OP Sequence

OP: 「Insight」 by WHITE ASH

Episode 00:

Episode 01:

「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

Random thoughts:

  • 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 Sequence

ED: 「60億の翼」 (60 Oku no Tsubasa) by ANGRY FROG REBIRTH

17 Comments

  1. I’m really torn about this show.

    On the one hand, I love everything about it stylistically (that OP!) and thematically. But the writing is just so sloppy. And the characters aren’t very likeable.

    I’ll continue watching as long as I can.

    d
  2. We see that in the coming smartphone election (with the voting age conveniently lowered to 16 … that’s probably not wise)

    Not to get too OT here, but lowering the voting age is not necessarily about increasing the number of “unwise” voters, but more of a measure to force politicians to actually pay some attention and do something for young people for a change. Otherwise, with the population aging and the elderly being more likely to vote, proposed policies tend to skew quite heavily in their favor. With there being at least a possibility of getting the youth vote, this segment is less likely to be largely ignored.

    Also, smartphone elections with 16-year old voters participating are already a reality in at least one country.

    Young
    1. You’re not wrong. More an off-the-cuff comment than any real observation of the choice.

      Your comment did make me think that it would probably be more prudent to change one thing, then the other, rather than do both both at once. Becoming a voter requires education, so it’s not good if it suddenly jumps out on someone (even though it does all the time with 18-year-olds … but at least the state gave them years of warning there), and voting with smartphones is liable to end with some irregularities or confusion. Though then again, the latter are liable to take place more among the older electorate, so maybe it’s not a problem. Hmm…

  3. IMO, Crowds was never about watching character growth or development. The characters (especially Hajime) are purely vehicles for the screenwriters to promote their very specific ideal of social unity via free information and global connectivity , with Hajime as its ideal example of its perfect citizen.

    zztop
    1. I decided to try and get into this because the art design looked fun, but after watching the episode, it seemed to be doing exactly what you said. It was just very in your face stylistically without any real substance to back it up.

      KaleRylan
  4. This episode was a horrible mess. Nothing about it seemed grounded in any particular reality making it hard to make any sort of connection to the characters and the storyline here. Near the beginning of the episode some rando character laments that the spaceship landed right where they finished planting the rice, but then 15 minutes later no one gives a shit. JJ appears and is truly frightening, seemingly attacking an innocent girl and again no one gives a shit. Hajime talks to a disembodied voice rising from her breasts and again…

    No thank you. I’m done.

    Jack Spicer
    1. Naw, I don’t think so. There’s a different between the theme of “everything’s a mess” and everything just being a mess. It might have a shade of the former, but they just tried to do too much. You’re kind to try to find sense in their mistake, but I don’t see it, lol

  5. I feel it was ok.. i dunno it just to me it didnt need to be grounded i feel its aimming more to fans who really who enjoy the last season. so this epsiode was pretty much here some story bulding and were going to have fun with little moments. because we dont need to ground are self. the show was never aiming to be grounded ^^

    Oasis
  6. I actually liked it. Not only are they introducing two new characters, both of whom are girls (hehe) and one of them is an alien loli, the show seems to be well integrated with the first season, especially because of the pre-episode addition, and seems to be following on the use of the Crowd ability. With a mention of Hajime’s mental state remaining unchanging (No matter what happens I still worry that she has Katze in her head). The color/art/design is visually appealing, much the same as the first season. It seems to me to be a good doorway into another season. It may seem to be all over the place but that is just to be expected of this show. Just a note tho, some people really didn’t care for Hajime’s character but I absolutely adore it so take everything I say in this post with that in mind. 🙂

    Igniteous
  7. Forgot how fun this show was to watch.

    BIRDO GO!

    Seeing Hajime-chan talk to her chest/boobs to talk to Katze seems weird but kinda funny. (Don’t remember her chest being that big in S1)

    New girl is an interesting addition to the Gatchaman.

    KoyomiKami
  8. Rewatched the first season quickly before watching this (helps that it really doesn’t bore.)
    I’ve always thought that Gatchaman Crowds gets too much crap. Either because of the Gatchaman name or just in general. I do understand some of it but this show is really a case of you get it or you don’t.

    JHN

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