Rules of Customer Engagement: Gatchaman Crowds insight Episode 6

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For any retailer, corporation, or even political campaign, there is guaranteed to be an entire plan of action focused on customer or consumer engagement. Most retail stores have an “engagement” step in their actual selling process, and politicians visit very specific places to shake hands, sign autographs, and kiss the occasional baby. As Jou so succinctly said in insight‘s previous episode, people value face to face communication, even when it’s less efficient than texting, or chatting on GALAX.

When people feel like they’re genuinely cared for, they’re more likely to open themselves up to whatever you’re selling.

Many things happen in Gatchaman Crowds insight Episode 6. The government is morphing rapidly into something unrecognizable, and things move incredibly quickly once Gel Sadra comes to office – far too quickly for people to realize the long term consequences of their actions.

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However, the episode itself moves slowly visually. It starts big, and then meanders to finally focus on one specific couple.

It’s no coincidence that this elderly couple – located far away from the central government in Tokyo but in a place close to Tsubasa Misudachi’s heart – is shown in the series’ cold open. These are the people that Gel is trying to reach, and people that Tsubasa already cares about. Likewise, the softer, gentler, more natural way of living makes the perfect backdrop for Gel’s recent actions as the country’s new Prime Minister.

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It’s nice that Gel Sadra is holding morning breathing exercises and calisthenics with his constituents. First it’s only him and Tsubasa, but it slowly grows into a large gathering of people. When Hajime joins in, she breathes much slower than the rest, catching Gel’s attention because she’s not synchronized with the others.

While Gel could make the case that the point of these breathing exercises is to unify their breathing patterns, Hajime would likely say that they’re a means of relaxation. Even something as simple as breathing exercises points to the yawning chasm between Gel’s outlook and Hajime’s.

Gel learned the exercises from Tsubasa. He knows the action of how to do them, and the fact that your breathing should, presumably, match that of the person next to you. However, he doesn’t know the why, the purpose.

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Additionally, Tsubasa was repeatedly chastised by her great-grandfather for “doing them wrong” or “not exhaling properly” in the first episode of insight. Nowhere did he say that their breathing had to be as one and his criticisms, while vague, could point to a more individualized way of thinking. What he may be trying to say to Tsubasa is that the exercises aren’t actually helping her calm down or relax – also evidenced by Tsubasa’s overall jumpiness, insistence on interrupting, and immediately griping that she is exhaling properly when she’s not.

She’s going through the action properly, but without genuinely involving herself in that action, it’s ultimately meaningless. Similarly, Gel participates in government much in the same way that he performs the breathing exercises, without meaning.

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“Tsubasa’s not a gatchaman yet. You’re still Tsubasa!”

-Hajime Ichinose, Gatchaman Crowds insight, Episode 6

In fact, the only thing that Tsubasa does with meaning or purpose is transform into a gatchaman. Unable to become a superhero on command, Tsubasa only transforms when she becomes angry or moved enough to do so. She indubitably believes that helping others is a good thing, but doesn’t really know much about her own feelings – similar to how Gel doesn’t know what color his own insight bubble would be – beyond that.

The other G-Crew members are more assured in their personal beliefs, where Tsubasa – in spite of the belief in helping others guiding her – is not ready to transform at will. She’s too impressionable and lacks thought. Without emotionally engaging in the actions she takes, Tsubasa isn’t a gatchaman yet.

8 comments

  1. First I love your articles they really do give Insight and reading this make more “Meat” to the overall experience for me. Out of the characters its Hajime that I can read more clearly and thanks to your articles every things just clears more.

    I just finish watching Ep06 and yeah Im a cheat I did read this first before watching, And yeah your right from what I see Tsubasa and Gel-chan are just going through motion and for the hell of it and with out really understanding the core of the matter.

    And I really love Hajime in this episode she’s so subtle that you’ll miss it if you dont think it thought of it through. Her simple comments and actions makes the other characters “pause” and ”think” even they dont understand or get it(yet anyways) the point is the “idea” enter their minds like seedling being put under the ground and then just waiting to that idea to grow and being notice and then that momment, that person really cannot help but evaluate that “idea” and this what I really love about her.

    As for Tsubasa in this episode the agrument with Yuru-jiji just shows how innocent she is to the “real” world or maybe “adult” way of thinking. It really makes me curious what Hajime is like pre-chosen. You dont get that kind of outlook without having something to you to solidify that kind of character/personality. Aside to the fact this is what the creator wants to be Hajime’s charaterization, no mention of her past that might give us some clue while the others have some mention. If you really think about it. Ne?

    Still Im really looking forward to new installments.

    1. I’m sorry that I’m so late in responding to this.

      First of all, thank you.

      Secondly, delving into Hajime’s past as a further exploration of her character would likely be pretty interesting. As you already hinted at with Tsubasa’s great-grandfather, he has a lifetime of experience to make him the person that he is. Obviously the death of his younger brother affected him deeply and on top of that he has 100 years of life that all contribute to the person that he is today. For Hajime to be who she is, and additionally at such a young age, is really surprising

  2. Such a good episode, well structured and paced and covered a lot of ground. Loved when Hajime asked what Gel’s thoughts were, I didn’t even consider that myself. The start of the season was a little shaky, but they’re doing so much with all this political social media stuff and I just can’t get enough.

    1. I think Hajime is always going to be that person who genuinely wants to know what others think. It’s one of the reasons why I love her so much and her presence is very necessary.

      Thank you for the comment and sorry for the late response.

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