Gatchaman Crowds (Rewatch) – Episode 12 (Director’s Cut) Notes

And we’re back to episodic content, being done with the essays until the time comes for my Gatchaman Crowds Insight editorial, on the 29th. But now, back to episodic content. Starting with the Director’s Cut ending, which was always intended to be the original ending of the show. Though I love the series so much, I hadn’t actually watched it until concluding my rewatch, so I was quite excited to finally watch it, as the first three letters of the notes might convey.

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Thoughts and Notes:

1) All About the Game:

Gatchaman Crowds anime episode 12 (OVA) - Saving the world through gamification

Saving the world? Pssh, it’s all about points! Gamification, man!

OMG. Time to watch this for the first time. The original ending, and perhaps extended even more since they had some more time to work on it. My first new Gatchaman Crowds content since the show aired!

Ah, right, first half is the content I’ve watched. The full episode in its proper order, ok.

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[Gatchaman Crowds] Rui’s Choice and the Nature of Good Decisions

This is the last essay write-up on Gatchaman Crowds’s first season. Am I “done” with covering all the series has to bring up? Not even close. My old episodic write-ups bring up many ideas I don’t even touch on here, such as The Bystander Effect of the Diffusion of Responsibility, or many more masks for me to discuss. But, Gatchaman Crowds doesn’t believe in chewing one’s thoughts for them, and as I hope I made clear through these series of posts, the more I delve into this show, the more I actually have to discuss. I could be talking about this show for months to come. So, before we delve into the OVA and then Gatchaman Crowds insight, it’s very fitting we finish with this write-up on the nature of good decisions, which is both useful for readers to keep in mind in their daily lives, and as something to keep in mind as one watches and then thinks of Gatchaman Crowds Insight. This is a question, which underlies Gatchaman Crowds, and is re-opened in Insight.

This is a Things I Like post, it’s not a review, but more a discussion of the show and of ideas that rose in my mind as a result of watching the show. There will be spoilers for the entire first season of the show.

Return to the Gatchaman Crowds Project page.

Write-up:

Gatchaman Crowds anime episode 7 - Ichinose Hajime on scary decision making

This may sound trivial, but Gatchaman Crowds is very much a show about making decisions, and a particular one above all else. Rui’s arc specifically is about making a decision, about making a choice. Well, I’ll discuss in a bit why it may not be as obvious, but first, I’m actually going to take this show to task for raising the question that’s asked of any decision, whether it was a good one, and pulling a fast one on us in terms of what the answer to said question is, at least in this season. But first, let’s discuss decision-making and what makes for a good decision in general.

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[Gatchaman Crowds] J.J., Pai-Pai, Sagayama, and Rui – The Impossible Leadership of God (Hajime’s Bridge)

As we’re nearing the end of the Gatchaman Crowds write-ups (there’s only one essay left after this one!), I once more return to the sort of article that I opened this project with, one that revolves around one of the more general issues the series tackles: Leadership. Leadership is one of the things Gatchaman Crowds explores from the most angles, even if it doesn’t give it the most direct scrutiny. Its approach to leadership is at the same time both irreverent and sympathetic, and the characters and scene referenced in this post’s title reflect both of these facets. Irreverent to leadership, and sympathetic to leaders and their burden.

This is a Things I Like post, it’s not a review, but more a discussion of the show and of ideas that rose in my mind as a result of watching the show. There will be spoilers for the entire first season of the show.

Return to the Gatchaman Crowds Project page.

Write-up:

Gatchaman Crowds anime episode 7 - Pai-Pai crying for his God's answers

Hajime is Athena, sort of. She is born again when J.J. envelopes her in the first episode, and from his embrace she emerges as a Gatchaman. Later, she’s Jesus. J.J. sits across a chasm, and Hajime walks across the chasm to him, a leap of faith. The imagery seems as if she’s walking on water. But she breaches the distance, and sits right next to the seemingly impossibly far entity, who only touches them once, when giving birth to them and giving them their shape, their “wings”.

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Gatchaman Crowds – Hajime, Fun, and the Response to Trolling

(Guy: This post might be controversial, it also presents some of my personal views on life and life-philosophy. As such, I might find the need to moderate the comment section, if things get out of hand. Especially following this week’s Presidential Elections in the USA, the topic is even more topical than it always is. As always, this is not a review, but a Things I Like post, which contains spoilers for the Gatchaman Crowds series, though a bit more slight this time around.)

Probably the most controversial line in Gatchaman Crowds is when in episode 7 Hajime tells Utsutsu, who wonders how she can take all the crap that’s written on her online, “They’re people I don’t know. If I don’t like it, I can just turn it off.” This line is important enough that later on when Rui is bombarded by vile messages online after his identity is revealed, that it is repeated to him. This line comes off incredibly similar to “Grow a thicker skin. It’s your fault you care.”

Gatchaman Crowds anime episode 7 - Miya Utsutsu and Ichinose Hajime on fearing what's said about you

The fear of doxxing and trolling.

Now, I’m going to address this line from Hajime’s perspective in a bit, but first I’m going to start with a controversial opinion I myself hold, but I’m going to actually break down why it’s not as controversial, perhaps, as it’d appear on first glance. The opinion is, “people choose to be offended.” And before you accuse me of saying that being offended is thus meaningless, people also choose to get married, and to have children. People still choose to kill one another. Choices aren’t meaningless, quite the opposite.

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[Gatchaman Crowds] Umeda’s World – Rash Power

This collection of two write-ups focuses on Umeda, who is the true “antagonist” of the show, unlike Berg-Katze who’s more of a phenomenon than a person, Umeda is the darkness within us all, and what we must all face and fight off. He’s also human. These two write-ups continue from Rui’s World and will to power to exploring the various manifestation of power and leadership within the series, followed by the first foray into the hotly contested topic of trolling, and how one’s reaction to trolling is very partisan, dependent on whether they’re dishing it out or receiving it. In other words, this is another write-up on how Gatchaman Crowds explores what it means to be human, and this time from what we like to cluck our tongues at, even as we often fall into it ourselves.

This is a Things I Like post, it’s not a review, but more a discussion of the show and of ideas that rose in my mind as a result of watching the show. There will be spoilers for the entire first season of the show.

Return to the Gatchaman Crowds Project page.

Rui, Umeda (#26), and Sugayama – The Will For Power, The Dream’s Death:

Gatchaman Crowds anime episode 8 - Umeda Kouichi hates the world

The demagogue’s prey, the malcontent.

I guess you could also fit Pai-Pai here, but his is a mask of leadership he assumes out of perceived necessity, and we don’t know of any desire he ever possessed of fixing the world. Unlike Joe. Well, maybe Sugayama is likewise, but one needs a certain drive to become a Prime Minister. But I digress.

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[Gatchaman Crowds] Rui’s World – Frail Naivete

And so we keep marching on with the series of posts. This one revolves around the show’s premier mask-wearer, Ninomiya Rui, the show’s would-be-utopian benevolent dictator, and one of the show’s many unsure characters. Two small write-ups, the first focusing on his uncertainty (and on using “he”), and the second on the nature of the world, as he sees it, and wishes to reshape it.

This is a Things I Like post, it’s not a review, but more a discussion of the show and of ideas that rose in my mind as a result of watching the show. There will be spoilers for the entire first season of the show.

Return to the Gatchaman Crowds Project page.

Rui and Protective Masks, The Battledress of Make-up:

Gatchaman Crowds anime episode 5 - Ninomiya Rui in his battle-dress

Man, I’m entering this one with trepidation. So, a couple of notes beforehand. I’m not interested in discussing whether Rui is a man or a woman. I can see arguments for both sides, and I don’t have qualms and won’t argue against anyone who wishes to call Rui a “he”, nor against those who wish to call Rui a “she”. I’m sure there can be fascinating discussions on the topic, and how it relates to presentation of gender and cross-dressing in anime in general (usually quite awfully, but another great show from 2013 that did this mostly very well was Genshiken Nidaime), but it’s not the discussion I wish to be having here. I’m referring to Rui as a “he” because that’s how Hajime did, and because that’s how he first appeared before us, and for a number of other small characterizations.

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Hajime, Sugane, and Berg Katze – The Nature of the Masks in Gatchaman Crowds

This post is the first Gatchaman Crowds editorial post I’ve written in three years. As such, it also contains the preamble, where I explain why I focus over characters as “masks”, because there are too many things to discuss, and it’s interesting to discuss the many, many ideas of the show through its characters. This post in particular will focus on Hajime and Sugane and how they reflect one another, and showcases Hajime’s role in the show; the second write-up focuses on Joe, Sugane, and how Gatchaman Crowds is part of a discussion and response to its super-sentai origin, dealing with the nature of heroism. Finally, the third archetype discusses Berg Katze not just as a villain, but as a Villain, someone who’s putting on a mask within the show, and who is taking up the villain role for the sake of the heroes.

This is a Things I Like post, it’s not a review, but more a discussion of the show and of ideas that rose in my mind as a result of watching the show. There will be spoilers for the entire first season of the show.

Return to the Gatchaman Crowds Project page.

Preamble – People as Archetypes, as Masks:

Gatchaman Crowds anime episode 6 - Ichinose Hajime telling Nonmiya Rui he's prettier without make-up.

I keep returning to this line. It’s so important within the show.

Gatchaman Crowds is not a character-driven show. Though characters are all-important in it, it’s not they who are the vehicle of a story, but its themes are. This is one of those rare theme-driven show, where the main focus is to espouse, sometimes elaborate, and discuss themes. Which it does via its characters. There are many themes and ideas in this show in particular, not for it the narrow focus of other works, not just justice, but gamification, the nature of revolution, internet trolls, bystander effects, and more. You can read my notes on the show from when I first watched it for an exploration of those themes as they’ve come up in the show, and you can also check out my more disorganized notes from the rewatch, which are complementary and break down more things going on.

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