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|A lot of my friends have their birthdays around this time, which means I’m extra busy puttering about scavenging for gifts. Anyways, in between trying to bake the perfect treats for my friends I’m still trying to stay up-to-date with anime. I get excited whenever Gatchaman Crowds comes out, so it’s never too hard to stay on top of blogging when you’re covering really great shows.|
The heavens must have heard me complaining about Hajime outshining all of the other characters. Lo and behold, this episode gave everyone else got lots of time to shine.While Hajime is still clearly the main focus, she wasn’t barging into every single scene. We see Utsutsu-chan and OD in their natural element, idly chatting without her. Jou engages in solo combat with the kissy-monster. There’s also a lot to take in about the increasingly baffling Rui. I suppose episode 2 was needed to fully cement Hajime’s personality in place so we could then understand the other characters in relation to her. It’s weird. Despite everyone getting their own piece of limelight, they still manage to connect back to Hajime in some way.
So cute that I can’t NOT use -chan at the end of her name every single time
For example, although we learn more about OD and Utsutsu-chan, it’s largely in relation to how they behave around Hajime. When together, OD relates to Hajime’s obtuse way of thinking incredibly well and they get on like two peas in a pod. When apart, he still talks about the merits of befriending Hajime to Utsutsu-chan. No matter what, she ends up being the topic of conversation. The cute thing we learn about Utsutsu-chan is that she’s not the type to actively go out and make friends (I call that the venus fly trap approach to socializing) and therefore is hesitant to try and be friendly with Hajime. It’s not that she hates people or is surly – she just isn’t outgoing. I think she actually wants to get close to Hajime, but either doesn’t know how or is too lazy (dreamy?) to reciprocate.
One of the big things Hajime is trying to promote within the Gatchaman organization is making friends. She forced Sugane to tag along with her to collage club meetings, and now she’s smothering Utsutsu-chan with attention. Slowly but surely, her morals are being passed on to the other club members. It’s no wonder people are throwing around the “manic pixie dream girl” trope to describe her, because she really has been quite the (manic) catalyst so far. It doesn’t fit her perfectly, but you can’t deny that she’s having much more of an influence on others than other people have on her.
Sugane has spent the most time at her mercy, and seems to have already started to change his previously indomitable stubbornness. For someone so set on killing MESS, he’s surprisingly accepting of Hajime’s new method for subduing them. It’s nice to see him adapt to the change while Paiman is so hard-wired to “KILL EVERYTHING” mode that he literally keels over at the concept of something new. Out of everyone, he’s been the least affected by Hajime’s ways. This is shown as being a very bad thing, and if he was more than a soccerball-sized pile of fur I’d be worried about him meddling and thus screwing things up royally. The overall message seems to be that adapting to change and thinking through each unique situation carefully for a solution is the right thing to do. Once you fall into a routine, you stop thinking about the best way to react. You have to be fluid.
Again, Hajime preaches like some wise old philosopher about being conscious of your choices in terms of GALAX-usage. Just when Sugane caves in and admits GALAX is great, Hajime turns around and tells him that blindly trusting it is no good either. I’m sure Sugane is very confused, being a very black-or-white/in-or-out kind of guy. I’m glad he’s at least started to accept things like GALAX though. He’s coming around a little bit and admitting that Hajime is right sometimes. To be fair, she’s almost always right though.
I like how she’s this potent agent of change for everyone, but I worry that she might end up being too right. It’s no fun if someone is never wrong. That means Hajime won’t ever get the chance to grow if she’s already a perfect person – unburdened by mistakes or evil deeds. I want her to lead the Gatchaman crew in the right direction, but I also don’t want her to be correct about every single thing. We’ll see. Maybe she’ll continue to be perfect and godmode her way to the final episode and I’ll end up loving it anyways.
This isn’t your typical Facebook game anymore…
Last but not least on the list of characters episode 3 elaborate on is Rui. She hasn’t even met Hajime, but I can’t help but see some similarities to our bubbly heroine. Or rather, points where the two will be opposed. The thing about Rui is that he carries himself like a villain (the brooding in front of giant monitors and megane glint really sell him as such), he’s a hero. Like Hajime, he wants to improve the world using a mixture of his own wits (GALAX) and his magical powers. We know Hajime has the whole mecha scissor thing going her way, but we don’t know what special power Rui has. He’s very conservative about using it, so it either has a big drawback or is so powerful that he really doesn’t want to rely on something so beyond the scope of mankind. My guess is that the drawback is something like being hard to control or damaging in some way to the 100 hand-selected users. It’s interesting that he has such a strong sense of justice, but goes about it in a much more cynical fashion than Hajime does. I’ll be curious to see how the two interact once they meet.
So far, I see Rui as a hero because he’s saving people and not asking for anything unreasonable in return. I see nothing wrong with wanting to create an Animal Crossing/Twitter hybrid and improving the world. GALAX is really a fun concept for the show, and I’m glad this episode put so much effort into describing it further. I loved seeing the various features such as the all-knowing X, the ability to hack into systems and find out when milk has gone bad, and even alerting nearby professionals when someone is in trouble. Again, X reminds me of Higashi no Eden’s Juiz, a cellphone “receptionist” who will answer your questions and help you out.
The appeal behind GALAX is so strong that I actually wish we had something like that now. Right now. Seriously, imagine needing a dogwalker/dentist/lawyer/prostitute and being able to just ping them? The beauty of the system is that no one is required to respond, yet they still do. GALAX gives everyone a little incentive to be nice to each other, and that’s enough to make people a lot less douchey. It still requires a carrot to be dangled in front of people before they do anything though, which Rui apparently hates. My guess is that his end goal is to either have a GALAX system that functions the same way minus the rewards once humanity has been conditioned enough.
GALAX has really made things interesting. I know all they did was yell at teachers and unplug vending machines, but that scene in the school felt so energizing. Part of that was probably the already iconic “GATCHMAAAAAN” song playing, but it genuinely felt like an exciting victory. I’m starting to get really pumped up for how they’re going to mix the story with MESS with GALAX and have heroes like Gatchman mixed with average civilians saving the day.
If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say the kissy monster (according to MAL he’s called Berg, but we’ve never been formally introduced in the show) is a rogue MESS. The MESS communicate by changing their body shape and what does this guy do? He shapeshifts. The key wrench in my theory here is that he doesn’t make people disappear, he isn’t following the hivemind trend of MESS and he’s not a floating rubix cube. Hmm. Whatever he is, it’s certainly not human.
I’m also concerned about Hajime’s “don’t trust the internet” advice coming back later on. Not everyone has a Hajime to give them worldly advice, so perhaps Rui will send out a false alert on GALAX in the future and completely trick everyone into doing something. He might be given false info by the more-than-just-creepy voice in his head or his near-sentient giant computer. Although MESS are supposedly higher beings, you can’t help but think having a hivemind mentality is bad. And that just might be what happens to the human’s way of thinking if they rely on GALAX too much.
Bonus (if you play Animal Crossing): Show ▼