Gatchaman Crowds Insight starts by focusing on the problem of the previous season, the Crowds and what is to be done with them once they have turned. This is only the opening chapter of the series, and it isn't until episode 5 that the main narrative of Gatchaman Crowds Insight is revealed. When the Prime Minister steps down Gelsadra runs for the post, and wins the vote. Voting for the election is possible via smartphone and Gelsadra makes increasing use of voting this way in a series of referendums.
The various votes that Gelsadra holds, and their results become a focus of the series in the mid-point. While Gelsadra has some scenes with other Japanese leaders, his premiership is conducted almost entirely through referendums. The show uses this scenario to explore the nature of direct democracies, and their similarities with internet culture.
When Gelsadra takes office he is praised as something of an outsider, and background characters express dissent with traditional politics and Gelsadra gains something of a cult following. These elements all come together to form a show that shows the volatile nature of online discussion, the importance of dissent, and the dangers in raising one man above other people.
This review is almost half way over and so far the only character that has been mentioned is Gelsadra. That is because he is the character that Gatchaman Crowds Insight puts the most focus on. Tsubusa Misducachi always gets a considerable, and effective story arc about joining a movement and what happens when you realise it has gone wrong. The other characters are also here and important to the resolution of the story, but once Gelsadra becomes Prime Minister the show becomes about that. The other characters are mostly there to react to what he is doing, or what he unintentionally unleashes.
There is outlandish action in this show, there are superheroes, and there are some cool fights. But if that is what you have come to Gatchaman Crowds Insight for, your time would be better spent with another anime. The action takes up very little time this season. Most of the episodes are almost, if not entirely an examination of the effect internet culture might have on democracy.
Over the course of its 13 episodes (12 + 1 episode 0 that serves to catch up new viewers) Gatchaman Crowds Insight takes a look at how the best of intentions can go wrong. It looks at the dangers of blindly following one man who seems to be offering simple answers, and it looks at how easy it can be for a oppressive system of conformity to be created. An effective political piece, but maybe not the superhero anime older fans might have been hoping for, and some of the cast gets much more attention than the rest.
GATCHAMAN CROWDS INSIGHT / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: KENJI NAKAMURA/ WRITERS: VARIOUS / STARRING: CHRIS PATTON, CHELSEA MCCURDY, JESSICA CALVELLO, DAVID MATRANGA / RELEASE DATE: 15TH MAY