Gatchaman Episode 61 - The Phantom Red Impulse by TransmuteJun
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This is a Gatchamania Episode review. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

This episode review is image intensive.

Gatchaman Episode 61 – The Phantom Red Impulse


The narrator informs us that Gatchaman and ‘the intrepid Team’ bravely fight, in order to protect and defend world peace. We see the God Phoenix flying through the clouds at sunrise.


The Science Ninja Team has just completed their regular patrol duty, and they are on their way home.



Something tells me that Ryu’s getting a little tired…

But they are passing through some familiar airspace. It’s… dun dun dun… Hontwal!

“Hey, we’re just about right above Hontwal!” Jinpei exclaims. “That’s where the Captain of Red Impulse died, isn’t it, Sis?”

“Jinpei!” Jun scolds and the Swallow realizes his error, clapping his hand over his mouth.


But of course, it’s already too late. Ken gapes openmouthed at the viewscreen at the mere mention of Red Impulse.


He turns to leave the Bridge.

“Hey, Big Bro, where are you going?” Jinpei asks meekly.


“Go on home without me, all right?” Ken tells the Team. “I’ll be right back.”

“Big Brother, I’m sorry!” Jinpei calls after him. But Ken is gone.


“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to!” Jinpei is contrite after the fact. “I wasn’t thinking, and I guess I made him remember.”

Gee, Jinpei, you think?

The G-1 leaves the God Phoenix and flies away.


Ken surveys Hontwal sadly, thinking of his father.


He remembers the end of the V2 Plan, and his father’s death.

“Dad!” he cries mournfully.


For some reason, there is a flower on Ken’s seat. He picks it up and opens his cockpit glass, to throw it out of the G-1 in memory of Red Impulse.


Okay, if he’s flying that high and he opens his cockpit glass, wouldn’t the wind knock him out of his plane? And if he’s flying high enough, wouldn’t he lack oxygen? This all just seems a little unrealistic to me, but I’ll let is pass it the name of artistic remembrance of his dead father.

The flower falls toward the ground, spreading its petals as it goes. I won’t mention how the thing looks like a dandelion, and that Ken is probably just spreading weeds amongst the well-maintained gardens of Hontwal. Wink

But as Ken looks back in front of him, he gasps! Three familiar red planes are flying toward him.

“What?” Ken can’t believe it. “The Red Impulse Squad? It can’t be!”


But clearly it is, as the three planes pass above Ken.


They loop back around, and pass again on the side, allowing Ken to see the pilot of the first jet.


“Dad?” Ken thinks to himself. “My father is alive? Impossible!”

As if the other pilot can hear him, a familiar laugh comes through Ken’s communications system.

“Red Impulse is invincible, Kid!” the pilot says. “Follow behind me, and I’ll lead you to my new base of operation.”

“This can’t be happening!” Ken thinks, his jaw practically on the floor in shock.


Fortunately, he does manage to keep a few brain cells through this experience, and he contacts Dr. Nambu on his bracelet.

“This is Gatchaman calling Dr. Nambu. Come in, Doctor. Are you there?”

Dr. Nambu reaches to pick up his sophisticated… CB Mic.


“Doctor! Doctor! Gatchaman to Nambu! Over!” Ken cries frantically.

“Nambu here. What’s going on, Gatchaman?”


“Doctor, my father! My father is still alive!” Ken shouts.

“Your father is still alive? What are you talking about?” Nambu asks,

“It’s my father, the Commander of Red Impulse! He’s flying right in front of me as I speak! I see him with my own eyes!” Ken babbles, breaking out in a sweat.


“Unbelievable! That’s impossible!” Nambu can’t believe it either. “If he was actually alive, don’t you think I would have heard form him by now, Ken?”


“Circumstances might have prevented it, Doctor.” Ken suggests. “I’m going to meet with him now.” He shuts off the transmission.

“Far out!” he says, with a goofy grin.

“Wait, Gatchaman!” Nambu shouts, apparently unaware that the communication has been terminated. “How can you be sure it’s him? Gatchaman, come in!”

Realizing that Ken has gone off on his own, Nambu gives up.

“So… Red Impulse, alive.” he says grimly. “How can that be possible?”

Meanwhile, the G-1 is following the Red Impulse jets.


“This is not a dream!” Ken tries to convince himself. “The Red Impulse Squad is right in front of me! And that man in that plane is my father.”

Back on the God Phoenix, Jun is shocked to hear Dr. Nambu’s news.


“What?” Jun cries “Ken’s father is still alive?”

“Apparently.” the Doctor replies. “Ken just contacted me, and is completely beside himself, I’m afraid. I want all of you to tail him, and find out what’s going on!”




The Owl immediately turns the God Phoenix around, heading back toward Hontwal.

“Well, either the Captain of Red Impulse is alive, or something’s wrong with Ken.” Joe says.


“When it comes to his father, Ken tends to go a little nutso.” Ryu noted. “Not that I don’t understand how he feels.”

Nutso? Not the word I’d choose, but Ryu’s description is pretty accurate.

A massive mountain rises up out of the ground. Ah, Red Impulse, you must be compensating for something…

A large opening is at the bottom of the mountain, big enough for jet planes to fly inside.

“Oh, what’s this place?” Ken wonders.


Sure enough, the three red jets fly through the hole and into the mountain, and Ken follows. He lands behind the three jets in a massive hangar.


Ken lowers out of his G-1, still sitting in his pilot’s seat.


“So this is the new base, eh?” he sys to himself, looking around. “Sure is a big one. But kind of strange. I wonder where everyone is?”

Ken wanders around the empty hangar, while creepy music plays. He leaves through a door, which turns out to be an elevator. The elevator takes him somewhere, and when he gets out, Ken takes on a defensive posture.


Ken is in a long hallway at least 2 stories high, with a set of doors at the end. Ken walks toward the doors and enters. What he sees inside makes him gasp.


It’s Red Impulse!


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