Gatchaman Crowds insight – Episode 4

Gatchaman Crowds continues on its rich and engaging way, this time zooming in a bit to really focus on the naive idealism of Tsubasa and Gelsadra. They’re basically simple heroes in a world that’s far too complicated for them, and the clash between their beliefs and the more nuanced perspectives of everyone around them actually felt like an improvement over the first season’s “Hajime versus the world.” This second season is going really, really well.

You can check out my full writeup over at ANN, or see my more thorough and specific notes below!

Gatchaman Crowds insight

The world has become too complicated for a hero like Hajime, and perhaps Hajime has become too complicated to be the hero of this world

Tsubasa and Gelsadra, the innocent idealists, are the ones to push to save Rui

People watching the news are lapping up the fight. This season continues to emphasize how public all their actions are

“I surrender. My purpose has been more than met.”

People celebrating them “beating the bad guy”

“I saved him, but he said I interfered.”

“There’d be no conflict if everyone became united.” says Gel-chan. To which Hajime replies, “is conflict so bad?”

Hajime saying conflict can create new understandings, new beauty. But is that an honest appraisal of the situation, or Katze’s influence?

“I apologize for not following orders, but I don’t think I did anything wrong” Tsubasa remains the classic hero

“There’s nothing more important than life.” “Do you think that’s true?” Hajime again challenging Tsubasa’s ideals with respect for Rui’s

All of them debating the Gatchamans’ ideals

The Prime Minister making promises he can’t keep about the safety of CROWDS. CROWDS is unsafe, period

Rizumu Suzuki: “I’m your proof. Just look at me. Who’s to say Ninomiya Rui won’t end up like me?”

“I just want to take everyone’s sadness away.” “You’re so modest!” Even Millione can’t help kinda obliviously mocking their naivety

Tsubasa and Gelsadra think CROWDS are too dangerous. They want to save everyone themselves

Millio talking about cutting OD from the show. Gotta maintain those ratings!

Another take on “making everyone happy.” Maybe that’s not so simple or so desirable. Hajime said “conflict is sometimes necessary,” and here we see the empty gestures reflective of trying to please the most people possible with no other concerns

“Everyone wants a world without conflict where no one is sad.” Yeah, but their articulations of that “world where no one is sad” are contradictory

“Who should I ask to unite everyone’s hearts, then?” “Someone important… a politician, maybe?”

Sugayama is resigning as Prime Minister and banking his reelection on the necessity of CROWDS in society

OD thinks CROWDS have become too ingrained to be banned, and that all shouldn’t be punished for a few using them poorly. Jou thinks they’re a tool humanity was not ready for

Jou describes the rule of 2:6:2 – in a given population, twenty percent will be intelligent, 60 will be average, and 20 will be foolish

Currently only 20% can use CROWDS “as intended.” “When the 60% reach that level, then we can say CROWDS are being used as intended”

“You’re talking all high and mighty like that, but is it that fun to look down on people and classify them that way?” Tsubasa both refusing to engage with the point and being a hypocrite, considering she herself was saying CROWDS is dangerous and she wants to be a hero

“Is this something we Gatchaman should even be talking about?” Tsubasa just wants to plug her ears and play the hero in a simpler world than the one she actually lives in

Hajime saying this conflict is the kind of clashing they need

“I don’t know if we should be thinking about this, but I find myself thinking about it.”

Tsubasa’s volunteering to help clean up debris. She has a good heart

“Why do heroes need to think about 2s and 6s” oh my god Tsubasa

Another new song here

“I get what you’re saying so much more than the others!” That’s because you’re both children speaking in meaningless platitudes

“I’ll just take a quick look at election time and vote on who looks good.” DAMNIT TSUBASA

The smartphone election is already a version of CROWDS, anyway. CROWDS has “won” – you can’t step backwards from the future

And of course Gelsadra is now running for Prime Minister

6 thoughts on “Gatchaman Crowds insight – Episode 4

  1. Tsubasa saved Rui’s life, but destroyed everything that he was standing for.
    All with the best intention in mind.
    This show can be really cruel sometimes…

  2. I don’t think Gelsadra is naive; instead I think everyone is assuming Gel is naive and thus not asking what Gel actually means when they talk about, say, everyone being united. Given that Gel is an alien with mind powers, they may mean ‘united’ in a quite literal and very disturbing sense. Ditto for someone who apparently pulls in people’s emotions saying ‘I want to take everyone’s sadness away’. Gel may mean that quite literally.

    (Gelsadra is clearly ignorant of how things work on Earth, but that comes across to me as disturbing alienness, not naiveness. And if everyone is misunderstanding Gel this way it would thematically link back to Hajime’s communication difficulties.)

    • No need to go that far actually.
      Gel’s world is a world where you can know exactly how every one feels at all time. In other words, you can’t have any private thoughts. (And if you want to go a little further…
      Everyone rebelious against the regime will be assimilated.)
      This may looks like an utopia, but it’s dangerously close to the worst kind of dictatorship.
      They eradicate all conflicts, but probably at the costs of all individuality. Since the importance of conflict sems to be another important theme, seeing how a world without conflct works is really interresting.

    • That’s very possible. They may even be setting up Gel more as an inhuman oppositional force relative to Katze than just a single character, which would complicate everything.

  3. Thanks for another great write-up! I always love your insights (heh). My comments, if you don’t mind:

    “The world has become too complicated for a hero like Hajime, and perhaps Hajime has become too complicated to be the hero of this world” – I wonder about that. I’m getting the impression that Hajime, along with OD, has been one of the voices of reason so far, albeit unfortunately the kind of voice that not everyone understands (she should start using actual words sometimes…).

    “Hajime saying conflict can create new understandings, new beauty. But is that an honest appraisal of the situation, or Katze’s influence?” – I think it’s genuine. Katze is basically the ultimate troll, he revels in chaos, aggression, etc., not necessarily conflicts as such. Hajime here means conflicts as “different opinions” and is framing this in an entirely positive light.

    “Millio talking about cutting OD from the show. Gotta maintain those ratings!” – Not only that, but he’s cutting OD, who has been a sort of mature and temperate presence among the main characters, in order to give publicity to the fundamentalist ideas of Tsubasa (and Gel).

    “Jou describes the rule of 2:6:2 – in a given population, twenty percent will be intelligent, 60 will be average, and 20 will be foolish” – Just like Rizumu. I find it interesting that Jou is saying the exact same thing Rizumu said, down to the rule of 2:6:2, which Rizumu also mentioned earlier. Despite having overcome his issues, Jou is still presented as the “old guard” (at the ripe old age of 30) with conservative ideas, as opposed to Hajime’s more progressive ones.

  4. Show has surprising depth! Like Monogatari, I would never have watched this if not for you. Thanks for that!

    An aside: you don’t seem (in my limited experience) to really cover sports anime, but have you looked at Baby Steps at all? I found it unremarkable (particularly in art) on first glance, but I’ve been increasingly impressed as it moves on. It has avoided the usual tropes on which sports anime founder impressively on both the romantic and competitive fronts, though the art’s still the same old and a bit dull.

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