September 6th, 2013.
Sentai delivered straight, 26 and Katze mirroring the Gatchaman and donning masks as the Gatchaman cast them off.
Time for my longest entry yet!
1) Yes Rui, revolutions make sacrifices, not only on the side of those with power whom you cast down, but also amongst those who fight to make the revolution happen. This is part of what I’ve discussed in the past though, Rui feels responsibility, he feels guilt – he acts as if he’s the Hero, he always had, as if everything is his fault, up to him – he doesn’t really distribute, he doesn’t really delegate. He only created more power, under himself. Also, my usage of “revolution” rather than “evolution” here is intentional – Rui thinking he’s doing something doesn’t make it so.
2) So, why did Katze-Berg do this, out Rui and make people turn against GALAX? Oh, there are so many reasons, where does one even start?
- It undermines Rui. Since Rui has a NOTE, and is a Hero-mentality type of person, then destroying GALAX is the best way to get him.
- If you don’t trust someone and they say something bad about you, you won’t be happy – if you getbetrayed however, it’s much worse. By turning people against GALAX, he’s reducing their trust and hope levels to underneath what they’ve been before. He’s also potentially making them even less likely to help others, and to doubt the help they’d given others before – after all, it was under the directions of an untrustworthy source, as the teacher alluded to in the rotten-milk episode.
- He’s making people rely on Gatchaman, this actually is important for two reasons: 1. Even if Rui’s methods and ideals were flawed, it might be that Berg-Katze is still not interested in the Updated world, so may as well have people cling to the comfortable vertical leadership hero-worship mode once more. 2. By making people turn to the Gatchaman, he’s making them into heroes, and he wants to lift them before crushing them. This will make the defeat more bitter for the Gatchaman, but also for mankind. If some random schlob gets defeated by an alien menace, no one cares – but if you dub someone as your “only hope” and they get defeated, then you might not even try to defeat the alien menace. Diffusion of Responsibility at hyper-levels.
3) I feel like Hajime is training Rui, retraining him – with the closing of the phone. It also makes sense Pai-Pai has no power in his cell, resents the calls, and yet takes them until he collapses, and it is OD who finally turns the infernal machine off.
4) “Of course, Hajime-san, you’re the G Team’s Sun!” – Ha, interesting. I’m actually planning one of my two post-Gatchaman Crowds review posts, which will describe the themes of the show via the “Masks” each of the character adopts for the sake of the story, and two of the masks were going to be “Hajime – Mask of the Sun” for she is the one spreading truth and joy around, and Sugane as “Mask of the Moon”, for reflecting Hajime’s glory. Though Rui might end up being a better fit for the moon.
5) 26 and his daughter are important – aside from the inhuman Berg-Katze, even the “villains” are just people. People with desires, people with regrets. People who want fun, and who self-rationalize. People with families, and ties to other people. Ties that can be played upon, ties that bring out the best and the worst. Ties make us humans. Humans make ties. 26 isn’t a “villain”, he’s just a man.
6) Hajime spent a long time teaching us about the value of showing who you are, of not hiding behind masks. So of course, both Berg-Katze and also 26 – the heaviest makeup there is, assuming another’s form, for Katze, and a mask for 26. They are drawn as the opposites to Hajime in many a way – as Rui comes to light, shedding his old mask, his old wounds (that shower scene was very symbolic, mind), 26 and Berg Katze wrap themselves up in masks and lies.
“Play the Game” is met with “Play the Destruction.” – At this point it feels 26 isn’t looking for a “better world”, but to deal away with all those he thinks shouldn’t exist, like those teens who dare litter the streets, and seeks recognition and fame. But, he still doesn’t wield any power – doesn’t he realize Katze-Rui can take the power from him once more? How is he content with the current situation? He is either drunk with power, or he will try to do away with Rui – question is whether he’ll be led to the real Rui, or he’ll try to take on Katze, who will disabuse him of his illusions.
7) Ok, here comes the “We must join our forces, each of us must do what only they can do.” – well, I guess it makes sense for a superhero sentai show to have this part, especially since now our themes seem to be focused mostly on hope, despair, and action.
Also, note what Hajime asks Pai-Pai and Rui, not “What can you do?” or “What are you going to do?” but “What do you want to do?” – for what we will do is to her a natural outgrowth of what we want to do (no “Weakness of the Will” here). Also, the sun is shining, and there’s a rainbow, once Rui made his decision, his declaration. We’re in hero-land.
8) Katze is accusing Rui of being a hypocrite, but there’s another word we have for that, well, more than one: Growth, learning. If the moment someone who says something stupid is accused of hypocrisy when they act the other way than what they’ve said before, then we’re not really promoting positive change, are we? People are allowed to err, and we should not rub their faces in their old actions, unless we want them to think it’s better to stay on course and never take anything back. I don’t think that world would be a pleasant one to live in, and it too-often feels it’s indeed the world we live in.
9) Though, I don’t know how much faith I can put in Rui right now – he trusts others, but only when he has no power, when he had power – he afforded no real trust. The question is how he’ll act once he has power once more, should that ever happen.
10) “If JJ is like God, he probably won’t do anything” – quoted without comment.
Remember that “JJ is like God” statement before? Here we have the children turning their back on the distant God – they will be the ones to take care of themselves, and the world they live in. It’s all up to them, success or failure.
- LOAD-kun – Hajime knows Rui’s a boy.
- I’m laughing here :D “Wish they’d turn it into an anime.” “I’d buy all the figures!” Subliminal PR campaign go! Though we’re already at episode 9, we’re already had, guys.
- Just like humans – Gatchaman are new? Gatchaman are cool! Gatchaman hype exists? Then there’s need for counter-hype “Hajime is so annoying, what a bitch!” Wait, so we need them? “Get off your asses Gatchaman, we’re entitled to being saved!” – No, Gatchaman save you because they choose to, you’re not entitled to shit, you little twerps.
- Berg-Katze just used YOLO. His villain-level, it’s over 9000!
- Note, X too is using the term “Revolution”. Bye bye, Update, welcome Revolution! All hail the new king, same as the old king!
- Ah, here is “update” again, but this time it means a bloody revolution. The word had been co-opted.
- JJ is as cryptic as ever, wonder if the black heart then is something within the planet, or within people, who just bury it, and act as if what is buried doesn’t exist. Also, wasn’t fond of how we see every character’s resolution or opinion on their face. Move the story, yo.
- There’s something weird here, they went to the preschool the same day Katze met with 26, so did the girl get a notice on the phone via the teachers? That might be why she’s apart from the other kids right now. Hm. And now we see 26 on and about. Did he collapse and rise again, because he wasn’t included, did he collapse because life simply got too much to him? Is the 26 we see not the regular 26? Nah, I think he collapsed after Rui fired him, after their discussion, he collapsed from anger and anguish at his dream being taken from him. Nothing fantastical, I assume. Unless it’s another girl altogether and the art-style is not letting us notice :3
- Pai-Pai as a celebrity manager? Well, considering his hysterical middle-management nature, I think he’ll be a perfect shoe-in.
- Pai-Pai called Hajime “Newbie” and she replied, rather than say “I’m Hajime-su!” – she really is working her brains here, no time for silly Pai-Pai. I bet that’s also why she’s eating. You all remember L, right?
- “I never thought I’d have to register as a new user.” – I can’t imagine losing my Gmail account either. I’m not making light here, considering how much of our lives are online already, imagine a user containing everything we do online getting overtaken. Well, doubly so when you’re the one who made the network ;)
It’s very interesting, in most shows once the action begins and evil runs rampant, then everyone’s stressed, and you have endless doom, gloom, and fighting. But here we have stress juxtaposed with the appearances of calm, levity both by the villain which is quite common, but also from the hero-team. Usually, you’d expect this when conflict is about to arrive, but why is it so when conflict is already occurring? Because the current conflict is conflict-by-proxy, between the symbols of the two sides – order and the Neo-Hundred – the real conflict is between Gatchaman and Katze, and that’s where we’re building up to. Also alternating between rain and underground, and sun, depending on which side of the stress-level or proxy-agent we’re on at the time.
P.S. Here is the lengthy discussion /u/SohumB and I had about Hajime’s closing of the phone, in the episode 7 discussion thread. Relevant again this week.
Additional discussion on Reddit. Also see this thread about J.J.’s nature and the rejection of him. This thread is a discussion about Berg-Katze’s role as a villain, and is a response to my main thoughts.