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EP. REVIEW: Gatchaman Crowds insight


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itachi06103570



Joined: 21 Feb 2013
Posts: 200
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:46 am Reply with quote
If it's of any use rui was confirmed to be a guy. I do agree however on what Gatchaman crowds and it's successor insight tells us about how people use social media in general and how it can either help or harm a cause by bringing in the positive and negative aspects of everyone who gets on let's say Facebook or Twitter for example. In those cases we can see how they can start a movement for peace, justice, or other wise. On the other hand it brings out the negative and dark aspects of everyone by letting those people voice their individual opinion. But overall we can see what Gatchaman crowds and insight tries to tell us about ourselves and our habits for being negative or positive based on the posts, pictures, movements we try to generate that could help or harm us as a whole.

I may be wrong but I think the show gives me that sort of feeling on how social media is used today.
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Stelman257



Joined: 26 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:54 am Reply with quote
Great stuff, and yeah I love the questions and discussion Crowds brings up, it's such a cleverly written show.

And yeah Rui is a dude and that ain't a spoiler really, the crossdressing stuff is just another layer on top of the whole "anonymity" to relate to how online communities work and such. Plus his Gatchaman is super masculine.
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Andrew Cunningham



Joined: 01 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 11:47 am Reply with quote
"Gelsadra simply wishes everyone would get along" -- and that's why she's depicted as a nine-year-old.
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:39 pm Reply with quote
Stelman257 wrote:
And yeah Rui is a dude and that ain't a spoiler really, the crossdressing stuff is just another layer on top of the whole "anonymity" to relate to how online communities work and such.

Do you mean that you interpret his crossdressing is symbolic? Or that he's using the anonymity of the internet to conceal his socially stigmatized gender expression? (I'm personally open to Rui being interpreted as cis, trans, whatever - death of the author etc. - so long as the interpretation is based on elements of the story itself; headcanon must be supported by evidence!)
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otagirl



Joined: 26 May 2015
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:54 pm Reply with quote
Rui being referred to as a girl irked me a great deal.

Maybe the English dub version left his gender ambiguous so as not to offend western viewers. Who knows. But it was clear in season 1 that the whole world knew that he was a cross-dresser. Netizens were disgusted by it, so the fact that he still dresses like that in public proves he doesn't give a rats ass about what others think & is not trying to "hide" his identity.

I find this aspect of Rui very peculiar. He doesn't act camp or particularly girly. So it's really unclear as to why he feels more comfortable in girls clothing.
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itachi06103570



Joined: 21 Feb 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:20 pm Reply with quote
otagirl wrote:


I find this aspect of Rui very peculiar. He doesn't act camp or particularly girly. So it's really unclear as to why he feels more comfortable in girls clothing.
That's one thing I never knew until the last couple of episodes of season 1 and even then they never explained why he does it but if he feels like it'll help him then hey whose job is it to judge but it does give the sense of someone not wanting to reveal their true identity online for either fear of what others might think or to keep themselves hidden so the world can't judge. It's sort of like that Group Anonymous they tell the truth without revealing who they are but that mystery of finding out who it is always clouds what the person or group tries to do. But I digress if the guy wants to then yes go ahead but I do want to know how and why he does it.
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vashfanatic



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:20 pm Reply with quote
otagirl wrote:
Rui being referred to as a girl irked me a great deal.

Maybe the English dub version left his gender ambiguous so as not to offend western viewers. Who knows. But it was clear in season 1 that the whole world knew that he was a cross-dresser. Netizens were disgusted by it, so the fact that he still dresses like that in public proves he doesn't give a rats ass about what others think & is not trying to "hide" his identity.

I find this aspect of Rui very peculiar. He doesn't act camp or particularly girly. So it's really unclear as to why he feels more comfortable in girls clothing.

Actually, it's not that at all - it's that a lot of Western viewers have interpreted Rui to be a trans woman.

Director's word aside (and he could only be referring to Rui's sex, not Rui's gender identity), the series itself is incredibly vague on whether Rui is a cis man who prefers women's clothing, a trans woman trying to live as a woman, or "I don't really care, I'm me." You can make an argument for each, and I've seen each made in various places. For me, Rui is Rui, and Rui is great, whatever gender Rui identifies as. But it's hard to avoid pronouns in English writing... Sad
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BluExocet



Joined: 04 Mar 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:43 pm Reply with quote
I have a hard time agreeing with Suzuki, mostly on the grounds that he's 21, in college, and he's probably reading dusty old German philosophers for the first time. So of course he's in the mindset that humans are horrible creatures that need to be kept in line. Yeah, humans are violent and look out for themselves, want to bring something new to the table? People need to act and function in a certain way for society to work, that's how it's always been.

Is CROWDS absolutely necessary? Probably not, but it sure is a really convenient tool. I'd like to see Rui whip out data on EMS and police services using CROWDS.

Granted, it was hinted in episode three that Suzuki may have lost someone to CROWDS during the tunnel accident, (I think, one of them from the first season), so he seems to have some legitimate rage against the X system and CROWDS. Which is understandable, but what about if CROWDS wasn't there to help?

I like how you pointed out that Rui's flaw is not really acknowledging humanity's capability for violence. I really want to side with Rui, but he does need to understand that people, for the most part, try to do good, but not everyone is on the same ship as him. Maybe limit CROWDS' abilities or something instead of having it be the "win" button.

It's this grey area (that happens to be Hajime's color now) that the opposing sides need to acknowledge, and not view everything as black and white.


Also, Suzuki is committing borderline terrorism, and the counter examples he provided are minor robberies and vandalism which do not justify the extremes that he's doing. "People have used this super convenient and groundbreaking technology for ill intent! I'm going to go off the deep end to prove this point and show this kid why it's a bad idea to have it!"
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Rederoin



Joined: 29 May 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:52 pm Reply with quote
vashfanatic wrote:

Do you mean that you interpret his crossdressing is symbolic? Or that he's using the anonymity of the internet to conceal his socially stigmatized gender expression? (I'm personally open to Rui being interpreted as cis, trans, whatever - death of the author etc. - so long as the interpretation is based on elements of the story itself; headcanon must be supported by evidence!)

Rui claimed he only crossdresses because he likes cute things(a very common reason for crossdressers in anime/manga)


otagirl wrote:
Rui being referred to as a girl irked me a great deal.

Maybe the English dub version left his gender ambiguous so as not to offend western viewers.
I always found that rather strange, unless noted otherwise its safe to assume a character is not transgender.
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:35 pm Reply with quote
Rederoin wrote:
Rui claimed he only crossdresses because he likes cute things(a very common reason for crossdressers in anime/manga)

Episode...? I don't remember that bit of dialogue...though if it's from this season, that would explain it since I'm behind.
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Dan42
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:30 pm Reply with quote
I don't mind that Nick refers to Rui as "she". I'm far more annoyed at the people who insist that annything other than "he" is a mistake; it's simplistic and disregards the simple fact that some people have a non-simple gender identity. As for me, I'm going to use the gender-ambiguous pronoun "s/he".


So far I'm loving the new season. Just as the first season tackled a boatload of themes, this one seems set to tackle a different yet connected boatload of themes. Given that many sequels tend to retread the same path, I'm really happy Gatchaman Crowds is pushing its own envelope further. Because this is an idea space that is just teeming with unexplored paths. Looks like we're in for another dense treat.

It's a bit early to guess where this is heading, but hey isn't that the point of a discussion thread? So let's go ahead with totally premature speculation and predictions Wink

The big issue here of course is that Rui wants to believe in the goodness of humans. I started by thinking that s/he was naive; even though most people are good there will always be a small but non-negligible percentage of bad people and there will never be a time when it drops to 0%.

But then I realized that way of thinking is a trap. It's not so much that some people are bad... it's that even "basically good" people go bad once in a while. In other words rather than 95% good people vs 5% bad people, it's more like 100% good people who are bad 5% of the time. This kind of duality is true of anyone and I think that's one of the themes this season is going for.

The obvious example is having Berg-Katze inside Hajime, but IMHO Tsubasa is a more realistic and better example. Unlike the ever-wise Hajime who can see the POV of anybody anytime, Tsubasa is more narrow-minded, focused on her own idea of "hero", and angry at the bad guys. As a result her actions sometimes cause harm. (Maybe that's the reason Yuru-jii wouldn't let her into the Fireworks troupe?) Right now we only have the example of the granny who was knocked over, but at the end of ep3 Tsubasa seems poised to "save" Rui against his/her will, and I get the feeling that will cause more harm than good. I wouldn't be surprised if the harm further escalates as Tsubasa's righteousness causes confrontations with VAPE to get out of control.

So in that sense I'm starting to think that Rui is on to something even though s/he is hopelessly naive. Everyone really is basically good. It's just a matter of judging them by their best (or even average), not by their worst.
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Caramichael



Joined: 07 Mar 2015
Posts: 114
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:36 pm Reply with quote
Man, so much reactions just from a subject pronoun choice^^

I wouldn't be as virulent but yeah it's indeed a bit disturbing to see "she" being used in this review. It makes me feel that Nick purposeful choose the gender he thinks Rui wants himself to be while I never felt that his crossdressing had this objective. After all, he is seen plenty of time in S1 as a boy without any problem, making me feel more that he doesn't care about gender and that his crossdressing is just a hobby (that was never throughout the series put into question). I perceived it that much more with O.D. being the true gender ambiguous character in the show for me.

Like other said, I felt that Rui's crossdressing, at least at the start of the first season, was a way to symbolize internet's anonymity and the fact that anyone can be anything in this space, represented by the fact he changed his style and wig many time. I dunno if it was just my perception, but by the time Rui decides to take action on the other hand, he seems to settle for his blond ponytail wig that I took as the fact he seems to renounce his anonymity but still choose how he is seen by others. I wonder if the currents events will change him again?


Otherwise as always, a pleasure to read Nick, especially on Gatchaman, his reviews were the reason why I watched the first season in the first place and I liked reading them between each episode, as it allowed me to see many things that I think I would have missed, just like in Euphonium. Keep up the good work!

I really liked Tsubasa character so far, like he said, he is basically all that Hajime was expected to be as the heroine of S1, but I really like the fact that she arrives NOW, after Hajime basically deconstructed the heroes in S1. It was really nice to see her going to save Rui despite understanding the stakes of the torture. To me it was a nice tackle to the feeling that characters felt like incarnation of concepts like Hajime and Berg Katze (and potentially Rui). It reminds everyone that people aren't just bags of ideology, and that a hero is someone who will save, even against the wish of the saved. I hope they will tackle this issue of the hero relation to individual will (it reminds me of the current debate in France around euthanasia colliding with doctor's ethic) at some time.

In brief, really excited by this new season, I am really glad that still is good old Gatchaman Crowds, and still as ambitious!
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Stelman257



Joined: 26 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:48 pm Reply with quote
vashfanatic wrote:
Do you mean that you interpret his crossdressing is symbolic?

Yeah pretty much, it's another layer of "anonymity" to go along with the fact that his CROWDS ability is basically a physical manifestation of "anonymous".
The symbolism is absolutely there. This guy put it perfectly
Caramichael wrote:
Like other said, I felt that Rui's crossdressing, at least at the start of the first season, was a way to symbolize internet's anonymity and the fact that anyone can be anything in this space, represented by the fact he changed his style and wig many time.

And yeah OD is definitely the more ambiguous character here, which I think is the point. He's basically the Kaiser Soze of the group, messes around and acts mysterious a lot, but when it gets real he gets super real.
Dan42 wrote:
I don't mind that Nick refers to Rui as "she". I'm far more annoyed at the people who insist that annything other than "he" is a mistake; it's simplistic and disregards the simple fact that some people have a non-simple gender identity.

Ahaha you're absolutely welcome to have your own view of course, I'm simply going with what the show itself states, and creating my own interpretations through discussion of that.
Caramichael wrote:
I really liked Tsubasa character so far, like he said, he is basically all that Hajime was expected to be as the heroine of S1, but I really like the fact that she arrives NOW, after Hajime basically deconstructed the heroes in S1. It was really nice to see her going to save Rui despite understanding the stakes of the torture. To me it was a nice tackle to the feeling that characters felt like incarnation of concepts like Hajime and Berg Katze (and potentially Rui). It reminds everyone that people aren't just bags of ideology, and that a hero is someone who will save, even against the wish of the saved. I hope they will tackle this issue of the hero relation to individual will (it reminds me of the current debate in France around euthanasia colliding with doctor's ethic) at some time.

She's a great character yeah, and I'm looking forward to where the story takes her.
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whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:17 am Reply with quote
This might be the article people keep referring to: http://www.gatchamania.net/thread.php?postid=171148

In it, one of the translations is "He [Rui] disguises himself as a woman just because 'it is pretty.'". Though in this different article (where the translator states that an earlier thread mentions that O.D. is a transvestite, though I would've SWORN O.D. said "I'm a woman inside" in the first episode), the translator states that the "he"s and "she"s they use come from either their own personal decision, or the gender of the voice actors: http://www.gatchamania.net/thread.php?postid=169479

I have, however, read that Katz is the only character where gender pronouns are just flat out avoided, much like Hange from Attack on Titan.

EDIT: Though to be fair, I haven't seen that Japan's LGBTQA+ scene is as nuanced as in the US, so non-binary gender representation might not even be a thing in Japanese social consciousness, even if it's somehow represented to a T in its media. Personally, I assumed Rui was a trans MtF since the show was pretty vague about it.
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Andrew Cunningham



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:11 am Reply with quote
Both the show and the original Japanese article (scans are in the translation posted above) refer to Rui specifically as "kare" or "he".
I don't believe it is intended to be ambiguous at all after the initial reveal (when he gets home and takes off the outfit early on in the first series.)
Others address him using -kun, which is primarily used with males, and Hajime specifically announces his gender to others on more than one occasion without any sign of discomfort from Rui. He may present as female on occasion, but if he was actually a trans woman, odds are he'd have been at least upset by being misgendered.
Additionally, it's important to remember that Japanese is a decade or so behind the US on these issues; gay marriage is only just becoming an issue that's reached the public consciousness, and I doubt most people there really have much awareness of transgendered issues. This is why is gets confused with cross-dressing so often when it is present, or gets depicted as a phase, or a result of confusion.
There are obviously exceptions (Wandering Son) but I think if Rui were intended to be a trans woman they would have taken the time to be a lot more explict about that fact. The fact that they haven't means he's intended to be a cross-dresser, something Japanese audiences are a lot more familiar and comfortable with.
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