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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