Hajime knows Rui has something to hide, because only someone with a hidden plan would ape Gendo Ikari. It’s so obvious! I also love Rui paying basically zero attention to Sugane until he actually needs to be addressed regarding Rui’s vision of the world. Poor Sugane. He should have known Rui wouldn’t give a shit about someone who isn’t brazen enough to discard all anonymity. Never mind that Rui is basically in disguise, as well. At least there is a face to be seen! It’s almost adorable how Sugane tries so hard to look tough and intimidating at this meeting.
But as Hajime points out, Sugane’s not the only person trying to look all cool at this meeting — even a lunkhead like me knows that when Hajime mentions Rui’s “makeup,” she actually means that air of bullshit pretense Rui’s putting on. Hajime doesn’t need to hide anything; she definitely seems disappointed that someone like Rui would need to hide behind anything. The very act of hiding calls Rui’s claims into question. The ideal is a world where everyone fits into a slot and helps each other without needing any sort of motivator. But wouldn’t such a world require an enormous amount of trust in humanity? Rui doesn’t really have that trust — the words say one thing, and the actions say another. Hajime sniffs that out in a hurry, whereas Sugane seems to have a vague unease that causes him to lean in Hajime’s direction.
That all said, I doubt Rui ever expected the Gatchaman to step down so easily. This is more a test of resolve. Are these people worth cooperating with/using in some way? Or are they just going to back down in a hurry when confronted with Rui’s words? I’m not sure if “lol fuck that” was the expected response, though. Probably something more along the lines of Sugane’s protests was more expected. I do wonder what Rui’s response will be. Actively fighting against the Gatchaman and/or denouncing them would seem to go against Rui’s overall goal, and I’m not sure how far that would go, anyway, considering the sudden explosion of popularity for the Gatchaman. Plus, the Gatchaman crew has a face in Hajime, while no such face exists in the public consciousness for GALAX. Obviously, that means Gatchaman > GALAX.
As a purely fun scene, I really enjoyed Hajime and Utsutsu escaping with the help of GALAX. Hajime’s firm belief that GALAX will help them escape the situation no matter what makes this all the more delightful to watch. Only in Hajime’s world does stealthily sneaking out of building translate to “I’m going to stroll in the middle of this room because WHATEVER.” Hajime gives zero fucks. My sole problem with the scene is that it does not go on longer and with increasingly ludicrous disguises. That whole scenario is ripe for comedy gold.
Ah, well, I can at least rest happy that it provided this gem:
As for other stuff, I kind of feel for Pai-Pai. Poor little guy just needs a rock of some sort so that he can be a little more comfortable in charge. He just doesn’t have the confidence to make those big decisions on his own. I feel ya, buddy. Unfortunately, he’s just going to go on being confused and unsure of himself because Hajime gives no shits about tradition. Get swept up in the tide or be confused for life, little panda alien! It would be a lot easier for Pai-Pai if he realized the power revealing his identity would grant the Gatchaman folks — they’d have an adorable mascot character! Everyone would instantly love them, and they’d be able to do what they want. Someone should totally suggest that to him, if only to see his reaction.