Gatchaman Crowds insight – Episode 6

Welp, we’ve entered Local Girl and Alien Ruin Everything territory. Tsubasa’s a child, Gelsadra’s a terrifying force of faux-unity, and together they’re doing a pretty great job of making Japan the most fragile country imaginable. This episode basically hung around those two the entire time, as they attempted to put their plan of “making everyone happy” into action. Jou can’t be feeling good about this situation – CROWDS may be gone, but replacing the diet with constant popular votes is actually a far more dangerous system of forced horizontal engagement. I imagine things will begin falling apart more or less immediately.

You can check out my full post over at ANN, or my notes below!

Gatchaman Crowds insight

These painted, watercolor-style backgrounds are lovely

Cicadas. The summer heat

“Tsubasa’s not a Gatchaman yet. She’s still Tsubasa.” She doesn’t fight for an ideal, she just does what she feels like

Nice framing, with Hajime standing on a step above Tsubasa and leaning down to be more level with her

Gelsadra just burning through his duties at inhuman speed. Great gag

“About the defense budget. Why does it have to be so high?”

Episode title: engagement

“I’ll eradicate conflict from Japan!”

“Military force is never an option”

Showing the bubbles of the various elected officials. Hrm

“Your face is red!” “Thank you for your opinion!”

Just responding frankly to his hecklers

“Okay, who’s the next heckler?”

Offered help by someone with a black icon

“What the Diet members say is very different from what they think”

“Politicians aren’t the ones making this country what it is. Everyone is.” Aw, going out drinking with the old prime minister

Breathing exercises. Very low-key episode

Gelsadra relies heavily on gestures to make his meaning as clear as possible

Commuting by train

Consulting with the common people

Gel’s finger gesture versus Hajime’s – Gel’s implies “total union,” Hajime’s implies togetherness that is distinct

Gel’s sign is super in these days

“I just don’t want to see anyone feel sad anymore.”

Tsubasa’s had a lot of great outfits this week. This one’s really demonstrating Gatchaman’s often-overlooked aesthetic strengths

“I want to protect peace with Gel-chan.”

“What is peace? What’s peace to you?”

“What does it mean to be united? Are we united?”

“Yes! Our souls are connected!” “No. I’m me.” “Don’t say such sad things!”

“If everyone was connected on that level, we’d have peace!” “What if there are people who don’t think that way?” “Then I’ll just try harder until they do!” “You know nothing.” Like with Gel’s election, “everyone wants to be happy” is an incredibly simplistic assumption. Our desires are contradictory, and some people will always rally against them

“Don’t throw that word around like you know what it means to fight.”

“What do you know? You just stare at a shogi board all day!” And the camera focuses first on his thought bubble, which is unchanged by this insult, before leaning down to him

“Working hard is enough? That pardons everything else?” Everyone just speaks in platitudes but him

“You’re just arguing for the sake of arguing.”

“Come home, Tsubasa.” And in the end he looks at the shrine, at the young soldier there. Happy ideals are nice, but your words and choices matter

And then Tsubasa just shouts to pump herself up and feels better. No consideration for her grandfather’s words

The new cabinet is just Gel-chan, the supreme arbiter of what will make people happy

He’ll hold cabinet meetings in the park, disclose all budget decisions, and put all choices up to citizen vote

“You’re too sportsmanlike, Gel-chan!”

“Let’s see what happens, first!”

Treating all political decisions like a game show. But the reason they’re not a game show is they require expertise – the people don’t actually have the knowledge base necessary to self-govern in this way. The nature of politics means Rui’s truly horizontal society could never happen, because not everyone is qualified to engage on every issue. Like season one cautioned, we still need “heroes,” public figures who do things “only they can do”

Hajime: “You said before that the bubbles are what people are thinking. What does yours look like?” Yep, this isn’t truly horizontal. He doesn’t show his bubble, and his force of personality and position means he can guide discussions even if people are allowed to “vote on it.” Voting on it doesn’t matter in the absence of informed voters, and no country of voters can be universally informed. 20-60-20

“CROWDS is so out now.” It’s all about atmosphere

Gelsadra is extremely dangerous

3 thoughts on “Gatchaman Crowds insight – Episode 6

  1. When Gelsadra gives Hajime that uneasy look when they all doing breathing exercises near the end, I can’t tell if he doesn’t understand her or if he sees her as a threat. Is he naive and confused by her decision to coexist with Katze? Or is he thinking like an alien with non-human vlaues and that he needs to purge Katze to “cure” Hajime?

  2. I feel kind of silly, but I just now figured out why Crowds was doomed from the start. Rui didn’t understand people don’t like change, the status quo is much safer and easier, especially if there are problems with the change. The main issue though is too much change way too fast. Change is gradual, it has to be, or it won’t stick.

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