Gum (ガム) is the deuteragonist of the Jet Set Radio video games first released in 2000. She is a 17 year-old punk and is the second gangster to join The GGs, the first being Beat and followed by Tab. She has appeared on most Jet Set Radio merchandise and game covers, and is one of the three main mascots of the franchise, alongside Beat and Professor K.
Unlike the other characters of the series, Gum has made the most appearances outside the Jet Set Radio franchise, mostly due to her being a fan-favorite character among fans. She has cameoed in the Skullgirls and Splatoon franchises, and is featured as a playable character in the Sega All-Stars video games series.
Gum has been featured on several official cover arts for Jet Set Radio, and is one of the more recognizable characters of the franchise. She is sometimes often mistaken as the lead character, although that recognition goes to Beat.
Powers and abilities
Gum is known for the following powers and abilities:
- All-Star Move - Gum is able to go All-Star like all other playable characters in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. Once activated, Gum will be able to drop a trail of broken hearts behind her vehicle, causing racers to slow down if they hit one.
- Minty Cool Flavor - Being her MAX ability in SEGA Heroes, Gum is able to tag a single enemy with her “Minty Cool Flavor” graffiti tag. While doing so, the enemy will gain a debuff.
- Pop! - In SEGA Heroes, Gum is able to spray all her enemies with her signature graffiti tag, causing them to gain debuffs and debuffs are removed from her allies.
- Graffiti Trainer - In SEGA Heroes, Gum is able to “teach her allies” how to be graffiti gangsters, which allows her team to gain bonus critical damage when attacking opponents and enemies at the beginning of the level.
- Police!!! - Being her Superstar State, Gum’s ability in Sega Superstars Tennis allows her to call in some of Tokyo-To's S.W.A.T Team to take out the opponents on the opposite side of her court. Opponents who hit any of the officers will fall to the ground for a short period of time, and may cause them to miss the ball.
- Speed - Gum is known to be one of the fastest characters in the Jet Set Radio franchise, as most games she appears in classify her as a "Speed Type." While being one of the fastest characters in Jet Set Radio, Gum is also noted as a Speed Type character in Sega Superstars Tennis, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, and SEGA Heroes.
- Inline skating - It should go without saying that every playable character in the Jet Set Radio franchise can wall grind, rail grind, speed skate, and move around with ease on roller skates. Gum is also shown to be walk around casually wearing skates instead of normal shoes, signifying that she is most likely used to wearing them on a daily basis.
- Graffiti - At best, Gum is excellent with graffiti, like most other characters in the franchise. Without distraction, Gum can get her graffiti tags done faster than most characters, especially since she has one fo the highest graffiti abilities in the games.
- Technique - Gum has an above-average technique count in Jet Set Radio.
- Power - Gum has an average power stat count in Jet Set Radio.
Gum is sarcastic and practical - making sadistic comments and making herself feel superior compared to most. She is shown to have high pride in what she does, and is also shown to be an excellent teacher, follower, and ally.
Gum is also known to not hold back on her feelings towards others - both good and bad thoughts. She seems to enjoy taunting people and making them feel low, as shown in the Sega All-Stars series.
Gum's past is mostly unknown, but it is learned that in both Jet Set Radio and Jet Set Radio Future that she is a 17 year-old high school dropout, assumed to have run away from home. She developed a love for art and graffiti at an unknown point, and is shown to be sarcastic, rebellious, and a law-breaker.
Jet Set Radio
Gum is first encountered by Beat when he attempts to look for new recruits to join his gang. Gum notices this, and makes him follow her tricks in order to determine if he is a good ally. Eventually, she sees him as ideal and joins The GGs, being the first gangster recruited by Beat and the first female.
Gum, Tab, and Beat all eventually decide to shack up in the pirate broadcasting station, Jet Set Radio, hosted and owned by DJ Professor K, a whacky and joyous narrator and commentator.
Throughout their missions to become the best Graffiti Gang, Gum and the others find and recruit other members, while also being harassed by the S.W.A.T team and the chief of police, Captain Onishima.
When Cube and Combo arrive in Tokyo-To, they look to join The GGs, and Gum decides to see if Cube is worth it. Cube informs Gum that she and her friend need their help, and Gum replies by saying that they can join the gang if they can copy their moves. Eventually, Combo tells Beat, Gum and the rest of the GGs of how they got to Tokyo-To and inform them of the Golden Rhinos.
In the end, Gum can be the one to end and defeat Goji Rokkaku, depening on who the player chooses to select.
Jet Set Radio Future
Gum's role in Jet Set Radio Future is much less significant compared to Jet Set Radio. In the game, Professor K describes Gum as “a real cool lady who leaves a trail of brown hearts wherever she goes.” It is revealed that Gum has a tendency to abandon her lovers in the middle of their relationship, hence the sayings Professor K speaks of her. It is also revealed that Tab and Gum are the ones who hold the GGs together and their members.
At the beginning, Gum teaches YoYo the basics of their gang and how to do certain things.
Additionally, it is also revealed that before knowing Beat she used to think of him as ”some headphone wearing freak“, and could not wait to get her hands on him. However, Beat and Gum are shown to be close allies after meeting.
Other game appearances
Sega Superstars Tennis
Gum appears as one of the two playable Jet Set Radio characters in Sega Superstars Tennis. She is unlocked by completing the Singles Tournament in the Jet Set Radio Planet. She is a Speed Type character and has the same appearance to that of her original counterpart from Jet Set Radio.
Gum's Superstar State is called Police!!!, which allows her to call in some of the Tokyo-To police force to take out opponents on the other side of the court.
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing
Although she makes no physical appearance, Gum was considered for the cast of Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, but was rejected.
Gum is mentioned in Beat's in-game profile, and it is revealed that she and Tab helped to build Beat's vehicle, the De La Custom GGs.
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
Gum appears as one of the main playable characters in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, unlocked for 105 stars in Moonlight Park, World Tour. She is a Speed Type character who drives a green and white quad bike.
Her All-Stars Move allows her to enter plane mode and be surrounded by heart monitors, while being able to drop a trail of broken hearts, a reference from Jet Set Radio Future.
Gum also appeared in the game‘s mobile version, being the only playable Jet Set Radio character. She was available if the player purchased Gum for 3,000 Rings.
Gum was one of the four playable Jet Set Radio characters in SEGA Heroes, serving as a green beyondering hero. She was relatively minor throughout the story altogether who could be used in beyondering mode or any of the selective special events. Receiving 25 Gum shards would have unlocked her as a playable green hero.
- Gum's original voice actress for Jet Set Radio has remained a mystery for many years.
- The English voice actress who voiced Gum in Jet Set Radio returned for Sega Superstars Tennis, and the footage would be used again for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed.
- Beat, Gum, and Professor K all appear alongside each other on identical posters throughout Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Adventure 2: Battle.
- The archive recordings for Gum in Jet Set Radio would be used in SEGA Heroes.
- Gum, Beat, and Tab's designs made cameo appearances in 7th Dragon III Code: VFD.
- De La Jet Set Radio, a remastered version of Jet Set Radio, features Gum on the games cover and box art instead of Beat, as he was entirely replaced.
- Gum's tattoo on her upper thigh (which just reads "Gum" in Japanese) has been censored in several video games and media she has appeared in due to it possibly being sexually suggestive. It was shown in concept artwork for the original two Jet Set Radio games but never actually appeared in the games or texture packs itself, but did make a physical appearance in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed.
- A character by the name "Sand Shark" from Fortnite has a strikingly similar appearance to that of Gum. During the character's release, many fans of Jet Set Radio complained and even petitioned to have the character removed, or at least changed. Although the developers of Fortnite have hinted that it may be inspiration, Gum has been considered an unofficial cameo character for the game for the time-being.
- "Let Mom Sleep", the main theme for Jet Set Radio, is used as Gum’s main theme song in Sega Superstars Tennis and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. It is also briefly heard during Gum's ability Monty Cool Flavor in SEGA Heroes.
- Gum appears as a silhouette in one of the choosable player icons in Sonic Colors: Ultimate.
- Gum's helmet design inspired Gorillaz' Noodle's design.
- Jet Set Radio Wii was a scrapped game in the Jet Set Radio franchise, which was rejected by Sega. Concept art of Beat and Gum for the cancelled game were released to the public, hinting that she would have returned in another Jet Set Radio title.
- A helmet worn by an NPC in Sonic Forces is nearly identical to Gum's helmet.
- Gum's original outfit makes a cameo appearance in both the Skullgirls and Splatoon video game series'.
- Gum, Beat, and a few other characters from Jet Set Radio Future make cameo appearances in the music video for "Hella Good".
- Jet Set Radio Evolution, a fan-made test game used to propose a third game into the series, was declined once again by Sega. It featured models and artwork for Gum.