"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.
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 initially mistook as "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.
Except Hajime herself. She was apparently perfect to begin with.
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."
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 Katse'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. It isn't clear if he's trapped in an object, trapped in Hajime's mind, or what. As it turns out, this was the result of self-inflicted Executive Meddling, as described in the Trivia page. The home video release is reported to contain the full ending.
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.
Offscreen Moment of Awesome: It's heavily implied that Hajime fought some kind of battle with Berg Katze that leaves him Sealed Evil in a Can, with Hajime or some clothing accessory acting as the can. It's possible that this wasn't shown for thematic reasons - Berg Katze was really defeated when humanity didn't destroy itself with the CROWDS. His subsequent sealing is just a formality.
Oh Crap: Rui, when he discovers that Katze has copied his appearance and biometrics, and taken control of President X.
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.
Revised Ending: Reports indicate the home video release will have one. See the Trivia page for details.
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.
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), and also...
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.
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 Katse has magenta hair.
Multicoloured Hair: Several characters have two tone hair in wide horizontal stripes, downplayed slightly as it's always shades of the same basic colour.