The unmasking of Katze is the great event of the first Gatchaman series; but how about
the lowly green cannon fodder and other subordinates, who regularly lose their masks?
Like most badguys they are typically drawn as "ugly", and one argument could be that
their faces are best left covered. This theme page presents a gallery of Galactors
unmasked and non-masked; judge for yourself:
Starting with stock footage, the animated sequences that reappear in almost
every ep: one Galactor goon's mask is whipped up by an push under the chin,
while another is relieved of his mask by a kick in the neck that reveals a
frightening face - though not half as frightening as Jun coming up from behind
with that "I'm going to grab you" posture.
As suggested, the easiest way to partially or completely de-mask a Galactor goon
is to use brute force. Here a mask is split by one blow. (Notice those lenses
screwed up like real eyes; do Galactor masks have eyelids?)
This is: a group of Galactors after a raging Condor has passed through it, exposing
three shocked faces, and suggesting the masks are not made of very sturdy materials.
Ken is more into the finer work: the boomerang curves and whizzes through the
air seemingly without effect, then the mask that it has sliced begins to fall
apart in tiny squares. Overcome by such mastery, the goon faints.
The boomerang unmasks another, with less fuss; and Ken shows what other garments
it can divest Galactor goons of. His victim is absolutely mortified.
Not only the green goons lose masks: this brawny Blackbird's mask splits under the
impact of a hard fall and a rough shaking.
Being caught in a blast also helps. This is one of those Galactor captains
who won't let a small thing like death come between them and their duty.
And then there is cunning. A goon stripped of his uniform by an escaped Swallow
rather sheepishly reports to his fearsome-nosed captain, just as the men were
celebrating their apparent victory.
Another manages to lift his mask with one drunken hiccup...
And these three toss them off to disguise themselves as scientists. One particularly
nasty-looking specimen fits on a pair of glasses to complete the disguise. (Actually,
he wants to see what it feels like to be a scientist, but is rather disappointed by
These goons are, as it were, pre-masked. Posing as brainwashed citizens in a future
world ruled by Galactor (and revealing that Galactor's army offers employment to
blacks and women?) they snap into action when Ken sees through Katze's ploy and
dive behind doors for a quick change into full uniform. (Why? It's not like we
haven't seen them in underwear before.)
Other goons carry their masks in strange places, as well as winning awards for
bizarre and unlikely ways to die. This goon is shot by two revolvers pinned to the
wall by shurikens, one bullet passing dramatically and quite irrelevantly through
Pre-masked are also these Blackbirds; they seem to have the transmuting skills of
the Science Ninjas, switching from civvies to uniforms and changing the look of their
vehicles with the same ease.
Nasty-looking types, weren't they? An expression that spells "nasty" is the surest
clue that one is dealing with a Galactor.
Although some are permitted a less vicious exterior, possibly to suggest a warm heart
underneath. The friendly old geezer abandons a career as Galactor spy in favour of
Jinpei, while the person picturesquely sitting against a tree is a brainwashed and
amnesiac Galactor planted among the team like a human bomb, their bestest buddy until
his conditioning kicks in, and, even then, not prepared to betray them.
No doubt remains about the temperature of this Galactor agent's heart. Yes, that's a
whip she's carrying.
A mask that's rarely seen to crack (twice in a whole season) and in an unusual way;
when the Science Ninja team turned up for a showdown with Galactor's feared Masked
Assassins wearing rollerskates, they gave the phrase "the element of surprise" a
whole new meaning.
Finally: two poignant unmaskings (of Joe's Galactor sweethearts, of course) and
a backward look from a semi-masked Galactor whose heart is never really in it,
especially when Jun begins to occupy his thoughts again; even more poignantly, his
helmet is all she has left to remember him by after his death.