Owashi no Ken
Real Name: Ken Washio
Identity/Class: Unknown - uses advanced technology, but powers may come from mutation or cybernetic implants
Occupation: Test pilot
Affiliations: leader of Kagaku Ninjatai
Enemies: Gallacter, Katse, Gel Sadra, Count Egobossler, Sosai X
Known Relatives: Kentaro Washio (a.k.a. Red Impulse, father)
Aliases: Gatchaman, Eagle, Mark (BotP) Ace Goodheart (G-Force) Hunter Harris (Eagle Riders)
Base of Operations: Utoland
First Appearance: Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman (October 1972)
Powers/Abilities: Superhuman strength and agility. Able to fly / glide for short distances. Favourite weapons include bird shaped razor sharp darts, a sonic gun, and, in the remake, a sort of light saber called the G-Fencer. He is a skilled martial artist. Vehicles wise, he sticks to variations on fighter jets, all heavily armed with machine guns and missile systems, and capable of incredible bursts of speed.
History: Ken is the reckless leader of the Kagatai Ninjatai. He grew in the legal guardianship of Dr.Nambu after his fighter pilot father vanished when he was four. His mother became completely unable to care for him when he was eight, because of her own ill health, and from that point he was taken in by Nambu full time. She finally passed away when Ken was eleven. Nambu, aware of the impending threat of Gallacter, trained Ken to be a top agent and deadly martial artist. When Ken was eighteen, Gallacter made its first public attack, and Nambu sent Ken, and the rest of the squad of youths he had gathered, out to face them.
Like his father before him, Ken made a living flying planes, both as a test pilot and as a courier. His home was at the back of a private airfield, on land his father had left him. His responsibility as team leader of the Kagatu Ninjatai is teaching him to be less of a hell-raiser and risk-taker...but only very slowly, and perhaps only in comparison to team rebel Jo, whom he treats like the brother he never had.
During their missions against Gallacter, Ken discovered his father was still alive, now battling their foe in the guise of the leader of Red Impluse, an ISO special taskforce. He had faked his death to go deep undercover. Ken encountered Red Impulse many times, but only discovered that his father led them seconds before the elder Washio embarked on a suicide mission trying to save the Earth from one of Gallacter's attacks.
Some years later, after the original Gallacter had been defeated and replaced by a new version run by Count Egobossler, Ken was given a new "hypersuit", which granted him even greater powers. Fueled by his emotions, he was the only team member who could use it (Jo being a cyborg, and the others not having strong enough passions to activate it). However the suit turned out to have a side-effect, giving Ken a form of cancer which threatened to one day kill him. This proved to be a moot point though, as the entire team later seemed to perish destroying once and for all the alien overlord behind Gallacter.
Comments: Voiced by Mori Katsuji in the original series, and Onozaka Masaya in the 1994 remake.
In spite of confusion that sometimes reigns, only Ken is meant to be called Gatchaman. The rest of the team are the Science Ninjas, or Kagatu Ninjatai.
Most images on this page courtesy of Anime Cel.Com. Used with their kind permission.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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