Gatchaman Crowds – 04

Gatchaman Crowds 004

JJ has way too much free time.

Sorry guys, I’ve been really busy. Super busy. Uber busy! My schedule is calming down a bit now that I have some free time, but we’ll see how long that lasts once I start playing Dragon’s Crown. If I’m not working, I’m gaming. Anyways, this week’s episode was a myriad of different events so I’m adopting a category system for this post. I feel like it’ll just work better for everyone instead of me grasping at straws for vaguely relevant segues between paragraphs – at least for this week.

 

Berg Katze: the Crossdressing Devourer of Worlds

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Once the MESS calmed down and stopped making people disappear, they became less of an issue. For now, they’re on the backburner – simmering obediently until their time has come once again to be the main course. The big mystery in the forefront is Berg Katze, the eccentric alien who takes delight in killing humans. He is the insane bird JJ mentioned a few episodes back, as he has the ability to use Gatchaman powers. Furthermore, he is able to grant the power of “Crowds” to people like Rui. I assume he’s very similar to JJ since the two of them like stuffing their hands into people’s chests and pulling out NOTEs. JJ gives them powers to save the world (uh, I hope) but Berg Katze gives Rui powers just so he can turn those powers against him later.

Giving Rui the power of Crowds says a lot about his style of world domination. He’s completely improvising from the usual “alien invasion” script by avoiding complete annihilation. He opts for “complete humiliation” instead. He doesn’t want to destroy them himself. He wants to be the one who sets up the dominos, lightly taps one, and then watches as they all knock each other down themselves. He gives Rui that power because he knows GALAX can seriously backfire on humanity if he plays his cards right. He can build or deplete trust in GALAX by suddenly causing crazy accidents that not even Rui can stop. I’m not quite sure how he’ll escalate this into destroying Earth, but I’m sure he will. He’s interested in nothing but hurting people and destruction. The fact that he says it will be “all your fault” is just rubbing salt into the wound.

O.D. and Paiman actually know quite a deal about Berg Katze, but they are less than helpful in sharing that information. They don’t even have the energy to put on a poker face when he’s mentioned, instead dropping into a heavy silence. It seems they met Berg Katze before…on their home planet. Paiman’s blind fear of the MESS was probably because he was traumatized from losing his home planet. I guess O.D. is also an alien of sorts, and his home planet did not fare well against the likes of the kissy-monster either. However, there must be something more to so that makes them hesitant to explain things to their fellow Gatchaman crew. Is there some other secret they know and aren’t revealing yet?

—————————————————————————————

And All is Right in the World

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Hajime’s reaction to Berg Katze attacking Jou and then blaming the downfall of the entire planet on them is interesting. While everyone else’s kneejerk reaction to go out and kill that slimy bastard, Hajime is left pondering about why he would say something like that. Are they doing something wrong? Is there a way to stop it? Is the alien referring to a specific group of people, like the Gatchaman group? It’s a very Hajime like thing to do. It’s also a very different approach to finding a solution. I’d be more keen on killing the culprit, that’s for sure. Perhaps Hajime will once again find out the truth and figure out an alternative way to solving things, other than outright defeating Berg Katze. As it is now, their powers aren’t working so hot against him.

She uses this optimism once again while talking to Utsutsu-chan. It does something to her, but it’s probably not the effect Hajime wanted. I absolutely despise it when people act cheery to try and make me happy when I’m in a bad mood, so I was partially cringing through her entire speech. I’m actually kind of glad Hajime didn’t magically befriend her instantly though. So far everything she does is so perfect and smart and wonderful. Even if she doesn’t get disappointed like normal people, it’s nice to see even the slightest of road bumps thrown her way. That being said, I bet Utsutsu-chan will come around later on in the future.

—————————————————————————————

Seeing Double

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Gatchaman Crowds has a lot to take it, especially in the visuals. Sometimes I notice things but feel like there’s no point mentioning them because it would take one line to do so and thus waste some of your time. One of those things was a screencap of Utsutsu-chan cleaning the park up…with 2 of her on screen at once. I figured they’d explain it eventually and WELL, HERE YOU GO. Utsutsu-chan is not quite normal. She can create copies of herself and use them to do multiple things at the same time. That sounds great, right? Well, it appears she also has an ability to either kill things or bring them to life. Also cool, but perhaps a bit dangerous. I’m not sure how powerful this is considering Hajime has touched her multiple times before, but Utsutsu-chan is convinced it makes it hard for her to interact with others. Perhaps why she’s always so “dreamy” is because she’s constantly trying to control multiple copies.

—————————————————————————————

GALAX and Crowds

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We go from GALAX being the best thing ever to Rui screaming at the sky in anguish at his powerlessness a few minutes later. I’m surprised they jumped the gun so quickly on Rui’s plans not going smoothly. I would have liked GALAX gaining some more momentum and Rui some more confidence before Berg Katze struck a stinging blow. It was just so cool to see people’s very own souls jump out and help people. Now Rui is going to be so desperate to save everyone that I bet he’ll re-double his efforts and abuse the Crowds ability. He’s the kind of guy who is so obsessed with justice that he’ll cry if he stepped on an ant while pushing someone out of the way from an oncoming train. If he can’t save everyone, he’s not happy.

It’s a noble effort, but it’s quite clear that sort of obsession isn’t the right way to tackle things. GALAX would never outright eliminate human casualties anyways. He shouldn’t take those deaths so personally. Unfortunately, he has Berg Katze taunting him and making him feel personally responsible for signing a deal with the devil. So now he feels like shit because the same being who gave him the power to save people with GALAX is also killing everyone in sight. Rui is in a really interesting position here. He’s got to balance magical powers (similar to the Gatchaman minus the suit, based on his Amnesia Effect ability), the GALAX server, his group of 100 minions and updating the world. It’s a position with only a glimmer of hope in a room of pitch black, and that’s what makes defeat so crushing for him. He’s just so close…but he can’t quite achieve the world he longs for. Ahh, Berg Katze truly is the douchiest of douches.

—————————————————————————————

Death Flag?

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*sexy saxophone music starts playing*

JJ’s paper bird metaphor this week was a little…alarming. He not only added another bird (who I assume is Berg Katze), but he burned up the red one. The red one is most likely Jou, as his Gatchaman suit is red and on fire. This is not good. Jou is the hottest one there and we just found out he wears glasses. You cannot take that away from me! I don’t see Kenji Nakamura as the type to kill off characters, so I hope we’re safe this time around. The show hasn’t really been 100% about fighting anyways, which is a bit relieving. To be honest, I like the shift of focus away from the fighting and towards GALAX. The continual hinting that people trust GALAX more than the police is a bit too blatant for my liking, but I do enjoy seeing Rui struggle. It’s a really interesting set-up that is less “robots beat up aliens while other stuff happens” and more “oh my god look at this stuff happening also robots.” But I suppose you’ve always got a winner when there are robots fighting aliens. Pacific Rim, anyone?

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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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42 Responses to “Gatchaman Crowds – 04”

  1. Highway says:

    I’m not sure what level B-K is on. I thought he was on the analagous level to Jou, Sugane, Hajime, etc. and working for something like JJ, but perhaps he’s more on JJ’s level, and working for something above there. So he’s kind of the anti-JJ.

    • Overcooled says:

      Anti-JJ sounds pretty accurate. He’s got a lot of extra powers compared to Hajime and company.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    Introduce a little anarchy, upset the established order and everything becomes chaos.
    – The Joker (The Dark Knight)

    The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules.
    – The Joker (The Dark Knight)

    You see, madness as you know is like gravity. All it takes is a little push.
    – The Joker (The Dark Knight)

    GALAX backfiring is an understatement. The more users adapt to it, the more it becomes like a full fledged religion with everyone completely devoted to it and I can tell that fact is an ace in the hole for an anarchistic maniac like Berg Katze. Right now, it’s “all part of the plan”.

    What I can guess is that he’s using Rui to get the entire planet consumed by GALAX, then he’ll do something to undermine the system’s capabilities causing everyone to explode out of anger and frustration for putting their faith in something that turns out be completely flawed.

    The fact is, though cute and all, Hajime is still too naïve to understand how morality works and so she’s left pondering on Berg Katze’s words. What I think Berg Katze is trying to say is that humans are ugly inside, hiding who they really are behind a mask.

    Side note: If Berg Katze is symbolized as a bird, then what does that make JJ in the series?

    • Irenesharda says:

      I actually knew something like this was going to occur with GALAX the moment they introduced it. It had that “create something that will bring your own destruction vibe to it” with a bit of a Skynet stink attached to it. Seeing that it was Berg’s tech in the first place, sealed the deal for me. GALAX was doomed from the moment of its conception.

      • Overcooled says:

        Whenever something is too good to be true, things turn ugly real fast…

        • BlackBriar says:

          Anything hinting so much as the term “Perfect Society” follows the same destructive path.

    • AllenAndArth says:

      i will give you a star for the quotes from the joker…
      he my favorite character ever! “He’s too awesome to exist, that’s why he’s a legend in our hearts” people need to learn: “why so serious!”
      and
      Looks like the plot is here, GALAX backfiring came just at the right moment, the next episode is going to come burning, for some reason i’m beginning to like Berg Katze, JJ is the bird master? .-.
      i wonder what’s going to happen when O.D. and Paiman get in the fight, which is going to happen eventually

    • Overcooled says:

      Gotta love those Joker characters who just like watching the world burn.

      I don’t think Hajime is naive though. She’s focusing on deciding what is right or wrong because she knows just how important that is. She just doesn’t have all the info she needs to solve the problem and come to her own decision, which frustrates her. All in all, Hajime is pretty good at weighing up a situation and deciding what the just course of action is. She doesn’t blindly follow, and she almost always makes good choices.

  3. Irenesharda says:

    Well, this episode has proven to be my favorite so far. We are finally getting into the meat of the story. We find that there is another game in town called the CROWDS who are pretty much GALAX’s version of Gatchaman. Unfortunately, they don’t look nearly as good. However, they do get the job done, and do some extra PR for GALAX at the same time.

    This turns out to be a very bad thing as we find out what I have suspected all along, that GALAX is a tool for quite evil purposes. It’s creator the young transvestite Rui, is chosen and manipulated by the psychotic, world-destroying demonic alien, Berg-katze. This alien is so evil that it has even caused Paiman and OD to clam up and request that none of the others even mess with him.

    It seems that Pai-chan and OD have had past encounters with Berg and that Berg killed Pai’s best friend and has killed many worlds by leading them to their own destruction. OD gives us a bit of foreshadowing when talking about the first time he went against Berg and that if he ever “unfurled his wings” again he would set the world on fire.

    Now, all this tells us a lot. It’s quite possible that OD is an alien himself (and not just a weird effeminate male 😛 ) since he has encountered Berg and worked with Pai-Pai before. Also, he hints that not only is he extremely powerful, but that he possesses powers outside of that of Gatchaman.

    The same goes for Utsutsu, who it seems can not only make infinite copies of herself at will, but also has the touch of death as well as the touch of life and cannot touch a living being for risk of hurting them.

    Berg himself is quite the evil mysterious mastermind in this, making dire riddles and predictions and killing people left and right using the evil of their own hearts. He has not only made the contract with Rui, which is where the guy got his NOTE, but through Rui, his alien tech has infiltrated through the entire world as GALAX, but has also made 100 subsequent contract using the 100 members of CROWDS.
    Rui himself is grateful but suspicious of his flamboyant alien benefactor, and it isn’t until the end that he realizes how evil the creature that has become the master of his soul really is. However, at this point his is too far in this and has no idea of where to go from here. He stubbornly insists that Gatchaman doesn’t exist and he won’t resort to heroes. He insists that someway he will use CROWDS, even though that will no doubt backfire since it was Berg’s tech that was used to create the CROWDS.

    Meanwhile, there is other development in places. We find out that Jou, while now is no match for Berg, is determined to beat him. Sugune was somehow saved by Jou in the past and Jou is the sole reason Sugune got into Gatchaman. Utsutsu and Hajime get into a conversation, and we get some development about the little, silent green haired girl who has decided to say more than “I’m dreamy.” for once. Hajime…is still Hajime. I still don’t like her, and I get the feeling that I never will.

    However, now it seems that things may take a dark turn as Jou may be stepping into certain danger. He is determined to take on Berg, who we know has no qualms about killing. And forebodingly, one of JJ’s birds (the red one) has gone up in flames. The paper birds coincide with the colors of the teams NOTES, and Jou’s is indeed red. This coincides with Jou’s declaration of being a hero in that previous scene, as well as the fact that his awesome Gatchaman form his mostly orangish-red with flames. Jou is my favorite character so far and yes, he’s actually been wearing glasses for about two episodes now (He wears them at work in the office in case you missed it.)… but even I will not dare to guess what happens next. o_o

    This was a really good episode with lots of development for both the plot and the characters. I give it an 8.5/10.

    Another thing I noticed is that Berg’s NOTE has the Gatchaman symbol, but it’s been distorted and now has little black triangles and diamonds coming off of it. And reflectively Rui’s NOTE only had the black geometric diamond on it, which all reflect Berg himself, considering his weird tail and tattoos.

    Also, I found out that Berg-katze was actually one of the main villains in the original Gatchaman series. However, this one looks completely different, so I’m going to guess that this one is a whole new character that just shares the same name. (Or, maybe it has to do with the whole shapeshifting thing?)
    Well, we’ll see. I don’t remember there being another oragomi bird other than those symbolyzing the team. However if there is, it might symbolize Rui, who right now is kind of the “bastard” Gatchaman.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Hahaha, that was funny. There was a time I almost believed that myself. However, Rui is not a transvestite, he’s just a super genius with a cross-dressing fetish. Maybe he does it for sh**s and giggles. 😉

      • Irenesharda says:

        The guy wears more girl clothes than he does his own, almost 75% of the time (I consider that a transvestite), I’m not sure why. He’s not transgender or anything, and does wear guy clothes at home, so why does he only do it outside? Is it some sort of mental complex? Who knows…

        • Gecko says:

          My best guess is that he wants to step out of his role as a super-genius, but then again, he doesn’t change immediately when he gets/leaves home, although he did pull off the wig pretty quickly in his first appearance when he went home.

          …or it’s a fetish, yeah.

          • AllenAndArth says:

            i’m pending for a fetish…or he might not want to be recognized

            • Overcooled says:

              I initially assumed it was so he wouldn’t be recognized, but I don’t think anyone knows what he actually looks like. I think it’s just for fun because he feels pretty in dresses. It all depends what gender he identifies himself with, I suppose.

    • Overcooled says:

      OD may be more important than just the token, flamboyantly gay character. I hope that threat about him unfurling his wings comes into play later on. I’d love to see another side to him. I think he’s an alien too (maybe Utsutsu-chan as well) which would explain his crazy looks and hidden powers.

      It’s really like Rui sold his soul to the devil. He got his wish, but there are severe consequences that he never realized could happen. Now he’s so far in that he just has to make the best of this contract. It looks pretty grim though.

      Ah, I must have forgotten or missed out on Jou wearing glasses before now. If I ever rewatch this show I’ll be on the lookout for him. I really hope he doesn’t die…Fortunately, the new episode is out so I can watch it and find out after replying to these comments! …The one brightside of being late posting =A=

      Yeah, MAL was helpful in describing Berg Katze. I haven’t watched the original, but I assume the only similarity is that they’re both really smart villains. I doubt the old one made out with guys and wore high heels.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    Oh, and I forgot to mention. The OP for the series is awesome and I replay it a couple of times before watching the whole episode. I got to get my hands on the OST soon. For those who want to know its name, it’s “Crowds” by White Ash. You guys should watch the music video. There’s a surprise about the lead singer that you’re never going to believe!

    • AllenAndArth says:

      oh…great, i will

      • BlackBriar says:

        You should. The beats are addictive and it keeps replaying in my head sometimes.

    • JapanInspired says:

      I just found the full version yesterday, love it. Was listening to it all day.
      I don’t know who is it, but to me he really looks like Rui.
      I’m planning to get the OST too. :)

      • BlackBriar says:

        That was the most shocking part. Not only is the lead singer a guy but he looks just like Rui. It was sheer disbelief. Hearing the lyrics alone, I assumed it was a girl.

        • Overcooled says:

          Thanks for the link, BB! I totally thought the singer was a girl too…

          • JapanInspired says:

            Really? O_O wow, I was sure it was a guy singing. I had no idea so many people thought that was a girl.

  5. JapanInspired says:

    I feel so bad for Rui. He wants to save the people so baldy, and Miyano-san just does bad things infront of Rui on perpose.
    Things are getting so serious.
    I wonder if they’ll show Pai-pais and OD’s past. I would love to see what really happened. And Pai-Pai lost his best friend.
    And I guess that O.D. not being able to transform was a lie. I think he can, but he might get violent or insane or something.
    And is it only me thinking that Joe might die next episode? That last moment, and the red paper bird burning. Will he really die?

    • Overcooled says:

      Ah, me too. Rui is such a good kid. He’s just stuck in an awful situation he probably can’t win in.

      I’m going to guess his past will remain a mystery, based on Kenji Nakamura’s style. I’ve rarely seen him use flashbacks, unless it’s repeating stuff that’s already happened in a previous episode.

      …Jou don’t die T_T

      • JapanInspired says:

        Yup,
        “Rui, life is hard, but don’t give up T_T” I really hope that Hajime will help him somehow.
        This is rare, but I think I love every single character in this show. (I mean the main characters)

        That’s sad, I wanted to see flashbacks, oh well, I guess we’ll have to leave that to our imagination.

  6. JapanInspired says:

    Oh, yeah, didn’t read the post till the end, lol, sorry. Got lazy.
    So I’m not the only one.

  7. zztop says:

    ‘So far everything (Hajime) does is so perfect and smart and wonderful.’

    I thought I’d share an interesting blog post by user atelieremily of formeinfullbloom,specialising in character/theme analysis: http://formeinfullbloom.wordpress.com/2013/08/03/messy-methods-of-communication/

    In summary, Hajime HAS a weakness, which is her inability to properly communicate her ideas & feelings with others in a coherent manner.

    • Gecko says:

      That’s a good point. A couple of times already, Hajime has tried to say something possibly genius, but no one could figure out anything she was trying to say.

      During the milk incident, she did manage to communicate, but everyone else had seen the notification about the milk and someone else was on the phone, giving clear instructions.

      So, Hajime can manage to do something, but say it? Not really. Too bad she can’t copy herself like Utsutsu and then she could really get a lot done, since she would understand everything that needed to be done.

    • Overcooled says:

      Thanks for the link! Ahhh, what an excellent post. I’ve mentioned her poor communication skills in an earlier post of mine, but this is a wonderful, full-out analysis of her entire conversational style.

  8. zztop says:

    Oh, and is Berg Katze male, female or of ambiguous gender? (?_?)

    • BlackBriar says:

      According to his info on MAL, Berg Katze is a mutant who can shift genders at will. He is able to be either completely male or completely female at any given time. So in a way, you have two answers to the same question.

      • AllenAndArth says:

        i he can shift genders at any time he wants…is he/she: hetero, homo or both?

        • BlackBriar says:

          Your guess is as good as mine because there’s nothing concerning that particular inquiry.

        • Gecko says:

          Considering how much s/he likes to destroy stuff, Berg seems to focus more on destroying others rather than loving others. Berg gets a lot of pleasure from destroying lives/stuff, so it might override any want/need for loving others. That’s my guess.

          • AllenAndArth says:

            or IT(i don’t know if i referee to Berg as a guy or a girl so it will be it) might be on S&M!

            • Gecko says:

              Yeah, I just decided to use “it” because English doesn’t really have a gender neutral pronoun or anything.

      • Irenesharda says:

        Actually I’m not sure how Berg really is. The bio MAL has is on the character by the same name from the original Gatchaman series. I’m not sure if this particular version of Berg is the same as the one in the original series, since the two look and somewhat act completely different. Also the character’s motivations or at least who he works for, seems to be different as well.

        As of right now, I’m going to say that this Berg is probably different than the first one from the original series, and he’s simply an alien. I am mostly going with male for now. Like O.D., it’s possible he just comes from a alien culture with overly effeminate men?

        • AllenAndArth says:

          how curious…i want to open it *0*
          Need…to…study…creepy alien!

          • BlackBriar says:

            Whoa, now! Do I have to have a straight jacket and tranquilizer on standby for you? First space vampires and now creepy gender shifting aliens. It seems you’re developing an addiction to dissection. 😉

  9. Gecko says:

    Well, looks like they’ve started to pick up on the main part of the plot now. While I was worried about how it seems to be a “destroy the world!” kind of villain, I was pleased to see that there’s a bit of a twist to it. And OD and Pai already know him, which makes OD a bit more of a mystery: is he alien? My guess is yes, considering Pai and Utsutsu are already aliens on the team. Wouldn’t hurt to throw a third in there, and that evens it out to half-alien, half-human on the JJ-Gatchaman team.

    Utsutsu’s copying deal is intriguing, and I’m hoping we get some more details later on. Hajime must have been touching the original/real Utsutsu earlier.

    I’m worried about Jou, and if he’s the one who won’t make it much longer against Bertz-katze. But it seems like when he started fighting, he became somewhat different. Usually he was very reserved and almost cautious, but in battle he seemed pretty angry. I don’t want that anger to get the best of him. T.T

    And poor Rui. GALAX is already having trouble, and only 4 episodes in. But to be honest, I could see this kind of problem coming. He’s on the scene and then 17 casualties on top of that… So of course he would feel helpless and useless. But seeing the people just immediately go to the scene was cool and it seems to show that there are some people willing to help in this setting, as we’ve seen before. Oddly enough, over in California we’ve gotten a similar kind of alert on our phones because of a child abduction. When I saw it, I realized it was like GALAX, except that we couldn’t push “I’m coming!” or anything. Just “OK” or “More info.” Not like I could send out the CROWDS, anyways. I have to wonder if maybe the CROWDS are partially powered by the support in GALAX from others, so that when GALAX’s support falls apart, Rui’s power will too.

    • Overcooled says:

      Gatchaman Crowds gave off the impression of being simple in the first episode or so, but it’s proving to have a lot more depth now. I love how many mysteries there are already.

      It’s funny that Jou got the fire element when he’s usually so calm. I was surprised at how heated he was in battle too. Yikes, at this rate he’s gonna get hurt.

      It’s not surprising that GALAX had a big weakness revealed, but I didn’t expect it so soon. It’s kind of sad to see how affected Rui was by it too. I guess we have a few systems similar to GALAX, but without as much involvement on our behalf.

      That would be really cool if their power was based on how much support GALAX had. I assume their power is tied to Berg-Katze, but I’m sure he could take it back if GALAX failed just to land the final blow to Rui’s ego.

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