Gatchaman Crowds Insight – 12 [END]

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Staying positive while bleeding to death is one of Hajime’s specialties

This is an original anime so there shouldn’t be issue about trying to cram in the right amount of manga chapters, make up a random ending, or say “to be continued” with a shot of the whole cast laughing as the camera slowly pans up to the sky.  However, given the mess of season’s 1 ending and how season 2 was already proving to be much worse, I was dreading the results.

Thankfully, the finale wasn’t too bad! In fact, it’s a hell of a lot better than most of the episodes this season. It’s more composed and coherent, calmly wrapping things up instead of shitting the bed and throwing last minute ideas at us. All the challenges each and every character has gone through up until now played a part in allowing the Gatchaman crew to successfully combat against the atmosphere and allow Gel to be forgiven. It was a natural sequence of events and not a contrived asspull for shock value. In fact, I’d dare say this finale was better than season 1’s spazz attack of a finale…which is hard to admit since I thought this season was a huge step down in almost every regard.

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“Hi, we’re here to give these DEATH THREATS TO GEL to help Hajime get better!”

 As Hajime says, the enemy was “everyone”. Even the Gatchaman crew were guilty of going with the flow and not properly thinking things through. It’s just such a tempting thing to do. When everyone showed up with flowers and thank you messages to Hajime, I thought that was a very sweet thing to do. Heck, I might do it too if I weren’t so cheap (flower money could buy me cake!). But that too is a form of going with the atmosphere cultivated by the sheer shock of seeing a bedridden Hajime. This is precisely why they give everyone a month to decide before voting on what to do with Gel. Otherwise, people would respond automatically with their peer pressure-induced answers. First reactions are often emotional in nature, and it takes some time to properly think about which course of action is correct. By correct I don’t mean morally sound, but something that personally resonates with your unique sense of self.

Take Rizumu, for example. He doesn’t follow the crowd, he thinks carefully about his actions and what they mean. However, this leads to many people being terrorized by his extreme ideals. Doing what you believe to be right after a lot of thought doesn’t necessarily mean you will end up doing something “good.” But at the same time, he isn’t evil either. He is content when the votes are cast and people no longer act like apes, as seen by him smiling and walking away once X tallies the final ballots. Sure, he was proven wrong, but it’s a pleasant surprise. It’s like going your whole life being firmly convinced all cupcakes taste like dirt and then one day someone proves you wrong by giving you a cupcake that’s the most delicious thing you’ve ever eaten. Holy shit, cupcakes are actually really good and this is kind of awesome! Rizumu sees that he was wrong about society, but that’s okay because it means he doesn’t have to terrorize people anymore to fight against the usage of Crowds. Society is ready. He can eat cupcakes in peace for the rest of his life!

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So thinking and coming to your own conclusions is great and all, but sometimes it leads to weirdos like Rizumu doing all sorts of damage. Likewise, going with the atmosphere is bad because it cultivates groupthink and makes people do things they wouldn’t otherwise do. Gatchaman Crowds always has a ball of a time tackling these grey morality issues where no one way is correct. Kuu-sama or Crowds….both have positives and negatives. Therefore, a mix of the two is needed.

When showing the fireworks video, Tsubasa offhandedly notes that there’s a “good atmosphere” going on in the headquarters. There is still some need to agree with others and band together for certain causes. This is why some Kuu-sama remain, as you can never truly extinguish mankind’s desire to go with the flow. You can’t spend a painstaking time thinking over what cupcake flavour you want, right? Sometimes you have to just be capricious and pick whichever one you happen to lay eyes on first! …Gosh, I’m hungry. Sorry about all these food metaphors. Anyways, Kuu-sama and Crowds co-existing is the most natural course of action seeing as humanity will always flip-flop between the two on a case-by-case basis. Much like how Hajime accepted the evils of BK in season 1, Japan has to accept the two creepy, humanoid monsters roaming around that represent two sides of one coin.

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Just like Hajime indeed :>

All in all, I think the method for banishing most of the Kuu-sama was a clever and natural ending for such a show. Society learned an important lesson and started to think…although not entirely. Some Kuu-sama remain, the vote for Gel to stay was by no means a runaway victory, and some people will quickly revert back to their ways when a new bandwagon appears for them to hop on. A nice, subtle way for the Gatchaman team to defeat the “villain” and help update the world. It’s not the most exciting finale, but I’m just relieved it didn’t go nuts trying to add a whole slew of new elements. It’s a shame the first half is just one big recap, especially since I already guessed it was Hajime pretending to be Gel during the first run of the battle. This was nothing new for me so I basically just texted for the whole first half of the episode out of disinterest. Well, better too slow than too rushed, I suppose.

Final Thoughts

Here’s a quote from me in our episode 1 tag team post of Gatchaman Crowds Insight: “I’m way beyond rational thought at this point as I’ve dove completely into a pool of endless optimism and excitement”. These are the words of a poor, naive soul too removed from reality to be able to foresee what would happen. For the first 1/3rd or so of the series, I was hyped to the high heavens. This second season looked to be everything I wanted and more, with a shiny new co-protagonist and a story focused even more on superheroes using social media to save the world. Rizumu was a hammy villain, but his opposition brought up important loopholes to the CROWDS system that needed to be addressed. It was a direction I was more than happy to tread in.

Unfortunately, the whole CROWDS things became little more than a footnote to a story about Gel, politics, and the dangers of going with the flow. Rizumu showed that people can’t be trusted to have choice, and then Gel slowly (and accidentally) further proved Rizumu’s point by having society keep making bad decisions until an army of tri-coloured maneaters took over the planet. Seriously, you know you’ve screwed up when your votes lead to people being eaten by helium-voiced, eyeless terrors. Gel becoming president was the point where I started to grow weary of the show. At this point, we were bashed over the head again and again with the most obvious of messages. The thought bubbles were blatant enough, but then it got worse as Kuu-sama appeared and started eating little girls who didn’t want to play kickball.

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He’s cute when he doesn’t do dumb stuff

Sometimes bad stories can become bearable with good characters, but the cast of season 1 were largely absent. There was no respite from this horror for me. My favourite characters had rotating cameo appearances, but that was about it. Instead, I had to see the ever despicable Tsubasa and Gel hog all the screentime. It just didn’t work out. The show became a mess. Giant plushie things eating people when they don’t go with the flow is the most idiotic way to depict peer-pressure I could think of. Gatchaman Crowds dropped the ball…and dropped it hard.

The finale tries to fix it all and somehow does a good job tying it all together. Going back to my words of optimism in my episode 1 post…I must say I’m incredibly disappointed. I wanted to like this series more than anything, and I was crushed when I realized just how trashy it had become. I stopped looking forward to it. Writing about how I didn’t like something I thought was a show I resonated with made me grow even more bitter. How could my favourite director screw up on his second attempt so badly!? I’m so disappointed that Gatchaman Crowds Insight is such a joke of a show, spitting out ideas like they’re meaningful when it’s all just garrish metaphors lacking substance. I can’t recommend this show to anyone. What a terrible mess I’ve had to wade through…I feel like I’ve had to break up with a man I was deeply in love with because I found out they were an abusive jerk. I’m heartbroken.

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This is how I felt watching the show…


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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15 Responses to “Gatchaman Crowds Insight – 12 [END]”

  1. skylion says:

    Oh…my….yes. A tragic mess in the viewing, and since I got two episodes under my belt, a tragic mess in the covering. Insight? Who are you, and what did you do to my Gatchamen?

    Perhaps the overall message is that we all start off with this series, much like Tsubasa’s overwhelming sense of optimism and enthusiasm, in one high place. Then we go through all the torture that Hajime endured by the end…

    This really was kinda sad…

    • Overcooled says:

      Thanks again for covering a couple of episodes for me. Made it less stressful for me when I got back from my trip. Also, those were the episodes where I was really starting to dislike the show…

      It was sad…I definitely went through all the torture Hajime did.

  2. HannoX says:

    Well I liked it. Sure, I was disappointed at how little Gatchaman we got, even Hajime took a back seat for much of the show, but I still liked it, even though it did get too heavy-handed about the dangers of going with the flow. For all its faults it was still trying to deal with big, important issues that few shows even think about.

    • Overcooled says:

      I thought season 1 had some issues, but overall I definitely liked it. Unfortunately, this one didn’t do it for me.

  3. Samsura says:

    At the end of the tumultuous ride that Gatchaman Crowds is, I just want to say one thing: I WAS COMPLETELY RIGHT! The very first episode I said that Gel-chan-kawaii-adorable-chan-sama would be all about brainwashing people into having uniform emotions. And sure, in the end the day was “saved”, but the important lesson that the show taught me was: if you are cynical of everything before everything falls apart you can predict the future. Vindication feels so good.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah when I went back to get a quote of my blind optimism from our tag team I thought to myself “Man…Samsura was right about a lot of things.” I just didn’t want to mention it in the post and admit my folly!

      • Samsura says:

        The reality is that your opinion of Gatchaman at the end of its run is exactly how I viewed the show going in. I watched this show knowing that I would be pissed off by half-baked arguments and as delicate as a sledgehammer to a muffin social commentary. In fact, I wouldn’t have this show any other way. If this show didn’t literally treat Hajime like the greatest force for good that has ever existed, I would feel cheated.

        Whether it is cool fights or interesting characters, in a show like Gatchaman, none of that matters. All that matters is the writers message and worldview. Now I think that it is a sign of a poor writer when the only way to make a premise work is to downgrade all intelligent life in Japan to moe-lovin’ mouth-breathing imbecile, but maybe that’s just me. “Don’t follow a mob mentality” is the ultimate takeaway from Gatachaman. The best way to criticize this show is 1. Did that message get across in an intelligent way? 2. Did the way the show portray the message annoy you? If you answer yes to both: congratulations, we both think Gatchaman is a horrible mess to watch. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  4. Wanderer says:

    It’s a shame the first half is just one big recap, especially since I already guessed it was Hajime pretending to be Gel during the first run of the battle. This was nothing new for me so I basically just texted for the whole first half of the episode out of disinterest. Well, better too slow than too rushed, I suppose.

    How could you be so uncaring while Hajime was dying in front of you?!

    I swear some people have no heart.

  5. zztop says:

    So, season 3 when? :>

    Also, more Kinako character designs for Snow White of the Boundary/ Kyoukai no Shirayuki. Note one of the high-heels love interests!

  6. IreneSharda says:

    No wonder Hajime was always right, she was being set up as a messianic figure. How presumptuous of them…

    Well, while I did like the overall theme and story of the series, I do think it wasn’t done as well as it could and I liked the first season more, but what can you do?

  7. Foshizzel says:

    Surprise surprise this was a great ending! Hajime as the fake alien that everyone beat up was crazy xDD

  8. BlackBriar says:

    Goodbye, Insight. While the story was rocky midway with most of the naïveté coming from Tsubasa, the show was entertaining, overall. Hajime proved once again why she’s the best character in the series. Her insight is rather wasted on those sheep.

    I have to admit, a lot of thought provoking social relevancy was applied to this season. So much it was frightening and incites you to reevaluate certain things that become taken for granted and how easy it is to get caught up in the atmosphere.

    In my opinion, Insight was a good follow up from last season. If there’s more in the future and if not, at least Gatchaman Crowds ended on a relatively high note.

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