Fighbird Ep. 37: Secrets of the Phantom Ship


Out at sea, a ship gets caught in thick fog and runs into a phantom ship. Later, the stranded ship crew is rescued while Momoko reports that this is the eighth incident involving the phantom ship pirates stealing other ships in the Bermuda triangle. She tells her spooked news crew that they’re joining the ghost hunt. Katori, Kenta, Hiroshi, Yoshiko and the Baron team also head to the location where the phantom ship was sighted. Yoshiko wonders if ghosts really exist, and Ace Baron tells her that Katori met the ghost of Hiroshi’s wife using the spirit medium robot which they brought along. Hiroshi shows them an old treasure map he found and thinks the pirate ship routes detailed in it will lead them to the phantom ship. Kenta thinks they’ll find treasure but Hiroshi reminds him that ghosts are spirits that still have unfinished business before they pass on to the afterlife and that they must try to help them find peace. They decide to split up with Hiroshi and Yoshiko riding in the former’s amphibious car while the rest go with the Baron team. Yoshiko wonders how Katori could see ghosts and thinks the cosmic energy life forms might actually be spirits from the underworld. Hiroshi however confirms that the Space Police are truly aliens by revealing that his spirit medium robot did not react to them at all. Underwater, Road Baron gets caught on some seaweed and the phantom ship slowly creeps up on it. Katori and Kenta in Aqua Baron find a sunken pirate ship and report its location to Hiroshi. However, Hiroshi is intercepted by Momoko and the crew of a search ship before they could arrive. Kenta and Katori examine the ship and the find the glowing skeleton of its captain. Katori communicates with the spirit and learns that its name was Captain Morgan.

Captain Morgan tells Katori that he’s not responsible for the phantom ship attacks and the latter assures him that he’ll prove his innocence by exposing the gang of impostors who are doing it. Back on the search ship, Momoko and the crew mock Hiroshi’s spirit medium robot. Katori contacts Hiroshi and explains the situation, but communications are suddenly jammed and thick fog surrounds the ship. The phantom ship appears and Hiroshi notices that the spirit medium robot isn’t reacting. The search ship suddenly begins sinking and the captain orders all hands to abandon ship. Momoko and her cameraman jump into Hiroshi’s car as he drives onto the phantom ship, where they’re greeted by Zol and a bunch of Teshitas. Hiroshi tries to buy time for Katori to arrive by ramming Zol with his car, but the latter reveals that he’s already captured four of the Baron team and will use them to make more mechanical monsters like they did with the stolen ships. Just then, Aqua Baron jumps out and tries to rescue the rest of his team. Katori starts beating up Zol while Kenta escapes with the rest into the water. However, they’re all caught by the mechanical monster’s tentacles and Zol gains the upper hand on Katori. Suddenly the spirit medium robot starts reacting and Captain Morgan’s ship rises out of the water, rescuing Hiroshi’s car and its occupants. Katori overthrows Zol and summons the Fire Shuttle to combine into Granbird. Granbird frees the Baron team and Zol unleashes the giant mechanical nautilus hiding under the fake phantom ship. Zol rams Captain Morgan’s ship and the Baron team combines into Thunder Baron to rescue everyone before the ship is completely destroyed, scattering gold coins everywhere. Granbird summons the Fire Jet and combines into Great Fighbird. Thunder Baron knocks the monster over, allowing Great Fighbird to finish it off. Later, Momoko and her cameraman are left floating on a raft while the rest return home in the Baron team. Hiroshi laments that they didn’t get any treasure and Katori says that Captain Morgan only wanted to clear his name. They all however laugh at Draias for destroying a ship full of actual treasure despite needing the resources.


More spooky shenanigans this episode, but there are a few interesting points. First is the return of the spirit medium robot from episode 33 as well as Katori’s encounter with Hiroshi’s wife Yuri. This leads to an encounter with another friendly ghost and the implication that Jango is starting to get a bit strapped for materials to build his mechanical monsters, which gives better context to the episodes than his random kill-all-humans schemes. I also like how the Space Police’s affinity for the spirits of the dead makes Yoshiko doubt their alien origin even if that plot thread never goes anywhere. The action climaxes in a similar manner to the last episode’s Scooby-Doo adventure, except this time the Space Police get help from Casper’s long lost pirate uncle.

Overall Rating

Fighbird Info

Katsuyoshi Yatabe

Yasushi Hirano

Mechanical Designer:
Kunio Okawara

Character Designer:
Hitoshi Ueda

Musical Composer:
Toshiyuki Watanabe

48 episodes

Japan 02.02.1991 – 02.01.1992


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