Ken Minami

From GoBots Wiki
Jump to navigationJump to search

Ken Minami (美波ケン) is a human who works for Machine Robo Rescue as a member of the Yellow Gears, piloting the Gear Dump transport along with Sayuri Suizenji and acts as a backup Robo Master for the team.

Ken is very in touch with his feminine side, frequently using female mannerisms. He is good friends with team-mate Shō Ashikawa, with the pair sharing a similar sense of humour and being part of a comedy double-act they refer to as the Yellow Funnies. At 12 years old Ken is the eldest of the first intake of MRR cadets; while brave and strong he can sometimes be aloof and occasionally something of a dreamer. He is a fan of boxing and penguins.

Fiction[edit | edit source]

Machine Robo Rescue cartoon[edit | edit source]

Voice actor: Megumi Matsumoto

Why exactly Ken joined MRR is not clear but he was nevertheless chosen as one of the first 12 cadets to join the programme. Commence the Rescue Combination!! He was assigned to the Yellow Gears team and hit it off well with team-mates Daichi, Sayuri and Shō. Blazing Fire Fighter! He spent much of his childhood outside of Japan. Straight Ahead to the Police Spirit! Like Lin and Alice, he was a fan of Ninja Mama and watched an episode of the show in the canteen, being infuriated when Taiyoh changed the channel to news. He joined most of the other cadets and Red Wings instructor Musashi Miyajima in a trip to a funfair; however, things went awry when they were trapped in a flooding subway thanks to a Gura Gorro attack. Fortunately, Daichi was able to overcome his chronic nerves with a little help from Sayuri and Bone, using Drill Robo to save them. It's Party Time! Drill Robo When Sayuri recruited the whole team to find Laura, the missing cat of a boy named Hideki, Shō and Ken hit on the idea of using a case of catnip to bring the wayward pet home - only to attract every other cat in the area instead and rapidly get overwhelmed. Emergency! Enter Battalion


When Professor Murayoshi's daughter Saki became trapped inside an ancient pyramid Yellow Gears were dispatched to Egypt to get her to safety. While Sayuri stayed outside with Gear Dump to coordinate Ken went in with Shō and Daichi; however the pyramid's security mechanisms soon separated the trio. Ken then found himself being chased by a giant boulder and fell through a trapdoor, neither of which were able to blunt his cheerful mood. Shō was able to find the girl and despite getting wedged in a wall directed Ken and Daichi towards them. Ken sent his K-BOY ahead to help, with the small robot helping keep spirits up in a miniature Yellow Funnies routine along with that of Shō. The group were able to move back to the surface thanks to the efforts of Drill Robo and Sayuri fending off a Gura Gorro. Laughter Can Save the World! His mother attended the MRR open day, where Ken and Shō compered the simulated battle between the Machine Robo. And Taiyoh is Fine!


Ken had a strong phobia of needles, feigning illness to get out of vaccinations and reacting with disinterest when being told that his bone marrow was required for a transplant to save someone. Rather than go through with it he planned to quit MRR and instead use his looks to find a career as a model and celebrity. However, before he could he was intercepted by Ace, who hadn't been vaccinated due to his thin veins. They were needed to pilot the Wing Liner to a remote village in order to retrieve a young hospital patient cut off by a storm. Ken went along with it rather than bother with an argument, though his indifferent attitude annoyed Ace. Things got worse when the patient - a young boy named Hisashi turned out to be uncooperative, not seeing the point in going to hospital if he would die anyway, and ran off into the forest. Ken gave chase, while the storm started a forest fire. He found Hisashi and rescued him, telling the boy he wanted him to survive merely so he wouldn't fail. Ken then considered staying and dying in the fire before realising Hisashi was the planned recipient of his marrow. This renewed Ken's desire to stay alive, and he was saved by Drill Robo. Finding that Ace's attempts to combat the forest fire had been compromised by the arrival of Stealth Robo, who was battling Fire Robo, he was furious, and activated Drill Robo's Hyper Mode himself before spotting Jay and attacking him personally. The Disasters retreated and Ken resolved to not only stay with MRR but to undergo the transplant - despite still being terrified of needles. Ken's Rescue Spirit!


The Yellow Gears team were sent to investigate strange vibrations at Marine Park but found the park's owner intransigent. Instead, Daichi and Sayuri paid for tickets to get inside while Ken and Shō settled down to have a picnic with the Drill Team. The structure was actually under attack from a Gura Gorro, and once it stepped up its' attacks Ken joined Sayuri in converting Gear Dump to Gear Dump Robo, helping secure the park while their team-mates completed the evacuation. Call Out! Gear Dump Robo They were later called upon to rescue Chief Bitou, Marie and Professor Suidōbashi when they became trapped underwater in a submersible. I am Submarine Robo After Taiyoh and Jet Robo were shot down by Stealth Robo near Ikaros 1 and crashed on Minamitobi Island MRR assembled a task force to protect their comrades. Good Luck Taiyoh Along with his fellow cadets Ken conspired to help Taiyoh work through his trauma from the crash by getting him onboard the reworked Shuttle Robo as pilot on a mission to rescue the stranded Lin and Kai, which was ultimately successful. Taiyoh Ohzora, Into Space! When the Red Wings team moved on to the International Space Station they found it overran by mutated plants. As a result, Ken joined Makoto, Daichi and Alice in travelling up on the newly-completed Machine Commander, helping put down the angry vegetation with acid before the group continued on to the Moon. Save the Space Station! There they enjoyed a little downtime, which Alice filled with an impromptu staging of The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, with Ken as narrator. They were later called into action when a rockslide endangered the lunar mine Moonbase 13. Lunar Rescue, Begin!


When the presenter Charmy Sato spent a day with MRR for one of his television shows he underwent various terrors, including being startled by Ken and Shō pretending to be ghosts. MRR 24 Hours Along with Shō, Ken and the Submarine Team were sent to deal with a broken oil platform which they later found out had been caused by the Disasters' new commander, Colonel Hazard. Enter! BL Machine Robo He later joined the bulk of MRR in taking a holiday at an island mansion owned by Sayuri, which was apparently haunted. Ken found himself distracted by numerous sightings of a ghostly girl. He sent off into the woods that night to find her, discovering that she was a young girl named Nina, who took him to meet her pirate father and his crew. Ken joined their party and agreed to raise their sunken ship, and found himself married to Nina somewhere along the way. To this end Ken enlisted the help of Submarine Robo, who agreed to help despite the complete lack of any explanation. The refloating came under threat from a pair of Gura Gorros, with Shō and Marie giving Ken authorisation to activate Submarine Robo's Hyper Mode, and then an EX Combination with the Bulldozer Robo. Once the ship was successfully raised the crew instantly reappeared onboard, being ghosts. Nevertheless Ken was still visited by his ghostly wife, even after they returned to Rescue Headquarters. Summer Holiday! Fear Vacation Ken was among those present when MRR were honoured at the Space Agency, and helped evacuate civilians when it came under attack from BL Drill Robo. Stealth Robo's Fierce End


Yellow Gears were assigned to supervise the stunt sequences for the new Ninja Mama movie, causing great excitement for Ken and Shō. They were delighted to meet actress Saeko Homura - only to be stunned to find out she was Daichi's mother. The team soon found themselves with roles in the film itself, with Ken cast as Ninja Girl and braining himself with a yo-yo before director Hotta and producer Anao put them through the wringer with a punishing succession of stunts that left the pair thoroughly disillusioned by lunchtime. Things got a bit easier when Hazard sent a Gura Gorro to kidnap Saeko, believing her character Yoko Kimura to be real. The resulting carnage destroyed all the footage shot thus far and seemingly ended the movie - only for Hotta and Anao to terrify Ken, Shō and the Drill Team by suggesting what they'd done so far was only a rehearsal. I am Daichi's Mother Along with the rest of MRR - bar a fuming Alice - he wished Makoto luck for his date with Doctor Aki Saotome. After she died from a terminal illness, Shō was among those present at a ceremony honouring her memory. The Story of Makoto's First Love


Along with Taiyoh, Lin and Kai he was taken by Chief Bitou to retrieve an amnesiac Jay from a hospital. Despite having previously punched Jay in the face, Ken seemed to have no feelings about this either way. Be Reborn, Jay! Following Jay's acceptance into MRR Jay, Join the MRR! the new arrival struggled to gel with the various teams' drills, notably devastating Shō by not laughing at any of his jokes - much to the distress of Ken. Birth! V Stealth Robo Later Ken and Shō prepared to do their usual Yellow Funnies act at Jay's welcome party, intending to poke fun at the family dynamic of Daichi and Sayuri as the parents of the pair. However, Daichi went off-script to announce that all of MRR were a family; Shō and the others only realised afterwards he was planning on resigning to take over his father's post as President of Hayami Heavy Industries. However, after Yellow Gears were called to the Hayami plant to deal with a Gura Gorro raid (where Ken and Sayuri once again converted Gear Dump to Gear Dump Robo) Daichi realised his heart was with MRR and rejoined, to the delight of Ken and the rest of the team. Daichi's Resolution When the liner Poseidon collided with an oil tanker just off Rescue Headquarters, causing a freak subsonic noise that disabled the Leader Robo, Ken controlled the Bulldozer Robo to combat the fires on the stricken passenger ship. Machine Robo Out of Action!


Following Kaiser-G cutting off a volcanic island from the rest of the world Ken joined the full-strength rescue mission, piloting Gear Dump with Sayuri. However, Kaiser-G soon proved equal to the combined Machine Robo effort to stop him, with Taiyoh and Jay seemingly lost. Activate, Kaiser-G! The rest of MRR were at least able to evacuate the island and went back into action to help those affected by Kaiser-G's messing with the Pacific volcanoes until the missing pair were able to make contact. However, Kaiser-G had advanced to Tokyo, where he set the meteorite Tartarus on collision course with Earth. A Looming Catastrophe! MRR made a full-strength sortie into the city to try and fight Kaiser-G, but Gear Dump - like the rest of the team - were unable to get close enough due to the monster's gravity powers pinning them into the street. Instead a group of cadets who climbed inside Kaiser-G and planted explosives which would give Shuttle Robo and V Stealth Robo chance to destroy it and the meteorite, saving Earth. All Hands on Deck, Save the Planet! The end of the Disasters didn't end the need for MRR however, and the cadets had to carry out several rescues on their graduation day, with Ken and Shō working on rescuing a damaged oil tanker, and then raising a trapped submarine. Ken's mother was among those in the audience. Fly, MRR!


After graduating, Ken decided to become a doctor and successfully qualified. He was then put in charge of International Hyper Rescue's hospital operation, while also providing the medical care for Machine Robo Rescue. As such he was visited by instructors Ace, Alice and a delighted Shō to give the new intake their vaccinations. By this point Ken had got over his fear of needles, instead revelling in their power to terrify others - particularly Shō and Ace. Machine Robo Rescue Special - New Year's Day!

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • According to supplemental material Ken's birthday is February 6th and he was born in Istanbul, with his father (not seen in the show) being Turkish.
  • For a show made some twenty years before gender identity became a subject discussed with wider enlightenment, Machine Robo Rescue is surprisingly progressive in its' treatment of Ken. While gender-bending heroes were not unheard of in anime at the time (for example, the cross-dressing asexual Loran Cehack had appeared as the star of ∀ Gundam in 1999), Ken is treated with a remarkable lack of prejudice for his behaviour by both fictional characters and the crew of the show itself. He gets mocked once by Lin (but then who doesn't) and is occasionally used for sight gags but beyond that is shown to be a popular and accepted member of the team no-one bats an eyelid at. Where he sits on the broader spectrum of gender identity and sexuality isn't really explored, what with the character being 12 and everything, but he seems happy enough with being married to Nina even if he gets somewhat swept up in events.