“It can’t be helped.”
Classroom Crisis was so bad it got it’s own post so it’s only fair that the anime of the year has one too.
Before Insight aired, I thought there was no way this season could live up to the first. It was a fluke that it was so good. This one would end up being mediocre because we loved the first so much.
And while this one was fantastic I didn’t feel it was truly better, as I saw claimed so often, than the first season until the last episode.
Sure Insight had been great, had kept me on the edge of my seat, gasping aloud when Tsubasa did something like correct Hajime’s peace sign and had such a powerful sense of dread hanging over it as things edged closer and closer to ruin.
It was a wild ride without compromise. It delivered it’s message a little heavy handedly but was entertaining while still getting the point across.
But the first was so near and dear to my heart. How could I love this one more?
In 11 I cried because it was obvious it was Hajime they were fighting and I couldn’t deal with the aftermath of that. 12 proved me 100% right. If I hadn’t been in a group when I watched it, I definitely would have bawled. Hell, even rewatching it for this post made me start crying.
I just love Hajime so much. And seeing that scene again where they all fight her, seeing their reactions as they do and hearing Hajime urge them on in a desperate voice we’ve never heard from her before? It was chilling. The whole episode was. From Tsubasa’s description of the events, to them arguing over her plan.
All because we know where it leads up and we know what happens.
Maaya Uchida’s performance in that scene is absolutely pheonomonal and one of my top moments of this year. The desperation and pain in her voice alone is incredible and I know it’ll send shivers down my spine no matter how many times I watch that scene.
(Some what unrelated note but because of this scene I would love to see Uchida in a more serious, dramatic role. She feels almost typecast as chuunibyou/silly characters though)
Even Hajime aside, that whole final fight is impressive to me for a whole other reason.
Gatchaman Crowds originally was unconventional with it’s handling of the superhero story.
The first season was resolved with good faith and teamwork and a sense of unity among people. Though there was a fight, it wasn’t a big climactic brawl. Things were resolved in a, more or less, peaceful way. It wasn’t what you expect.
In Insight we do get that fight and it’s still not what you would be expecting from a superhero show. It’s horrifying and tragic and it pains you to watch. It’s not the heroes triumphing over the bad guys and saving the day. They have a big fight and it’s complex and deceiving and horrible.
The actual antagonist of the show is… silently defeated. He doesn’t even confront our heroes directly. By watching their fight and explanation and seeing the effect it has on people, he’s proven wrong. And he backs down.
Has he changed his ways? Maybe not. Who knows. But for now, he’s done enough.
And the people they tried so hard to change and help realize the errors of their ways? Some people stay the same. That’s how people are. Unlike the end of the first season, Insight knows that not everyone can change for the better. Some people will always go with the flow and won’t really think for themselves. But not everyone. And maybe because of this “tragedy”, a few more people will stop following and start thinking for themselves.
I was so worked up about the ending that I almost forgot to mention the soundtrack. It would be remiss of me not to talk about Taku Iwasaki’s first soundtrack of the year.
Err… well, I’ve already talked about the soundtrack at great lengths but I can say for sure that I can’t listen to in exchange for my life… without a lump in my throat now.
Forgive me if I’ve been awfully wax poetic about this show but I just love it so much. I’m an idealistic person at heart who wants so desperately to believe in the goodness of others. This show is all about relying on that very thing. Not to mention Hajime is a character that I love and respect very much. I can understand why people wouldn’t like her or even the show but I can’t understand why you would want to. Because of all those things, I still love this series a lot.
So yeah, I should have realized it sooner but Insight amazed me with each episode and was, some how, better than the first season. Now it’s gone and I miss it all over again.