RETRO ALWAYS WINS
I grew up watching the original Gatchaman series. It was never very deep or that good; just a dark and usually depressing Power Rangers variant. It was still a fine action series for the time it came out, with exciting battles, huge monsters, and oozing idealism. From a historical perspective, it was even revolutionary for using ideas that at the time were still new. I was content with that anime, it was retro, fun, and innovating.
And then they remade it and ruined my sweet childhood memories. Because it’s modern, stupid, and does poorly with its ideas. Let’s start with how THERE IS CLOSE TO NO RESEMBLENCE with the original. The insignia and some names are the same with the rest of it having nothing in common with the clearly superior show you grew up with. Because it’s modern.
SELLING ON NAME
They could have named it anything they liked, and nobody would tell this is supposed to be Gatchaman. This shit looks closer to nonsense like Symphogear or Sacred Seven. If they were trying to sell based on nostalgia, as somebody who grew up with the original I found it to be almost of an insult. The live action movie remake was kinda forgettable, but damn, they nailed how the characters look and act. And no, I am not being a stuck up prick who wants to see things stay the same despite the world moving forward. If they want to make a remake of something, they should keep more things the same than just the name and the insignia. Space Battleship Yamato is an awesome remake, and so are Hunter X Hunter and Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. They are very close to their original versions and just updated the visuals and the plot mechanics. Gatchaman Crowds doesn’t do that.
NOTHING IS SERIOUS
The original was never Shakespeare but it retained a level of seriousness amongst all the campiness. The characters there CARED for the roles they had to fulfill. There was drama, comedy, tension, and even horror at points. The remake throws all that out of the window and just makes a prank of it all. Nothing feels important because nothing is taken seriously. Even when the world is one step away from complete destruction, you don’t feel anything. Despite all the bullshit Madoka Magica had, it still tried to build up some drama. Over there, when the girls found out their souls were snatched from their bodies, they had a mental breakdown. Over here, that stupid bimbo is yelling HOW COOL after seeing her soul turning into a freaking cell phone.
And boy, how more obnoxious can a heroine be, than the one in this show? While the original version had a young man with the personality of a wooden plank as a lead, this one here is an aloof girl who doesn’t take anything seriously. No matter what happens, she reacts by laughing, yelling stuff like HOW CUTE and generally thinks everything is a joke and the world is full of unicorns and rainbows. Meaning she is a total retard. And it doesn’t stop there; her skirt is ridiculously wide, her smile is a lame V, she has a sexual fetish for notebooks, skips school anytime she feels like it because it’s fun, and nobody ever scolds her because she always manages to make them laugh with her dumb positivity.
There are many who find her adorable, intelligent, and mature, for questioning why the hell she needs to fight aliens and not just have a barbeque party for the lulz. She is a subversion of superheroes who fight without ever questioning their actions! Not really, she is just so autistic in positivity that makes her no better than some show for babies, where they need to be constantly spoonfeeded how to be nice to people. Yeah, whatever, girl, you were turned against your will into a super fighter, with the task of protecting the world from alien invaders who plan to wipe out humanity. You could AT LEAST show you care a bit instead of just thinking it’s all a playground.
And it’s not just her; pretty much everybody is a joke. The other Gatchaman members are also not taking their roles seriously, even when they really try to. One of them is a feminine blonde dude, who exists to be a parody of noble samurais, being a stuck up idiot for the sake of being a stuck up idiot. Another one is a gay dude, who takes the stereotype to such extremes that it makes real gay people to cringe. We have a boy who cross-dresses because… he likes it. That’s it. Then we have a practically naked emotionless girl who repeats the same words like a freaking pokemon, and is there as nothing more that fapping material. We have the leader of the team, a tiny talking space panda which pulls out huge stuff from its pants, pretending to be serious when it’s an annoying mascot, and spits bubbles every time it feels weird. Their leader is some sort of samurai god who after you touch his penis, he sticks his hands in your boobs, pulls out your soul, turns it to a smart phone, and tells you to go fight aliens anytime he feels like writing a cryptic poem. I am not making this up.
And don’t give me crap excuses such as the makers of this abomination updating the whole thing so it can appeal to the new generation. I mean, who would like the grimdark superhero formula anymore? Can you take seriously a bunch of silly dressed people, protecting the world from silly looking monsters? No sir, we need to modernize something that was perfectly fine but no longer in fashion. So of course and everything needs to be colorful and silly; that’s what modern anime are all about. Of course and the heroes need to be students or it’s the end of the world. Of course the female characters need to be half-naked retarded moeblobs, so the damn thing will sell to ronery otakus. Of course and everybody needs to be using smart phones to communicate and transform, as low effort pandering to gamers and casuals. The good old days when only secret agents and superheroes had wristwatches that worked as communication devices and were full of cool gadgets are gone. Now every 5 year old can have an iphone17 or something, and packs more CPU power in his pocket than the entire NASA facilities of the 60s. This makes the whole concept of transformation devices being smart phones completely boring.
But it’s not like there is nothing I liked in it. The budget is good enough to make the whole thing look eye-catchy enough, with pop-art animation, videogame-like visual effects during battles, a funky soundtrack, a most over the top arch-villain, and a feeling of HAHA THIS IS SO STUPID I ACTUALLY LIKE IT. So if you go in it expecting pop-corn entertainment, you will like what you will find in it.
The problem is, it is not presenting itself as simply pop-corn entertainment. It has this weird theme of social reconstruction based on motivating the population to take action through smartphone applications. The concept is cool, very uncommon in anime, and yet it’s ruined because of the silly presentation, and gets wasted by an awfully rushed ending that does very little with it.
Once the feeling of stupidity from the pretty colors wears off, you will realize it is all crap done for giggles. It feels like a social study done by drunken college students, who gave up half-way through completion and let a 5 year old kid to fill the rest with crayon doodles.