Gatchaman Crowds was certainly the surprise of this season. Gatchaman Crowds seems to share its history with the original Gatchaman series of the 1970s, a series that I've never seen so I can't and won't compare the two. On the other hand, I will say that anyone looking for a nice upbeat superhero action-drama should probably take a look at this. Gatchaman Crowds combines the traditional duties of disguised superheroes with the benefits and dangers of modern day social networking; creating an anime that you just can't help but enjoy to some extent. This series sticks to the typical superhero theme of save the world because we're superheroes but it adds the power of modern social networking sites to build on the power of crowd-sourcing (hence the anime's title). In Gatchaman Crowds, there is the website called Galax which is almost a world upon itself governed by a programmer named Rui and his AI. Just about everyone in the world has a Galax account and both Hajime and Berg use Galaxters (people who use Galax) to their advantage. This series takes social networking to the next level which is a nice touch while illustrating the potential for both good and evil that lies in heavier use of the Internet. The ending which is something I won't spoil for you is slightly confusing and offers no clear answer to what became of the antagonist or what will become of Hajime's future.
The animation is done by Tatsunoko Production who had also done the original Gatchaman series back in the 70s. The animation and character designs are amazing to look. The dress on Hajime's school uniform is completely gravity defying but I love it because it really matches her personality to say the least. Each Gatchaman transformation is intricate and detailed, not to mention perfectly made for cosplaying. Gatchaman Crowds definitely deserves high scores for animation.
Music & Sound: (85/100)
The music for this series is spot on, especially with dramatic moments. You would never believe how interesting a spoiled milk incident could become until the Gatchaman theme song starts playing. Transformation scenes are complemented perfectly by the music production and both the opening and ending theme songs are great to chill out to. Hajime and Katze-Berg's voice actors (Maaya Uchida & Mamoru Miyano) are the best in the series hands down. .
In terms of characters, we get the average group of superheroes but it's been noted that unlike the original Gatchaman series, the team in Gatchaman Crowds were not truly a team until the last 1/3 of the series. The Gatchaman from this series each worked alone but as the series progressed they became more and more of a unified Gatchaman team. The only character I didn't like from this series was their useless prophet, JJ who is apparently like the creator of the Gatchaman but does absolutely nothing for them. Seriously, the guy does nothing but sit around, cutting paper birds and spitting ridiculous riddles for his team to decipher. Eventually it wasn't just me but even his own team goes and tells him to go piss off. Hajime (the MC) is an incredibly happy-go-lucky individual with literally nothing managing to get under skin. Even with entire cities crashing down around her, she always happy and optimistic. Hajime becomes a superhero against her will, has her soul turned into a notebook, watches the city crumble and somehow she smiles through all of it. This type of personality might be annoying to some viewers. Next is the unclear motive of the antagonist, Kazte-Berg is who simply trying to get the world to burn down for unknown reasons. some people have come to hate series where the bad-guy has the typical motive of just wanting to watch everything come crashing down or wants to control the world. Third is the useless antagonist from the beginning called the MESS who become completely irrelevant after episode 3. Among the three points stated, this was the only turnoff that was really an annoyance to me personally; the others I actually liked but the MESS were completely unneeded for this series.
Overall + Entertainment: (76/100) + 7
Overall Gatchaman Crowds is certainly a great series especially if you're already used to superhero series. If you're looking for something that is reminiscent of the original Gatchaman series then you might what to look elsewhere. Gathcaman Crowds is filled with a great soundtrack and gifted voice actors but the high energy and optimistic personality of our heroine might get annoying at times. JJ and the MESS are yet again, both unneeded. Yet again, the ending might be a little confusing but everything leading up to that point is pretty entertaining.
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