Condor Joe's Women

"Lucy was pretty, your best friend agreed..."
"Pretty Good Year", Tori Amos

Poor Condor Joe. He has a reputation as a notorious womanizer (the latest example of which can be seen in Top Cow's Battle of the Planets comic). Every week, it seems, he's got a different female attached to him, and more often than not, said female is (a) a Galactor and/or (b) trying to kill him, and she usually ends up (c) dead by the episode's end--more often than not by Joe's own hand.

Well, not quite.

In fact, Joe's romantic life is barely touched on in the series. We see very little of the Science Ninjas' personal lives, and what we do see usually gets interrupted by a call to action. Ken, as the hero, gets more women throwing themselves at him than the other three male members of the team combined, but of course, he's The Hero, sworn to his duty above all other considerations, so he doesn't respond. As the second-lead, Joe is more approachable, and so naturally the romantic entanglements fall to him. Even so, there are only a handful of instances where Joe actually shows interest in a female (or vice versa), and sadly, the situation usually does end tragically.

The following is a not-very-comprehensive list of the women in Joe Asakura's life, and how they have affected him. Some of the details from Gatch II are a bit sketchy because I've seen very little of that series, and even less of Gatch F. Corrections and additions to this list are always welcome. Please be aware that these bio snippets contain spoilers. Proceed with caution.

Ahh, the lady who started it all. Lucy is a private racer like Joe, and the two are obviously old friends by the time we see her in the series ("The Witch Racer of Galactor", Gatch I #27). In fact, it's stated that it's been five years since they've seen each other. Wait...five years? And how old is Joe supposed to be in the first season? This raises some interesting questions. My own pet theory is that Lucy is a few years older than Joe, and when they met she thought he was older than the 13 or 14 years he must have been at the time. In any case, Lucy and Joe were obviously close at one time, but now Lucy's working for Galactor, although she's willing to rat Katze out to the team so she can walk in and take over the organization. Unfortunately, Katze gets wise to her scheme and activates her self-destruct--at some point in the last five years, Lucy was made into a cyborg. Joe can only watch as Lucy takes a dive down to the parking lot and explodes, only to have a car run over her scattered bits afterwards. Ouch.

Devil Star Assassin
This poor chick didn't even rate a name. Joe meets her on the side of the road after she wrecks her car and gives her a ride into town (Gatchaman #31, "The Plot to Assassinate Dr. Nambu"). She agrees to meet him at the track later, but it's a date she'll never get to keep--she's a Devil Star assassin trying to take out Dr. Nambu, and Joe kills her by pinning her own rose bomb to her breast with a feather shuriken. Afterwards, Joe waits at the track for his "date", unaware of her day job. Naturally, she never shows. Only much later, when visiting his old home at BC Island, does he discover the girl's true identity, and that he was responsible for her death. To make matters worse, the girl was actually the fiancee of his childhood friend, Alan, who is now consumed with the desire for revenge against his beloved's murderer, the Science Ninja known as Condor Joe.

While investigating a gruesome spree of murders by dessication, Joe sees a car being attacked by female android mannequins. The driver is killed, but a young woman flees, only to fall from a cliff. Joe saves her and takes her to a hospital (Gatchaman #81, "Unite! The Death Goddesses"). He is particularly taken by her beauty (which blows the theory that he only likes blondes clear out of the water). As it turns out, this young woman, Maya, is the controller of the androids, and is luring the Science Ninja into a deathtrap in order to buy her own freedom from Galactor. Naturally, she fails, and is shot by Berg Katze. She dies in Joe's arms.

I've never actually seen this episode (Gatchaman II #13, "Youthful G-2"), so bear with me. Like Joe, Cathy is a cyborg created by Dr. Rafael. Her parents were also murdered by Galactor, and she's out for revenge against the Syndicate. She and Joe infiltrate a Galactor operation in order to prevent a catastrophe. When it comes down to the crunch, Cathy sacrifices herself because, so she says, Joe is slated for bigger and better things. Joe is left wondering if it's possible to fall in love in only half a day.

Sylvie Pandora
Technically, Dr. Pandora is not a love interest for Joe. However, she does figure prominently in the series and forms close attachments to each member of the team. She is Dr. Nambu's assistant in Gatchaman II, and she is also the mother of Sammie Pandora, who X abducts and force-grows into his next avatar ruler of Galactor, Gel Sadra. Pandora is eventually murdered by X to prevent her from warning Gel Sadra of the alien's plans to destroy Earth.

In Gatchaman II, Joe was originally replaced on the team by another ISO operative named Hawk Getz. As it turned out, Getz was replaced by a Galactor lookalike. Mako shows up ready to kill Joe for murdering her fiance (Gatchaman II, #28, "Love Stolen by a Feather Shuriken"), but Joe helps her realize the truth--Getz was murdered by his doppelganger, with Joe arriving too late to save him, but he was at least able to keep the impostor from killing the rest of the Science Ninja. Of a wonder, Mako doesn't die, but she's not a love interest for Joe either.

Chinita was a gypsy who knew about Galactor's treachery and protected Joe from discovery when Gel Sadra put a bounty on his head (Gatchaman II #39, "The Crimson Condor"). She helps the Science Ninja find Galactor's installation, but during Gel Sadra's escape, she is killed.

Miyae Washio
Oh, come on now. You knew I was going to sneak the redhead in here. Miya is Ken's sister and was kidnapped and raised as a Galactor assassin (Gatchaman 5.1 fanfiction series). When she is retrieved from Petal Island and confronted with her true identity, she does her best to adapt to life in the "real" world. Joe helps her adjust, and in turn she helps him come to terms with his own Galactor origins. They fall in love, but they only have a few months together before Joe's illness during the latter part of Gatch I comes into play. Miya has the rare distinction of having Joe die on her instead of vice-versa. However, as we all know, he doesn't really die, and the two are eventually reunited after the end of the war against Galactor (Gatchaman R fanfiction series). Sadly, their happiness doesn't last. In the final story, "Little Earthquakes", Miya dies by Joe's own hand. But things don't quite end there...

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