There is a lot riding on the success of this Tsubasa Misudachi product.
“Launch” is the title of Gatchaman Crowds insight‘s third offering, apropos for an episode ending in Tsubasa Misudachi taking flight, both literally and figuratively. As the newest G-Crew member, Tsubasa is an easy target for media outlets like the Millione Show, offering a happy publicity campaign that’s all too easy to sell, especially with the rise of VAPE. The Millione Show is a symbiotic proposition for Tsubasa and the G-Crew: the gatchaman increase their popularity and fandom while Millione rakes in the viewer numbers.
The atmosphere has been prepped well for Tsubasa’s arrival. With Rhythm Suzuki leading VAPE against Rui’s CROWDS, continuing to snowball anti-CROWDS sentiment, the public are desperately reaching out for happier news. Tsubasa’s tag-team act with alien Gel Sadra fits what the current social climate wants a bit too perfectly.
Piggybacking on this idea is insight‘s overall presentation thus far, especially in this third episode. Where the original Gatchaman Crowds used a storied superhero franchise as a springboard for its eclectic and modern story, insight returns to a more traditional superhero setup. Insight revels in the fact that we, as an audience, can see the strings being pulled as different pieces of the puzzle interlock and form the larger picture. Somewhat absent is the idea of attacking a preexisting vertical power structure, perhaps because the G-Crew and CROWDS have since become more of that same structure.
This is all while offering more traditional fanservice like the full gatchaman transformation scene pictured above. They even yell “Gatcha!” and pose for good measure, while fulfilling the heroic duties that the blue CROWDS units cannot accomplish.
Nothing exemplifies this callback to traition more than Tsubasa Misudachi’s characterization.
A traditional Red Ranger archetype, Tsubasa is an easy sell, both in-universe and to insight‘s audience. Headstrong, impulsive, and straightforward, she’s simple to understand and wholly relatable, unlike Hajime whose characterization still incites arguments.
Much like Jou Hibiki before the events of Crowds, Tsubasa believes in a very traditional sense of heroism and is blind to all else. When Rui cries out for her to stop, Tsubasa keeps on going – aided by Gel Sadra’s “Innocent Storm” ability – because it’s “the right thing to do.” She’s also constantly occupied with right and wrong, in addition to the standard concept of what a superhero is.
“If we can’t help people in need, how can we call ourselves heroes?”
– Tsubasa Misudachi, Gatchaman Crowds insight, Episode 3
Hajime Ichinose had a similar moment in the fifth episode of Gatchaman Crowds. Forbidden to transform, Hajime retorts with the fact that heroes often take action without thinking and transforms anyway, revealing herself to Rui.
However, Crowds focused on Hajime’s attempts to communicate with her opponents – this was the action that she chose to take. Insight shows that Tsubasa is not concerned with communication, but taking action through fighting.
This makes Gel Sadra the perfect partner for Tsubasa, as Tsubasa needs someone to do the communicating for her. With the ability to read the thoughts of others and presumably aid Tsubasa with precisely what she needs, Gel bridges the gap between the thoughts of those in need and Tsubasa’s reckless actions.
As insight‘s second episode so obviously points out when Tsubasa’s actions accidentally injures someone she cares about, every move she makes could have unintended consequences. Even with Gel’s help, there’s no guarantee that Tsubasa’s actions will help Rui, as Rui’s internal conflict may be too much for her to bear.
There is a lot riding on this Tsubasa product launch.