You want to be the hero and fight for humanity in the defense against aliens and other wild forces? Well, then hope that Lord JJ awakens your soul’s powers and grants you the legendary title of a Gatchaman. Gatchaman Crowds, is a most interesting anime off the bat. It follows a quirky art style and the futuristic/playful vibe fills this new anime with so much raw potential; or at least that is what we felt it portrayed within the first episode. Keep in mind, this anime recently started a new season dubbed, Gatchaman Crowds: Insight, which is part of the reason why we are picking up on this anime now, rather than later. Having never watched this anime before, I have to say I was treated to a delightfully colorful one that had a funky soundtrack and seemed to keep up its beat. So, let us discuss what this first episode has to offer us.
The anime follows the character, Hajime Ichinose, and her unlikely induction to the Gatchaman unit after Lord JJ awoke her powers. As a Gatchaman, she is given the power of their Memo booklet. A small, planner shaped journal that acts as a cellphone and a mouth piece for Lord JJ to convey orders to the various Gatchaman. Through these journals, they are able to cast an amnesia spell to conceal their actions from humans yet they can still bump into them if they are not careful. With this ability they can also summon mechanical suits via their spiritual powers called NOTE, which give them heightened abilities and skills beyond the scope of normal humans. They use this power to combat the cubic aliens that plague Earth while also having to deal with a new shadow-organization labelled simply as, VAPE. Reminiscent of Persona yes, yet the anime manages to move in it’s own grove and it does it extremely well!
The art style is one that is refreshing and fluid. The colors are vivid and give you the impression that you are entering a world of fantastic possibilities. The animation between scenes is great and it does manage to blend what CG elements it has into it’s art style rather flawlessly. Each character has their own stylized personalities and the voice actors/actresses, each gives these characters a level of personality. While still having standard hero chracters and the reluctent ones, our main character, Hajime Ichinose manages to be a unique individual that I think many viewers can fall in love with and get a few laughs out of. While her personality is playful, she knows what to do when the time comes for it. She also shares an odd affinity for Planners, having at least one for every detail of her life. While odd, it does allow for a unique character that I have yet to run into. That is what I enjoy about this Anime thus far. It simply takes it’s story and characters and runs with them. While taking inspiration from other sources, it blends it perfectly into it’s own concoction.
The Music is another quality point in this anime and the random bits of spoken, Gatchaman, jingles is something that just adds to this anime. The beats of the OST are funky and fresh and rocky, giving this anime it’s own unique brand of sound and style that not many other anime can quite meet. On par with the music is the equally great voice acting. It is full and as vivid as the songs and art style. As far as the dub acting goes, we have not a clue as Crunchyroll currently carries only the subtitled anime.
In terms of whether or not this is an anime for you to watch or skip, it all depends on your tastes. The anime is quirky and interesting, though this is all based upon a first episode impression, so takes these with a fifty-fifty bit of luck. If you want something different, definitely consider looking this gem up and giving it a shot. You can find this anime on Crunchyroll and Hulu.