Woah there buddy, shark week is over. Put those fangs away.
|I loved this week’s episode to pieces. Gatchaman Crowds has steadily been improving week by week to an impressive extent. Even the background music has been picking up, finally showcasing more catchy songs other than the iconic “GATCHAMAAAAAN” tune. Unfortunately, the animation is still wavering between “decent” and “pretty darn ugly.” Much like Tsuritama, the art direction is wonderful while the actual animation quality…isn’t quite as wonderful. But hey, everything else has improved so I don’t mind a little derp here and there in exchange for a good story.|
What is the best way to save the world? Is it through GALAX? The Gatchaman crew? The police and other life-saving forces working in unison? Is it a combination of all of them? Gatchaman Crowds denies us a typical “villain of the week” format, giving us a bunch of different “heroes” to mull over instead. This week especially poses lots of hard questions about these different groups of heroes and how they operate. Each group is both criticized and praised for their weaknesses and strengths. There is no definite answer about which group is the best for society, leaving the viewer to ponder what fits in with their own sense of justice. There is no such thing as a one, true hero in this show because no one is perfect and the show never frames any one group as being explicitly better than the other. I love how this show doesn’t make black and white statements like “GALAX is bad” or “Gatchaman are obviously the best heroes ever omg of course because that’s the name of the show.”
Hajime puts Paiman on the hotseat, asking him why they bother hiding their identity. In theory, it could be easier if they could be contacted and called upon when needed – much like the police or an ambulance. GALAX could even notify them if they were near an accident so they could provide help, which would be rather useful considering all the ruckus Berg Katze is causing. They could do so much more…but they’re stuck in the same routine as always. The only thing keeping them from revealing their identity is that it would break an arbitrary rule that even Paiman seems to think is dubious. Both Sugane and Hajime agree that not having to worry about being seen by others and being able to act openly would make their job easier.
I take back what I said about these things being kinda cute
Rui is grappling with the same issue as Hajime and Paiman as well, but he has a very different take on the matter. He doesn’t think about the more pragmatic benefits to becoming public, like being easier to contact and inspiring hope in others. While Hajime focuses on all the positive aspects of revealing their identities, Rui only sees the negative. He sees going public as defying his morals about saving people without any reward. He knows going public means fame, recognition, and all sorts of things he isn’t really interested in. What he really wants is for his group of 100 Crowds vigilantes is for them to get their kicks entirely from saving other people. Going public means they might start getting god complexes and only save people in return for glory. So although GALAX could get more followers by exclaiming “hey, we have a group of superheroes, isn’t that neat?”, Rui resists because he doesn’t want to seem like a flashy leader.
Personally, I think he takes the whole justice thing a little too personally. He gets far too upset whenever an accident happens, and he can’t seem to accept anyone doing something nice for their own sake. I’m a firm believer that there is no such thing as true altruism. No one ever does something purely for someone else. There are always conscious or unconscious hidden motives. Deep down, Rui is saving people because it makes him feel good. That is for himself. Is there anything wrong with that? I don’t think so. It’s okay to help people, even if it’s for selfish reasons.
I think Rui should widen his horizons and just accept that some people just really like a little “thank you” after doing a favour. Umeda – the guy Rui fights with and instantly kicks out of his group – isn’t shown to be a nasty, selfish guy. He’s a caring father who wants to help the world in his own way, although it is dangerously similar to something Light Yagami would cook up if he had this power. Yet again, we have yet another type of justice competing against another type of justice. Both could be right, it just depends on who you side with. To me, Rui is a bit of an extremist, and therefore does not think rationally. He’s chasing a pipe dream without thinking about how the real world works, in contrast to Hajime who has a really good idea how the world works and tries to make the best of it. For the record, I probably wouldn’t make the best decisions if I was followed day and night by an alien threatening to destroy all of mankind either. Rui is doing the best he can in his current mental state, but I’m afraid that just isn’t enough.
When fighting about collages turns into insulting someone for being single
Aside from the supernatural forces trying to save the world from Berg Katze, you have the regular humans. Sounds boring after talking about people in neon mecha suits and soul-powered TV gremlins, no? It’s a shame, but the noble firefighters, policemen, and so forth are overshadowed by GALAX too. More than once we’ve seen people attacking them verbally, while emphasizing how much better GALAX is. As Hajime says, there’s no way you can replace something like the cops with normal civilians, so thinking of it as a total replacement is bad. GALAX should be more like a supplement, but it’s quickly becoming more popular than the disjointed forces. Although they bicker and rarely even co-ordinate with each other despite being on the same block, they work together in a pinch. Yes, these people are still highly relevant in a crisis despite teens claiming that GALAX is all they need. In a show where there are 2 kinds of superheroes with powers from another planet, it’s nice to see normal people once again get the job done.
Now, there are a lot of different groups of people trying to fight (knowingly or unknowingly) against Berg Katze. So what do all these heroes need to succeed? They need a connection.
Utsutsu-chan, I’d connect with you any day~ :>
Although enhanced communication surely won’t be a miracle cure to solve all their problems, it would certainly help smooth out some of the problems society is facing. I feel like Gatchaman Crowds is heavily emphasizing the importance of staying connected with others and communication. Hajime will most likely be the driving force of this change. She’s already befriending everyone and trying to bring them together on a smaller scale. It’s only a matter of time before her goals get more lofty and she can finally verbalize what it is everyone should do to stay connected. GALAX is a great tool for communication, but Hajime knows people shouldn’t purely rely on it. Wouldn’t it be awesome to see all of these people unite as one against Berg Katze, proving that humans don’t have to be their own worst enemy? Won’t that make him eat his words of “this will all be your fault?” Maybe Hajime’s optimism is rubbing off on me and I just want everyone to hold hands and sing in a circle, but hey, what else are you going to do with this motley crew of wannabe heroes?
Now that Rui and Hajime have met, things should get really interesting. I like how so many events were foreshadowed early in the episode, yet still caught me off guard. While talking to Paiman, Hajime said she’d definitely use her powers in an emergency even if it meant revealing her identity. That’s what she did in the tunnel. JJ’s prophecy was specific, yet cryptic enough that I didn’t see it coming until the bus was already crashing. I thought the box wouldn’t be a bus…Also, I suck at math because JJ only just added Rui’s bird to his origami collection this week. That’s not even math, that’s simple counting skills. The kind you learn in kindergarten. Ouch. Well, I can count well enough to know that Jou is still alive, which is comforting. Let’s hope he didn’t burn in the fiery explosion that occurred this week, because that would just be too sudden for my heart to handle.
Until next time~