[Five] Hajime’s World

hajime, gatchaman crowds, hajime ichinose

When I was in fifth grade, I wished to cut my hair cut pixie-length short. Upon plopping down in the gigantic chair at the salon, my stylist asked me what I wanted from her. I unsuccessfully tried to explain it. After a few moments, I asked for a piece of paper and quickly drew a head with the hairstyle that I wanted. It took far less time than explaining, and my amused stylist went to work, chopping at least a foot off of my current hair length. Had I continued my description, it would have taken far longer to tell her what I wanted. In fact, speaking is my least successful method of communicating with others.

I adored Hajime Ichinose, of Gatchaman Crowds, from the moment she appeared, lovingly caressing her collection of planners before taking the newest out on a rooftop lunch date. She was weird, wonderful, and expressive, regardless of whether she was enjoying lunch alone, or cuddling with notebooks in class in front of bemused classmates. More importantly, she communicated most successfully with others through gestures and actions, in spite of her vague and simple wording. For example, in episode two, she attempts to describe to fellow G-Crew member Sugune Tachibana her ideal world. It goes something like this:

crowds1

crowdstwo

crowds3

gatchaman crowds, hajime ichinose, hajime, sugune tachibana, hajime explains her worldview

hajime ichinose, hand gestures, sugune tachibana, gatchaman, gatchaman crowds

Her words above are hardly descriptive, but typical for Hajime’s character throughout the series. When speaking, there was a lilting vocal syncopation in her sentences, and her speech was always accompanied by wild gesticulation, regardless of who she was speaking to. Personally, I resonated with Hajime’s character because of her inability to communicate outside of hand gestures and colorful art collages. I loved that this specific type of person had been placed in a leading role, and more importantly, that her actions drove the plot of the series, where other properties – in addition to their audiences, and to some extent, even viewers of Gatchaman Crowds – would have inevitably relegated her to quirky sidekick, or whimsical idiot.

Thank you, Gatchaman Crowds, for Hajime Ichinose, and her role within your series. I loved visiting her world.

7 comments

  1. I do think there are aspects of the way Hajime communicate that work really well, and I actually believe that within the context of the first two episodes, her role in the series is perfect. The problem is once the series loses sight of her role in the series, and starts flipping back and forth between Rui and her over who is the protaganist. Hajime accidentally consumed the story of Gatchaman Crowds. Rui was the show’s natural protagonist, not in terms of personality but in terms of role within the series. Honestly, by the end, the role that the Gatchaman had was so tangential that they could be cut entirely and the plotline would still keep chugging.

    1. Hnnn…you and I disagree tremendously on this. ^ ^

      I don’t believe Rui to be the protagonist. I don’t believe Sugune to be the protagonist. All the title of “protagonist” implies is chief actor, or leading role. In Gatchaman Crowds, there is no one as ubiquitous as Hajime, and her actions (along with Berg Katze’s, who is the antagonist of the series) drive the series. Without her, Gatchaman Crowds would not be what it is. A protagonist need not be dynamic nor undergo some sort of Campbell-like hero’s journey to be the principle figure. Rui changes, but so do all characters surrounding Hajime. She is the focal point of the series, and her actions/influence make the show what it is.

      As an aside, I believe the initial storyboards for Gatchaman Crowds called for Sugune to be the protagonist, but this was changed early in the series’ production.

      Thanks for the comment!

      1. I never said sugane was the protaganist. Hajime was clearly the protaganist at first, and then somewhere along the line it switched to Rui. The protaganist of the series is the main driver of the plotline. They are normally the one who shares the main conflict of the story with the antagonist. Here, let me include the breakdown of Gatchaman’s plot structure that I made awhile back to show you what I mean. http://sekijitsu.com/2013/09/29/gatchaman-crowds-12-grand-unified-theory-of-gatchaman/

        Does my critique make sense now?

        1. Oh, I understand, I just disagree. ^ ^

          My thoughts on the series are different, chronicled across many posts, but perhaps the most pertinent one to this discussion is this one: https://formeinfullbloom.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/messy-thoughts-at-gatchaman-crowds-end/

          I still believe Hajime to be the protagonist because I don’t see the same plot(s) that you do. The primary conflict for me is between Hajime’s ideal world and Berg Katze’s ideal world.

          And that’s okay. We can simply agree to disagree. Thanks for all the commentary though. I love discussing this show! ^ ^

  2. Reblogged this on 1000paperwishes and commented:
    So recently I watched all of Gatchaman crowds overnight (like midnight to 8 AM) and it was really great! I loved many things about it, particularly Hajime and the things she stood for.

    I mean, I just WISH I were a Hajime. I mean, I am in some ways (I tend to think the same way as her when people are speeding or do something that appears to be bad), but I’m nowhere as steadily absolute as she is. To some extent, I’m actually more of a Rui, in the sense that I wear a lot of figurative makeup and how my semi-idealistic (yet somewhat flawed) way of thinking is in line with his.

    But wow, I found the characters to be really insightful. I always used to think Batman was much better than Superman, but seriously, Hajime blows everything out of the water as superheros go.

    I would more something about it, but Emily has written such great magic about Gatchaman Crowds that I’m pretty sure anything I’d write would pale in comparison. ^_________^

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