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Gatchaman Crowds Episode #08 Anime Review

5 min read

Gatchaman Crowds Episode 8
Gatchaman Crowds Episode 8
What kind of sentai heroes would volunteer at a preschool instead of fight aliens?

What They Say
“Genuine” – At Hajime’s suggestion, the G team decides to go on a PR campaign. Their first stop is a local preschool, where they transform in front of preschoolers and the press, and attempt to inform the public about the dangers of Berg-Katze. Meanwhile, Katze approaches Umeda, a former Hundred member who had been expelled, and sets events in motion in order to bring the world down in flames.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):

The last episode ended after Hajime and Sugane witnessed the 5AM sunrise. This episode doesn’t start until a few hours later, and Sugane left Hajime on her own. You can just imagine her in her room, perhaps chatting to Giraccho, perhaps writing in her notebooks, but she’s sitting there, scheming, trying to counter Berg Katze’s next move. She comes up with a foolproof plan, goes to buy a popsicle, and heads to Gatchaman HQ just in time to see everyone moping about.

Paiman is upset because of his running away and abandoning Hajime and Utsutsu to Berg Katze. Joe and Sugane were beaten by Katze quite easily. OD senses that the time of a rematch with Katze is soon approaching, and that it will likely mean the end of his own life. Despite this, he puts on a brave face and tries to cheer the other G-Team members up. Still, it’s a relief when Hajime arrives and appears to have a plan of her own.

Continuing from her train of thought at the beginning of episode 4, she wants the Gatchaman to go public, so that they can act as a symbol of hope and resistance for the disaster to come. But instead of holding a high profile press conference with politicians or others who might co-op the group, she decides to reveal their identities at a preschool. Everyone likes kids, right? Joe feels too useless to come along, but Sugane, OD, and Paiman are willing to play along with her idea. They arrive in their normal street clothing, looking like average people, and only transform when the media requests it. So, instead of being an untouchable symbol of vigilante justice, like Batman, the Gatchaman are just regular folks like you, except they can transform to fight aliens! The kids are excited, people in the neighborhood stop by to take pictures to spread virally, and the politicians in Tokyo overlook the whole thing because any superhero that would appear at a preschool and not announce themselves to the government are beneath their notice. Hajime tells the people who are listening about Berg Katze, the threat he represents, and his riddle about what it is that people desire most.

Hajime’s media offensive couldn’t come at a better time, either, as the CROWDS users from the previous episode who were vaporized by Berg Katze are now catatonic and have been hospitalized. No link to CROWDS has been discovered, but the link to GALAX has been noted by the authorities, and many people are concerned about the safety of the app. That people would be looking to rely on heroes like the Gatchaman instead of each other via GALAX would seem to be Rui’s worst nightmare… except that something far worse happens. Berg delivers a kiss onto Rui’s lips, and thus acquires his physical form. Now with Rui’s DNA, fingerprints, and voice, Berg is easily able to take over Sousai X and use GALAX for his own ends.

If Berg Katze’s great skill is to spread destruction by turning people against each other, GALAX is a great tool. But he need someone like Umeda, full of resentment and passionate for change, to be his new pawn. Katze approaches Umeda in the form of LOAD GALAX, and says that he has had a change of heart: A bloodless revolution is not possible, and he will create a new Neo Hundred fully empowered by CROWDS. With Berg Katze in control of these new CROWDS directly, they would most likely be more powerful than Rui’s, and more dangerous as well.

So with the Gatchaman going public as the defense against Berg Katze’s evil plans, and Katze himself on his way to making GALAX his own personal army, Rui would appear to left out. Except that Hajime hasn’t forgotten about him either, and invites him to come down to the preschool as well. He decides to go, but once he is there, he meets a young girl, worried that her father will die. When he asks if her father is sick, she says no, only that he was using GALAX when he suddenly collapsed. Faced with the human cost of his own idealism, Rui is not sure what to do.

In Summary
I must admit I especially enjoyed this episode because many of the things I predicted would happen actually happened! Gatchaman Crowds has been so well written and well structured that no development truly comes out of nowhere. Following clues and bits of foreshadowing from previous episodes allows you to have a pretty good idea of where events are heading, and it appears Berg Katze is going to turn GALAXters into Galactor in the next episode. The ties to the original series are only going to strengthen, and the action quotient will only increase as well. The final battle has only just begun, it seems, and there’s still a lot of excitement left to come. The most enjoyable show of Summer 2013, bar none.

Grade: A

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment: Sony VAIO 17″ HD screen

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