Dr. Nambu is a middle aged man with shoulder-length brown hair, thin eyebrows, and a moustache. His clothing consists of a light blue suit with a yellow shirt and black tie, along with glasses.
Dr. Nambu is a calm and collected scientist who thinks outside of the box in the battles against Galactor, recruiting five young heroes to fight the alien organization head on, trusting their abilites and loyalties no matter their backgrounds.
Dr. Nambu is a renowned scientist even within ISO, having studied at Oxford and Cambridge Universities. He headed a pollution free energy project that was ultimately successful and became the Chief Director of ISO because of that. Dr. Nambu also developed the Kagaku Ninpo style used by the Science Ninja Team.
While it is never stated that Dr. Nambu has any children, he becomes the guardian for four of the members of the Science Ninja Team: Ken, Joe, Jun, and Jinpei. Shortly before the first episode, they have all moved on their own while still under the supervision of Nambu. Ken moved to an old house near an airport owned by his father Red Impulse, Jun and Jinpei moved to a large apartment above Snack Bar J, while Joe is usually inside his travel trailer. Both Ken and Joe were raised together by Dr. Nambu. However, they have never called themselves as brothers. This is because unlike Jun & Jinpei, Ken & Joe did not know each other before they were taken in by Dr. Nambu.
Ken was raised by his mother until her death. Ken lost his mother at age 11. Dr. Nambu became the guardian of Ken at the request of Red Impulse because Red Impulse was busy working undercover and thought Ken would be safer with Dr. Nambu.
Dr. Nambu encountered Joe after traveling from a conference. Joe was 8 at the time his parents died. Nambu took Joe to the hospital and began an investigation. He soon discovered that not only Joe is an orphan from a Galactor attack but also Joe was likely in extreme danger from Galactor. He faked Joe's death and raised Joe in secret. However, he was unaware of the significant details that Joe's parents were escaping from Galactor because they tried to quit.
Ryu was the only person who Dr. Nambu did not raise. The reason for this is because he has a family. He spends time with his father and brother, who are often critically ill or shipwrecked. This has caused difficulty with Dr. Nambu as nothing at all must prevent them from completing their missions. This does not mean that Dr. Nambu is without compassion. He does not want to kick Ryu off the team even at Ryu's request and also Dr. Nambu secretly found Ryu's father and fiercely orders the team to rescue him. Since Ryu and his father have an unhealthy relationship, Ryu becomes closer to Dr. Nambu compared to his father. The issues between Ryu and his father were never resolved.
Alterations in English Adaptations
Nambu was renamed "Chief Anderson" in "Battle of the Planets", while some of his early roles were cut and the screentime instead given to 7-Zark-7. Even in the episodes where he's retained, the writers seem to prioritize Zark as being the mentor to the team rather than him.
His name was changed to "Dr. Benjamin Brighthead" in "G-Force: Guardians of Space", and he is sometimes given the narration duty on episodes, describing to the viewers what went on. He also claims to have known that the Devil Star that Dirk killed was the girl that he'd planned to race, although he withholds this information from him to try to give him peace of mind. A rejected "G-Force" pilot had him named "Professor Nicholas".
"Eagle Riders" gives him the name of "Dr. Thaddeus Keane", while Harmony Gold's dub of the OVA retained his name (notable as it had localized other characters 'names). As "Eagle Riders" never utilized the later episodes of Gatchaman Fighter, Dr. Keane does not die.
He was voiced by Toru Ohira in the original franchise, while Ikuya Sawaki voiced him in the OVA remake.
- He was voiced by Alan Dinehart in "Battle of the Planets".
- His voice actor in "G-Force: Guardians of Space" varied between being Gregg Berger or Jan Rabson, depending on the part of the series.
- Greg O'Neill voiced him in Eagle Riders.
- Michael McConnohie voiced him the original Harmony Gold dub of the OVA series.
- Andy McAvin voiced him in the ADV films dub of the first series, as well as the Sentai Filmworks redub of the OVA.