"They say it was something in his formative years."
"Pretty Good Year", Tori Amos
When I first saw Battle of the Planets, at an age too tender to be contemplating character lust, I fell hard for
Jason. This was probably the genesis of my ongoing "bad boy" complex. When I read in an article in Fanfare on Japanese
animation that Jason, a/k/a Joe, died in the last episode (which was never shown), I nearly had a cow. Horns and all.
I wrote to the author of the article, Fred Patten (yes, THAT Fred Patten), and he referred me to Barb Edmunds, who began my education into the world
of Gatchamania and sent me endless photocopies and transcripts and tapes to feed my addiction. This went on for years and years.
Then I discovered AOL, and made contact with Shana. Promptly adopting one another, we discovered our mutual obsession with bird people and
the rest is infamy--err, history.
I love all the characters of Gatchaman. Each and every one of the regulars is "alive" to me, in a sense. However, my heart of hearts belongs to G-2, Condor Joe. It always has, and it always will. He's my favorite anime character forever.
Why do I love Joe so much? I identify pretty heavily with him, I guess. He's sullen, impulsive, brooding and emotional (to
say nothing of irrational, hotheaded and downright antagonistic). He challenges authority whenever possible just to make sure
it doesn't get too full of itself. He isn't afraid to take chances even when they seem stupid to others, and he's willing to admit to
his mistakes...if he's caught making one, that is. Besides, if he wasn't the first anime "goth", I don't know who would be. (You don't have
to wear black and listen to the Cure to live the lifestyle.) Yet, at the same time, he's no heartless killer. Many times he manages to rise above his own bitterness and reach out to help those in need. He has a soft spot for pretty females, little old ladies, children and small animals, and he's not ashamed of showing his emotions--we often see him weeping openly. The suffering of innocent victims both enrages and disturbs him. He chides Ryu for being too sentimental, but he nearly dies trying to save an orphaned puppy.
Joe isn't pretty in the conventional sense. He's got a disturbing glare, craggy features, a mass of shaggy mouse-colored hair and a chin cleft you could hide from a tornado in. Still, long before "bishounen" were the rage, Joe (and yes, Ken, too, don't hurt me, Eaglephiles) set a standard of lust potential that most male anime characters today couldn't pretend to live up to. Joe is, well, doable. Most of us think we'd at least stand a chance with him--and dying at the end of the episode might almost be worth it. ^.~
Just for the kuso of it, I did a bio page for him. If you're looking for intimate details about the angst boy, you'll
find everything I could scrounge together here.
Joe has notoriously bad luck with women; he has no shortage of love interests in the series, but they have an annoying habit of ending up dead. You can view a partial list of the women in the Condor's life here.
Sadly, due to space restrictions, I had to take the photomanips down. However, I have a better graphics program now (PSP7) and in the future when I get more webspace I can make better ones. ^.^
Why a "church"? Why risk the brickbats of the fundamentalists for "sacrilege"? Well, for one thing,
I've never been scared by conservatives. For another, a church figures quite pointedly in one of my favorite
Gatchaman episodes ("Seige on Galactor Island", duh). For yet another, there's already a "shrine" to Joe, so
why not a "church"? If the Shinto-Buddhists don't get upset, the Christians need to get a life.
Return to the Loft