Gatchaman Crowds Episode 3 Notes

July 26th, 2013.

 The Nature of Leadership

“Gatchaman Crowds” – it’s not Gatchaman’s Crowds, it’s basically a two-part title. Gatchaman, and Crowds. These are the two main parties at work here.


  • So all MESS stopped harming humans? That means higher functions, society. Then again, we’ve known MESS are basically alien refugees. Their depiction makes it easy to forget that they’re not slavering, unthinking monsters.
  • BTW, for those who don’t notice what Hajime is singing in the background, it’s “Pai, pa-pai…”, I wouldn’t be surprised if the MESS takes to humming it as well.
  • Pai-chan, you really should brush up on your leadership skills, looking so lost, being so impulsive, in front of anyone. Then again, aside from senpai, it never truly seemed like anyone paid him much mind, mind.
  • Note, all the pre-OP section didn’t cover much information, it could impart this knowledge in about 30 seconds, most of it was just having us see this failure of a Gatchaman-branch, just see their domestic silliness. This is a show about silliness tearing down the leadership-structure. The leader is lead by others and is completely lost. The more lost he is, the less sense he makes, which wasn’t much to begin with.
  • Interesting. Very interesting. People use GALAX to expand their social horizons, they help and connect with strangers, rather than only deal with their immediate surroundings. But this is socially only – everyone is so focused on their GALAX that they simply don’t notice the girl with the bunny-ears walking amongst them.
  • “Yeah, X tells us everything” – red flag, red alert, man, what a message that should have everyone sitting up and taking notice. (Also appears under thoughts)
  • Now I wonder what power Rei has/can give, and if it’s anything beyond the ability to connect users.
  • “My opponents? Anyone who’s not fun… I guess.” – Rui.
  • Ok, the way the episode ended was really interesting. Can’t wait for next episode.

ThoughtsMostly on the nature of leadership. This episode, when it comes to discussing the issues of leadership – it says so much, and the ramifications of what it says that it doesn’t explore directly also go quite a way, so I’ll discuss them.

1) Again with the theme of leadership. And yes, that you’re the “leader” doesn’t mean you can solve everything. This is something that had come up in socio-political discussions before. There’s a tendency to try and treat everything as a problem that can be “solved”, that has a simple solution. The real world, alas, is MUCH more complex than that, and some issues have to be lived with, or you have to make slow and gradual advances for decades. There’s no magic bullet that can solve them immediately, and for all time. Thinking in these terms will have you disappointed, and getting no closer to the eventual, hopefuly, solution – because some things may never get resolved.

I just hope the show doesn’t try to sell us the message that there are solutions, immediate, just not via leadership characters. Then again, if we brainwash all of humanity, we surely could achieve anything – social, at least.

2) “Yeah, X tells us everything” – red flag, red alert, man, what a message that should have everyone sitting up and taking notice:

No time for permission from the teachers. But they listen to X. Right now it sort of feels like there is still an authority figure, and it’s actually a lot more concentrated than before. Before you had teachers at school, police and lawyers and doctors, all in their respective spheres. While one might say X-GALAX is merely a tool to control the distribution of knowledge and resources to more effectively handle situations that arise – he can also control who to move where, he can block and spread information as he chooses.

Sure, thus far he helped others, but look how quickly they act based on information from X, without any additional confirmation. X is the biggest concentration of power and “leadership” right now. Why do they follow him? It’s a different form of leadership, they decided to follow. Sure, they can stop, but it’s still a new form of leadership, to which they surrendered free will.

The teacher follows the same logic. Even if X is trustworthy, and has been so thus far, you still have to not take things at face value, especially not if your only reasoning is that they were true before. No one listens to Hume about induction anymore, eh?

3) You call it “lower confidence”, I call it healthy skepticism. We are looking to tear down centralized leadership, not replace it. Ah, I see. They seek to have a two-tier society, X at top, everyone else below, on the same level. There are some improvements over a complete vertical society, with its stratification, but this is a dictatorship. A benevolent dictatorship of the diffuse knowledge?

4) I’m not sure Rui, when the mission was complete, everyone was happy for the points they received. It truly seemed the reward was almost as important as the task itself. This is always a risk with gamification. Sure, if your goal is to better the world, what does it matter if people better the world for fictitious points and/or to feel better about themselves? Well, you care Rui, as an idealist, and currently you’re providing people with an external reason to do good, which is what you’re decrying now.

5) So, if you can’t follow the internet blindly, Hajime, how do you decide what to follow and what not to? Feels to me this is the big question of the show, right now. How do you decide and find what is worth following, who is worth following? And of course, how far should you go.

Additional discussion on Reddit.

Return to the Gatchaman Crowds Episodic Notes page.

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