Gatchaman Crowds – Episode 10

So yeah, last episode the Gatchamen abandoned their creator in favor of starting up a sweet Youtube channel. Don’t bother asking me what they’re gonna do this week.

Episode 10

0:02 – Nice opening shot.  Kinda sucks for this show’s budgeting that its very premise necessitates lots of busy outdoor crowd scenes in large public places

0:33 – And our villains finally reveal their evil lair 

0:52 – Running into Rui’s own problems extremely quickly . You can’t force people thinking in terms of their current world and desires to immediately think in terms of a new world order’s needs. As I’ve said before, Rui’s plan would have required a population of Hajimes, not a population of human beings

1:20 – If you make it a game, they treat it like one . Another lovely shot

3:08 – Yeah, it’s a lot less cryptic when you’ve figured out the axis.  As I said last week, the antagonist here is falsehood/anonymity, and Hajime’s weapons are open dialogue, honesty, and transparency. And so Berg Katze is doing the exact thing he did with Jou – gleefully mocking her tools

3:25 – He has fun testing the limits of her philosophy.  It’s generally considered bad form to have villains that are simply evil for the sake of being evil (because almost everyone believes what they are doing is right from their perspective, and villains you can empathize with are generally much more compelling and worth devoting storytelling resources to), but it really just depends on the goals of the story in question. Gatchaman Crowds contains a number of character arcs, but Hajime herself is static as hell, and more representative of an ideology than a human being. By setting Katze as a Joker-like “watch the world burn” representation of all our worst instincts, Katze is essentially being used to stress-test Hajime’s positive manipulation of open dialogue and social networking

3:29 – I like how this show’s version of a battle scene is two characters’ cutesy avatars walking in circles while discussing their viewpoints 

3:58 – No less on-the-nose than the sun coming out for Rui’s turn . Which, again, is not a complaint – you shouldn’t intentionally obscure your points, you should just integrate them in a way that makes them exist naturally in the narrative, which can sometimes result in them being overlooked

4:14 – X is a believer.  The light/dark metaphor was well-chosen – it also works with the contrast between natural sunlight and the black screen of the internet

4:49 – Trolls are aimless unless baited 

5:13 – Katze also coopting Rui’s use of gamification to get what he wants.  As Hajime pointed out, his tools are impressive, but they are not good or bad

5:41 – You can only herd cats by giving them what they want, 26 . Now pay attention to your adorable daughter

6:08 – Great shot . It’s an intimidating weapon

6:36 – Finally, ten episodes in, we get our badass hero lineup 

7:33 – Help us Prime Minister we need orders plz 

8:12 – Oh thank god.  For a second I was worried this show was gonna pull an ‘adults are stupid’ here with the Prime Minister. Nothing invalidates meaning like really dumb characters making really dumb choices

8:46 – Sugane was born for this 

9:29 – Utsutsu is best . Even her battle cry is adorable

9:41 – Love their design.  Derpy-looking, mindless-seeming, not that imposing, no face, overwhelming in numbers. Hello internet

10:04 – Yeah sure no problem coach 

10:11 – And it won’t be because of crowdsourcing.  It’ll be because he, Rui, has established an honest channel with X

The show really emphasizes the face-to-face nature of these connections, which I guess is necessary for the contrast to be particularly clear, but I wonder what its position is on personal but still utterly net-mediated bonds. Many (most?) people have legitimately honest connections with people on the internet – in reality, the lines are much less clear than honest physical connection versus total crowdsourced anonymity

10:55 – Sorry, Prime Minister, but your channels have been… updated 

11:25 – Hate to tell you this, sir,  but we’re receiving reports that we’re actually in a show specifically designed to put everyone on the same level

12:49 – Wow, Pai found a way to make use of his running-away skills . Nice work, Pai

13:43 – As many commenters have said, revolutions like this just don’t work 

13:52 – Yep.  The average citizen’s societal awareness generally doesn’t extend beyond “You guys stopped serving breakfast burritos at noon? Thanks, Obama…”

14:39 – This is so great . Cannot believe how great this is. The Prime Minister isn’t a villain, he’s just one more put-upon bureaucrat trapped in a system designed for stasis

15:03 – Just when I thought this episode wasn’t getting any better,  we see Hajime sleeping in a dinosaur hoodie. Ermahgerd

16:07 – Nobody is! Everybody is! HELP THEM! 

17:20 – Yeah, give the guy his redemption arc.  I love how they’ve managed to condense his arc to maybe seven or eight total minutes of screen time without losing any of the beats this story has to go through. Most stories are so damn lazy

(I say, even though my favorite show of the season, Uchouten Kazoku, is spreading three or four plot points out across thirteen episodes. Yeah, stories are more complicated than that)

18:00 – Oh please.  In any other show, your style of cool would be considered retro-badass

19:36 – SAVE THOSE KIDS PAI . So satisfying. As soon as “In the name of love” kicked in, total fucking high gear. This soundtrack

20:05 – #1 scene transition 

20:35 – The worst of transgressions.  All this show’s most frightening moments are things that happen every day – “I am you” is right, there are true monsters out there

21:29 – “I’m so uncool”  my ass, you giant ham. That’s some “I only hit them with the flat of my blade” shit right there

And Done

Man, that episode was incredibly great, but that sentence for 26 was just so chilling that I don’t even know what to think. I guess that’s a good sign, right? The show’s working. This stuff matters. I don’t know how it’s going to resolve this (although obviously I know the philosophies of the good guys and the bad guys, so), but I’d love to see it have something productive to add to this conversation. This is some heavy, terrible shit.

Anyway. That was pretty gloomy of me, but this episode really was fantastic even as it worked as a character-arc housecleaning episode. Both Pai and Jou’s turns were very satisfying, it wove back in the actual public defenders in a very reasonable way, and Katze’s madness is more and more reflective of a madness we’re already living with. I think the time for Youtube channels is over, but this show isn’t going to resolve by punching Katze in the face – Rui or Hajime need to prove him wrong. I’m eager to see that. The internet is scary, but I want to believe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *