And here we are. No idea how they’re gonna tie up all these loose ends – obviously there are a number of ways they could resolve the overt plot, but that was never really the point with this one. Can the show even take a coherent stance on all the issues it’s raised? Hajime’s philosophy of transparency and “if the internet’s being a jerk, just turn it off” sort of works… until you actually need the internet, in which case you hand out smartphones to everyone, and then Berg Katze gives everybody Crowds and you’re screwed all over again. Fortunately, the actual character journeys are pretty much done at this point – last episode cleared out any doubts of that. At this point, it’s pretty purely ideology versus ideology, so I guess we’ll just have to see what stands when the dust clears.
0:56 – Finally. But again, it would be pretty meaningless if OD just “defeated” Berg Katze. You can’t “defeat” the fact that people will use anonymity for selfish and mean-spiritedly playful aims
2:40 – Plot device or not , I’m gonna miss her
3:06 – Man, it’s all so good. Sure, the internet allows for immediate, collective action, but if it’s all scattered madness like this, what good does that do? It even points to the internet age also being synonymous with the death of expertise
3:41 – Still love this guy
4:39 – That lighting
5:44 – It’s all coming together
6:04 – What a fantastic shot . Still playing with the lighting – Katze all in shadow, blocking out the sun
6:57 – Now that’s a suit
7:08 – Katze’s Gatcha suit fights with a giant horn-guitar. Amazing
9:28 – Nice shot . I’ll have to wait to the end to see if this resolution works
10:03 – Alright, here we go
10:09 – And there’s that piece. The gamification isn’t good or evil, it’s just powerful
11:14 – Another piece. He’s given up on controlling the use of Crowds altogether. A pretty significant leap of faith
12:00 – “Fun”
Hm. So this is all very interesting. Katze first created an opponent by offering Crowds to everyone who already wanted to “change the world” – to the unsatisfied, to the trolls. Then, when that wasn’t enough, he offered Crowds to those oppressed by that first group – to the frightened and defensive people, to the victims. Now Rui is trying resolve the situation by offering Crowds to everyone – by banking on the aggregate of humankind being a positive force. That’s… pretty excellent, I think. It’s true that the internet is made dangerous by a minority of users, and it’s true that the internet as it currently exists isn’t truly democratic – certain savvy people have far more power than others. But Rei is truly equalizing it – his original philosophy of a completely horizontal society is finally being matched by his actions
13:50 – Hah! Nice detail . Everything you make becomes bigger than you on the internet
14:35 – Fantastic
15:18 – So many great images
15:43 – Really liking this . It’s interesting how “civic duty” just doesn’t seem to work – so far, the Crowds have either been motivated by personal desire, fear, or a sense of fun and point-scoring
15:59 – Excellent. This is pretty much the crux of why Rui’s initial plan failed, and why Hajime is more of a symbol than an example. Sure, the world does have its share of Ruis or police/fire chiefs, who are legitimately motivated by a deep-tissue desire to make the world better – but you can’t base your new world order on assuming the average person is willing or able to think in terms like that. Unless you can sell a better future to them on terms they’re already amenable towards, you’re doomed from the start.
I really didn’t think the show would pull together so direct of a perspective. It’s very gratifying to see
16:46 – Yesss Prime Minister #1
16:59 – Our hero
17:54 – This show is pretty honest
19:21 – That angry voice will always be there . But the legitimate communal fun is more powerful
20:15 – Mirror of the shot from the OP
21:36 – It’s funny that in this show, the fantasy element added to highlight the central theme actually makes resolving that theme more complicated, not less. The supplementing of the standard internet with something as powerful and dangerous as Crowds basically serves as a stress test of the “all people should be given equal power” philosophy
Whew! So what, Hajime decided to become personal caretaker for the internet’s grumpiest troll? Well, if anyone can do it…
Man, I really didn’t think this show could do it. I figured it was juggling far too many balls, and that something was bound to give – they’d simplify the conflict, they’d jury-rig an escape route, they’d focus on only a couple of the ambiguities they’d raised. But I think they nailed it. They might not have settled on an immediately practical, or possibly even feasible philosophy, but they pulled the ideas together and stood their ground on a single thematic resolution. The internet is powerful and dangerous, and most people will not naturally act in a way conducive to the most harmonious society, but given equal power and the guiding force of “social/societal fun”, great progress can be made. This doesn’t remove the necessity of leaders – people of true passion, skill, and high-mindedness will always be valuable and necessary. This also doesn’t remove the responsibility of leadership – crowdsourcing and horizontal power are no excuse for abandoning what you yourself have the power to do. But the internet’s power can really be used to update the world.
Well, at least that’s what the show thinks. And I think it articulated that argument really well, and pulled in all sorts of interesting other sub-ideas along the way, and the ride was fun and colorful, and the storytelling was smart and fast-paced and never willing to let any idea stand unquestioned.
Damn. That was a really, really excellent show.