I apologize for the months of August and September, because for some reason I kinda lost my drive to post. But for some reason, I'm back. So what better way to celebrate me coming back with... a Character Talk!
And as of today's focus is... Gai Yuuki AKA Black Condor from Choujin Sentai Jetman.
Definitely, he's one of the least candidate that could be for a Sentai warrior. He's a slacking, suave womanizer who's had a habit of gambling, smoking... definitely the 'bad boy' type, very contrasting with the goody-two-shoes boyscout type that is our hero Ryuu Tendou/Red Hawk. He's also out for his own pleasure rather than many people's, in short, he's a jerk. However, past that, his development can be said as one of the better ones in Super Sentai. As Jetman seems to homage the anime Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, Gai himself is a tribute to Joe Asakura (The Condor), in which probably why the directors decided to kill him off in the ending, albeit I'll admit that it was pretty abrupt...
There's no mention about Gai's past in details. All that's given is that he grew up in harsh times, so he's been a tough, bad boy since he was little, surviving the harshness of the world on his own. Other than that, not much was known. When he's hit with the Birdonic Wave, he's just someone jobless and just spent his time gambling (though he's got an incredible luck) and just wanna have fun till he dies.
As said, Gai is put simply... a jerk. He drives men away and wooed women, even if he has to break rules. He pretty much hated Ryuu for being such a boyscout at first and was joining the Jetman at first just so he could annoy Ryuu. Overall, not a very good person and he's just drafted in the group because he's hit with the Birdonic Wave, and some people just say about being his destiny and all...
It takes an incident from a certain monster that we see Gai's hidden aspect... he was as much as a lonely good boyscout as Ryuu was. When the monster was defeated, Gai quickly dismissed this trait, but this would prevail over him in a later time.
At first, he's also really unappreciative with women, even though he wooed them. He thought all women are easy prey to his suave, ladykiller charm, and can be dumped anytime. That is, until he tried wooing Kaori Rokumeikan/White Swan, who's all heels over Ryuu. Rather than girls that just accepted him in instant, Kaori's first response on him was a slap on his face, thereby triggering Gai to actually try hard to win her. Over time, he grew to really love her and would even get to a fight with Ryuu, not because he's his competition, but also because some of his actions, especially hanging over the dead Rie Aoi (AKA Maria) in front of Kaori; hurting her feelings even though he tried to hook her up with Gai. That action pissed him off so much he'd interrupt a training session between Ryuu, Raita and Ako... just to land some punches on him. Needless to say, to consider them 'arguing a lot' is an understatement. This peaked off when Ryuu got too attached to his duty as a soldier, telling his team to repress their feelings in battle, which of course, hurt Kaori again; and Gai got so fed up and he quitted the team along with Kaori.
Then... things happen. Rie is revealed to be alive as Radiguet's ally, and this sent Ryuu to a depression, unable to lead the Jetman. After being told of what happened, it was instead Gai who snapped Ryuu out of his depression and he joined the Jetman again along with Kaori, accepting his position as the Jetman's vice leader. And afterwards, he started putting aside with how much Ryuu irritated him and became his best friend.
His relationship with Kaori was also growing and at one point, Kaori did love him back. However, they weren't really meant to be together when Kaori's parents started peeking much to his past, which irritated him and he broke up with him. After all, he's quite the man of privacy. Still, their friendship did not break and eventually Gai was satisfied with seeing her off with Ryuu.
Also, at first, he's a man who's satisfied to die alone, but when he was struck near dead by Queen Juza, he realized just how much he feared death and started to freak out. By the end of Jetman, he learned to overcome that, thus when a mugger stabbed him to near death, rather than hiding, Gai just made his way to Ryuu and Kaori's wedding, give their blessing, then collapsed/died on a chair. But at least, he's not hiding or showing fear of death anymore. He gave one last smoke beforehand.
Gai was hailed as one of the best fighters of Jetman, even when he's solo. Even when his weaponry are pretty much equal to the other Jetman, he does have his own finisher called 'Condor Finish', which is the only technique that can kill off a Monster of the Week, or at least, force them to grow with the power of Dimensional Bug. Not even Ryuu have that!
He's also the one who can go toe-to-toe with Gray of the Vyrams, ultimately defeating him completely in combat and slaying him. So, it's not like Gai's arsenals are weaponry... it's his immense skills.
Officially, he's interested on Kaori, but he eventually backs down after some... things and let her be with Ryuu.
But then, there's been some who likes to pair him with Ako Hayasaka/Blue Swallow. Perhaps it's pretty common as in 'most popular guy' with 'most popular girl' (Ako was at least more popular than Kaori for the audience, I think). But this is most evidenced with the 'fake wedding' episode, whereas Gai and Ako posed as a couple... and Gai went even as far as trying to steal Ako's first kiss just to make a realistic scenario to trap a monster. Fans then ran with it. Overall, I have no say on this one, but that seems to be a good pair for Gai.
And that's it for Gai. Of course, he had an abrupt death, but during the short life he had, he was being awesome, had good development and he certainly is one of my favorite Sentai characters.