Red Impulse squad pilot red/white trimmed, sleek looking planes to great effect.
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man! - He delivers percussive therapy to a traumatized Ken in the Jigokiller arc.
- Hero Secret Service - The Red Impulse squadron, especially in the OVA.
- Mauve Shirt - Red Impulse's two subordinates, Onishi and Masaki. Both manage to outlive their commander and resurface at the tail end of the series to help out the Science Ninja Team (Joe in particular). Unfortunately they are also brought back to be brutally killed off, as if the show was tying up loose ends.
- Voiced by: Mikio Terashima (JP), Kaneto Shiozawa (JP - OAV), Hiroko Mori (female Katse, JP- episode 31), Toshiko Sawada (JP- episodes 32-33, 46, 70), Aiko Konoshima (JP- episode 102), (Ai Orikasa (JP - OAV), Edwin Neal (EN - ADV dub), Laurie Gallardo (female Katse, EN- ADV dub, episodes 31-33, 70, 102), Kira Vincent-Davis (ADV episode 46), Claire Hamilton (EN- OAV)
- Bishōnen: What he looks like unmasked.
- Chekhov's Gunwoman : Who would've thought that the Dark Action Girl who led the "Devil Star" squad was, well, Katse themself?
- Composite Character: In the live action movie, the female half of Berg Katse is created from The Lost Lenore.
- The Dragon: He's Sosai X's second-in-command.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: He can even turn himself into one.
- Evil Laugh - A very distinctive staccato-like laugh
- Expy: Of Baron Ashura. Both dress in all purple, both serve as The Dragon to the Big Bad, and both are a result of a man and a woman being fused into one.
- Gender Bender: He's eventually revealed to be a mutant that can switch genders more or less at will. This is foreshadowed and hinted at with the mysterious female Galactor commander having a very close connection to him.
- Bowdlerize: In G-Force, female!Katse calls herself "a loyal follower of Galactor" when confronted. In Battle of the Planets, the female commander was first dubbed as "Zoltar's sister, Mala", called "Agent S-9" in two other episodes, and then was called "Mala" again. Neither dub made it as far as Katse's official unmasking, where him and the female commander were revealed to be one and the same.
- The Reveal: Near the end of the first season finale we found his true identity as an mutant who can shapeshift genders at will. Nambu finds s/he has an IQ of 280, not because of being that smart, but because s/he has two intellects at the same time. Long before the reveal, Katse's female form is unknowingly seen several times throughout the series. Most notably as the captain of Galactor's all-female "Devil Star" assassin squad.
- Sissy Villain: Effeminate personality? check. Wears lipstick? check. Looks like a lady? check. Has the ability to turn himself into a lady? check.
- Spell My Name with an "S": His name is mostly spelled "Berg Katse", but sometimes it's seen as the more German "Berg Katze".
- Villain: Exit, Stage Left!: Whenever he fights Gatchaman directly and loses, he decides to run off.
- Villainous Breakdown: After realizing X's deceit during the final episode of the first series, Katse is then Driven to Suicide and jumps into a lava pit.
Sosai (Leader) X
Sosai (Leader) X
- Voiced by: Nobuo Tanaka (JP), Winston Parish (EN - ADV dub), Charles Campbell (EN- OAV)
- Big Bad: The main antagonist of the series.
- Conspicuous CG: The OVA had X represented by a bizarre piece of computer-generated art, reportedly included because one of the producers liked it after seeing it elsewhere.
They are the work horse of the Galactor origination and make up the vast majority of its army. The Mooks. They are dressed in the same masked green outfits, though some higher ranked soldiers were different colors. They are largely made up of degenerate men that were recruited from prisons and slums throughout the world. They are primarily armed with machine guns, but some use knives and shield weapons. Most of the time, they are cannon fodder for the Science Ninja Team, since their teamwork is very poor and their accuracy when firing is low.
- Cannon Fodder: The Science Ninja Team disposes of them in their battles.
- Faceless Goons: They don't have faces since they're generic lackeys.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: They try it when things get bad. Katse usually denies them the chance while he does it
They are the leaders of the Mooks who report directly to Katse. The Mook Lieutenants. They are normally dressed in outrageous costumes in line with the theme of the Mecha of the Week Galactor sends out to antagonize the public with. They are almost always killed off by the end of their featured episode, only to be replaced by a new one for the next.
- Animal Motifs: Since most Galactor mecha are designed after animals, and the commanders pattern their outfits after the mecha, most end up dress up like humanoid animals.
- Highly Conspicuous Uniform: Even moreso than the regular Mooks
- Last Stand: Sometimes they may get a chance to do this after failure.
They are Elite Mooks who were formed with the specific purpose of countering the Science Ninja Team and are dressed in similar outfits. They pose a slightly larger threat than the normal soldiers and have better teamwork, but ultimately don't give the team that much more trouble. They use either machine guns or claws in battle.
- Gang of Hats: One episode deals with a subdivision of biker gang Blackbirds, led by a man Jun had a past with.
- Voiced by: Keiko Sakon (Devil Star 2, JP), Samantha Inoue-Harte (Devil Star 2, EN - ADV dub)
- Flying Car: Their transports
- Improbable Weapon User: Women's fashion accessories that double as explosives
- Punch-Clock Villain: One episode has Joe meet up with a potential love interest on the race track who turns out to be working as Devil Star #2. They end up in a showdown on their respective duties and Joe unknowingly ends up killing her, saddened afterward when she doesn't show for the race they arranged to have earlier. To make it even more tragic, later in the series Joe learns that the girl was actually his childhood friend's fiancée... and said friend wants revenge on the Science Ninja Team member who killed her.
- Something About a Rose: Their main killing weapons are rose bombs