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Target Tanaka
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TargetTanaka
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General Information
Original broadcast January 20, 2004
Series F-Zero: GP Legend
Details
Season 1
Episode number 15/15
Production number 15/15
Overall number 15/15
Episode Guide
Previous episode [[Old Rivals]]
Next episode [[Super Scam]]

Tanaka's been obsessed on seeing Kate Alen perform and meet her backstage tonight at a Port Town space cruise. Unfortunately, his luck's about to run out as the sniper pursues him; he'd rid of the Platoon's leader to make them surrender while Zoda sabatoges his stolen bounty and smuggle them off planet.

This aired on the FoxBox on March 5, 2005 and it was indeed the final episode before the series' abrupt cancellation... By then, the FoxBox was no more as it assimilated into 4Kids.TV in January 2005, affecting nearly all the episodes. Since March, the series never saw the light of day again...

Plot

On a dark and misty night, a lone F-Zero machine prowls the empty warehouse district. Inside one of those warehouses, Octoman and Bio Rex are busy playing (and arguing over) a game of cards. Only in the thick of their argument do the two suddenly notice the mysterious pilot watching them nonchalantly. Octoman hurls the cards at him, and the pilot shoots a hole through the center of every last one of them. Bio Rex takes his turn at attacking, but before he can even lunge, more laser fire is shot his way...and all his teeth are knocked out. Humbled, the two lackeys stumble backwards in fear...only to be swamped by micro chips leaking out of containers, apparently also the dirty work of this intruder.

Zoda is stirred from his office to see what all the commotion is about, but upon seeing who it is, he realizes all is well: it's only the merciless gun-for-hire, Pico! He had hired him previously for the terrorist threat against the F-Zero committee, and it looks like he needs his help again... Zoda's data chip operations have been foiled by the police with frustrating consistency these days; it's a lucky day if he ever makes it back to base. If he is to move unhindered, he needs to put away whoever's organizing these snares. He assigns Pico his target, Director John Tanaka, and the assassin is away before Zoda can even finish his sentence. The two goons are concerned what Black Shadow will think if he fails; who cares about Black Shadow? Zoda's only after money, nothing else.

John Tanaka, the very image of professionalism and commitment, is fast asleep at his desk, lost in a dream of romancing his secret love, Kate Alen. His daydream is interrupted when Jody reports that the police have captured another of Dark Million's transports. That'll put the pressure on 'em.

A mysterious deliveryman enters the police headquarters with a package for Director Tanaka; the guards offer to hold it for him, but he claims he can't leave without the director's signature, company policy. Unbeknownst to them, this is Pico in disguise and his parcel is a time bomb just waiting to go off. The hitman can barely hold back his smirk.

Even while awake, Tanaka can't stop dreaming about Kate: he preens himself in anticipation for her concert tonight and dreams of making her chief of police, just so he can hear her gorgeous singing anytime he wants. He's just about to smooch all over her poster when a knock at the door sends him scampering to his desk.

Fearing it's Jody, he's relieved to find it's the deliveryman. Pico sets the parcel upon his desk, and John mulls it over never expecting a package, wondering whatever could be inside. "I think it'll blow up."

Fearing the director already knows, Pico turns to leave only for John to call him back. He doesn't want this giant parcel cluttering up his desk, and tells him to take it away. The hitman is sweating, anxiously awaiting for the ball to drop, when John opens his desk drawer...Expecting to have a gun drawn on him, Pico drops the parcel and legs it out of there, leaving poor Tanaka bewildered. Doesn't he need his signature?

Jody passes Pico rushing down the corridor, and orders him to stop and turn around. The hitman obliges...and sheds his disguise, nearly roundhouse-kicking Jody. She dodges and fires a shot from her blaster, but Pico dives out the window and sails away to safety on his parachute. There's no chance of her catching up, but more importantly that parcel is still in the director's office! Jody barges in and tells him to get rid of it, John chucking it, Jody tackling him to the ground, which the package rolled out just before it explodes. Jody announces for the security to arrive at the director's office. The other Platoon members (Lucy, Jack, and EAD) rush in to check if everyone's all right. Tanaka expects them to embrace him, but rushed passed him towards Jody; Jack said Rick is already out pursuing the parachute in his Dragon Bird. Tanaka just moaned since he didn't have hs men's attention.

Pico drops from his parachute atop some poor schmuck's car, hijacking it with the Dragon Bird hot on his trail. Rick weaves between cars, some battered aside by the hitman in an attempt to slow him down. The assassin begins firing slugs into Rick's windscreen, boasting it's gonna take more than that to stop the Dragon Bird! But after a couple shots, eventually the volleys shattered it. This slows him down long enough for Pico to drive off the side of the highway and land atop a Dark Million battle station, flying him to safety. He asked who is this guy? Rick returns to headquarters, none the wiser on who the perpetrator was; though Jody mentioned it was Pico in the English dub. He's sorry for losing him, and the group suspect their raids on Zoda's data chip-smuggling must have prompted this attack on Tanaka, as a ways for them to surrender. Dr. Stewart arrives to tell them he's identified the attacker: Pico, an ex-soldier turned hitman, and talented assassin of the galaxy. "He's extremely intelligent, and ruthless. Once he has a target in his sights he won't give up till he hits it."

Fearful for the director's life, Jody and EAD take Tanaka to a new office where they believes he'll be less of a target, and gives him 24-hour protection. This is awful! He can't leave, he can't sleep here, though Jody says he'll use his chair like he does in his office - and he won't be able to see his beloved Kate! He tries to keep it a secret from Jody, though he approaches the window and points dramatically - no matter the obstacle, he'll get to her somehow!

"He spotted me instantly..!" Pico said outside with his machine gun drawn and seen thru the lens.

Alone in his room, John Tanaka sobs over his poor luck: he only spent forever getting his ticket and finally freed up his evening, and he can't leave his room until his attacker is caught. Surely there's some way he can leave without being detected? His eyes turn to the empty boxes from his office. Of course! The postal service!

In the warehouse district, Zoda is loading up more truckloads of treasure en route for Port Town. A cruise ship is docked there and the goods will be loaded aboard; the police won't suspect a thing! Octoman is thrilled by the idea. "Our luggage would be the data chips. And we'll sell them off planet. You are a genius, Zoda." "I know..! I know!," Zoda cackles. What they don't suspect is a parcel from the police station is also destined for the same cruise ship...and inside it is John Tanaka!

This is brilliant, a totally flawless plan. Sometimes you gotta think inside the box, he thinks...until he realizes he can't get out. His struggling causes his container to fall out of the truck and shatter, right in the path of an incoming taxi. He hops in instantly and asks the driver to take him to Port Town.

"I can't believe it. He must have figured out Zoda's scheme."

Pico narrowly avoids being recognized, and asks his passenger why he's visiting Port Town. John answers he's there to meet a very important person, saying he's waited a long time for this opportunity, and nothing'll stop him. Fearing they've been sassed out again, Pico readies his pistol in one hand, "He knows. He's warning me not to pull any tricks. If I'll try to blast him, he'll get me first."

At the station, Lucy apologizes for letting John slip her by, and the group ponder where he could be. Jody remembers him mentioning something about a concert. There was a flashback, and Lucy mentioned Kate is singing tonight. Rick remembers she'll perform at the Port Town Star Cruiser tonight, and the singer had invited him and EAD to a dinner performance on the Port Town cruise ship. Tanaka's friends with Gordon so he's also been invited. He fears no matter where he goes, Pico would spot him and it'll be too late. Jody offered to go aboard.

Meanwhile, Pico has readied his sniper rifle upon the crowd entering the ship, but can find no sign of his target: the director has blended in with the crowd. He's good.

Reporting in to Zoda, Pico tells him this John Tanaka is one slippery customer, more canny than they ever suspected: he knows their every move and is already on-site, waiting to strike. Zoda can't believe this, neither would Bio Rex since Pico said he's alone: this guy's trying to take them on as a one-man army? And they've lost track of him?!

The director has finally made his way to Kate Alen's show, and is having a peaceful, relaxing time at the lavatory. It was worth all the trouble.

Zoda and his men make immediate preparations to put a stop to their nemesis, while John Tanaka is busy fantasising about his favorite singer, dreaming of what it'll be like to smooch those lovely lips after the show, and even make a good duet. Suddenly, a set of slithery tentacles wrap around him and Octoman drags him away!

The Galaxy Mobile Platoon arrive on the cruise ship, and failing to find the director among the crowd at Kate's show, split up to go look for him. Jody instead finds a Dark Million robot enter a door in the basement, and she calls for backup. But Octoman and Bio Rex are waiting for her! One kick is all it takes to send the squid-man out for the count, and his spraying of ink blinds Bio Rex, causing him to run into a wall and knock himself out cold.

Tanaka, meanwhile, is strung up and mocked by Zoda as if he was acting scared since he's tough as nails, Pico narrowly missing him for his antics. The director is scared out of his wits and upset he won't meet Kate backstage. They've humored themselves enough, and Pico is ready to put the poor sap out of his misery...when Jody enters, zapping the gun out of his hand. Rick and Lucy show up as well; the director had hidden backup this whole time! Rick clobbers the robot minions, Zoda throwing more of them his way so he can make his escape. Jody unties Tanaka, but Pico has unfinished business with the two of them, and draws his pistol on them.

Unfortunately for him, he immediately slips on the ropes, tipping him backwards and knocking the crates over the rest of Zoda's robots. Foiled and humiliated, the Dark Million goons hop aboard a truck and make a getaway, while Pico sneaks away through a vent, unseen. Ironically, Zoda said they hadn't seen the last of him; however...that'll be explained in a moment.

The whole affair taken care of, Tanaka wonders what all the chaos was, Jody said they just got the stolen data chips back, and Rick sworn they'll capture Zoda next time. Lucy wishes to know what prompted the director to come here, either to catch the concert or Zoda; reluctant to admit his selfish reasons, he boasts he knew about the scheme this whole time and came to stop it himself. Jody is blown away - the fact the concert's been sold out for weeks and how Tanaka knew of the scheme before Zoda committed it...maybe she was wrong about him!

Kate Alen and her manager come rushing up, and Tanaka welcomes them with open arms...but she's here to see Rick since EAD couldn't make it, she was still pleased he came and gave him a peck on the cheek. She has no idea who this other bozo is and wants him removed, though Gordon came with his ticket. Kate apologizes, John is heartbroken.

Finally, Kate, Rick and EAD spend some quality time on the road the next day... with John in his Wonder Wasp far behind, still pleading for Kate's attention and never getting her autograph. Better luck next time, Tanaka!

Events

  • We see John Tanaka take center stage, as his dastard, naïve self.
  • We finally learn the sniper from Episode 9 is in fact Pico; although the audience would've made the connection before the heroes did!
  • Much like in Episode 13, Kate sings again, even with her signature number, If Love Ruled the Universe.
  • It's been a long time since we'd seen Port Town, since Episode 2, sadly.
  • Like the previous episode, as well as the first five, the Japanese/English versions lined up for the 15th episode. However, unlike the Japanese version...
  • This was the last episode to air on the FoxBox/4Kids due to low ratings, and the network's own corruption; even when Sonic X and Yugioh kept usurping the spotlight..! :( RIP, GP Legend...

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