Gatchaman Crowds – 02

Gatchaman Crowds 003

Worse than being walked in on while bathing.

GATCHAMAAAAAAAN~! I don’t remember how the rest of that song goes, but I do know that it’s my favourite song of the show so far. I’m already excited for the OST and it’s only been 2 episodes. But music aside, how is the rest of the show faring? I’m sure some of you are still on the “3-episode test” stage for this and maybe other shows too. All in all, I felt like episode 2 wasn’t quite as good for a few reasons.

Hajime is a fun character who adds life to Gatchaman Crowds, but I think we need to see her in measured doses. Episode 2 has a lot of issues with frantic pacing and erratic changes from one train of thought to the next, and I mostly blame Hajime for this. If you have a lead character who has the attention span of a puppy with ADHD, then the plot will likewise become very unfocused. As our narrator of sorts, she’s a little too chaotic to really tell a focused story. Furthermore, her way of life is different than almost every other character in the show. This causes a lot of friction between her and cast members, making it very hard for them to interact. Their conversations rarely come to a solid point because Hajime never explains things clearly and everyone else is too stubborn to cave in.  As a result, we know very little about the other members.

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I wish we got to know some of the characters more while they’re alone. Hajime isn’t able to get info out of them, but I think we’d learn a lot from someone else being the star of a scene for once. We only caught a few glimpses at Jou playing darts and Utsutsu-chan cleaning up, but I need a little more than that. Sugane is the closest one to being a co-protagonist, but he’s contradicted by Hajime so often that it’s hard to sympathize with him. In Gatchaman Crowds, her opinion is framed as being the right one while everyone else is framed as being wrong. It’s never explicitly stated and everyone still kinda clicks their tongue at her when she acts out, but you get the feeling that Hajime’s way is much better.

So far every time she’s disobeyed orders, it has worked in her favour. She has tons of friends, gets along with the Mayor by donating to charities, and befriends a MESS without any injuries. I get the feeling it won’t be long until everyone has no choice but to adopt her (slightly unorthodox) methods. Blindly following orders rarely turns out well – especially when alien races beyond human comprehension are involved. Since Hajime has the key to fixing everything and unlocking the secrets behind MESS, I hope the other characters have interesting secrets too. So far there’s not a lot to say about them except “boy, that one certainly acts gay” and “gee, that one looks like Urara from Tsuritama joined a biker gang.”

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I like how the scissoring motion is her new “thing.” Maybe she’s taking this seriously in her own way.

On the bright side, Hajime is still a load of fun. She’s so enthusiastic about this alien-fighting business that she makes up the most flamboyant French names for her attacks. I also like that behind all of her eccentricities is a genuinely smart and kind young girl. She has a lot of profound thoughts about the importance of having a wide worldview, getting to know people before casting judgements, and how to bring people together through kindness. If you could peek inside her head I’m sure you’d be impressed. Unfortunately, she can’t communicate her feelings at all. You know your ability to express yourself is shot when you resort to sound effects and obscure hand motions as the main vehicle for getting your point across.

You know how geniuses are sometimes a bit insane? I’d say Hajime treads this line constantly, which is why she comes off as being very unimpressive to someone like Sugane who is very by-the-books.. In fact, JJ’s reference to an “insane bird” is probably her. Not too much of a stretch given her bird hair clip and that JJ cuts out 5 paper birds – one for each member of the Gatchaman team. Based on her hair clip and all the focus on the white one, I guess that’s her. I really wish she had actually asked JJ whatever she was about to ask, because MAN THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD TIME.

I’m curious just how much Hajime is going to change things. Not just little things like dragging Sugane out and helping him make friends, but large-scale plans such as how to tackle the MESS. It’s clear that there’s more to them than a purely predator-prey relationship here. MESS are intelligent beings. She realized this when the first one reacted to her “choki-choki/snip snip” battlecry by morphing into a makeshift pair of scissors. If the MESS can be “befriended” in a way, then this changes everything. Sugane will have no choice but to believe her. Besides, I think the true enemy here may be the red-haired guy voiced by Mamoru Miyano as well as the trap(?) with the impressive computer running GALAX.

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Like one of those addictive Facebook games mixed with the power of the phone system in Higashi no Eden

Although things get very hectic in this episode, I’m glad there’s more to this than just killing aliens. GALAX sounds like a really cool concept to throw into the mix. The city is in a state where people know about Gatchaman, but think it’s too obvious of a prank to be real. Instead of relying on a hero, civilians take it upon themselves to use GALAX to interact and call for help. It gets to the point where GALAX usage is so high it’s threatening to replace things like calling 911. I like how everyone is so cynical about being rescued and how they just want to take things into their own hands. That sort of thinking will most likely lead to a big crisis later on. Something must be up if the man behind it all smiles maliciously when he hears about GALAX popularity increasing.

Yet another addition to this crazy mixing pot of ideas is the red-haired guy who makes out with people to steal their bodies. I honestly don’t even know what to say about that other than…wow, that really happened. Looking forward to see how Kenji Nakamura somehow ties all of these elements together. There are so many promising components to this show, but it’s just not meshing together well right now. I’m optimistic that next week will start to slow down and focus more. Let’s hope for the best!

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Did you just flip over two trap cards in one turn?!


A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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78 Responses to “Gatchaman Crowds – 02”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    I’m glad Hajime is around for her flexibility because having Sugane alone is boring because he’s so stiff and doesn’t know how to lighten up. I guess he’s never heard of the phrase “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” and he’s as dull as they come. Kudos to her using French names to her attacks. I feel somewhat honored that she did considering that I speak the language.

    Looks like the group won’t have to do much fighting if Hajime is able to tame and befriend the enemy. As for question as to why her powers revolve around scissors, it’s probably based on what she does during her daily life like tending to all those arts and crafts.

    The member that I want some answers from is Utsutsu. Why is she walking around half naked all the time? It’s obvious she’s not self conscious about it.

    To those who don’t know, you’re going to flip to this revelation. According to ANN, their leader JJ is a vampire, an alien vampire. Honestly, 2013 is being nothing but good to me.

    Side note: Hey, OC, since you’re a bit bummed about how the episode went, I have some information that might cheer you up: 2nd Psycho-Pass Anime Season Is Underway.

    • Sumairii says:

      Are you serious? More space vampires? Guess they’re gonna be the next big rage. XD

      • Irenesharda says:

        Hey, maybe he left Valvrave because they weren’t going to let him have a mech? 😛
        However, I bet he can do Magius speech very well. He seems perfect for that sort-of silent, chant-y thing. If he begins to be surrounded by glowy green sparkles, this will be the best thing ever! ROFL!

      • BlackBriar says:

        If you’re surprised, imagine how I felt when I saw that. That was something I ran into purely by accident.

      • Overcooled says:

        I knew he was alien…I just assumed he had extra sharp teeth. Soon they’ll try to outdo space vampires with space werewolves…

        • skylion says:


          • BlackBriar says:

            They would have to find another name for that species because it makes me think of an old cartoon with the same name that used to play on Cartoon Network.

        • BlackBriar says:

          I hope not. They’re already pushing it with space vampires. I can’t even begin to imagine how a space werewolf would look like.

          • D-LaN says:

            Aliens werewolf 😉

            • BlackBriar says:

              It’s still hard to picture how they look. 😉

            • D-LaN says:

              Well, one of the aliens in Ben 10 is a alien werewolf.

            • BlackBriar says:

              How coincidental.

        • Sumairii says:

          Could it be? Might they be ever so slowly edging towards the ultimate… the unthinkable… the SPACE ALIEN?!! Aliens! From space! That’s just outrageous!

    • Irenesharda says:

      Honestly though, I though JJ was a vamp the first time I saw him. I mean, he looks like he’s the undead, has claws, and some pretty sharp fangs with a hypnotizing gaze. Also, his touch can make pretty girls people feel quite a bit of ecstasy if Hajime’s response is anything to go by. 😉

      • skylion says:

        Drilling holes gave Hajime some ecstacy….

        • HannoX says:

          Ha, ha, yes! I don’t think there’s anything that Hajime wouldn’t find fun.

      • BlackBriar says:

        I didn’t know what to think of him because he was from space even though having those fangs. Excluding the fact he’s from space, his features do fit the appearance and abilities of a vampire. Maybe they added the alien thing to throw us off because it was too suspiscious. Instead of being bitten, I guess the feeling of having a note being pulled out of your body is pleasurable.

    • Overcooled says:

      Psycho-Pass S2? I’m so there.

      • BlackBriar says:

        I knew that would get your attention. Now all that is left to do is painfully wait for it to start airing.

  2. Highway says:

    We get so few straight out Mary Sue characters that having one like Hajime is a treat (the last one I can think of was Akatsuki in Hagure Yuusha). Everything comes up jackpot for her, and so far she’s always right, even when she lets the MESS ‘go’. Yeah, she’s hectic and the show’s as settled as a grill full of bees, but it’s working so far.

    I thought the GALAX concept, where proximity allows responses, was a neat idea. It would take a significant shift in attitudes for it to work, but if it happened, I think that would be a very big positive for the world.

    • Overcooled says:

      Usually Mary Sue is seen as a bad thing, but I kinda dig how she shamelessly fills that role.

      I wish we had a GALAX system too. It would be so handy…plus you get cute clothes!

      • JapanInspired says:

        I want GALAX in our would too sooo badly.

        lol for cute clothes.

      • Highway says:

        Part of her acceptability could be that she doesn’t overdo the Mary Sue trope. Yeah, she’s hyper competent and way ahead of everyone and knows the mayor and the fire chief, but so far she’s not the daughter of the important person, or the ojou-sama, or the know-it-all, or any of the ‘me too’ kind of things that make the trope so eye-roll-y.

        This could change, of course, but right now (like I mentioned with Akatsuki in Hagure Yuusha) it’s fun knowing that the heroine is going to know what to do, kick butt doing it, and enjoy herself.

  3. Irenesharda says:

    Well, while Hajime is still annoying, this show has actually picked up a bit for me.

    Gatchaman Crowds may not be the simple “power rangers” knock-off that I thought it was and seems to have quite a few layers of plot running through it. We seem to have a history here about this world involving some disaster that happened prior to the opening of the show. We also have to call into question what the MESS really are, why are they taking people and who are the real enemies here? What really is GALAX? There seems to be something just a bit sinister about it. And who is this green-eyed boy dressed in drag that has a NOTE with another symbol upon it that seems to be controlling GALAX? Who is the pointy-toothed he/she that seems to feed on misery and anger? This episode decided to pull ALL the questions out of the bag.

    Hajime and the Sugane have some romantic tension and anger building up, where she is showing him how to gain friends and let go. However, even if I can see what they are trying to do with her character, I still find her way too random and idiotic for an MC. Her ability to never take anything seriously is a bit grating. I can usually like a character to be out of the box, but this is really to the extreme! Perhaps that why I find Jou as my favorite character. There is so much randomness in this show, that I have to steady myself by falling back on our standard laid-back emo cool guy, who happens to be a megane-kun as well. All the better…;)

    I give this episode a 7.7/10.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yes, pretty much EVERYTHING came out into the open this episode – even if just for a brief moment. There’s a lot more to this than bashing aliens over the head. Some of it sounds like it could be really exciting later on. I just hope it doesn’t get too jumbled.

      She certainly has..her own way of life. I still quite like how she’s bringing all this positive energy to the team. I’m still grateful for mellow characters like Jou and Utsutsu-chan to balance her out though. Jou is mighty cool…

  4. JapanInspired says:

    I thought that Hajime’s and Sugune’s argument was kind of cute. Even though I’m on Hajime’s side, I kind of understand Sugune’s point of view.
    Oh, and to the people, who dislike Hajime’s character. My friend said that she looks like “a foolish girl that gets easily into trouble and doesn’t think about consequences”.
    Hajime just sees things from a different side, tries to make the world a better place, and enjoys her life the way she likes it.
    Yeah, she’s a bit different, but I just can’t see why you don’t like her T_T
    And finally we meet the “bad-guys” of the show.
    I kind of think that Miyano-san’s voice made the flashy dark-pink-haired character even scarier than just his design. He looks cool, but…he gives me the chill.
    And did he eat the sole of a human? Or did he simply copy the look of that drunkard?
    And that megane cross-dresser. Him having a NOTE like the Gatchaman have got me soooo thinking alot. Is he a traitor? Does that “panda” know anything? Why was that megane cross-dressing? Is that his hobby? (but that’s kind of the least thing I want to know, though). Ahgr, I can’t wait for next week’s episode. As well as the OST and the full OP song.

    • Highway says:

      My friend said that she looks like “a foolish girl that gets easily into trouble and doesn’t think about consequences”.

      That’s the thing I think some people might not be getting from the show. Sure, she seems to be that way from the beginning, but then it becomes obvious that that’s not the way she is. The only ‘trouble’ she gets into is with Paiman and Sugane and their petty rules and straight directions. She was thinking four steps ahead of Sugane when they fought that MESS, and turned out to be perfectly correct. She’s just in a completely different league from the rest of them.

      • JapanInspired says:

        Yup! That’s what I tried to explain to my friend.
        I just don’t understand why some people don’t get it.

        • Overcooled says:

          I think the problem is that Hajime’s intentions aren’t immediately visible from her actions and words alone. That makes it very easy to misjudge her. At first glance it seems like she’s doing all this just for fun. You have to kind of get to know her and do some reading between the lines to realize that’s not why she acts the way she does. I kinda like that about her – what you see isn’t exactly what you get.

          Of course, it is possible to understand all this about her and still dislike her for being too hyper. I just don’t see how anyone could say she’s stupid or thoughtless.

          • JapanInspired says:

            Maybe. I actually liked her alot right from the start, she seemed like a very unique and funny character.
            And after she was able to be friend a MESS I started to like her even more.
            I hope people get used to her after a while, since she will change some characters point of view, as long as I know.

  5. HannoX says:

    I like Hajime and think she’s a great MC. Without her this show would just be another run-of-the-mill anime about fighting aliens. She doesn’t just bring humor and a different sensibility to the show. She’s like one of those geniuses who seems insane because they look at the world differently from everyone else. It’s her outlook skewed 90 degrees from the rest of the world that has so far made her successful against the MESS. And it’s in her that lies the world’s hope of coming to an understanding of and with the MESS and ending the war.

    • Overcooled says:

      That special way of thinking will definitely give her an advantage. If anyone could find a new way to fight off those aliens and save the day, it’s her. In fact, it may come down to just making peace with them instead of fighting, just as you say. Hmm, I wonder if the evil Miyano Mamoru-voiced character is a MESS as well or something else entirely.

  6. joojoobees says:

    At this point I would say I am more interested in Gatcha-C than I expected to be. I suppose I can see both sides of the Hajime argument. I say, “keep it coming”.

    • Overcooled says:

      I can see how people find her annoying. Sometimes even I think I’ve had way too much of her for one episode. But all in all, it’s a fun show so I echo your sentiments. Keep it coming, indeed!

      • BlackBriar says:

        It’s contradictive. You want to watch the show even though there’s a character that will most of the time be annoying.

  7. lvlln says:
    If you had that many sex dolls in your room, you’d be annoyed at someone just walking in too.

    I feel like some of the shine has worn off in this show. As you say, Hajime needs to tone herself down a notch and actually start trying to explain herself through dialogue with her peers. Her drilling her room in the spirit of DIY or even walking right up to JJ might be cute, but her deciding unilaterally to let an enemy go isn’t. I was expecting that one to blow up in her face.

    The whole GALAX thing reminds me a lot of the Dollars from Durarara (which itself was reminiscent of Anonymous in real life). Except this isn’t anonymous, so it probably draws a lot from phone SNS games so popular in Japan. I’m curious where that will go, if it’ll be as clever or fun as its use in Durarara. In any case, like Hajime, this seems like a good way to touch up the franchise for modern times; a social network like this as plot device would’ve been unthinkable during Gatchaman’s original run.

    • Overcooled says:

      LOL oh no, those dolls aren’t cute anymore. Too many panda sex dolls…the true reason for pandas being endangered, perhaps?

      Too much time was spent dancing around the point for my liking. I’m still enjoying the show but this episode certainly didn’t feel as fun and exciting. I hope her communication skills improve, because it just won’t do for her to assume everyone can automatically understand what she’s thinking.

      Yeah, it’s very reminiscent of Higashi no Eden or Durarara!!. Gatchaman Crowds is really getting less and less like the original. I like that they’re keeping things fresh though!

  8. sonicsenryaku says:

    Hajime reminds me of Heath Ledger’s joker; she seems chaotic, unintelligent, and everything she seems to do is random….but it’s all…part of the plannnnn

  9. skylion says:

    Hajime is one of the best characters this season. And like so many other comments point out, it’s because the light and bubbly approach is just that. She could be stuck like Paiman and Sugane, but she has so much confidence in what she has under the hood, it makes the rest just good icing.

    I’m liking the background of this show.

    • zztop says:

      I’d say I’m watching this show mostly for its art and designs. I especially like the surrealistic modern art look of the Gatchaman base and the cubic MESS.

      I also like the general funky-cool look of the Gatchaman armour and weaponry the main characters have(especially Hajime and her stationary), since it’s that type of design you can’t normally find in Western comics.

      PS. I’m still anticipating the day Western superhero comics/animations can be more like Gatchaman Crowds.
      Now if only Marvel would let the Avengers battle the forces of sinister Twitter, a crossdressing boy genius and a sexually ambiguous, shark-teeth red haired giant.

      • skylion says:

        …there was some things like that with Morrison’s X-men.

      • Irenesharda says:

        I’m not big on surrealism, cubism, or abstract, my favorite art period styles would probably be romanticist, renaissance, and impressionist. Maybe that’s why I can’t get into the art style and am more tolerating it than really enjoying it.

        And I don’t know, I actually like my Western comics the way they are and the Eastern ones the way they are. There are parts of both that I like and I’d rather have variety than have everything similar.

        • skylion says:

          It’s not all that abstract. It had weight and gravity in the character movements. Hyper-realized is what I would call it.

  10. Gecko says:

    This episode was kind of messy, but I think it went by okay. Hajime is a lot of fun, and I was really enjoying the fact that her French was actually passable! And that the attack names made sense! When she decorated her NOTE, and Pai was telling her that the NOTE is her life, my thought was “…and she made it prettier.”

    I’m guessing that GALAX is going to be a big part of this show, and whatever it does is and how that interferes with the Gatchaman or whatever. Considering Rui is keeping track of how many people have it and trying to get everyone on it, it can’t be all good.

    Everything will start to come together, we just needed to know more of the elements first I bet.

    • skylion says:

      …Rui is also, like any good tech sector vendor, keeping an eye on unique hits and those that install the app but don’t use it or use it infrequently. I like that they put that detail in there.

      And the fact that Hajime has people that use her virtual wares is one heck of a Chekhov’s Gun.

    • skylion says:

      I would like to see her collages come to life as one of her powers. Kinda like the talisman paper magic in fantasy shows.

      • Overcooled says:

        I’m curious if JJ using scissors to cut out paper birds has anything to do with Hajime having scissors as her weapon and an interest in collages. Maybe she will get magical paper powers too.

        • HannoX says:

          Another paper sister to go along with those in R.O.D.?

        • skylion says:

          He cut out five birds, all of them five different colors. Original Gatchaman callback?

          • Highway says:

            I thought it might be, especially the way they flew in a spiral. I seem to remember something like that.

            • BlackBriar says:

              We’ll have to consult you on references used from the original show even if your memory of it is limited.

            • skylion says:

              I saw very few episodes back in the day. and it wasn’t like I had constant reinforcement such as with Star Wars.

        • BlackBriar says:

          I think out of all the members, she’ll have a stronger link with JJ because they do similar things. Paper powers? Just imagine the paper cuts that come with that.

          • HannoX says:

            I think one big reason she’ll have more of a connection with JJ is that unlike the others she’s not afraid to approach him and wants to be friends. The others are too wary of him and his power.

            • BlackBriar says:

              Or you can also say Hajime has no sense of danger though she’s aware of how serious things can get.

    • Overcooled says:

      Messy but good are my thoughts exactly. I couldn’t help but be picky precisely because this is the kind of show I adore. There were many cute things like the DIY section and her NOTE decorations. I thought it looked really cute too. She’s improving her life!

  11. MikADo says:

    I still dont get a thing about her, but i laughed so hard at the panda merchndise ;P

    • BlackBriar says:

      The best part of the show right now is her being a mystery. It would be boring if she’s figured out right away.

  12. JapanInspired says:

    By the way, kind of forgot, anyone have ideas what the blue thing that Hajime poured on the rice was?

    • Highway says:

      It was… blue?

      I think the point was that she made blue food, it looked weird, but was totally good. Food is not blue, unless it’s blueberries.

      • JapanInspired says:

        Nah, that thing was blue. It looked so cool, and I thought “I should try something like that too”. haha

  13. skylion says:

    I have many ideas….none of them palatable.

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