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Review: Gatchaman Crowds Insight

Nov 12 // Salvador GRodiles
Gatchaman Crowds Insight Studio: Tatsunoko Release Date: July 4, 2015 Format: Streamed via Crunchyroll Taking place right after Gatchaman Crowds, Insight pits Hajime and the other Gatchaman against a group called VAPE, who want to rid the world of the CROWDs. During all of this commotion, the team ended up getting a new team member in the form of Tsubasa, along with having to watch over an alien visitor go goes by the name of Gel Sadra, who happens to share the same name with Leader-X’s top subordinate from Gatchaman II. While the show’s story sounds very simple, things start to take a different turn as political themes begin to take the helm. From day one, the main thing that sets this season from its predecessor is how it takes the pieces that were set into place earlier, and uses them to build a new foundation. At first, it seemed that the story was going to focus on Tsubasa becoming a better hero to overcome VAPE, but the staff did a good job in squeezing in the political themes, as Gel runs for office. While the first series had more of a subtle feeling with hints of Berg Katze plotting something huge, Insight convinces its viewers that things are suspicious from the get-go. This is shown through Gel’s speeches, which invoke the stereotype that many politicians use to present themselves as the person who relates with the middle-class citizens. Honestly, what made the guy’s actions great was that we were made to question whether the alien had ulterior motives or not. Going by the rule of things that are too good to be true, Gel came off as this super kind person who could bring everyone together. Just like the many things that fall into this category, a lot of people were drawn to his personality. Perhaps one of the greatest aspects of this story was the dynamics between Hajime and Tsubasa. Despite Hajime’s role as the girl’s mentor, Insight turned Tsubasa into the person who wishes to stand by Gel’s ideals no matter what; thus conflicting with Hajime’s super enthusiastic free spirit. On one side, you have the person who wishes for people to think on their own, and on the other, you have those who believe that true peace can occur if everyone goes with the flow. This also represents two of the various ways on how people create an atmosphere in their setting. Because of the way how society reacted to this event, this made Insight a personal story that many folks could relate to since it uses the social networking themes that it predecessor established to expand on the environment created by the political aspects. It also helps that the show’s superhero elements continue to sit in the back corner until they’re called for. Sure, there isn’t a consistent group that sends a bunch of bad guys against Hajime and her crew, but the idea that they still interact with other folks is surprisingly more entertaining. Seeing the first series focuses on the team’s rise to fame, another joyous thing about the show was seeing their efforts pay off. Whether it was O.D. showing off his fabulous personality on a live talk show or witnessing Rui using his Gatchaman powers, Insight leaves it viewers with a great sensation for investing their time with its predecessor. On top of that, once Gel’s presence becomes more prominent in the story, we start to see them change gears as they adjust to the changes in society. Thanks to the staff's great work with this story, the way how the heroes resolved the whole situation ended up being a powerful scene. Since the team was still fun to follow, this turned Insight’s closing segments into a very emotional ride. Let’s just say that it involves tears. If there’s one thing that we can always expect from Crowds, it’s the show’s stylish look. Just like the previous installment, Kinako’s stylish character designs continue to grace the screen. For the most part, the colorful looks continue to be a thing in Insight. Hell, Gel’s ability to turn people’s thoughts into speech bubbles was a nice aesthetic that improved the program’s great arsenal of abstract colorful designs. On top of that, Rui and Tsubasa’s Gatchaman suits are a nice addition to the crew’s set of armored heroes. I mean, it’s hard to go wrong with a fighter who can transport people to different locations and one who can fight with fireworks. Even though some of the show’s music is recycled from the previous series, the tracks still manage to go well with Insight’s scenes. Whether it’s the catchy electro song that repeats the phrase ‘Gatchaman’ or the subtle ambient track used in the peaceful segments, Taku Iwasaki’s (JoJo 2012 and Gurren Lagann’s Music) stuff continues to push the story in a positive manner again. Just like the rest of the show, it feels like we’re hanging out with the same person who made us smile before. I guess this would count as an amazing encore. As for the new characters, Kana Hanazawa (Durarara!!'s Anri, the Monogatari series' Nadeko) did a fantastic job in making Gel's child form sound playful and innocent, and Tomokazu Sugita (Kamen Rider Gaim's Demushu, Gintama's Gintoki) helped give the alien's adult form a convincing voice as a politician. That, and it was great to see him use a gentle voice throughout the series. In regards to Tsubasa, Kaori Ishihara (Magi's Aladdin, A Lull in the Sea's Sayu) brought out her ambitious personality nicely. She may not be on the same level as Maaya Uchida's (Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger's Hakase, Outbreak Company's Minori) Hajime voice, but she hit the right notes in making her character an overly determined person. Combined with the original cast, the voice actors were able to put on quite a good show.  While a sequel to Gatchaman Crowds could’ve gone either way, the show’s crew stuck to their guns and used them to shoot out greater bullets. The title’s political elements and expansion on its social life aspects gave it another nice zest that sets it apart from many superhero shows. Whether there’s gonna be a third installment or not, Kenji Nakamura (tsuritama and Mononoke's Director) has shown us that his take on Tatsunoko’s classic property is still capable of playing the game. [This review is based on a streamed version of the series viewed by the reviewer at personal expense.]
Gatchaman Crowds Insight photo
Whenever an old property gets reinvented, many folks tend to be concerned over the changes that the title goes through. In some cases, it can be a bad thing; however, a new take on a classic could act as a great way to a...

Gundam photo

Simulcast GET: Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans heads to and Hulu

New Gundam series for everyone!
Sep 30
// Salvador GRodiles
It looks like there's another good reason to be a Gundam fan this year, since the upcoming series, Mobile Suit Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans, hits and Hulu on Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m. Japan Standard Time/3:30 a.m. Pacifi...
Ultraman X photo
Ultraman X

Simulcast GET: Crunchyroll nabs Ultraman X

In which toku fans are given more hope
Jul 14
// Salvador GRodiles
Well, folks; I think it's safe to say that 2015 is a great year to be a tokusatsu fan. Last week, Shout! Factory announced Dairanger's North American DVD release, and Crunchyroll has now revealed that they're simulcasting Ult...
Yu-Gi-Oh! photo

SDCC '15: Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters' uncut episodes are now on Crunchyroll

Believe in the heart of the cards
Jul 12
// Salvador GRodiles
Good news, everyone; the folks at 4K Media Inc., the company that handles the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise's license and marketing, have announced at Comic Con that Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters is now on Crunchyroll in its uncut glory. As ...

Annotated Anime: MY Love STORY!! Episodes 6-7

May 27 // Nicole Helmeid
When Ai and her brother confront Yamato about her secret, Yamato launches into a list of Takeo’s physical traits that get her heart racing. I was dying of laughter as her and Ai agreed on all of his good points while Makoto shrinks into the background. Yamato’s big problem was that she wanted to move forward on the physical side of her and Takeo’s relationship, but fears it would crush his “pure” vision of her. Ai is a little shocked but gives her the confidence to tell Takeo exactly what she wants. Ai is still struggling with her love for Takeo, I think she knows he is the happiest he has ever been. She is full of regret for not telling him how she felt sooner and is still incredibly jealous of Yamato. Yamato and Takeo finally clear up the misunderstanding and Yamato also confesses she lied about how she found his place in the beginning and also left her cell phone behind on purpose. I find it really cute that her big lies and “impure” thoughts are still so sweet and innocent. It’s really refreshing that a show of this typically-drama-filled genre can be so lighthearted. Takeo feels the pressure to be a good man for Yamato and is embarrassed to have messed up something as simple as hand-holding. He comes to Suna with a request- teach him how to kiss. Suna obviously refuses but Takeo cannot be stopped.  He traps Suna and puts saran wrap over his face because that makes it "OK" in Takeo's eyes. The episode cuts away and ends right as the kiss is happening, to the dismay of any fujoshi watching this series (myself included.)   In episode 7, Takeo is recruited by the Judo club to help with a tough match. He agrees without realizing it would cut-down on his time seeing Yamato. But in her usual sweet manner, she cheers him on and meets him after practice to deliver rice balls. There was a bit of filler in this episode with a training montage- but with the great animation, the overlay of text messages between Takeo and Yamato, and a few gags thrown in (like his mother using him as an ironing board) it was still very entertaining. Takeo told Yamato not to meet him after practice anymore since the area had warning signs for gropers. But since he isn’t the most eloquent man, he simply tells her not to come rather than explaining why. This worries Yamato so she goes to visit Sunakawa. Suna is now a master of interpreting Takeo and Yamato, so he calms her down and she realizes it must have been a misunderstanding. The day of the judo match arrives and Takeo’s opponent (who looks like a character out of Cromartie High School) declares Takeo has already lost since he has a girlfriend. Someone sounds jealous! When it is Takeo's turn to fight, the two school’s teams are tied. His opponent is pretty evenly matched and there are a few moments where Takeo falters. Usually Takeo has ridiculous superhuman strength so I’m glad he was paired up with a character that could produce an exciting match. Takeo eventually wins with a toss, to the amazement of everyone in the crowd. Even the stoic Suna is impressed.  The next episode is Titled "My Friend" so I'm hoping something good happens to Suna in return for his loyalty and devotion to Takeo.   
MY Love STORY!! Ep 6-7 photo
Communication is key
Yamato is still in turmoil over a secret she can’t tell. 

Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 38-44

May 25 // Josh Tolentino
Indeed, the last six weeks of Stardust Crusaders have been all about "carrying on". Carrying on into the scary house where your mortal enemy resides. Carrying on past your enemy's toughest minions, no matter their tricks and powers. And sadly, carrying on even when you've lost friends. Indeed, after a pitched battle between Iggy, who takes a hit and learns the meaning of getting even in his fight against Dio's evil, Stand-using pet bird, the team finally enters the lair of the beast, only for Joseph, JoJo, and the newly returned Kakyoin to be separated into a confrontation with D'Arby the Younger, kid brother to the gambler from before.  Like his brother, D'Arby the Younger gambles for souls, but doesn't need to cheat nearly as directly, thanks to his Stand's power to predict the actions of his opponents by reading their souls. The contest, this time, is one that's near and dear to my heart: Video games! Playing knock-offs of F-Zero and RBI Baseball, Kakyoin unfortunately botches his return by getting his soul taken...again, leaving JoJo to once again leverage his unflappable nature to pull off another epic bluff. If this sounds familiar to you, it should, as practically beat-for-beat the encounter unfolds in a similar way to the Elder D'Arby's fight, all the way down to the D'Arby being driven nearly nuts by JoJo's win. Worse still, David Productions missed a golden opportunity to add some their own flair to this otherwise true-to-source adaptation: They could've used sweet retro graphics to show off the games, instead of falling back on boring-ol' regular CGI. Remember, Stardust Crusaders takes place in 1989, just as awesome pixel art was saturating the game market.  Sadly, those are minor quibbles compared to the underwhelming nature of the fight itself. The original D'Arby confrontation played out in a cool way, but the plot need not ahve been reused so quickly. Then again, had I known of the tragedies about to follow, maybe I'd have stayed in that status quo for longer. I blame Vanilla Ice. Vanilla Ice is Dio's last Stand-using minion, and thanks to his black hole of a Stand, inflicts the greatest casualties the team has suffered yet.  Avdol, sadly, dies a sudden, unexpected, and violent death, eaten from toes to elbows by Vanilla's Stand, nothing but a pair of hands left. And as if to rub insult to injury, Vanilla even beats poor Iggy to death. The kicker here, is seeing them both depart the coil in some kind of spirit form. I don't think they're coming back, and I already miss 'em. Rest in peace, Avdol and Iggy!  
Stardust Crusaders photo
All Ye Who Enter Here
Well, it's been weeks since we last checked in with the Stardust Crusaders, a group name, which, come to think of it, doesn't make all that much sense in the grand scheme of things. I mean, sure there's a "Star" in "Star Platinum", and Egypt has a lot of dust, as well as a few Crusades, but...well, I guess it does make sense, after all. So let's carry on, then!    

Crunchyroll manga photo
Crunchyroll manga

Crunchyroll adds PARK Harajuku: Crisis Team! original comic

Original manga to debut in end of May
May 21
// Soul Tsukino
Crunchyroll has announced the latest offering from their “Crunchyroll Originals” manga/comic line with PARK Harajuku: Crisis Team!, an all-new, full color digital webco...
Monty Oum photo
Monty Oum

RIP: RWBY, Dead Fantasy creator Monty Oum dies

He will be missed
Feb 03
// Josh Tolentino
Whatever you might think of a creator's work, it's never easy to hear news about their passing, especially at a young age. That's the case with Monty Oum, an animator at Rooster Teeth studio and creator of the 3D animated act...
Crunchyroll photo

Level Up: Crunchyroll's Premium Members now have unlimited manga access

Magma for Everyone!
Jan 18
// Salvador GRodiles
I may be late to the party again, but I thought that it was worth noting that Crunchyroll has granted their Premium Members the ability to access their magma... um, I mean manga library. In other words, the anime subscribers ...
Golden Boy photo
Golden Boy

Streaming GET: Golden Boy heads to Crunchyroll

Life is Study!
Jan 13
// Salvador GRodiles
There's something wonderful about having a Website stream an older title that's dear to one's heart. In this case, one of my favorite perverted comedy anime shows of all time, Golden Boy, has found a home in Crunchyroll ...
Ultraman 80 photo
Ultraman 80

Streaming GET: Crunchyroll nabs Ultraman 80

Crunchyroll has mastered the Ultra Combo
Dec 10
// Salvador GRodiles
It looks like Hell is still frozen, as Crunchyroll has added Ultraman 80 to their collection of Ultra shows. Thanks to the site's recent actions, there's a good chance that we're in for a glorious Toku Christmas this yea...
Ultraman Leo photo
Ultraman Leo

Streaming GET: Crunchyroll grabs Ultraman Leo

Leo Flash!
Nov 12
// Salvador GRodiles
Ladies and Gentlemen. Once again, I'd like to remind everyone that Hell has officially frozen over. With Ultraman Leo now streaming on Crunchyroll, I think it's safe to say that the underworld has become a winter wonderland. ...
Terra Formars photo
Terra Formars

Uncensored Terra Formars to air on Crunchyroll

Maybe we can see what's happening on screen?
Oct 20
// Hiroko Yamamura
I'm sure I'm not the only one who was totally shocked by the hardcore, over the top censorship of this season's Terra Formars. I mean come on! I've seen 10 second commercials on TV this week that showed way more than what was...
JoJo photo

Surprise: JoJo: Stardust Crusaders' English Dub to stream on Crunchyroll

In which Crunchyroll catches us off guard
Jun 24
// Salvador GRodiles
I don't know if this announcement is a figment of my imagination or not, but Crunchyroll's planning to stream three episodes of Stardust Crusaders' English dub on July 5th. If you're going to Anime Expo 2014, there's going to...
SakuraCon photo

Sakura-Con '14: Crunchyroll announces two more simulcasts

Don't get quite so excited yet
Apr 20
// LB Bryant
So SakuraCon has come and gone but we still have more news to share with you that came out of our weekend in Seattle. Yesterday, Crunchyroll held an industry panel at the con and despite getting through the bulk of their pane...
Crunchyroll x FUJI TV photo
Crunchyroll x FUJI TV

Crunchyroll partners with FUJI TV to stream 21 dramas

Some of them are required viewing
Apr 07
// Chris Walden
Remember when Crunchyroll used to show Japanese drama? I kid, but let's be honest, it's been pretty slim pickings on the drama front as so much time and effort was instead poured into acquiring anime simulcasts. However, this...
Streaming news photo
Streaming news

Rowdy Sumo Wrestler Matsutaro!! headed to Crunchyroll

A shonen-sports anime about Sumo wrestling? Sweet
Apr 05
// Tim Sheehy
The shonen-sports genre is one of a niche I usually avoid, and not because every show is terrible, they're not -- it's just that many of them seem so interchangeable. A group of down-trodden students join a club and bound tog...
Streaming news photo
Streaming news

Crunchyroll to stream Captain Earth

Feels like dj vu
Apr 05
// Tim Sheehy
Crunchyroll will be adding Captain Earth to its growing list of anime set to stream this season. The series will premiere at 11:00 AM PDT on April 5th for premium members, with episodes available for free users a week after a...
One Week Friends photo
One Week Friends

One Week Friends coming to Crunchyroll in NA

Don't forget your tissues!
Apr 04
// Dae Lee
Anime streaming sites are aflutter with announcements of titles they will be streaming for the imminent spring season. One of the titles I will be covering, One Week Friends, has been announced to stream on Crunchyroll in USA...
Anime photo

Don't forget about this year's Makoto Shinkai Day

Catch all of Shinkai's works on Crunchyroll while you can
Mar 15
// Karen Mead
Spring is almost here, and do you know what that means? You might say "the weather is warming up," but here in New York we still have snow on the forecast for Monday, so uh, NO. It is not necessarily warming up all that much....
Manga photo

Even more manga is added to Crunchyroll

Give us more!
Mar 08
// Amber Hunt
Another one of Moyoco Anno's wonderful mangas has been added to Crunchyroll's manga list called The Diary Ochibi-San. It's about a boy named Ochibi-San, who lives with his dog Nazeni, and his cat Jack. The story line fol...
Manga photo

Crunchyroll adds new manga to their website

Yay girl power!
Mar 07
// Amber Hunt
Crunchyroll has really been on point with their manga system lately! They've been adding new titles left and right. Recently, they've added two new ones which you can read now. Memoirs of Amorous Gentlemen (Bikacho Shinshi Ka...
Manga photo

Two new motion mangas added to Crunchyroll

Will senpai notice Sae?
Mar 01
// Amber Hunt
Two new motion mangas have been added to Crunchyroll recently! One goes by the name of Hadigirl, which is roughly about a girl who is visited by a fairy. The fairy gives the main character, Sae, various tasks to do with ...
One Piece photo
One Piece

One Piece to stream on Crunchyroll

Catch it this Saturday at 6PM!
Mar 01
// Amber Hunt
Like One Piece? If you answered yes, then boy do I have some dandy news for you! Crunchyroll is now going to be streaming the anime on their website. The really long pirate anime will be on Crunchyroll starting this Saturday ...
Crunchyroll photo

Anime-Planet and Crunchyroll team up

This is big news folks!
Feb 27
// LB Bryant
In a press release sent out earlier today, anime recommendation site Anime-Planet and Crunchyroll announced something big. Huge. Ground breaking even. In a move that that is unheard of for a start-up site like Anime-Planet, t...
Crunchyroll photo

Crunchyroll to stream Robot Girls Z

Japan discovers a way to get me into giant robots
Jan 28
// LB Bryant
I've never been one for giant robot/mecha anime. There are some notable exceptions to that but generally if a series has giant robots in it I tend to tune out and get bored very quickly. Finally though Japan has created a sup...
Crunchyroll photo

Crunchyroll snags Wizard Barristers and Nisekoi

I should've waited to post World Conquest!
Jan 07
// Ben Huber
Here's two more shows for today, from our dear friends at Crunchyroll: Wizard Barristers and Nisekoi. The former show is set in 2018 where wizards and humans live together peacefully. But while humans are still governed by tr...
Crunchyroll photo

Please welcome World Conquest Zvezda Plot to Crunchyroll!

*audience applause*
Jan 07
// Ben Huber
Please, hold your applause! The latest anime to get swept up in Crunchyroll's mad dash for every show is World Conquest Zvezda Plot. Hey, that sounds a bit like what Crunchyroll is doing to the anime world! When they take ove...
CR simulpub photo
CR simulpub

Crunchyroll announce three new manga for simulpub library

Is that a random dude all up inside that girl? What?
Jan 07
// Kristina Pino
For all you lovelies who don't live in Japan, but want to read comics just as they are released, Crunchyroll has this nifty simulpub thing going on with a bunch of Kodansha's titles including Attack on Titan and Fairy Tail, a...
WUG movie photo
WUG movie

A special Wake Up, Girls! movie screening on Crunchyroll

Yamakan's idols get simulcast movie
Jan 06
// Jeff Chuang
Hidden in the torrent of license announcements for Winter 2014 is the story about Wake Up, Girls! Outspoken director Yutaka Yamamoto's brain child is not just an idol anime, but a whole elaborate setup where seven candidates ...

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