OP: 「Insight」 by WHITE ASH
「inbound / contact point」
A short prologue episode gets us back up to speed, just in time for the first episode to confuse me all to hell again. Too much too fast, Tatsunoko Production!
Episode 00 – Reminding & Introducing
I liked episode 00, for two reasons. First of all, it gave a quick reminder of what happened in the first season, and without pretending it was doing anything else. It didn’t try to hide it in awkward dialogue where characters are explaining stuff they all should know or remember (for our benefit). They just narrated it, got it over with, and moved on.
Secondly, episode 00 was basically an exposition fight, showing all the old familiar characters quickly while briefly hinting at the plot to come. It’s a prologue, and what made that work so well is that it’s short. A full 22-minute episode would have been too much, but 14-minutes episode was enough to pique interest without saying too much. Episode 00 wasn’t a world beater, but it was fun, and worth the time spent on it. Plus, we got to see Ruirui’s (Murase Ayumu) gatchaman! His teleporting power was very cool, even if I’m worried it’s going to get disabled a lot, to avoid instantly neutralizing any conflict. We’ll see.
Episode 01 – A Bit of a Mess
The first real episode, in contrast, was all over the place. They had to introduce both the new Gatchaman, Misudachi Tsubasa (Ishihara Kaori), as well as the little girl alien Gelsadra (Hanazawa Kana), and my question is: Why? Doing one or the other would have been fine, but as is, the episode was all over the place. It had too much going on, spread over too much. Where the prologue episode was good at 14 minutes, this might have needed a full 44-minute episode to deal with everything it was trying to do.
A lot of that didn’t have anything to do with Tsubasa or Gelsadra, though. It was the strange world building things they just … sort of threw in there. Gatchaman Crowds has always had a thing for glorifying smart phones and social media platforms, even as it shows their dangers … but halfheartedly, because I never once doubt that Crowds is in love with the possibilities of both. We see that in the coming smartphone election (with the voting age conveniently lowered to 16 … that’s probably not wise), we see it in this latest crisis with Crowds, and we see it with them shoehorning mood bubbles (emojis?) into real life. Maybe I’m just old (note: I’m not), but what’s wrong with figuring out how people feel by learning how to read body language? It feels like an unnecessary addition, and it cluttered the first episode. Ditto with Hajime pulling out MESS, for some reason. Just because you can doesn’t meant you should.
Looking Ahead – Slow Down, Stay Optimistic
Whatever my qualms with the first episode, this is definitely the return of Gatchaman Crowds. All the old faces are back, and they’re all as irreparably optimistic and happy, especially everyone’s favorite Mary Sue, Ichinose Hajime (Uchida Maaya). The biggest thing I wanted to find out with this episode was how she was going to cohabit with Berg Katze (Miyano Mamoru), and that was one area that didn’t disappoint. I loved how she just shut him down! If Gatchaman Crowds Insight can slow down in the following episodes, it will be a lot more enjoyable.
I have no plans to cover this show regularly, though I’ll probably keep watching it, at least for a few more episodes. Follow me on Twitter if you want to chat about it. Until next time!
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – The 00 prologue was a solid reintroduction & teaser, leading to a first ep that’s doing too much, too soon. Slow down! #GATCHAMANCrowds s2e1
- Everyone, do not be alarmed. The alien is just an orange HanaKana. Go back to your homes, nothing to see here.
- The only interesting thing about the mood balloons was that Hajime’s and Yuru-jii’s don’t change from gray. There are other ways to insinuate that Hajime is weird, though. Really, it doesn’t need to be insinuated at all. We know.
- I’ll give them this: The staff gave themselves a good reason to focus the camera on Hajime’s chest all the time. Way to take one for the team, Katze-san.
- You want people to be united, Gel-chan? Look for another species. United just humanity’s jam.
- Once again, I’m continuing my streak of only double-posting for reasons other than having to post a week late. I know you all probably don’t care, but it’s my weird blogger’s pride. No late double-posts! I will keep the streak going until I don’t!
My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now available in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel short story. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: How to save Twitter, The secret to enjoying a long life, Story Review: Mad Max Fury Road, and How to not get butthurt when others insult stories you love.
ED: 「60億の翼」 (60 Oku no Tsubasa) by ANGRY FROG REBIRTH