Hmm, something seems different…New haircut?
|Things are beginning to reach a fever pitch now. The city is struck with reckless acts of terrorism, destruction, Berg Katze manipulating the entire world and worst of all…I had to go back to school. Homework! It’s so, so terrible. But seriously, BK puts some intense pressure on planet Earth and it’s a wonder the Gatchaman group can stay so calm in the face of such a threat.|
I feel like this post is going to turn into more of a damage report than anything. Let’s tally up all the chaos Berg Katze has caused, shall we? For starters, he’s disguised himself as Rui and completely taken over GALAX. Using the computing power of X, he gives Crowds to a group called the “Neo Hundred” and makes Umeda their leader. That frees him from any direct responsibility for their actions. All he does is give some people this amazing power that can be used in any way you could imagine. He technically can’t be blamed for the fact that they choose to use that to tear through buildings like it’s a wet napkin.
It’s frustrating, but he’s staggeringly competent when it comes to turning humanity on itself without being the one to actually do all the damage firsthand. That doesn’t make him any more of a good person, but it doesn’t make humans look too good either. His evil plans are effectively pointing out some major weaknesses in the way people think and society functions – things that already existed long before he came here. He’s just taking advantage of them, and shoving it all in our faces as if to say “ah, aren’t humans so silly?”. Nowso more than ever, I’m beginning to see just what a big opponent they’re up against.
To fan the fire, Berg Katze decides that 100 people is not enough. Instead of hand-picking the best individuals with the purest of hearts, he goes for Rui’s blacklist. He then gives this incredibly life-changing power to every single person Rui personally rejected as a sad excuse of a human being. With one simple command, he just “uploads” the power to them. No magic, no flashing lights, just a simple message in neat black letters illuminated on their handheld screen. I love how the transfer of power was as understated as sending an e-mail, as if to remind us that you can instantly change lives with the power of the internet. It only takes a few seconds too. Just look at how easy it was for him to completely mess up Rui’s life and the state of their city just by taking over GALAX. When Hajime said not to rely on GALAX too much, I doubt she meant this…but it’s happening in a much more sinister way. Rui, you trusted GALAX with too much power and now it is capable of destroying the world. You should have made another friend other than X.
On the other hand, I still suspect that X might gain sentience and boot Berg-Katze out of the system. The fact it notices a difference in his speech patterns and mannerisms says enough about X’s intelligence. Even if it’s not quite “sentience,” it could still shut him out by recognizing his patterns as being totally off. When you use your credit card erratically in different countries, it’s shut off because they assume it was identity theft. The same could happen here. But this is anime, so I wouldn’t be surprised if (as Hajime predicted…and she’s always right) X somehow helps Rui and recognizes him as its only friend. Since all the power lies in GALAX…that also means all the power lies in X. Therefore X might actually be the one who sets things right, or at least helps as a buffer against all of the shit Berg Katze is doing.
From starting a revolution to making his own “youtube” comments to spark hate, Berg Katze is using all of the social media resources he can to destroy the world. It’s silly when you stop to think about it, but it’s working swimmingly so I guess I have to slap that grin off my face before he blows up an entire country using Twitter. He’s also not as hilarious as Hajime and her friends hosting a Gatchannel youtube/nico nico douga live stream to give people information about the situation. It’s an excellent idea to tell people what’s going on so they don’t panic, don’t get me wrong. But it’s also not a proper countermeasure against Berg Katze quite yet. They’re still warming up for something, and I’m eager to see just what they’re going to do to actually kill Berg Katze or get him off their planet. I doubt the final showdown will be yet another social media battle of who has more likes, followers, or positive comments. It will have to come down to fists soon, but for now the way the two of them are using social media to battle it out is a very refreshing change of pace from the norm.
The power social media has in society interests me. Berg Katze is obviously being a giant troll and fabricating comments, spreading rumours, and doing all sorts of things. He’s used all of this to single-handedly start a revolution. Hajime is using it for good, and slowly earning a set of loyal followers and believers. I feel like this will be a good first step to somehow getting a leg-up on Berg Katze…and it will be fabulous once it happens. But for all the importance social media has and for the way it reaches so many people so effortlessly – it can be very weak. Destroying the influence of social media is very easy, you see. All you have to do is turn it off. I love how the two messages were combined in this episode. Although the whole episode is a heated showdown through the internet with the entire planet at stake, Hajime and Rui can easily ignore it by shutting it off. So although it is a powerful and sometimes central aspect of our lives, it is also very possible to cut it out in certain ways so we are not entirely dependent on it. Hajime knows the right balance of embracing it and knowing just when to step away from the screen.
I’m still relatively new to the wonders of twitter and youtube so I can’t say I’m all that tuned in to that sort of thing. Still, it’s an interesting subject to me and I liked the overall message. What started off as a pure superhero show has branched off into a myriad of interesting concepts. I wasn’t sure if GALAX would be properly fleshed out, but it seems like it has become the main focus of the show. I can’t wait to see what the finale has in store for us. Berg Katze has the upperhand for now, but the Gatchaman crew are only getting stronger.Paiman is about 5% less of a dickhead, Sugane has grown up to the point where he is comfortable telling JJ he won’t follow orders, and Rui has joined their forces. Not only that, but Rui has stopped wearing girl clothes! Okay, so maybe short shorts isn’t that big of an upgrade in manliness, but he’s making progress! OD also makes them a force to be reckoned with his powers. Although his powers also entail destroying the entire world, so that’s not so great. I really want to see his fabulous transformation though! OD, spread your wings for us!
The only member not being a team player is Jou, who is basically just doing his day job and ignoring everything else. He still has his NOTE so he should technically be able to fight. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have his pride any more. Oh Jou, how you make me worry…
NEXT WEEK: how blogging sites like Metanorn can change the world. Err, don’t ask me how.