Gatchaman Crowds Episode 10 Notes

September 13th, 2013.

The Death of the will to power, due to there being nothing at the top, and consequences.

Main/Longer Thoughts:

1) So, you’re being given an awesome power, a power that can change the world. What do you do with it? You shoplift and molest women. This is the show telling us what it thinks humans’ base desires are, and that if you give them power, this is what they’ll do. Right? No. This is what happens when you give powers to the sort of people who were likely to engage in this sort of activity to begin with – power doesn’t change the person, it just amplifies what they can do, for better or for worse. If anything, that’s the message we’re going for here. You know why? People often don’t have much imagination, so it doesn’t matter how much money/power you give them, they will do the same things, but on different scales.

2) You see 26 being displeased, you must remember he had enough motivation, enough imagination, and also ideals, to get picked by Rui as an original Hundred member. He gave power willy-nilly, and now he’ll find himself doing the same things he accused Rui of doing. In politics, they say you don’t see the full picture until you’re in power. In Literature/pop-psychology, we talk more about how we accuse our parents of being bad parents, only to repeat their failures, but also to understand that they weren’t necessarily failures, we just didn’t have the proper point of view.

3) If I had to invent symbolism (yes, invent) for why Hajime can’t see Katze? It’s because she can’t relate to him, she can’t recognize him, she can’t peer into him, she doesn’t “grok” him. That he sees her means he does understand her, but only if we go by the same symbolism. BTW, how about I invent a completely different symbolism for you guys? Katze is all talk, smoke and mirrors, without substance, so Hajime can’t see him. Katze can see her, see and be envy of how full she is, full of fun, and he, the forever-empty one, must travel from world to world, trying to fill himself. But all he does is destroy the world and remain wanting. Katze is about desire, Hajime is about being content. Rui too is about desire, by the by.

4) 26’s desire was to be special, to be elevated. Being a Neo-Hundred is not enough for him, because he still feels part of a crowd. Heck, being one of 100 hand-chosen people wasn’t enough for him. He must be not only elevated, but recognized as such. See, this is the problem with desire, with the desire to expand, to control – you always want more. He wanted to be stronger than regular people, but now he wants to be stronger than the limited group of stronger-than-humans he’s part of. That’s the key word, “part”, he wants to stand apart, not be a-part. This, as I’ve said before also puts him on a collision-course with Katze, because for him there can only be one person at the top, himself.

5) The prime-minister is epitomizing the calcification resulting from the stratification of the vertical-world. He’s the prime minister, he’s at the top, he’s all about vertical-authority structure. Military command is as well, but they usually know that the men at the scene have to make their own decisions at times, and trust them to do so. Delegation can be done as a way of trust, in-advance and after-the-fact, not only as a micro-management, “per specific task” sort of way. Don’t be old Rui, Mr. Prime Minister!

6) 26 is actually showing us a really important part – if you go rampaging in the streets, looting and pillaging, and it’s your own community, then how do you know other pillagers won’t harm those you hold dear? This is usually done by regions, and supposedly you’re coming out of your own to others’ so you expect none of “your tribe” will be harmed. This is not the case here, the Neo-Hundred think of themselves, I’d say they are antisocial, but were they not found through being part of a social-network? They are social misfits, rather, and Hajime says “their hearts are berserk,” – it’s not their fault. Then whose is it? If you rampage around, and keep as company those who rampage around, cause massive collateral damage, etc. then you’re usually self-entitled, and don’t really mind what happens to others. I’m just surprised there had been no cases of a Hundreds member destroying a building where another Hundreds members was controlling his projection, while he was within. Well, shows usually gloss over things like that, and I doubt the other Hundreds members would truly pay it much attention.

7) The Prime Minister’s small sad speech to OD and Pai – he is telling us why he demanded proper procedures, well, aside from the desire to remove accountability, which he referred to (by giving permission, he became directly accountable, though being the prime minister, he’s always accountable) – he’s a symbol, and that was his desire to be more than a symbol. People think the face at the top matters, but as all my talk of revolution intimated, you merely replace the mask, the specific symbol – it still symbolizes mostly the same things, and things still keep on the same, just under a slightly different mask. Changing the one you blame doesn’t change the world. He’s admitting to not truly being of any power, to not being significant. He had to get to the top of the food-chain to understand it’s empty, meaningless. He’s speaking of what 26 would’ve found, were his desire granted, once you reach the top, you realize there’s nothing there, because the real issue wasn’t with being at the top, but with having a desire.

8) “I want a revolution too!” – Prime Minister, at this point, you’re the single person most capable of it. Sure, if the crowds demanded it it’d be easier, but life isn’t about being easy. At this point, you’re just being scared, you’ve lost your motivation. It’s like the President of the United States – “When I’ll be president, I’ll finally be able to do what I really want to in order to help my country and the world!” but then you have to think about being re-elected, “When I’ll be elected for the 2nd time, I will be able to do what I want, without having fear!” – but then, you must think about your party, and make it so the next presidential candidate from your party won’t have too much baggage to carry that you’ve left them. It never ends. Sometimes you just have to decide to take action.

Shorter Asides:

A) We start with the train, and it remains in the background as we go across the city-life. Is it to show life is still going on, or will we pan out to something within/on it? The train, the first time it mattered? Wasn’t it when Hajime met her paper-cutting GALAXter friends and dragged Sugane along? I did like the red sunset, I wish it were a Blood Moon, though.

B) “The Final Boss of this nation has appeared.” – keeping up with gamification lingo.

Ah, Jou and the police-chief. Jou will be thrust into the action, the reluctant hero’s return!

“Pai-San”, having lost his double Pai. I have some thoughts on the double letter for when this show is over.

Ok, no more illusions, Hajime is the undisputed and acknowledged leader of the Gatchaman.

And once he takes responsibility and declares himself the leader again, he’s Pai-Pai once more. Hajime had only done what she should’ve.

C) So, Neo-Hundred, they’re all thinking of themselves, wanting the reward, so they come in waves. This is me over-analyzing it (:P /u/postblitz), it’s more that they’re coming a few at a time just so we’d have a chance to see each of the Gatchaman in effect, and then they will come together once we are done with that, also in order to force Jou to take action. And then they will keep coming, to force OD to take action, unless that will be reserved for Katze.

D) “The internet is too dangerous.” – hard to avoid using it once you rely on it :3 I mean, can most of us even remember life before cellular phones? Or before our houses had a phone? I do (the community where I live, when it was new, it could take a couple of years for a phone-line to be installed). Well, I’m sure we’ll make it, we’ve got the people with initiative here.

E) Hajime brushing her teeth with a Gatchaman emblazoned cup. This is the show using subliminal messages to get us to buy its merch again ;-)

F) Compressing the CROWDS, into cute boxes. Where is MESS-chan, to play with the other boxes? :> Well, that sounds like a fine plan, but there are very few Gatchaman, and hundreds of the new CROWDS.

Post Episode:

Well, this episode was certainly having fun with itself, having the Jou and Sugane genre-trope of the two heroes, the cowardly hero who reclaims his pride and courage, and all the fight-sequences. It almost makes you forget the sad state of affairs 26 is in, how very human it is to wish for something without realizing the effect it could later have on you. In this show, everyone, except for maybe Katze is human. If I had to decide what this show’s message is? It’s that we’re all humans who only do our best, even if we might be misguided, and that we should at least try to have fun, though we can be wrong there as well.

What was this episode about? Most episodes of Gatchaman Crowds have a specific theme they address – this episode is about the “death of the dream”, about consequences and realizations about the will to power, about what it entails and what you find, or rather don’t find once you achieve it, which you don’t. 26 and The Prime Minister are the main characters of this episode, most definitely, with Pai-Pai playing second fiddle as a contrast.

Additional discussion on Reddit. Check this thread for an interesting take on Berg-Katze as symbolizing anonymity, and from this discussion, an interesting take on Katze pushing 26 to despair:

“Are you the devil!?” “No, I’m you.” So, I guess Katze just stated he’s just like humans, or believes he is. Hmm…

Two options: 1, he just wants to deprive him of hope, because that’s what Katze does. 2, he is telling him “You are the devil, not me. These terrible actions, you have wrought them.” – this goes along with him saying it’s humans ruining the world, not he himself. He just gave them power, everything after is done by choices humans make for themselves – he didn’t even blackmail them or anything.

Return to the Gatchaman Crowds Episodic Notes page.

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