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Gatchaman Episode 74: Secret of the Birdstyles by lborgia88, saturn
Gatchaman Episode 74: Secret of the Birdstyles by lborgia88, saturn
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At the Snack J, Jinpei is bearing a tray with two water glasses to a booth, wherein are seated the first two girls who tried to fit through the cut out.

“Here you go, ladies,” says Jinpei, all charm as he places their glasses on the table.

“I heard someone say that when she got inside,” the first girl is saying to the other, “all they did was stare at her feet and tell her to leave.”



 


The second girl wonders if perhaps that rejected girl had athletes foot. The first girl doesn’t think much of this theory.

“Then maybe it’s all just a fake,” continues the second girl, as Jun is shown drying dishes over at the bar, “Don’t you think it’s strange that they only wanted 16 year old girls?”

Hearing this, Jun is so shocked she drops the plate she’s drying and it smashes on the floor.


 


As Jun queries about who is only looking for 16 year old girls, Jinpei explains “they say they’ll make you into the world’s most beautiful girl.”

Smirking and rubbing his face, he adds “So hey, you’re 16 too, Sis. You should go there and have them make you a little better looking.”

“Baka!” says Jun in Japanese (“Smarty pants!” in the dub) as she throws her dish towel over Jinpei’s head, vaults over the counter and takes off.

“Watch the bar for me!” are her parting words. Jinpei, apparently displeased at being stuck with all the work, snarks “You know, as soon as women hear they can be pretty, they freak out. Jeez…” (In the subs, he adds “Women are so shallow” here!)


But Jinpei is momentarily distracted from expressing any more bitter and sweeping female stereotypes when his bracelet begins chiming –he’s still snarky though!

“Ah shut up! I’m busy working!” he yells into his bracelet –and abruptly changes his tone when Dr. Nambu’s voice comes through.

Dr. Nambu (who either didn’t hear or is choosing to ignore Jinpei’s rudeness) informs him that he’s calling a meeting, and in a suddenly sweet and cheerful voice, Jinpei hastily says he’ll be there, throwing the dish towel over his head in dismay at his close call.

Next, we’re at the Crescent Base. Lowering a newspaper he’s reading, Dr. Nambu inquires why everyone is present except Jun.


 


Jinpei begins rambling nervously, but gives away that he knows something, so Dr. Nambu fixes his scrutiny on him, demanding “So then, where is Jun? Well, Jinpei?”

Finally Jinpei says he’s “pretty certain she went to check out that new beauty center.”

“She went to the beauty center?” demands Dr. Nambu, not at all happy to hear this.

Ken, puzzled, wants to know if there’s something that matter with that as Jinpei, looking worried on Jun’s behalf, asks “Should she not have gone there, Doc?”

Brandishing his newspaper, Dr. Nambu explains there’s a story in it about a fake business exclusively going after 16 year old girls.


 


“This is only a guess,” he adds, “But I think Galactor used Jun’s shoe to discover her physical features and they’re looking for her.”

We get a pan across the four guys’ faces and they all look worried to hear this.

Dr. Nambu is now afraid that Jun “has fallen into their trap in order to recover her shoe.”

“That sounds like Jun,” admits Ken. If Ken had been paying more attention, he might have noticed that she was desperate to get her shoe back and prepared to take off by herself to do it. (And, he can’t really point any fingers at her either, as that’s what he did in episode 38 when he lost his bracelet.)

“Jun is in grave danger,” concludes Dr. Nambu anxiously and he orders the four Ninjas to head to the beauty center at once.

Some concern is warranted, but I think Jun has often demonstrated that she can take care of herself (and she certainly did earlier, with the two street thugs!)

And now we learn that the blond woman with the pointy chin and purple dress is not any disguised version of Katse, because she’s talking to an on-screen Katse.


 


She’s explaining that she’s only found five girls who “fit the data exactly,” but Katse seems satisfied with that number and he orders the woman to bring all the girls to Mammothoon immediately.

She gets up and goes through a door. In the next room, there are five girls sitting on a couch. She apologizes for keeping them waiting, and tells them they’re delighted to offer makeovers to such promising girls.

As she’s saying all this, we see that one of the girls is Jun. The announcer beckons them all towards an elevator. Jun is looking like she’s thinking as they all ride the elevator up…


(Note that there are five girls, including Jun, here.)
 



She’s startled though, when a cloudy purple gas suddenly starts pouring into the elevator car through a ceiling vent!



 


We can hear frightened girls calling out, but when the elevator door finally opens, the woman is standing, wearing a gas mask.





 



And all five girls are slumped on the elevator car’s floor. Except Jun. She’s kept her head, covered her mouth and nose, and managed to stay conscious. But she’s pretending to be out cold like the others.



 


Now the elevator starts up again, and this time it ascends a tube that leaves the building and goes up to the big blimp that’s hovering above.

Inside the blimp’s control room are two Galactor goons. The woman exits the tube, approaches the goons, and tells them to head back to their base. Soon, the blimp is on the move.

One of the goons notices that the God Phoenix is flying close by, and the woman isn’t happy to hear that.


 


On the bridge of the God Phoenix, Ryu thinks it’s weird that there’s an “ad balloon” coming their way. Ken, however, thinks it looks more like one of Galactor’s “dread zeppelins.”

“Do you think Sis could be stuck in there, Big Brother?” asks an anxious Jinpei.

Ken tries to determine just that contacting her via bracelets.


 


At first, he gets no response.


 



But then his bracelet begins to flash a bird scramble –Ken seems rather alarmed by this, as he’s probably wondering why she can’t talk.



 



But she’s actually still pretending to be unconscious. She and the other four girls have been moved to a cell but Jun is surreptitiously tapping her bracelet against the bars.


(Note that there is, somehow, an extra girl now, bringing the total, including Jun, to six)
 


“Pretend you don’t see them and maintain your course,” the woman instructs the blimp’s goon pilots.

And the God Phoenix and the blimp soar right past each other.

On the bridge of the God Phoenix, Joe is angry.

“Damn it, there’s no hope of attacking it, Ken,” he says.


 


Ken doesn’t look happy with the situation either but quietly and firmly says “We can’t risk the chance that the zeppelin could explode with everyone on it.”


 


“So, we would be blowing up Sis too!” says Jinpei, belatedly realizing what he means.


“It’s not just Jun! There are four other girls in there too!” yells Joe (and he doesn’t usually yell at Jinpei) as he bangs a fist down on the console beside Jinpei (who looks abashed at this reprimand).



 


Don’t worry Jinpei, he’s probably just in a foul mood because he can’t fire any missiles at it. I wonder how they know that there are four other girls with Jun -perhaps it had been announced earlier, when the beauty center was still acting legit, that there were five finalists.

Ken decides that they will tail the blimp, in the hope that it will lead them to its secret base, so Ryu brings the God Phoenix around and Ken then instructs Jinpei to try tracking the location of Jun’s bird scramble using the radar.

Jinpei eagerly takes on this task with a “Just leave it to me!”



 



He starts searching…

Meanwhile, we see a building surrounded by exhibits of dinosaur skeletons.


 


Inside this building, we see both the blimp and a very large exhibit of a wooly mammoth, and we get a close up of the mammoth’s face…

The girls are still in a cell with barred walls and still all slumped on the floor, but standing nearby are the woman, holding a whip, and Berg Katse.



 



Katse wants to get a good look at the girls’ faces and arms, pointing out that “The Science Ninja Team wear bracelets.” The woman now enters the cell and, using her whip, props up one groggy girl’s chin so that Katse can get a look at her.




 



Katse’s not so interested in her and the woman moves onto the next girl.



 



She doesn’t seem to be quite what he’s looking for either and he says “Next!” So, the next girl gets her head raised up by having her hair pulled, but Katse doesn’t think she looks very Swan-like either.



 


“Great,” he says sourly, “At this rate our operation will fail! Don’t you have anyone better to choose from?”

Jun now quickly removes her bracelet secretly, and hides it in her pocket.



 



“Hey, the bird scramble disappeared,” cries Jinpei now, staring at the radar screen on the bridge of the God Phoenix.



 



No one likes this news. “It means Jun’s in even more serious danger,” declares Ken grimly, but he thinks she must be somewhere close by and that they should land and search around for Galactor’s base.


Ryu, though, says that there’s nothing in the area that looks suspicious to him. The God Phoenix is flying over woods now. But Jinpei pipes up that he’s “pretty sure there’s an outdoor museum up ahead.”

Ryu’s not impressed with this comment, but Joe makes the connection that a “mammoth” might well be at a “museum.”

“See,” retorts Jinpei impudently, “It wasn’t such a stupid idea –I know what I’m talking about!”

Ken squelches all this with a crisp “All right, let’s go with Jinpei’s flash of inspiration,” but he and Ryu are both looking far from calm, “Take us down slowly.”


 


As the God Phoenix flies past the museum, Ken, Joe and Jinpei appear on the dome and then soar down towards it, landing on the roof.

Meanwhile, in the cell, it’s Jun’s turn to show her face to Katse for inspection. She’s got her back to the woman, who tries to use her whip to make Jun turn her head towards them.


 


Needless to say, Jun does not cooperate with this, and the woman snaps at her “Hurry!”

“What’s the matter?” barks Katse, “Hurry up and look this way!”

Fortunately, a goon chooses this moment to call out “Lord Katse, it’s the God Phoenix!”

“Again?” Katse now stalks off angrily and the woman, pausing to hit Jun with her whip, follows after Katse. Jun stays where she is, lying on the floor of the cell and keeping her face averted, but her eyes narrow in thought as she sees that now is the opportune moment to act.

“I knew they’d come,” she thinks.

Katse is viewing the God Phoenix on a screen, angrily wondering how the God Phoenix found them, and he yells “Get them out of my sky!”

With that, several of the dinosaur skeletons outside now crumble away, revealing interior missile launchers. Ryu is startled to see this looming threat but he quickly rallies, swerving the God Phoenix sharply and avoiding the initial barrage of missiles.

Meanwhile, Ken, Joe and Jinpei have discovered that there is a mammoth in the museum.



 


Breaking through the skylight, they soar down to land on the mammoth’s head. Jinpei is smug that his hunch has proven correct, but Joe swats him and and says “Don’t let it go to your head.”


 


What did you do to annoy Joe, Jinpei? He seems to be singling you out for abuse in this episode. Then again, the oft-impudent Jinpei probably needs a little “keeping in line” now and then, lest he become a brat.

Meanwhile, back in the cell, Jun is one Cinderella who is not going to just wait to be rescued. With a karate chop, she takes out the woman as the other four girls gasp in both shock and admiration.


 


“Come on, girls,” says Jun, and they follow her lead and escape the cell. In fact, she leads them directly behind Katse, but they quickly and quietly run past and he remains oblivious to the jailbreak-in-progress.


 


They all rush down a corridor, and as it opens into a large room, they’re all startled to see there are two goons with machine guns standing there –who turn on them menacingly.

Well, not for long. Jun kicks one of them in the head, and karate chops the other goon, then flipping him.

Now we see what they were guarding –a little round table upon which rests Jun’s missing shoe (now in its civilian state).



 


She is both overjoyed and relieved to finally have it back again.


 


Unfortunately, when she picks it up, an alarm starts sounding.


“Someone is stealing the Ninja Team shoe!” yells Katse, and he starts running. He goes to the cell where he discovers the woman on the floor. She struggles to stand, crying “Lord Katse, please forgive me –the girls have escaped!”

And Katse snaps “Useless!” and kicks her in the face. So, no forgiveness there.

Now Jun is running, leading the other girls. Suddenly, a partition lifts right in front of them, revealing Katse and numerous armed goons.

“Rather rash of you to try to steal the shoe and run away!” sneers Katse, “Which one of you is it?”


 


The girls stare in dismay, but they don’t try to turn Jun in to save themselves or anything like that (they’ve probably seen enough by now to figure that she’ll deal with this situation!)

And indeed, a confident “It was me!” causes the four girls to turn around in surprise, revealing that it’s the Swan herself, in birdstyle, who now stands behind them.


 


“I’m the girl you’ve been looking for, Katse,” continues Jun.

“I knew you had to be one of those girls!” retorts Katse, as the goons open fire.

The girls all shriek but Jun shields them with her cape (after seeing what her shoe can endure, I can well believe that her cape is bullet-resistant!)


 



Next, Jun lashes out with her yoyo, taking out several of the goons. Then there’s an explosion and, as Katse yells “What the hell?” a large chunk of the ceiling collapses onto several more goons.

Standing above by the newly created hole in the ceiling are Ken, Joe and Jinpei.



 


“Bullying girls? More your speed, but still low, Katse!” declares Ken, glaring down.

With a dramatic “Today will be your last, prepare to die!” Katse orders those goons still standing to open fire now on the boys.

The Eagle, Condor and Swallow instantly scatter, avoiding the gunfire. Ken hurls his boomerang and takes out a swath of goons, then finishes off more of them with kicks and punches.


 



Joe flies, somersaulting, through the air and then he clobbers several more himself.



 


And Jinpei kicks a couple of goons, takes down a couple more with his bolas and then uses the rather less dignified (but effective) tactic of biting.





 



Ken, clearly knowing that Jun must have her shoe back if she’s in birdstyle, informs her that it’s time to go. I will assume that she’s abstained from the big group fight here because she’s chosen to stick by the four girls.



 



Indeed, next we see, she casts her yoyo up through the hole the other three Ninjas created in the ceiling, and raises herself up, taking two of the girls with her.



 

 

Not one to miss an opportunity with girls, Joe does the same thing with his cable gun and two other girls (luckier, in my opinion!) get to cling to him as he lifts them out.


Yes, the girl in the yellow pants has an especially good opportunity to familiarize herself with his physique.
 


Now Katse is having his “I’m outta here!” moment, and he begins turning to flee


We seem to still have the mysterious extra girl, as there’s one remaining for Jinpei to carry (perhaps she’s collapsed in grief here at missing the chance to cling to Joe?)



 


“Jinpei, hurry!” says Ken, glancing at the fleeing Katse. “What about you?” asks Jinpei but Ken cries “Just go!” So, Jinpei rises up through the hole (seems he borrowed Joe’s gun here) and Ken runs after Katse.

Unfortunately for Ken, Katse got a head start. So, Ken hurls his boomerang after Katse, but just in the nick of time (for Katse) a partition barrier drops down, leaving Ken’s boomerang, Ken and a piece of Katse’s cape on the wrong side of it. Katse has escaped yet again.

“Come back here you stinking coward!” yells Ken in frustration, hitting the partition with his boomerang.



 



But now Jinpei contacts Ken, telling him to hurry and get out, lest Mammothoon start firing missiles and trapping them.

Ken turns to go but then pauses, pulling a tracking beacon-like object from his belt compartment.


 



With a smirk, he flicks it up in the air such that it sticks to the ceiling.

Meanwhile, outside, Ryu is zooming the God Phoenix along the ground and he smashes it clean through the museum’s exterior wall and into the main exhibit room where the mammoth stands.

The God Phoenix stops right in front of its trunk and Joe, Jun and Jinpei, along with the girls, all slide down the trunk and onto the God Phoenix’s dome.

Inside the mammoth, Katse orders “Bring Mammothoon online, on the double!” Now, the mammoth changes, shedding its fur while its trunk now takes on a mechanical appearance.

Now, finally, Ken leaps clear of Mammothoon and joins the others on the dome of the God Phoenix (where we’re back to four girls plus Jun again).

As the dome lowers them all inside the God Phoenix, on the bridge, Ryu mutters “Here goes nothing” and takes the God Phoenix up, smashing it through the large skylight on the ceiling and into the air above.

“I want you to bring that ship down now!” orders Katse, and then Mammothoon fires two missiles at the God Phoenix.


 


Katse is laughing evilly, sure that he has triumphed –that is, until a goon at a screen informs him that the missiles are turning around and coming back at the museum!

As Katse wheels around, gasping “That’s not possible!” we see the beacon that Ken had left stuck to that corridor’s ceiling and it’s emitting a signal that is clearly attracting the missiles its way.


 


Katse turns to run –no doubt for his escape pod- but first has to fend off the clutches of the two goons present, who obviously realize they’re about to be abandoned to a dismal fate.


 



And the missiles draw near…



 



They pierce right through Mammothoon, into the control room that Katse had fled moments earlier, and then they explode, destroying Mammothoon and the museum in a massive explosion.


And the God Phoenix flies along serenely through a blue sky. On the bridge, we have the mysterious extra girl present again. For some reason, even though these girls were able to run down corridors earlier with Jun, now they are all just sprawled, slumping, on the floor of the bridge as if overcome by the trauma of their experience.

Silly girls, pay attention –the Condor himself is sitting mere feet away from you!

Ryu is glad “Everyone made it through okay,” and Ken notes that “We got Jun’s shoe back safely,” as we pan over to see Jun on the far side of the bridge, sitting with Jinpei. He continues “It’s too bad we let Katse get away,” though, looking grimly disappointed.

“It couldn’t be helped,” says the normally revenge-fixated Joe as he glances towards the girls, “The girls are safe; that’s the most important thing for now.”

And Joe casts a rather interested looking glance in their direction.


(Look up, you stupid girls! You’re missing your chance here!)
 


Jinpei (perhaps because he’s not sitting near Joe now) indulges in a final bit of misguided brattiness, scowling at Jun disapprovingly and pointing didactically with one finger while saying “Hey Sis, to keep from losing one of your shoes again, I think you should write your name in them from now on.”

“Idiot!” retorts Jun, grabbing his face with both hands, “If I did that, they know who I was right away, now wouldn’t they?”


 



Still, I think that Jun will henceforth be very certain she never loses any item of her civvies ever again.

“You and Katse have a lot in common!” protests Jinpei plaintively.


And now we see Katse himself, wretchedly saying “My apologies for having failed you yet again,” to Leader X.

“Idiot! Imbecile! Simpleton! Fool!” yells Leader X. Yes, this really was the “yell at your subordinates” episode. “I have nothing left to say to you; our only hope in this situation is that Dr. Misuno’s secret weapon is almost complete!”


 


On that ominous note, Katse does a humble, sweeping bow.

As the God Phoenix flies over the city, accompanied by ominous music, the narrator says “When will Dr. Misuno’s mysterious new mecha be complete? What storm awaits our heroes as they withdraw, basking in their victory?”


 

Despite the foreboding ending, linking it to future episodes, this episode certainly showcases Jun’s talents and resourcefulness and gives her a somewhat rare solo opportunity to overcome adversity and to shine, while still leaving the other Ninjas with something to do too.


The end.

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