|Red Impulse/Kentaro Washio|
Captain of Support Pilots
Active (Gatachaman 1-52), Deceased (Gatchaman 53)
Ken Washio (Son)
Red Impulse is the name given to the mysterious captain of of the jet fighter team of the same name. Later in the series, it is revealed that Red Impulse is actually the alter-ego of Kentaro Washio, the father of Ken Washio.
Kentaro was an ace pilot, who could compete with the best. One day, Galactor attacked which caused Kentaro's plane to crash. Ken had thought that his father was dead but had actually gone into hiding and eventually joined ISO as the captain of the aerial force, Red Impulse.
Under the guise of Red Impulse, Kentaro portrays a stoic pilot who just follows orders, but gives help to the Science Ninja Team from afar. After revealing his true identity as Kentaro, he shows his more compassionate side. Kentaro reveals he went undercover because he wanted his son Ken to grow strong without him. With Ken and his team in danger that put them in an unavoidable crisis, Red Impulse gave his life to protect him.
Abilities and Equipment
Red Impulse is an ace pilot, able to manuever and use his jet's weapons with great skill that earned him the fury of Berg Katse.
Alterations in English Adaptations
In "Battle of the Planets", he is referred to as "Colonel Cronus" and commands the Rigan Red Rangers. Mark considers him to be his mentor and old friend. However, after believing his father to have been killed by Spectra, Mark eventually finds out that Colonel Cronus is actually his father. Cronus attempts to sacrifice himself to stop Spectra's radiation band from destroying Earth, but is said to have ejected from his rocket at the last minute and Mark goes to find him.
One episode that had a scene of Red Impulse musing about his past with his wife and a younger Ken had its dialogue altered to have Cronus thinking about his wife and new son "Timmy", implying that he remarried and started another family after he had faked his death. Another episode altered dialogue to have Mark at an older brother's grave (in the original, Ken was at Red Impulse's grave site), further implying that he had had another son. Yet another episode of the adaptation had Masaki referred to as "Colonel Cronus", with Sandy Frank expecting viewers to believe that he and Kentaro were the same character (even with the differences in their appearances).
In "G-Force: Guardians of Space", Red Impulse's codename is retained, although his civilian name is never given. His backstory follows along the lines of the the original, with him having faked his death to become Red Impulse and then later sacrificing himself to stop the V2 plan.
"Eagle Riders" has the character referred to as "Harley Harris", and states that his son Hunter knew of his double life and that Harley's fleet had defended the Earth before the Eagle Riders. Harley then sacrificed his life, dying to stop the Vorak from destroying the Earth.
The Harmony Gold dub of the OVA altered his codename to be "Red Spectre".
Hisayoshi Yoshizawa voiced him in the original Gatchaman, while Unsho Ishizuka voiced him the OVA series.
- He was voiced by Keye Luke in "Battle of the Planets".
- Cam Clarke voiced him in "G-Force: Guardians of Space", with the exception of the Jigokiller two-parter. In that case, his voice actor is unknown (though it may have been one of the other actors having filled in).
- The actor for Harley Harris in "Eagle Riders" went uncredited, as Saban only ever credited the main and recurring characters. It is currently unknown who may have voiced him.
- Bob Papenbrook voiced him in the Harmony Gold dub of the OVA.
- John Tyson voiced him in the ADV Films dub of the first series and the Sentai Filmworks redub of the OVA.