12 CommentsGatchaman Crowds / By Shinmaru /

Gatchaman Crowds 9 – Turning Off Twitter Is the Solution to All Life’s Problems



I do enjoy that this is a war for hearts and minds that’s playing out over social media. Both Berg-Katze’s Neo Hundred and the Gatchaman crew battle for control of YouTube, Niconico and the like. Who will win? Why, whoever gets the most views, likes, comments, and subscriptions, of course! This leads me to believe that our friends in Gatchaman will be the ultimate victors. If the Neo Hundred destroy everything, then there will be nobody left to give likes, comments, views and subscribe to the channels. The Gatchaman folks want to save everyone, however, which means they will be more likely to give the ol’ social media booster. More people alive = more shares on Twitter, blogs, Facebook, etc. Negativity is good for that short term boost of popularity, but clearly Hajime’s strategy of positivity, cheer and cheesy interview shows will win over many hearts and minds.

Hajime is the true Social Media Warrior. She knows how to play to the crowds, but at the same time, she isn’t beholden to these time wasters and thus doesn’t let trolls get under her skin. You can’t defeat her!

I think we all know what the next step for Hajime should be: Kickstarter! Let’s crowd source a solution to the Berg-Katze problem. Can you imagine what the rewards would be? How much for a personalized collage from Hajime? Or that duck backpack? Or the giraffe?! She definitely should be stepping up her game, though, because there are so many dumb, random social media things Hajime could be using in her all-out PR war of happiness. What about Vine? Instagram? Tout? Tumblr? (Come on, you know you all want to see Hajime run Tumblr.) Other social media bullshit I don’t know about because I only use Twitter and Facebook pretty much since I’m a dinosaur? Clearly if I were on Team Gatcha I would just drag them all down. I’d be the Pai-Pai of the team, except more adorable and not voiced by Aya Hirano.


Here is a giraffe to soothe your soul. I like that it looks like the giraffe wants some of Sugane’s treat.

Anyway, going back to the “no fuck YOU, Twitter *shuts off phone*” thing, I really see that as part of the “breaking dependency on one thing” Gatchaman Crowds has been going for. Rui’s sentiment behind GALAX is of course to have the common person help out common people even if the execution of that idea ended up shaky. And before, Hajime challenged JJ’s authority in a way by approaching him as an equal rather than as a sacred oracle whose predictions are absolute. This episode ends with Sugane jumping on board with Hajime regarding that sentiment and presumably the rest of the Gatchafolks following suit. So they’re going their own path rather than relying on what JJ tells them to do, because from this show’s point of view I guess he would be social media as deity or something. (All of JJ’s predictions should come with the hashtag #JJSays.) As the saying goes, God helps those who help themselves, so whatever, JJ is probably pleased as fuck that they’re not going to bother him with dumb questions anymore.

Though I can’t help but think JJ is a bit disappointed that OD is hugging Sugane so much and won’t give JJ some sugar. Old man JJ is kind of adorable, I think. He could really use some hugging.

Still, Bergles is busy blowing everything up with the power of Crowds, which, in the grand metaphor of life as social media, is tantamount to trolling the shit out of people. (This means that fighting Berg-Katze with the fists, as Jou did, is feeding the trolls. And, as we all know, you just do not feed the trolls.) We shall see how silly Internet streaming shows can defeat blowing up buildings. I lack the prescience to know such things.

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  1. gedata
    Posted September 11, 2013 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if the fact that Utsutsu healed Rui’s lashing wounds makes up for her peeping on Rui’s buck nekkid body.

    • Raymondjram
      Posted September 12, 2013 at 2:03 am | Permalink

      She does blush (her face gets redder) after healing Riu.

  2. Posted September 12, 2013 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    Eh, I’m a little miffed about Hajime’s “just turn it off!” solution to online bullying. It highlights what I think is wrong about her character, she always says seemingly wise sayings that get validated by the show but if you think about it for a second, what she’s saying is pretty stupid. What happens when online bullying translates to real life bullying? Or if someone doesn’t have a mega underground fortress of solitude where her friends can all support her? Turning it off doesn’t work when it affects your real life. Her eccentric and simple approach to life is never challenged by the show because she’s unfazed by everything.

    Dying friend laying on the ground? I’m going to chat with the big bad in a nonchalant manner because I’m completely unfazed! Its not enough to say Hajime isn’t a Mary Sue because some people have conflicts with her because no one has truly challenged unhumanly cheerful demeanor. Katze’s exchange with her isn’t a defeat for her, its him acknowledging Hajime as the only one capable of “understanding” him. Personally I want to see someone take Hajime’s advice and receive misfortune because of it. Not that Hajime has to lose but that least show her being aware that there are challenges in which having empathy is not sufficient as a solution.

    • Wodes
      Posted September 12, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      You’re really missing the point. Hajime’s primary assertion is that you are the Only thing you can control in the world, and therefore only you, and your approach to life, can make you happy. Therefore, empathy is ALWAYS a valid solution (except with dealing with sociopaths)

      You also need to rewatch hajime’s exchange with berg. The fact that they engage in discourse doesn’t mean berg thinks hajime “understands” him; he sees that hajime’s method of dealing with problems is empathy, and exploits that through his riddles, calling on her to empathize with his desire to destroy the world. That’s why she’s so confused after the exchange.

      Crying for external action against “evil” forces is how Berg manipulates the Neo-hundred in the first place. I don’t think that’s a message the show will (or should) support.

      • Posted September 12, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        Empathy is not the ends to a solution nor is it absolute. Unless you are fighting a rainbow rubric’s cube, enemies don’t give up once you empathize with them. And you aren’t counting the possibility of people understanding each other perfectly and still having conflict anyways because they value different things. That’s what Hajime’s philosophy fails to understand, that empathy isn’t the end of conflict, its just a tool for better information.

        My quote about Katze isn’t about his in-world motivations but the motivations of the writers of having Katze say: “Yer not bad, you actually thought about what I said … Yer good for a Gatchaman, that is.” People try to cite this exchange as evidence that Hajime isn’t a Mary Sue because she “loses” this exchange but having the big baddie because say “You are the exception!” isn’t a loss. Its just further building up Hajime is a wonder that even the villain acknowledges.

        My main point here is that Hajime isn’t actually being challenged by the show. She feels more like the author’s mouthpiece than a character at times because she’s inhumanly calm and always right. This is by design, as her perfectness is there to facilitate change in the rest of the Gatchaman. But its kind of boring to see a perfect being solve problems, there ought to be some conflict that actually shakes Hajime instead of giving her a neat puzzle to solve.

        Of course the show isn’t over and there’s some twists I’ve heard speculated that could use Hajime’s abnormality as a plot point. Gatchaman likes to subvert traditional hero tropes because its self aware of what people criticize it for (like the “annoying voice” comments), so I’m not sure how exactly they’ll end this show.

      • Wodes
        Posted September 13, 2013 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        TL;DR: The power of positive thinking is legit. The show is through Hajime’s lens (she’s the MC) so naturally everything looks rosy even as the Japanese government literally collapses.

        Again, I feel like the show’s point with hajime is that if you sit down and talk to them, most of the time enemies WILL give up when you empathize with them. From a philosophical standpoint, it’s the lack of empathy that causes humans to injure each other. if you felt the pain I felt when you hurt me, then you wouldn’t hurt me. So, if everyone empathized with each other, crime wouldn’t exist. Berg’s modus operandi is by convincing certain people on a planet that they are better than everyone else, and they don’t have to think about anyone but themselves, and by giving them supernatural power he enables the world to destroy itself.
        If both sides are truly empathetic, then even if one side harms the other for gain, both sides feel the same harm/gain, since they empathize with each other. That’s why scenes of Hajime “making excuses” for people who drive too fast or take up a seat on the train; if both sides empathize with each other, then the value system becomes the superset of the two individual value systems.

        Do things go pretty well for Hajime? yes. Is it because she’s insanely lucky (i.e. the writers give her everything so she’s never tarnished)? No. Her unfazed demeanor comes from her own viewpoint of the world, not the external forces that act on her. If it seems like everything goes her way, it’s because she chooses to define her world that way. Objectively, most people would regard having prior knowledge of, but failing to prevent, the destruction of a large number of japanese political buildings (the attack is basically the equivalent of 9/11, if not larger) as a failure. A large-scale terrorist attack of that nature is a huge win for Berg, and Hajime’s incapable of stopping it; all she can do is use her empathy and ability to connect personally with people by doing PR announcements and PSA’s. Things don’t really seem that bad though, and all of this carnage isn’t a big deal to Hajime because she CHOOSES to view the world through a lens that doesn’t involve crying, moping, and shower angst scenes. Obviously we’re presented with Hajime’s viewpoint primarily, so it may seem like the show isn’t “challenging” her, but that’s purely a personality trait, rather than poor writing.

      • Jammies
        Posted September 13, 2013 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        It’s still poor writing, though. Wasn’t she just a normal schoolgirl before all this happened? Applying the metric of previous incarnations of “magical girls” (or other superhero genres) to her, it falls apart: she has absolutely no awkward phase like Sailor Moon or Nanoha did where she’s learning the ropes, she suffers absolutely no hardship in discovering the limits of her power, and not even her country descending into a literal warzone seems to affect her (or anyone else except politicians for that matter). In fact, she gets her transformation power, and bam, she’s instantly better than the people that have seemingly been doing this for YEARS. There’s something to be said for “luck,” but seriously: she comes off as a Manic Pixie Dream Girl because absolutely nothing, not even seeing her comrade dying on the floor seems to phase her. It’s like I’m watching Haruhi Suzumiya: Magical Girl except this time, Haruhi knows she’s invulnerable and just knows that she’ll win in the end. It’s boring.

        For instance, look at Rui’s optimism about GALAX and how it would “update the world.” They were completely convinced that their view of the world and reality was completely legit and that they were going to win, but Berge-Katz ends up teaching them a harsh lesson about blind optimism and power fantasies by nearly getting beaten to death, having their only friend stolen from them, and having the community they built turn on them and throw them to the wolves. Why is that only Rui gets this wake-up call, but Hajime seems to have some sort of God-hand at absolutely every social interaction or tiny machination of society? The juxtaposition between Rui and Hajime makes no sense given that they’re in the same show, and worse yet, it seems like Hajime is poised to un-do all of the moral lessons Rui learned about trying control society with this same God-hand.

        At worst, we’ll end up at the end of this series with none of the heroes having learned anything – Rui especially. This is ultimately Rui’s story, given how they’ve set things up, and I’m a bit afraid that Hajime is going to un-do all of Rui’s philosophy (i.e: it’s the rabble of the average person that defines a society, not superheroes) but replace it with nothing except BURNING SENTAI PASSION, which we’ve all seen a million times before.

        Replacing a semi-realistic power fantasy (changing the world by connecting average people and making them care) with Hajime’s perfect God-hand power fantasy (superheroes save the day) would be intensely lazy. But hey, three episodes left, right? We’ll see what happens. I’m not terribly optimistic so far, though (ironically).

      • Lin
        Posted September 13, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        Is that really what you got from the series? It’s like you were watching a different show. I see too much misunderstanding in your post. I can only advice watching the show again (and paying more attention).

      • Jammies
        Posted September 13, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        You’re going to need to explain why I’m wrong a bit better than that. So far, all I see is Rui being the philosophical whipping boy/girl, while Hajime has her entire philosophy validated by the absurdity of the events taking place. It seems like poor writing, because Hajime is treating this like a cake-walk while the other characters are getting beaten half to death. Where exactly am I wrong?

      • Lin
        Posted September 13, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        Rui get trashed, not because his philosophy and worldview are wrong or the show didn’t “validate” them and whatnot. The problem aren’t his ideals; the problem are his methods. He wanted a flattened, horizontal society, but used a system that enforced a vertical hierarchy. Then he went further and, in order to advance his plan, took power from a evil alien (and he knew he was evil). Basically, he was an hypocrite, and that’s why he ends up getting his ass kicked.

        Now you want Hajime to receive the same treatment, but it doesn’t make sense, because Hajime never puts herself on such a retarded situation. She’s always true to herself and totally honest about her ideals and actions. She doesn’t need the show or anyone else to “validate” her ideals because she never forces them on others; she just lives life her own way. Take her encounter with Katze, for example. She asks about him, and even when she finds out he doesn’t fit into her worldview at all, she doesn’t say anything. She’s never going to tell him “hey Katze, you should think like me, because I’m always right and stuff.” No, and that’s why she isn’t affected so badly about the fact that he’s totally at odds with her ideals. She faces reality head on, and that includes the fact that Katze will never think like her. That’s why she doesn’t break.

      • Wodes
        Posted September 14, 2013 at 6:10 am | Permalink

        Lin hit the nail on the head. Hajime is a genuine version of what Rui wanted to implement. Rui is whipped because the show wants to emphaize that Rui is wrong, and Rui is what 99% of humans end up doing when they want to implement an egalitarian (or simply better) society (starting, in modern times, from the French Revolution onwards). A subset of the populace privileged with power and commanded by a monarch is the actuality of Rui’s philosophy, regardless of her theory. Hajime genuinely believes in the power of positive thinking, and at no point acts in a manner that shows her exercising an unreasonable amount of power.
        Which brings me to your point regarding “the learning curve” and how Hajime never experiences one. That’s because Hajime never fights in any real capacity. She “solves the rubik’s cube” by engaging in discourse with it, and similarly against berg she simply engages in discourse. She’s got a cool transformation sequence, and it’s visually appealing, but it’s only real purpose is PR. That’s all hajime’s used it for. Juxtapose (since this is a word you use frequently) this absolute indifference to her alien-granted powers to that of Rui’s total reliance of her alien-granted power, to the point where once Berg revokes the power from Rui and Rui is left absolutely broken. If Hajime lost her powers, it would probably bad from a PR standpoint, but it wouldn’t affect her methodology at all. She’d still tackle problems the same way, and I’m pretty sure that’s how she tackled problems pre-gatchaman.

        The show’s point is “breaking the dependency on one thing” is what should be strived for, as shinmaru pointed out in this post. You seem to recognize that the show broke Rui’s fantasy, but mistakenly label hajime as possessing a “God-hand” when all she has, and all she has ever used, are words and empathy.

        Nothing Hajime’s done couldn’t be done by you or me. Even as a gatchaman, she uses social media that you and i have access to to communicate her points. That’s the real point of the show, and how Hajime actually reinforces Rui’s philosophy of looking to the everyman over the privileged.

  3. Someone Else
    Posted September 13, 2013 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    I like the idea of Berg Katze as a troll and life as a social media, from that point of view it makes the whole show a lot easier to watch. Why didn’t I think of that when the show is one big satire

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