The time for fun and games is over
|There are two shows this season that make me really happy whenever I watch them: Gatchaman Crowds and Tamayura. I would peg Tamayura as more of a relaxing show, whereas Gatchaman Crowds is a perfect pick-me-up. Tamayura is herbal tea while Gatchaman Crowds is a strong cup of coffee. Episode 7 doesn’t skimp out on the caffeine at all.|
Piece by piece, everything is clicking into place. While everything is still ultimately a mystery, we have been given some hints that are likely to foreshadow some grave events in the future. It’s enough to put you on pins and needles, but not enough to warn you what’s coming. OD’s ominous words about the world ending and being forbidden from using his own Gatchaman powers will likely come up again in later episodes. Why won’t Paiman let him use his powers? What kind of consequence is so bad that he cannot use it against their fiercest enemy? And how strong is it that he’d go alone to a fight against someone supposedly stronger than “all the Gatchaman combined?”
Rui is the catalyst for this massive fight that ends up sucking in Jou and a few other Gatchaman onlookers. I’m not sure how he thought he could win against Berg Katze when he was the one who gave him this power, but it’s a noble attempt for a very frustrated vigilante. I’m glad things came full circle and Rui went from shunning the Gatchaman to relying on them as makeshift allies. The pacing is lightning quick, as always, but I felt like it wouldn’t make sense for Rui to drag out such an inconvenient rivalry for too long. Gatchaman and Galax go together like peanut butter and jelly…two things I do not actually like together, but you get what I mean.
After Rui gets viciously ripped to shreds by Berg Katze in a terribly one-sided showdown, I’m glad it was Sugane who rescued him instead of Hajime. For the record, I still really love the girl, but it’s high time we got to learn about the rest of the cast. This episode really showcased the other Gatchaman members without leaving out Hajime from the fun in the slightest. Now I don’t see Sugane as purely a straight-laced accessory to balance out Hajime’s whackiness. Now I can understand him as a person with his own motives. His own methods. His own feelings. Unlike Hajime, he doesn’t rely on razor-sharp intuition to get to know people. He needs cold evidence. He doesn’t believe Hajime is actually doing things on purpose until specifically told so – and then he just accepts it. Upon hearing Rui’s story, he decides to change his opinion and trust him. While Hajime relies on body language and gut feelings, Sugane needs more concrete, logical proof before he believes something. It’s not that he doesn’t use intuition at all – he just needs some extra confirmation before forming a complete impression of someone.
Sugane has grown to the point where he can make his own decisions without relying on authority to tell him what to do. When Paiman doesn’t give him permission, he says “screw it” and saves Rui anyways. Much like Jou, he has a strong sense of justice and doesn’t care about strict rules. That little glimpse of Jou piggybacking Sugane hints at a much more tender relationship between the two than just Sugane idolizing a cool, macho guy from afar. It’s amazing how a few seconds of footage can add so much depth. What else is there to learn about Jou, who isn’t quite as suave and carefree as he seems? What drove him to want to kill himself? Again, I found Jou to be cool but a little two-dimensional until seeing his weaker side revealed by Berg Katze.
As a villain, Berg Katze is great. He hits where it hurts most, and exploits people from any angle he can. The fact that he’s destroying the world by simply turning humans against themselves is also a cruelly ironic way for a planet to be destroyed. Even more fearsome is the fact that when he transforms, he cannot be seen. He claims that he should be visible when speaking to Hajime, but all we can see is a volley of flesh-shredding chains whizzing through the air. I found those chains mixed with his taunting, disembodied voice to be oddly creepy. Another thing I love about him is that he never stops attacking. I hate when villains dramatically hold up their prey, laugh dramatically, and then just wait for a Deus Ex Machina to jump in and save the good guy. No. Berg Katze doesn’t care about mercy, and he doesn’t waste a heartbeat in his assault on Rui.
Uh, you want a band-aid or something?
Other than that, the way he copies his enemy’s speech pattern and attack names is actually pretty funny. I’m sure it’s supposed to just be an annoying taunt, but I couldn’t help but laugh at him repeating those ridiculously bombastic attack names in a mocking voice that was just dripping with sarcasm. Amazing how fast he can switch from threatening to comedic, isn’t it? It works well mostly because Mamoru Miyano is such an excellent seiyuu. The way he mimicked Jou’s voice was so spot on I thought it was actually him for a bit. Much like the MESS (are those going to ever be important again?), Berg Katze likes to copy humans. He copies their shapes, speech patterns, and even parrots back phrases with glee. My favourite part was probably his conversation with Hajime, where he adopts her super casual, borderline peasant-like way of speaking for almost the entire conversation.
His conversation with Hajime is especially interesting, because I honestly did not expect her to try and communicate with the one supervillain out to destroy the world. I know that’s her schtick and all, but how do you expect something like that to just sit and listen? Apparently, there was no harm done in casually chatting with Berg Katze, and he didn’t even try to attack her. I know it’s supposed to show the benefits of reaching out to others and trying to understand them before blindly attacking, but it’s a little unrealistic to assume that to be a safe course of action. That approach won’t work in every situation like it does for Hajime. Anyways, skepticism aside, Hajime manages to have a civil conversation with Berg Katze. While Hajime is a chaotic do-gooder, Berg Katze is a chaotic DESTROYER OF PLANETS…it makes for really interesting chemistry, I must say.
Something warm and fluffy after all of that blood~
Although Hajime successfully talks with Berg Katze without getting skewered, she does not succeed in persuading him to be a good guy. He is still a monster who wants to see the world burn, and Hajime is sad that despite the fact the two can talk – they don’t see eye to eye at all. Berg Katze cannot be talked out of his malevolent desires. Hajime is left with just one riddle left to tide her over: What’s something sweet and delicious that everyone loves to eat? Although we see her devouring tons of candy afterwards, I somehow doubt she’s limiting herself to thinking of just food. She’s got to find a way to either convince Berg Katze that the world is not worth destroying, or find a way to stop humanity from destroying itself. And let’s face it – getting Berg Katze to stop loving destruction is like trying to stop a runaway train with your bare hands.
Bonus Thoughts/Screencaps:Show ▼