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