7 CommentsGatchaman Crowds / By Shinmaru /

Gatchaman Crowds 4 – A Big, Red Blaze


Smile, everyone!

This week’s Crowds throws some interesting things into the mix, particularly where Pai-Pai is concerned. I like that while Kenji Nakamura is definitely dinking with the typical sentai setup with Hajime getting all buddy buddy with the supposed enemy, it’s not totally black and white in a “Hajime is absolutely right and everyone else is wrong” kind of way. It’s not even about “right” or “wrong”; it’s more that there are gaps to be bridged. There’s more revealed on how this whole thing is personal for Pai-Pai (and for O.D, it seems), but the extra context makes it seem as if Pai-Pai’s mission is born more of fear than malice or justice.

Pai-Pai and O.D have run into Berg-Katze before, and the results were … not so great. Berg-Katze seemingly has the power to grant those nifty Gatchaman abilities, so that makes me wonder about the nature of Pai-Pai and O.D’s initial contact with Bergs. It doesn’t seem as if they rolled with each other like best buds at any point in the past, since they speak of Berg-Katze as if it were always a demon who goes around wrecking shit. But who knows? Maybe Bergy knew J.J. way before those two did, had the Gatchaman power and then disagreements happened? Whatever the case, these two know Berg-Katze and they are scared as shit. That puts Pai-Pai’s view of the MESS into some better context, as well. It’s really unknown if they’re some benign force chilling on Earth or if they have some connection with Berg-Katze or whoever else. If there’s some sick planet-destroying force out there, then maybe a little paranoia is warranted.

I do wonder how Hajime will slot into this with her MO of having empathy for anything and everything. Rather than Rui vs. Hajime, this episode seems more like Berg-Katze vs. Hajime, with Bergles pointing toward the blackness of the human heart as the cause of anything and everything shitty in the world, while Hajime quite obviously would believe in the opposite. Who could be that happy all the time if she didn’t believe humans were ultimately good and cool and stuff? Bridging the gaps between people will be of the utmost importance to her. She doesn’t totally get why Pai and O.D are shitting their pants so much over Berg-Katze, but you can bet she’ll make an effort to understand. And I really like the point that rather than focusing on how to defeat Berg-Katze, Hajime is concerned the feelings expressed — that humans are awful and shit instead of good folks who would put out fires and rescue people even in the middle of the apocalypse.


I chuckled a bit at how overwrought this scene is, but I will admit to being surprised that the show pulled the string on this so early. I wonder if Rui will bear the pain of being granted power and being lorded over by such a dickhead for the chance of being able to change the world through the GALAX system. There doesn’t seem to be any other appealing options — from Rui’s point of view, the Gatchaman rumors are pretty much bullshit. Can’t seek another way to change the world with someone you don’t know exists! Considering how much the theme of communication permeates this series, I get the feeling Rui would get stubborn upon meeting Hajime, anyway. Hajime wouldn’t be able to properly communicate her ideas, and much like with Utsutsu in this episode, those shitty feelings running through Rui would probably cause those emotional walls to spring right up, especially with words that seem like pat, easy answers.

So, yeah, even though this seems pretty dire, I doubt Rui will abandon the GALAX plans so easily. I’d actually expect a doubling down in an effort to overcome Berg-Katze fucking with people all the time.

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  1. Cobrah
    Posted August 5, 2013 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    Got a bad feeling about Jou after the red bird burning up scene. This show has been the biggest surprise this summer, was definitely not expecting all this communication talk.

    • Posted August 5, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      Yeah… is that a death flag? Noooo!

    • Shinmaru
      Posted August 6, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      We shall see, I guess!

  2. Posted August 5, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    “I like that while Kenji Nakamura is definitely dinking with the typical sentai setup with Hajime getting all buddy buddy with the supposed enemy, it’s not totally black and white in a “Hajime is absolutely right and everyone else is wrong” kind of way. It’s not even about “right” or “wrong”; it’s more that there are gaps to be bridged.”

    Ahhhh…thank you for this. ^ ^

    The entire time that Berg was messing around as the mother who, from his perspective, abandoned her child to cry while she presumably went to continue her errands, all I could think of was what Hajime would say about this scene. Probably something like, “You never know, perhaps the child was sick and the mother didn’t know. Perhaps she was on a tight schedule because of such-and-such.” What interests me the most about this series is that it continues to point out, and reiterate visually, how people’s presumptions about one another affect their actions and perspective, whether this is positive or negative. Berg only sees the negative, Hajime only sees the positive. In both of their cases, they sometimes have to dig deep to find those nuggets that they seek and I can’t wait for their ideologies to go toe-to-toe eventually.

    Good write-up as always. ^ ^

    • Shinmaru
      Posted August 6, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      Aww, thanks!

      Yes, that’s an interesting point. For me, the extremes of positivity and negativity aren’t that appealing. Obviously it’s good to seek the positive, but not to the point of rewriting reality. (Though what Hajime does in trying to assume the best in people isn’t exactly that.) Going through life assuming that everyone is shit isn’t great, either. How that’s expressed is kind of interesting, though. I think Hajime probably comes off to some people like she’s forcing her happiness and attitude, though I do agree with you that it’s more that she can’t clearly communicate her feelings. In a way, Berg is also forcing that negative attitude since Berg is the impetus for many of the negative events in the series. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  3. Kevin Faultner
    Posted August 5, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Thank God, I’m not the only one who is completely in love with this show so far. Most everywhere else I go, people are tearing it to shred s because of numerous, buttfuck-stupid reasons like “it’s not the Gatchaman I know, what blasphemy, “it looks gay, why is Berg kissing dudes”, “Hajime’s an annoying little shit”, blah blah blah. Nobody seems willing to give this show the benefit of the doubt. I have, and it’s kept me pretty much enraptured from episode 1. And I love how episode 4 dropped some pretty big bombshells on us after three episodes of character building; this show isn’t wasting time, no-siree.

    And I still adore Taku Iwasaki’s impeccable musical score; man knows how to set the tone for a scene. “GATCHAMAAAAAAAAAAN!!”

    EDIT: Also, Utsutsu is mai waifu.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted August 6, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      I haven’t been keeping up with any of that talk, mostly because I don’t really have the time to do so, haha.

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