Review of Gatchaman Crowds Insight


Brexit, Trump’s presidency and the recent elections in France. Right now it is impossible to turn on the TV without getting swamped by politics, and not even Japanese animation can provide respite from the horrors of government. Take the second season of Gatchaman Crowds for example. Subtitled “Insight” this thirteen-episode follow-up to Tatsunoko Production’s 2013 hit deals with the Japanese electorate picking a red-faced alien to be their leader. Wow, talk about a bizarre plot. Gatchaman sure has changed a lot from the days were science ninjas beat up transgendered mutants in the seventies. Um… okay never mind. This franchise has always been weird.


Gatchaman Crowds Insight commences in the aftermath of the last series, which saw Japan’s populace adopt the use of Crowds. By tapping on an app people can now summon digital avatars to do their bidding. Crowds are employed to lend humanitarian aid during disasters and to help out with less important tasks such as scrubbing away graffiti. Not everyone is so benevolent though. A terrorist group called VAPE is using Crowds to commit acts of vandalism that would make an ANTIFA mob blush. Rizumu Suzuki, who leads VAPE, believes that the civil disobedience he orchestrates is making a point. It’s dangerous to give the masses control of advanced technology, because only twenty percent of the country is smart enough to use it responsibly.

The heroic Gatchaman eventually defeat VAPE, but the collateral damage caused by their battle is enough to convince Japan’s citizens that Crowds are a menace. A snap election is promptly held resulting in the abolition of Crowds and the crowning of a new prime minister. Gelsadra, an extra-terrestrial who recently landed on Earth, ends up securing the post of PM thanks to his charm and mind reading powers. By absorbing a person’s thought bubbles Gelsadra can instantly determine what the majority desire. More doctors, lower taxes and the sacking of corrupt senators are all approved in answer to Gelsadra’s daily referendums. Less tax? Sounds like my type of candidate… even if his bright skin and suspect hair remind me a little of Trump.

Despite his high approval rating Gelsadra laments how he is unable to make everyone happy. No matter how popular his policies are there is always a minority that vote against the proposed new laws. Human beings are individuals who each have their own set of values. With that in mind how can someone get an entire nation to agree on an idea? One solution is to eliminate the few dissenters who disagree with mainstream public opinion. Enter the Kuu – a race of entities who appear to be affiliated with Gelsadra. These carnivorous beasties patrol the streets on the lookout for contrarians. If you voice a viewpoint that goes against the grain watch out or else they will gobble you up. Gulp! I better think twice next time I argue that Makoto isn’t the best waifu in Persona 5.


My rating for Gatchaman Crowds Insight is a four out of five. Whether you end up enjoying the show or not should be pretty obvious. Anyone who liked the first season will lap up Insight, as it is more of the same. If you loathed Crowds, because it is radically different to seventies Gatchaman, you should probably give this series a miss. Based on my score you can ascertain that I am in the former camp. The story is clever and the aesthetics appeal to me. Insight’s visuals are vibrant, the use of cardboard cut outs in the opening is stylish and I dig the CG designs of the characters when they transform. The computer generated robotic armour looks way more badass than the campy bird suits worn by Ken Washio’s team back in the day.

One gripe I have with Insight is that heroine Hajime Ichinose continues to be a Mary Sue that can do no wrong. Her cheerful personality can be annoying at times, but on the plus side she has great knockers (which the camera zooms in on whenever she bickers with the evil alien trapped inside her body.) Thankfully Hajime doesn’t detract from the storyline’s message, which warns that mindlessly going with the flow is unwise. People should think for themselves and resist the influence of social media. One thing Insight taught me is that online voting is a terrible idea for general elections. Then again that much should be obvious based on Internet polls of the past. Anyone else remember when “Hitler Did Nothing Wrong” won the ballot to decide Mountain Dew’s new flavour?

19 thoughts on “Review of Gatchaman Crowds Insight

  1. I’ll take the red-faced alien over most of the idiot leaders we have in the world currently. πŸ™‚

      • Yeah, I feel bad for my dear American neighbours to the south, and our world in general 😦 I hope they fix their orange tyrant problems soon. Trust me, Canada’s pretty boy Prime Minister isn’t as great as he seems, but I can tolerate him at least, haha.

    • RE: ” idiot leaders we have in the world ”
      It is easy to knock the obvious: big insurance companies, oil industry, etc.
      However, poor leadership also includes those running the large media companies.
      Google YouTube Twitter Facebook are run by evil people, probably more so, as they are intent on destroying anyone who disagrees with them.

  2. I’m not the biggest fan of Trump, although I did vote for him.
    You see this is why I have a link titled “NO Politics — Just Girls! Girls!! Girls!!!” on my home page.

    • I bash Trump for some of the things he does, but if I was a US citizen I probably would have voted for him because Hilary is so untrustworthy. Yeah, the large media companies are seedy too. News networks are blatantly biased and Facebook/Twitter are run by hypocrites. They ban the accounts of people they don’t agree with, but turn a blind eye to various hate groups.

  3. This sounds interesting! I’m not familiar with Gatchaman, but when I looked at the 70’s version… It looked kinda campy. Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up then.
    I do like the message from what I hear of it here, though.

    • I think the original Gatchaman is a bit like Voltron or Robotech. People who grew up watching those shows have fond memories of them, but their story lines may be too cheesy for today’s younger anime viewers.

      Crowds and the seventies Gatchaman have barely anything in common. Fair play to the studio for not going down the safe route of simply redoing the original series with better effects. Although it’s a very different beast, Crowds is worth a watch because the issues it tackles are very relevant given what currently is happening in the world.

  4. Looks like it could be cool. That said, I grew up in the era of Battle Of The Planets aka American Gatchaman. Is there anything that ties this to the old school at all? Some shows can do this well (Ie: Star Trek TNG. All new characters. Same Universe. But even further in the future so it doesn’t have to do the same thing as the original. So it stands on it’s own merits but still gives TOS fans a reason to watch.)

    • They are very different shows, but there are a few references that older fans may get. For a start both animes are made by the same studio and feature a team of heroes. The characters also say “Bird Go” when they transform and the villain of season one is named after one of the baddies from the seventies cartoon. I also believe that the mentor of the Gatchaman Crowds team is voiced by the guy who did Ken the Eagle.

  5. I don’t know, voting over the internet probably wouldn’t have gotten any different results than we got last year. It’s like the internet is leaking out into real life.

  6. I entirely understand how you feel. A couple months ago I had a hard time playing games because of what was going on in world news. I live in the city (Seattle). Every weekend there was a protest. It was so frequent that I felt as if the world was ending.

    I don’t typically watch a lot of anime, but your reviews make me want to watch it.

    • The state of the world and the direction things are going in is most concerning. Right now I am taking the ostrich mentality of sticking my head in the sand and ignoring it all to stay sane. Ignorance is bliss.

      Anime is just like movies, books and games. There’s a lot of rubbish out there, but if you search hard enough you’ll find some real gems. If you ever need recommendations on good stuff to check out feel free to ask.

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