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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Gatchaman Crowds Rewatch – Episodes 9-12 Notes

Note, the following are notes from my rewatch, and as such, might contain spoilers for the entirety of the first season! Not fit for reading as you watch the episodes for the first time. This post should’ve gone up, but between power-outs and me being incredibly tired all week long (back to school! And work too), I just couldn’t get it out. The first editorial is expected later today! I also shuffled the dates some to allow an editorial every other day, see you soon.

Return to the Gatchaman Crowds Project page.

Episode 9:

Gatchaman Crowds anime episode 9 - Ichinose Hajime noting life is unexpected

Link to the original 2013 write-up on episode 9.

Hajime knew Rui is a boy from the get-go, regardless of the dress.

Sugane realizes he can’t really see past others’ masks, unlike Hajime.

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Gatchaman Crowds Rewatch – Episode 8 Notes

Note, the following are notes from my rewatch, and as such, might contain spoilers for the entirety of the first season! Not fit for reading as you watch the episodes for the first time. Like yesterday, I had much to say about this episode, thus only one episode this time around.

Return to the Gatchaman Crowds Project page.

Thoughts and Notes:

Link to the original 2013 write-up on episode 8.

Pai-Pai, “I’m the worst!” Self-recrimination, he knows he failed. Hard.

He even knows he’s not a leader. He always knew, but did his best, to try and keep them safe. That’s a form of leadership as well, even if he’s not up to the task.

Gatchaman Crowds anime episode 8 - Ichinose Hajime noting people having fun won't stop doing what they're doing

“Don’t blame yourself. Everyone knows well enough that you are no leader, Pai-Pai.” Yeah, even Sugane didn’t say anything about Hajime walking over Pai-Pai, just over common sense.

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Gatchaman Crowds Rewatch – Episode 7 Notes

Note, the following are notes from my rewatch, and as such, might contain spoilers for the entirety of the first season! Not fit for reading as you watch the episodes for the first time. Had a lot to say about this episode, thus only one episode this time around.

Return to the Gatchaman Crowds Project page.

Thoughts and Notes:

Link to the original 2013 write-up on episode 7.

Ah yes, the “Why didn’t you delete the information? It hurts when people say bad things about you,” and this is Utsutsu, who is hurt by how she sees herself as seen by others, who lets it define her distance from them. And Hajime’s answer, which is not “you shouldn’t let others affect you,” but saying that she will focus on what she finds fun. As she keeps saying, people won’t stop doing what they don’t find fun – people who dox her do it because it’s fun for them, and deleting the information won’t really fix that. And she won’t think of that because it’s not where her fun is.

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

Is it a bit simplistic? It is, but this is a place where the show’s trying to give us a moral. Not, “You shouldn’t care because it doesn’t matter,” but “focus on what you enjoy.” And Hajime focuses on the fun she had with Hajime, today, now, rather than fearing the future.

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Gatchaman Crowds Rewatch – Episodes 4-6 Notes

Note, the following are notes from my rewatch, and as such, might contain spoilers for the entirety of the first season! Not fit for reading as you watch the episodes for the first time.

Return to the Gatchaman Crowds Project page.

Episode 4:

Gatchaman Crowds anime episode 4 - Putting our trust in GALAX

Like religious converts.

Link to the original 2013 write-up on episode 4.

Right, saving people in order to convert them, and he does sound like a religious convert, or of a marketing scheme.

“Have faith and wait.” Waiting passively for someone else to act. Then again, their options are limited.

“Galax won’t abandon us!” as if speaking of a god, or a dear friend.

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Gatchaman Crowds Rewatch – Episodes 1-3 Notes

Note, the following are notes from my rewatch, and as such, might contain spoilers for the entirety of the first season! Not fit for reading as you watch the episodes for the first time.

Return to the Gatchaman Crowds Project page.

Episode 1:

Gatchaman Crowds anime episode 1 - Not heroes

The sign in the background.

“It’s not heroes who keep the world up to date, it’s us.” The responsibility of the common man, and that heroes are an outdated concept.

Sugane getting that person up, he’s doing what GALAX does, by his own volition, rather than match people up externally. So, the program replaces responsibility/becomes the hero?

The classmates who never really show up after the milk incident, heh.

Hungry, lying right next to food, too busy for that. Too busy daydreaming.

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Gatchaman Crowds Project Kick-Off!

G-G-G-GATCHAMAN!

Those who follow the blog long enough know that Gatchaman Crowds holds a special place in my heart. After Gatchaman Crowds finished airing in late 2013, I wrote down a series of ideas I want to do small write-ups on, focusing on each character as a mask. Somehow, I never got around to it. Enter 2015, where we finally find out that Gatchaman Crowds Insight, a follow-up series, is about to air. I set aside the time to rewatch the original, finally write all my posts on it, and then watch the second season, without the second season impacting my write-ups on the first. Somehow, after rewatching half the series I got distracted, and only got around to watching the second season after it finished airing, but not before I made the time to rewatch the first series in its entirety.

I also finally took the time to write all those small essays on the first season, where I take each character as a “mask” and through said character and their mask explore both the series and the human experience. As a result of all of the above, I found myself with tens of thousands of words written about Gatchaman Crowds. Rewatch short-notes, full-episode break-downs, proper short essays, long essays, the whole thing. I’ve been sitting on all of these words since February, unable to get myself to publish them. I did want the final piece to come out on November 8th, because seeing how Gatchaman Crowds Insight revolves around elections, I thought it’d be very appropriate. But between moodiness and illness lately, that will not come to pass.

I want to do this right. This show is important to me. These write-ups are important to me.

As such, there’ll be a write-up every single day from tomorrow (October 30th), through November 22nd, according to the schedule posted here, in the page that’ll collect the entirety of my Gatchaman Crowds write-ups, and then the final write-up will be released a week later, on November 29th, my birthday.

Gatchaman Crowds Anime episode 12 - Ichinose Hajime bids us farewell

Cya all tomorrow!

I hope you’ll all join me on this journey, at least for the parts that interest you. It’s fine to pick and choose, just as Hajime would tell you, do what’s fun :)