THE GREAT BAXINGAR REWATCH 38 – Gamble on Uranus-Pluto

EPISODE 38: Gamble on Uranus-Pluto

WRITTEN BY: Yuu Yamamoto

BROADCAST DATE: March 22, 1983

And, as always, this episode aired exactly forty years ago today!

First off, I forgot to mention last week that on March 15, the same day that Episode 37 aired, the second Baxingar Soundtrack LP came out!

It’s very similar to the second Braiger soundtrack in that it focuses more on the songs than the background music. It’s also similar in that the Braiger soundtrack had narration by Kaneto Shiozawa as Blaster Kid speaking over the beginnings of the songs, and this one has narration by Yoko Asagami as Lila. As such, if you want “clean” versions of the songs, you either have to pick up the 7” singles, or get one of the later J9 song collection CDs. Which, y’know, isn’t that big a problem, except that the “Slow Version” of “Asteroid Blues” is not available anywhere else, so no “clean” version of it exists.

And speaking of that song, it appears at the beginning of this episode, as the Galactic Gale mourns the death of Digo. And this IS a really big deal. We’ve gone through all of the Braiger series and most of Baxingar, and this is the FIRST primary J9 member who’s died. When Braiger wanted to pull out the stops, they killed Macarone and Gratano. When Baxingar does it, they kill off the leader of the group.

Way back when I was first trying to envision my Baxingar posts (and remember, I watched Baxingar in Spanish back in ’86 or so, so I’ve known for decades that this moment was coming), I thought that at this point I’d say something like, “Now that the new guy is out of the way, we have a proper, four-person J9 team.” And yes, it’s true that Baxingar is the only J9 team with five members, and I initially said that Digo was the “new” character, not based on anyone from Braiger.

But I realize now that I was wrong about that. It’s as if, for Baxingar, they split Isaac from Braiger up into two characters. Schutecken gets his looks, Digo gets his personality.

They underscore this, I think, during the scene where everyone watches Digo’s final message to them. Along with an exhortation to keep fighting and win, he also says that he lives inside them now, and Schutecken later agrees, saying that Digo resides inside him now. I’m not sure if this was intentional on the creators’ part, but one way to look at it is that the J9-II incarnation of Isaac was split in two, and has now, at the the end of the series, finally rejoined into one.

Next, Sonia, who at one point seemed poised to become Schutecken’s love interest, visits Igo on his ship, wanting to know if there’s some way the final battle could be averted. Igo says (and I think he’s right) that the New Planets Alliance would never let the Galactic Gale live, and the Galactic Gale would never surrender.

Now even more deeply worried, she joins him in his journey to the Uranus/Pluto zone.

Back with the Galactic Gale, on the way to the Uranus/Pluto zone, they come across an enemy group there to ambush them. They fly out (with, eerily, Digo’s motorcycle on autopilot)…

…and, it’s almost emotionally moving. Last episode, the enemy were so thrilled to have downed Baxinger, which has been a thorn in their side since the start. And now, they’re baffled and horrified to see it return.

Then they reach the new space fortress, Fort Santa Vida, built by Buyo Nomolt over the past few episodes. It’s got a pretty unusual shape.

Inside, however, it looks well-fortified and even pleasant… there’s even a large, natural-looking park.

Sama and Cathy-Lou have an emotional reunion, and decide to check out the cherry blossom trees.

So, we’ve got Sama, who’s the avowed samurai of the group, resting under falling cherry blossom petals… THIS IS NOT AT ALL OMINOUS.

And sure enough, Gil Claude and his men have sneaked in with a large shipment of grain…

And they ambush Sama.

Gil Claude doesn’t get away with it, though. Lila electrocutes him with her whip and Billy delivers the killing blow.

But it’s too late for poor Sama. He’s gone.

Farewell, Samanosuke Dodi… you were my favorite character.

TL note:
Again, Baxingar is pretty much telling its own story at this point. The model for Sama, Harada Sanosuke, had died much earlier in the war. And of course Gil Claude is based on the fictional character Shichiri Kennosuke from the novel, Moeyo Ken.
That said, Buyo’s star-shaped space fortress is based on Goryokaku, a fort in the city of Hakodate, where the last of the Tokugawa supporters and the remaining Shinsengumi sought refuge as they fled north.



THE GREAT SRUNGLE (RE)WATCH 9 – Confrontation! The Black Lightning (PART-2)

MISSION 9: Confrontation! The Black Lightning (PART-2)

WRITTEN BY: Yuu Yamamoto

BROADCAST DATE: March 18, 1983

And, as always, this episode aired exactly forty years ago today!

After a recap of Part-1, Baud, the Black Lightning, notes that there’s a ravine behind Professor Jastrow’s cabin, so he sends some of his men there to be decoys in case the Garrick Police are called.

He tells the rest of his soldiers to advance on the cabin, and kill any wild animals that get in their way (again, Landbase M-13 is an animal sanctuary).

Jastrow and his granddaughter, Melissa, watch helplessly as the animals are slaughtered, and Jastrow hopes that Gorilla will show up soon.

Baud gloats over his handiwork.

Jet and Sexy arrive and are horrified by the carnage. Then they see some of the enemy Trekkers. They can’t seem to be able to contact Chance, so they’re unsure what to do.

Meanwhile, Chance, Superstar, Magician, and Babyface are also approaching the cabin from the ravine behind it, and they see Baud’s men. Unfortunately Baud’s men also see them, and fire on them, hitting the Srungle. The keep firing, pinning everyone down.

Babyface sees that the Srungle’s booster is damaged, so he stands it up (while Magician laughs at him for “falling asleep on the job”) and gets out in order to repair it. Luckily, it doesn’t look like it’s damaged badly.

Chance tells them to hurry, and then Jet finally gets in touch with him. Chance asks where they are, and Jet and Sexy says they’re near the Jastrow’s cabin, so Chance orders them to rescue the Professor and Melissa.

Baud announces to Jastrow that he’ll deal with any Federation rescue team the way he dealt with the animals.

As he’s saying he’ll give Jastrow until the count of three to come out, Sexy sneaks behind his forces, leaves a line of explosives. She sets them off, and Baud thinks, “How did the Garrick Police get this kind of power?”

Chance says that Jet and Sexy have made their move, so now he and Superstar have to go in. Superstar says he’s not confident working with “that white thing,” and Chance says, “You don’t have to be confident, just distract the enemy so Jet and Sexy can escape.”

Jet breaks into the cabin, alarming Melissa, but Jastrow asks, “Are you from Gorilla?” And Jet replies, “Why else would I come to a frying pan like this?”

Baud asks his men where the enemy is, and his lookout says there’s no sign of them. Baud growls and says, “It was a trap…” and decides to kill Jastrow instead of capturing him. He and his men fire on the cabin, destroying it.

After the commercial break, Jet runs with Jastrow and Melissa, while Sexy distracts Baud’s forces with a fireworks bomb. Baud sends some men after them.

Chance says to Babyface that if they don’t hurry and extract Jet and Sexy, they’ll end up barbecued.

Jet contacts Chance and says that not only is the Professor safe, but he’s also got a cute girl with him.

Chance selects a rendezvous point (“Cabin Five”), and tells Superstar that he needs to be a decoy. Superstar gives a half-serious protest, and Chance says, “I’m not worried. I know the Centrosuper is fast enough to stay ahead of the enemy.”

He launches, carrying some devices that fool the enemy (on Radar) into thinking that there are three more Trekkers.

Chance meets up with Magician and Babyface. Magician says he should use some of his magic, and leaves. Chance says that he’s already factored in the delay because of the Srungle’s repairs, but Babyface says that fixing the damage is more complicated than he thought.

Chance says that he has to go to Cabin Five, and that they’ll be waiting for the Srungle to arrive.

Baud and his men study a map and figure out where Cabin Five is.

Superstar lures the pursuing Trekkers into a canyon, and detaches the devices. Of course, the Trekkers follow those rather than him.

They blow the the devices up (with some cheap-but-colorful animation techniques), think they’ve finished the mission, and head back.

We switch to Mundy and Dorothy. Mundy asks if there’s been any news from Gorilla, and Dorothy says no. Mundy wonders if maybe it was a mistake to entrust this mission solely to Gorilla, but there’s no time to send reinforcements.

Dorothy replies that he should put more faith in them. After all, weren’t they hand-picked by him? And anyway, she trusts Chance completely.

Mundy asks why she has so much faith in him, and Dorothy replies, “He’s my fiancé.”

Mundy is shocked and asks, “When did THAT happen?” And Dorothy says, “Not even the computer has managed to pick up on it.”

Mundy says that she should reconsider, because Chance has an extremely dangerous job. Dorothy says that it’s difficult, but she can accept that.

Mundy sits down and thinks, “Only forty minutes left…”

Jet and Superstar nearly collide into each other and spend some time casting blame. Sexy interrupts and says they have to take care of their guests, and can argue later.

Then, Volklazer is talking to the “Head Party” of Crime, concerned that Jastrow hasn’t been brought to him yet. The Head Party express great hopes for Crime once Jastrow starts working for them, and Volklazer replies that if the Professor isn’t captured, Baud has been ordered to kill him instead.

Now Cabin Five, Chance introduces himself to Jastrow, who says he’s sorry that Melissa had to go through such a traumatic experience.

Sexy arrives and asks where Magician is, and Chance replies that he and Babyface are setting up the final bit of magic.

As Baud’s forces approach, Chance tells everyone that they’re starting rescue operation BD9, and that the information has been received and synchronized in their Trekkers already.

Bizarre light emits from behind Cabin Five, and the Srungle, many times its actual size, appears.

It attacks, but we see the other Trekkers are the ones actually firing.

Some of Baud’s men fly into it and realize it’s an illusion. They blow up the projector making the Srungle holograph, revealing the actual Gorilla team.

They destroy Baud’s forces, and then Jet sees that Baud has his gun, and goes in for the attack. He kills Baud and snatches the gun mid-air.

Chance reports that the mission was successful, and Gorilla returns to base.

So… yeah, this one’s almost pure action, start to finish. You can see the influence of the old Mission: Impossible TV series, since extracting genius scientists from dangerous situations seems like something that would be right up their alley.

AND TOTAL: Four times.


EPISODE 37: Inferno (Part Two)

WRITTEN BY: Yuu Yamamoto

BROADCAST DATE: March 15, 1983

And, as always, this episode aired exactly forty years ago today!

First off, Acrobunch is no longer streaming on Retro Crush. I knew it was just a matter of time, since Discotek put the blu-ray out of print, but I was surprised it lasted as long as it did. I hope you got to see it!

But on the the matter at hand…

Last episode was all set-up. EVERYTHING happens in this episode. And from here to the end of the series, it’s going to be a real roller-coaster. I’ve said many times before that Yuu Yamamoto’s shows generally begin rather slowly or indifferently, but they work to a great ending, and that’s definitely true of Baxingar.

And there’s a lot crammed into this episode. To get the smaller plot points out of the way first, everyone’s still in the Asteroid Belt, and Billy’s sister Mirei decides it’s time to leave. She introduces everyone to her fiancé, Richard, which breaks Digo’s heart slightly. Don’t worry, he recovers pretty quickly.

Then, some bikers from Tarma (again, where Billy, Digo, and Schutecken all hail from) arrive, saying they want to join the Galactic Gale. Schutecken refuses, and when they insist, he brings them to the Baxing-Bird sickbay, to show them all the grievously wounded soldiers. They take his point and leave.

Also, the first of the “auto-synchron” Baxingars has arrived, which can operated by just one pilot, instead of five (it looks the same as the regular one).

And now on to the REAL meat of the episode, starting with the cliffhanger from last week…

(They, er, don’t actually play the whole song in this episode, just the opening flourish.)

So yes, we’ve got Khamen XVIII and his ecstatic Nubian followers. So what’s going on? He calls himself the 生まれ変わり (rebirth, reincarnation) of Khamen Khamen, although he’s obviously voiced by Billy’s VA, Kaneto Shiozawa, rather than Kazumi Tanaka, who played Khamen in Braiger (and who appeared as Teddy Bain in Baxingar, so it’s not like he wasn’t available).

The show resolutely does not explain any of this, and even adds further mystery where Khamen notices that he and Billy look (and of course, sound) nearly identical.

So, again, what’s going on here? For starters, let’s go back to the end of Braiger. Back in Episode 34, Khamen had an out-of-body experience where he talked to the Great God Atum, who promised him that he would live “for eons to come.” In Episode 39, he goes through some apparently mystical ritual where he drowns himself and then is reborn with godlike powers. And then he appears to die in ecstasy when Jupiter explodes. And then, here, Khamen XVIII says that’s he’s the rebirth/reincarnation of Khamen Khamen, and also he says, “…I split Jupiter up into 36 planets.” Him, not his ancestor.

SO, and this is pure speculation on my part, I think we’re meant to take this literally. Each Khamen from II to XVIII is a reincarnation of the original Khamen. The same soul in a new body. Khamen Khamen was granted miraculous powers at the end of Braiger, and so he lives on still, ever-youthful, ever-regenerating.

Or it could be a sham, Khamen’s original vision of the Great God Atum was just a drug trip, and seventeen guys over the next 600 years managed to pull the wool over Khamen’s followers’ eyes and PRETEND to be him. Neither theory is denied by the series.

However, I do think the show implicitly rejects the idea that Khamen Khamen had a son who took his mantle, and that that lineage continued, as monarchal lines continue in our workaday reality.

There’s SOMETHING here. It could be mystical, it could be a hoax, but it’s absolutely NOT a normal succession.

(Also, if you do the math, the average Khamen’s reign is thirty years… which seems rather short.)

And finally, on to the main plot. Both the Galactic Gale and their longtime opponents Igo and Kei independently decide that although a decisive battle is obviously looming, the Asteroid Belt is not the place to have it. The area is too densely populated, and if war breaks out there, a lot of innocent people will die. (Kei’s motives are less charitable than Igo’s. His warrior’s pride has been wounded by repeated defeat at the hands of the Galactic Gale, and he just wants a simple, fair duel with them.)

But they’re both (again, independently) worried that if they leave, the other group will attack their flank, so they both set up meetings with Khamen XVIII to plead for his help.

Naturally, Digo and Billy are rather shocked to see Igo also waiting for an audience with Khamen.

If this situation, with a long-dormant adversary from the previous series making a flamboyant return and both the good guys and bad guys meeting with them in order to determine their intentions, seems familiar, it’s probably because it was used a couple of years later in Zeta Gundam, with the return of the Zeon forces on Axis.

Anyway, this Khamen does not seem terribly interested in conquest, so he says that he will not ally himself with either side, and just wants them to leave the Asteroid Belt. Since that’s what they want to do, too, he agrees to help them both. Crisis averted!

Well… one crisis, at least. You see, command above Igo (from Watkins, if you remember him) has decided that the Galactic Gale must be defeated NOW, and if war engulfs the Asteroid Belt, then so be it.

Hoping to stop the fleet before they reach the Asteroid Belt, Digo heads out alone in the Auto-Synchron Baxingar. They have a fierce battle, probably fiercest in the series so far, but Digo, despite damage and injuries, manages to destroy the space fleet…

…but then the 2nd Baxingar blows up, killing him.

So it may not be in fitting with the now-somber mood, but here it is… your (FINAL??)…


TL Note:
As far as I can tell, this plot isn’t based on history. Indeed, from here to the end, Baxingar is really telling its own story, and the historical references mostly become window dressing.
That said, Khamen’s ecstatic followers are based on an “Eejanaika,” a series of festivals/protests/orgies that started happening spontaneously around Japan during the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate. If you’re interested, there’s a 1981 movie, also called Eejanaika (translated as “Why Not?”) directed by Shohei Imamura.
Digo’s death is very different (and happens much later in the story) than that of Shinsengumi commander Kondo Isami, on whom he’s based. Soon after the Emperor revoked the Shogun’s authority to rule, Kondo surrendered to some of the Emperor’s troops, who executed him for the assassination of Sakamoto Ryoma (the basis for Ozma Drago), even though he almost certainly was not involved.



THE GREAT SRUNGLE (RE)WATCH 8 – Confrontation! The Black Lightning (PART-1)

MISSION 8: Confrontation! The Black Lightning (PART-1)

WRITTEN BY: Yuu Yamamoto

BROADCAST DATE: March 11, 1983

And, as always, this episode aired forty years ago today!

On a dark a stormy night, an old man is sitting in his plush home, waiting for his granddaughter to visit. Some soldiers arrive and break in, but can’t find him.

The granddaughter, Melissa (voiced by Michie Tomizawa, who also voice Daisy a few episodes ago) arrives, and sees a signal that he’s set up, but she’s not sure what it means.

The soldiers think the man must have fled and go to search for him outside. Melissa comes in, and her grandfather emerges from a hidden door. He says that the blackmail group has come back for him, and they have to get away now.

The soldiers come back, and find the hidden door. The head soldier seems quite angry…

Magician comes to Gorillan Base, accompanied by Dr. Mundy. Chance is surprised that Mundy is visiting in person, and Mundy replies that he’s the one who funded its construction, so it’s natural that he’d want to see it for himself. Chance jokes that Mundy might by a spy from Crime.

In the next room, they run into Jet and Sexy, who are leaving to visit Garrick Town together, because Jet needs to pick up something.

In the hangar, Superstar watches as Babyface and Ai-Doll work on the Centrosuper, Babyface says he can fix it, but it’ll take a lot of work.

Sexy and Jet show up and invite everyone to come to Garrick Town, but they decline. Jet tells Ai-Doll that it should visit with the base’s important guest. Ai-Doll asks who that is, and Jet replies, “Your favorite boss.” So Ai-Doll rushes off to greet Mundy, and everyone laughs.

In the computer room, Mundy says it may take a while to defeat Crime. Chance again seems surprised since their computer’s data plus Magician’s secret intel seems definitive. Mundy says he wants to add his own data to the computer’s.

Once they add the info, Chance talks to his “Professor,” asking who the head of Crime is. The computer replies that the identity is unknown. At the top, there’s a corporation called “Bossbrain” that oversees the “Head Party,” but Crime Enterprise Systems is divided into so many sub-organizations that tracing them is virtually impossible. There’s a Crime Army as well, and also “Crime Force” (30 to 50 members) and “Crime Battler” (divided into groups of ten to twenty soldiers). It’s unknown how many troops they have.

Crime Battler has their own dedicated Trekkers, which the computer shows a diagram of, and Chance recognizes them as the type that ambushed Samson and Daisy a few episodes ago.

Mundy asks what the exact connection between the company and the army is, and of course the computer says it’s unknown. Magician says, “Well, they’re certainly very organized!”

Jet and Sexy are almost to their destination, when they see explosions inside the building and some guys running away.

After the commercial break, it turns out that the place attacked was a gun shop where Jet was picking up his gun after some modifications. The owner apologizes to Jet and then explains what happened:

An alien came in wanting to buy some guns. The owner said that he doesn’t deal with strangers, and the guy said, “I’m not a stranger. I’m Baud Leon, the Black Lightning.” And he’s clearly the soldier we saw from the beginning of the episode.

He reaches into the owner’s desk and pulls out a pistol, saying he likes it. The owner protests that Jet will be back for it soon, so Baud aims it at him and tells his men to take all they want.

The Baud gets a call saying that he’s been ordered to capture a Professor Jastrow, and the orders come from very high up. Baud muses that his luck is changing.

He tells the shop owner that he’ll pay for the merchandise, and pulls out a grenade. He throws it and he and his men run out.

Back in the present, Jet gets angry with the owner, saying he spent years modifying the pistol so that it’s perfect, but Sexy tells him to lay off, that it’s not the owner’s fault. They leave before the police arrive, saying that they’ll take this to Captain Chance.

Driving away, Jet says that he’ll keep an eye out for Baud Leon, the Black Lightning.

Chance, Mundy, and Magician are about to eat the meal that Ai-Doll has prepared for them, when Dorothy (Mundy’s secretary) calls them, saying Professor Jastrow is on the run and is currently in hiding on Landbase M-13 (designed as an animal sanctuary).

Chance asks if he’s the inventor of a new type of energy called “Jastownium,” and Mundy confirms it. Mundy says to get the team together and go to Landbase M-13.

Jet’s still in the car grumbling about his stolen pistol, when Chance contacts them and says they’re to meet up on Landbase M-13. Jet asks what the mission is, and Chance says they have to rescue Professor Jastrow.

Sexy reminds Jet that Baud’s orders had been to get Jastrow, so Jet might be able to get his pistol back soon. Jet speeds up and Sexy’s skirt flies up, giving us a panty shot.

Everyone launches, and Mundy tells Chance that Jastrow is a nuclear physicist of the likes to come along only one in a century, and he will revolutionize nuclear energy. Chance says, “I see why Crime want to get their hands on him.” Then Mundy says that the order to get Jastrow definitely didn’t come from the lower echelons of Crime, but from the “Head Party,” so be extra cautious.

On Landbase M-13, Jastrow is burning his notes, saying he has to keep the bad guys from learning the secrets of Jastrownium. And now the secrets reside only his head.

We see and Jet and Sexy get to their Trekkers and hurry to catch up to the others.

Baud meets with a commander, sent by the Crime Army High Command. Baud is excited.

The commander says that if he’s successful in capturing Jastrow, he’ll be promoted from the Crime Battlers to the regular army. Baud and his men get ready to leave.

Chance and the others arrive at the Landbase, and Chance says that Jet and Sexy are late. Superstar jokes that maybe they were enjoying their date a little too much.

Jet and Sexy arrive, and then we see Baud in a tank, going to capture Jastrow.

Chance contacts Jastrow, saying they’re code-named Gorilla, and to wait for them to rescue him.

Melissa runs in, alarmed because there are lights on the horizon, heading toward them.

As the episode ends, Jet thinks to himself, “Black Lightning… I’ll find you!”

Okay, clearly the way Crime is organized is the important bit of exposition here, and I find it very confusing. The fact that it’s obviously MEANT to be confusing is small comfort…

DOES SEXY SHOW UP NAKED? No, but there’s a panty flash. Which, I think, counts.
AND TOTAL: Four times.


EPISODE 36: NUBIA’s Madness (Part One)

WRITTEN BY: Yuu Yamamoto

BROADCAST DATE: March 8, 1983

And, as always, this episode aired exactly forty years ago today!

One look at that title, and you might have an inkling what this one’s going to be about, but I’ll save that for last.

Everyone arrives at the Asteroid Belt, where they meet Sei Ong of the standing North Asteroid Belt Southeast Army.

They’re near Tarma, which is where Billy’s from. So his sister, Mirei, comes for a visit. Digo gets a case of the Not-Gays and seems quite smitten with her.

She hadn’t known about Billy’s illness, so it’s a shock when she finally sees him.

Schutecken is also working on a plan for “auto-synchron” Baxingars, so that each of the five pilots will have their own Baxingar to control, but 3-J says it’s too expensive, and they can only build one right now.

The main plot involves the bad guys destroying the North Asteroid Belt’s food plants, in order to drive the Galactic Gale to their knees.

Although Igo especially is against this plan, since it could turn the entire Asteroid Belt against their cause.

Then Kei Maron gets orders to destroy the Asteroid Belt’s stocks of stored food, but the Galactic Gale puts a stop to that plan.

But the BIG news is that, at the beginning of the episode, Billy, Lila, and Sama find a large group of Nubian worshippers, all chanting “Khamen, Khamen, Khamen…”

Later, those worshippers head out in space trucks… but don’t attack.

And then, at the end of the episode, we find out who their leader is…

That’s right, it’s Khamen Khamen’s descendent… Khamen XVIII!!

So for the first time in a long time, here’s your…


Which, yes, is a HUGE surprise. There have not even been any hints dropped that there was a new Khamen Khamen in this world, 600 years after the first one died.

TL Note:
Sei Ong is (I think) based on Otori Keisuke. And the bad guys’ plan to destroy the food storage seems like it should be based on a real event, but if so, I can’t find what it is.



THE GREAT SRUNGLE (RE)WATCH 7 – The Labyrinth Fortress

MISSION 7: The Labyrinth Fortress

WRITTEN BY: Koichi Aoki

BROADCAST DATE: March 4, 1983

And, as always, this episode aired exactly 40 years ago today!

We start with a ship arriving at at an ominous looking group of landbases. They put a disk in a drive and fire a special beam that opens a hatch.

From there they go through a bunch of passages and land.

In the control room, one man explains the workings to the Commander. He says that the control room is completely automated, and the Commander muses, “So no one’s watching but us…” and the man agrees. The captain asks if they’re worried about attacks from “Rulia,” and the man says that the they would never be able to get into the room in the first place, because the path to it is a maze that’s nearly impossible to navigate.

He shows them a video of a computer-controlled ship, and explains that if a ship’s speed drops, the automated weapons systems will fire on it. The result is destruction 99.79% of the time.

The title comes up, but we stay at the same scene, with the man saying, “So we’re quite safe from any attack.” But the Commander, who twice has had an evil gleam in his his eye, pulls a gun on the man, and the men behind the Commander tear off their fake uniforms. The man who explained the base cries, “You’re from Crime!” and then the Commander shoots and kills him, saying, “It took you a while to figure that out.”

The Commander contacts Volklazer and tells him that they are now occupying the the base belonging to “Brontoros,” but they’re still looking for the original program for the labyrinth. Volklazer gets angry and tells him to get searching until he finds it.

Volklazer then orders some troops to go to the “secret area” and find the program data.

We switch to Superstar working on his target practice. Jet shows up and takes over, and Superstar secretly increases the difficulty level. Jet’s up to the task, but Sexy contacts them, summoning them to find out about their new mission.

They arrive, and Chance is talking to Doc Mundy (through the dining-room-table-cam).

Mundy says that a secret circuit in the mother computer for the Brontoros Autonomous Region will connect to Gorilla’s computer so that Gorilla Team will have all the information. He explains that someone has occupied the Brontoros fortress. The computer’s secret signal is activated whenever someone, be they enemy or ally, enters the fortress, since usually, no one does.

Sexy asks why it didn’t contact the Garrick Police. Mundy shows them a diagram of the space owned by Brontoros and its neighbor, Rulia. The fortress is right on the border, and disagreements between the two forces have been getting tense, and conflict could break out.

Chance asks if the information is reliable, and Mundy says that there are rumors surrounding it… and Superstar and Jet realize that Crime is probably involved. Mundy agrees, and says that that’s why he went to the Gorilla Team instead of the police.

He continues that in 21 hours, the highest Rulian dignitaries will have to pass the fortress on their way to Garrick Town, and Chance envisions the fortress blowing up their ship.

Mundy tells them that their mission to recover the fortress, or if that fails, destroy it. Chance immediately tells Babyface to prepare the Srungle for launch.

He and the rest of the team talk to the computer, which confirms that Crime’s plan is to kill the Rulian representatives. Chance asks why, and the computer says that if war breaks out between the two regions, Crime can sell weapons to both of them. Jet is disgusted by the “merchants of death,” and Chance says that it makes sense, because 70 percent of of the arms industry is controlled by Crime.

Sexy points out that that means that Crime must have benefitted from the fortress’s construction, and Superstar agrees and says, “And now they want to control it.” Chance tells them that it’s time move out, and in a stunningly familiar (and now, rather nostalgic) move, Jet and Superstar give a thumbs-up and say “Yay!”

They fly off, with the Britt Jetter and the Centrosuper, and Chance, Babyface, and Sexy all in the Srungle.

Chance tells them that it’s impossible to get through the labyrinth without the program data. So they go to the base where it’s being held.

They break in and leave Babyface to keep watch while the others infiltrate. Jet inputs the code given to them by the Brontoros mother computer…

…but when the doors open, there are Crime soldiers behind it, who immediately start shooting!

After the commercial break, Sexy just throws a flash grenade into the room with the soldiers…

…and while they’re blinded, Jet (wearing goggles) just shoots them. So yeah, not much of a threat.

One of them is still standing, though, so Jet prepares to shoot him, but it’s actually Magician!

Sexy (as usual) is extremely happy to see him.

And he has the program data for the maze, so they can now infiltrate the fortress (now joined by Magician in his trekker, Magicarian).

Chance sends Jet and Superstar off. Sexy tells them to be careful. Jet says that he’s always careful, and Superstar says, “Because you’re always on autopilot!” Sexy turns off the comm and says this is no time for jokes.

Magician releases some kind of smoke that makes it seem as though there are many Srungles. The fortress fires at them, but doesn’t know which one is real.

In the fortress, the Commander asks what’s happening, and one of the operators tells them that they’re being attacked by a platoon of trekkers (meaning the Srungle and its shadows). He doesn’t know how many there are because the radar is broken. The Commander looks at the screen and says, “That force is too small to defeat us!” And then commands the fortress to counterattack.

While the Srungle acts as a decoy, Jet and Superstar use the program to enter the labyrinth. Again, they have to fly quickly, which leads to Jet nearly crashing. But he teases Superstar that his piloting is excellent.

In the control room, one operator notices that only one of the “Srungles” is attacking them. The Commander tries to figure out why that is, but before he can, another operator tells him that there are intruders inside the fortress.

The Commander realizes that the Srungle attack was a distraction from the real attack. He sends troops off to deal with Jet and Superstar.

Jet shoots them all, and then says, “Wasn’t I great?” And Superstar grudgingly says, “Yes. Wonderful, wonderful.”

They break into the control room, and Jet has the upper hand at first, but then stops as an operator has him in his sights.

Then Superstar shoots both the Commander and the operator and says, “See? My aim’s not so bad!” And Jet replies, “Yes, wonderful!”

Jet tries to take control of the fortress, but without the keyword, he can’t. So they decide to blow the place up instead. Jet sets a bomb with a fifteen-minute timer and they run out.

But the Commander’s not dead, just mortally wounded. He says to himself, “The mission failed, but if I’m going to die, I’m taking you too with me!” And he press the detonation button, then slumps back, dead.

Jet and Superstar are leaving when a wall closes in front of them and Jet realizes that the fortress must change the labyrinth pattern often.

They realize there’s no way out, but Chance tells them to position themselves near the entrance so they can ride the explosion out.

The Srungle gets there, the bomb detonates, and for a moment, it looks like Jet and Superstar didn’t make it.

But of course they’re fine. Just covered in soot.

I said at the outset that Gorilla Team doesn’t seem appreciably different from a J9 team, and this one definitely feels like it could’ve been a Braiger script… but maybe I’m just thinking that because they do the “Thumbs-Up-Yay” thing that’s the J9-I trademark, as well as the fact that Jet addresses Superstar as “otaku” here, just as Kid and Bowie used to. Still, the relationship between Jet and Superstar is a little different, with each of them apparently trying to master the other’s specialty (and bragging about it). It’s a minor change, but it’s a fun one.

Also, it’s strange that this one feels so much like Braiger, because it’s not written by You Yamamoto. This one’s by someone named Koichi Aoki, and if you look him up, you’ll notice that Srungle is his only credit. But who knows? It might be another Yamamoto pseudonym…

AND TOTAL: Three times.


EPISODE 35: Pray to the ASTEROID Belt

WRITTEN BY: Yuu Yamamoto

BROADCAST DATE: March 1, 1983

And, as always, this episode aired exactly forty years ago today!

Before I get to the meat of the episode, there are a few small things of interest that get mentioned here. First off, Galactic Gale soldier Inogen (injured back in Episode 30, and last seen in 31) is still in a coma.

Second, Billy has a strange headset that we’ve never seen before, which he says helps him keep up with the others, despite his blindness. I don’t get why he suddenly needs that. Is his condition worsening…?

And finally, I wanted to mention this when it debuted, also back in Episode 31, but Jacky and Fan Fan have their own motorcycle that looks exactly like Sama’s and Lila’s, except colored orange. I wonder if it could, if necessary, become one of Baxingar’s legs as well…

On to the main plots: to start with, the Galactic Gale are going back to their home in the Asteroid Belt, and everyone’s very excited to be back. Meanwhile, Buyo continues on to Pluto to build a new base, to be called “Fort Santa Vida,” which they say (incorrectly) means “Holy Land.”

Next, Yurri and Lila talk, and this particular plot line (which was introduced ten whole episodes ago) gets wrapped up. All this time, Lila has known that she and Yurri are secretly siblings, but she hasn’t told him. Well, here, he finally asks if, after the war is over, if she’d “stay with him.”

And so she finally has to spill the beans and explain that she’s actually his younger sister. She runs out of the room, and he laughs ruefully at his own misfortune.

After that, we switch to Kei Maron. Gil Claude comes to visit him, and Maron says this…

…which is hilarious considering that the first time they met, Claude asked for help, and Maron just left him for dead.

But the tables soon turn, since Claude has a secret mission to assassinate the commanders of the Galactic Gale, and is appropriating all of Maron’s weapons to do it. Maron, who wants to beat the Galactic Gale in a fair fight, is pretty put out by this, but as Claude’s orders come from VERY high up, there’s nothing he can do.

That segues into the centerpiece of the episode. As they enter the Asteroid Belt, Lily notices a beautiful cathedral and wants to visit it. Billy takes her there.

But it’s a plot on his part (which he seems to have set up implausibly quickly and thoroughly). He’s asked her father to come and take her back to Planetoid Orphis, because things are getting too dangerous and he wants her to be safe.

He also meets with the priest, who greets him with his baptismal name…

…and listens to his confessions. Which must be rather harrowing, since Billy has killed A LOT of people.

So yeah… those are two pretty massive death flags flying for Billy, here. And sure enough, Gil Claude and his assassins are in the church, and attack Billy once he’s alone.

Weirdly, one of the assassins is playing the organ…

…and playing Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, perhaps better known as “that organ music they play in every damn Halloween ‘haunted house’ you’ve ever been to.”

But it’s all part of Claude’s plan. Since Billy’s eyesight is gone, he relies on hearing to fight, and with the loud music filling up the cathedral, he can’t rely on it anymore.

Still, he does pretty well, but he probably would’ve been killed if the others hadn’t shown up in the nick of time.

They drive the assassins off, but they retaliate with a robot attack. Which the Baxingar takes care of.

But yeah, this episode is a “fake-out” of a kind I don’t generally associate with ‘80s anime. The staff REALLY go out of their way to make it look like Billy’s going to die. And then, he survives. The only thing I can readily compare it to is Ozma in Macross Frontier, and that was many years later. And of course, we already knew that Gil Claude was a real villain, but trying assassinate a guy INSIDE A CHURCH seems especially dastardly, even for him.

TL Note:
“Fort Santa Vida” has a basis, but I’ll wait until it actually appears before I talk about it. Other than that, I don’t think there’s anything historical here.

NUMBER OF TIMES “YAY” IS SAID IN THIS EPISODE: One, from a random Galactic Gale guy when he learns they’re getting some free time when they arrive back at the Asteroid Belt.




WRITTEN BY: Kei Hashimoto

BROADCAST DATE: February 25, 1983

And, as always, this episode aired forty years ago today!

At the beginning, we see our first long-range view of Garrick Town, suspended between two stars.

A suspicious Trekker flies towards a landbase. The police follow it, telling it that it’s violating airspace, and to land nearby.

The Trekker ignores them and flies into an asteroid field. The police are amazed at the pilot’s dexterity.

And they can’t match it. One of the cops crashes into an asteroid, and the suspicious Trekker gets away.

After the title card, we jump to Chance talking to Mundy. Mundy is complaining of a toothache, saying he wishes he could rip the tooth right out.

Chance says that like a dentist filling cavities, Gorilla exists to eliminate Crime.

Mundy then tells him about Epsilon Base, near Garrick Town’s gravitational zone. (Some frames seem to be missing from this section. The screen is blank while Mundy is clearly meant to be showing Chance a diagram.) It’s a small energy base, and small ships that probably belong to Crime have been spotted in the area a lot recently.

Chance points out that it would take a large tanker to steal and move the energy, so it doesn’t seem like an important enough job to send Gorilla Force. Mundy says that the computer agrees with that assessment, but that he still has an uneasy feeling about it. Chance says that Mundy’s intuition is more reliable than the computer’s data, so he’ll investigate.

Mundy gets hit with some pain in his tooth, and Chance says, “Use a disintegrating beam on it!”

Then, we see Jet practicing his sharpshooting while Superstar, Sexy, and Babyface watch and encourage him.

Chance is checking up on the situation, and finds that a lot of data is missing. He’s then contacted by a strange man…

…who he recognizes immediately as Magician in disguise.

Magician shows him the Epsilon company’s satellite, and Chance marvels at what a large databank it has, wondering how a private company could gets its hands on such a powerful computer.

Magician says, “If I follow the company president [“Daian,” not that that’ll be important], I bet I could find out,” and continues that it probably all leads back to Crime. As he changes his disguise in the bathroom, some men in dark suits and dark glasses walk in.

Chance asks the computer for all its information on Epsilon, hoping to find a clue, no matter how small.

Back in the restroom, the the men attack Magician in his disguise, but he fights back…

He runs into a toilet stall, which they shoot up…

…only to find a broken toilet and a fake mustache.

A cleaning lady finds them and screams, so they run.

And of course the cleaning lady is ALSO Magician.

A man (the company president) is leaving Epsilon, and says, “They’ve taken care of the spy. When I return here, Garrick Town will be under the control of Crime.” His servant tells him that his plan is perfect.

Some police trekkers (including the surviving cop from before) see a ship, and exclaim, “It’s a large energy tanker!”

They warn the tanker that this is a restricted area for emergency power-ups, and civilian ships are not allowed. They reply that it’s a large enough ship that changing course will take a while. The cop is frustrated because he suspects they’re lying, but the ship is too big for them to attack.

On Gorillan Base, the alarm sounds, and they’re ordered to move out to Epsilon Base immediately. The team meets up with Chance, and Jet says there won’t be a problem now that he (Jet) is here. Superstar points out that this will be harder than a simulation.

Chance tells them to move out, and gives Jet the order to just observe. Jet seems confused and disappointed, but Chance tells him that that’s the most important job. Superstar and Babyface make fun of him.

They leave, each in their trekkers, except Jet is in the Srungle. He grumbles around not being able to do anything, but Chance hears him, and Jet says, quickly, “Oh, it’s nothing! Just thinking out loud!”

Chance says that there’s something strange about the way Crime is acting, so keep alert. At this point, they think the tanker is going to steal the energy… we’ll see if they’re right…

As they fly to the base, Jet splits off to observe from a distance. Chance says, “Even though they said they were going to change course, they’re still headed towards Epsilon…”

Back with the company president, his servant tells him that Colossus 3 (the tanker) has been alerted, and the president says, “Now the operation begins! Colossus 3, I leave it to you.”

After the commercial break, the Gorilla trekkers approach the ship (which gives us our first really good look at Babyface’s trekker, the Babysaurus).

Chance tells Sexy to deliver some magnetic smoke bombs to obscure the ship’s visibility and its radar. He then tells Babyface that when the ship can only see by infrared, he should direct their course towards Garrick Town. And he tells Superstar to back Babyface up, along with a warning that the Crime troops are very cunning.

Then he says, “All right! Let’s begin ‘Operation Smoke’!”

Sexy launches the smoke bombs, which cover the ship in a green-yellow cloud.

Chance tells Babyface to move in, and Babyface says the Japanese chant for “blind man’s bluff”: “鬼さんこちら手の鳴る方へ” (“Ogre-san, this way, towards the sound of clapping”). He turns on his infrared light to try to guide them, but worries they might switch to manual controls.

Chance says, “Be careful, this might be the calm before the storm.” Sexy asks if she should launch more smoke bombs, but Chance tells her to wait.

The tanker opens up, and enemy trekkers launch from it. Babyface says the tanker was a hoax, and Chance says they can’t let any of the Trekkers get past them.

The Gorilla Team puts up a good fight, but the Trekkers do get past them, and fire on Epsilon Base, which is rocked by explosions.

Jet arrives, saying he couldn’t hold back and had to join the fight.

Chance tells him he needs to defend himself, and Jet says, “Isn’t offense the best defense…?”

Chance realizes the real plan: if the energy tank on Epsilon explodes, it’ll destroy the landbase’s gravitational balance, throwing it out of orbit and sending it crashing towards Garrick Town. (The computer helpfully says “CATASTROPHE•••”.)

An enemy trekker locks on to Chance, but Jet destroys it. Jet’s excited, but Chance tells him not to leave his position defending the energy tank. Jet grumbles that he can’t even say “thank you.”

Still he defends the energy tank well, until one enemy pilot kamikazes into it.

The energy tank blows up, and Epsilon Base hurtles towards Garrick Town.

We jump to Volklazer, talking to the company president, who says that in thirty minutes, Epsilon will crash into the first layer of Garrick Town.

He goes to say that the database on Colossus 3 is equal to the Federation Government’s megacomputer, and once that’s destroyed, the populace will be dependent on Colossus 3, and Crime will control everything.

The Crime Trekkers are driven off by (or flee in fear from) the Gorilla Team, and Superstar asks, “Well Captain, what are we going to do now?”

(In the following shot, we get to see Magician’s Trekker, the Magicarian, for the first time.)

Analyzing the situation, Chance realizes that Garrick Town’s gravitational field overlaps a bit with one of the stars, Baxus Alpha, and so a shot at the right time in the right place could blow up the base and send the fragments away from Garrick Town.

But it’s a nearly impossible shot, so he starts wracking his brain for another solution. Then Jet contacts him and wants to give it a try, at least to make amends for letting the crisis happen in the first place.

He tries to aim, but can’t quite do it. Chance sends Superstar in to pilot the Srungle so that Jet can concentrate on firing the shot. Super arrives and says, “I’m a better pilot than you.”

Babyface retrieves the Centrosuper.

They get closer, but Chance warns them that if they get too close, they won’t be able to retreat in time. Superstar says that he doesn’t mind risking his life, which gets a “Hmm?” From Jet.

Superstar cuts the engines, and the Srungle gets caught in Epsilon’s orbit. Superstar says it should make the shot easier, but they could have difficulty escaping the base’s pull.

They count down, and at just the right moment, Jet fires. The base blows up, but the debris is caught by the sun’s gravity.

Volklazer doesn’t understand what happened. The company president explains it to him, and Volklazer tells him to shut up and await his punishment.

As the Gorilla Force heads back, Chance says, “Jet… good work.”

So the plot obviously invites comparisons to Char’s Counterattack and Stardust Memory from Gundam, but of course lacks the grandeur of those (later) works. But the emphasis here is definitely on Jet. When we first met him back in Episode 1, Chance made a point of calling him “hot-headed,” but he’s now definitely learning to work as part of a team.

AND TOTAL: Three times.


EPISODE 34: A New Dream

WRITTEN BY: Yuu Yamamoto

BROADCAST DATE: February 22, 1983

And, as always, this episode aired exactly forty years ago today!

But first off, some bad news: as we all know by now, it was announced a few days ago that a true master of manga, Leiji Matsumoto, had passed away at the age of 85. Now, of course he didn’t actually work on any of the J9 shows, but I don’t think they would exist without his influence (and indeed, science fiction anime as a whole would be unrecognizable without his pioneering work). Sasuraiger is especially indebted to him, for very obvious reasons.

For me, Space Battleship Yamato (as “Star Blazers”) was one of the first anime series that I REALLY REALLY got into, and the Captain Harlock My Youth in Arcadia film was one of the first that I ever watched raw in Japanese. So, Rest in Peace, Matsumoto-Sensei. Your work will always live on and always be loved.

Anyway, on to the episode. There’s A LOT crowded into this one, so let’s start with the main plot. When we left the Galactic Gale (and former Shogun Yurri) last week, they’d suffered several large defeats and were still on the quest to find a new base of operations after running from one planet to the next.

Well, here, things finally turn around, as Igo Mockos gets word of an alien ship entering the Solar System… and it’s got the crest of the Bakufu on it!

With the Galactic Gale, we find out that years ago, a commander named Buyo Nomolt left the Solar System, and made contact with the aliens from Merika. And now he’s back… to a system with a vastly changed power balance.

Although wary and tense (and after the last three episodes, can you blame them?), they meet with Buyo and thankfully find him to still be a staunch supporter of the Bakufu.

So they’ve got a new ally, who’s also allied with the aliens (and their superior technology).

He tells them HIS plan — having been influenced by how the alien society of Merika is run, he wants to help Yurri form the “Solar System Freedom Federation.” They don’t go into details, but we can guess that he’s intending a freer, more individualistic society. Yurri and the Galactic Gale are totally on board with this. And Schutecken suggests that the Red Planets’ Ocean will be on their side.

And it kinda turns out like that, and it kinda doesn’t. Lord Seidai (who failed to come to the Bakufu’s aid last week) is about to sign a treaty with the bad guys (the New Planetary Alliance), but the younger officers and soldiers of his army try to stop him, and then say that if his mind is made up, they’ll just desert.

And they do, and nearly get killed, but manage to escape with the help of the Galactic Gale.

Similar revolts happen among the younger officers and soldiers of all the Red Ocean planets, thus beefing up Yurri’s forces considerably…

…which leads them to defeat Kei Maron’s force, when he thought it was an easy win.

If you find all this confusing, I don’t blame you. It IS confusing. I find it a little difficult to keep straight, and I’ve written several thousand words about it so far! Simply put (that is, leaving out the aliens and all the internal conflicts), the Shogun’s “Domestic Bakufu” government had ruled for 600 years (since the end of Braiger, when many extra planets were created). The New Planets finally opposed the Bakufu, and wanted to rule things themselves. And they made that a reality. Now the Shogun wants to keep his government, in a small group of six worlds, but under a new idea of independence and freedom. So the Bakufu went from the authority to the revolutionaries, and New Planets went from the revolutionaries to the authority.

Does that make sense? I sure hope so.

Also, there are subplots about Billy’s kinda/sorta girlfriend Lily passing out (but she’ll be fine)…

…and Lila visiting her adoptive father’s grave, since she grew up on the Planet Komiya, where they are right now.

TL Note:
There’s a lot in here. Buyo Nomolt is based on Enomoto Takeaki (although he went to the Netherlands instead of America). The planets in the Red Ocean Alliance are all based on domains in the Tohoku area, the northern part of the main Japanese island of Honshu (and where the 2011 earthquake hit hardest, although that has nothing to do with Baxingar).


NUMBER OF GALACTIC GALE SOLDIERS KILLED IN THIS EPISODE: One Braider unit gets destroyed, so one. That said, a lot of Yurri’s forces fall.


MISSION 5: GORILLA on the G Line

WRITTEN BY: Saki Hijiri

BROADCAST DATE: February 18, 1983

And, as always, this episode aired forty years ago today!

We start with Volklazer, laying out a plan to attack five landbases surrounding a larger “Cluster Landbase” in order to take the steel they’ve been forging. Next, they will take over the landbases and the steel production.

The steel there is better than Garrick City steel, so Crime will be able to get eight times the price for it.

There’s also this funny screen, which seems to be a tired animator talking about coffee and toast.

Then, Jet seems to be in some kind of training simulation…

…but the lights turn on and we realize he’s in a video arcade.

He fends off some fangirls (as high video game scorers often have to), because he gets an emergency call from Chance.

Ducking into the restroom, he contacts Chance, who says, “I’ve got a date for you at a Cluster.” Jet asks who with, and Chance says, “You’ll like him.” Jet’s upset that it’s a guy, but agrees. Chance says they’ll meet up in twenty minutes. Jet flushes and leaves.

The Crime soldiers approach the first base, and send out troops to infiltrate.

The troops destroy all the surveillance cameras around.

In the base, one of the workers notices that a camera has stopped working.

The Crime troops sneak in and fill the air ducts with knock-out gas.

The troops get to the control room, kill a guy who tries to sound the alarm…

…and then let the others in.

They see a four-legged Trekker (which they call the “Taurus”) as they enter, and then say that the first phase of the operation is over. They start the second.

Jet arrives at the meeting room.

Finding that everyone is already there, waiting for him, he cockily says, “Hey, I arrived on time, didn’t I?”

Chance immediately goes into the data. Apparently, over 25 minutes, the radar communication from one of the Cluster Bases has gone out twice, for a duration of 0.2 seconds each time.

They thought it might be a result of passing ships, but the Garrick Police computer says “NO!!”

Magician says that an engineer has been commissioned for the base from a company called “Breden Company.”

Chance says that pilots have also been commissioned from Breden, and that Breden is definitely associated with Crime.

He tells Jet and Superstar to check it out, and has to get Jet’s attention from trying to interfere with Magician’s magic trick.

They go out, naturally, in the Britt Jetter (again, the blue one) and the Centrosuper (again, the green one).

Chance tells them that TODAY is apparently the day that the steel-collecting vehicles are all meeting, which seems to confirm that Crime is operating the base now. Jet and Superstar make a daring entrance into the area through an asteroid field. Jet has some problems.

The enemy, from their ship, pick them up, and think they’re just luckless pilots who got lost, but fire on them anyway.

As the beam is about to hit, Jet and Superstar both scream, and then we hit the commercial break.

The enemy ship sends out some Trekkers to make sure no one survived.

It turns out that Superstar and Jet did survive the hit, but Superstar’s Centrosuper is now at 50% capacity.

They see the approaching Crime Trekkers and pretend to be dead.

But the Crime commander tells his team to disintegrate the bodies.

They shoot the corpses, and go back.

BUT… we see that the two Gorilla team members have somehow taken control of two of the Crime Trekkers, and stole the Crime uniforms.

As the steel transport ships arrive, the Crime soldiers prepare to launch the base’s Trekkers (including the Taurus) against them.

Jet says, “What should we do?” Superstar replies, “Well, haven’t you always wanted to be an actor?”

Jet gives a thumbs-up and says, “Yay!”

A Crime soldier sees them, doesn’t recognize them, and hurries up, demanding their names and ranks.

They take off their helmets and throw them at the guy, and reply, “A friend of the law, named Superstar.” “And I’m the same, named Jet!”

Jet shoots, but the guy dodges, so Superstar sarcastically applauds him, saying, “I can tell you’ve been practicing!”

Superstar goes up and puts his gun to the soldier’s head, and requests his help – “Yes? Or no?” The guy agrees.

The rest of the team arrives at the asteroid field where Magician finds the Britt Jetter and the Centrosuper and figures out what happened.

Sexy gripes, “This is more work for me.”

Chance says to contact the Zone Police, but before they can do that, Superstar and Jet contact him, saying they were attacked by a warship.

Chance changes the plan, and tells Magician and Sexy to go to the Cluster Landbase, while Babyface will go with him to rescue Jet and Superstar. And try to repair the Britt Jetter and Centrosuper on the way. He also tells Jet and Superstar to do anything they can to distract the Crime soldiers while he and Babyface are approaching.

While Jet and Superstar discuss whether to attack the engine room or the control room, their hostage, now tied up, manages to inch forward and sound the alarm.

The captain of the ship demands the soldiers to capture the two fugitives, but they show up immediately at the bridge.

And we see that they’ve completely torn through the hallways, killing all the troops along the way.

They contact Chance, and then run out, blowing up the bridge with an explosive.

As the ship blows up, Chance shows surprise, and Jet refers to the story of the Ants and Elephant.

Thankfully, Babyface, in just a few minutes, managed to fix both Jet and Superstar’s Trekkers, so the full Gorilla Force can attack.

Then the enemy launches the Taurus, and Chance says, “We have to Srun-Change,” and the Srungle transforms to its robot form.

The Taurus steps on and immobilizes the Srungle…

…so Jet realizes that the stomach is its weak point, and puts a bomb there.

They blow it up, and then easily destroy the Crime Trekkers.

Doc Mundy looks on, satisfied.

Volklazer is astonished. He wonders who these people are. Are the the Garrick Police?

And Chance concludes that they’ve brought peace to the G-Line.

I’m not sure what to make of this story. The writer, Saki Hijiri, is not generally known as a scriptwriter, and is is more well-known for his nonfiction articles and books about science fiction films (for example, he wrote the first-ever Japanese “mook” about Star Wars). The way Jet and Superstar survive strains credulity, as does Babyface fixing their Trekkers extremely quickly. He would end up writing eight episodes of Srungle, and that appears to be his only scripting work. So far, it’s competent but not great, in my estimation. Of course, I have no idea how good or bad the Srungle scripts will be going forward. This feels like virgin territory, in a way. Although Srungle got translated into Spanish and Italian and (kind of) into English, no one appears to have done an episode-by-episode synopsis of it, in ANY language.

Speaking of which… I have to say, I’ve been watching several different dubs of this show, and I mentioned previously how odd the original Japanese OP was.

Well, that’s NOTHING compared to the Italian OP, which seems to be trying hard to sound like the early Beach Boys:

It kinda feels like EVERYTHING about this show is insane, no matter what language you watch it in. I’ll be getting to English version later, but honestly, I want to put it off as long as I can.


AND TOTAL: Three times.