Gatchaman Crowds – 12 [END]

Gatchaman - Hajime

What makes a hero?

I still can’t believe Gatchaman Crowds is already over. It felt so short! There was a lot packed into those 12 episodes, and the finale is no exception. There’s a lot to talk about. So it makes sense that we form a Meta-Gatchaman team to cover all the angles, right? Biiiiiird GO!
Hooray for tags! And with another finale in the history books, I’m happy to join OC and Karakuri for this look at Gatchaman Crowds. Thanks for the opportunity!
Gatcha~. …That saying really is catchy, isn’t it. Anyways, I’m here with OC and Highway to express my thoughts on this rather interesting show and it’s equally interesting finale. (Thanks, OC. )

Light vs Dark: Balancing the Ideals of Hajime and Berg Katze

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Visual metaphors. Visual metaphors everywhere.

Karakuri // After the flashbacks in episode 11, it became more clear to me that Hajime was more like an ideal instead of an actual character. Her role in the plot was a catalyst for all of the other characters to be inspired by and then change for the better. Everyone who meets her is influenced by her, and always in a positive way. …Er, well, everyone minus Berg Katze, but he seems to be the epitome of the “bad” in society. What he does isn’t constructive in any way (minus things like Galax, which he constructed for the purpose of eventually destroying more things), and in the end, he acted more like a troll than anything. Meanwhile, Hajime has always been the epitome of the better side of people. Empathizing with others despite being complete strangers, thinking of things from other people’s perspectives, using creativity/sideways thinking to work out large problems, and encouraging collaboration; people can do a lot when they work together “Hajime-style”. Even if people aren’t as altruistic (…or energetic) as she was, her influence was always a step in the right direction for the other characters. I definitely see her more as the embodiment of an idea as opposed to an actual character.

…Which maybe accounts for most of the reasons people had problems with her.  Hajime was just this unstoppable force that ripped through the plot without ever really slowing down. She would have been way more realistic if she stumbled once in a while, but I can respect her for not doing so. The way I see it, she’s supposed to be overpowered with seemingly no flaws, if she’s the embodiment of an ideal society (which is what I assume the solution here was going for, since the conflict ended with everyone playing games and getting along as opposed to the world going up in flames and Rui failing).

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Hell, Rui seemed more like the heroine (hero, whatever) of the story than Hajime did, since he actually had character development. Actually, this whole plot felt more like Rui was the protagonist than anything. Maybe not so much at the beginning, since that was more of Hajime’s introduction and how she changed everyone’s worlds, but the ending was his struggle and fixing his mistakes. Hajime was just a guiding light for Rui towards that. The very end of this episode, the solution to the struggle against CROWDS was Hajime’s suggestion, but it was Rui who implemented the plan and who learnt something from it in the long run.

As for that ambiguous ending, I interpret it as this: after Berg Katze eventually went to Hajime’s “date”, she somehow absorbed him (to stop him) and he’s now trapped inside her heart. …Because apparently Hajime can do that. Plus, I can’t think of any other reason why her cleavage would suddenly start complaining to her. Maybe this is supposed to be some deep metaphor for the good of society encompassing the bad (Hajime being the good in people and Berg Katze  being the bad; “you can’t really destroy the bad things in life, but only overcome them” type of thing), but I definitely didn’t mind it’s ambiguity. After all that we’ve seen from this anime, is it really that surprising that they wouldn’t explain absolutely everything?

————————————————————

We Don’t Need Another Hero
Gatchaman Crowds 012

Highway // One of the themes of this series was the incompatibility of Rui’s view that the world needs to get rid of heroes with Hajime’s insistence that she wouldn’t give up being a Gatchaman. A lot of people have thought that Hajime was simple or naive throughout the show, but I think in this instance, it was Rui that was the one who was being stubborn and naive. A lot of that was born from his desire to change the world in a crowdsourced manner, but I think that the main issue was that he just didn’t understand the magnitude of the problems that could come up. And even having the power of Crowds, I think he misplaces what that power actually is. He says he doesn’t want heroes, but then he has the Hundred, with Crowds, to be heroes. Maybe he thinks that it’s fine because they don’t want publicity or credit. But how is that different from the Gatchaman? They don’t want credit either, in fact, they’ve been so secret that they’re only a rumor.

And it’s Rui’s faith in this idea that ultimately pulls Galax apart from him. It must have been tough for him to see B-K take over X, and give the neo-Hundred the Crowds power, especially to do selfish things with. But what’s the ultimate fix? Giving the Crowds ability to everyone on Galax. And what convinces them to use it? They get more X (-Box 😉 ) points. People want to be heroes, and people want rewards. It’s a basic motivation. Of course, I loved seeing this put in, because it meshes so well with one of my viewpoints: All people act in their own self-interest all the time. Even “altruistic” acts are done for self-interest, in that it either makes the person feel better (or perhaps less worse), or puts them in a better position farther down the line. Sure, this is a very Heinlein-influenced view, but I have yet to see it be contradicted (although it’s easy to not be contradicted when it has so many possible conditions, I’ll admit). And if people were to embrace the truth of this, it would be easier to deal with people: “If tempted by something that feels “altruistic,” examine your motives and root out that self-deception. Then, if you still want to do it, wallow in it!”

So ultimately, Rui does realize the error of his prior viewpoint. I think. At least he gave up on limiting the Crowds. And that’s important. It’s better to figure out how to use such a power than it is to keep a lid on it. And I think that’s the same thing that Hajime thought when she went public with the Gatchannel. But then, Hajime was far past everyone all the time, wasn’t she

————————————————————

A Kinder Way to Counter an Alien Invasion

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The Real Housewives of Gatchaman Crowds

Overcooled // The city is in absolute shambles. People are using the CROWDS ability to wring each other’s necks and go on rampages, which is hurting more than it is helping. The solution could have been for Hajime and her crew to mob them like mad in a huge fighting montage. However, instead of turning the finale into a “last boss fight” affair, Rui solves the problem by giving CROWDS to even more people. Technically it’s still people fighting each other, but it has such a feel-good aura surrounding it that it hardly feels like a nail-biting fight for the sake of watching brutality. This finale is very different from something like, say, the Attack on Titan finale. I like the non-traditional route Gatchaman Crowds takes in choosing to compromise instead of just annihilating the other side. The end solution is not to destroy evil, but to simply accept it.

Just by telling people to use CROWDS to help out in “games,” Rui successfully shifts the attention from senseless violence to organized acts of kindness. It sounds like a really risky plan, and I like how you see not everyone playing exactly by his rules. It works for the most part, but some users don’t tone down their violence at all while a huge portion of them are only being heroes so they can rack up GALAX points. Rui used to be extremely critical of people for only doing good deeds if you dangled a carrot in front of their faces, but that’s just part of human nature. It may seem greedy, but are their intentions really so bad when they’re saving hundreds and thousands of lives during a crisis? I think getting happy at a few virtual bonuses is a reasonable reward. As Karakuri and Highway have stated – Rui has grown a lot, and has learned to accept the bad aspects of humanity as being potentially beneficial in certain situations.

Gatchaman Crowds 006Gatchaman Crowds 009

Everyone coming together using GALAX to save the world was exactly what I expected from this series, and it worked very well. It was exciting, although I can’t help but compare it to everyone in Summer Wars combining their internet powers in a much more dazzling array than here. I’m actually surprised they tried to throw in a final fight scene at all with OD and Berg Katze. That was the most disappointing scene of the episode. After all the build up with OD his transformation had no tension (much like Utsutsu nonchalently transforming a while back) and he didn’t even come close to destroying the world. All that ominous talk about his unfathomable powers cumulated in a fight scene that was over in a blink of an eye without posing even the littlest of threats to the surrounding area, let alone the planet. They built up all this mystery around him and totally dropped the ball. Even Berg Katze revealing that OD destroyed his own planet had no weight because it was said so suddenly and it garnered no reaction at all. Truly, I think the entire fight should have been excluded in favour of more of these more non-violent solutions because it was just terrible. Seeing BK purely ignored by all of humanity like he was an old fad was just a priceless defeat – much better than any battle would have been.

I would have preferred that they left OD as a total mystery and given us more time to see how Hajime incorporated Berg Katze into her own body. That was a real shocker, but it does make a lot of sense. Who else could balance out the world’s biggest downer than the girl who appears to constantly be on Valium and/or  Speed? Hajime, that’s who! From the mayor compromising by using GALAX to Hajime just accepting the bad guy for who he is instead of defeating it, the more pacifist-oriented moments in the finale were great. The forced fights? Not so great. Still, I love the concept of the show and message it’s trying to send, even if it was a little overly optimistic and fluffy. We have to stay connected!

————————————————————

Final Thoughts

This wasn’t even something I was planning to watch, but I got around to it, and definitely do not regret it in the slightest. Yes, things were messy plot-wise and in execution, but I found it rather charming in a way. Normally having a story go all over the place and do things like going from the message “people seem to be overly reliant on social media, look how it’s (potentially) screwing people over” to the message “guys, social media is the greatest thing ever” (…though maybe I should have seen this coming, since Hajime completely embraced the idea of Galax) is a bit jarring, but I found it okay when combined with the erratic visuals all over the place (and that awesome OST). That made it seem more like a theme as opposed to poor planning. I’m easy to fool like that. Just give me bright colours and I can overlook a LOT of things. Anyways, Hajime was always fun to watch, as was Berg Katze (surprisingly, for the same reasons). Watching Rui and the other characters develop was great too (no matter how shallow some of that development seemed to be at times). …I definitely ended up loving this show a lot more than I thought I would.

I think everyone’s mentioning it, but the finale of this show really tripped, didn’t it? And some would say that it tripped on episode 11, with that hagiography of Hajime, and just finished falling on the finale. It’s kind of a shame that this series was so uneven. I was glad to watch it all the way through, because I thought Hajime was just great. But a lot of stuff just went nowhere, and the stuff that did go somewhere felt ultimately unsatisfying. Did O.D. die? Did he become a Daemonia or something, because it seemed that everyone just forgot about him. Did Berg-Katze turn into Hajime’s bra? Or was he the ribbon? Or is he just inside her boobs heart?

I think the show had some interesting themes, but ultimately was just an incohesive and unsatisfying show. I don’t know what I would have done differently, really, but something needed to be different. At times it was fun to watch, and I always found Hajime fun to watch, but that just couldn’t carry the show past its deficiencies.

Ahhh, Gatchaman was such a joy to blog. It’s far from being technically perfect (they had time for a recap episode yet the ending was still a bit rushed…) and is therefore a very messy show. If you can get over that, it’s really fun. A few of the more well-structured episodes (such as when Rui gets beaten up like crazy and the episode where Sugane realizes Hajime isn’t so derp) are very memorable and impressive. Unfortunately, it does suffer quite a few dips and lapses in focus. Kenji Nakamura is clearly still a diamond in the rough, learning from his mistakes and…sometimes not learning anything at all. I’m still a biased fangirl of his stuff, so I’m pretty fond of Gatchaman Crowds despite realizing all of its flaws.

This show has a lot of downsides and often gets in its own way, but I appreciate a lot of what it was trying to do. With a little less ADHD and a little less kookyness, this could have been a real contender for anime of the year. It’s not a 10/10 show, but man…it was a fun ride. Thanks to Highway and Karakuri for joining me on the finale to make this post wayyyyy better than I could have made it alone. And thanks to YOU, dear reader, for reading this. Until next season~

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*wink wink double pistol* Gatcha, baby~

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We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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60 Responses to “Gatchaman Crowds – 12 [END]”

  1. skylion says:

    Yep, it was a big MESS. Hey, they did come back, as I predicted….

    I cannot help but have the impression that the producers could have taken any sentai team from the days of yore and told the same story. I wish it would have had more of the feel of the old show. But, the new is fine, too.

    I’m probably closer to HWY’s perspective on the whole thing. Great potential, too much clutter. With the OD sturm and drang, that came to little.

    I never really go close to being able to explain it all, but I think a friend of mine over at G+ Anime Talk has a great summation:

    Hajime & Katze
    Hajime’s loud eccentricity ruined the series for some. Maybe I’ve been desensitized to this character from having already seen Haru from Tsuritama, another eccentric character whose child-like perspective served as a catalyst for change within the unhappy cast. Eventually I viewed Hajime as the representation of the internet’s potential for good, with her whimsical attitude, her inclusiveness, and her lateral perspective on rules & social status. Whether they were mayors, prime minsters, space aliens or super heroes, she viewed everyone as equals, and helped them find their place in a changing world. Internet-age community building is what she defined as “fun”.

    Berg Katze was the incarnation of the internet’s evil — trolling, griefing, and mob justice. He threw taunts and slurs from the darkness, and stole identities with abandon. Katze gave Rui’s Galax system the power of “Crowds”, a way to materialize the anonymous internet mob into the real world, thinking that such power would inevitably lead to humanity’s self-destruction.

    Hajime was the only character who took Katze’s sentiments and feelings seriously. She eventually solved the riddle he posited in episode 7, which reflected Katze’s view that the suffering of others is “fun”, and people would default to griefing in the absence of consequences. In the end, Hajime merged with Katze, as they were two sides of the same coin. Katze can never be eliminated; only managed, and Hajime took it upon herself to do that.

    Thank, Sean.

    And thank to you OC and all the Tag Team pals. It was a strange trip, but well worth saying

    BIIRRRRRRRRRRD! GO!

    • Highway says:

      The MESS coming back was kind of like just showing up for the class picture or something. It still had no relevance in the end. I think all the MESS were supposed to do in the whole series was get us off and running on the “Hajime is 15 steps ahead of you!” theme.

      • skylion says:

        Yeah, I know no one here would let me off the hook like that…

      • HannoX says:

        That does seem to have been the function of the MESS, something I mentioned a few episodes ago. But in my other comment here I hazard a guess that they may have had another function, which unfortunately wasn’t shown, always assuming my guess is right.

  2. Foshizzel says:

    The series was decent until the final episode because damn hit trainwreck mode really fast! I have my issues with this series as well namely certain main characters, but I know a lot of people that loved Gatchaman so I won’t bash it here xD

    • BlackBriar says:

      I think this kind of ending suits the series. The story was all over the place from the beginning so it became more so.

  3. HannoX says:

    There were parts of this show that were a mess, things that got forgotten (I’m looking at you MESS) and things that got a big buildup which never really paid off (OD’s transformation). Still, I thought it was a real fun ride with the bright colors and the over-the-top characters of Hajime and Berg Katze, especially Hajime. I’m tired of shows where the main character is an angst-ridden teen. Man, oh man, is Hajime anything but angst-ridden! If not for her character I’d have probably dropped this show after 2 or 3 episodes. As it is, I have it on my buy list should it get a North American release.

    I do wish they had shown us what happened when BK showed up for his “date” with Hajime. How the heck did she absorb him? I suspect the MESS were involved, why else did they return? I figure she absorbed BK into her heart (but if he’s her bra now, I can think of worse fates) since good and evil resides in all of us and we think of them as residing in our hearts. Going by what we saw Hajime didn’t have a shred of evil in her body, so I suppose that meant she had room to take him in. And it’s clear who is in control, but her phone call to her mother hints that there may be times in the future when she’ll do something that would be considered bad. Just a little bad though, not world-destroying bad.

    • Irenesharda says:

      I dread ever hearing the dubbed version of this. Can you imagine Hajime rapidly speaking random nonsense in a high pitched voice in English with an American and/or Canadian accent? 0_o

      I shudder…

      • HannoX says:

        Yeah, I agree. I doubt I’d ever watch a dub of it.

        • Overcooled says:

          lol Canadian accent. They’d make her say “eh” after every sentence in order to localize her crazy speech patterns. I don’t want to imagine it…yet I am oddly intrigued by how terrible it would be!

        • BlackBriar says:

          There’s often a part of me that believes that not all animes should be dubbed unless the series is in the hands of a capable studio. So far, I’d have to say that Funimation has the best reputation in the dub business.

          • Irenesharda says:

            Unfortunately, Sentai Filmworks has it. But then again, might mean that we’ll thankfully never hear a dubbed version since Sentai doesn’t dub a lot of their acquisitions, though there’s a lot they haven’t even released either….

    • Overcooled says:

      The ending made me wonder why on earth they’d try and squeeze stuff in if they weren’t gonna explain it anyways. I waited all this time for the MESS to do something and all we got was a cameo. Meh. Despite all the unfinished ideas, I like the main conclusion to all the stuff with GALAX and BK (minus the OD battle which went nowhere).

      I wish we had seen the date too…I love the idea of Hajime absorbing him into her heart (or soul?) and combining to form one person, albeit with Hajime in control. I imagine now she’s a little more balanced so yeah, she’ll be more prone to being selfish, rude, or throwing a tantrum.

      • Japaninspired says:

        I was waiting for the Mess too. But they only appeared and did nothing.

        So that really was Hajime adsorbing Katze into her Heart? And I was wondering what was that all about. But doesn’t it seem that Hajime is that only one who can handle him? I mean, I doubt Hajime can get crazy because of him in her. Or, can she? Would be awesome to see a 2nd season. I loved the show so much.

        Overcooled-san, thank you so much for your hard work. It was so much fun to read your blogs each week ^^

        • Overcooled says:

          Yep, Hajime absorbed him…somewhere. Heart, soul, mind, body – they don’t exactly say, but the general idea is that the two of them now share the same body. I think she can handle him, although it’s not going to be easy. I dunno about a second season but I’d love an OVA showing how she copes with him.

          Thanks for reading and commenting~ (✿◡‿◡)

          • Japaninspired says:

            It’s a bit strange thought that it wasn’t shown how exactly he “merged” with Hajime, that left me a bit puzzled.
            Oh, an OVA would be fine too, I really hope to see one.

            You are very welcome. I’ll be sticking with you this fall too :)

      • Japaninspired says:

        Noo, Spammy-kun ate my comment again.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    A Tag Teaming trio. Nice! Hahaha! I’m still dusting over the remaining Summer animes and I just happened to close this series off.

    While it’s not the wildest ending that could be thought up, it suited the series. Gatchaman Crowds is unique and a trip into new territory for me, one without the slightest sign of regret even if the story is half baked in some areas. To be honest, it didn’t seem that interesting until word of mouth started to spread and got a look at the First Impression. I could hardly find anything typical about it that I would with other animes. Not to mention its female lead is a character completely out of the box that defies all known stereotypes.

    The one troublesome thing to notice was a much underused character in the series. Other than endowing powers to the members, JJ was practically deadweight which is a shame considering that those higher up in command should get some kind relevance. It was as if he might as well not have existed at all.

    The bit of humor from the episode came from Berg-Katze and O.D trying to use the English language in their trash talks during their fight. It was off in the pronunciation but near perfect, I’ll have to admit. Also, a few laughs were stifled when Katze called O.D “Gay-chan”. Pardon me, but has he forgotten what he’s been doing while raising hell in the city? That’s the pot calling the kettle black. O.D’s Gatchaman form was awesome and in my opinion, the best among the male members. It’s too bad we only got a one-time screening. What I want to know is what happened to him after his talk with the famous cross-dresser, Rui. Surely those wounds weren’t enough to kill him.

    It’s not perfect but Gatchaman Crowds gets an 8.5/10. Now, onto the Fall season!!

    • Highway says:

      I actually knocked Crowds down a bit more than that, because as much as I like Hajime’s character, the show just doesn’t really hold up as a complete package. As an intriguing amalgamation of ideas, it’s excellent, but as a cohesive show, it just never made it there.

    • Overcooled says:

      Glad you liked the foray into the colourful and whacky world of Kenji Nakamura. I may have to vehemently recommend the dark and grisly Mononoke to everyone to make everyone remember that he’s actually a good director when he tries. Not that Gatchaman Crowds is bad (at least for me) but it lacks the consistency of some of his other works.

      JJ was another loose end that served as little more than a convenient plot device. How perfect for him to give out prophecies and then be a symbol of freedom later on without doing anything?

      OD’s form was definitely the best. He’s got style, man.

      • HannoX says:

        When you get down to it, the only thing of significance JJ did was to make Hajime a Gatchaman. After that she was the driving force of the Gatchaman. After Ep.1 his role was essentially over. A waste of a potentially great or at least interesting character.

        Agreed, OD’s form kicked ass.

        • Irenesharda says:

          And what was the point of them making him a space vampire? It had absolutely no bearing on anything. At least I can understand why BK was so flamboyant, since he had to be the antithesis of Hajime. Pai-Pai was the way he was to make him cute. But JJ, why?

  5. Hazou says:

    This ending was very disappointing.

  6. zztop says:

    Rumour has it that ep 12 ended like this because of time constraints back in Japan.
    Supposedly, the problem was episode 11. It was too long for broadcast, so they moved the first half of the episode to the second half, and put recap stuff in the first half. Of course, the original second half was moved to the first half of episode 12, and then they had to cut stuff off from the second half of episode 12 altogether.

    Plus there was a Twitter announcement from Japan asking Gatchaman Crowds viewers to ‘await an announcement’ in the following days, so perhaps the director intends to somehow release the 2nd missing half to complete the story. Fingers crossed!

    I definitely don’t regret following this quirky series.
    I enjoyed the director’s very interesting take on the superhero series by making it a pseudo-commentary on the good/bad of social media and people power(I hear the director Nakamura is one of those artsy unconventional types, is this true?)

    Not many writers/directors would try do do a superhero show this way. Even the recently released live-action Gatchaman movie in Japan still follows its conventional 1970s style sentai plot(group of heroes must band together to defeat Berg Katze and the Galactor army rampaging across Earth.)

    • Highway says:

      Wow, episode 11 was too long? And they left in what I keep calling a hagiography of Hajime? Seems that was the perfect length adjuster. Just cut out a person or two, and tada! it’s shorter! Talk about inflexibility of direction.

      Nakamura is definitely unconventional. Take a look at Tsuritama sometime.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, I heard about it on 4chan but wasn’t entirely sure how legit the source was. Plus, I could BARELY translate the twitter message with my limited Japanese. Seems like it’s actually legit though since I’m seeing more people comment on it. I think a little bit of extra time could help even things out a little bit.

      I loved the concept of Gatchaman. It was a little overambitious, sure, but the fact it even went in that direction was great. We need more shows about stuff like social media and the true meaning of heroism instead of highschool moeblobs doing cute things. Not that I mind the occasional moeblob show now and then…

      I’m a huge fan of Kenji Nakamura and his works. You want unconventional? Look up my favourite work of his – Kuuchuu Buranko (Trapeze in english). The art style alone is INSANE (just give it a quick google and you’ll see), and the story itself covers mental illnesses and a psychiatrist that may not even exist. Anyways, he really has a flare for colours and visual metaphors. Also, he may or may not have mild ADHD because he tends to get very easily distracted when telling a story. As Highway said, Tsuritama is also another good show by him and has a lower barrier of entry to watch haha.

      I might look into this live action remake just for funsies. It might be good for some mindless fun if it’s as straightforward as you say.

  7. Irenesharda says:

    This ending was interesting, okay, but also very confusing.

    The fight between OD and BK was the best part of the episode by far. That really should have taken most of the finale. I had some people ask why was OD’s power was so grave? He just seems to be simply very strong, but not really “destroy all life” strong. Well, I found out that in order to find out why they had been saying what they were saying about him not spreading his wings, you actually had to look on the show’s website to understand why his power was so dangerous. From what was explained to me, the particles that OD emits when in his transformed form, will literally destroy anything they touch. They’re almost like antimatter and that any matter they come in contact with, even the very air itself, is annihilated. Also, it’s a power that he can’t control. It happens automatically as long as he’s fighting, like smoke coming from a fire; it’s automatic. So, if he were to fight for any extended period of time in that form, he would end up destroying whole buildings, cities, and eventually whole worlds, as BK indicates is what happened to OD’s father’s planet (which would mean that OD’s mother came from Earth, but I digress…..)

    So, his power is pretty destructive and powerful, they just never bothered to tell us or explain any of that onscreen and instead just left it in the supplementary material.

    I honestly really was bored by the whole “online gaming saves the day” ending to this. So, what was the moral again? That we should treat death and destruction like a game where lives=points? Yeah, I can understand the whole cooperation ideal here, but I think the execution was lacking. It was like we hadn’t learned anything from the problems with GALAX before.

    Surprisingly, Hajime was hardly in this finale, neither was most of the Gatchaman. The only one who had his moment here was OD, who should have had way more screentime but ended up dying less than ten minutes in. Joe was there for about a second or two, in a fight scene. But he really got only a little less than most of the Gatchaman. Utsutsu barely got a few seconds that weren’t the ones in OD’s head. Pai-Pai got about a minute and a half, Sugane got about 3 minutes, and Hajime and OD got about 10 minutes or so. So yeah, the Gatchaman were all barely present in their own series finale.

    Also, that riddle that was supposed to be sooo important was mentioned in passing. BK’s plan was foiled by the power of online competition and gaming, but was Hajime really asking him out in that scene?! And what was with her conversation with her mom? And what was with that ending? Is BK pretending to be her necktie or something? I didn’t know he could become inanimate objects…

    And it seems that both JJ and the MESS only made appearances here so people would think they had meaning, when they really did absolutely nothing in this show past the first couple of episodes.

    This ending just made me confused more than anything else, and while the fight was really good, it was way too short. And is BK immortal or something? Is that why he can be completely dismembered and yet come back right as rain, yet poor OD dies?

    I haven’t been this perplexed with an ending in a long time. In fact, when I initially heard the voice near Hajime at the end, I actually thought that BK had somehow replaced Hajime near the end! Or even weirder, for a second I thought that Hajime WAS BK in the end. Which would explain why she could never see him, that somehow Hajime and BK was two similar but opposite personalities within the same body. (which would have been an amazing revelation by the way…)

    They really needed to make things clearer.

    Well, this was an okay finale as finales go, not good, not bad, but just mostly meh. I give this finale and this series a 7/10. It had an okay start, picked up speed, was cruising, then began to falter, before finally just coasting along before it stopped. I don’t regret seeing it, but it’s not something I would watch again. I might see a sequel if they do one, but I highly doubt it, just from all the production problems that had with this one.

    • Hazou says:

      Or how about the fact that no one seems perplexed by ODs death? It’s just, like OD died. But happy ending everybody is alive. I thought he meant something to Gatchaman. They didn’t have a remembrance for him. Seriously.

      • Irenesharda says:

        No one even mentions his death. Maybe they were supposed to add a scene later where they show he’s alive and healing, but they forgot or were so under-budget that they had to cut the scene and effectively leave him dead. Yet, since they were again under budget they couldn’t make a new scene of the Gatachman grieving.

        It’s a pathetic excuse, but all I could think of.

    • Overcooled says:

      OD’s power was on the website? I’m sad they left out such a cool explanation. Having antimatter strands as an ability is REALLY COOL. I wish OD didn’t get shafted in the last episode. He deserved more than that.

      I feel the complete opposite about the GALAX stuff – that was my favourite bit. It’s an overly optimistic solution, but this show has been highly positive from the get-go. This may not be a viable solution for our society, but it’s a nice demonstration of the power people can have when they’re connected. Also, social media can save the world. Ahh, that’ll be the day. The day twitter starts saving people…

      They never explained a lot of things that should have been explained. I hope the “special announcement” rectifies this. I forgot about how they never explained why Hajime can’t see BK too. Which is weird because Rui can see him, so he’s not entirely invisible.

  8. Durga says:

    Rui’s dream was about humanity becoming heroes and cooperating between each others, finding fun in helping people, that “gamenification” (it’s right there in episode 6). He said he wasn’t wrong in this very episode. What happened is that Katze made him feel ashamed about his own ideal (embodied on the Crowds, which was always his power) and messed with his soul, by having psychological control over him. He gained confidence and was released of his control (the Katze logo is gone from his Note). All Hajime did was cheer him up. She never pointed out anything he didn’t know (episode 7 makes him self aware of his shortcomings after Katze came to his life).

    Katze was trying to corrupt Rui, to use him and humiliate him. Hajime entered to the scene to balance this, offering him the opposite.

    Once he trusted himself and gained confidence, he began to trust other people fully: those who couldn’t accept themselves, can’t accept others. Hajime didn’t suggest anything to him. He had that goal since the beginning. He changed the means to get them, accepting people aren’t altruistic like he is (“I’m not you”) and that society isn’t ready to give up traditional leaders and heroes yet, instead, he used them (after they admitted the situation was too much for them: Hajime and the Prime Minister relied on Rui) to update the world as bait and motivators for people to take a leap of faith until they began to run themselves (and they did). You can see in the ending, the leadership is less vertical with the Prime Minister affirming he’s not the only one leading the nation. People participate. Crime exists, sure, but his goal was never “ending crime”, he had to become more realistic about that.

    • Overcooled says:

      Hajime doesn’t tell him exactly what to do, but she leads by example. By watching Hajime’s success through interacting with the public and forming a group of heroes, he gets inspired. I wouldn’t go as far as to say Hajime just cheered him up and then Rui came to a huge revelation by himself. He was heavily influenced by Hajime and the Gatchaman crew.

      That’s not to say he didn’t overcome a lot by himself. All in all, he went through a pretty complex transformation over the course of the series. He still treasures justice firercely, but he’s learned to loosen up his ideals a bit.

      • Durga says:

        There was no big revelation. Rui did all the things he said he believed in before even meeting Hajime that became a foundation of Galax. If this had not been his dream, his power (his soul itself) wouldn’t have manifested in Crowds. His change of attitude is far more linked on his confidence and emotional state than of any change of view in an intellectual level. He had realized he was hypocritical out of fear in episode 7. He had known it all along. But he was afraid of Katze and this isolated him.

        There’s no discredit in Hajime’s influence, or Katze’s, over him. They did a lot to break or heal him.

        Hajime and Berg seemed nothing but extremes of good and bad that exists in all of us (archetypes hero and villain). Rui is “Gatchaman Crowds” (Get it? He’s the one with the Gatchaman Note of Crowds) from our title. The embodiment of human being who was going to decide for what side to tip the balance. Once he made a choice, Hajime and Berg merged together, because they are concepts, not real people. No need to show how. There’s good and evil in all of us, Rui (people in general) had to accept ideals of each side don’t exist, they always come together.

        There’s a lot of symbolism in the narrative, left deliberately vague because it didn’t merit an explanation outside the level of abstraction.

      • Durga says:

        For some reason my comment didn’t show up. I don’t know if I agree with you here. Rui didn’t come to any intellectual realization of “Oh I was wrong” but… “I wasn’t wrong”, the total opposite. Rui had had the right idea since the beginning, in his dream of Galax, before Katze waltzed in his life, he was changing the world. His soul manifesting the Crowds as power is a proof of this. Nonetheless, Katze’s entire debacle came to (symbolically) highlight his weakness as human being: made him very afraid and acting hypocritical and dogmatic moved by this dread and isolation. Likewise how Hajime later highlight his strengths, by containing him emotionally.

        It’s not really looking down to what she did or what Katze did, but their influence isn’t as direct. It’s just something that they do make or break Rui.

        He never learned to loosen up his ideals, he fiercely sticks on them more than ever. He learned to accept people’s flaws when he learned to have some confidence on himself (which he hadn’t beforehand, he admits it in episode 7, he was always doubting himself). The ideal remained pure but even a pure ideal could be misled and used for Evil (like Katze did with his Crowds and soul) when you lose control over your life. What changed in Rui was his emotional growth rather than his intellectual one if this makes sense.

  9. lvlln says:

    What sucks about Gatchaman Crowds is that it clearly had some really great ideas. I commented early on that this was a really cool reimagining of Gatchaman, something that would have been impossible to tell back in the 70s. And it built upon that quite a bit with its use of social networks and the flattening of heroes from just a handful of Gatchaman to the initial 100 then finally to anyone who used Galax. It had interesting things to say about modern internet social networks (eg Facebook, Twitter) and the gamification phenomenon (eg Foursquare, Fitocracy, Zombies Run!). Those came together with the scifi/fantasy element of the CROWDS to give the everyday user unprecedented power and thus unprecedented responsibility.

    But then it had to shit the bed in its final act. So many eye rolling moments, from government employees completely ignoring the constitution to override the PM just because the situation was so dire (see how the US gov is currently shut down because of the temper tantrum of a small faction of one party in one branch of government? That’s because elected officials have to actually follow the constitution) to Paipai’s completely unjustified hotblooded speech to the PM (worthless words coming from the same leader who abandoned his subordinates at their darkest hour). From the Gatchaman hand waving over not killing the CROWDS – but continuing to use lethal-looking attacks that just happened to turn them into boxes – to the government deciding that the best thing to do in an emergency was to hand out free smart phones to everyone, democracy and budgeting be damned.

    And in the end the interesting ideas were completely half-assed as well, with Rui solving everything by gamifying law enforcement. This is an extraordinary idea, one that conceivably could be told well if the entire story had properly built up the value of this gamification on its users and the general likelihood for Galax users to do the right thing. But it didn’t, instead coming more like a deus ex machina, an easy solution pulled out of Rui’s ass. It was utterly unsatisfying as the culmination of the exploration of these modern concepts. Heck, couldn’t BK just cause panic by starting to kill people again instead of those half-hearted attempts at trying to stir up discontent?

    Not to mention the all the dropped plot points that everyone has mentioned, such as OD’s death or BK’s new role as Hajime’s… something. Yeah, a complete MESS.

    • Irenesharda says:

      I agree with some of your points. I too wondered why BK didn’t just start killing people again. That would have definitely turned some heads and caused a panic. As they say, “it’s all fun and games until someone loses their life”.
      It was kind of weird that this obvious serial killer psychopath, would digress to simply waving his hands to get attention. BK was like this show’s Joker. If Mr. J didn’t get the attention he wanted, he would frown before smiling and saying, “I know!” and whip out a toy remote control with a big red button and pressing it, causing a gigantic explosion. Then saying, “Welp, that definitely got their attention.”

      Katze should have totally done something like that. 😛

    • Overcooled says:

      The concept is great, but the execution…was really messy. I didn’t dislike the finale quite as much as some, but it definitely glosses over a lot of things and magically makes everything okay in a very simplistic manner. They overcame total chaos very, very quickly. It tends to devolve into kiddie show logic every now and then which is good for dumb fun but not so good for telling a coherent story when it previously wanted us to take things seriously.

      I actually really liked Rui’s makeshift solution. At least they tried to show that some people do things purely for the reward instead of making everyone seem like a saint. Combining GALAX, Gatchaman, and the defense forces was exactly how I wanted things to end.

  10. HannoX says:

    Here’s a thought–Would uppers act like tranquilizers on Hajime?

    • Overcooled says:

      Ahhhh, that would be fun to test. If she already has high dopamine levels and she took certain anti-depressant type medication she actually might start to hallucinate. I think.

  11. Japaninspired says:

    I was so proud for Rui-kun at the end. He changed so much. It was almost like he was the main character, not Hajime.

    Even thought the end dissaponted me, I loved the show. The art, the misic, it will surely be one of my favorites for a long long long time.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, I like Kara’s idea of Rui being the main character. It certainly felt like it since he got so much development while Hajime just kind of ran around fixing things like a magic cure-all.

      • Durga says:

        Look at the title of the show. Gatchaman Crowds. Which Gatchaman has that certain power?

  12. AllenAndArth says:

    Awww i wanted to see more…i actually liked Hajime…because she’s totally and completely not normal, to me…the ending sucked, there was much more to be explored, Katze was my favorite character to the end!
    he’s much

    more than what was shown, i want to know his past, they needed to have more character development, because quite frankly the characters were either too shallow(hajime) or only cliche(BK)…the only character that really developed was Rui

    • AllenAndArth says:

      it would be nice if we had a second season…there’s so much space for development in this show that i get chills running down my spine…and yet they barely used any of it…yep i’m hoping for a second season

  13. Irenesharda says:

    Well, it looks like a lot of us are about to get our wish, for they’ve announced that Gatchaman Crowds will be getting a second season. Hopefully this time they will have a bigger budget and can clear up all those plot holes they left us with this season finale.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Yep, I found out about that a couple of hours ago. More Hajime is always a pleasure. I’d give it until at least next Summer for the second season to air.

      • d-LaN says:

        I remember reading a post somewhere saying that Kenji Nakamura will consider abt Tsuritama S2 after they are done with G: Crowds….. So possibly Tsuritama S2 is out of plans for now?

        Spammy….. My post….

    • d-LaN says:

      Dunno have this been posted here cuz I really don’t feel like reading this thread, but apparently there an episode of material being cut out in the TV broadcast. Source The same poster also mentioned there will be extra footage in BD/DVD.

      Though I’d like to see what can they do with G:Crowds S2. I’d love to see more explanation!

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