2013
08.30

Wow… last week’s episode was pretty good! Can this week keep up the momentum?!? (spoilers: nope)

Seriously this is the only reason why you're watching this now right?

We begin with everybody but OD in the dumps. Paiman’s reduced to binge drinking, Jou (who has recovered from his masive injuries from last week) hates himself more than normal, and Utsutsu has a sunny disposition (wait what?). Naturally Dr. Hajime has a perscription for this crippling predicament… do a public relations reveal at a nearby preschool!

…god I hate this show.

I don't even need to ask this question anymore the show is doing it for me.

So anyway Hajime does long form interviews for the press, Sugane does rediculous acrobatics on a flag pole, OD tries to hit on Kuwabara the fire chief (remember him?!?), and various toddlers try to use Paiman as a tug-of-war rope. Happily Jou says fuck you to this shit and doesn’t glorify with his presence. Good for him, I’d hate to see his office fangirls kill themselves over the sight of Jou trying to act like a feasible family man.

You're not fooling anybody Nakamura (how many times have I said that now?)

Now if this was the entire episode I’d pretty much rage quit Crowds-Sourcing right now and tell ya you’re on your own. Thank god then that the Rui/Katze plot was much, much better. After stringing Rui along for an indeterminate period of time as his own personal slave, Berg Katze finally decides to throw him out onto the street, using his shape shifting power to hijack the (admittedly) rather dim GALAX system. He also uses that one really grouchy CROWD that Rui had that overwritten conversation about the uses of power and supply and demand a few episodes ago as his new pawn in the zero sum game he’s playing with Gatchaman. And we’re wasting time on the preschool thing again why?

...I got nuttin.

Yeah this episode was a total buzzkill after the greatness that was last week. I know I had unrealistic expectations that it could maintain something of a pace but when Gatchaman finds themselves in a plot so obviously filler as this was it just kinda makes you cry a little inside. There are three more episodes of this left and if this is the way Nakamura wants to tell his story its going to be a pretty damn rushed finale.

Oh and…

Shaft tilt.

4/10.

2013
08.23

Dat's a knife!

Oh boy! Gatchaman Crowds time again! How low can we go this week?!?

THIRTY MINUTES LATER…

Who is the man who made this episode and what have you done with my usual hipster hack Kenji Nakamura?!?!!?

You gonna die kid.

Following his rather lame attempt at getting Gatchaman to drop the whole Gatchaman thing, Rui decides its time to fight fire with fire and eliminate his “benefactor”/torturer Katze using the CROWDS. That goes about as well as the Hindenberg disaster as Berg Katze annihilates the CROWDS without much effort, causing several GALAXters to drop dead in the process. He then proceeds to activate his own NOTE, transforming into a giant diamond whip to pound Rui into the ground. Sugane witnessing this, begs Paiman for the go ahead to strike back but gets nothing from that annoying worrywart.

CRACK DAT WHIP!

Eventually Jou shows up to fight Katze in Sugane’s place and immediately gets his ass kicked. With no response from J.J. Robinson over whether or not to enter into the fight as well; Hajime, Itsutsu, and Paiman set off on their own and we finally get to see Paiman’s Gatchaman form…

Paiman and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H

Yup, that big-ass mech from the op is actually Paiman. Sugane drags the injured Rui to safety who proceeds to explain what the CROWDS actually were (something about the combined consciousness of GALAX users) and how he came into contact with Berg Katze. Meanwhile, Paiman gets cold feet mid-trip and dumps Hajime and Itsutsu on the side of a road. That’s really sportsman-like of you Pai(n in the ass).

Yeah good luck with that.

Sugane gets quickly KO’d and Jou is pretty much slaughtered by Katze (who also has the ability to hack the G-Suits making them inopperable) With his NOTE removed (but not destroyed), he gets left as a bloody pulp. However Itsutsu is able to use her power (which I still don’t exactly get how it works) to heal the two of them. X tells Rui he needs to run away as fast as he can from the now even more deadly Katze, and the episode ends with Hajime eating sweet things and looking out the window for some reason… I guess.

Damn son...

If that synopsis seems like a mouthful then it is. Suddenly instead of a boring show where nothing happens, we have an insane over the top action show where our heroes spend most of the running time getting their asses kicked. We knew Pimp-kun Katze had the capacity to be a blood thirsty monster under his goofy exterior but this week… I mean… Jesus. Paiman proves to be an even worse far-more ineffectual jerkwad when we finally see her out in the field (if only O.D was brought in instead). And Sugane finally cracks under the rules and regulations bs he’s been forced to swallow over the years. See there was a potential for a good episode in this show, it just took a lot of whipping and Jou getting mutilated for it to happen. 8/10.

2013
08.19

As if millions of catgirls suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

At last, we’ve come to the end of the road. Throughout these past three years, the show has been quite an interesting journey. And by interesting, I mean a huge slog where I wish Kirino was a real person just so I could have the chance to throw rocks at her. When Oreimo was first introduced, I thought it would be a satire on otaku and how they’re obsession leads them into futility. Unfortunately, this show is not watamote. Instead, I have become witness to a pandering and vapid comedy of errors. Where people who deserve bad things to happen don’t get their due while people who don’t get nothing but crap thrown at them. Admittedly, this is far from the worst of its kind. There are many slice of life shows like Haganai and Henneko that are more banal in their attempts at humor. In fact, Kirino may be a disgusting piece of moe trash, but she and her cast almost had something blossoming into a personality and could have used that for potential to play off one another. But she didn’t, and this show didn’t. And that’s what stings the most.

More than anyone could love eternal love like this love.

So as these three episodes promise, Kyosuke decides to bite the inbred bullet and go out with Kirino. For all the shock that goes into doing that, there’s absolutely no chemistry or romantic flair between the two. Truly, I cannot comprehend why he would reject various offers from girls who actually respect him as a human being in favor of an abusive relationship with his own sister. There are more times where Kirino punches Kyosuke in the face or runs away from him than there are scenes where they’re the slightest bit affectionate to the other. For instance, take the scene in the hotel. Anything between the two that you could interpret as cordial was sterile at best. Hell, even Kirino thinks that Kyosuke is dumb for loving her. What does that say? This is the one moment where I actually think Kirino is the sane one. Kyosuke had so many chances to get together with a girl who wouldn’t beat him or call him an idiot, but he threw them all away for a sister who could out-bitch most New Jersey housewives.

Your cheeks aren't breasts, Kyosuke.

But what’s worse than the concept is the total execution, where Kyosuke decides to talk about eroges while saying that he wants to marry Kirino. Seeing a douche propose to his sister while referencing visual novels defies cringing and becomes truly unnerving. I know fans will say that this is adorably awkward on Kyosuke’s part, but there’s being Michael Cera and then there’s being Christian Chandler. Confessing your love in such an odd and quirky way can only be done in such a way before the line is crossed, and oh how has the line been crossed.

Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cum, and you cum alone.

Which doesn’t just infect Kyosuke but the rest of the cast. Take the scene where Kuroneko rips her own diary apart. It tries to be sad, but it just comes off as artificial. Her dialogue involving lifting curses and being an angel of vengeance come off as less of an emotional mask and more of the writers’ inability to write Kuroneko as an actual human being. Not once do you see Kuroneko say something that an actual person would say in that circumstance. Instead, she decides to change her name to Yamineko. Kuroneko refusing to be acknowledged by her real name or even her former nickname is a bit like how Walter Jr. decided to be Flynn in Breaking Bad. Except Walt Jr. had cerebral palsy.

Truly, a face that screams passion.

That’s what breaks this show apart. Instead of being about people who are into anime, it’s about anime characters with as much depth as the screen they’re on being obsessed with fiction no different than their own. Their actions aren’t based on human nature, but methods seen in the visual novels Kirino idolizes. Characters can’t naturally fall in love or do things together. Oreimo has basically become a visual novel of its own where the player is dead centered on getting a bad end.

Not Oreimo, but much better.

So instead of continuing to run away from like anybody who’s not Cersei Lannister, Kirino cries and agrees to the proposal. This is one of the few times where I’m disgusted not because of how they’re siblings, but how they have the emotional relationship of several Cullens. I can legitimately see more romance between Edward and Bella than these two saps. Hell, they can’t even look at each other after admitting they’re in love. And of course, the eroge Kirino just happens to be playing has to have a brother-sister relationship going on to correspond with theirs. My main beef is how these developments are so artificial. Like what makes Kyosuke want to marry his sister? Why does he love her, and vice-versa? They have more conversations on why their relationship wouldn’t work than how it could function in the first place.

This couple is about as lively as Kyosuke's leisure suit.

Maybe I’m expecting too much from a show where cutaway scenes involving magical girl fights happen out of nowhere. The show’s adapted from a light novel instead of any serious literature. So obviously, this show was not meant for me. Therefore, no one should criticize the work because anybody with a negative opinion is clearly hating and exempt from being a valid voice in the reception. Yes, I’m overreacting. But if you watched what my eyes have just witnessed, you would go borderline insane too.
And after seeing so many girls throughout the show have their hearts broken by this slob, I must ask. What is Kyosuke’s appeal? Kirino may be a horrible person, but at least she has the personality to emit that feeling. Kyosuke has no real drive in any emotion. You could have him do anything, and that wouldn’t break character because there’s no character to even acknowledge. Even the show highlights this by giving focus on all of Kirino’s physical and emotional possessions in the penultimate episode, yet very little of what Kyosuke has of his own. And not even regular possessions like her figmas or games, but an audio diary spanning several years. There’s keeping your real emotions in something where nobody can find, and then there’s just pulling something out your ass just to show a glint of drama.

Finally.

Which only makes it the more satisfying when Manami calls the two out. She explains in full how Kirino and Kyosuke’s relationship won’t work in the long run. While her words are intended to be scornful and out of spite, they have more of a point than what the main characters have to offer. And instead of making a valid argument, Kyosuke admits he doesn’t care because he believes that love transcends common sense. Where the show sees a petty childhood friend who can’t take no for an answer, I see the only sane bastard in this entire series. Kyosuke keeps getting reasons thrown at his face about why his marriage won’t work, and he has no defense but to shrug.

For incest, these kisses have been pretty Mormon.

You might think I’m arguing for the sake of arguing and ignoring Kyosuke’s passion. But guess what? Spoilers! They agree to be lovers for a time until after Kirino graduates, and then they’ll be just platonic siblings ever after. That means all of that bravado from Kyosuke over why his sister means more than all of those other girls meant absolutely nothing. Thus, Oreimo decides to have the cake and eat it by half-assing a incest romance.

Bravo. Bravo, Oreimo.

2013
08.16

This shot worked better in Blade Runner

My laptop’s screen may have shorted out but that isn’t enough to stop CROWDS-SOURCING! Last time: Recon gave us a ton of philosophy pretending to be exposition and then there was a cave-in. This week… more of the same except in reverse.

This isn't Sugane's day is it?

Hajime’s antics are caught on a security camera and now the whole world knows that Gatchaman are not some urban legend. This proves to be an incredible hassle to Veal Paimansean who can’t figure out whether the consistently disobedient Hajime should be terminated or not. With Hajime’s face plastered all over the news, even going to the local shopping mall proves to be a problem for the trio of Hajime, Sugane, and Utsutsu. Reporters quickly mob them and it takes a group of baseball bat wielding GALAXters (who by the way are now sporting some very familiar masks) to help them get out.

You're not fooling anyone Nakamura!

This has all been set up by Rui who now wants to use Gatchaman (and more precisely, Hajime) in his masterplan to update the world. He, in his guise of LOAD GALAX, invites Hajime and later Sugane to talk business. While Hajime and Utsutsu enter the old fashioned way, the ever-doubting Sugane sneaks in via amnesia effect/“Bird go!”

"This is what Gatchaman has become." - John Harkrider

Once there Rui outlines his plan. Basically Gatchaman should quit while their ahead and let Galax do all the hero work from this point forward. Of course Sugane, and surprisingly Hajime, aren’t buying it and say no dice. To make matters even more interesting, Hajime sees through Rui’s crossdressing disguise pretty quickly (a fact that even escaped Sugane), and Sugane notices that GALAXters (or at least the ones closest to LOAD) are immune to the Amnesia Effect. While all this is going down Jou goes home to buy a gun so he can blow Berg Katze’s brains out personally.

This is Genei-level character design people.

Episode 6 effectively cements the rewritten dynamics hinted at the end of last week. Gatchaman ARE real, Gatchaman ARE fighting to save people, Gatchaman ARE a problem if GALAX wants to maintain order for themselves. This actually seems like a pretty interesting idea for once, its a shame then that it gets buried under way too much philosophy/exposition much like the first half of Episode 5 was. With much of the focus on Hajime and Sugane this week many of the characters got the short shrift again. Utsutsu and Jou have one or two nice bits each but Paiman is quickly developing a pattern of “complain about everything Hajime does then have an aneurysm over it” (rince, repeat) and O.D is just there to spell that fact out to the audience. I’d give you some choice Space-Pimpkun moments but Berg Katze was actually not in this week’s episode. Surprise!

I second that opinion.

Ultimately what give this week’s show a bit of an edge on some of the past installments is a great scene where Hajime and Utsutsu are chased by the paparazzi at the mall. Otherwise… fairly par for the course. 5/10

OH MY GOD WE’RE HALFWAY DONE WITH THIS SHIT AREN’T WE???

Mean: 2.5/10; Median: 2.5; Mode: 1.

2013
08.11

I want to take the Animation Revelation blog in a new direction.

Every day I grow a little older, and every day I get a little more tired of the whole “angry, negative reviewer” shtick that infests the internet like chlamydia. Ever since the Angry Nintendo Nerd first talked about taking a shit on a video game cartridge (and probably before, as well), people using rage and hatred for comedy effect have become a dime a dozen, with a new one or five popping up each and every day. It’s easy to see why — bashing something in a humorously over the top fashion takes very little effort and can often produce funny results without much work put in. I know from experience, after all.

It may sound like it, but I’m not trying to be a hypocrite here. In fact, I want to explain myself. In 2010, I was either 16 or 17 (depending on which side of June we’re talking about), and like all people at that magical age, I was an edgy little fucker. An edgy little fucker with purposefully contrarian tastes who really had no business posting his immature, swear-filled reviews online. Now, make no mistake, I really do think Umineko is one of the worst anime series ever produced, but before I deleted our old BlogSpot account for drawing potential viewers away from our new home at WordPress, I perused the dusty comments sections of my (and others’) articles. And how (un)surprised I was when I discovered that folks were calling me out on my shit! Ignoring for a moment the mind-boggling possibility that anyone could actually enjoy the Umineko anime, I understood precisely where they were coming from, because I honestly felt the same way myself.

I hadn’t written a review. I had written a vulgar summary with some hateful jokes thrown in.

Some of it was funny, sure. But it’s the kind of thing I’m loathe to see nowadays, and I know many others feel the same way. Negativity, whether warranted or not, is easy to come across on the internet, and often it’s written in such a way that feels insulting to those who don’t completely agree with the writer. And while I was using the whole “angry humor” thing above because it was more of a personal example, the real shit starts when the author is being completely serious. So many reviewers and bloggers write in this really condescending tone as if to say, “I’m right, your favorite show is terrible, PS you’re dumb.” I will readily admit that I’m guilty of this too, though I don’t think it ever went outside a few scattered Clusterfuck entries. I wholeheartedly apologize for them. (For the record, all my old shit is still available on this very blog if you want to see it. Just don’t hold that stuff against the me of 2013, kay?)

Up until now, I don’t think AR has been very professional. Take, for example, how in our Top 65 Animated Series list, not only do we break and go against our own rules and qualifiers multiple times, the “shows that didn’t make it” portion is often flippant and insulting. Or consider how the Seasonal Clusterfucks are never on time because we wait to post the whole shebang at once instead of doing the smart thing and spreading it out over multiple days/weeks. Stuff like that.

But this is just some stupid cartoon blog run by a bunch of friends, right? Why does it need to be professional?

That kind of thinking is why no one reads our stuff.

Which brings me back to the whole “new direction” thing. You’ve undoubtedly seen many cartoon blogs filled to the brim with “angry humor” and anime blogs written condescendingly, and I’m sure at least once you’ve thought, “wow, these guys’ attitudes are getting annoying.” So have I. And that’s why I think this section of Animation Revelation needs a major overhaul.

I want this to be a friendly, approachable blog. A place with an overall positive outlook on animation as a medium, but also where people can find legitimate criticism that doesn’t insult or talk down to them. A place where things are judged fairly – regardless of personal biases, – opinions are respected, and no one feels like they have to write about something out of obligation. I think we’ve already taken a few steps in this direction since the beginning of the year, but we’re not there yet.

Let’s work toward making this into something we can have fun with and be proud of. No more alienating audiences or taking the easy way out.

2013
08.10

Just because I insult your show doesn't mean you have to like it, baka.

HEY KIDS! Its time once again for Crowds-Sourcing, where Gatchaman Crowds does everything in its power to spit on its own legacy! Last time, the cast spent the entire episode moping around and getting their asses kicked. This week… more moping!…yay?

Dammit Hajime, stop asking the intelligent questions!

We start at the Gatchaman Dorm where Hajime has finally reached the point where none of this Gatchaman stuff is making sense to her anymore. She wants to actually save people in real life but Paiman’s all “Screw you bitch, that ain’t in the script,” and shoots her down. So ultimately the matter is dropped, but not before Hajime manages to inadvertently plant the first seeds of doubt in Sugane’s rather hardwired brain about what he’s supposed to be doing in life. Eventually JJ Robinson (aka vampire dude who does nothing except make paper airplanes) sends them yet another needless cryptic message about a broken child who will reveal himself to the white bird…or something. Everyone assumes its referring to Berg Katze, possibly setting up a confrontation.

Its been five episodes and I still don't understand the point of these things.

Following the credits, we then get back to Rui and one of the most utterly dull stretches of any anime I have ever seen. Basically its just ten full minutes of Rui, the designated LOAD of the GALAX network (whatever the hell that means), having an argument on the phone with some random guy over the use of the Crowds and whether or not its actually having a good effect on the world. This scene practically put me to sleep with its dragged out, philosophic bs and somewhat hammy overacting from Rui’s VA (who used to play Recon on SAO, so this must be our comeuppance for making fun of his bowl cut). Happily Space-Pimpukun (AKA Berg Katze) arrives to break the monotony and inform the audience that a big earthquake is about to occur somewhere near Fukushima (oops).

Pimp-kun you're the only thing keeping me watching this.

Coincidentally the Gatchaman team (sans Paiman and O.D. who isn’t in this episode for some reason), is heading there too for a GALAX Collage Group outing. Things come to halt though when the Earthquake hits and the tunnel their bus was in collapses half way. GALAX tries to give as much advice as possible to its members to help speed up the escape process but ultimately its no use. The Crowds are deployed and Gatchaman being immune to their Amnesia Effect witness the huge blobby things in action. Ultimately Hajime, despite Sugane’s pleads not to do so, transforms revealing herself, and by proxy Gatchaman to Rui bringing the episode to a close.

Obligatory adorable Utsutsu picture to satisfy 4Chan.

Episode 5 tries valiantly to give some grandeur to Gatchaman Crowds, which is in desperate need of SOMETHING to get it to become interesting. However, its done in once again by director Kenji Nakamura’s bad pacing and the increasingly negative tone he’s been building. I didn’t like these characters in week one. Guess what, I STILL DON’T! They’ve done nothing, they hardly every transform, they don’t function as a team, they actively seem to hate each other (outside of Sugane who wants to jump inside Jo’s pants), this is still not fucking Gatchaman! Furthermore why has it taken so many episodes for Hajime to stop being an annoying numbskull and become an annoying supergenius? IT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE!!!

This looks much better as a still I swear.

That and the episode was basically just Recon from SAO whining for 10 minutes. Yeah fuck that. 2/10.

...WHY DOES SHE SUDDENLY HAVE A BRAIN?!?!

Postscript: Earlier today (8/9/2013 for context), our dear friend The Cart Driver was complaining about how he was planning on quitting Crowds due to Nakamura’s habit of having his actors speaks every line in a singsong overstressed syllable style. Surprisingly, this has never actually crossed my mind while watching this series. Just goes to show how many OTHER problems Crowds has that grinds it into the mire.

2013
08.05

“Work for? I don’t work for anyone, I’m just having fun!”
– The Doctor, Nightmare of Eden (1979)

Well, hello there. I’m The Eclectic Dude, a guy from the AR forums and have been an anime blogger for the past 2 years, well 2 years ago this month. I have taken a look at various anime, be it OVA, movie or full TV series, both good, bad and just plain bizarre-what-is-this-I-don’t-even.

In celebration of 2 years of being in the anime blogosphere, I am posting a review here on the main AR page as opposed to my own blog page (found in Other Cool Blogs). I am also taking a page from Avaitor’s similar review on The Weekenders (which as an aside, good review dude, I remember that show fondly) which in turn is similar in format to the Criterion Collection’s set of reviews as previously mentioned in Avaitor’s review.

So, moving onto the subject of this special review: Bodacious Space Pirates! Or Miniskirt Space Pirates if you go by the original Japanese but whatever. This light novel adaptation from last year tells the story of Marika Kato, a young high school girl living in the far future who is roped into the life of being a space pirate after learning about her father dying and her mother, Ririka being associated with some of her father’s friends/crewmates. Of course, this isn’t like space pirates (like that lost Bob Holmes story) or romantizied pirates like in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series. No, they operate akin to hired mercenaries, doing missions for entertainment or legal matters. Nevertheless, Marika decides to go with it and in the process explore the galaxy and have fun with space piracy as well.

Now, I found out about this show back in January 2012 when it first came out. I like the first few episodes, but then I got caught up in life matters. Then, word got to me that this was coming over to the US the following year, with a dub no less, and I was pumped. I bought the series shortly after both parts came out in April, and I have enjoyed it immensely since then. Overall, it is a very fun and entertaining series with a surprising amount of depth to characters and storytelling, in addition to the 3 reasons below.

So, here is the meat of this article sandwich:

Reason 1: Interesting cast of characters
Bodacious Space Pirates has perhaps one of the widely used and diverse cast of characters for a series this long. Marika Kato is the kind of female MC I like: strong-headed, determined and very likeable and sympathetic, as well as ‘a character that is female instead of being a female character’; well that and she looks real fine as a space pirate. Chiaki Kurihara and the Bentenmaru crew have just enough dimensionality to make them interesting, even if some of them don’t get a whole lot of exposure.

I’ll also admit that the Yacht Club might be nothing more than your typical sport club schoolgirls, but there is a certain charm to them. A few of them even get their moment to shine (Ai-chan and the Nebula Cup). Well, that and the canon yuri couple (Lynn x Jenny) make a good couple and are a good example of portraying lesbian characters in anime: Be evident but subtle about it. Overall, this show does a better job at handling a big character roster better than Bleach in its 300+ episode run. Take that!

Reason 2: Extrapolation of seafaring/pirate adventure into a futuristic sci-fi show or “My Past is My Future”
I shall use the second arc, involving the Serenity Princesses and the ‘ghost ship’ as an example for how this concept works well in this show and also I feel this story arc uses this concept to the best of its ability. To summarize, after Marika gets her letter of marque so she can captain the Bentenmaru and goes on a few missions (mostly entertaining luxury cruise ships) ends picking up Gruier Serenity as a stowaway. She has come aboard to tell the Bentenmaru crew about the legendary ‘Golden Ghost Ship’. So essentially it is a pirate treasure hunt. But, it is filled with concepts like ‘The Space Ark’ and ‘Fantasy Kingdom in Space’ that makes it interesting. That, and the story arc is great fun as well. Tatsuo Sato’s direction and writing (same guy who directed Nadesico just over a decade ago) is in fine form here, as he seems both telling a story and yet at the same time he’s genre savvy so it keeps things refreshing. The duel between Marika and Kane in episode 6 is a highlight of this. Of course, the visuals help to reinforce this point, for instance when the Golden Ghost Ship emerges from subspace; its extraordinary given the low budget and obvious CG work, which is still consistent throughout.


Reason 3: The English Dub
Now, while Bodacious Space Pirates is perfectly serviceable in the original Japanese, its English dub is an outstanding and commendable effort by Sentai Filmworks. Christopher Ayres and Josh Grelle handled the ADR Directing and Scriptwriting respectively. I find that Chris Ayres is probably the better of the main two ADR Directors for Sentai (Steve Foster being the other), and the dub fro this series shows this immensely. Granted on the surface, the dub comes across as a typical Sentai Filmworks, with a mix of former ADV actors/actresses (Luci Christain, Monica Rial, Shelly Calene-Black, Chris Patton, Hilary Haag, etc) along with rookie/new talent (Emily Neves, Shannon Emerick, Margaret McDonald, Mike Yager, etc) to round it all out. But, to thanks to consistent to very great performances and tight adaptative writing elevate this dub over some of the other Sentai dubs. Then again, considering the other titles Sentai has released/acquired this year isn’t saying much.

2013
08.03

I knew he was a glutton for punishment!

Gatchaman Crowds ends its first four episode chunk with actual plot and a surprisingly large amount of nihilism.

Oh wow... Actual Gatchamaning. Shame it only lasts 30 seconds...

After nothing happened last week, a shit-ton happened this time. The Crowds successfully rescue the skytram but since Rui activated their amnesia effect, everybody thinks Galax and emergency personal did it. Meanwhile, Jo gets his ass royally handed to him by Berg Katze who has his own NOTE and the ability to vanish into thin-air. The news that Katze is back in town hits Paiman and OD hard suggesting that they have had a previous encounter with him.

We're talking about the same Berg Katze as before right?!?

Itsu-tsun and Hajime have a brief scene where its revealed that Itsu-tsun has both the ability to clone herself as well as the inability to come in physical contact with other people (so bascially she’s Multiple Man AND Rogue). Rui turns out to be Gel Sadra to Berg Katze’s…. uh… Berg Katze? And multiple people are killed via roadside homicide to the sounds of dubstep. Ultimately everybody’s left a bit in the dumps except Berg Katze because he’s an asshole, and Jo because he’s just pissed off at everyone else (also from the looks of it, he hasn’t long for this world).

Don't ask... No seriously...

Boy did this show turn dark real fast. Not as dark as say… Madoka (which is the show Crowds still desperately wants to be)… but the definite muted tone this episode took after the horrible episode with the tainted milk last week was a plus. Katze’s gone from a grinning moronic idiot to a pure diabolical force that’s using both Rui and Gatchaman, possibly, as his little puppets. I’m actually a lot more interested in what he’s trying to do than the rest of these morons at this point.

Yeah make your own conclusions here.

Its still far from perfect though. The pacing remains haphazard and the fact that a sudden tone shift like this occurred without much of a buildup seems like Nakamura was forced into it at the last minute. Furthermore, he seems to growing more and more disinterested in his own Gatchaman team as the show progresses. For what was supposed to be a spotlight episode on Jo, he hardly has anything to do and everyone else has just be reduced to giving us info dumps on things that we either don’t care about, or should but its delivered in such a bland matter of fact fashion that we ultimately don’t care anyway. I wouldn’t call this a troll move yet (especially in light of the fact that the other “title characters” are actually the villains) but it is getting there.

It hits the fan.

We’ll see how this goes as we enter into Crowds second third. While this episode was a noticeable improvement, it’ll take a lot more to over come how badly the show started and make it to something more than a bizarre experiment.

Hey ladies... you better dump that zero...

EPISODE 3 SCORE: 6/10. OVERALL SCORE TO DATE (averaged): 2.75/10