Gatchaman Episode 33: “The Grand Gezora Operation –Part 2”
BOTP episode: “Curse of the Cuttlefish –Part 2”
Part two begins with a brief recap of part one’s key scenes, delivered by the narrator. “Jun and Jinpei have fallen into their [Galactor’s] trap, and the entire city of Lawn Park is on the brink of devastation!”
Now, the Gezora mecha, which has been tunneling underground towards Lawn Park City, is nearing what appears to be one of its chemical plants. It’s nighttime now. In Gezora’s control room, Berg Katse gives the order for a missile to be fired.
The missile begins rapidly burrowing its way upward through the ground, and within seconds, the chemical plant is awash with flame.
Then it is destroyed in a massive explosion, as various voices of panicked citizens are heard crying out things like “Galactor came, just as they said they would!” and “The whole city is going to be destroyed!” and “Where’s the Science Ninja Team? We need them!” as the devastation spreads.
With that, we see Ken, Joe and Ryu. They’re still in their civvies and they’re watching the burning chemical plant from some distance away
All three of them are clearly frustrated that they’re just standing there and watching Galactor attack the city without being able to do anything about it. “They’re killing these innocent people just so they can lure us out!” says Joe, fist clenched. He’s ready to do something about it, but Ken is adamant that they have to follow their orders from Dr. Nambu and remain undercover.
Now Gezora itself bursts forth from the ground and begins destroying even more of Lawn Park City by firing more missiles and generally smashing things up with its tentacles. It’s rising up into the air, and Joe sees this as their chance to attack it using the God Phoenix but Ken is still determined to hold out for a more opportune moment, saying “We can’t afford to make any moves until we’re sure that we’ll succeed.”
U.N. tanks and fighter planes, however, aren’t waiting; they’re attacking Gezora. But, Gezora destroys the tanks with missiles and obliterates the fighter planes just as it had before, by detaching its tentacles and sending them at the planes. The tentacles even use some interesting formations to accomplish this.
Meanwhile, in Gezora’s control room, Katse is praising Gezora’s indestructibility. “He’s made with Uranium 235 and Uranium 238, so your strongest missiles have no effect!” he gloats exultantly.
He is angry, though, that the Science Ninja Team hasn’t made its presence known, and he vows he’ll “smoke them out” yet. So, Gezora lowers itself down over a large building and proceeds to enfold the building in its tentacles and crumble it to pieces as yet more terrorized Lawn Park citizens run through the streets. “Still not coming out, Gatchaman, what?” says Katse, as Gezora smashes still more buildings. Soon, most of Lawn Park City seems to be nothing but flaming rubble.
Next we see Dr. Nambu on the phone, horrified to hear that Lawn Park City has been taken over by Galactor. The Mayor of Lawn Park City, surrounded by a group of U.N. military leaders and other city officials, is the one calling him with the bad news, as flames and explosions are visible outside his office window.
The mayor wants to know why the Science Ninja Team isn’t doing anything to help, and a nervously sweating Dr. Nambu can only tell him that the Team can’t act unless all five members are present. “Currently,” he says, “They don’t have the power to defeat Gezora,” as the mayor clutches his head in despair. He asks the mayor to give the Team a little more time and to not lose faith in them. With that, Dr. Nambu hangs up his phone and whispers to himself, “I’m counting on you, Gatchaman…”
It’s daylight again and Berg Katse, flanked by numerous goons on the steps of a large building, is delivering a loud oration to the “Citizens of Lawn Park City,” who are timidly peering out of windows and around the edges of damaged buildings to listen to him. He announces that Galactor’s goal here is to destroy the Science Ninja Team, which he knows is hiding somewhere in the city, and that the onslaught on Lawn Park City will continue until they show themselves.
A small boy in a nearby damaged building, hearing all this, decides to step out and throw a rock at one of the goons. His frightened mother runs out to protect him, as the goon turns his rifle on the boy.
But before the goon can shoot the boy, or his mother, Ken’s birdrang comes flying out of nowhere, striking the goon and causing him to drop his rifle. As Katse turns to see what’s going on, Ken (in birdstyle now) steps around from behind a large bell hanging in a tower and taunts Katse. Immediately, the Condor and the Owl appear beside Ken too.
“Hey look, it’s Gatchaman!” cries the small boy, but his (far wiser) mother immediately yanks him indoors, shutting her door hastily.
Katse forgets all about the boy now, and orders the goons to attack the three Science Ninjas. Katse’s actually carrying a gun of his own too, with the apparent intention of participating…
Cue the big fight scene!
Ken soars down from the bell tower (taking out goons with his birdrang) while Joe does the same (hurling shuriken) and so does Ryu (crushing goons as he lands on top of them) before they all turn to wiping out more goons with kicks and punches.
Katse is waving his gun around, irate that his goons can’t defeat the Eagle, Condor and Owl and that the three of them won’t stay still long enough for him to be able to shoot them. You’d think that Katse might be noticing that the Science Ninja Team seems to be missing two members –the female and the kid- and that he just happens to have two such persons locked up in the mansion. But if he is, he’s not saying anything. Granted, his goons are all down now and the three present members of the Team are closing in on him, so that’s probably occupying his thoughts right now.
“You should have known better than to step outside the security of Gezora, you vermin!” says Ken, as he, Joe and Ryu all advance menacingly on Katse. Katse’s still got his gun, but he hasn’t tried to shoot any of them yet, as he seemingly realizes he can’t hit all three at once and he can’t decide who to shoot first.
“Go ahead and shoot, but you’ll never hit all three of us at once,” sneers Joe, confirming this.
Don’t come any closer,” stammers Katse. “If you do, I’ll kill your friends that I’ve captured!” Ken reacts with alarm to these words, thinking “Jun! Jinpei!”
“Judging by the look on your face,” says Katse, “Those two brats must be your comrades after all!” Okay, Katse is figuring things out here…
Ken retorts that the other two are waiting on board the God Phoenix, but Katse laughs and calls him a terrible liar, saying that if that were the case, the God Phoenix would be here right now. “You can’t fool me, Gatchaman. How’d you like me to kill those two?”
Judging from the look that passes over his face, Ken wouldn’t like that one bit. Neither would Joe or Ryu. But, Ken now starts to laugh. And laugh.
“You really think you’ve caught them?” he laughs. “Come on, the Science Ninja Team would never allow themselves to be captured by Galactor!”
This actually gets Katse second-guessing himself, and he says as much, stammering that he was “positive those two were in the Science Ninja Team.” Meanwhile, Joe and Ryu are staring at Ken as if they can’t quite believe that this tactic of his is actually working.
“Wrong again,” says Ken “But if you’re so sure that they are, then go ahead and do whatever you want.” Joe and Ryu both react with some consternation to this statement. Katse, however, has had enough of this, and claims that he’ll do just that –kill his two prisoners and then kill all the Science Ninjas before they can get into birdstyle, next time.
At this, Joe seems to realize that they all been spending too much time just standing there and talking and not enough time shooting. So, he shoots his cable gun at Katse. Katse leaps out of the way, and then hurls his own gun at the three of them.
This is a gun with some unique features, as it actually explodes as soon as it hits the ground. Ken, Joe and Ryu all throw themselves down and shield themselves from its explosion and when the smoke clears and they look up again, Katse has managed to get back on board Gezora and it’s rising up into the air and leaving.
Ryu points out to Ken that Katse might really have captured Jun and Jinpei and that they have no way of figuring out where they’re being held. Ken acknowledges this glumly, and that they have no way to contact them as they don’t have their bracelets. Joe casts a look at the many goons sprawled inertly on the ground around them and adds “Even if we tried to make these guys talk, there’s no way they’d tell us anything.”
“We’re going to have to fly the God Phoenix,” says Ken, with determination, “And we have to make sure that Katse can see us.” Ryu is puzzled by this, but it’s enough for Joe that Ken seems to have a plan of some kind.
Now, waves are washing up against the cliffs below the seaside mansion where Jun and Jinpei are being held prisoner.
“If only we had our bracelets, we could call for help or something,” says Jinpei sadly as he and Jun sit in the dark in their prison cell. “Bro, you bite the big one!” he says, rising and hitting the wall angrily with his fists now. Jun, in defense of Ken’s actions, points out that if they’d had their bracelets on, there’d have been no doubt that they were Science Ninjas and they’d be dead now. “Ken made the right decision,” she says. Well, I’m not so sure of that, as I think she and Jinpei could have transmuted to birdstyle and attacked all the swinger goons as well as the gun-toting lady of the house right there in the dining room earlier (and made a point of ensuring that no one who’d seen their unvisored faces survived), but her loyalty to Ken and his decisions is kind of admirable.
At any rate, she succeeds in convincing Jinpei. “I guess I just never realized that Big Bro is so smart,” he says.
Just at that moment, the door of their cell opens and in comes the lady of the house, and two swinger goons. “Well, I just spoke with Gatchaman,” she says sneeringly.
Jun plays it cool. “And why would you think that that has anything to do with us?” she tosses off dismissively.
Jun falters a bit though when the lady then says that she just saw the Science Ninja Team, and that two of its members were absent…
Jinpei blurts out that maybe they were just taking a break but the lady snarls at him “Don’t play dumb with me, little boy!” Jinpei recoils against Jun fearfully, saying “She’s scary, just like Katse!”
Ooh, is that a big hint?
“What?” barks the lady, clearly not liking that he might be making a connection… “What did you just say? Did you say Katse? Well, I’m impressed that you’re familiar with that name –that’s enough proof for me. Now prepare to die!”
Ignoring Jinpei’s protests that lots of people have heard of Katse, she pulls out a hand gun and aims it and Jun and Jinpei.
But just then, a voice calls out, “Lord Katse, where is Lord Katse?” Instead of firing the gun, she turns to see a new swinger goon has shown up. “What is it?” she snaps, “Tell it to me and I’ll relay it immediately!” –no doubt about that, heh!
This new swinger goon then relates that the God Phoenix has appeared on their CRT monitor, and that it seemed that all five members of the Science Ninja Team were on board.
“What do you mean?” gasps the lady, shocked. Instead of getting on with shooting Jinpei and Jun, she leaves to go look at a monitor to see this for herself.
What she sees is some very choppy and unclear footage of the God Phoenix’s bridge, but there’s clearly five Ninjas there.
On board the bridge, Ryu tells Ken that someone is picking up their signals, and Ken replies “Groovy, that’s just what we want.” We can see what appears to be Jun and Jinpei, from behind, sitting in their chairs on the bridge, and “Jinpei” seems to be swaying slightly. Suddenly Joe calls out urgently “Cut the signal!” and Ryu does. Back at the mansion, the lady has lost her view of the bridge, but she’s clearly wondering if she really has two Science Ninjas as prisoners after all.
Back on the bridge of the God Phoenix, Joe is holding onto two dummies or mannequins dressed up to look like Jinpei and Jun. “Man, that was too close for comfort. They almost caught us just then,” he says. The “Jinpei” mannequin must have indeed been about to fall out of its chair, and I agree that its face wouldn’t likely have fooled Galactor if they’d seen it.
Ken isn’t certain that Galactor will be completely convinced that there really was five Ninjas on the God Phoenix, but he is hoping that it bought them enough time to find Gezora’s base and rescue the real Jun and Jinpei.
So, we get a brief montage of Joe walking around Lawn Park City in his civvies, and Ryu searching underwater in the God Phoenix (and he’s doing it in his civvies too –something you don’t see very often!)
He, Joe and Ken all meet up at a bridge in Lawn Park City, and is immediately apparent that none of them have discovered any leads on the base’s location.
In his thoughts, Ken is asking Jun and Jinpei to forgive him for taking their bracelets, and that he’d never have done it if he’d known this was going to happen. On this glum note, we cut to…