Here we have a reboot of the old Gatchaman anime series, featuring a female protagonist as the main character.
Gatchaman Crowds is set in the not-too distant future of 2015, where a group called Gatchaman protect Tachikawa City. Gatchaman use notebooks known as NOTEs to manifest their power. Aliens serve as a threat to the human race, so the Gatchaman have to protect their planet.
The newest recruit to the G-Crew is a schoolgirl known as Hajime Ichinose. She absolutely loves collecting stationery. She will act on her own, even when given explicit orders. She can seem irritating at first, but as the series continues on, Hajime reveals that there is a lot more to her character than one would expect from a first impression. The G-Crews’ initial impressions of her change over time, and she becomes quite an important part of their team.
Sugane Tachibana has been with the G-Crew for five years, and is given the responsibility to looking after Hajime. However, Hajime’s disregard for authority really goes against his respect for authority.
Joe Hibiki is a graduate from Tokyo University, and has been a member of the G-Crew for ten years. At the start of the serious, he doesn’t have much faith in humanity. Of course, Hajime’s influence changes his outlook eventually, though Sugane also gives him a little push.
OD is a camp half-alien man, and the person who runs “CAGE”, the Gatchaman base of operations. He doesn’t actively participate in missions; the reason for that is revealed later on in the series. When he is around others, he is dramatic and playful, but when alone, OD is grim and serious.
Utsutsu is a first-year student attending the Tachikawa Private Academy for the Gifted. She doesn’t think highly of herself and actively avoids getting close to others. However, when Hajime comes into her life, she starts to open up.
Paiman is the longest serving member of the G-Crew, and serves in the role as team leader. However, despite demanding respect from his fellow G-Crew members, he is often ignored. Even though he appears similar to a panda, he will insist that he is not a panda.
J.J. Robinson is a guardian of the Earth, and the one that gave the G-Crew their notes. He makes prophecies, and is often seen with origami birds, but doesn’t really do much else.
Rui Ninomiya is the creator GALAX, and he developed CROWDS, which he distributed to a select one hundred users. He crossdresses when he ventures outside so that the users of GALAX aren’t able to identify him, and is known as LOAD. He believes that heroes such as Gatchaman aren’t required.
Berg Katze is the main antagonist of Gatchaman Crowds. Katze is an effeminate alien who is able to take on anyone’s identity by kissing them. Katze wants to destroy the world by turning humans against each other, and delights in every moment of human suffering.
The plot starts with Hajime’s initiation into the G-Crew, and their conflict against aliens known as MESS. It quickly turns out that someone only needed to reach out to MESS in order to stop them from being a threat, which is achieved by Hajime. However, there is a still a threat to the planet in the form of Berg Katze.
Also, there’s the small matter of the social networking site thing known as GALAX. Rui’s invention is intended to update the world, allowing people to use it in order to aid in a whole host of different situations.
Berg Katze wants to destroy the world, Rui wants to update it, and the G-Crew simply want to protect it. Their ideals all clash, and this anime shows the results of that.
The soundtrack for this anime is interesting. The opening theme does not actually consist of any comprehensible language, yet it sounds good to me. The ending theme is nice, but the highlight is the Gatchaman theme that you get to hear a few times throughout the series. Whenever you hear it, something interesting tends to happen.
The highlight of this anime for me is difficult to pick out. The reason for this was that there were so many awesome scenes, ranging from the G-Crew in combat to Hajime having a simple conversation with the alien bent on destroying the world. If forced to pick one, I would say seeing the G-Crew work together to fight against the Neo Hundred CROWDs was pretty damn good.
Gatchaman Crowds was an extremely pleasant surprise, and I would love to see more. The concepts within are played out neatly, and it is an all round entertaining watch.