Kondoru no Jo
Real Name: George ?
Occupation: Racing car driver, mostly stock car racing or endurance racing.
Affiliations: member of Kagaku Ninjatai
Enemies: Gallacter, Katse, Gel Sadra, Count Egobossler, Sosai X, Devil Stars
Known Relatives: Giuseppe (father, deceased), Katarina (mother, deceased)
Aliases: Joe Asakura, Condor, Jason (BotP) Dirk Daring (G-Force), Joe Thax (Eagle Riders)
Base of Operations: Utoland
First Appearance: Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman (October 1972)
Powers/Abilities: Superhuman strength and agility. Able to fly / glide for short distances. Favourite weapons include a air gun with a variety of attachments, and lethal feather-shaped darts (which he would gleefully leave stuck in the necks of dead Gallacter agents). Skilled martial artist. Vehicles wise, he sticks to variations on the racing car them, all heavily armed with machine guns and missile systems, and capable of incredible bursts of speed.
History: Kondoru no Jo's father Guiseppe was once an important member of the evil Gallacter organisation, but something happened to break his loyalty to that group. He tried to defect to the International Space Organisation, Gallacter's opponents, taking with him his wife Katarina and eight year-old son George. He arranged a meeting with Dr.Nambu of the ISO, but one of Gallacter's female ninjas, a Devil Star, shot both the adults dead. George nearly died too, and would have done if it hadn't been for the intervention of Dr.Nambu. The scientist faked a death certificate for the boy, and renamed him Joe, to protect him from further attacks. Nambu allowed Jo to train to become one of the Kagaku Ninjatai, the elite force ISO was preparing to combat Gallacter. Made second in command of the team, his hot-headed and rebellious nature often brought him into conflict with team leader Ken.
By the time he was eighteen Jo had established himself as a professional racing car driver, living out of a small trailer that he drove from race to race. After receiving a head wound early on during the battles with Gallacter, Joe began to experience headaches. Medical examinations showed he was dying, and when it reached the point that he only had a ten days left to live, he decided to go out in a blaze of glory, launching a solo attack against Gallacter. He died trying to destroy them, and though he failed to achieve that goal himself, the information he left behind allowed his teammates to deliver a crippling blow against the organisation.
Joe should have died at that point, but a scientist named Dr.Rafael, who had unwittingly brought Sosai X to Earth years earlier, saved his life by turning him into a cyborg. The other Kagaku Ninjatai believed Joe dead for nearly two years, but eventually, when Gallacter once more became a threat to the Earth., he returned to the team. At first he hid his new status, but eventually he let his teammates in on the secret of his resurrection.
A few years later the entire team appeared to perish destroying once and for all the alien overlord behind Gallacter.
Comments: Voice provided by Sasaki Isao in the original show, and Ishii Koji in the 1994 remake.
Jo is said to be Italian (Sicilian to be exact), to add a bit of international diversity to the group I guess. Given this, and the fact Nambu renamed him Joe to protect him from Gallacter's revenge, it seems likely his surname of Asakura was also part of this assumed identity. After all, that's not really a traditional Italian last name.
Most images on this page courtesy of Anime Cel.Com. Used with their kind permission.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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