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GrumpyGhostOwl GrumpyGhostOwl is a Female
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We all know that Red Impulse (Colonel Cronus in BotP) is a bit of an arse.

He's really not a nice person at all.

I was going over some episode reviews (and trying to decide which episode I should review next, after all it's been a while) when I started noticing just what an unpleasant individual he is.

We know he's a pretty awful parent and some would say he's an abusive father.

We also know that he abandoned his kid to go off and Be a Hero.

He plays a stupid game of chicken with the G-1 in that episode with the fabulous ominous ships of technicolour pinkness.

And he leaves his hat on when indoors, in defiance of good manners and military protocol! (He's quite possibly the sort of person who doesn't pass the port to the left properly at regimental dinners and he doesn't care!)

When he finally buys the farm and meets up with whatever version of the afterlife he believes in, what do you think his metaphorical ledger would look like?

What, indeed, are the sins of Red Impulse?

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All right, here's what popped into my head (it may or may not jive with Red Impulse's beliefs, just play along):

Our favorite Father of the Century Tongue is standing before the Pearly Gates. The Gatekeeper (Saint Peter, a recording angel, the ultimate bouncer, or whatever) peers down at him.

"Oh, it's you."

"Yes," Red Impulse replies,"it was bound to happen sooner or later."

"True." the Heavenly one says while pulling a thick binder from behind his podium and opens it.

"So, should I just walk in?"

"Hold on, Laughing Boy, there are some questions about your conduct."

"What does that book say I did?"

"Oh, this isn't the record." the host replied, "This is the list of all your aliases." He pushed a button on the podium and spoke into an intercom. "Bring out the record of Kentaro Washio, aka Red Impulse, aka..."

Several hours later, the final alias is read. There are enough big, thick books piled up to build a 20-foot-tall wall between the U.S. and Mexico and between the U.S. and Canada.

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Well, some cases I think there's room for interpretation. Red Impulse may have taken that mission in the first place so that his son would have a world left to grow up in, for example. However, his never telling Ken even after Ken is a very successful team leader IMO is questionable. (And Nambu going along with that.)

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Hola!

This is an interesting topic, so I would like to give my point of view.

Many times we tend to look at certain actions in order to judge the character of a person.
Well, in Red Impulse's defense, I would say that nobody is fully prepared to be a parent. Maybe at a critical point, he was torn between his duty and family and perhaps, he couldn't handle the emotions involved.

I want to believe that towards the end, he really wanted to reunite with his son. (That's the reason Nambu told Ken that after the mission, he would meet his father. Both of them planned it already, Nambu and Red Impulse)

Yet, destiny had other plans and they were separated even before he himself could confess his son, who he really was.

Maybe the last moments together were so painful and stressful for him that he couldn't handle the situation and this one, went out of hand. Red Impulse had to decide within the split of a second between his son and duty, but if he opted for the latter, Ken could had taken his place and die. No choice, he had to do it. (Also, doesn't help the fact that your son is as stubborn as Ken was.)

Sometimes the relation within parents and sons are difficult because of the emotions involved. I learned this first hand just before my dad passed away. He was very strict and distant with me and hardly showed any emotions, but before he parted, he apologized and told me that deep within him, he was truly proud of me.

Then I understood that he wasn't a cold or the bad parent I always thought he was; he just simply couldn't express himself and opened up to me.

Maybe this was a similar situation over here... I would like to think that Red Impulse did his best for the welfare of his family and at the end, he was so very proud of Ken. (Not every parent could say that his son was the mighty Gatchaman!)

Smile

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First of all--My thoughts aren't because I agree with his actions at times. (Not going into personal information here.)

I get a bit mixed at times in how I feel about him-- mainly because I'm around people with military backgrounds, some have had combat experience others not. (My close relations are air-force. RAAF) I'm friends with a few air-force wives, and Navy...

He was by far not a perfect parent, he didn't really raise his child or be with his wife. Its sad he felt he needed to push his son so hard, but he would have been thinking it could save his life in battle.

Its mental switch soldiers have to mentally make it though a war. Like flicking a light switch on and off in the brain.

I can't say I have personal experience I can only empathise and try to understand the trauma. (I've never been to war.) But have been around PTSD and its messy-- Not entirely black and white.

I feel Red Impulse wouldn't have know any other way to be a parent. His way of affection isn't through nurture.

It highlights how sad it can be for soldiers who are away for months or years at a time from their families and go on missions they can't ever talk about.

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This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by Ebonyswanne on 23-01-2017 at 02:26.
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My late husband was a Vietnam veteran so he not only had to deal with PTSD but the total lack of support that the Vietnam vets got when they came back from an unpopular war.

The community where I live has a lot of veterans and thankfully the guys are very supportive of each other (the partners are also very supportive of each other and the boys still check on me and make sure I have enough firewood for the winter and so on.) We're lucky that we live in a place where we can all stick together.

When I look at RI, PTSD isn't the first thing that comes to mind. Doesn't mean he wouldn't have it, but there are lots and lots and lots of people who have PTSD who don't behave like RI.

Parenting aside, his conduct in the line of duty is questionable - when he knew that the new Mecha being escorted by the team had been hijacked, he didn't tell anyone, just swanned in and started shooting.

When G-1 lost his nerve, RI pushed him so far he blacked out in flight, which could have resulted in the loss of an irreplaceable asset (G1) and the jet as well. That's the sort of conduct that can get you up on charges.

Admittedly, when the fake RI jet buzzes the G1 in that ep where Katse impersonates RI, it's not RI but Katse (who knew Katse was that good a pilot?) and the behaviour doesn't ring alarm bells with G1. The kid thinks that it's RI because of the way he's flying - ie: dangerous to the point of stupidity. This makes me think that if that's typical in-flight behaviour for RI, it's a wonder he hasn't been busted so far down the totem pole that he needs a ladder to tie his shoes. (It also brings up a raft of other questions - namely, how was Katse able to mimic RI's flying style and how did he know what the G1 jet looked like in civilian mode? Do they have wikileaks in the Gatchaverse?)

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Did you hear the one about the impoverished writer who starved to death in his garrett?
His family were so poor, they couldn't afford a plot, so they had to bury him in the synopsis.

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I could say something here ... in fact, I could say a lot here, but I won't. I will be good and go sit in the corner like a good girl and not a say a word that will get me in even more trouble.

Only ... I will say this ... not all of us believe that he was a horrible person and not all of us think he was arrogant, pompous, out of line or anything else like that.

However, it has been my experience that regardless of what evidence and facts I present, once people have made up their minds to hate someone, nothing will change it, so I won't even try to now.

All I ask is that everyone, in your hate fest against RI, please remember that he is the favorite character for some of us (and by "some of us" I mean me). Thank you.

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Gee, I didn't think I came across as particularly hateful! All I said was that there were some questions about certain incidents. I mean, just because there happens to be a heaping huuuuuuge number of incidents...

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quote:
Originally posted by RIgirl
I could say something here ... in fact, I could say a lot here, but I won't. I will be good and go sit in the corner like a good girl and not a say a word that will get me in even more trouble.

Only ... I will say this ... not all of us believe that he was a horrible person and not all of us think he was arrogant, pompous, out of line or anything else like that.

However, it has been my experience that regardless of what evidence and facts I present, once people have made up their minds to hate someone, nothing will change it, so I won't even try to now.

All I ask is that everyone, in your hate fest against RI, please remember that he is the favorite character for some of us (and by "some of us" I mean me). Thank you.


Thank you for the reminder.

Maybe offer why you feel you like him.

I used to hold a more single view of him. But since I've moved into areas that require more insight into actions I tend to be less judging even if i don't agree with actions at times.

(I have been around severe PTSD and related disorders in people who have come back from recent conflict zones. It affects people differently depending on the case. Some but NOT all... end up abusers in their families with terrified wives and kids of an unpredicatable partner. Its very sad and it happens, and rarely makes the news.) We have veterans in jail for reasons.

I've learned to forgive him on a level, and see it from his view too and what carved him to be harder than he would have been leading a different life.

He does make it interesting even if he's not a fave of everyones.

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quote:
Originally posted by RIgirl
I could say something here ... in fact, I could say a lot here, but I won't. I will be good and go sit in the corner like a good girl and not a say a word that will get me in even more trouble.


I always enjoy your take on the discussions about RI!

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quote:
Originally posted by RIgirl

All I ask is that everyone, in your hate fest against RI, please remember that he is the favorite character for some of us (and by "some of us" I mean me). Thank you.


I'm sorry you think it's a hate fest.

It's true that my perception of the character is not positive overall. You clearly feel otherwise. My mind is unlikely to be changed in the absence of any argument to the contrary, and since you don't want to present said argument, it's 100% certain that you are correct about my not changing my mind.

It's also true that I don't see him as a PTSD case. I'm more inclined to believe that the whole abandonment thing has something to do with duty being his primary motivator. For me, ChrisW hit the nail with that comment about him justifying his actions by making the world a safer place for his kid and everybody else's. That he sacrificed his life in the end to try and save the planet is inarguable. He did that out of a sense of duty - it was a mission he'd been on for 18 years and he saw it through to the end.

What I have the most trouble with is his professional conduct.

I will say that it's possible to criticise a character while still liking them. For example, my favourite character and the one I identify with most strongly is Chief Anderson from BotP. This doesn't stop me from thinking that he's at times a blithering idiot, a foolhardy twat and morally questionable for putting technology presumably in the heads (if the term 'cerebonic' is an indicator) of five children. He doesn't seem to know whether to scratch his watch or wind his balls without Zark. I also suspect that one day they'll find him in the lab, standing under a lightning rod screaming, "The fools! I'll show them all!"

The best characters are usually the ones with the most interesting flaws.

Perfect characters... well, we have a name for those.

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Did you hear the one about the impoverished writer who starved to death in his garrett?
His family were so poor, they couldn't afford a plot, so they had to bury him in the synopsis.

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I understand the mission and his drive to finish it he's straight forward in that way. Its how he responded to his son in his personal life he has no clue how to have a personal relationship.

Thats when the problems surface of detachment... etc not while on duty.

Not trying to change your mind here. RI/Cronus loved his family, that was obvious even if he couldn't really show it, he did when he thought was right at the time to protect them.

He wasn't a normal family man way some people have as a father.

I see it in layers, as people have more than one side and rarely is a person fully unlikable on all levels.

Besides!! He was the anguish part of Ken's life...

In Gatchaman its noted they were chosen for the team because the kids were damaged/messed up enough to do work like that.

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quote:
Originally posted by Ebonyswanne
I see it in layers, as people have more than one side and rarely is a person fully unlikable on all levels.


Very true!

Perhaps one of the best (although I understand it's not real popular) recent portrayals of someone who is mission-driven, suffering from PTSD and who behaves like a bit of an arse at times is Daniel Craig's version of James Bond. Lots of inner conflict and stuff going on there. I rather like the way Dame Judi Dench's M describes him as "a blunt instrument."

Perhaps RI is a bit that way as well, although he must be capable of subtlety since he was supposed to be playing a long game that involved intelligence-gathering. Maybe he just switched to blunt instrument mode once Galactor went public.

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Did you hear the one about the impoverished writer who starved to death in his garrett?
His family were so poor, they couldn't afford a plot, so they had to bury him in the synopsis.

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quote:
Originally posted by ChrisW
quote:
Originally posted by RIgirl
I could say something here ... in fact, I could say a lot here, but I won't. I will be good and go sit in the corner like a good girl and not a say a word that will get me in even more trouble.


I always enjoy your take on the discussions about RI!


Thanks, Chris!

Ebonnyswanne: I guess if I had to say why I like RI, it would be for two reasons: the first is that we are nothing alike and the second is because we are a lot alike. Pretty messed up, but there it is. We aren't alike in that he is so very confident, take charge and does what he feels is right, regardless of what anyone else thinks. I wish I could be more like that and less doubtful, timid, and guessing.

We are alike in that I think people look at us and perhaps see something that isn't really who we are. Let me explain: in high school (all through school, really), I stayed in the background, didn't have any friends and was bullied a lot (both verbally and physically). I was happiest when I could disappear into my mind with my stories to keep me company (I was writing fanfic way before there was such a thing!). Anyway, for my senior year, I decided to do the one thing I always wanted to try: the Spring musical. As luck would have it, since they needed lots of girls (we were doing "The Sound of Music" and they needed nuns), I was given a nun part.

After several months of rehearsals, a small group of us were waiting in the wings for our scene, just talking about stuff, when one girl sitting next to me suddenly turned, looked at me and said, "You know, we all thought you were really conceited and stuck up and that you thought you were better than us, but you're not like that at all."

At the time, I merely smiled and acknowledged, no, I'm not like that. At all. Not in the least (I've got major low self esteem/low self confidence/no self worth issues). But her comment shook me to the core. Here I thought I was trying to stay out of everyone's way because no one would welcome me into their circles and they were thinking I was arrogant! Which is pretty much what people say about RI. You can't know what a person is really like on the inside if all you're judging them by is the outside. (Like my signature below says, "it's a rare man who is taken for what he truly is..." and I really believe that.)

What amazes me is how the writers of Gatch were able to develop such a messy, complicated, realistic character in just 13 episodes (yup, RI only shows up in just 13 of them). I like him because he is so flawed, because he screwed up and he knows it. I think that by the time he and Ken meet up, RI is pretty over all of it. I think he's tired of it and just wants it to end. I think he's sorry about how things went with Ken, but he had no idea how to change it, or make it better.

Like RI, I've made a lot of mistakes in my life and, sad to say, there have been more times than I care to think about when I've let down the very people that I love the most. I have a lot of regrets and a lot things that I would do differently if given the chance. But since there are no working time machines yet, there's nothing that I can do to change that.

People have made the observation that RI did not -- or does not -- care for or love Ken, but the fact that he's seen crying every single time they meet proves otherwise. At least, to me it does.

Yeah, he does a good arrogant bravado thing, but even as a kid, I always thought it was just an act, a brave front that he was putting on because he didn't want Ken to see how he really felt. Not unlike the way I have to face the world myself, really, so maybe that's why I thought that was what he was doing too.

Although I don't really believe he suffers from PSTD either, I did write a small fanfic in which he does and which was the real reason why he left his family. Not abandon, but consciously left for their own protection, not from Galactor, but from him.

Because I always wondered, maybe he really did think that Ken and his wife were better off without him, you know? That he knew there was really only one thing that he could do in life -- and do very, very well -- and that was to be a soldier and if you took that away from him, then what would he be?

The other factors that come into play here is that we have to remember that RI is a direct product of the times in which he was created -- that is, late 1960s to early 1970s Japan. As a society, they are not a demonstrative people and did not (and maybe still don't) believe in lavish displays of affection. It has always been my understanding that the Japanese lead very interior lives and very little of what they truly feel is expressed outwardly, except when it came to discipline, which was almost used as a form of expressive love (an "I wouldn't be so hard on you if I didn't love you" kind of thing) I could wrong in this; this is merely my observations.

Or maybe I tend to favor RI simply because when I watched his episodes, I know what's going to happen and I feel bad for him. Besides, there has to be some good in him -- just look at the evidence -- at the end, his son still loves him and is nearly devastated by his grief at his loss; his friend Nambu is actually moved to tears at the news of his sacrifice; and his two teammates continue on in his memory. That, to me, means that yes, RI might have messed up a lot, but he must have gotten some things right, and have had some redeeming qualities to have those people still care about him. No?

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Very good points, RI Girl. Yes, he did inspire loyalty in his men, didn't he? There must have been some good in him - that line always makes me think of Luke Skywalker's insistence that Darth Vader wasn't all bad, and at least Red Impulse didn't turn out to be a badly-acted whiny emo kid in a godawful trilogy of poorly-scripted prequel movies.

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Did you hear the one about the impoverished writer who starved to death in his garrett?
His family were so poor, they couldn't afford a plot, so they had to bury him in the synopsis.

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quote:
Originally posted by RIgirl
After several months of rehearsals, a small group of us were waiting in the wings for our scene, just talking about stuff, when one girl sitting next to me suddenly turned, looked at me and said, "You know, we all thought you were really conceited and stuck up and that you thought you were better than us, but you're not like that at all."


I had a similar experience. I remember being completely shocked!

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Chris: It does make you wonder, though, how people see you after that. If I think about it long enough, that comment can still leave me feeling slightly unbalanced.

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Quote: Rigir lhe other factors that come into play here is that we have to remember that RI is a direct product of the times in which he was created -- that is, late 1960s to early 1970s Japan. As a society, they are not a demonstrative people and did not (and maybe still don't) believe in lavish displays of affection. It has always been my understanding that the Japanese lead very interior lives and very little of what they truly feel is expressed outwardly, except when it came to discipline, which was almost used as a form of expressive love (an "I wouldn't be so hard on you if I didn't love you" kind of thing) I could wrong in this; this is merely my observations.

You just described most Aussie males I know. Coalminers! outward Emotions... what are they???? Wink

RI Girl- I've never said I didn't like him. (I'm neutral when it comes to RI/Cronus. Have been since I was a kid.) I feel he has difficulties in relating as a father to his son, not all bad, I feel he did what he thought was right in trying to protect his family its what a father would do. (Its an old story really.) He was loyal to his men and very good soldier and duty bound until the end. Sacrificing his life for his sons.

PTSD--I have reasons for thinking along those lines. Its not obvious, but I see it. Not all involves stereotypes of it. (It has different degrees and most aren't violent.) but its not for forums, and I have boundaries...But anyway you can disagree and I'm okay with it.

Ken/Mark abandonment issues-- Kids who lose parents at a young age, especially suddenly, will forgive more than people realize. No matter how much it hurt them. No matter what they do to them. Ken's response is natural and so is Marks.

Its the worst thing that can happen to a child. That's why all of them to a degree respond in a way a child with trauma would. Everyone has different ideas and I respect it. While its done to tell a story especially in Gatchaman they made characters more human.

I become careful what I say at times on these topics because I don't want to assume peoples life experiences in forming their views.

RIgirl-- I had to come back a few times to read your post!

To try and put into words really... while I'm neutral I do have some mixed feelings towards him.

I have had a lot to do with the area of fostering and adoptions. Birth parents and families. I personally know of people who have given up kids and some I like even with that over them and no going back. They loved their child.(Some do,) BUT they didn't raise them and I feel for the kids this hurts. Its sooo sensitive for the people involved and emotionally affects.

No one responds the same way.

In my response I'm not partonising you here. (Apologise if it comes across that way, NOT my intention, just trying to relate.) I can like a person, and not like their actions or choices at times. But still understand they did what they thought was right at the time. I see the grey areas too its a tough one. That means I'm not judging them to say I'm not agreeing with all of it.

I can see that you relate to him on a level, and its good insight you posted on how you feel. not

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Ebonnyswanne: It all comes down to this -- for whatever reason, I have loved the RI/Cronus since the first time he flew across my TV screen. I just did, just as most people just disliked him.

But then, all my life, I've tended to gravitate towards the broken, the troubled, the things that no one else wanted and the people no one else wanted to be around. Probably because I was one of those people (and, for all I know, I still am, but I don't really pay attention to any of that anymore. One of the benefits of growing older, I suppose).

Out of all of the characters in the series, for the amount of time that he is shown (he only appears in 13 episodes and a handful of those are literally just fly-bys), the writers managed to create a very detailed, complex character. The fact that the character can spark such intense reactions from people (both good and bad) is a testament to the series' writers doing a really, really good job with character development here.

And I agree with you on this point: RI/Cronus is most definitely a character of the time and the culture out of which the show came. Some times, none of us can help where we've come from and the person that has shaped us to be, it's just that some people are more successful at overcoming those shortfalls than others. RI, unfortunately, was not one of the successful ones.

Ah, well, no one's perfect. Smile

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What ever gave you idea I had anything against him beyond canon flaws... didn't even start the thread. You never needed to explain yourself to me.

I like Swan... don't agree with everything she does. Nor the Eagle my other favourite.
I spent my time with broken people and struggling with problems. I don't post here about my work because in real life psychology and therapy in practice isn't clinical. I made a deliberate choice not to become clinical. Plus... confidential.

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