Posted by psgels on 26 July 2013 with categories: Gatchaman Crowds

Regarding the argument that this isn’t Gatchaman: I’d like to disagree, slightly. I have not seen the original Gatchaman or anything, but I’d personally like to see this as a modern rendition of Gatchaman with a lot of creative liberties taken to it. For those who say that it shouldn’t use the name “Gatchaman”, but instead just go with its own story, let me ask you this: would this show have gotten enough sponsorship deals if that were the case? I mean, this could have easily been away from Gatchaman and all, but sometimes compromises have to be made, and to me it’s the kind of compromise that doesn’t really bother me. Plus, this series contains a TON of homages anyway.

Anyway, Gatchaman Crowds. You can really see that this comes from the director and writer of Tsuritama: a bright and colourful world, combined with characters that are this really strange combination between idiot and straight-faced. I mean that lead girl at first reminded me a lot about Haru, but she moves more and more away from him. Haru only had his powers. This girl actually accomplished stuff, and she doesn’t take things at straight value. She doesn’t just attack stuff just because people tell her to. Not to be rebellious, but because she uses her head and observes.

In this episode Gatchaman also showed its themes: it’s about social media, quite a modern topic when you compare that to other series (a lot of series could take place in the year 2000 just as easily), hence the “Crowds”-part of the title. It’s about how social media continues to make a larger and larger part of our lives and most bizarre of all, they seem to be making the equivalent of Mark Zuckerberg the ultimate villain. Okay.

Having said that, I do hope that after this, Kenji Nakamura is going to work with another writer than Toshiya Ono. I mean, Toshiya Ono is a good writer who knows his build-up, but he’s also very childish and I do feel that Kenji Nakamura is at his best when he tackles mature topics and storylines. But yeah, with the two series that really set him apart (Bake Neko and Mononoke), he really was aided by a set of excellent writers, among others Chiaki J Konaka and Tomoko Konparu, who really know how to oo original plots like no other. The part where this immaturity was the most annoying was near the end of the episode, where that one person seemed to suggest that ambulances weren’t necessary with the use of that social network. And yeah, that is looking down on real paramedics. A lot.

Also, that one scene where the people fell from the stairs. What happened there? The animation was really clunky and it was hard to make out what on earth that alien-thingy did there.
Rating: 4.5/8 (Good)

35 Responses

  1. Hogart says:

    I find the MC utterly insufferable and the writing painfully trite so far. I want to like this, but those two things are killing the show for me.

    • Armpits says:

      Amen.. Only planned to watch 3 series this season and already had to drop this because of the MC. I don’t dislike the writing like you, but she is so annoying that i would rather sit through nails on a chalkboard than look at her, or hear her speak.

      • Hogart says:

        I just dislike the way the writing presents her. It’s trite to tell me that someone is “right” so all of their dangerous, obnoxious behavior is suddenly a-ok. It’s trite to tell me that aliens are kidnapping and possessing people, but hey, suddenly it’s not a problem because this girl says we should try to get along with them. I’m being unfair, because it’s quite early in the airing, but with an MC like that I’m not going to be very generous.

        • ronbb says:

          Agreed…it’s not about how annoying the MC is but how unconvincing the writing is — in particular about the MC. I am on the verge to drop this show that I originally anticipated as one of the best of the season.

        • Jalapeno Bagel says:

          are we really watching the same show here, guys? Gatchaman label aside (can’t really talk on that since I’ve never seen Gatchaman), aren’t you overreacting over the MC? just from these 2 episodes, I have yet to see anything say she’s always “right,” rather that she just does things her way. why jump ahead of yourself with the cliches and use that to overgeneralize what you’re given? I say jump because you’ve made leaps from things like “one MESS seems different, let’s try communicating” to “all MESS are perfectly justified in their existence now” (unless you’re referring to something in episode 3).

          • Hogart says:

            I’ve admitted that I’m being harsh on purpose, but did you just miss the way she casually ignores everyone and just does what she wants to? And how she outright tells others how they should behave, then just expects them to do so? I may have jumped to a conclusion, yes, but then I watched episode 3 and, well, you tell me.

        • Jalapeno Bagel says:

          Hogart, that’s exactly what I’m confused about. It’s frankly rather normal drama that shows up in a lot of stories (not just anime); people with conflicting perspectives on an issue try to direct the other towards what they believe is “right,” not what is necessarily right. And if they believe their respective positions are right, why listen to the other? it’s a pretty human reaction (not to say that crowds is even close to being a carbon clone of reality though). You say the writing and the MC are your main negatives on the show, but it really seems like just the MC, as the writing isn’t presenting characters any differently than many other shows. I don’t see any problem disliking the MC, but faulting other aspects of the show because the character is bad seems weird. it would make sense if both were bad, but imo, that’s not the case. Harshness is different from bias.

          • Jalapeno Bagel says:

            @Hogart ah, my mistake. I misread the post, seems like what I said was exactly what you disliked about it.

          • Hogart says:

            Oh, I’m biased, too.. no argument there XD

            But yeah, in this case the anime just really rubbed me the wrong way. I don’t usually get this ranty unless I care, though.

            If I could articulate my thoughts properly, I’d likely end up saying much of what Deadlight did in his blog post.

  2. nicheitch says:

    I think the part with ambulance is to show how influential that Galax is in that universe. It’s a much more extreme version of the social media we have here. I thought that part fit well with the universe they are trying to convey.

    However, the main character is someone I dislike as it’s going in the direction where she just makes everyone a better person by “being herself”.

  3. Ebisu says:

    It’s true the animation is still “clunky” at action parts, but this chapter was a lot better than the first. A part of the theme of this series seems to be: “Things can be quite different from what you initially thought” so I wouldn’t bet on who is the bad guy yet.

    About the stairs, it was a bit off, but that’s a kind of censorship. It would have been quite extreme to show those three people falling all the way down the stairs with good animation.

    About that immaturity, I think they portrayed reality there. There are people where accidents happen who like to give those kind of stupid and senseless comments in front of cameras just to look smart.

  4. Kiavik says:

    > I have not seen the original Gatchaman or anything, but I’d personally like to see this as a modern rendition of Gatchaman with a lot of creative liberties taken to it

    > this series contains a TON of homages anyway.

    Wow, you just reached a new level of stupid here.

    • Hogart says:

      How so? Perhaps he saw homages to other series, and just wants to view this as something barely related to the original (which he hasn’t seen anyway?)

      • Kuroichi says:

        Hogart, what’s the point of saying series A2 contains a ton of homages to series B1 to support an argument that series A2 is a true successor to A1? It doesn’t make any sense.

        Anyway, its all in good fun. I’ve learnt psgels reasoning is kind of like Gae Bolg’s reverse causality – when he likes bad shows, he tries to come up with reasons (no matter how far-fetched) as to why it is a good show. Why not just admit you like a bad show and don’t know why :)

        Not going to comment much on the show itself, other than it making the small list of shows I could not even force myself to finish watching the 1st episode.

        • Hogart says:

          I was just saying that it might be a non-sequitur, that’s all :)

          I’d also say that I’d rather read someone trying to justify a difficult opinion for the sake of argument, then someone just saying “yea” or “nay”

          But you’re right, people do tend to go overboard with this. It’s an aniblogger tradition of sorts :)

  5. Deadlight says:

    Honestly, the artwork is nice, but the animation is quite ugly in a lot of areas.

    I still find this show too generic and shallow for liking so far

  6. Superman says:

    Gatchaman Crowds has nice art direction, due to this being directed by Nakamura and all, but that’s all this show has.

  7. kero says:

    People make a lot of stupid comments all the time, so I’m not surprised that someone would make those kind of comments.

    I think we can draw real life exmples, such as how social media thought it had found the Boston Bomber but named a complete innocent guy, it’s about over estimating the power of social media?

    @deadlights
    Disagree that it’s shallow, from what I can see, there are messages about not blindly following authority, not blindly accepting everything the ‘crowd’ has to say, while still showing the positives of something like Galax, and gathering people together.

    In fact, when I watch Gatchaman and they talk of getting together after disasters, it suggests to me it’s about coping with the aftermath of the Tsunami, and the whole news about the public distrusting everything the government had to say and collecting sharing their own info

    see this short piece on japan earthquake and increased use of social media
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/2030478/japan-quake-and-tsunami-put-social-networks-on-stage.html

    _

    I hope ep 03 lives up to my expectations of this being a good series!

    • Hogart says:

      Just having themes isn’t depth. The way they’re presented matters. If you don’t explore those themes, just telling us what’s right and wrong, then you’re being shallow. So far the story’s done just that – dropped in this new girl who’s always right, doesn’t listen to anyone, and we the audience are just supposed to buy it because she was chosen by a god character, I guess.

      • boa_sting says:

        There’s still plenty of time left for something to go very wrong with the MC’s way of handling things. Or for at least some other angles or anything else.

        Kind of agreed that nothing really of interest has been shown so far though (through ep 2).

        The MC being annoying doesn’t really bother me; it’s more about how and if the world and other characters keep playing along with her.

      • kero says:

        Having these themes is a promising start, I don’t expect everything to be laid out within the first few episodes, we’ve got the whole series to explore. I think it’s too soon to judge that it’s shallow.

        I want to find out more about how they will portray the use of social media, and hopefully we will get character development.

        So basically they’ve got enough to hook me with the themes, and the art direction and the soundtrack.

  8. YotaruVegeta says:

    Sounds like you argued more for its use of the name than for why it should share the name. I did think that some deal was made to staple the name on this weird thing so people would check it out.

    For me, that worked against the show. I would only watch more because I’ve matured and have an open mind. I see some things in this show that are good, despite what pushes me away from it.

    I haven’t seen all of Gatchaman, but I’ve watched some Gatchaman. This is not it. This is some alternate alternate alternate world stuff.

  9. Arno says:

    I love it.

    The girl is not really annoying like in badly written, she is voluntarily annoying, plain, stupid, goofy and off cast. She is a surrealist character, this show is surrealist poetry.

    That is being creative.

    • YotaruVegeta says:

      Surrealist poetry? I feel like you just tossed an artsy term out to excuse a character for being unappealing.

      What is “off cast”? Does that mean a societal reject?

  10. Kuro says:

    >I have not seen the original Gatchaman or anything, but I’d personally like to see this as a modern rendition of Gatchaman with a lot of creative liberties taken to it.

    That’s stretching it really far. It’s like saying that you can have a Gundam show without any mobile suits whatsoever. In addition the Gundam remake would remove all politics and war from the equation. THAT is about how much difference Crowds has from the original show. Possibly even more.

    >For those who say that it shouldn’t use the name “Gatchaman”, but instead just go with its own story, let me ask you this: would this show have gotten enough sponsorship deals if that were the case?

    So now so long as it’s about making money it’s ok to destroy anything from the past and remake it into something else? Do you even see the kind of damage this is causing in other industries? I don’t mind remakes, reboots and other things as much as some people do but there is a limit. There is a fine line between respecting the original, doing something new with your own spin and shamelessly cashing in. Crowds pretty much disregards the original and uses the name solely as a vehicle to get sponsorship and money. That is NOT what this or any other artistic industry should be about. The fact Crowds seems somewhat competently put together doesn’t change any of this.

    It’s just a bad precedent and I don’t see any respect toward the original creators in the show. I certainly don’t see many homages.

  11. jonas says:

    This is Gatchaman, but it is also Tasunoko´s celebration of the genre. Kind of like Karas, you can see that some characters are homages to the ones from the original series.

    I like the main heroine, she solves problems by thinking outside the box.

  12. Nyangoro says:

    I would totally agree with everyone’s distaste for the main character who seems to be always right despite being obnoxious and going against everything that the relative professionals have worked towards so far. I can see the frustration in a character that other characters just can’t seem to say anything against, despite there being plenty of ways to do so. It was particularly annoying to have Sugune agree with her at the end of episode three, only for her to be like “lol, it’s not like it’s perfect” in that unintentionally smug way of hers.

    However, there’s one thing that keeps me watching, that keeps me expecting more to this social media discussion: The presentation of GALAX behind the scenes. That curious ulterior motivation behind the system’s creation that lingers behind all the good is seems to be doing. It makes me feel like the series is going to look at the social media idea more closely, and that the only real reason for the hesitation by the audience is Hajime’s personality (which, yeah, it’s totally too much).

    Everything in this series seems point to an attempt at discussing this idea of collective consciousness. My guess is that they wanted to present it in a positive way before pulling the rug out. Is the execution perfect? No, especially not with Hajime’s current effective status as a Mary Sue. But it’s shown me enough that I’m still willing to see where it takes it.

    • Hogart says:

      What makes me sad is that I have to fight myself to watch it because of Hajime. I too want to watch this show for the themes, to see if it has anything worthwhile to say in the end. That’s why I’m so opinionated about it :)

    • kero says:

      I really enjoy the show, and I currently don’t find main MC that annoying, however I think that for it to be a great show, they really need to crack Hajime. It will remain subpar if her character never develops and she goes from beginning to end acting in exactly the same way.

    • anona says:

      When Hajime and her senpai were on the train, there was a couple asleep or resting who were sitted in fron of an old man/woman (can’t remember) standing. Hajime said that maybe they were tired, or that maybe they’re sick, and that senpai shouldn’t just assume they were being unkind and inconsiderate. Near the end of the episode we see the same couple flirting around full of energy, so I think they were really just being inconsiderate in the train.
      I don’t think they’re saying that Hajime is always right. I think they’re just saying that the annoying person I don’t wanna listen to / Hajime CAN be right.

      • Nyangoro says:

        I think that’s what they’re going for too. I just think that the way they’re going about it is a bit trying for the audience.

  13. Commenter says:

    This show gets massive points for originality, much like tsuritama or C.
    I like how this is a very different show from what I expected. I expected a similar show to the original eighties show, but it quickly changed itself in the next episode. It “defeated” the monsters in a very clever way, basically stating that this show is not about capturing/killing aliens in the slightest.

    If anything, I was reminded by Eureka Seven: Ao, which also strayed immensely from the original. I admit that these kind of sequels are what I desire from any series. I see little point in watching a show that’s just more of the same I already saw.

    As for the writing, like in tsuritama, not everything is as it appears, and the main character who seems to be bordering on a mary-sue is actually not one. The couple at the end of the second episode was a good example of it. She’s just the ultimate optimist.

    As for the gripe about immature writing: I didn’t think it was a big leap from how people would react in real life at all. The part that knocked me as unnatural was how people all gathered and helped the victims of this weird crime.
    Could it be that you’re angry because paramedics carry some special importance to you? What if Galax was said to be replacing ticket offices, or interim bureaus? Would you be as bothered?

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  • Bam
    (Sunday, Oct 26. 2014 01:33 AM)
    @Ninja: Yeah I know, that’s why I mentioned that the $7400 was only for a measly State University. Those 20k a semester spots are probably 31k or higher for international students.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Oct 26. 2014 12:52 AM)
    @Bam Some universities charge in the neighbourhood of $20K a semester for out-of state tuition.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Oct 26. 2014 12:37 AM)
    If you guys think out-of-state tuition is bad then you should look at the rate international students have to pay. My Japanese ex paid $7400 a semester for Sacramneto State. They pretty much robbed her out of all she had saved up.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Oct 26. 2014 12:21 AM)
    @K-Off Yeah, out-of-state tuition is as expensive as a liberal arts college at most places.
  • k-off
    (Sunday, Oct 26. 2014 12:17 AM)
    @Bam Ha, good one.
  • k-off
    (Sunday, Oct 26. 2014 12:14 AM)
    @ninja In my case, I’m getting an out-of-state higher education, so I’m fucked if I don’t get that position in the FTC next August. I’ll have to wait another year for a window of opportunity and by then, who knows if I’m going to be stuck in some corporation.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Oct 26. 2014 12:09 AM)
    I never joined a frat but I’m like an honorary member of bunch of them since I can procure pretty much whatever they are looking for so I get to party with all of them.
    My ancestors have shed too much Greek blood to me to don their banners.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Oct 26. 2014 12:02 AM)
    I think the main issue with liberal arts colleges is that a degree from a liberal arts college isn’t much better or worse than a degree from a public university, and the cost of attending a liberal arts college is much higher for a full tuition payer. It’s just not worth it if you’re paying full tuition.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Oct 26. 2014 12:00 AM)
    @K-Off I mean you can get many of the same degrees that you would get at a normal University at a Liberal Arts School. So I think the question of what degree you get is important whether you’re at a liberal arts college or a university. It’s not like the same degree from a liberal arts college is less valuable than one from a university. It just depends on the school and depends upon the individual.
  • k-off
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 11:46 PM)
    @ninja I guess it really depends, but in my opinion, one has much less human capital in liberal arts than someone who specializes in an academic field, for example. Especially with liberal arts, it’s a matter of constantly adding to your human capital.

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