I enjoy that the first two requests/questions from the press are 1) “LET US FILM YOUR TRANSFORMATION (SO WE CAN BE THE FIRST TO SHOW IT AND GET LOTS OF VIEWERS), PLEAAAAAAASE” and 2) “Why are you opening up now after refusing (US) press coverage for so long?” That is probably the cynical view of the press in a nutshell. Not just about getting people to view the news, but getting people to view THEIR news. Such is life.
Given Hajime’s view of Gatchaman and the group’s place in society, it’s not entirely surprising that she has chosen to get out in front of everything and introduce everyone to the world. And, of course, she does it while making sure that everyone is unmasked at first. They’re not presentable themselves as larger-than-life forces who will shoulder all the world’s problems. Rather, they’re just people with an ability they can use to help others. They’re not hiding themselves; they want to help. Of course, what better way to gain some acceptance than by appealing to the younger crowd? But I do think what Hajime has in mind is not so cynical. If they reveal themselves in a more formal way, then the immediate impression they radiate is one of seriousness. They’re superheroes with special powers, and they will use those special powers to fight. That’s not what Hajime wants, though. She knows the folly of trying to beat Berg-Katze into submission.
But in mingling with the kiddies and having fun, the Gatchaman crew is sending a message that is more warm and friendly than antagonistic — and it’s not only the world at large that receives the message, but also Berg-Katze, though the Bergermeister laughs it off for now. Whatever the case, going to school and having a good time proves itself to not be a bad thing since it gives us the amusing scene of Sugane showing off for the kids in his Gatchaman gear. I could totally see him being one of the actors in a hammy live-action sentai show put on at a park or something. The kids would love him. Sugane, you’ve found your calling!
It’s not particularly surprising that Joe poo-poos the endeavor of reaching out to the public and revealing identities and such. By now it’s clear that Joe represents the traditional superhero — all action, super powered, with a cool, mysterious disposition and a suave alter-ego. Does a superhero reveal his identity? Hell no! But, of course, Joe has another reason to avoid showing his face to the kids: He’s lost all his confidence. He thought he could defeat Berg-Katze, went toe-to-toe with a monster and got wrecked. Joe feels like a dude who once had a great passion for justice, and this was re-ignited upon getting the opportunity to take down an ultimate evil. Then that passion gets snuffed out. I imagine the conclusion of Joe’s story will be reconciling what he believes a hero should be with how the world has changed and left that ideal behind.
Sugane strikes me as what Joe was like in his younger days — passionate, eager to do right the only way he knows how. Sugane is still young enough for his values and views to be malleable and adapt; Joe, however, is a bit older and comparatively set in his ways. It’ll take a bigger knock to the head to shake the cobwebs out of Joe’s mind. He has the feel of that cynical guy who truly cares about things deep down, so I don’t see him sitting out things forever and wallowing in self-pity and misery while Berg-Katze keeps fucking up the world.
Also, poor Rui, haha. So deep into GALAX and unable to realize how easily the Bergman could take it all way, including little computer buddy, who is thoroughly fooled by Berg’s disguise. I suppose DNA is better evidence of one’s identity than a few confusing statements are as evidence of a disguise.