8 CommentsGatchaman Crowds, Twelve Days / By Inushinde /

12 Days of Anime #11: Gatchaman’s Narrated Recap


There are a ton of legitimate gripes that people have with Gatchaman CROWDS, most of which have to do with Hajime being almost unbearably jovial 24/7. She’s both the series’ greatest asset, and the biggest obstacle that stands between enjoying what the show has to offer. Also, some people dropped it because of recurring speech patterns (and possibly some legitimate problems, but c’mon, it’s Scamp). Still, from start to finish, CROWDS is inseparable from Hajime, and her overbearingly cheerful facade dominates the show like a furious typhoon of manic stationery lust.

It’s weird, then, that the moment where Hajime’s impact is felt the most is when she doesn’t get the chance to append –ssu to every sentence. Instead, we get half an episode of recap where the other characters narrate their interactions with her, while the show plays an array of related scenes from previous episodes. It’s a way of characterization as simple as it is effective. To actually hear the characters explain how Hajime changed their lives goes a long way toward making her feel more like an essential part of the CROWDS universe, rather than an outsider who exists solely to point out the incongruity between traditional hero synopses and the modern world. I wasn’t too fond of it when I watched, but the more that I think back, the more that it works. It probably wasn’t preferable to matching the narration with actual content, but it actually accomplishes something with its allotted time that wouldn’t have been done otherwise.

Admittedly, it wasn’t necessary for CROWDS to summarize old content from different perspectives; it already did a good job at showing Hajime’s impact on the characters’ reasoning, through dozens of small moments. Having all the ducks lined up in a row just let me appreciate all the good work that CROWDS did toward changing its characters. I can’t say that I’d support future uses of narrative through recap, since it is pretty fucking lazy, but just this once it was a nice gimmick that worked nicely, and that has to count for something.

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  1. Posted December 15, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    This definitely was a worthwhile moment, it made me go “Hm, here we have a recap, using entirely recycled content, but I’m actually happy with it!” – I often groan at recaps or flashbacks that feel like useless padding, or which just show the show’s director doesn’t trust us to make the emotional connection.

    It’s true, most of what the characters said was stuff we could have figured out on their own, but that the characters realized it was actually not obvious, and some parts, especially the fact Utsutsu had originally hated and been jealous of Hajime are things I doubt we’d have picked up without that sequence.

    Definitely worth a moment, for making one appreciate a recap without new content, and also making me think that in an audio-visual medium such as anime, we can actually have a flashback sequence, but layer new audio over the old visuals, giving us a completely new and enhanced effect.

    I’m still going to cover Gatchaman, but the show ranks higher on my list :) I feel in general your taste and mine quite match.

    Finally, about Hajime, I don’t think of her as a character as much as she is a plot-tool, just like Berg-Katze. She is there for the other characters :3

  2. gedata
    Posted December 15, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    The ending as it is was pretty badly rushed I think. I can’t help but think thar this was just wasred time when the show needed it most. Besides, I never really got anything out of it that I couldn’t already infer.

    • Posted December 15, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I agree with Gedata. I have to add that I perceived this recap as a massive death flag that never came in the end (not that I wanted).

    • gedata
      Posted December 15, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Lol at my spelling, that’s the last time I comment off of a handheld

    • Inushinde
      Posted December 16, 2013 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Oh yeah, this wasn’t necessary for the show by any stretch. But as a way to keep an already strained budget from breaking entirely, I found it creative enough to justify its existence.

      • gedata
        Posted December 17, 2013 at 1:23 am | Permalink

        urgh, The Budget Card. That one air-tight excuse to excuse questionable decisions. How I loathe it.

  3. lmm
    Posted December 15, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Meh. I found it as irritating as any other recap episode. That was a week of poor episodes in general. My group had to rely on Symphogear to save the day.

    • Inushinde
      Posted December 16, 2013 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      There are no better shows to rely on for spicing up a dull session.

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