Gatchaman Crowds Review

gatchaman-crowds-dvd-coverG-G-GATCHAAAMAAAAAAAN~! UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ. Gatchaman Crowds is the most recent Gatchaman series, featuring a group of bird themed heroes in a modern Tokyo that go against ancient threats to the planet Earth. The original Gatchaman came out in something like the 70's or 80's, and was rebuilt into G-Force and Battle of the Planets here in the west. Since then, the most recent series, that may or may not be a sequel, has lost the goofy outfits and have instead gained powersuits suited to each of the Gatchamans style. Tatsunoko have re-imagined this classic franchise for a new generation, and it's quite great. The basic story of Gatchaman Crowds is that alien-thingies have invaded Earth and are causing some kind of grief to its inhabitants. These thingies are known as MESS, and, by default, have a cube-like appearance. However, it is soon revealed by the Gatchaman teams latest addition, a hyperactive (putting it lightly) girl named Hajime, that they're actually just confused life-forms that don't understand humans. The real enemy soon appears, a strange person named Berg Katze, who is easily one of the most interesting villains we've ever seen in any series, ever. What makes Gatchaman Crowds quite interesting is that it takes modern day themes that todays youth can relate to, and adapts them into a story that's really non-traditional. Yes there are heroes, and yes there is a villain character, but the way the story is told, it feels really exciting and fresh. A lot of Gatchaman Crowds focuses on mobile phone technology and how a program called CROWDS can assist reality through the use of an alien power. What's more is that the owner of the CROWDS program runs a social-media app called GALAX, which is a piece of software that allows users to assist each other in the real world for digital points. I think this is one of the first series to deal with social media being used as a positive force for humanity, rather than a negative one. The Gatchaman team fight enemies in this series using the power of NOTE, an electronic notebook that transforms the characters into their fighting power-suits. The NOTE also acts as a means of telepathic communication between the Gatchaman cast. Each character has a unique form to themselves, and are usually reflective of their personalities and fighting abilities. One of the things that make this non-traditional is how the series uses some really un-traditional archetypes. I think I've seen some people refer to Hajime as Denki, or Genki, or something like that, but it's not often you see these characters as a lead. This makes some aspects of the show really fun. For example, in almost any scene where Berg Katze and Hajime are shown on screen, the two are never really fighting it out or even really being hostile with each other. It seems that this is because the two of them have personalities that kind of connect, but for bizzarre reasons. Hajime is a hyperactive airhead that is always trying to see the best in everyone and everything, while Berg Katze is the opposite in that it sees the worst in things, but, similarly, is still as fun as Hajime. gatchaman-crowds-transgirl-l-lewd Hajime and Katze aren't the only two interesting characters in the show though. The entire cast of the show are pretty interesting themselves, even the characters that may seem unimportant have their best parts highlighted by Hajime when they come into things. Take Pai-Mon for example, this is a character that is an entire miniature panda-bear looking alien in charge of keeping the Earth safe and is the commander of the Gatchaman team. However, despite his tiny appearance, he can can be a bit short-tempered at times. Although, this can be seen as a front for his otherwise cowardly disposition. Pai-Man is a great example at showcasing how layered a lot of the characters are in this show. Each main character has some kind of crises, but is ultimately able to overcome it as well. One of the biggest draws of the Gatchaman Crowds series is the absolutely amazing OST by Taku Iwasaki. If you've seen any series where he has done the OST, then you'll know just how amazing the OST is in this particular series. Some great examples of his best work can be found in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency arc. The soundtrack itself has a lot of orchestral sounds mixed with an electronic soundtrack that makes the best of both TV scores and modern music that youths will be interested in. However, apart from tracks like those, the biggest highlights are the disco tracks that channel the Gatchaman inspiration from the 70s. After watching Gatchaman Crowds, I can almost assure you that you'll be singing along to the Gatchaman disco tunes in both your head, and outside of it. The English dub isn't too impressive. It's not that it's badly acted, it just feels like it's really miscast. The voice actors don't really carry the energy of the characters that the Japanese cast bring to the show. This especially true for two of the most energetic characters in the entire show, Katze and Hajime. Katze feels a lot more creepy, whereas in the Japanese version, they just feel energetically evil. Hajime's actress tries to retain the energy, but, ultimately, it feels like she's acting energetically, rather than actually being energetic. She actually sounds a bit arrogant at times, rather than loud and over the top. Artistically, Gatchaman Crowds utilises a bright and colourful palette with a rather unique art-style that gives the show a really interesting look and feel. Even more, each of the characters feature a simple art style that easily allows the viewers to work out what each of the personalities are for the cast. Each characters look is complimentary to their personalities, at least in the Japanese dub. Although, some of the characters are not as they seem, with some characters being trangendered. Overall, Gatchaman Crowds is an incredibly fun experience that can't too easily be topped. It has the most glorious of soundtracks, a story that is relevant to todays world and incredibly fun characters. Gatchaman Crowds is one of those series that you'll want to watch over and over again. Rating: G-G-G-G-G-GATCHAMAAAAAAAN /10 -- Gatchaman Crowds is from Tatsunoko in Japan and is released by Hanabee here in Australia. It can be picked up from Hanabee's Online Store for ~$60. The series is released in both DVD and BD formats and this review is based on the DVD release. Image swiped from Random Curiosity.
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