Gatchaman Crowds Insight – 05

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One milk and one juice…on the rocks.

Yo! In case you don’t watch Shokugeki no Soma (the other show I’m blogging), I’m going to repeat my blogging schedule update here. I’ll be going to Japan for 2 weeks and I won’t be able to blog while I’m away. Sorry! However, at least one post should be covered during that time. Be good while I’m gone, kay?

This election is clearly a set-up for a big fall – something horrible is going to happen with Gel as the new prime minister. It’s only a matter of time. He relies far too heavily on a democratic vote. While there’s nothing wrong with a little democracy (it’s better than having a dictator), Gel doesn’t ever reflect on the input he receives. He does what the majority wants without using an ounce of his own self-judgement to determine if it’s a good idea. People are generally horrible judges of what’s actually best for them. Furthermore, what people want is rarely equivalent to what they actually need. How can you trust that sort of heavily biased system? Just take a look at how fickle everyone is, the way they support Sugayama and then jump on the Gel bandwagon as soon as it becomes the new hot trend.

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Gel’s the kind of guy who reads all the comments on a youtube video

Politics are dumb so let’s talk more about HEROES AND JUSTICE! Another problem with Gel’s platform is that he wants to abolish Crowds. While it’s arguable whether or not this is a good idea, I’m not quite on board with the particular reasoning for doing so. Tsubasa is a simple country girl who thinks that it’s okay for society to be complacent and not “update”. It’s okay to be selfish and rely on others. Now, there’s nothing terribly wrong with that, even if it sounds a little self-indulgent. But I feel like it’s a giant red flag signalling that Japan will be under attack and the Gatchaman team won’t be enough to save everyone. Season 1 only had a happy ending because people banded together using Crowds to save Japan. Key word here: together. Taking that mode of communication and camaraderie away is like saying the Gatchaman team are the only elite few capable of having this sort of power. And hmmm, doesn’t that sound similar to Rizumu’s point of view about chimps and more evolved humans?

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I’m terrified of what’s going to happen next with Gel and Tsubasa in control. They’re a giant fuck-up waiting to happen. Even Jou seems like he’s 110% done with her after helping with Gel’s campaign. There’s nothing evil about democracy, peace, and helping little old ladies cross the street. It’s just Tsubasa’s reasoning that seems naive and uninformed. She even flat-out says “yo, I’m pretty dumb” to Rui to excuse herself from not knowing what the hell is going on. I’m incredibly frustrated with her in the context of the show but when I stop to think about it, what highschooler knows how to run a country? Who knows what’s best for society? Bad things can happen regardless of what rules and regulations you try to impose.

That’s what makes all the clashes of different and yet subtly overlapping opinions interesting. Everyone has a totally unique stance and that stance can change at any time. Some are stubborn bulls and the rest follow trends like their life depends on it. I find myself both agreeing and disagreeing with different aspects of what certain characters believe in. They all have valid points. Watching everyone try and work out a middle ground is interesting, and I feel my position is very close to Hajime as this all goes down. I’m neutral and just hanging back to watch sparks fly. She seems to be alone a lot lately, with only Berg Katze to keep her company. It’s kind of sad how divided everyone has become, but I believe these arguments will only bring them closer in the end.

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So what will happen when Crowds is gone? Will Japan end up defenseless? Will the world be a safer place? I’m very suspicious about Gel as the prime minister because groupthink can be a bad thing. At the end of the episode, I was chilled at how most of the city banded together to attack Sugayama…simply because that’s what everyone else was doing. The extent they did it was so severe that everyone actually ended up adopting the opinions they were just acting out to fit in.

For example, there’s a well-known psychology experiment where you have about 10 people in a room answering questions out loud. 1 person is a naive participant and the other 9 are actors hired by the experimenter. The experimenter asks everyone a super easy question such as “out of the three lines on the screen, which one is bigger? A, B or C?” and everyone has to respond out loud, one by one, going around the circle. The participant answers last; after the actors. However, the actors will purposely choose the wrong answer. The participant will end up picking the same answer as the group most of the time. When asked afterwards, the participants said they knew they were wrong, but were afraid to go against the norms of the group. It’s amazing how people will just copy others to fit in. While we may be bad judges of what we really need, it’s even worse to just let other people decide things for you.

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“We came to laugh at you in jail, asshole.”


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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7 Responses to “Gatchaman Crowds Insight – 05”

  1. skylion says:

    …next episode, the Milgram Experiments, right?!

    This episode served as a nice crash course in real person on the street politics. You got a wide variety of views and perspectives. I loved how they turned on the PM when he made that “oops we’re live” comment. They judged him for something they have or would say in the same instance.

    One of the many reasons why I would never run for office. If I made that mistake, I would own it. “yep, you guys are being really dumb.” ::puts on sunglasses:: “Deal with it”

    I don’t think I’d get many votes….

  2. zztop says:

    In other news:

    -Paiman’s political dreams are dashed after trying to buy the voters with stuffed toys.

    -Harem Prime Minister Sugane holds parliamentary sessions with his 3 lovely Cabinet ministers over karaoke and BBQ. More intimate sessions are expected to take place tonight at the local love hotel. Please, no cameras. ;>

    *And to think pixiv was shipping Sugane x Hajime until now…

  3. IreneSharda says:

    Ya know? I remember a time, when Gatchamen was actually about superheroes and saving the world from cube creatures and defeating alien evil. Now, it’s basically Politics 101.

    Sigh, if I really wanted an episode on elections and politics, I would have rewatched a season of House of Cards.

    But, at least the election was quick, and Gel was of course voted in as PM. And like Rizu said. Gel is dangerous. They don’t realize it yet, but it’s coming. The fact that he’s only doing what the majority want, and wants everyone to be “happy” and “unite” everyone. Something’s not right. As the VAPE leader says, Gel is a “master ape”. The majority of people just go with the flow, but Gel is the worst of all. He has the power to know what the majority want and so goes with the flow on that. And now he’s being put in a major position of power.

    Jou’s begun to realize that something’s wrong, though I still agree with his idea of justice and ideals than Rui’s, he just went about it the wrong way.

  4. zztop says:

    “We came to laugh at you in jail, asshole.”

    Prison records show on his 1st day, Suzuki made the classic mistake of bending down to pick up his soap in the communal showers.

    He’s only just started walking normally again. (。・`ω´・。)

    • IreneSharda says:

      Please, did you see how the guy handled that knife? He probably already has a dozen shivs hidden on him just in case someone made the mistake of coming near him. Didn’t you read his bio? He lived in America during his childhood. He learned a thing or two while on the mean streets of New York. 😛

  5. zztop says:

    While there’s nothing wrong with a little democracy (it’s better than having a dictator), Gel doesn’t ever reflect on the input he receives.

    Just to point out that in other countries, Gel’s win would’ve been meaningless. The PM and related cronies would’ve rigged the elections in their favour.

    There are rare cases of a dictators who use their powers for good too, you know. One example whould be the late Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, who despite his paternalism and autocratic tendencies, successfully built Singapore from a swampy 3rd world island into a 1st world city-state.

  6. HannoX says:

    what highschooler knows how to run a country?

    Hajime would! We saw in the first season that Hajime always makes the right choice!

    On a more serious note, Hajime is refusing to take sides in the election and refusing to say for whom she’ll vote. She knows that if she did either she’d influence people. Instead she wants them to make up their own minds, rather than let a celebrity (her) decide for them. Which means that once again she’s doing the right thing.

    I like the fact that the election is splitting the Gatchaman as did the earlier split over whether or not to let Rui die at Rizu’s hands. The Gatchaman are more interesting with some internal conflict among themselves and the resulting dynamics between the team members. If they were all always on the same page they’d be boring.

    In the first season Hajime going her own way, ignoring virtually everything Paiman and Sugane told her, provided the inter-team conflict. This time it’s how they’re splitting over CROWDS with the election being just one part of that conflict.

    They are producing the beautiful sparks Hajime mentioned. I’m sure we all think in the end they’ll reach an agreement regarding CROWDS and what must be done. And when they do their resolve to carry out their decision will be even stronger for it having been tested in their back-and-forth over it. It will also result in a stronger team with their differences having been worked out between them rather than swept under the rug to build until the team broke apart irreparably.

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