Anime roundup 8/6/2015: Grey Matters

In this week’s viewing: You wait and wait for a show that really makes you think, and then three show up all at once.

insight-5 Gatchaman Crowds insight #5 – Back before the season started, the official site for Gatchaman Crowds insight teased the story like this:

We want to know about ourselves

About the fact there is no “society” in our “country”
About “society” and “people” living in different worlds

Feeling and reason
What is crucial is “thinking,” not “worrying”

Modern people are too “fast” — we breath shallow and quick
“We” are terrible at being slow and deep

Which, in a nutshell, means that head writer Toshiya Ono has read a book called Thinking, Fast and Slow, and this episode is where that really begins to come through. The central topic of the book is dual process theory, which says that humans have two modes of thought: one for making snap judgements, and one for processing ideas in a more complex, reflective manner. The book calls these system 1 and system 2, but elsewhere you may see them called “intuition” and “reasoning” or “reaction” and “reflection”.

Tsubasa is system 1 personified. “I don’t really understand that so I’m going to revert to a simple principle” is basically how system 1 works. Gelsadra’s insta-polling is all about being governed by system 1. E (time to get out the Spivak pronouns again) is picking up people’s immediate reactions to the red CROWDS phenomenon rather than allowing them to really mull over the pros and cons.

Mulling it over is what this show is asking you to do. To that end, Rizumu brings up a good point: imagine Internet justice with CROWDS. Suppose all those people currently filling up a certain dentist’s Yelp page over his trophy hunting hobby had the ability to project a giant superpowered version of themselves? Rui’s best answer is that everyone will adjust to the new reality and learn how to behave if they are forced to deal with it.

The voters have now returned a result that neither Rizumu nor Rui is happy with. Rizumu doesn’t think anyone should have superpowers. Which does he think is worse, everyone having them or trying to restrict them to the “right” people?

(Crunchyroll)

School-Live-4 SCHOOL-LIVE! #4 – It’s the turn of Miki and Tarōmaru to tell their backstory. I am not surprised that Tarōmaru’s original owner was an elderly woman. There isn’t a good way to translate his name literally, but it’s got a level of cutesiness on the order of “Snookums” or “Cuddles”. It’s totally a grandma-dog name.

Miki has the strength to last a long time, but her friend Kei is worn down by the monotony of living in a constant state of fear. (Yuki is performing an invaluable service for the School Life Club by keeping their lives interesting.) Finally Kei feels she has to leave, and Tarōmaru vanishes after her, and Miki has to venture out after them… to find what? Okay, we can probably guess. It’ll be Tarōmaru being menaced by Zombie Kei.

Back at the school, a far more complicated question is the nature of Megumi. I’m sure she was a real, living person at some point. I don’t think the narration of this story is unreliable enough to give us most of an episode from the viewpoint of someone who never existed. But it’s impossible to ignore that while the girls all have to run a zombie gauntlet to get to her car, she just magically appears in the car.

She must have been alive at least as far as the point shown at the start of episode 3, when she was typing up her recollection of what happened. If she’s dead, she might have died right after that, and that might be why the girls talk about her being in the staff room.

She could be another of Yuki’s delusions now, but it seems like the other girls are interacting with her a little. Does the rules of this setting allow ghosts? I guess we’ll find out when we see the club from Miki’s viewpoint next week.

(Crunchyroll)

Rokka-5 Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers #5 – The mask is taken away, and behold! Rokka may have the trappings of a classic sword-and-sorcery story, but underneath, it’s really a classic mystery story. Now that everyone is trapped in the stately manor on the remote island behind the phantasmal barrier, it’s time for some good old-fashioned detective work. Everyone presents their backstory and then tackles the question of how the barrier could have been activated.

One really obvious thing being overlooked so that someone can dramatically point out later is that Adlet was forced back out of the hallway by the golems, leaving a chance for someone else to sneak in there while he was occupied. They don’t even have to have left immediately. They could have hidden there for a minute and then snuck out while Adlet was frantically trying to lower the barrier.

Flamie’s story brings out some clues about the nature of the fake seventh hero. They can’t be a demon in human guise, but they could be another human-demon hybrid. They could be one who looks more human, or who has the power to disguise themselves like the demon outside the temple did. (Or they could be the very being Adlet met outside the temple, disguising themselves as fully human and then fully a demon.)

One odd sidelight is that a new deity can be willed into existence over time by a conscious decision to start worshipping it. At least I think it’s a sidelight for now, as I don’t see a way that would be applicable on the timescale this story is functioning on.

(Crunchyroll)

Charlotte-5 Charlotte #5 – Another week, same routine, but the new kid with superpowers feels like an afterthought this time around. Nao’s plan to find and corner him works so ludicrously well that it feels like a deliberate move to minimize the amount of time it takes up.

The rest of the episode is used well, giving the team time to gel. Everyone can tell that Nao and Yū are going to be an item, and they get an opportunity to move a little further in that direction. Takajō gets a chance to show that there’s more to him than just comic relief. And a couple days of peace and quiet gives Yū another chance to start remembering that extra family member who isn’t supposed to exist.

Ayumi’s cold is almost certainly not just any cold. Perhaps it’s the onset of her powers, and they’re literally like an illness?

(CrunchyrollWakanimViewsterAnimeLabDaisukiAniplex)

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