Gatchaman Crowds – 06

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Frenemies.

GATCHA~! How is everyone doing? I’ve been playing Dragon’s Crown in 12-hour stretches with my friends, foregoing just about every anime except for the ones I’m blogging. Err, hopefully I can catch up soon because that will be a lot of anime to watch and a lot of anime posts  to read. Ah, the pains of having too many obsessions!

I have been concerned about Hajime over the past few episodes. She is the shining beacon of light to lead everyone to success and happiness, and she always makes the best moral decisions. What’s left for someone who already has life figured out and is totally comfortable in their own skin? Hajime’s one shortcoming is her inability to properly communicate with others. I haven’t seen much improvement on her behalf just yet, but I think she will improve towards the end of the series. What I have been seeing is an improvement in her reputation, as her comrades begin to finally understand just how self-aware and smart she really is.

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Hajime’s “Scissor Striptease” never really caught on

I thought Utsutsu-chan might still feel sour about Hajime’s not-so-delicate handling of their one serious discussion, but she’s completely gotten over it. She’s starting to understand that her power is a curse but it is also a gift. This is the first time we’ve seen her jump into action. She jumps in and starts healing people out of her own free will. It was nice to see her finally take action, and feel proud of her powers. Jou helping her out was a nice touch as well. It looks like making clones and controlling the flow of life energy doesn’t come without a cost, and she could die if she overuses her powers. I suspect this won’t be the last time she’ll overexert herself to try and save someone. I just hope it doesn’t result in death.

After the tunnel events, Utsutsu-chan does a lot of bonding with Hajime. Although Hajime still dances around the point when speaking to her, I think the concept of getting a reward is simple enough to make Utsutsu-chan understand. She’s better with actions than words, so this is her way of supporting her new friend – with a shower of hugs and bows. She cut her dress so much that we see her in a different skirt the next scene – a rather endearing gesture despite being so bizarre. I wonder if Kenji Nakamura made Hajime like this to reflect his style of direction that often relies heavily on visuals instead of words and long-winded dialogue. She certainly suits his usual style, and I feel like she’s very similar to past protagonists such as Haru (Tsuritama) and Irabu (Kuuchuu Buranko) in that regard.

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Hajime does many things that seem strange to everyone else, and never even tries to explain herself. For the first time ever, Sugane asks her about her behaviour and receives a very important response. Why did she reveal herself to Rui? Well, talking face-to-face was an important way to get accustomed to this new face and win them over. Furthermore, she likely wouldn’t have another chance to talk again. She doesn’t say all this, but she explains that her actions were all for a reason. Sugane is shocked. All this time Hajime has not been acting out on a whim. She’s not oblivious, she’s not stupid, and she’s not as barking mad as she seems. This is the first big step he takes to understanding her, as well as understanding his own position in all of this chaos.

Sugane represents a sort of medium ground between Paiman and Hajime. He is a stickler for rules and loves justice, yet he is flexible enough to change his views if provided a logical explanation. Paiman is so obedient to JJ that it’s comical. He can’t make an decision on his own, and gets mad whenever he’s asked to think critically about anything. He’s the opposite of Hajime, who is highly suggestible to new ideas, but always makes her own decisions in the end. Sugane is influenced by both of them, and is slowly deciding just how he wants to align himself as time moves on. Episode 1 Sugane was more like Paiman whereas now he’s a lot less stubborn. Furthermore, he’s aware that he’s changing and is trying to make sure that these changes are right. He’s a very responsible young man, and I’m starting to like him more and more as a character now that I see his more sensitive side. Also, he suddenly became really goddamned fashionable.

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Some restaurants decorate their tables with candles. Others…

Now that Sugane understands Hajime, the two of them can finally work together like a team. He can also potentially learn to “translate” her babbling into something more concrete for other people to fully understand her. I liked watching the two of them chat with Rui because they were both on the same wavelength, but they communicated in completely different ways. It’s interesting that Rui brushed off Sugane, yet was deeply affected by Hajime’s words. He also seems to realize how sharp Hajime is despite her appearance. He likes her devotion to justice and how she’s unfazed by the concept of fame.

He’s also impressed at her ability to see through his Crowds ability and his true gender. Her comment about his make-up – while sounding kinda rude – is probably just a round-about way of telling him to stop being so guarded. His cross-dressing may not just be for fun, but a way of hiding his true self. It’s obvious that he’s hiding something about his special powers as well, and Hajime just wants him to be straight with her. It may not seem like a typical conversation between two geniuses trying to trick each other, but Hajime is playing mind games of her own.

It’s interesting that Rui is immediately struck by Hajime and doesn’t write her off as crazy, like just about everyone else. As expected, the two of them have a really interesting dynamic when put together. I can’t wait to see how he plans on stopping the Gatchaman. Personally, I find his actions to be hypocritical. He longs for a world full of people who feel good helping others, yet when he finds people with these values, he tells them to stop saving others. It’s frustrating that he tells them a small group of people with special powers will make the world too reliant on them when he’s doing the same thing. Does he really think 100 people with special powers can support the entire world? If people become reliant on others in power, then why not abolish the police and the firefighters too and see justhow well that works out? He’s missing a big opportunity by not co-operating with them and just merging their services with GALAX. If this show is all about the importance of communication, I predict it won’t be long for Rui’s plans to crash and burn.

On a side note, it’s nice to see Jou is alive and…with a gun. Jesus Christ, can this man stay out of danger for like 2 seconds? I think the death flag is officially lowered, but he sure is getting himself into trouble lately.

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About

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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41 Responses to “Gatchaman Crowds – 06”

  1. skylion says:

    Taken as metaphor, the idea of GALAX is very simple, but we really are seeing the cracks in the idea becoming an issue. Gatchaman are seen to do what they do out of duty…GALAX cause it’s like a game, and can potentially replace other services?

    Stuff ain’t gonna add up…

    • Overcooled says:

      GALAX could be really useful if it was used the right way, but it’s a little odd how it makes serious things like jumping headfirst into danger seem like a game. Rui’s “let’s play the game!” catchphrase doesn’t help. It’s only a matter of time before things backfire on him now.

  2. Highway says:

    The problem isn’t Galax. The problem is Rui’s inflexibility, which is on a level with Paiman’s. I personally see nothing incompatible with everyone being self-actualizing and taking responsibility for themselves and others, and STILL having heroes that people look up to and are more powerful to handle problems that even aggregations of people can’t handle. And Gatchaman types are probably better, since they keep it low key, and people don’t really remember it afterwards.

    I still think Paiman’s rules are Paiman’s alone, not JJ’s. They’re what Paiman thinks JJ wants, which is proven wrong whenever he tries to appeal to JJ to correct Hajime. And I think that’s funny. :)

    • zztop says:

      Wonder what’s going on in JJ’s mind…

    • Overcooled says:

      I would LOVE for GALAX to be a real thing and it sounds great. I also think the main problem here is Rui’s attitude towards it. He’s scorning the Gatchaman group and even his own Crowd members who don’t follow his exact view on life. He needs to compromise a little more to make things work instead of just cutting off anyone who isn’t a perfect match for his plan.

      Some of the rules are things JJ must have told him, like to stay out of the public eye. Almost everything else (dishing out punishment, not decorating the notebook, not approaching JJ out of the blue) are his own little rules though. It’s funny just how little authority he has despite acting so high and mighty =w=

  3. Vespera says:

    Nothing can convince me at this moment that Hajime isn’t in fact a huge fucking idiot or at least has some sort of mental illness. The vast amount of problems that could happen because of Hajime exposing her identity is almost too much to fathom. And the little asshole Rui just wants to take advantage of Gatchaman now.

    • Overcooled says:

      It looks like it hasn’t been a problem for her at all, aside from attracting the paparazzi. In real life it’d be pretty bad but so far it seems like her effort to connect with Rui was worth it. I don’t think Hajime is quite as idiotic as you assume based on everything we’ve seen her accomplish.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Hajime is a huge example to the phrase “Don’t judge a book by its cover”.

  4. JapanInspired says:

    Well, that was a surprising episode.
    Wasn’t expecting Rui to say to the Gatchaman to back off and stop saving people.
    And Hajime surprised me too. I have no idea how she found out so much about Rui that even Sugane couldn’t see.
    But really, I just cant see to where Rui wants to get with all his plans and, to me, strange ideas.
    Sadly, I’m thinking that Berg will get what he want’s, that’s the only was to show Rui that he’s not so right.

    The part where Utsutsu-chan was saving people and Jou saying to her that it’s ok if she uses his life… it was so heartbreaking.
    It’s so hard for Utsutsu to help people knowing that she could die, but still, her choice is really strong. Even though she’s such a quiet and cute character, and seems to be kind of not “there”, she’s really strong.

    Each time we little by little learn a bit more about each of the characters, I don’t know about you, but I’m really interested in OD. His words about being a sad Gatchaman that can’t transform and his and Paipai’s past got me really interested in what really happened. I really hope we see a bit more of him and Paipai.

    In all, this episode was really sad. Like really really sad.

    • Overcooled says:

      Hajime is a smart girl! The whole point of her character is that everyone underestimates her since she seems so kooky, but she’s actually quite brilliant. If anything, I’m surprised she didn’t figure out even more about Rui.

      Ahhh, I loved seeing Utsutsu-chan show some emotion! Jou is proving to be an all-around nice guy as well, despite his usual wild looks. I’m impressed. OD may be the number 1 guy to look out for though. I’m also dying to hear more about his past interactions with Berg Katze and what the hell is up with his powers.

  5. HannoX says:

    For those interested, I’ve been away because friends from Germany were visiting for 3 weeks and I fell behind watching anime and with other things. Catching up now.

    Hajime could have fun in Hell–and would drive Satan crazy in the process.

    I have a few guesses as to why Hajime doesn’t try to explain herself and her actions to others. Maybe she’s just not good at it or has found in the past that people just can’t follow her when she tries to explain herself. Since geniuses often see things that others can’t or see them differently, they can find it difficult to explain what they see. Or maybe she’s just better at showing so she just goes and does what she sees is right and lets the results speak for themselves, even if it may take time for them to be obvious.

    One thing for sure, she can see right through to the heart of a matter. Thus when Rui asks her to stop being a Gatchaman her reply of “Nope.” His idea of using GALAX to empower ordinary people and get them involved in a crises is great, but unlike him Hajime can see that leaders and heroes are still needed. Someone still has to organize and direct (and just what does Rui think he’s doing with GALAX if not that?) and heroes are still needed to inspire and respond to situations that ordinary people can’t resolve, no matter how many of them there are.

    Merging Gatchaman with GALAX would be ideal and I’m sure Hajime knows that. But there’s no sense in trying to tell Rui that just yet since he’s still wedded to his view that GALAX can allow people to update the world without the need for leaders or heroes. And maybe it’s for similar reasons that she hasn’t tried explaining herself to Paiman and Sugane–Paiman is too rigid and unable to even question any Gatchaman rules while up to now Sugane has been the same, although that’s starting to change.

    If JJ is even half as omnipotent and omniscient as Paiman makes him out to be, he had to know what he was getting when he made Hajime a Gatchaman. So he must think the normal way Gatchaman operates cannot handle the crises coming and that Hajime’s way of doing things is the only chance of success.

    • Overcooled says:

      Welcome back~! That must have been nice to see them.

      We’ve seen her try to explain her thought process and…it’s never pretty. The rest of the time, as you said, she never even bothers to try explaining herself. She either finds it too hard to explain or she thinks her actions are so obvious that they don’t even need an explanation.

      No matter how you look at it, having someone with superpowers going around to prevent crimes is a good thing. Even if there are side effects like people relying more on heroes, it’s still better than having a world without neon-coloured mechs flying around and helping people. I don’t know what Rui is thinking, because yes…fusing GALAX and Gatchaman would be the best option.

      JJ probably knew Hajime was special. It’s always the special ones who get powers bestowed upon them!

  6. HannoX says:

    Damn it, Spammy ate my long post, which I’m not going to try and recreate. Please, someone, retrieve it!

    • BlackBriar says:

      I know your pain. There are a lot of times where I wouldn’t feel like recreating a comment because of how long it was after it was eaten. The best advice I can give on something like is, before you make your comment, have Microsoft Word opened first, type your comment there, copy it and then send it onto the post. Something I learned the hard way.

      • HannoX says:

        Thanks for the tip, BB. I’ll have to do that.

        • BlackBriar says:

          Yeah, it’s a good idea and a fail safe because even if your comment gets eaten or possibly deleted, you’d know what you’ve said and have a back up ready any time that you can improve on. I always do that when there’s a MetaVerse post or Season Anime Catalogue around.

    • JapanInspired says:

      Heh, I just had the same thing, my post was supposed to be before you. -___- stupid me didn’t even think about copying it first…

      • Highway says:

        Guys, remember that all the posts that are ‘eaten’ are able to be saved. Eventually someone will come along that can free them out of the spam queue. Unfortunately, that’s not me, yet. I can’t do it on other people’s posts, just mine. I can even see 4 people’s posts there, it seems like Spammy really doesn’t like Gatchaman comments.

        So just hold tight, and someone will free them up eventually. You don’t need to retype them or worry about copying them to repost, because then you’ll just end up with a double post.

        • HannoX says:

          That’s why I asked someone to save it. At the same time, I don’t want my post to show up so late that others have said the same thing I said and it looks like I’m parroting them with different words.

        • Overcooled says:

          Wait, you’re not allowed to filter spam on other writer’s posts? You should ask Kyo about that, because it’s really handy.

  7. BlackBriar says:

    Hahaha, I can tell you’ve been playing Dragon’s Crown. I’ve been seeing you show up lately whenever I sign in on PSN.

    Damn it, Hajime, that carefree attitude is going to have you biting off more than you can chew one day. I knew with that stubborn personality of hers she’d eventually do something to expose herself and her entire team but not on such a huge scale but so far, it’s just her in the spotlight. Her klutziness/ditziness clashes with her intelligence and sometimes makes me worry if she’s even aware of what she does and it makes me wonder what she intends to do next especially when she’s made it clear to Sugane who thought she acts purely on her whims that she’s not that irresponsible.

    “The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing”
    – Edmund Burke

    Rui and Hajime’s conversation was the gripping part of the episode. Once again, Rui is so hopelessly idealistic that I had to roll my eyes with his plan and his reasoning why Gatchaman aren’t needed. If he knew where he really stands where Berg Katze is concerned, he’d know if Gatchaman or anyone else wasn’t there to stand in his way, the world would be in chaos rather than being updated. Not to mention he doesn’t realize not all humans are equal and it’s like GALAX is in a way doing just what Hajime and Sugane are doing: helping others. Sugane understands what he means but he knows things never go the way you want and so he sticks to his belief that Gatchaman are still relevant. In my opinion, Hajime has what he lacks: true understanding of people and how they operate. He just sees things from afar and plans from there while she’s right there among people giving some advice but doesn’t intend to completely change who they are.

    • Overcooled says:

      It’s so addictive…I’ve played around 60 hours of it so far =w= I’m even going to write something about it later so stay tuned! *shameless future post advertising*

      So far so good! I still think she’s got everything under control. She clearly states everything she does is for a purpose and you have to believe her. I find Hajime to be an interesting character because opinions about her vary wildly…not just within the show, but in terms of how the viewers feel about her too.

      I see BB is getting in on the quoting action too. I like it! My favourite part was the Rui conversation too. I could have done without the wild run to meet up with Rui, because I’ve seen it done so much better in Durarara!!. Anyways, it was nice to see them talk. Maybe Hajime can teach Sugane to be more perceptive of others and then teach Rui to not be a stick-in-the-mud.

      • BlackBriar says:

        It looks like you can’t help yourself when your obsessions sink their teeth into you. 😉

        I see BB is getting in on the quoting action too. I like it!

        That’s because I’ve been under Irenesharda’s influence regarding that as she was under my influence when I recommended and got her to watch Shiki (Yes, I created another vampire follower next to Karakuri!) and she fell in love with it. She also left a comment on the post for the last episode. You should check out her opinion on the show.

        • Irenesharda says:

          😛 I’ve been into vamps since about 11th grade when my best friend introduced me to the Carpathian series of novels by Christine Feehan. Because of that, I usually lean towards the romantic rather than the horror side of vampires. (Not, Twilight trash, but you know what I mean…) Shiki was my first time with a more horror based vamp series, and it wasn’t bad. :)

          And I’m glad that you too are beginning to quote. It adds a different sort of flair doesn’t it? :)

          • BlackBriar says:

            Yes, another person here that shares my passion for vamps, a clan member, so to say! 😀 I’m so happy I could cry right now. *sobs* My interest started early with Interview with the Vampire as a kid, seeing a young Kirsten Dunst playing an enchanting yet vicious and bloodthirsty child-like vampire Claudia. It got moderate with Queen of the Damned. Aaliyah played a terrifying and seductive queen who would be remembered for years to come and it flared when I watched the first Underworld. That was the movie that got me to know about Kate Beckinsale and she was hot.

            So you’re into the romantic side of vampires, right? Then I think these two will do just fine for you:
            Vampire Kisses: Blood Relatives (The first five chapters are crammed into chapter 0)
            Kyuuketsuki no Uruwashiki Kekkon

            The quoting brings and added feel and reinforces what you’re commenting but it’s tricky always trying to find one that matches what you’re watching at the moment. And if you want to see a show with a lot of quoting and if you haven’t yet, check out Psycho-Pass.

  8. zztop says:

    Y’know, it’s nice to see some love for this show. There are some blogs/forums out there with absolute hatred for the show.

    Wonder what Japanese viewers make of Gatchaman Crowds, since they’re getting a live-action Gatchaman movie this August.

    PS. I’m mp3’ing the OST on my phone soon as it comes out!

    • BlackBriar says:

      Y’know, it’s nice to see some love for this show. There are some blogs/forums out there with absolute hatred for the show.

      Different strokes for different folks. We all can’t like the same exact things. Those who like this show, great. Those that don’t, well, it’s their choice. I know I enjoy watching this.

      Nice plan! I’m going to make the OP my ring tone when it gets released.

      • Highway says:

        I haven’t found a song to replace the instrumental version of Wareta Ringo as my ringtone (I just clipped the first 41 seconds).

        • skylion says:

          Wow, I’ve yet to replace Platinum Disco…

          • Highway says:

            The song I had before was the breakdown and guitar solo from Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi, specifically the part starting at 2:52. Unfortunately, I’d never hear my phone until “gi-ta so-ro ikimasu!” which didn’t leave me enough time to actually answer the phone before someone hung up or voice mail got it.

            • Overcooled says:

              I want to copy you and use Wareta Ringo as my ringtone and then have my phone say GATCHAAMMAAAANNN~ whenever I get a text. I need to figure out how to change the sound for text notifications first…

  9. zztop says:

    Overcooled, you stated Sugane’s a medium ground between Hajime and Paiman.
    In that case, where would that leave OD and Joe at? (?_?)

    • Irenesharda says:

      I would put Jou between Sugane and Paiman and OD between Hajime and Sugane. Jou is your typical laid back, cool, emo older guy supporting character. He’s serious when he needs to be, but most of the time he doesn’t care what you do as long as it doesn’t involve him. OD on the other hand, has a very out-of-the-box personality, but really that’s a bit of a facade. He’s seen to be very intuitive and intelligent and powerful person. He also can be quite serious when it comes to certain things, like when they found out that Berg had come to Earth.

      • Overcooled says:

        OD and Jou are harder to pin down. Hajime and Paiman are the extremes while Sugane seems firmly in the middle. It’s hard to tell where the other two align. I’d agree with Irene, although maybe I’d say Jou is on the same level as Sugane in terms of stubborn vs flexible.

  10. Gecko says:

    Haha, I’ve been time-traveling like crazy in Animal Crossing to perfect how my town looks. I gave up on trying to earn enough money to afford most of Gracie’s stuff.

    Also, he suddenly became really goddamned fashionable.

    Oh yeah he did! I was surprised to see him suddenly dressing in more modern stuff. Much better than the suspenders.

    Rui, Rui, Rui. He really played a game with Hajime, making the trip to the restaurant super fun for her, and then telling her that he wants everything to be like that. But everything little quest isn’t going to be that much fun. In spite of that, I do think Galax is good idea to help people with whatever problems they have.

    Gatchaman are still needed, clearly. Humans can’t take on everything in this world, and Rui seems to ignore that. He’s too separated from everything because of X’s handling of most of the situations.

    Hajime just switching the subject to his make up (and whatever that implies in their metaphor game) really bothered me, though. She can communicate at times, but then at others, she totally fails and it really bothers me. But I’m glad she connected with Utsutsu, because seriously, “I’m dreamy” was getting really old. And it seems that Utsutsu is really willing to do something to help others, which is a great thing, compared to the other option where she debates endlessly over whether or not to save someone.

    • Highway says:

      See, I didn’t think that Hajime talking about Rui’s makeup was a communication fail. It was orthagonal to what they were talking about, sure, but it was Hajime countering Rui’s points about the Gatchaman stopping being heroes. What I got out of that was that her response is “you shouldn’t hide who you are either.” Hajime has been more than willing to expose all sides of her depending on the situation. Yet Rui insists on putting on a facade when he goes outside. I thought it was nicely symbolic.

    • Overcooled says:

      I want to time travel too, but I think I’d just feel ashamed afterwards =A= Slowly but surely, I’ll make my town perfect!

      It was clever of him to show her the grandeur of GALAX and then go one step further to say “it’s so good, we don’t need you.” I’m glad Rui and Sugane refused, because he has no right to make them stop.

      And the make-up comment sounds rude, but as I mentioned in the post, I think it was her own way of telling him to stop hiding himself. Rui caught the true meaning behind it too, which is why he wasn’t insulted.

  11. Irenesharda says:

    Well, that was a little of a let down after last week, but I think that’s just because I don’t care for Hajime and this episode focused a lot more on her than last few. I think I know what they are doing with her character and that she’s some sort of very eccentric genius that operates on a totally different wavelength then everyone else in the world. However, I find that quite frustrating when it comes to a team dynamic and your wacky actions cause mis-communication and major problems for your teammates. However, since you don’t think like everybody else, you treat everything as if nothing is wrong.

    Hajime to me is one big frustration. She reminds me a little of Pinkie Pie from MLP, but even less in touch with reality.

    Rui is just as bad, but with him, I just see him as misguided and naive. His whole “update the world” campaign feels like a house built of straw. It’s has good ideas and goals, but no true way of getting there. He’s not factoring in the human element. That not everyone is going to think alike and therefore not everyone is going to go on with his plan. Also, does he not realize that even if the Gatchaman are gone, the idea won’t be? There will always be heroes, there will always be people who can look beyond themselves for a greater purpose. The people believe in the Gatchaman on faith and rumor alone before this, even if they stop their activities, what makes you think people with stop believing in them now?

    I don’t know why, but I kept thinking back to the movie, The Incredibles every time I listen to Rui, about wanting there to be no heroes so that everyone will learn not to be reliant on therm and thus have to all be heroes themselves. How if everyone is special, then by default and definition, no one is.

    All in all, nothing much happened this episode, I’m actually more interested in Jou and Berg since I like them more as characters. Jou is determined to face off against Berg, which I feel will be a very bad move on his part. As for the flamboyant Berg Katze himself, I wonder what further evil and chaos he’s going to create and what sort of despair he will dispense upon Rui next.
    I give this episode a 6.5/10.

    • Overcooled says:

      It would be easier if she didn’t assume everyone knew what she was doing. It may seem obvious to her, but it certainly isn’t to everyone else. I find it interesting most of the time. It’s the way she speaks that irks me, if anything. Her voice is so high-pitched sometimes it could cut steel.

      Rui is really doing a bad job running GALAX. He’s screwing up so much that I’m just waiting for him to get completely demolished and have a mental breakdown.

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