Gatchaman Crowds Episode 7 Notes

August 24th, 2013.

Discussing heroes, villains, and narrativity.

Waited 5 hours for this, hella tired, but let’s go. We can do it.

This time we seem to focus on the nature of leaders and follows, and the roles of the protagonist and the antagonist within a narrative. The hero and the villain as well.

Main Thoughts:

  1. Guys, did you see what Hajime has done? She closed her cell-phone, with its Twitter-equivalent. She also said – “What do I care if people I don’t know or care about say things about me?” – I hope we all manage to act as Hajime does, we know this is right, but that’s just the easy first step. People say dumb shit online? Don’t reply, don’t care. People you care for say shit that you find dumb/annoying? Talk to them about it.
  2. At least Pai-Pai is aware that it is not a good leader. The question is how will it affect him, it can make him make worse decisions, or paralyze him when he needs to decide anything. It can be a blessing or a curse.
  3. Hajime is saying things I’ve been saying all these weeks, about Pai-Pai. Pai is all about the paralysis of leaders, of how scary it is to make decisions, because you fear you’ll make the wrong one. But not making a decision is also a decision. He’s been holding them all back. I wonder if Hajime is a weird-form of viewer-insert character, where if you think about every episode, and spent much time thinking about these issues in the past, then she will come later and echo your own thoughts – or if she’s meant to reward us for being “clever” in seeing our thoughts echoed by her.
  4. Regardless, making decisions IS scary. But if you’re unwilling to make any, you can’t really be the leader – Pai-Pai is being lead by events, and his subordinates force situations on him, because they make the calls he’s unwilling to make – then again, Hajime sometimes just goes against his direct orders, so why not make a decision anyway? But on the other hand, she disobeys anyway, and thus removes even more of his self-confidence.
  5. Rui, continuing with micro-management, with not showing any trust. You ask if they show any initiative, but you’re removing anyone who shows any signs of initiative – take heed, those who show initiative in one area also show initiative in others, you’re removing the people who show initiative in general. Also, if you micromanage people and don’t show faith in them, they tend to lose their sense of initiative.
  6. That’s the downside of having a Paladin for a follower, Pai-Pai, it might listen to orders, but in the end it will still do whatever it can to protect justice and the weak. I think in most cases you can live with such a “downside” when you’re a force tasked with protecting the weak – but not always when your goal is to protect the peace. There’s quite a gulf between the two concepts. It’s naivete that makes people think they’re one and the same. Dystopias are often quite peaceful as well, as are cemeteries.
  7. Berg-Katze is really focusing on making Jou despair – not only is he mocking his ideals, he mocks each of his moves, to make him truly feel powerless, then mocks his life decisions, his resolve. Classic Villain 101. Jou is the “Strong-Hero” type, so a classic villain is called for – one that is insane and has no respect for human life, one who mocks and toys with his opponents and questions their resolve.
  8. Hajime is reacting to the above – she is trying to discern Berg-Katze’s motivations, she’s trying to move it from the realm of “Force of nature” or in other words “plot device” to the realm of “Relatable intelligent beings”. Whereas Berg-Katze and Jou operate on the axis of Villain-Hero, Hajime and Katze operate on the axis of protagonist-antagonist, the one who takes action, and the one who forces them to become active. The riddle, the back-and-forth.
  9. There’s your answer, Hajime, it’s happiness.

Shorter/Side Notes:

  1. Also, the vocal music playing whenever we see Rui lately? It makes me feel he’s very lonely. Haunted, even. Still feel the music was overbearing as it kept going. Foreshadowing atmosphere? Dunno.
  2. If Rui has the power to materilize these people’s souls, which Berg-Katze is destroying, I wonder what sort of effect it will have on them. Is it going to be permanent? And did they all just sit in public with masks on? Wonder if these are generic virtual reality masks or something that’s not out of the ordinary, but we hadn’t seen them before, I think.
  3. I love overalls. I really like it when Hajime isn’t wearing that god-awful bell-dress, actually looks cute :3
  4. Ah, so Katze drew the NOTE out of Rui, not simply given him one. So he can do what JJ can.
  5. So, Pai-Pai is the leader because he’s Optimus Prime and can take people along for the ride? Well, going by their Gatchaman numbers, I think it’s just seniority. Seniority, like hereditary titles is a bad idea, because sometimes it works, but when it doesn’t, you’re screwed. Well, his transformation is pretty awesome.

And now I’m not tired at all. 3 am, hope I’ll manage to sleep now :)

Additional point when someone said they like how Hajime isn’t condescending, and wondered how she’d feel about death:

Hajime doesn’t lecture or act condescending because it’s not productive.

Her “Happy go lucky” appearances are just her constantly moving forward, focusing on the “fun”, rather than dwelling on useless things, or as I intimated last week – she sees no reason to say stuff she considers to be obvious, such as Rui hiding things from them – of course she knows he’s hiding stuff from them, and it’s so obvious she knows Sugane knows it as well – so why bother bringing it up?

Someone later said they wonder what Hajime feels about death – I wouldn’t be surprised if her thoughts are somewhat close to mine – the sad thing about death is not death itself, but the absence of the person you like. There’s nothing sad about death itself. But, since Hajime is so forward-facing, whoever’s dead is dead, so time to focus on what to do next.

Additional discussion on Reddit. SohumB and I discussed the issue of Hajime closing her cell phone here, and here. Future episodes basically agree with my reading.

Return to the Gatchaman Crowds Episodic Notes page.

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