Tuesday, December 17, 2013

12 Days of Anime: #9--You Can Always Turn it Off

12 Days of Anime Gatchaman Crowds Screenshot 1

For a show that's essentially about social media, Gatchaman Crowds makes a pretty good case about not letting it rule your life.

12 Days of Anime Gatchaman Crowds Screenshot 2

I mentioned in my Top 12 post that Gatchaman Crowds is really more about social media than superheroes, and I stand by that. It's also the first show that I've seen that gives a good commentary about the increasing internet presence in day-to-day life without taking a negative outlook. No complaining about the public's obsession with smart phones here!

12 Days of Anime Gatchaman Crowds Screenshot 3

That said, it doesn't try to pass off the Internet and social media as all rainbows and unicorns either. The majority of the conflict in the plot is drawn from people using these tools and the ease of becoming anonymous to satisfy their own selfish ends. The ability to hide can bring out the worst in people, unleashing their hatred onto the world without any fear of personal repercussions. Which is where Gatchaman Crowds' ongoing message comes in: you can always turn it off and walk away.

12 Days of Anime Gatchaman Crowds Screenshot 4

It's a good thing to remember, even though it sounds simple and obvious. It's a particularly important message for the online anime community, since so many of us (including myself) use the Internet as our main means of following our hobby and interacting with other fans. However, there are also a lot of...let's say, oversensitive people who have very specific ideas about what it means to be an anime fan and what kind of opinions you should hold if you consider yourself one. When someone comes along to rain on your parade, so to speak, how should you handle it? Gatchaman Crowds argues that it's perfectly fine to just drop out for a while. There will always be haters, but what's the point in indulging negativity?

12 Days of Anime Gatchaman Crowds Screenshot 5 12 Days of Anime Gatchaman Crowds Screenshot 6

It's not a perfect argument (we can't all be Hajime), but it's good to remember that sometimes arguments are the Internet are just that--arguments on the Internet. If an aspect of social media doesn't appeal to you, or you feel that a particular online community is too toxic, you're within your rights to not engage. Save your time and energy for those relationships--both online and off--that mean the most to you.

Images from Crunchyroll.com.

1 comment:

  1. Wonder if (director) Kenji Nakamura will come up with a new social theme for Season 2.

    Re Beyond the Boundary: New Idol Trial short, directed by Free!'s director.


    Hiro'omi fanservice for the ladies: Look ma, no clothes!! (゜◇゜)