What is the mission of Inspector Gadget in "The Japanese Connection?"
The creators of the animated series Inspector Gadget sure have done a great job by making interesting episodes. The Japanese Connection is the 30th episode in the series and it is another one of the first season’s best ones. In this episode, Gadget is so proud of Penny for having won the Metro City Computer Contest and she has been given a trip to Tokyo as a result. As he prepares to mail his letter to Penny, he finds that Chief Quimby is sitting inside the mailbox! How is the Chief so creative? How does he manage to sneak inside these places? I guess we’ll never really know. Gadget ends up putting the letter right in the Chief's mouth before removing it. Gadget is instructed to get a powerful microchip called the Pip-1. It has been stolen by an evil Japanese scientist named Iji-Waruda san (Waruda for short) who is planning on using that chip to transport jewels and other goods to Dr. Claw. The chip when inserted, activates a very powerful laser that has the capability to do away with our beloved super hero Inspector Gadget. Waruda sends his agents after Gadget to try to eliminate him before he reaches the airport and even while Gadget is on the airplane. The agents act stupidly and Gadget’s dog Brain helps him out so those agents fail to complete their task.
A Photo of the Character Atsuko Friend of Penny
Penny and Atsuko get to work to try and foil Dr. Claw and Waruda's Plans
Penny uses the help of her friend Atsuko as the two get to work to try and come up with a way to foil Dr. Claw’s plans. But first, Gadget is taken inside a house where they sit down and relax for a while. Gadget sees the top of Mt. Fuji and says that he has always wanted to go there and visit. Gadget ends up in the Sumo Village where he sees sumo wrestlers eating. He ends up in the wrestling arena where Dr. Claw and Waruda are watching the action from a computer screen. After one of the wrestlers fails to eliminate Gadget, Waruda calls his friend Haiku to go and take care of him. Even though Gadget is choked and sent out of the building, he manages to bring himself back to safety with the use of his Gadget umbrella. Meanwhile, Penny reaches Waruda’s main base or hideout and begins the scanning process trying to find out how to construct an anti-Pip 1 chip.
A Computer Chip
"The Japanese Connection"
In Spite of Being Captured, Penny Still Manages To Gather the Information About the Anti Pip 1 Chip
Before she is able to complete the process, she is captured and locked up in a room. But he has managed to gather enough information to send over the details to Atsuko. Atsuko does the rest of the work and the chip is finished. Dr. Claw tells Waruda to insert the green chip in the Fuji Ray right away but Waruda insists on being entertained. You can only wonder what would have happened had Waruda listened to Dr. Claw.
"Wow! I didn't know Mount Fuji was still active!"
— Inspector Gadget
Inspector Gadget Survives as Penny and Her Friend Atsuko Complete the Mission for Him
Inspector Gadget reaches the hideout as well, triggering the alarm. He triggered the alarm when he passed a part where there is a detection system inside a wall. He thinks that someone has rang the doorbell! Dr. Claw and Waruda leave their places thinking that there is an intruder. Penny and Atsuko grab the green chip and replace it with the red one which is the anti-Pip 1 chip. They escape the castle. Dr. Claw inserts the chip and the laser goes crazy and it gets destroyed! As usual, it is a great thing that Gadget had Penny and Brain around to help him, otherwise he would not have solved the case. Gadget proves to be clueless and incompetent throughout the series, but that’s what makes the cartoon so funny. Claw and Waruda are arguing about who made the mistake. Claw says that he should never have trusted Waruda in the first place. Again, it is worth mentioning that the laser going haywire resulted from the intellect and smarts of Penny and Atsuko. The episode was created long before technology was as advanced as it is today. The Japanese Connection was one of my favorite episodes when I was growing up and this one is a timeless classic! Penny and Atsuko say goodbye to each other and promise to visit someday.
A Few Other Notable Characters Worth Discussing
Analysis of this memorable episode would not be complete if we didn't discuss the significance of a few notable characters that define episode #30.
Atsuko – This young woman is the winner of the Tokyo Computer Contest who is extremely skilled at designing major computer parts. Penny meets her on her trip to Japan after winning the Metro City Computer Contest. Penny sends a postcard to her uncle which explains that she is having a wonderful time in Tokyo.
Haiku – This man is an agent of Iji-Waruda San, Dr. Claw's main personal contact that is the head of M.A.D. Operations in Japan. Haiku is also a sumo wrestler that attacks Inspector Gadget during a sumo wrestling competition as Inspector Gadget has his coat deflated and flies out of the building. Haiku can also be considered the most powerful sumo wrestler in the episode.
© 2017 Ara Vahanian