"What the world needs from now on aren't stand-alone heroes... but the entire human race turned into heroes!"
The year is 2015. The city of Tachikawa has become home to special fighters known as the GATCHAMAN CREW (G-CREW), assigned by a council to protect the Earth against criminals with their superpowers. But a mysterious entity known as the MESS proves to be an escalating threat, leaving the G-Crew to have to fight it off. A young artist named Hajime Ichinose is the latest recruit to the G-Crew, and her impulsive personality sets major changes in motion.Gatchaman Crowds is a 12-episode Continuity Reboot of the 1970s anime Science Ninja Team Gatchaman. However, it is a radical departure from the concepts of the original, with the team receiving their powers from a source known as "NOTE" and no longer wearing suits themed after birds, with their suits instead reflecting their special abilities.It started airing on NTV on July 12, 2013, and is directed by Kenji Nakamura (Tsuritama). It has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks, who also currently hold the license for the original Gatchaman.Check out the Characters page!Has now been green lit for a second season, titled Gatchaman Crowds Second!
Gatchaman Crowds provides examples of:
Achilles' Heel: O.D. actually says the NOTES are these when the Gatchaman are transformed. At worst, a Gatchaman could die if their note is destroyed.
Adaptational Heroism: Galactor has been re-imagined as GALAX, a social network that's dedicated to helping people. The show's version of Leader X is an artificial intelligence that manages the network and provides information to GALAX users. Subverted when certain elements of GALAX turn into a terrorist group, even wearing mask that resemble Galactor soldiers from the original series.
Affirmative Action Girl: Almost as if to apologize for the sexism of the original, Hajime is the polar opposite of practically every Damsel in Distress Anime Heroine of the 1970's in terms of intelligence, competence, courage and strength.
Anticlimax Cut: Just before the end credits of episode 12 Hajime calls her mother on the phone at the place she said she would meet Berg Katze. It seems like there will be some kind of showdown between them, but in The Stinger Berg Katze has suddenly become Sealed Evil In Hajime. The director's cut version of episode 12 confirms this and shows their showdown.
Arc Number: 100 and numbers around it come up a lot.
Armor-Piercing Question: Why hold a press conference at a preschool? So the press could be asked if their behavior was more immature the young children near them.
Back-to-Back Badasses: This occurs at the end of episode 10 with Hajime, Utsu-tsu, Joe, Sugane, and Pai in a circle.
Badass Bystander: When something bad happens, people around the scene can help in a whim, thanks to GALAX.
Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Zigzagged, while Rui gets beaten up very badly by Katze and still has numerous bloody wounds, none of them are on his face.
Befriending The Enemy: This is Hajime's solution to a lot of problems. At the beginning of the show after Hajime became a Gatchaman she befriends one of the "MESS". An alien, enemy the Gatchamen are fighting who absorb humans and cause them to disappear. Immediately after Hajime befriends one of them the entire species of MESS stop acting antagonistic towards the Gatchamen and they return all the humans they absorbed safe and unharmed. The other Gatchamen are utterly shocked after seeing how well it worked.
GALAX itself is something of an amalgamation of popular social media sites, though taken Up to Eleven.
The default search engine on phones seems to be Gaogle.
Break Them by Talking: Hajime to Rui in Episode 6. It's very subtle, as she's playing fool during the whole conversation.
Brick Joke: In episode 7, Hajme is asked if she knows when a planet has the prettiest shine. She claims it's around 5AM in the morning, which was a wrong answer from the questioner's perpective. The joke comes at the end of the episode when she draws up a window curtain to see the sunrise. She says it's pretty and shining bright, which implies the time is 5AM.
Catch Phrase: Utsu-tsu's "utsuutsu shimasu" (I'm gloomy), which Crunchyroll sometimes mistakes for "utsutsu shimasu" (I'm dreamy), even though the catchphrase is stated in the series' website.
Character Development: Utsu-tsu starts off fairly introverted and aloof, but gradually warms up after developing a friendship with Hajime.
It really happens to everyone, as Episode 11 indicates since it has each of the Gatchamen explain how Hajime has caused them to change as a person. Obviously Hajime herself doesn't get one though, since she is the catalyst here and none of her teammates have had much of an impact on her yet.
Chest Insignia: The armored uniforms bear a redesigned version of the original Science Ninja Team "bird arrow" logo.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: MESS was introduced as the Big Bad in episode 1, but by episode 4 they were barely a background character. By episode 5 they had disappeared altogether, replaced by Berg-Katze.
Clip Show: The first part of episode 11 is this, with voice overs of all the other Gatchaman thanking Hajime for what she did for them.
Clothes Make the Superman: The G-Crew receive different powers when inside their armor. Hajime has the ability to generate whatever objects she can imagine, Joe utilizes fire, and Sugane has infinite reach, a power that sort of teleports his sword's attacks.
Cloudcuckoolander: Subverted: The others in the team consider Hajime to be this, but she does very little without logical consideration, and in fact points out reasonable flaws in other people's arguments. "The white-winged bird is not among you because it is lost."
Evolving Credits: With the exception of one montage that shows all of them, Gatchaman forms don't appear in the opening credits until they debut in the show proper.
Fan Disservice: Episode 8 has a lengthy and loving pan over Rui's body and bare legs after he's been cut up and there are gaping bloody wounds all over his body.
Similarly the scene in which Rui is naked in the shower, still all cut up.
Foreshadowing: Note how the MESS run away from Sugane and make no attempt to fight back when he attacks them in the first two episodes.
In the scene when Gatchaman are summoned by J.J., each of them is given a corresponding number. Hajime is 101. Utsu-tsu is 99. Joe is 89. Sugane is 96. O.D. is 12. And Paiman is 3. Both Paiman and O.D. know the identity of the apparent Big Bad. Both of them agree that O.D. transforming is a Doomsday event. And Paiman is utterly terrified of J.J. losing his cool. It shows that Paiman and O.D. are the senior members who know a lot more than others. And probably raises a question - where are the other 95?
From Bad to Worse: At the end of Episode 11, everyone is given the power to turn into the CROWDS, thanks to Katze's transforming into the prime minister and telling everyone to go out and fight for justice.
Gainax Ending: O.D. appears to die after beating up Katze, but this is never confirmed. Katze recovers, finds himself unable to influence people anymore, and then he seemingly becomes Sealed Evil in a Can, but neither the process nor the exact result is stated. As it turns out, this was the result of self-inflicted Executive Meddling, as described in the Trivia page. The director's cut version of episode 12 reveals that OD is alive and Hajime has trapped Katze inside her body.
Hajime does this occasionally, such as chanting "D.I.Y.! Do it yourself!" in the second episode.
"Bird, Go!" and "Amnesia Effect!" whenever the Gatchaman transform, and "Play the game!" when Rui activates the Crowds.
Mostly Averted by O.D. and Katz, who speak reasonably good English.
Hair Color Dissonance: Joe's hair looks as if it's meant to be black in some artwork, but is depicted as a deep green (albeit with some red hair underneath). Rui's usual color choice of wig seems to vary between being depicted as blonde or a pale pink depending on the lighting, leading to some other confusion. Katze has dark pink hair, but there are viewers that believe it's meant as a stand-in for red.
Reality Ensues: Young people are much quicker to trust messages from GALAX—the elderly, not so much. Older people's distrust of the network often slows down civilian rescues, et cetera called for by GALAX.
Rule of Symbolism: The paper birds J.J. is always messing with represent the transformed Gatchaman: white for Hajime, gray for Sugane, red for Joe, yellow for Utsu-tsu, pink for Paiman and green for OD. The colors in the birds are the same colors from their NOTE.
The series itself makes more sense when viewed in this way. GALAX is a social media, the CROWDS are the internet, and the Gatchamen represent the idea of heroes or people who can do great things by themselves. In the final episodes, the Gatchamen get the ball rolling, but in the end it's the ordinary humans that save the world. J.J. is inactive authority but also represents God which makes Sugane's rejection of J.J. a metaphor for rejecting religion. Finally Berg Katze is the Devil...and also an internet troll.
Running Gag: One of Hajime's teammates will refer to her as "Newbie", and she'll immediately correct them, apparently unaware that they call her that dismissively, not because they don't know her name.
Screw Yourself: Berg Katze tends to copy a person's appearance while kissing them on the lips.
Soul Jar: Each NOTE is a physical manifestation of their owner's soul. The characters don't seem to be bothered by this, even though O.D. mentions that the NOTES become an Achilles' Heel when transformed.
Theme Tune Cameo: In Episode 7, Berg Katze says his "Bird, Go!" to the beat of the opening theme.
Transformation Trinket: By using the power of the NOTE and calling "Bird, go!", a G-Crew member is suited up into their magic armor. Said NOTE is a magical planner device extracted from the user's chest by J.J. Robinson. Additionally, the NOTES act as communication devices (anything written in one can be seen by anyone else with a NOTE).
Episode 4, which is full of revelations and is far darker than the previous ones.
Episode 7, where Rui's carefully-constructed world crumbles around him.
What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The Gatchaman Crew has a hard time accepting MESS as sentient beings that can be reasoned with. O.D. speculates that MESS probably had the same problem with humans.
Word Salad Lyrics: The opening theme, Crowds. It has to be seen to be believed◊. And according to an interview, it's entirely intentional, with the singer saying that the effect they're trying to achieve is listening to a song in a foreign language where you can't make sense of the lyrics, but nevertheless you have an "image" of the song entirely based on the music. Like, "I've no idea what they're saying but they're cool."
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Utsu-tsu has green hair, Joe's hair has a deep layer atop a pinkish lower layer, O.D's hair is a greyish purple, and Berg Katze has magenta hair.