[Four] The Girl and the Atmosphere

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“When you see someone in trouble in front of you, you act before you think. That’s how you’ve always been since you were a child, and I’ve always been proud of you because of that. But right now, you need to think hard. What is it that you can do?”

-Yuru-jii to his great-granddaughter Tsubasa, Gatchaman Crowds insight, Episode 10

Putting aside the aliens, marshmallow-like physical manifestations of the prevailing atmosphere, and existence of superheroes (Gatchaman), the underlying message of Gatchaman Crowds insight is encapsulated in the message above: think.

Throughout this year, in my job, I’ve seen the prevailing atmosphere change in an instant depending on what the latest social media post said. I’ve seen people I like and respect mount public personal attacks against others. I’ve seen people jump into arguments simply to have their own voice be heard, or partake in a popular groupthink.

I’m not judging them, because I am also culpable. Going along with the atmosphere isn’t as obvious as hugging an oddly-shaped alien-creature. It’s shrugging off or acquiescing to what others say, even if you strongly disagree. It’s throwing in an odd insult against someone whom you actually have nothing against for the sake of fitting in. It’s not helping out someone because it goes against what the popular opinion dictates. It’s ridiculously easy.

You may laugh – and I by no means find Gatchaman Crowds insight to be peerless or perfect – but I’m happy to have watched it because, even though I may go along with the prevailing atmosphere from time to time, it reminds me to think of why I’m doing what I’m doing. Additionally, why I should seek out my own reasoning and answers, regardless of whether they end up agreeing with the majority or not.


  1. The most important thing I have learned in my adult life is that I am ignorant. By that I mean there are sharp limits to my life experience. I’ve met many people who simply by existing have shown me how precious little I know. I try to keep that in mind when something big and sharply dividing pops up. I’ve learned a lot more by sitting back and thinking rather than blurting my (likely uninformed) opinion.

    (Of course, this doesn’t always stop me from doing that, because I am only human.)

  2. It is important to think for yourself. Being an individual is apparently a ‘hard’ thing, since you need to conform to the herd mentality, other wise be exposed to the land scape of ostracization.

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