Gatchaman Crowds 01 – This show is for the birds…

The FABULOUS, multi-coloured, alien-fighting birds!

Back when I was but a little OA Jr I used to watch early morning cartoons religiously and among those treasured shows of my childhood was a lot of what I didn’t recognize then but know very well now as anime; Gatchaman, or G-Force as I knew it, was one such anime. Coming from that background I was quite pleased to hear that a new Gatchaman series (Gatchaman Crowds) was coming out; I readied my body for the warm and awesome rush of nostalgia that I was certain would wash over me….then I saw the artwork for it and I realized that Crowds is Gatchaman in name alone and that nothing I knew about it had any grounds. All bets were off, which honestly wasn’t such a bad thing.

29093-crow

Spunky 1970’s teenagers they are NOT

Rather than playing the nostalgia card by keeping the old designs of the chracters characters a la Casshern SINS or doing a faithful reproduction of the old work with updated animation a la JoJo’s Bizzare Adventure (2012) Gatchaman Crowds invites the viewer to take a look at a word where people fight battles in secret against otherworldly beings that look like 3D versions of the designs from the ending song of  Tatami Galaxy in suits that would make Barnaby Brooks Jr jealous. On the topic of Tiger and Bunny, the character Sugane reminds me a bit of Sky High crossed with Origami Cyclone; not too strange when you consider that Kenji Andou from T&B is on the design staff.

This episode doesn’t have much by way of content but there are a few attempts to set a couple thematic elements in motion, the first of which being the prevalence and I suppose dependence on Social Networking and mobile technology; there is a scene on the train in the beginning where a girl with a stomach ache finds herself flustered and immediately turns to her phone’s Siri-like interface for advice, also during that scene a young man sitting on the train in front of a pregnant woman is too absorbed in his phone to realize her need to rest her feet, this prompts our resident tryhard dogoodnik hero Sugane to step in and demand that he relinquish his seat. This scene establishes two very important things about  the setting and Sugane: 1) People’s lives have become so consumed by technology that they have neglected things such as common sense and basic human decency which leads to 2) Sugane’s righteous attitude is rare and at odds with a society that is as selfish and “connected” as this. That may just be a superficial analysis but it happened to stand out for me, the only other thing that did was the fact that the members of Gatchaman use Notepads for transformation and communication instead of fancy, high-tech watches or PDAs (again probably a means of expressing a need for humanity to return to much simpler, more intimate times); what really interested me concerning these special notes though was the fact that they seem to be comprised of the user’s very SOUL! Forgoing the obvious Madoka reference here (what with a strange alien creature appearing before a young girl and granting her power seemingly free of charge and giving her a trinket that contains her very life essence) I hope that that particular quality of the note comes into question at least once in the shows run because it would be pretty dark and awesome if handled correctly. Quite frankly, I think it’s more likely that this show will be taking the route of more flash and less substance; I feel like the story may have to suffer and the characters to lack believability in order to create a spectacle but it’s only the first episode so I’ll have to wait and see.

[Commie] Gatchaman Crowds - 01 [2F85EBA6].mkv_snapshot_11.23_[2013.07.13_01.45.23]

Oh yeah, I’m sure a LOT of serious work get’s done in this office -_-

The rest of the episode was just a showcase of the rest of the cast as well as a tour of the slightly MIB-like headquarters that the team operates from. There’s another flashy fight scene in the end involving Sugane and the newest member Hajime (who has what I find to be the most annoying speech pattern this entire season) and in this scene we are introduced to the BEST ANIME TRANSFORMATION SEQUENCE OF THE YEAR.

With a bumping soundtrack reminiscent of Redline and cool visuals to boot, I think Gatchaman Crowds has the potential to at least be one of the best looking shows this season.

Namaste, Nerds!

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Hey I Wrote A Thing!: Gatchaman Crowds 01 | Who the Heck is Ayumu Kasuga?

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