When Gatchaman Crowds first aired, I was undecided on what direction the series would take. The premiere episode hinted at anything from poking fun at superheroes to an odd “buddy cop” duo starring Hajime Ichinose and Sugune Tachibana with Hajime inevitably spoiling Sugune’s stodgy plans, dragging his character forward. While the latter does happen throughout the series, it’s a byproduct of Crowds‘ main focus — examining existing societal structures and social mores.
“Chaos and threat may not be the same. The judgment is yours to make.”
-JJ Robinson, Gatchaman Crowds, Episode 1
With these words to his G-Crew, JJ Robinson lays out exactly what Gatchaman Crowds intends to explore within the scope of its first season. They are written in each Gatchaman NOTE regarding the “nameless chaos,” which the G-Crew have dubbed “MESS” — the default antagonist of the series’ premiere.
Gatchaman Crowds‘ debut is titled “Avant-garde” — the first in a season’s worth of episode titles dedicated to art history or specific art terms. Avant-garde translated literally means “at the vanguard,” and within an art context identifies something that pushes the boundaries of what is socially acceptable, or calls out pre-existing societal norms and mores. Often the purpose of an avant-garde work is to promote radical social or political change to the current status quo.
For this reason, Gatchaman Crowds doesn’t open with its eccentric newbie, Hajime Ichinose. Instead, it begins with Sugune Tachibana’s morning routine, effectively establishing the status quo, giving it a character of its own within the series.
Trade offs occur frequently in everyday life – more often than not when money or resources are concerned. In a business sense, trading off usually weighs a more immediate solution against a long-term one, leaving the company or individual to calculated the benefits and risks involved before making a decision.
Regardless of the end result, trading off requires a choice. Something must be given, and with every decision something is lost.
“I did give them power, a hundred capable GALAXters I chose. But we’ll update the world without relying on that power!”
– Rui Ninomiya, Gatchaman Crowds, Episode 3
For someone who is now labelled an optimist who believes in the good of others, Rui Ninomiya was, and remains, quite the opposite.
In the first season of Gatchaman Crowds, Rui Ninomiya had the market cornered on using social media networks as a tool for social improvement. However, it’s a new season now, and Rui must rebrand GALAX in order to stay competitive. Perhaps lessons from Gel Sadra are in order.