Gatchaman Crowds – 08

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Beer and sausages: all part of a balanced breakfast when you’re depressed.

I got a new phone and it’s completely Gatcha’d out. I have the ringtone Highway made as my text tone, the ending song as my ringtone, and my wallpaper is the same as Hajime’s (another friend sent it to me on twitter). I never realized I liked this show so much until I thought “all my phone needs now is GALAX.”

The BK Aftermath: Bad Things Happen to Rui as Everyone Else Has Fun

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FML

The Gatchaman crew are still recovering from injuries (both physical and mental) but overall are in good shape. They’re ready to tackle Berg Katze. On the other hand, Rui is wrapped up in more bandages than a mummy and can do nothing but watch as GALAX crumbles before him. Even if Berg Katze didn’t steal his body, GALAX is already on the decline. The fact that it put 100 people into a coma is a huge deterrent, obviously. That would be like if Twitter had a 5% chance of causing you to fall unconscious for an indeterminable amount of time. It’s no wonder that everyone is suspicious about using it now. The irony is that Rui indirectly caused these comas by foolishly challenging Berg Katze. His decision has made people lose trust in GALAX, and now he feels terrible. As if it wasn’t bad enough, he has an adorable little girl telling him her dad won’t wake up thanks to GALAX. Personally, I see Berg Katze as being more at fault, but of course Rui is going to take it to heart and feel like crap when he hears this.

It’s depressing just how low Rui has sunk. The last time we saw him in that blue dress, he was strolling around town and listening in on random civilians praising GALAX to the high heavens. Now as he walks around town all he hears are negative comments and insults. He can’t do anything about it either. All he can do about it is breathe heavily over their shoulders and give them disproving glares, lest he reveal his identity. He has no power now – partially because he’s been hidden all this time. While he stayed anonymous for noble reasons (to avoid fame and being glamourized), it has had quite a few negative effects. Not only is he a powerless figure out in public, but it has caused people like Umeda to accuse him of hogging the Crowds power to himself. This isn’t true, but if Berg Katze pulls some strings he can make Rui look like he was hermiting away because he wanted the Crowds power all to himself. As bad as things are for him, it can only get worse now that Berg Katze is equipped with full access to GALAX and X.

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Ah, in what ways will BK royally screw over Rui (again) in the upcoming series of episodes? He seems to have something really big up his sleeves, such as the total collapse of GALAX combined with humanity losing faith in itself. That’s the kind of big I imagine. The birth of the Neo Hundred is very ominous. Umeda will probably start with a more strict system of justice (his most extreme examples were killing greedy politicians and criminals) and steadily escalate into pure dictatorship thanks to Berg Katze. Let’s not forget he can easily copy Umeda and then give out false orders afterwards, much like what he did with Rui. Whatever he has planned, he’s got the world in the palm of his hands. Even X has no clue it’s working for a fake, which is a big reminder that Rui’s only “friend” is still just a computer. At least, for now. I have a feeling X may somehow gain sentience, based on how all-powerful computer programs usually tend to progress in anime. But alas, that’s putting the cart before the horse.

Thankfully, not everyone is dancing to Berg Katze’s tune. Although no one has come close to one-upping him, Hajime is making important steps to countering him. I’m not exactly sure why going public helps them instead of making everyone panic and call in scientists to dissect them, but in this cheery little world it’s a good move for them. BK himself is impressed, so it must be more than just a last ditch effort. Even if it doesn’t make too much sense, it was a really cute idea for an episode and I really enjoyed it. I had some Tiger & Bunny flashbacks to where the heroes were so publicly known they had ads for Pepsi emblazoned on their outfits and people bought hero trading cards. It’s just sweet to see heroes take some time off from fighting crime to go and play with toddlers. It was both adorable and effective for taking steps towards defeating Berg Katze – the spoiled child who is doing all of this purely for kicks.

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They left with heavy hearts as soon as they realized the transformation sequence contained no nudity

Now that Gatchaman are an official hero force, everyone seems to jump to them as the new go-to guys. But is that right? I don’t feel comfortable with how it was portrayed. It’s like they grew tried of a fad and just jumped to the next one. It didn’t feel like a genuine trust, more like a child abandoning an old toy for the novelty of a freshly unwrapped present. Although the Gatchaman are highly capable, I don’t think the switch of hype towards them is necessarily a good thing. It’s fine for people to rely on heroes. It’s a little narrow-sighted to just focus on one potential solution. I’m still all for a GALAX-Gatchaman-firemen etc. hybrid system that allows for communication between all of these systems to provide the best care given the situation.

The key here has always been communication, and I think that will continue to be the best option. The Gatchaman going public and outright telling humanity about the imminent alien invasion goes…really well. Compare that to Rui refusing to go public, not co-operating with the Gatchaman peeps, and never asking anyone for help. That didn’t exactly turn out all rainbows and sunshine for him now, did it? Admittedly, the positive aspects of communication are exaggerated a bit (still not sure if nonchalently announcing the presence of an evil alien would ever be a good move). But that’s precisely why I feel like this show will end by saying “communication is what keeps us together. As long as we try to connect with each other, no one can hurt us.” Rui will have to get back up on his feet again, because sooner or later his contribution should be important. GALAX x Gatchaman 4EVER~

—————————————————

The BK Aftermath: Somehow Still Okay After Nearly Dying

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I’ve covered all the major fallout from BK’s late night assault. He hurt Rui, sent 100 people to the hospital, and sparked the Gatchaman crew to go public in a counter-defense measure. However, he caused a lot of physical damage to Jou (and by extension, Utsutsu) while dealing a bit of a mental blow to Paiman. The one I found myself feeling really bad for was Jou, because he was overflowing with self-loathing, yet was completely ignored. I couldn’t believe they didn’t even respond when he was verbally beating himself up. No one tried to cheer him up or even convince him to come to the preschool. You don’t just ignore someone with suicidal tendencies when they are depressed, and the lack of care was a little frustrating given the gravity of the issue. While none of them may know about his past suicidal phase, it’s still disheartening to see them chatter on like parrots while Jou is moping alone. At least Utsutsu-chan got porridge!

Utsutsu-chan used her energy to heal Jou from the brink of death (or maybe death itself) as well as help Sugane recover. Despite performing these 2 miracles, she is up-and-at-em after some food and rest. Look, the last time I saw someone in an anime reviving someone they lost an arm, a leg, and their little brother’s entire body. Life isn’t cheap. I guess I’m still bothered by the lack of consequence her power seems to have since she’s perpetually lethargic, and there’s not much difference when she expends a lot of energy and when she’s just lounging at home. Energy confusion aside, I was impressed by her resolve to die in order to save people. It’s sweet albeit a little worrying. That statement was followed by an even more worrying statement from OD about sacrificing himself. As time goes on, it becomes more clear that transforming will cost him his life, hence the sad look he gets whenever he makes a happy memory. I’m starting to think that while Hajime is genuinely hyper, OD mostly puts on his enthusiasm for the sake of others. Oh sure, his real personality is quite flamboyant and fun-loving, but he seems to hide his sadness from everyone along with the secret of the immense, self-destructive power he possesses.

As for Paiman…well, no one like Paiman so let’s just not discuss him.

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See you next Gatcha time~

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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34 Responses to “Gatchaman Crowds – 08”

  1. Irenesharda says:

    Good episode, not as good as last week, but still very good. Too much Hajime, but the scenes with OD, BK, and Rui helped. It seems that Gatchaman world is a lot like Power Rangers or Powerpuff Girls world where it doesn’t matter if superpowered beings show themselves and their secret identities to the world, there are no realistic consequences such as the enemies going after their friends and families, or them being hounded by the government and media, or taken into custody, or having to face the hatred, fear, and prejudice of the public that will both love and fear you. Not to mention the mention of alien life just went over like a breeze. But now that I know what kind of non-realistic world this is, I can go along with it.

    I also agree with your thoughts about the public just going from one fad to another. They abandon GALAX and turn to the Gatchaman overnight! It kinda makes you wonder how long our heroes will have the public’s favor? Especially considering that they as of yet, have no way to physically fight Berg.

    Going back to the more interesting Rui and BK, it seems that BK is beginning his endgame and has taken over Rui’s identity. He is enlisting the help of X as well as Rui’s x-CROWDS members to continue his plans, and he is still a few steps in front of the Gatchamen. We learn that BK and OD might have some unknown connection, since OD describes him ominously as like a child who acts out because he desires love. I really, really hope that that’s not true, since that’s bottom of the barrel, last ditch effort characterization of a villain. It’s so cliche that I would be disgusted if they brought down BK’s character like that. Why can’t he just be evil for the sake of it? Why can’t he just be the psychopath we can love to hate? Someone who simply doesn’t feel sympathy, empathy, or remorse? Some of your best villains both in anime and mainstream western culture are those who while you try your best to reason with and figure out, they simply do what they do, because they can.

    OD, who we discover is half-alien half-human, as well as Paiman, are secretly preparing to give their lives when the time comes. The rest of the Gatchamen are depressed over their defeat by Katze and a miraculously healed Jou is pretty much fallen into a clinical depression after BK’s mental manipulation. I too am kind of concerned that no one is even paying attention to him, much less helping him out. Hajime’d rather cheer up the panda that ran away from the battle, than the one who almost died in it? Come on guys, someone needs to go to him before he gets it in his head to do something drastic!

    Anyway, Hajime has a plan of action though, that includes revealing themselves and informing the public about BK, though she neglects to tell them anything remotely useful, such as how Katze operates, and how to supposedly protect themselves from him. But again, a person like Hajime doesn’t think realistically or in linear terms, she just goes out on a whim and does what she thinks is right without thinking it through. And of course through the power of plot convenience, she is always right and everything will turn out her way because the plot says so…ughhhh

    She and Rui-Rui really belong together as both are naive, unrealistic people, and of course Hajime reaches out to Rui since she thinks they will need him in the future (no, duh!). Rui however has been getting large helpings of reality himself recently as his powers and identity are taken away by Berg Katze, he is forced to stay in a tiny hotel room and feels helpless. Also, a majority of the CROWDS members are pretty much in a coma because of his actions and he’s just starting to realize that his naivety has consequences.

    I give this a 7.69/10. It was very good, a little too much Hajime, but the other characters made up for it.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeeaaaah, I’ve just accepted that this world is somehow okay with aliens and superheroes. I somehow doubt things would go down like that in real life though.

      I think the fact they abandoned Rui so quickly for Gatchaman is a sign that they could just as easily abandon them as well. If they fail even once against BK, people might start to lose faith. People are fickle!

      Oh gosh, I really hope BK’s actions won’t be justified too. I would hate it. There is no need to explain his actions, and trying to make us feel sympathy towards him just isn’t going to work after all the deaths he’s caused. He’s set up to be a ruthless killer who does it for fun, and no amount of sappy backstories can convince me otherwise.

      Amazing how Hajime never does any wrong. Most of the time I like how convenient it is, and sometimes I feel like she’s getting away with murder…

      • Irenesharda says:

        It’s kinda like the Joker (which is kind of what BK is modeling after). There is no amount of sob story you could write that could make me feel sorry for him, and he really doesn’t want you to. He’s a villain who as Batman says, “his schemes make sense to him alone”. He’s evil and crazy and people like him just the way he is.

  2. HannoX says:

    I think Hajime is starting to figure out to deal with Berg Katze. She’s said he’s having fun and no one stops what they’re doing when they’re having fun. So it seems the way to stop him is to show him that humanity would be even more fun if it wasn’t destroyed. Not an easy task given his love of destruction, but I’m sure Hajime will come up with something. And somehow revealing BK’s existence to the world is going to play a part in stopping him, though I don’t know how.

    I also think Gatchaman teaming up with the GALAX network and probably the network of first responders like the firemen is going to be necessary. But Rui is going to have to snap out of it before that can happen. And will Paiman after he gets over his self-loathing finally going to do something worthwhile?

    • Overcooled says:

      Hajime knows she can never change BK’s mind now that she realizes how much he loves chaos and destruction. So she has to go for another target other than BK himself to keep her planet safe. Perhaps if everyone knows a crazed alien is trying to make them turn on themselves, they’ll be more aware? It would help if she explained the fact that he can make doppelgangers of civilians, that would really help…

      Yeah, I guess we’ll have to go through a Rui “recovery” arc before he can contribute again. Paiman will most likely do something…but I doubt it will be much more than either transporting or playing a minor role in a fight.

  3. Japainspired says:

    Haha, Overcooled-san, I understand you so well.
    I have the soundtrack Tutu as my ringtone and I made myself the wallpaper Hajime has. Only that I made it with less polka-dots than on the link that you showed, and mine has a bit brighter colors. I was thinking about putting it on DA, but since someone already uploaded one to the net, I guess I’ll pass.

    So, to the topic. This episode was so nice. Its like every episode gets even better and better. Though I then get the feeling “Ah, too bad it won’t be forever that I’ll be waiting every week for Gatchaman Crowds”.

    The Gatchaman playing with the kids was so adorable. And even Paipai had fun. I really enjoyed it.
    I guess I was right about Berg Katze taking Rui’s look and controling Galax or something like that.
    I still wonder why Rui didn’t go to see the Gatchaman though, it is his last hope and he just missed it, what was he thinking?

    • Overcooled says:

      We match~! >w<

      I’m going to miss this show when it’s gone too. It’s become such a fun part of my week. Admittedly, it had a bit of a slow start after the hype of episode 1, but it’s really improved now. This week was more chill but I thought it was cute anyways

      Rui was at the preschool right before the ED song, so I’m hoping that means he actually does talk to Hajime and friends.

      • Japaninspired says:

        Haha, yeah XD

        Oh, Really? was Rui right in front of it? I thought that he just passed a random house XP
        And Berg was almost crushing Rui, I wonder how he can still walk. There should be some broken bones.

  4. Japainspired says:

    Lol, it ate my comment, again.

    • anonymous says:

      Same thing as well. Comment never appeared.

    • BlackBriar says:

      From what I learned, that usually happens because of how big the paragraphs are in a comment. If they’re small, they’ll show up right away. If they’re a considerable size, it’s going to take some time to appear.

      • Irenesharda says:

        I really think it’s sometimes just boils down to the mood this Spammy creature is in. I sometimes write my normal detailed responses and the pop up right away, other times it takes a while. And then, sometimes I’ll right a short one, and it might take a while showing up as well!

        Sometimes that thing’s just finicky.

  5. anonymous says:

    No one bothered with Joe because they know he needs space. There are times when you need to be around and supportive and times when you need to get lost so the person can make peace with himself.

    Utsutsu was only required to expend larger amounts of energy for Joe. Sugane has no external injuries. Possibly a concussion but nothing as bad as Joe.

    The tactic Hajime is going for is multifold. As of yet, she still has no plan to counter Berg because she has no real idea what he is going to do (obvious from her asking about the riddle on camera). In this situation, the logical answer is simple. Gather information. Hence one of the uses of the PR stunt was crowd sourcing for an answer.

    Doing a heads up for the general public followed with piecemeal updates will also make it easier to counter panic as people tend to be able to take bad news in small doses but fail spectacularly when thrown bad news in 1 combined dosage.

    Putting the existence of Berg out in the public eye also turns the masses into a somewhat unreliable intelligence gathering apparatus though an AI like X and a real time network like Galax is still required to sort out the useful information from the useless ones in a timely manner.

    Finally, by exposing themselves, the Gatachaman have created themselves as a symbol of hope. As long as they do not get beaten down by Berg in public or obviously fail to stop Berg, the masses can cling on to the hope that the heroes will save the day.

    • Overcooled says:

      I have to disagree. There’s “giving someone space” and “completely ignoring them.” If he wanted to be alone, he wouldn’t have said anything – as per his usual routine. Unfortunately, those with depression are always at an increased risk of relapse (especially those with suicidal ideation) so leaving him alone could actually be dangerous even if he wanted to be left alone.

      Hajime could really use the media to her advantage if she’s smart. I’m not sure if asking about delicious things was a good first question to ask, but she could definitely gather intel if she pushes the right buttons. It’s a good move, she just has to hone her media communication techniques a bit. Less scissor motions!

      I’m really curious to see how the going public thing will pan out. BK is obviously going to try and crush them at some point…but when? and how? It’s gonna be intense.

  6. BlackBriar says:

    I have the ringtone Highway made as my text tone, the ending song as my ringtone.

    That reminds me. I’ve got to set the OP “Crowds” as my ringtone. It’s been a while since I changed that.

    I never realized I liked this show so much until I thought “all my phone needs now is GALAX.”

    Hahahahaha!! Did you forget how you were when you were getting into Phi Brain? You kept your distance then caved in bit by bit until you were taken over.

    “Everyone’s way too down”, OD? Who wouldn’t be? They all got their asses handed to them by an eccentric, psychotic fruit cake named Berg Katze. Funny you all decided to address him now by using his initials BK. I can’t help thinking of Burger King when I see that.

    It’s a good thing Hajime’s intelligence defies that airheaded façade of hers or there would be cause for concern. The tactics she uses like deliberately revealing your identity and bringing in the press would make other super heroes targets for the rest of their lives. In many ways, I’m still worried.

    As expected, Jou got a mental breakdown from getting owned. At least his sulking is more tolerable than most characters that go down that road. Looks like my earlier thoughts on GALAX were right. Berg Katze was using it and Rui to raise people high enough in their devotion to the program so the impact could be devastating when he slams them down. I saw Rui’s mentally getting like this a mile away. The most dangerous kinds of people are the idealists who have had their dreams broken. A little more strangling with the constant “accidents” and the planet will fall right into chaos.

    Personally, I see Berg Katze as being more at fault, but of course Rui is going to take it to heart and feel like crap when he hears this.

    But Rui should feel horrible, at least form of guilt. He made a deal with the devil using Berg Katze’s power to “update the world” and knew from the get-go that he was not to be trusted. And in his arrogance, he thought he could get rid of the very person who gave him that power without the consideration that it would backfire on him severely. Even if there are good intentions behind the actions, you reap what you sow.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, I always deny my affection until it’s too late – I’m in full-blown love! Thank goodness Phi Brain season 3 is coming soon…

      I wouldn’t worry too much about the harm in going public. Hajime had her identity revealed ages ago and the only downside is that people try and take photos of her all the time. It’ll only backfire if BK humiliates them…or even worse, impersonates one of them.

      If I was given the power, I would probably take a shot at using it and get screwed over in the end. I wouldn’t be as hard-headed as Rui though so maybe I’d last a little longer and not fail quite as miserably. It’s hard for me to see him as guilty when he was set up for failure. …Fighting BK was really dumb though.

  7. Irenesharda says:

    But Rui should feel horrible, at least form of guilt. He made a deal with the devil using Berg Katze’s power to “update the world” and knew from the get-go that he was not to be trusted. And in his arrogance, he thought he could get rid of the very person who gave him that power without the consideration that it would backfire on him severely. Even if there are good intentions behind the actions, you reap what you sow.

    I have to agree with you on that, Rui was just as much to blame, if not more to blame, than BK. Though he was the tool that was used, he knew what was going on and still let Katze use him. He made the unfortunate mistake in thinking that he could somehow beat BK at his own game, that he could double-cross him. This is despite the fact that he only knows as much about the guy as the alien will allow. Of course the boy crashed and burned.

    Well, one nice thing is, unless BK decide to somehow destroy Rui even more (is that even possible?) there is really nowhere for our idealistic cross-dresser to go but up.

    • Overcooled says:

      So if BK gave you powers, you wouldn’t use them? I would have tried to outsmart BK too, if I could. It’s just unfortunate that trying to save the world resulted in hurting so many people.

      • Irenesharda says:

        Actually no, because there would always be a catch. He gave me those powers for a reason that would only benefit him and probably backfire on me, which is what happened to Rui. The thing is, I’ve read enough plots to know that the villain is never going to give you enough power to be able to overpower him, and he’s going to expect you to try to double-cross him, and he, will be ready for it.

    • Durga says:

      Rui never made a deal. He said it himself: Berg appeared one day and extracted the Note from him. There was no Deal. Nothing. Rui using the powers didn’t bring forth this situation, Berg could have stolen the Note he extracted at any time.

      If you want to blame someone, blame JJ for giving Katze power and Gatchaman for existing. If it didn’t, Katze wouldn’t have done anything to none of those planets. Galax would have be fine and helped people and Rui would still have his confidence and happiness which declined thanks to Katze.

  8. joojoobees says:

    I am interested in seeing how this one turns out in the end. Rui’s biggest problem is he is a hypocrite; he says the world needs to change so that ordinary people take care of each other, but he thinks he can achieve that by creating a secret army of super-beings that run around secretly rescuing people?

    • Overcooled says:

      He’s a huge hypocrite. Not only that, but he despises people for only doing good deeds for rewards yet GALAX is based off of a rewards system. He seems to think everything he does is better than anyone else doing the same thing. I guess that’s why he thought he could beat BK using his own powers. Oh Rui, you’re just destined to fail until you learn…

  9. d-LaN says:

    ……..I still like Paiman >_>

    • BlackBriar says:

      Then he’s lucky to have at least one person who likes him. Everyone else is ready to hang him.

    • Irenesharda says:

      Well, I don’t mind the little panda, I never take him seriously anyway and think of him as a comic relief plushie. I thought he was kind of adorable when he was talking to OD in the beginning.

    • Overcooled says:

      He’s cute but as soon as he speaks or does anything OH MY GOODNESS is he a jerk. But as BB says, we need someone to like him so that I don’t try and strangle him.

      • d-LaN says:

        I dunno, his biggest jerk moment so far is when he bailed out on Hajime & Utsusu and I find him hilarious/OK most of the time.

  10. zztop says:

    There is another element to the Gatchamen preschool trip.
    Little children are the most innocent and most receptive to new ideas and concepts.
    Therefore, the children would be the easiest segment of society for the Gatchamen to gain trust of, and older people would be more likely to trust them if their children are comfortable around them.

    • Irenesharda says:

      I don’t know, that’s not always true. A lot of times the public thinks children too trusting and of course too naive to be a good judge of character. In fact, the fact that the Gatchaman are hanging around children rather than a normal press conference has the possibility to bring out suspicion of their motives and even fear for the children. In the real world, people are often afraid or cautious of what they do not understand and wouldn’t want their children around them.

      Now, this is Gatchaman world, so of course everything is going to go swimmingly, but Hajime’s reasoning wouldn’t always work in normal circumstances.

  11. Irenesharda says:

    OMG, I just got to see the designs for Utsutsu’s Gatchaman form and OD’s Gatchaman form. They look AWESOME!!! Especially, OD’s. Take a look, if you want. They will look awesome in the show! I can’t wait! 😀

    • BlackBriar says:

      I don’t think you should have done that. Now you won’t be surprised when they change on screen. I’m doing my best to resist the temptation of checking it out.

      • Irenesharda says:

        I kinda came upon it totally by accident went I clicked on a blog about the show. I know I pretty much spoiled it for myself, but I think I’ll be just as amazed to see it animated and to see what they can do while it them. It’s not as bad as a plot spoiler like what people do with Shingeki, so it actually just makes me more excited and full of anticipation. :)

        What I really want to know is what BK’s form is, when it’s not invisible. I hope it looks as amazing as OD’s.

        • Irenesharda says:

          Never mind, I just looked at the OP again, and BK’s form is right there! Or at least I think it’s him. (It could also be a humanoid form of Sousai X?) If it is, he looks really good too. I love the way it looks as if the stars are made out of nerve cells which are like the mainframe of GALAX.

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