Gatchaman Crowds Insight – 04

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Hajime’s face while reading MetaFap

Gatcha! I had a busy weekend driving around out of town, so it feels good to be back somewhere it doesn’t smell like manure. To celebrate being reunited with a proper internet connection, here’s a Gatchaman post! Although I suppose you’d get a post anyways even if it wasn’t celebrating something.

My favourite part of this episode was where everyone gathered around the famous Hachiko statue for a heated discussion about the priorities of heroes. Not just for the discussion, but also for the cameo of the statue. Hachiko’s story is a sad one: a dog waits for his owner everyday by the subway station entrance to return home with his master until he suddenly dies at work one day. For years, Hachiko remained by the subway entrance to wait for his master, and was a loyal dog up until his death. Although it sounds weird for me to say a regular dog has “ideals”, at the very least I could say that Hachiko was highly dedicated to being loyal. Some may say it’s noble. Some may say he should have just buggered off and went sightseeing instead of being such a sucker. Either way, Hachiko had an ideal that he held strongly to the bitter end – much like Rui. And not everyone can agree if that sort of brazen behaviour is good or not, because everyone has their own way of thinking as well.

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If you were Hachiko, would you do the same? (Or would you just sniff butts because lol you’re a dog)

What I got from this episode is that conflict is important for understanding if your ideals really are…well..ideal. Hajime notes that when people aren’t united, the sparks created from their conflict can be pretty. While her wording isn’t exactly profound, the underlying message says a lot about the current state of Japan and the Gatchaman team at the moment. The differing stances of the Gatchaman team are becoming glaringly obvious. Not only is everyone arguing more, but the lack of teamwork is becoming worse by the second. For example, Tsubasa feels alienated from her peers and has started to shun them (eg. not inviting them to collect garbage) and disobey their orders.

Right now, the arguments aren’t helping anyone, but Hajime seems to think that this will be better in the long-term. I think part of what she’s trying to convey (but refuses to say without sound effects because Hajime hates giving out answers) is that conflict is good because it helps you realize that your ideals could be wrong. When you meet people with different views, it actually teaches you a lot. You might realize that what you thought was a perfectly sensible way of life is actually self-detrimental or just flat-out wrong. For example, say you believe that pulling all-nighters is the best way to study and you keep doing it because you get good results. If you only talk to other people who vouch for the all-nighter strategy, you’re much less likely to ever change that opinion. But chat a bit with someone who tells you that you can sleep for 10 hours and get an even better exam mark, then you might start to change your tune a bit.

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Jou casually flashing vague gang symbols to be cool

Of course, this a bit more of a simple example than changing your entire views on “how important is it to save a human life.” That’s some deep shit right there. Ideals like that are much more finely engrained into us, and thus more difficult to change. Hajime is a rare bird who listens to all sides of the argument carefully, and yet still thinks for herself about what the right answer should be. Gel only does what others tell her to and Tsubasa only does what she thinks is right without hearing anyone else out.

I look forward to seeing how the Gatchaman team will face these conflicts that arise from within. Funny how they’re their own enemy now that VAPE is gone. Will Tsubasa listen and fix her bad habits? Will Rui maintain his values to the very end, or will he crumble? Will Gel ever stop changing her values just to suit others? Change isn’t always good, and this is a very tricky topic to tackle because humans just don’t make sense sometimes. Sometimes it’s better for us to be foolish if it means keeping a moral code that’s very important to us. I hope Rui keeps his optimism for Crowds, for one thing. We all have deep-set beliefs and not all of them are healthy, legal, morally “correct” or even beneficial. But the thing is, you still get to choose what you want to believe in. So while it may not make sense that Rui’s ideal for a public Crowds was so powerful that he risked his life, that’s his choice. And it’s these imperfections and differences we all have that make the world interesting.

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Stealing Jou’s life force to heal Rui because no one cares about Jou anymore

For now, here are some notes about the current perceived stances of the Gatcha team for (mostly my own) reference to see how they change by the end of the series.

Tsubasa: She is very practical, and will do whatever it takes to save the most amount of people. However, she saves people whether they want to be saved or not and simply doesn’t listen to what anyone says. She must have missed the memo that this series is all about communication and working together. For someone so headstrong, her attitudes on politics are oddly lacking. When she is asked about elections, she shrugs it off and acts like it isn’t any of her business. It looks as if she has a very poor understanding on anything she can’t physically see or touch. Abstract concepts go right over her head and just make her irrationally angry (such as the 20-60-20 thing).

Jou: He’s being kind of a dick this season. His views align fairly well with Tsubasa, as he also has a traditional sense of justice. However, because he sees himself a real hero, he’s also super full of himself and thinks everyone else is dumb. It’s a little frightening because his thoughts on how people are too inept to use Crowds properly are similar to Rizumu’s.

Gel: She wants everyone to stop fighting! It’s a nice sentiment, but it needs to be tempered with some rationality since she seems to be going for something a little too extreme. She…uh…I guess “he” now…relied on purely democratic input to decide what he should do next. Most likely to fuck up immensely in the next few episodes because he constantly changes his opinions, appearance, and even gender to fit the desires of others. Side note: It’s kind of messed up he had to become a guy to get votes for a serious position, instead of just letting us have a female candidate…

Rizumu: Claims that what he does is out of fear for the future of the human race now that Rui gave Crowds to everyone. Could it be that this man is actually just a big scaredy cat inside? Whatever he is deep down inside, on the outside he’s a true villain.

Hajime: Loves complex discussions and digesting as much information as she can from ANY side of a debate. She’s always right so Tsubasa better listen to her!!!

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The trap just sprung a trap in OD’s pants


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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13 Responses to “Gatchaman Crowds Insight – 04”

  1. skylion says:

    So, I’ll get my first thoughts out of the way. 1) Why do some series gotta go ruin a perfectly fine LOLi like that? In this context, I guess they were going for the visual version of both growth and a set of changing values? Or maybe voting for an alien LOLi is to much for people to take, but a alien man is just fine? Better, even?

    2) Jou, and Samurai Boy, along with Utsutsu are just fading into the background, brought up to add another viewpoint to the convo, and then shoe’d off. Why they had to add two characters when both Jou and Utsutsu could have played off those ideas is a bit wearisome to me.

    3) Can the current PM change how Parliamentary/Diet procedures can work, just by deciding he’s gonna do that? I mean, I’m sure the people would love having direct voting rights for a national leader like that instead of the winning party doing it, but….

    4) Can I get a voting app to return Gel back to normal!!!!???

    • Di Gi Kazune says:

      Those antiLOLi barbarians! They must be castrated!

    • Overcooled says:

      A win for me and a loss for you, I suppose. Sorry! It’s amusing that voting for a child ALIEN is a no-go but voting for an adult ALIEN is totally ok! They really got used to aliens quickly. I guess it’s kind of nice they’re not racist?

      As for point 2, I totally agree. The other Gatchaman members have been almost nonexistent. I understand it’s hard to give them attention when there’s so many of ’em but right now they’re just being used as props…

  2. HannoX says:

    Hajime is right again–big surprise! When she talked about how conflict can produce beautiful sparks she articulated what seems to be one of the major themes of Insight. The back-and-forth tugging between conflicting ideas can produce a better idea that is a synthesis of the two.

    So the idea that Crowds should be restricted versus the idea that it should be available to all are the two in conflict now can produce a compromise that is better than either. Of course, that requires people on opposite sides of that debate to be open-minded, willing to truly listen to the other side and be willing to change or adjust their opinion.

    Right now Tsubasa is firmly wedded to her ideas unwilling to fairly consider other ideas while Gel is too ready to change depending upon what others think. Will one or both move more to the center from their present positions by the show’s end?

    I also want the original Gel to return.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yes, instead of just stubbornly sticking to one side, things would go a lot smoother if a compromise was reached. Not something half-assed either, but a decent solution that kept good-hearted civilians in Crowds and terrorists out. I suppose if Rui bent too easily, we wouldn’t have a dramatic story to follow though.

      Gel is still super moe…he’s just taller and male(??? i’m not even 100% sure) now.

  3. zztop says:

    For now, here are some notes about the current perceived stances of the Gatcha team.

    I think there’s still a few people missing from the notes.

    Sugane, Paiman, Utsusu: Undecided for now, just following orders. May lean to Hajime’s side later on.

    OD: Observer, but will intervene if necessary.

    JJ: Distant and enigmatic.

    • Highway says:

      You partly misinterpreted the show so far:

      Sugane, Paiman, Utsusu: Don’t matter, they were series 1.

  4. IreneSharda says:

    Mostly a talking episode where we basically see what page everyone’s on. I’m not going to begrudge Tsubasa’s opinion. If Rui can stay stalwart in his beliefs despite what everyone says, Tsubasa can as well. However, I can only say that I can only agree with her up to the point when she declared all conflict to be bad. She seems to see things in absolutes. I’m more prone to agree more with Jou, would seems to have have a similar outlook but it’s tempered by experience.

    We’ll have to see what this election is going to be like, though I do have to wonder. Does the Japanese PM have the power to change the way that the prime minister is voted in on a dime like that? That seems like an enormous amount of power.

    Also, so anyone, anywhere, anything is eligible to be a candidate for Japan’s prime minister? That must be hell for the election board that suddenly now has a massive popular election on their hands that they weren’t prepared for. Having worked for my city’s election board, I can deeply sympathize. 😛

    • Overcooled says:

      It’s hard for me to agree with any one character entirely as well since they all think in extremes. Tsubasa is one of the most extreme because yep…she sees everything in absolutes.

      Politics are weird, man. I don’t get them in boring old real life let alone in a future society with aliens and magical avatars and superheroes. And if Gel is running on a whim, you would think a ton of randos would also give it a shot for the hell of it since they’re allowed now too. I also found it amusing that they said even babies could vote. Babies. I can only hope babies can’t run for PM either…

      • Highway says:

        The biggest thing to remember about politics is that it’s all “Sports Bar”: People get together, argue about which team is better, and then don’t listen to the other side.

        And letting anyone run is fine. It’s a lot better than only letting the candidates approved by gatekeepers be the ones you can vote for. Giant Douche vs Turd Sandwich indeed.

      • Di Gi Kazune says:

        Hence why I have given up all hope on politics. Politicians should be hunted like the vermin they are. For the Emperor of Mankind!

  5. TheVoid says:

    Jou was always like this. It’s just that his insecurities kept him at bay in the first season. His moral code is very foolish and sees things in a black and white manner. Because someone got hurt because of Crowds that automatically makes them all bad, ignoring that its the user and not the power itself that determines such things.

    Gel was apparently always a boy. He’s just very girlish in the child form. Even as a adult his male voice is a little high. Plus his power is all about the opinions and influencing the group so its natural he goes with the flow.

    Tsubasa’s already off to a bad start because she’s not as bright as them. Something she makes clear herself, so she comes to selfish conclusions like “None of the other Gatchaman would ever want to help with cleanup” despite that not being true at all. She is intentionally distancing herself from the others thus friction is born.

    I like how OD, Hajime, and Paiman seem to be the only sane people around. Heck even Katze is going on about how Gel’s dangerous.

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