So, are we gonna be seeing more of Katze Berg? I know that the 2nd season is still far ahead, so I gonna cut to the chase as I make my 1st lousy review.
So what we have was something that is connected to the parent anime, so therefore this 1 off special can be considered as an extra episode. Plotwise, there isn't much to say something that connects to the parent anime, the only consultation here was about Katze Berg as we see him........or her being absorb by Hajime. So I guess it is safe to say that this 1 off special is all about Rui, Katze and Hajime, since it does revolve around them, so my score for this category is a 5.
What I like about the illustration was modern bohemian style that has been applied to every aspect of the anime, so my score for this part is very good 8.
I gonna give it a 7 since I like the opening, closing, the action them and the voices of Hajime, Rui and Katze since the inflection was well suited for their character.
As much as I like Hajime, Rui and Katze, I very disappointed that director Kenji Nakamura has sidelined the main characters for the latters, it was suppose to be Sagane, Utsutsu, Joe, paiman and OD who were suppose to be the main characters, unfortunately he overshadowed them with the mentioned 3, so a 3 it is for this part.
For the most part, this special was quite annoying, tbh, but seeing what happen to Katze did provide me with some sort of enjoyment, but barely so I'm gonna say that I'm giving this category a 4.
I still can't say if this anime from season one up to the upcoming season 2 would qualify as a remake of the 1970's anime or a spin off of the live action movie Gatchaman. But from the looks of it, it seems like a series of it's own, Now I aware that the review I'm making is for this special but like I've said this is connected to the parent anime so technically it was part of season 1, well anyways it was still worth watching.............but only barely.
It should be mentioned, first and foremost, that this, to the extend of my knowledge, the original finale was invisioned as being an extended episode with more details and closure offered for plot as well as all the sublots. At the time of its TV premiere, the finale wasn't finished, as caused by the numerous production problems that occured during its TV run, thus leaving certain plot threads dangling. Considering that, Gatchaman Crowds: Embrace tries its best to tie up all loose ends and offer us a satisfying conclusion to the story unfolded. How does it hold up comparatively to the rest of the series?
To my surprise, the airtime of this supposed director's cut finale is the same as the original finale: 23 minutes. The question that comes to mind now is, how is this a director's cut then? Having experienced many director's cut version of Hollywood movies, I've been spoiled with the gift on an extended runtime, adding in extra scenes that were part of the director's original vision. The explanation for this is simple: these are only the unseen parts. How does one make an episode with almost only missing scenes from various parts of an episode and expect it to make sense by itslef? I have no idea. Because sense it does not make.
The first 10 minutes focus more on the people themselves coming together and embracing the CROWDS as a means of working and playing together, forming bonds, as opposed to a form of destruction and causing chaos. It's basically extra scenes featuring various people conquering the CROWDS, which is pretty much redundant, considering this resolved quickly in the finale and needed no extra detail. While the prime-minister's speech and influence on the matter leaves me rather indifferent, it's Hajime's upbeat and positive attitude that keeps the plot thread together, highlighting her capacity to unite people even in the harshest of times. The Gatchaman's presence in this resolution of the previous episode (11) feels slightly unnecessary and, outisde of Hajime and the cross-dressing tech genius that is Rui, most of the other main characters take a backseat to the madness.
By the 13 minute mark, it becomes clear to me that only had some parts of this been used as an extension of the far superior (and quite amazing) finale, could this, to some extent, have worked. The 5 minute spent between the CROWDS being literally turned into notebooks to restore people and the final battle are wasted on a lot unnecessary dialogue about Hajime's state of mind, concering the possible hiding of Berg Katze and the eventual re-emergence of the Gatchaman in the public eye. Why did they disappear? Who knows? It is never explained. There's about a minute or so of an almost still image of a large number of people, Joe, Utsutsu and Hajime, with bone-bare movement on the part of the female lead and only her, and a redundant exchange of lines between her and Katze about feelings. I'd like to remind you at this point, that this is not Neon Genesis Evangelion and even there, such scenes felt dragged and way too slow half the time. By now, the realization kicks in: this is only a cheap copout from creating too much new animation or story and an excuse to milk the stupid (in the director's eyes) cow that is us, the fans. Not even Kyoto Animation's recap movies are this cheap, at least they simply re-use quality animation from their respective shows.
The resolution is as absurd as it is pretentious and absolutely moronic, with Hajime's "I knew you were just lonely" cheesy one-liner setting up a forced kiss between her and the main antagonist, as his body morphs into all the other main characters of the show, followed by her stabbing herself with a notebook for 30 seconds. Yes, that notebook IS Katze and she DID absorb him. Why, you might ask? Because the viewers apparently need to be beaten into submission with a metaphorical baseball bat, so that they can understand the not-so-subtle message that this episode is trying to convey. Poor antagonist was just sad and lonely and that's he was a bad boy. By this point, I can only express disappointment in what was, otherwise quite the entertaining and fun experience, with quirky, colourful characters, upbeat catchy music and a story that actually feels relatable for the modern day socially involved person.
The forced rom-com implications between Ichinose and Tachibana close to the end of the episode are nothing to be impressed by, barely existing for whatever reason, making me yell furiously at my screen "if you're going to force a romance subplot, at least have them kiss by the end, if not do a better job at building this up as a non-ambiguous friendship! Give us at least some closure!". Alas, anime likes to tease and not please, and this particular special is of the utmost gruesome kind in this regard, so all we are left with are confusion.
There's also somewhat of a resolution (?) for the prime-minister's small subplot, having accepted GALAX as a means to bring people together, refusing to license it - as teased in the finale's post credits scene - as well as for the formerly comatose father (remember that guy who was trying to lead the NEO100 into causing more anarchy? Yeah, him) being reunited with his daughter. There are also a couple of scenes featuring Joe and Sugane enjoying a beer at Joe's workplace, as well as OD and Utsutsu praying for no apparent reason other than it's supposed to represent Utsutsu's growth, I guess. That's really all we get from these characters, as opposed to the tv series final episode, where they actually feel slighlty relevant, in opposition to this special, where the most of them are pretty much wasted.
Now, I'm fully aware that this is meant as an extension, therefore some things remained unexplained within the episode, but makes absolutely zero sense within it. The problem is that their behind the scenes problems or perhaps just lazy attitude prevents them from making a proper extended finale, connecting the 2 episodes in a reasonable manner, with decent animation and thus saving the series falling flat on its face at the absolute climax. Absolutely ridiculous.
Need I mention that the extra isn't even licensed for a dub? That's how much importance it was given. And considering how much they talk, if you're used to the english voice actors, it feels unfortunate to say the least.
The only thing that it truly adds is resolving the Katze plot, but the way it's executed and the mear idea behind his motivations are so imature, I would have rather not found out how it all ends. The original tv finale wasn't perfect and it lacked in giving proper closure to the main plot, which was the main reason why I couldn't rate the show a proper 10, but this extension really fails at offering a more complete finale.
Did I mention how terrible the animation is in this? I'm well aware that the show didn't have the best quality, even for 2013, but it never decended under decent, yet the special feels like a massive drop in quality comparatively to the series itself, especially the otherwise intense and colourful finale. Why was this made? Other than a quick cash-grab for the viewers who were hoping for a little bit more of this world's wonders, absolutely no reason. If this were the director's intentioned finale, I, as one of the few loving supporters and fans of this show, am truly feeling let down.
Unsurprisngly - much like the finale - the episode ends Hajime making one of the most annoying, screetching sounds I've ever heard - in fact, worse than "the worst sound in the world" from Dumb & Dumber - as the ultimate "to hell with you" to anyone still watching this garbage excuse for an episode. How could the same cutesy seiyuu that also voiced Rikka Takanashi sound so obnoxious? I blame direction.
Yes, I am farely angry with this, consdering Gatchaman Crowds is one of my favorite shows, for being a properly executed reboot/re-imagining consisting of an interesting story, compelling characters, a great soundtrack, an english dub cast that made me appreciate the characters even more and an overall design & art style that, while visibly lacking in quality at a few unfortunate points, remains fresh for the most part. This episode was not only unnecessary, it was an absolute insult to the very few fans of the series, leaving me with a greater dissatisfaction than the finale's unresolved main plot.
The only redeemable value is the always endearing and upbeat electronic music infused soundtrack and the ever so catchy "GATCHAMAAN!!!!", which hardly makes for even a decent episode. My general bias towards the series holds me from rating this episode below 5 in my list, but I am well aware that even 4 is too much of a generous rating for this disappointing abomination. Parts of it could have worked as an extention of the finale, but as is, it fails flat on its face.
Story - 3.
Art - 3.
Sound - 9 with the mention that the japanese cast fail to capture the magic of the characters for me as well as the english dub cast, but this little turd never got licensed for dubbing because nobody cared at that point.
Character - 4. At least we got more of Rui, who manages to remain an interesting character, but sadly it doesn't compensate for personality change in Hajime and the lack of any other important character.
Enjoyment - is this a cruel joke?
Overall - 4 / 5 with a strong bias towards the series itself.
TLDR: It fails to deliver and I don't recommend it, it you're better off with that incomplete finale.
I'm off to take a cold shower to calm myself. Or succumb to drowning. Whichever comes first.read more