Gatchaman Episode 17 - The Grand Insect Operation
X tells Katse that Galactor will one day conquer all of Planet Earth. They will do this by preying on man's innate evil. Even human children find joy in destructive behavior.
Galactor has secretly recorded footage for their own 'scientific' purposes. X shows Katse a scene of three nasty boys trashing a police car and running from the cops. Hmmm, this seems less like 'scientific research’ and more like 'reality TV' to me. I think this is how X and Katse get their kicks on Friday night.
X points out to Katse that such behavior comes with no reason or objective.
We cut to the three boys, who seem to be resting at a construction site.
"I hate sitting around! I'm bored! I want to break stuff!" says one shining example of humanity's future.
The boy throws a rock at a small beetle on the ground. He misses, but the bug catches his interest. He's suddenly excited because 'you don't see these every day'. Perhaps I just don't know much about the 'streets', but why would a kid who gets his kicks smashing police cars suddenly find a beetle to be interesting?
Regardless, the other two boys find beetles as well, and all three are excited by the insects.
"I wonder if they bounce! Let's go see!" cries one boy, as the three run off with their prizes.
Shortly after they go, a despondent-looking Jinpei appears. He's carrying a butterfly net and a stylish pink and yellow shoulder bag.
Jinpei sits down on the pipes so recently occupied by the other boys.
"You sure can't find any bugs in the city anymore!" Jinpei complains. "I've been walking around since this morning and I haven't even caught an ant!"
But suddenly Jinpei jumps up, surprised! A beetle has crawled underneath him!
Jinpei is excited by his new beetle.
But once he gets home, Jun has other ideas.
She slaps the insect out of his hands. (I'm with you, Jun!)
"No, Jinpei, that's disgusting!" she tells him.
"But can't I keep it? I spent the whole day looking for it!" Jinpei whines.
Well Jinpei, if you spent the whole day looking for a contagious virus spread by Galactor, would you want to keep it?
Jun threatens to kick Jinpei and his beetle out if he doesn't get rid of it.
"You just don't understand how valuable this beetle is!" Jinpei says plaintively.
Jun cuts off this line of conversation, telling him to go throw it outside now.
Jinpei runs outside, but decides to secretly keep the beetle anyway.
Notice the 'Jun' sign outside.
Jinpei wants to only pretend to throw the beetle away.
That night, Jinpei loves his beetle so much that he sleeps with it in a cage underneath his pillow. Jun's not going to see that. Yeah, riiiight.
But the beetle's eyes begin glowing strangely.
The same thing is happening in the homes of the other boys who picked up beetles. Seems they put theirs in cages too! It must be a fun fad to collect beetle pets in Utoland.
The beetles grow to a massive size, large enough to swallow the boys and literally bust out of their homes. Why, they're mecha! I would never have guessed!
Jinpei's beetle grows so large it knocks him off of the bed. He wakes up...
...only to discover the massive beetle standing in front of him!
The beetle's glowing eyes hypnotize Jinpei.
He falls asleep and gets pulled up into the beetle via a ramp.
The beetle then busts out of Jinpei's room and flies away.
Jun is woken up by the noise.
She wonders what the loud noise was, as she yawns.
She guesses that Jinpei must have fallen out of bed again. I guess the Swallow isn't a graceful sleeper!
So she yawns and goes back to sleep.
Meanwhile, the four beetle mecha are flying over Utoland.
Inside one of them, Jinpei is connected through a white helmet, and his eyes are glowing blue.
The beetle is monitoring his brainwaves. The four beetles smash up a refinery, and some power transmission towers. Then one flies to the harbor and destroys a shipyard. Another destroys a highway overpass. I’m not really sure why the beetles need the boys inside of them to do this, but I’ll go with it for now.
Katse is speaking with his latest mecha Captain. He tells the Captain that so far everything is going according to plan.
This guy has a strange squid face with black horns, and one unicorn horn in the middle of his forehead.
Squid-Unicorn Captain compliments Katse on his brilliant idea to use children.
But X reminds Katse that it is too early to celebrate. They have ambitious plans. It is especially important that Gatchaman remain unaware of their mission.
Katse agrees. He has done something to keep the Science Ninja Team 'at bay', even if they discover Galactor's plans.
Meanwhile, it's daytime and Jun arrives in Jinpei's room with a food tray.
She asks Jinpei how long he's going to sleep. It's already past noon! Hey, she's a pretty nice 'Onechan' letting him sleep that late! And bringing him food to boot?
But as she pulls off the covers, she discovers that he's gone!
And only then does she discover the destroyed skylight area.
Isn't it weird that Jinpei's bed is in the middle of the room?
Jun wonders what could have happened to Jinpei.
She finds his bracelet on the floor. Now she's really worried.
I actually checked the screencaps, and Jinpei doesn't have his bracelet on at all. I guess he took his bracelet off before he went to bed!
"Oh, Jinpei." Jun sighs.
Meanwhile, Jinpei's beetle is destroying another refinery. It looks just like the first one, except now it's daylight.
Ken happens to be flying by in his Cessna.
"That's the Nuclear Power Plant!" he exclaims. Oops! Guess I didn't recognize it...
Ken wonders where the giant beetles came from.
He takes a pass by one of the beetles.
Ken sees the beetles trying to get away.
He contacts Nambu on his bracelet.
Ken asks for permission to launch the God Phoenix. But Nambus says he can't. Jun has just contacted him to say that Jinpei has disappeared. Ken is shocked by this news.
Nambu tells Ken that Jinpei must have been kidnapped.
Jun can't believe it.
Ken wants to know who could have done such a thing. Of course, Nambu presumes it was Galactor.
"Them again? Bastards!" Ken shouts.
Neither Ken nor Nambu know what Galactor could want with Jinpei, but Nambu has had reports of three other missing boys. Ken immediately leaps to the conclusion that their disappearance must be connected to the beetle monsters. I'm not quite certain how he justifies this.
But Jun validates the theory by telling Nambu that Jinpei had a beetle with him the previous night.
Nambu orders the Team to go after the beetle monsters, working separately.
Cut to stock footage of Ken transforming in his Cessna. A newly transformed Ken sets out after one of the Beetles.
The G-1 moves over one of the beetles and scans it with a red light.
Ken's scan reveals a boy inside... but it's not Jinpei! The Eagle is shocked to discover this.
Ken contacts Nambut and tells him that the children are being held captive inside of the beetles.
Nambu and Ken agree that there's no way they can attack the beetles with the boys onboard.
But it turns out that Red Impulse is set to attack. Nambu contacts Red Impulse and tells him to stop his attack.
Red Impulse isn't too pleased about this.
"I can't believe we're going to let them get away like that!" Red Impulse rants.
Ken thinks that now it's time for the Science Ninja Team to save the day. Ken contacts Joe and tells him to take care of the beetle 'port side'.
The G-2 follows the Condor's assigned beetle.
The G-3 follows the Swan's assigned beetle, and the G-5 gets its own beetle to follow.
The four beetles (and G-machines) converge upon what looks like an old Roman-style coliseum.
Ryu asks if this could be Galactor's secret base.
Ken thinks that it is, and that they've camouflaged it to look like ancient ruins.
This is a Gatchamania Episode review. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
This episode review is image intensive.
Gatchaman Episode 17 - The Grand Insect Operation