Category Archives: Gatchaman

Gatchaman Crowds Is the Tumblr of Social Media Anime

This post contains content up to episode 3.


I’m not going to get into the whole “SJW” thing but I think there’s a visual aesthetic at work in Gatchaman Crowds. I think it’s not a coincidence that MESS looks like a bunch of tiny, moving single-color cubes of various colors. Nor is that the offkai is a collage party. [I wonder how much of it was inspired by gaijin train hijacking customs.] I guess this is as close as themes can intermix with visuals? It’s about the sort of visuals, the clipart-style of sharing, the unit of information. The way we exchange them today and how they do it in the anime.

Personally, Tumblr and Pinterest remind me of what feels like Gatchaman Crowd’s latest social networking efforts–labor organizational platform can be summed up as a colorful pipe collage-dream. I mean, at least GALAX has shortcomings that are well-recognized. And it’s kind of odd that episode 3 is labeled “Futurism” because the only visible people that call those who don’t believe in altruism as “enemies” are Futurists. I don’t remember if communism is compatible with such principles, but it sure didn’t require a logistical supercomputer powered by Tange Sakura. Well, maybe that’s why communism doesn’t work so well in practice.

I’m exaggerating, of course. Topologically, twitter and live chat-style (think DOLLARS) forums are always the closest realization of these common Web 2.0 fantasies. (And it’s good to pause and credit Eden of the East for something a little more original there.) GALAX, for better or worse, starts out ballsy. If students fighting their teachers (the establishment) to save their friends not symbolic of what GALAX is up to in the big picture, then I quit Kenji Nakamura. DRRR seems comparatively spineless in comparison, in terms of the statements of what it is trying to say. Maybe it’s more tribal-status-quo, rather than something like GALAX that unites people across class and age boundaries. In a more altruistic way.

And it’s this sympathetic backbone–that Hajime and company demonstrated–that the sjw types lack. This is what all the old people complain about. This is why the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

But it’s all too unreal. When that one sketchy lawyer leaned over to talk to that mom, I was like, LOL LOLOLOLOL. I don’t know what that is but pass the pipe please.

Summer 2013, < Three Episodes After

The anime blogging ritual continues.


Overall I thought this season yet again features a lot of solid shows. Even questionable entries like Fantasista Dolls or Inuhasa (for different reasons) give me reasons to want to watch it week after week, even when I wish just the opposite. The problem, if there is one, is that the shows with the most potential, the ones I like best, can only be engaged at an arm’s length.

By that I mean it’s hard to cheer for them. Let’s take Genshiken Niidame or Watamoe or the Monogatari series as a counterexample. These are pure otaku fodder. I can sleep with them in bed, carry it with me and read it on the train, what have you. That’s the typical case for late-night style anime. But entries like Gatchaman Crowds and Uchoten Kazoku, both fascinating pieces of work, require a level of rigor in order to engage them fully. It feels wrong, for example, to indulge in making dirty doujinshi of, say, Benten (but maybe not Utsutsu). Not that it won’t be done, of course, but there’s just something off kilter about theses two works. Maybe it’s the visuals? Maybe it’s just me? Probably it’s just me. It makes me want to watch them in theaters, or talk about it at cons with like-minded people. Or blog about them in a way to distinguish them.

I can’t say how it feels to engage all these works from a distance further than that, though. It must feel kind of ordinary and boring when, at a large enough distance, invariably everything seems to be the same thing, day in and out.

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