Posted on 28 September 2013 with categories: Gatchaman Crowds

Oh, what a wonderfully glorious mess this was! Kenji Nakamura once again proves that he really knows how to create an ending with impact. And don’t get me wrong: things in these four episodes… did not make any sense when you start thinking logically about them. But as a thought experiment they were amazing. And ridiculously fun as well.

I mean who cares if in the real world you’d never get a prime minister yelling to all of the negative twitter reactions that he gets while making a speech: Gatchaman celebrates the internet unlike any other series has done so before, while also acknowledging the incredible mess that it can turn out to be. It uses these “Crowds” as a took to ask the question of how society would look like if everyone had the power to become a hero. The urge that we all probably have once in a while.

Kenji Nakamura: for god’s sake have your next series be a 2-cour one. Your series are always incredibly original, but with Gatchaman Crowds I feel like you could have done so much more .And with such a length there would have been much more time to explore such a great setting and allow for even more episodes dedicated to interesting ideas, or with creative set-ups.

Heck, episode eleven was half a recap, and yet it worked incredibly well because of how it was set up. At the start of this series I noted that the success of this series entirely depended on the female lead: regardless of the quality of the rest of the series, her annoyance would contribute greatly to whether or not this would become an enjoyable watch. And they actually did it, and that recap examplified it. At the start you’d indeed wonder if the creators didn’t go too far with glorifying her, but that was the entire point of the series: they wanted to turn society completely upside down with these last four episodes. In the end, the Gatchaman just came blatantly out of hiding, and a huge power was given to every single person.

What I also really liked: do you know what lately has been one of the most commonly used motivations for villains beyond just “being evil”? It’s the villain who wants to evolve the world (and in the process doesn’t really care about making a few sacrifices in the process). It’s common because it’s not entirely evil, but it has started to become a bit lazy, and usually I find that these guys are often unfairly demonized or that the sacrifices that they make are just used as plot devices to make them the bad guys. Gatchaman Crowds has turned that trope completely upside down: this time everyone is just evolving society, with Rui and Hajime at the frontline. The bad guy’s aim is just to have fun and create chaos. Perhaps not the most complex of all, but he’s the perfect embodiment of the internet troll, and I think that that served as the inspiration for this guy.

Overall: messy series, but a great watch. Looking forward to Kenji Nakamura’s next work.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 2 September 2013 with categories: Gatchaman Crowds

So far, Gatchaman Crowds has been… interesting. Things are getting action-packed now and to me, they’ve delivered. I quite enjoyed these three episodes.

Episode 06: here Hajime really showed that she’s different from the usual ditzy female, in that she does everything consciously, with a clear purpose behind it. At the start of the series, I worried that she might get too annoying, but for me she didn’t, and this was one of the biggest reasons for that. She’s also doing another very interesting thing here: she completely disregards any sort of bias. If someone sounds like it could be fishy, she doesn’t care. She just does it, and somehow this show manages to stay away from the usual themes about naivety. She’s basically telling the rest of the cast to lighten up.

Rui has a very good point that the focus lies way too much with single heroes, and I can get behind trying to want to create a world in which everyone is a hero. But if there are people with special powers, then why not make use of that by cooperating? The villain wanting to update the world is a common trope that is used often, and therefore really needs to put in something special to stand out. This one isn’t quite there yet, but she’s on her way. There are definitely some fresh parts about her.

In episode 07 she starts acting like this big hypocrite when she deletes those three members who made jokes about dropping out, which goes completely against what she’s trying to do… Lots of hints for character-development on her side. That indeed gets used really well in the subsequent awesome action scene. Holy crap that is well directed! I still don’t get Pai Pai and JJ in this series though. What is their role? What’s their point? Why is the former so fidgety, and why is the latter not doing anything? Though Paipai’s transformation was great.

Episode 08 had the characters reveal themselves in front of kindergarteners in the midst of dubstep. I have to hand it to the creators that that was creative. The same goes for how they used that one former member of GALAX who rightfully believes that Rui screwed up. However, I do feel like his character is overreacting. Overall that is one of the big flaws of this series: characters have this tendency to overreact (yes, REact, I don’t mind the over the top acting, but characters end up drawing conclusions a little too biasedly).
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on 12 August 2013 with categories: Gatchaman Crowds

The thing with the writing of this series is that it’s sloppy: it simplifies some things for the sake of telling its story, and it makes most of its characters simple-minded for that purpose as well. Overall it makes sense, but it needs some idiocy to make everything fit, not to mention that it hops from one scene to the other really fast.

With these three episodes though, I’m starting to see what this show is trying to do.Old superhero series were characterized by the fact that the main character usually is the one who does all the work. He’s aided by his side characters, who sometimes get to stand in the spotlights, but when you look at the random passers-by: all they do is run away. They’re just cardboard cut-outs in the backgrounds, not doing anything at all and having no other significance than showing that the city that’s getting destroyed is not a ghost town. Gatchaman plays with this really well.

Whenever there’s an accident, people react to it. They cooperate in order to solve their problems and become a bit of a hero. Gatchaman is a decidedly modern series that really touches upon relatively modern themes, and shows like it are really rare. The last show that did it as well was Eden of the East, I believe.

Social media is a really big theme in this series: it’s how we’re all connected, and how we’re all trying to be the center of the world, and all trying to be heroes. We want to feel part of this whole important network that connects millions, and play as the hero. And yet, this series does not forget the “social” part of social media: everyone is cooperating. Everyone with similar purposes is connected so much more easily.

The strange thing is that the most interesting part of the show only has to do with the main characters because of the main female lead. The other members there hardly use social media. I mean the lead female was built up to be the new girl and all, but in a sense, the other Gatchamen are also new here.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted 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)

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 06:33 AM)
    @Brendan: Her death was one of the most rewarding things I have had the joy of watching in something.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 06:32 AM)
    Of the “Anime that no-one is allowed to hate because it has classic status” that I do love, that’d be berserk, monster and Utena, perfect blue, ghost in the shell.
  • BrendanVGC
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 06:28 AM)
    For me that was evangelion.i strongly hated asuka, thought nothing about shinji and absolutely loved rei.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 06:25 AM)
    Ideally a story/plot/set of characters that strikes a good balance between the best the world has to offer and the absolute nastiest would do it for me. I need to be thrown through a load of emotions when I read/watch something.
  • BrendanVGC
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 06:25 AM)
    I mustve rewatched elemental gelade like 7 times
  • BrendanVGC
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 06:23 AM)
    Emma I agree that gundam nowadays is lackluster but i love dem figures still.
  • BrendanVGC
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 06:21 AM)
    Eh not mad, but after reading the manga im kind of glad the anime had fillers. Manga was too fast paced
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 06:21 AM)
    Its been too long for me to remember elemental gelad.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 06:20 AM)
    Now Brendan I won’t attack the whole gundam franchise, I love the 70s original, in fact its the reason why the others don’t work so well for me.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 06:19 AM)
    I know people would lynch me for this, but I always found evangelion to be a smug, self-indulgent and whingy show with unlikeable characters and bargain bin animation with fillers bloating out the series and with an insulting ending whether it be the original or end of eva and littered with shock value.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Durarara!!X2 – 08

No animation issues this time around thankfully. Really like the touch of Irelands flag on the cup Shinra gave the girl at their apartment. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Celty is indeed Irish. Probably one of the few Irish characters in anime. And here we learn that the one who told the little girl […]

Death Parade – 08

Why do you do this to me death parade? You dodge your true potential and instead focus on background exposition or, of all things, comedy. Then just as I was about to lose interest and give up, you present the best episode of the series so far. Now this, this is what I was talking […]

Durarara!!X2 – 07

I think the problem with this episode was evident right from the opening scene. I had to do a double take when seeing a very poorly drawn Simon. I even questioned whether it was a new character entirely. But no, the animation budget took a nosedive. Or the guy who was to do the inbetweens […]

Death Parade – 07

Why is the girl from the last episode still around? This episode brought up three rules about arbiters. The third rule, about arbiters not having emotions, Is odd to me. For the arbiters we have been introduced to are very emotional. They state that Decim was given human emotions yet he is the least emotional […]

Durarara!!X2 – 06

Turns out that assassination attempt got Celty to see her life flash before her eyes. I suppose taking a tumble off a moving motorcycle is a fatal thing. But well in the last arc we saw two people survive getting blown away at about the length of a football field. So I cannot say I […]

Death Parade – 06

Death Parade in a risky move has taken things in a new direction. A daring adventurous move that no one expected. And it is…absolutely terrible. Death Parade, what happened? Did no one read over the script and do a shaft head tilt in wonder? Was there not an Animator who said “Excuse me sir. But […]

Durarara!!X2 – 05

We have yet another new character entering the show. A motorcycle gang leader who has a massive fondness for woman. Personally I am not a fan of him. His brand of female overprotective crazy just seems like a downgrade from the shows already huge cast of crazies. He looks like a character whose introduction serves […]

Death Parade – 05

If asked about how I think of death parade so far, my answer would have to be divided. On one hand the premise is rife with potential and it does have moments where it rises above the bar. But it also seems confused as to what it wants to be. We have death games between […]

Durarara!!X2 – 04

The current story arc ends abruptly and unexpectedly. I am rather surprised that it came here. From how this was portrayed it felt this would be a longer arc than it turned out to be. So with its end I must think back and wonder. What exactly did this arc accomplish? We got introduced to […]

Latest Reviews

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]

Clipboard04

Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]

Clipboard07

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z Review – 82,5/100

Reviewing a comedy sequel usually is quite simple: in most cases it just drops the bomb and runs out of inspiration, and in rare cases it actually manages to stay hilarious. The tricky thing with these kinds of series is that you need to remain funny, and you need to have the inspiration for that. […]

Clipboard05

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]