Many anime series have ruined an excellent start with a mediocre or bad ending. Tsuritama is not one of those series. Instead it’s one of the most well-plotted and tightly-written anime to date. Visual and aural bookending wrap-up neatly in an emotional finale that is as ridiculous as it is perfectly-executed. Tsuritama foreshadows its own ending from the first moments of its premiere episode but never feels like any of the individual pieces are included in the ending because they have to be. They come together in the ending because they’re meant to be, tying together multiple emotional narratives to a quirky accidental alien invasion plot that somehow manages to be both poignant and affecting.
To this day, my cellphone wallpaper is Gatchaman Crowds‘ Hajime Ichinose. She’s pulling a confused look as fellow gatchaman team member Sugune Tachibana admits that he only uses his phone for calls.
Calls are the feature of my phone that I use the least, for the record.
“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.