First Impressions – Gatchaman Crowds

GATCHA~☆

It took a long time, but my most anticipated show of the season is finally here! I’ve been waiting for Gatchaman to spring its colourful trap and completely bowl me over. I have no knowledge of the previous Gatchaman (do any of you?) but that didn’t stop me from enjoying this immensely.
GATCHAAMAAAAAAAN! I’m sure, I’m not the only who got increasingly hyped up as the episode progressed. There was no let-up or slowing down as events occurred one after the other in complete harmony to reach other. Nakamura does it again? Well, with that キ タ━━━━━━(゚∀゚)━━━━━━ !!!!! ending by none other than a trappy, shark-teethed Mamoru Miyano, nothing can go wrong. Seriously, I dare you to disagree with me.

Nakamura Fever

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Secret base from Gatchaman compared to Irabu’s office in Kuuchuu Buranko

Overcooled // If you couldn’t tell by my consistent usage of Irabu icons, I’m a big Kenji Nakamura fan. He’s the guy who directed Kuuchuu Buranko, Mononoke, and Tsuritama. He may have had a few not-so-great creations such as C and Karas, but his overall track record has been really good. I usually don’t give a damn who directs what I’m watching, but he’s a special case. You can always tell when he’s  he’s dabbled in something because he has a very distinct style. He’s the King Midas of colours. Every show he touches instantly turns into a gorgeous rainbow of vibrant colours. Gatchaman Crowds may not have the same AAA budget as Free! or Shingeki no Kyojin, but it has such a keen sense of style that is looks amazing nonetheless. Somehow he’s able to have an entire spectrum of colours on-screen at once without looking like an ugly pile of technicolour vomit.

His use of colour and visual metaphors work together to create his signature, whacky style. Most of his works tend to be…offbeat. His characters are usually freaks and his stories are usually just as freaky. Gatchaman harnesses that whackiness to create something goofy and exciting. I’m sure there will be hints of more mature themes sprinkled in there, but all in all this seems more like a Tsuritama than a Mononoke. Nothing is meant to be taken seriously. This show aims to be a fun, superhero show to get your blood pumping and I feel like it succeeds. GATCHAAAA!

Hajime mashite, Hajime

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Kyokai // There are so many MC tropes out there but our heroine branches out to cross lines of being a kawaii-otaku loudmouth with her continuous prattle, topping it with her heavy Japanese accent and melony bosom. You just can’t ignore her, even if you try. Like any other eccentric-Nakamura character, she blows across your screen (a la Haru in Tsuritama), and demands your attention. She’s too carefree for her own good but you can’t deny her being cuter than a button. Though, we can compare the cuteness levels between her and DFC-chan later but I ended up liking her taking things as they come rather cowering behind someone else.

In the beginning, I was literally like, oh please just shut up! But down the line of progress, I was busy comprehending the significance of Notes with her and how interesting her inception into Gatchaman was. Of course, it was filled with sexual innuendos and hints. I swear I had déjà vu from Mawaru Penguindrum with her knee buckling and lying spent afterwards. Not to mention, awesome transformation rainbows, unique music and cool mechanical designs. My favourite might change when Joe transforms into his skull-shaped one but for now, I’m digging Sugane’s modified SkyHigh form and Hajime’s twin-tailed, scissor-flicking (Dansai Bunri?!) design. She’s got swag, a weird one and we’ll have to deal with it.
——————————————————
Final Thoughts

As OC has already gushed over Nakamura, I’m not going to bore you with my accolades but it seems we have another winner. Imagine a studio working since ’68! Tatsunoko Production has my respect for continuing their Gatchaman franchise and evolving it properly through the years. I mean, even Man of Steel has shed his extra red underwear so could you really expect the new Gatchaman to have a dated spandex look with semi-covered helmet? Nope.jpg! It’s all about flaunting your CGI and we have a familiar dude taking care of them, Kenji Andou who was involved in Tiger & Bunny but we have a long list for CG and design credits for this so let me spare you the long names. Also, if your ears already perked up at the BGM and theme songs like me, let me tell you the good news, Taku Iwasaki (C, Ben-to, Jormungand, JoJo (Part 2)) will be entertaining us for this one. Don’t even get me started on the seiyuu cast, which includes many popular bijins and bishies (hasn’t it been a while we heard Aya Hirano in an interesting role?) of the industry. So, overall, this has been a sight for sore eyes. I can’t wait to find how Gatchaman continue to fight against MESS and how the red-haired trap would play in all the hoopla.

I was actually expecting something more serious, but I’m still pleased with Gatchaman Crowds. It packs a punch, leaves an impression, and makes you have a good time. Like most of Kenji Nakamura’s work, it’s not a polished masterpiece, but it has so much zany energy that it’s impossible to ignore. Hajime may be a polarizing subject, but I personally liked her. That level of energy actually lifted my spirits alongside her. She was so excited for every little revelation about her new notebook that I couldn’t help but be sucked in. She made me feel like I should be happy and excited as well. I won’t deny that sometimes it reaches a fever pitch and I just want to duct tape her v-shaped mouth shut. However, she was ultimately a joy to watch and surprisingly intelligent. The other characters look great, but I’m still not sure what to make of them yet.

Gatchaman Crowds is a simple beast: it’s about highschoolers transforming and beating up bad guys. It’s all the bells and whistles that make it shine. There’s still a fairly strong base under there, but I feel like the visuals, the music, and all the boundless energy it radiates is the real appeal of the show. The notebook and those flashy mecha suits are rather interesting though. I wonder if the notebook will be used for anything other than panda sketches and brief mission notes. It’s a bit of a frantic show, but I love it and can’t wait for more.

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Hang around for next week’s episode!

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We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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78 Responses to “First Impressions – Gatchaman Crowds”

  1. joojoobees says:

    As a person who has an obsession with stationary products, I know where she is coming from. Just sayin’.

    • Overcooled says:

      You’ve found your soulmate!

    • BlackBriar says:

      And here I thought Senjougahara was standing alone when it came to stationary products.

      • Highway says:

        Wait, she used scissors, too, right? Yet another entry in the ‘scissors as a menacing weapon’ pantheon!

        • Highway says:

          I mean Hajime with this. I don’t recall Hitagi using scissors.

          • BlackBriar says:

            Now that you mention scissors, I can’t say Senjougahara is the only one using stationary products anymore. There’s Dansai Bunri’s Kiri, Nazo no Kanojo X’s Mikoto Urabe and Inu to Hasami’s Kirihime.

            • skylion says:

              Yes, but Senjougahara will always be the prime example.

        • BlackBriar says:

          In Bakemonogatari, Senjougahara used a stapler and a box cutter on Araragi before becoming boyfriend and girlfriend.

          • Highway says:

            As in “not scissors” :)

            No, Sumairii and I were discussing the proliferation of scissor-based fighting implements and wondering if it had become “a thing”. Urabe Mikoto (Nazo no Kanojo X), Haimura Kiri (Dansai Bunri), now Natsuno Kirihime (Inu to Hasami) and Hajime.

            • BlackBriar says:

              With this handful of people using scissors in a way that could be seen assassination techniques, it probably has become a thing.

            • Overcooled says:

              It really is becoming “a thing.” In Dangan Ronpa, scissors get involved. That’s all I’ll say to avoid spoilers though!

  2. lvlln says:

    Gatchaman was one of the first anime I ever watched back in Korea, probably when I was 4 or 5 years old. I always think of the trademark eagle suits and the plane they used to have. Actually, that’s about the extent to which I remember the series; a quarter century can do stuff to memories.

    Gatchaman Crowds feels and looks so different, it might as well be a different series. But I guess it’s keeping the basic premise the same. Hajime and her otaku fangirling seems like a way to update the franchise for a new era, in this time where every piece of media, especially comedy, leans heavily on the meta, self-referential jokes. You can’t just have a straight-up serious super hero story anymore.

    I’m liking the use of CG for the action scenes so far, and I hope it gets expanded in future episodes. The animation looked good, but the direction and choreography was only passable. Hoping for more exciting action set pieces.

    • skylion says:

      Quarter century? I got that plus ten years. It does even more to my memory….

    • Overcooled says:

      Yes, I was hoping at least someone had seen the original Gatchaman so I could (vicariously) see how the two compare. I’m aware these two shows are essentially two different beasts entirely, but it’s still neat.

      The CG is super nice, but I’m not sure if the actual fight scenes will be that good. I hope so!

  3. Liza says:

    The designs are so nice! *_* The color palettes along with everything else is so nice.

    The only problem I have is Hajime. Her personality is seriously grating on me and I almost dropped this show about ten minutes in because of her. I’m really hoping she mellows out a little bit otherwise I don’t think I can make it through this show…

    • Overcooled says:

      She’s definitely on that border of genki cute and genki annoying. It’s a thin line to tread, but so far I think it could work.

      • BlackBriar says:

        She bounces back and forth to each side but you can’t really say anything about her because she doesn’t stay put. The girl is like the Energizer bunny. She keeps going and going.

  4. skylion says:

    Battle of the Planets. That is what Ninja Science Team Gatchaman was for my back in the 1970’s. Now, I have much stronger memories and fondness for Star Blazers/Space Battleship Yamato, but I do recall at least a few passing references to BotP on the school playground back in the day. But that is the past.

    In the present, it seem that only the name, GATCHAMAN has any sort of purchase into the past. It is a super team, and they do have a mission. That being said, I love this show, and it doesn’t even have to make peace with my childhood memories.

    …cause Hajime is just all that. Is it me, or is her character and the backgrounds cut from the same cloth? It’s like all the design is either competing with her, or contrasting/comparing to her at every turn…

    She’s a winner, and it helps that the VA behind Rika Takanashi is doing a bang up job. She doesn’t take a thing seriously, which is why she is going to kick so much butt…

    • Gecko says:

      Hajime has the background issues because her hair color and eye color is brown. That’s a neutral color and since a lot of the school/city stuff is gray, brown, ect (more neutral colors) she would seem to mix right in with the backgrounds for attention because she doesn’t stick out anywhere beyond her note-blushing pink.

      But then when the colors show up like crazy, she’s competing because her hair is that brown color and sticks out because the other colors aren’t neutrals. Her hair would normally not stick out, but she’s Hajime. She’s going to stick out.

      That might explain part of it, although there’s not a huge amount of texture anywhere either, so that makes everything out to be the “same cloth.” It’s all shiny.

    • Highway says:

      Wait, what? Battle of the Planets was Gatchaman? I didn’t watch it much, but I remember it.

      • Overcooled says:

        Awesome, more people who watched the original. I’m counting on you guys to catch any vague, throwback references!

        • Highway says:

          Boy, don’t count on me. I barely watched it, and don’t remember anything except the spandex suits with bird helmets and a chunky spaceplane.

          • skylion says:

            Yeah, we we’re like 8 or 9 years old then. And I think a YouTube search can trump our memories.

            • Overcooled says:

              Don’t worry! I am confident in your 9 year old selves! I’m sure it’s hidden in there somewhere as repressed memories. =w=

            • BlackBriar says:

              Have them barrow the Animus from Assassin’s Creed and we’ll see how things go from there! 😀

            • skylion says:

              tylerdurden.jpg

              “You don’t know where I’ve been. You don’t know where I’ve beeeeèeeeeeeen.

  5. Oori says:

    I was totally like uhmm.. ahhh… hmm… always whenever I see a “man” word attached to the end of the title. It always, if not usually tells it’s a Kamen Rider/ Power Ranger show, which I’m not in particular into. However once I gave it a try, the atmosphere was as described above by Overcooled, it’s too

    zany to ignore

    as. Hajime is probably the one that took me into the show. Especially when it moment like —> “Imagination is unlimited? Think of a new color.” The case here was —> “Imagination is unlimited? Think of a fetish.”

    Notebook fetish – Something new to explore.

    Overall what I liked about the show was the eccentric persona that Hajime showed… I think I just watching the show for Hajime.

    • skylion says:

      …I think Hajime is the show.

      • HannoX says:

        Yes. She’s nuts and thus is so much fun to watch. Without her it’d just be another “super hero team battles evil aliens” show.

    • Overcooled says:

      I would have been very skeptical if it wasn’t directed by Kenji Nakamura, who I have a huge bias towards. The name Gatchman makes me think of Powers Rangers as well. Fortunately, it turned out to be a fun show.

      I like her energy! It’s infectious, for the most part. I wonder if any of the other characters will be as memorable as her, or if she’ll really be the main star.

  6. BlackBriar says:

    Are you telling me there was a previous Gatchaman? I’ve been missing a lot of stuff. I went in with no expectations and it was a nice watch. The vibrant animation was the best part.

    I was immediately pulled into how surreal everything in this show was and I didn’t mind the fact of it being so flashy and colorful. The overall show feels like a freaky space version of Power Rangers with the characters using their notes to transform and everyone assembling around JJ as if he was Zordon. JJ was not the kind of name I would have imagined for an ominous and enigmatic alien.

    It was annoying at first but I came to accept how ditzy and carefree Hajime is. Stressing over her personality isn’t going to do any good because it doesn’t look like she’s going to change anytime soon so it’s best to go with the flow.

    Does this show have my attention? Yes it does. Will I be inclined to watch more of it? You can bet that it’s a “yes”.

    • skylion says:

      Yay! We got BB!

    • Overcooled says:

      There was! Not that I’ve actually seen it.

      I actually don’t think I’d describe Hajime as ditzy. She’s carefree and very unprofessional, but she understands the role of Gatchaman and how to transform immediately without even getting flustered.

      • BlackBriar says:

        At least she has some indication of knowing when it’s time to get serious because otherwise, in another story, she’d be killed off easily.

  7. Gecko says:

    I loved watching this first episode. Absolutely loved it. The crazy coloring is reminding me of Tsuritama (which I marathoned last week) and Penguindrum. Hajime is crazy, but I think that’s going to be great with this show. Her obsession over notes reminded me of Ringo Oginome’s obsession with the diary at first, which probably made me like her more. And she just accepts everything about what’s up, which is soo nice. We don’t have a “Shoe” here, and that will help any plot stay strong.

    I was grinning my face off after this first episode was over. Between the colors and music, I’m good to go for this show. Never even seen the original Gatchaman stuff, although I briefly looked at a very old image of a team- I’m very glad they aren’t in spandex and weird helmets.

    • skylion says:

      I won’t lie, but nostalgia makes me miss the spandex and bird helmets.

    • Overcooled says:

      I get a lot of Penguindrum vibes too. I think it’s partially from Hajime and her notebook obsession as well as the rainbow transformations.

      I’m so glad they completely revamped it. There’s just no way to make spandex look good…

  8. Highway says:

    I’m with the in-Crowd here. I worried for about a minute whether Hajime would be an annoying character that got old. And she just never did. And the reason, I think, is because she’s herself. I expected Paiman’s and Sugane’s “you gotta be serious” crap to change her, but it so didn’t, and that was great. And then they try to saddle her with all these rules, and she’s just ‘nah’. And finally, I was afraid that, having dodged the “carefree girl gets straightened up” trope, she was going to be either the ‘falls apart when danger lurks’ or “dojikko clumsies her way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory”. And they said “Nope!” and just made her super competent too. That was SO AWESOME!

    I loved the colors, the riot, the MESS, everything about the show, but it wouldn’t have been half as good if they hadn’t kept Hajime the way she is. Paiman keeps going on about how they can’t piss off JJ, and all his rules about not using the NOTE and all that stuff. I say feh! JJ picked Hajime. If he’s so high and omnipotent, he knows *exactly* what she is, and what he got in the deal. And that’s what he wanted. I hope it keeps exactly the same way.

    • Overcooled says:

      It wouldn’t do if she was hyper AND klutzy, because that would just be too much. I was really happy that she was so quick on the uptake. I like that even Paiman was surprised she got his explanation so quickly. She does things at her own pace, but it hasn’t had any negative consequences so far…so I see no reason for her to stop. It’s not like JJ ever tells her to stop being so casual, so what’s the harm?

      • Highway says:

        Exactly. And while she was just agreeing with Paiman’s explanations of stuff, I thought she was just blowing him off, not actually understanding it, so again, I was worried about klutzy / airheaded coming out.

  9. JPNIgor says:

    I don’t know if I’m retarded or plainly dense, because I didn’t see any sexual innuendos .-.

    But yeah, Gatchaman is just as awesome as I imagined. I didn’t even know that Gatchaman was about superheroes, since I didn’t know the brand before. It’s nice to see a change of pace, since all my life I’ve been watching Power Rangers and their personalities are usually flawless. Seeing superheroes with twisted personalities is too much fun.

    And Hajime… You’re a freak. It’s incredible that you’ve got someone to bother about your notebooks… people would usually ignore you. And WTF why would you play tag with a giant mummified man with vampiric teeths?! Are you crazy? Yes, you are ¬¬

    • Gecko says:

      Don’t worry, I only really saw one sexual innuendo – JJ pulling the NOTE out of Hajime.

      • anaaga says:

        I actually had a hard time watching that. It was really… Sexual. I was blushing through that whole scene. And I was watching it next to my crush, so there’s that.

      • Overcooled says:

        Yeah, I think that’s the scene Kyo is chiefly referring to. It wasn’t SUPER sexual, but the moaning was definitely added in specifically to make you think of a sex scene.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Ah, Guilty Crown nostalgia!! Inori was moaning and blushing as Shu pulled the sword out of her.

        • anaaga says:

          NNNOOOOOOO don’t remind me of that

          • BlackBriar says:

            It’s too late! What’s done is done. 😀

          • d-LaN says:

            ShuxHaru/Ayase is OTP and Arisa should be dead by the end of it. 😛
            Or you can just reset your memories of Inori void-rape with the SG extraction of CCC.

            In all seriousness, I heard Lost Christmas is miles above its source material. Would like to see it translated.

      • skylion says:

        Does this remind you of anything?

  10. Irenesharda says:

    Well, I honestly don’t really know what to say about this episode.

    It was trippy, weird, made no sense, and very confusing. I have never seen a Gatchaman series in my life, nor have I seen anything done by these animators. And I feel that that’s unfortunate since I feel very lost with this series.

    They say you’re supposed to be able to see this without having watched any other Gatchaman series. However, I just feel as if I was dumped into this and have to play serious catch up.

    The main characters are all weird as all heck, the colors and patterns are close to giving me a headache and the plot seems extremely shallow. It really seems as if this is the acid-trip version of Power Rangers, with the same villain-per-week plotline, with some sort of overall villain that is sending them.

    It was an okay pilot, but I feel that the plot is going to get really tedious and boring as the show goes on. Also, I’m not one to usually complain about the animation, but this was really out there. I will give it a few more episodes, but I’m not seeing much here.

    I give this episode a 5/10.

    • Highway says:

      Really? I thought it was a pretty standard ‘hero origin’ type of story, and thought they explained it all pretty well. I couldn’t be described as knowing anything about Gatchaman either, but I don’t think that really had that much to do with it. It seemed to stand on its own.

      • Irenesharda says:

        To me it felt as if the heroes all knew something I didn’t know and I just felt left out. Everyone mentions Gatchaman everywhere and their catchphrase as if you should know it, but all I could think was “who or what is Gatchaman?”
        Then when they do introduce it, its really a fast, glossed-over explanation that is very generic and standard and never explains why they are called “gatchaman”.

        It’s all very “power rangers-y” and I just can’t seem to connect with it.

        • Highway says:

          Ah, I kind of took that as some meta-misdirection, where the secret force isn’t so secret, but there’s plausible deniability, so there are rumors about them, but it’s so out there that they aren’t believed.

          I guess it is a bit power-ranger-y, although I thought their transform outfits were directly out of Accel World.

        • Overcooled says:

          You may be thinking about it too much. Gatchaman is just Gatchaman. They fight aliens, and that’s about all you need to know. But there’s no denying that it still has that Power Rangers feel, so if that’s not your thing I can totally see why you wouldn’t enjoy it.

          • skylion says:

            Well, the only thing I can say about Power Rangers, that I have direct contact with is: The Drinking Game. Yeah, back in the early Nineties we used to rent videos, and get bottles of Jameson, Jaegermeister. Schlitz, etc. and drink on cue.

            Unnecessary “martial arts” movements. Take a drink.
            When a shot obviously looked like the Yellow Ranger was a guy. Drink.
            Ai-yai-yai? Oh, yeah. Bottoms up.
            First Transformation. Finish what you had in hand.
            Any time the Pink Ranger even vaguely turned you on? Up turn that bottle…

            etc. etc. pass out…

            • Irenesharda says:

              LOL, Well, I was 5 when Power Rangers came out, so that really wasn’t an option for me. 😛

            • skylion says:

              Well, strictly speaking, it was an option! Just a very very bad one.

              But, at the age you are now. I hope you can find something similar. The place where that stuff happened was this four bedroom rented house, and it was nerd central. We also did Vampire LARP there, and held an anime club, where Ramna 1/2 was the thing, along with Gainax’s first outing, “Wings of Honnemise”. Manga exchange. Drinking. Some mild debauchery. Good times.

          • Irenesharda says:

            I might stick with it for one more episode or so, but I feel like this might just not be for me. :(

            • skylion says:

              Ah, man. I’ve come to respect your views on lots of the shows here. I think this one has some solid potential. Stick around.

            • Irenesharda says:

              Well, we’ll see. This show has two more episodes to change my mind.
              I guess, if it wasn’t so random and had some more character development and exposition with a touch of a slightly deeper plot, I might actually enjoy it a little.

              Hey, I said MJP was as generic as they come, but I’m still sticking with that, and it’s actually gotten pretty good at this point. So who knows? Maybe this one will be able to earn my attention.

  11. JapanInspired says:

    Amazing anime. When I only saw the character desing, I already knew that this anime was going to be amazing.
    I love how colorful it is, and the music so great.
    Hajime really makes me think how she doesn’t get into trouble with her personality, though. Haha

    I can’t wait to see what’s next.

    • Overcooled says:

      The guy with neon green lipstick is a real winner. I love the way he looks so much!

      I’m surprised she hasn’t had any negative repercussions from just kind of doing whatever she wants. Sure, just disobey every rule – it doesn’t matter at all!

      • Highway says:

        I think the thing about the ‘rules’ is that they’re Paiman’s rules about what to do, as he imagines JJ wants them. They’re not actually JJ’s rules. We’ll find out if she gets in trouble, but so far the rules she is breaking seem to be just petty manager rules.

        • skylion says:

          That was my interpretation. My goodness but Paiman is just riddled with middle management tropes…

  12. Soliia says:

    Oh god, I loved it!

    A lot of people seem to dislike Hajime, but I loved her to death! She’s really cute and eccentric. The soundtrack is great, too. Ugh, the style is definitely the best part though. I was kind of confused as to what was going on, but it was entertaining so I didn’t mind much.

    Yup, yup, this was a fun watch and I look forward to more.

    • Gecko says:

      High five to confusion but loving it and happily continuing along in hopes of answers!

    • Overcooled says:

      I don’t love her, but I certainly like her. Overall it’s just really fun and I know I’m going to be excited for this each week.

  13. MikADo says:

    i have no absolute clue about what is going on her head, but i like the art, and the cg is cool. but srsly, is it because im a guy or is she just plain crazy?

    • Kyokai says:

      She’s plain crazy, MikADo! You are not alone in thinking it. xD Though, this is the thing that makes you like her. You can’t ignore her even if you want to.

      • MikADo says:

        really, she cant be overlooked ;P i guess i will watch it until i cant handle her XD

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