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 got promoted because of that. Dr. Nambu also developed the Kagaku Ninpo style used by the Science Ninja Team.
Nambu has an executive position at Interpol. He built a crescent coral reef base designed for saving the oceans as well as self defense weapons such as super bird missiles. He has the capability of ordering Interpol troops to fight Galactor, as well as the Red Impulse team, but he only does this if The Science Ninja Team is too busy.
The International Science Organization is aware that Nambu's affiliation with The Science Ninja Team, but is oblivious to the fact he raised them. A security officer was astonished for meeting Them for the first time in plain clothes. Even Director Anderson rode in The God Phoenix, but still knows very little about them.
He takes over Director Anderson's position at the end of Gatchaman II.
Nambu was killed in Gatchaman Fighter, but left behind a mysterious reincarnation device.
While it is never stated that Dr. Nambu has any children let alone what happened to them, 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. This is also because Joe had been an orphan much longer compared to Ken. Ken had his mother and even after his father disappeared, he still stayed at his parents' house. Ryu is the most recent member of the team. Nambu loves, cares, and worries about them, but instead finds professional sounding excuses so he won't have to admit it.
Ken was raised by his mother until her death. Ken lost his mother at age 11. His father was Red Impulse ever since Ken was 4 years old and could not raise Ken. Ken did not even know his father was alive at the time so Dr. Nambu eventually 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.
Nambu set up Snack Bar J for Jun to run, as well as a meeting location for the team. Nambu himself was never seen in Snack Bar J; The team discuss the current mission at Snack Bar J without him. Other times, they meet key people of their next mission even before Nambu deploys them. Nambu has personally spoken with Jun one or two times about other members of the team of which she obliged. There was another time when Jun sympathized with Ryu and delighted when Nambu was told off by Ken.
Nambu, knowing Jinpei is the youngest child, is able to predict Jinpei's behaviour and includes it as part of the missions. He plans ahead when Jinpei wanders off to fight Galactor by himself in episode 08 and again uses Jinpei's ideas as a distraction to complete a mission in episode 89. Because of Jinpei constantly wandering off, he is the designated reconnaissance operative.
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.
Red Impulse Captain
Doctor Nambu and the leader of Red Impulse (previously known as Kentaro Washio) were childhood friends whose lives were disrupted by the war. Nambu worked for Interpol and the International Science Organization in prominent positions. Kentaro also worked in similar positions, but undercover, such severity that he could not raise his son. He requested that Nambu becomes the godfather of Ken who had also taken in Joe. Nambu would also take in Jun & Jinpei. Ryu, estranged from his family, would also join them. Most of the time they were trained to be Science Ninjas by Nambu, but while Kentaro was still alive, they took turns raising them. However, Kentaro was still disguised as Red Impulse.
Some of the tragedies experienced during the war are fellow scientists being abducted and even killed. Nambu tried to save several people from Galactor.
While Nambu was a freshman student at a university, Henjinman was a senior student. Henjinman's main study is in cybernetics. He also loved horses. As scientists, Nambu and Henjinman were very reclusive at times. After Henjinman graduated, Henjinman disappeared until his new invention was completed. Nambu became alarmed and ordered The Science Ninja Team to rescue Henjinman as well as Henjinman's cybernetic horses from Galactor.
Koda is an independent, reclusive, and laughing stock of the peaceful scientific community, but persisted with them instead of selling out to Galactor. Nambu initially thought that Koda as silly. It turns out that Koda has immense knowledge of Galactor's new mecha monster covering 50 years.
Doctor Demon were close friends almost like Kentaro, but could not find any position at the United Nations, Interpol, International Science Organization, or anywhere else in the peaceful scientific community. Nambu accomplished every goal before Demon, even getting the only available jobs that Demon wanted. They became enemies, especially after Demon was recruited by Galactor. Demon became tired being exploited and regretted not waiting for a new job offering from the peaceful scientific community. Galactor, knowing where everybody goes before they even get there, ordered Demon to meet with his old friend Nambu because Nambu is well known for his affiliation with The Science Ninja Team. Katse wanted pictures, viable evidence of The Science Ninjas' identities. Both Nambu and Demon agreed to meet alone, but The Science Ninjas knew about Demon working for Galactor, and Katse set up a trap for the Science Ninjas. Ken did not know that Demon betrayed Galactor, putting Ken in a very awkward position as he watched Demon commit suicide. Moments before the ship exploded, a photograph of Nambu and Demon collapsed, the glass breaking down the middle.
Melvin was a scientist that was washed away during the attack of the Crescent Coral Reef.
A young scientist, Doctor Mikhail, could not afford tuition. Galactor offered a "scholarship", and ordered him to destroy his own neighbourhood. After seeing so many of his friends and colleagues die, Nambu insisted that he must try to reform Mikhail and ordered Joe to find Mikhail while the rest of the team takes down the Galactor base. Ken arrested Mikhail and told him that Galactor always hires desperate and greedy scientists and does not value their lives. The mission to save Mikhail from Galactor was successful.
Alterations in English Adaptations
Nambu was renamed "Security 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. Battle Of The Planets firmly establishes Doctor Nambu as security chief only. The science occupation was given to 7-Zark-7.
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. This is because the Announcer duties are minimal in both Battle of The Planets and Guardians of Space. Brighthead 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. In the original Gatchaman episode, Joe finds out from Alan in episode 81. A rejected "G-Force" pilot had Nambu 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.