Ken Washio also known as Ken the Eagle and Gatchaman is the team leader & tactical expert whose Bird Style is based off of the eagle. When not in costume, Ken works as an aircraft test pilot and delivers parcels by air mail.
Ken grew up believing that his father had died in a plane crash, while his mother eventually died of illness. He then spent most of his life under the wing of Dr. Nambu, undergoing the training to become Gatchaman.
To keep his cover, Ken got a job as a test pilot and delivery boy while living in his father's old office on a small airfield.
Ken is a young man with shoulder-length, somewhat messy brown hair, as well as blue eyes. His civilian clothing consists of a red-and-teal T-shirt with the number "1" on it, white bellbottom pants, and occasionally a pair of blue flight gloves. In the two sequel series, Ken's civilian clothing changes so that he wears a blue "1" shirt and has straight-legged pants.
His eagle-like Bird Style is colored white, with blue gloves and boots.. He wears a long white feathered cape with a red interior, as well as a white helmet with red and black accents. The visor on his helmet is colored blue and patterned after an eagle's beak. As with the other Bird Styles, it bears a red "Gatchaman" emblem and has a "G"-themed belt.
Ken was redesigned to have short hair in the OVA remake, and his usual civilian outfit is a blue hoodie and jeans. Rather than having a "1" on his clothing, it is relegated to being a symbol on a necklace that he wears.
His Bird Style was also redesigned to be primarily blue in the bodysuit, although bearing white accents to it and keeping the white cape and helmet. His "G" belt was taken away, with only the symbol existing as a built-in part to his suit.
Cancelled Imagi Film Project
Ken's out-of-costume appearance shifted between his OVA look and his original look in drafts, while his Bird Style was to initially take more inspiration from the 2000 NTT Gatchaman project (in having a more armored appearance).
Other concept designs and trailers took inspiration from the OVA with the uniform, although the suit was primarily white (as with the original series) but with blue trim and accents.
Ken is usually a calm and collected person, but when faced with a crisis he can get swept up in emotion and requires the help of his team to pull himself through. He is an avid reader, reading books in his spare time. When out in the field, he tends not to use his real name and does not appear to be good with money either, often having Jinpei pay his bills at Jun's snack stand.
- Birdrang: A boomerang with a rocket propelled tail. The primary and original weapon of Ken in the first series.
- Bird Saucer: A collapsible bladed discus that replaced the Birdrang in Gatchaman
- Shock Gun: A multipurpose blaster equipped with a variety of ammo for specific tasks such as a grenade launcher for demolition or a stun blast for infiltration missions. Default secondary weapon of Ken and Joe in Gatchaman II.
- Gatchaman Fencer: A sword that Ken used as his primary weapon during Gatchaman Fighter. While a normal collapsible sword in default mode, it can be powered up by the Gatchaspartan's Delta Energy, turning it into a electrified beam sword that wields 200,000 kW of power capable of slicing through solid steel.
Science Ninja Techniques
Kagaku Ninpo: Bird Flash: Releases a blinding light to disorient foes.
Kagaku Ninpo: Kage No Bunshin: A high tech variation of an old ninja trick where a ninja would move so fast that they would create illusionary copies of themselves. In this version, the birdstyle suit glows for a second, creating and projecting solid hologram doubles of Ken.
Eagle Sharp: Ken's fighter jet from Gatchaman II. Destroyed in Gatchaman Fighter
Gatcha One: Ken's red and white jet plane in Gatchaman Fighter. After the destruction of Eagle Sharp and the New God Phoenix, Ken received this new mecha. Armed with lasers and twin missile launchers. It is one of the five vehicles used to combine into the Gatchaspartan and the primary vehicle used in the Hypershoot attack maneuver. When combining, the Gatcha One forms the front of the ship.
- Given that the Gatchaman team are modeled after American superheroes in design, the Birdrang is an obvious nod Batman's famous Batarang.
- Coincidentally, the Birdrang and the Batman Beyond's Batarang share a slightly similar design (collapsible wings and an oblong handle).
- Robin's Birdarang from the TV series Teen Titans bears an uncanny resemblance to Ken's weapon, save for the red and yellow coloring. This is possibly intentional, as Ciro Nieli, the serial producer of the series is known for referencing classic anime in some television shows he works on.
- In the earliest plans for the series, Ken's Bird Style was to be the "Great Hawk", not an eagle. His surname was to also be "Hayabusa" (lit. "peregrine falcon").
- While Ken's mother was never given a name in the original series, the OVA remake revealed her name to be Sayuri Washio.
- An alternative design for Ken from the original series depicted him wearing a blue jacket and hat, as well as his pants being straight-legged and his shoes being blue sneakers.